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How do I explain it to my 4yrs old?

I recently caught my husband cheating and I asked him to move out. Now my daughter is losing her mind trying to figure what happened. Should i tell her the truth or What should i do? I really dont want to hurt her or relationship with her father.

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sunshinestar110

Asked by sunshinestar110 at 1:21 PM on Feb. 25, 2009 in Relationships

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Answers (25)
  • i am in the same situation but my daughter is only 14 months but shes still confused daddy used to be there and now he's not. I just told her daddy had to go bye bye
    HollyRose

    Answer by HollyRose at 1:23 PM on Feb. 25, 2009

  • I'd keep it as simple as possible. "Mommy and Daddy aren't getting along right now. So, Daddy is staying somewhere else while Mommy and Daddy try to get along better." At 4, she's going to have a real tough time understanding even the simplest explanation as to why her dad is gone, so you'll have to keep doing it. Definitely DO NOT tell her the truth, though. Daddy cheating on Mommy is between Daddy and Mommy, not the child. If things don't work out for you, when she gets older, you can explain things more fully, but even then, this kind of situation is not something the child needs to know about.
    tropicalmama

    Answer by tropicalmama at 1:23 PM on Feb. 25, 2009

  • You need to remember her little 4 year old mind. She will not understand most, and will distort things to her level. And if asked she will also tell, so if there's people in her world you wish not to know at this point, then think carefully about what you do say.
    If you truly believe that there is no chance on rekindling, then you can simply say that Daddy doesn't want to love Mommy anymore and decided to live somewhere else. Short and simple. And express to her that it has nothing to do with her.
    EireLass

    Answer by EireLass at 1:24 PM on Feb. 25, 2009

  • I'm so sorry, I don't have any advice, but I do have a 4YO and I really feel for you, that must be so hard on everyone involved. I don't think you should tell her what your DH did though.
    gramsmom

    Answer by gramsmom at 1:24 PM on Feb. 25, 2009

  • She is 4 years old. She is probably not going to understand the concept of cheating. so maybe tell her what the above poster said "daddy had to go bye bye."
    aznblond9

    Answer by aznblond9 at 1:26 PM on Feb. 25, 2009

  • Just tell the kids the truth. It will hurt but hurt less if you lie and they find out the truth later. Just say daddy found someone else he wants to spend time with instead of mommy.
    peacelovenfrogs

    Answer by peacelovenfrogs at 1:26 PM on Feb. 25, 2009

  • I'd try to put it in a way that a 4 yr old could understand. I think the problems in a marriage shouldn't be told to a small child. I agree with whoever said that mommy and daddy aren't getting along right now, so he's sleeping somewhere else" but I'd also add that just because you and your spouse aren't getting along, doesn't mean that he doesn't love her, that it doesn't change how either of you feel about her. If you have to, walk out of the room when he walks in to see her so she doesn't feel the anger. If she's having a really hard time with it, you might think about her seeing a child therapist so they might can help her work out her feelings and make sure she doesn't think it's her fault.
    lisa_ann_p

    Answer by lisa_ann_p at 1:35 PM on Feb. 25, 2009

  • I wouldnt tell her the truth.She might hate you for telling her & she might mot belive you.Or she could hate her dad.I would just tell her mom & dad are takeing a time out or something like that.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:38 PM on Feb. 25, 2009

  • I agree with the truth. I tried protecting my daughter for a long time. They will start to make accusations about the problem and it will eat at her even with her not showing you signs. After a yr or two I finally sat my daughter down and told her the truth. I believe as long as you are honest they will trust you and always come to you for advice. After I talked to my daughter she 100% turned around and no longer had questions about the situation. I also told her some of what I was saying may not make sense now, but as you get older you will understand. I also told her to come to me if she ever has questions about it again that I would always be here for her. She no longer has empty questions floating around in her head.


     

    ljlM

    Answer by ljlM at 1:46 PM on Feb. 25, 2009

  • Try saying "Mommy's and Daddy's should love each other and their children only, but Daddy found somebody else he loved more than Mommy. But Mommy is still here, and Daddy is still going to be your Daddy. He just can't live with us anymore, because he gave Mommy a big big boo boo on the inside that he can't fix."
    Emmy_Dollface

    Answer by Emmy_Dollface at 1:59 PM on Feb. 25, 2009

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