What do I tell my son about his dad?

[deleted account] ( 18 moms have responded )

My son is three years old and in his playschool they were talking about families. When my son came home he asked me why he doesn't have a dad. The only answer I can give him is: "I don't know where your dad is, but wherever he is, he loves you very much." This answer is working for now, but I don't know how long it'll last.

What should I tell about his dead-beat, drug addicted, usless father without making my son feel bad?

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Jessica - posted on 11/04/2009

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My friend went through this, and no matter what you say, it is always going to be difficult for them to understand, at least until they're older. I would stay away from telling him that "he loves you very much". This can be even more confusing, because then why isn't he around?



My friend told her daughter that when she was very young, her father made a choice. He had a lot of things going on in his life, and he decided that leaving to focus on those things, was the best decision for him at the time. It was HIS decision, and it was nobody's fault. As she has gotten older, her daughter has put together that this is a very selfish choice, but she figured that out on her own, without anything negative coming from her mom. You need to make it clear that it was a decision that he made (sober or not, but he doesn't need to know that), it was not your sons fault, and that things will be fine because you will always have each other. Good luck!

Karrington - posted on 11/05/2009

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I agree with what Jessica said about "he loves you very much", as sad as it is unfortunately it does not sound like you know how your sons father feels about him. The most important thing to do is make your son feel loved (which it sounds like he is since you are worried about this) and tell him everyday that he has a mommy who loves him and perhaps explain to him that all families are different (some just have a daddy but some have two mommies, and yet some don't have a mommy or a daddy, just a grandma and/or grandpa). This will also teach him about being different than others but the same in some aspect(s)

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Sher - posted on 11/11/2009

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well hun am in the same boat as you with my exhusband. You have to basically say for now the pionts that made you fall for him. (Even as breif as they were.) I know thats hard. But saying the downside of what he is actually is might end up backfiring on you. Unfortuntalely theres not much you can say.

Amanda - posted on 11/10/2009

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There are a lot of comments about avoiding telling your son that his dad loves him and I unfortunately have to agree. It may not occur to him now, but as he gets older adn starts putting things together, he may start questioning why if his daddy loved him so much did he leave him. That could lead to a lot of self doubt and blame. I'd just surround him with as much love and family support that you can. I'm sure you are doing an awesome job as a single mom. I'd tell him that you love him enough for a dozen dads.

Aneshia - posted on 11/10/2009

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I went through something similar with my sons father. He wasn't a drug addict or anything but he wasn't around as much as I would have liked him to be. Contrary to most of the advice you gotten so far, I do think you were right to tell your son that his father loves him. Just because his dad is not around does not mean that he doesn't love him. Most absent fathers love their children they just have a problem showing it. You also don't want to taint your son's image of his father. You have to let him see what kind of man his father is for himself as he gets older. My son's dad has since stepped up to the plate and is trying to do the right thing. My son is three now and he adores his father. I would never do anything to come in between them. People can and do change so don't give up your son dad may turn his life around one day. I don't know if this helped but I just wanted to give you some encouragement. Hope it works out for you and your family

Natasha - posted on 11/06/2009

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I think the most important thing is that your son feels loved, and I'm sure that he does. I know that the father probably really does love his son, but he's not in the right mind, or man enough to know what is important to him. But as long as you give all the love you can, your baby will be in the best possible hands.

Tera - posted on 11/06/2009

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Wow.. thats hard.
I would tell him the truth once he is old enough.. I would not hide that.
These things make people stronger - and Im sure by knowing...he will strive not to be like his father..

[deleted account]

Quoting Donna:

i had the same problem vanesa my son is 8 now and the sperm donar as i call him cos they dont deserve the dad title kids r curious little things and my son asked where his dad was and i just froze because you never expect it at that age but they do forget trust me i wouldnt tell him anything about his dad specially that he loves him cos he dont sorry to say that! i told my son when he asked that the man that put him in mummys tummy has gone away my son was ok with that then i met my partner to whom he calls dad now but earlier this year when sperm donar did turn up because of the love he got from his new dad he turned around and said you just the man that put me in mummys tummy nathan my dad now and that came from his own mind i never bad mouthed the bloke to him because in years to come they remember and it kinda get nasty and your child turns on you!!! good luck x



The last thing I want is for people to bad mouth his dad in front of him.  I don't do it either.  I remember when my mom left my dad she was saying all sorts of horrable things about him and it made me feel like crap.  I kept thinking, "Why is my dad so bad?  What did he to do make me bad like that?"  I don't want Christian growing up thinking his dad was a bad man.  Just a normal man who made bad choices.



And I don't understand why all these people say his dad can't love him?  I think all parents (moms and dads) have a love for their child.  Most dads choose not to show it (I think so they look more masculne).  But somewhere deep....way deep....SUPER DEEP down, they do have a love for children.  It's just usually masked by the love they have for themselvs.

[deleted account]

Quoting Karrington:

I agree with what Jessica said about "he loves you very much", as sad as it is unfortunately it does not sound like you know how your sons father feels about him. The most important thing to do is make your son feel loved (which it sounds like he is since you are worried about this) and tell him everyday that he has a mommy who loves him and perhaps explain to him that all families are different (some just have a daddy but some have two mommies, and yet some don't have a mommy or a daddy, just a grandma and/or grandpa). This will also teach him about being different than others but the same in some aspect(s)



I see where you guys are coming from about not telling him that his dad loves him, but if you were in his shoes, would you question if you were loved?  It's not like his dad ran out on us, I left him for the safty of our child. 



I just don't want my son to think he's unloved.  But I did like idea of telling him (later on down the road) that his dad had to work on taking care of himself and it just wasn't a good time in his life for us to be there. 



Thank you everyone!

Donna - posted on 11/06/2009

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i had the same problem vanesa my son is 8 now and the sperm donar as i call him cos they dont deserve the dad title kids r curious little things and my son asked where his dad was and i just froze because you never expect it at that age but they do forget trust me i wouldnt tell him anything about his dad specially that he loves him cos he dont sorry to say that! i told my son when he asked that the man that put him in mummys tummy has gone away my son was ok with that then i met my partner to whom he calls dad now but earlier this year when sperm donar did turn up because of the love he got from his new dad he turned around and said you just the man that put me in mummys tummy nathan my dad now and that came from his own mind i never bad mouthed the bloke to him because in years to come they remember and it kinda get nasty and your child turns on you!!! good luck x

[deleted account]

Hi, my youngest one s father is a git too, my daughter asks about him, she s just turned 4, i ve told her that mummy and daddy wasn t good friends any more and it was making people sad so you live with mummy so we can all be happy, when his in his mid teens tell him properly, as long as his got his mummy he ll be fine, it teaches them great independance to see a strong role model, good luck x

Becky - posted on 11/06/2009

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I agree with Jessica on telling your son his "dad loves him very much", it may seem cruel but in a way its almost like lying to your son. The last thing you want is for your son to build up the figure of a warm loving father who just isn't around only to find out in later life he has a dead beat dad. Your all the family he needs.

Also sometimes adults read deeper into things than children, he may have asked about his dad in the way he might ask why the sky is blue, purely because they talked in school about it.

Hope all goes well in the future for you and your son.

Jessica - posted on 11/05/2009

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My son is four years old. His dad is in the picture but not very often. All I feel I can do for now is remind my son how much I love him and show him that I am there for him each day. It doesnt seem like much but to a four year old love and time is everything. Children live in a happy magical world. The longer they are aloud to be children, be happy and be loved, even if you feel you are the only one giving it, the happier they are.

Misty - posted on 11/05/2009

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Honestly I have no idea. My aunt went through this with my cousin. Until my cousin was 14 she never knew what her dad looked like. I think when you feel the time is right you should be honest with him maybe not about everything all at once take it in stages, but when he is older and can understand. I hope all goes well for you and your son.

September - posted on 11/04/2009

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Quoting Jessica:

My friend went through this, and no matter what you say, it is always going to be difficult for them to understand, at least until they're older. I would stay away from telling him that "he loves you very much". This can be even more confusing, because then why isn't he around?

My friend told her daughter that when she was very young, her father made a choice. He had a lot of things going on in his life, and he decided that leaving to focus on those things, was the best decision for him at the time. It was HIS decision, and it was nobody's fault. As she has gotten older, her daughter has put together that this is a very selfish choice, but she figured that out on her own, without anything negative coming from her mom. You need to make it clear that it was a decision that he made (sober or not, but he doesn't need to know that), it was not your sons fault, and that things will be fine because you will always have each other. Good luck!



Now that brought tears to my eyes!

September - posted on 11/04/2009

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I'm sorry. I feel for you! That's a tough one. I think that the answer that you gave him was great and should work for a while. Once he is older and can understand more I would explain it to him in a different way. Maybe start off by telling him that his Dad loves him and that people make mistakes in life and his daddy's mistakes have taken him away from his family. I don't think that I would share any major details until he is much much older. Good luck and best wishes :)

Krista - posted on 11/04/2009

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I think you should wait until he much older to reveal the truths about his father. In the mean time just keep your head up and a wonderful man will come into yours and your son's life eventually!

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