How to prepare to tell my son about his dad?

Laura - posted on 09/05/2012 ( 1 mom has responded )




My son is 3 months old. I dated his dad for 3 months before I got pregnant. I am 18. The first few months of my pregnancy my boyfriend was talking about how we are going to have a wonderful family and how he is going to step up to be a good dad by getting a job and graduating. By the time I was 5 months pregnant he told me he is praying I get in a car accident and cussed me out daily and told me how much of a piece of trash I was. I was pretty much is punching bag (he didn't hit me, just verbally). After months of constantly being put down I finally got the strength to tell him I'm not going to let him treat me like that. I was sure he was cheating on me (he ignored me during my ultrasound to find out the sex of the baby so he could text and he showed no interest in me anymore). So I began telling him if he can't straighten up he can't be in my life. He promised to change. That lasted MAYBE a day. He kept doing drugs, getting arrested, drinking, and disrespecting me. I cut all ties and he didn't care. I talked to his mom once in awhile because I wanted to make sure at least one person from his family knew how we were. A few weeks before my due date he began to email me begging me to let him come to the hospital. I,once again, told him he can if he can talk to me respectfully. Of course that didn't happen. So he didn't come. I allowed his mom to come because she didn't do anything to hurt me (she stayed maybe 5 minutes a left....). My son is now 3 months old and his dad still hasn't attempted to meet him. Him, his mom, and his girlfriend tell me it isn't fair for me to not let him meet him. His dad also asked about signing his rights over because he didn't want to pay child support (currently trying to get that figured out...have to find him first) because he doesn't feel like getting a job. My son doesn't deserve to have a dad treat me like this and have him come in and out of his life when he feels like being a decent person. Am I right? Or am I making a mistake? Also how do I tell my son when he starts asking about his dad?


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I would keep the information appropriate to your son's age. It could be worth putting together any photos you do have of him and his family together, with their names on them. Also have any other information you have about your ex's family (names, dobs, last known contact details).

When your son does ask about his Dad and paternal side of the family, stay to the facts and try not to bad mouth them off. When he is old enough to understand/cope with the information you can let him know that his Dad has been known to take drugs, drink and has got arrested for it.

As for male role models, make sure that he also has plenty of positive ones - they can be from teachers, sports instructors, family members, other children's Dads etc..

My girls don't have any contact with their Dad or his side of the family, though I have added them to the family tree that I've been working on over the years, which means that if my girls do decide to try and have contact in the future they have some information to work from. Also be making sure that my girls have low expectations of having any contact with their paternal side of the family. My ex was coming out of his second marriage and he suddenly wanted contact with my girls. I allowed him to have contact (letting him know that it was against my better judgement). It lasted 4.5-5 months, he then stopped writing to my girls (mainly because it wasn't happening at the speed he wanted it to happen, rather than taking it at their speed. In the two years since I've had him pester me for the girls to write back to the letters that he's supposedly sent since (bit difficult as none of them have arrived through my letter box). Also he's wanted to see them, which I won't let him do unless he can prove that he can be in their lives long term, and work up to seeing them. Got a phone call from him before the summer holidays asking if I or the girls had phoned him (on purpose or accidently) on my phone. Said no and basically hung up on him - I was in the middle of taking the two youngest up to school.

Stick to your guns, worth getting legal advice and going from there. If he wants to sign away his rights, then he has to prove that he is the biological father of your child first, especially if he isn't on the birth certificate. Then there would have to be exceptional reasons for him signing his rights away as a Father, though he may still be liable to have to pay child support for at least some of your son's life or until he's 18 (not sure of the rules on this). Certainly don't think the courts will let him sign away his rights as a parent just because he doesn't want to be financially responsible for his son. He'll have to come up with a better reason than that.

At the end of the day, you are the main parent in your son's life. Make sure that he is surrounded by positive role models and show him that education is important to be a successful person in the community. Worth seeing what groups are available for your son to attend when he's older, especially after school clubs (Scouting, sporting etc). That way it'll help him to see and meet a wide range of people and come into contact with positive male role models.

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