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My 4 year old asked me to pretend....

I was in the kitchen making lunch when he comes in and says "lets pretend there is no Daddy" I asked him why he would want to play that game and he just kept saying "it's just pretend, I'm just pretending". His father and I are having relationship issues, but he loves his boys and would never hurt them in anyway. I don't know what to make of it. Could he be feeding off the tension between his dad and me? It seems like a strange game of pretend to me and I can't stop thinking about it. Also any suggestions on getting my son to open up a little more are more than welcome.


Asked by Anonymous at 8:01 PM on Jun. 2, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

This question is closed.
Answers (7)
  • WoW...he could definitely be picking up on things, and all i would say do, is pretend...if you play along with him, he may show you what your looking to find. He may just not want to come out and show you what he feels but by "playing" he feels its okay. Kids are SMART. very perceptive..

    Answer by sweetstkissez22 at 8:06 PM on Jun. 2, 2009

  • that's a sad game! oh well, if that's how your child is dealing with the stress then that's a good thing. at least he's not setting things on fire

    Answer by staciandababy at 8:04 PM on Jun. 2, 2009

  • I suppose that is a positive.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:06 PM on Jun. 2, 2009

  • I wouldn't read too much into it. I believe children of ALL AGES understand what is going on around them such as family problems, issues between their parents, drug and alcohol use, abuse, etc. So I'm sure he understands there is a problem between mommy and daddy right now. I would just go head and play pretend with him. Maybe HE wants to pretend to be the daddy and the "man of the house." Who knows! You'll never know until you try! And I agree with sweetkissez22. Maybe he isn't comfortable or doesn't know how to express his feelings about what is going on, but if he acts it out or plays it, it is his own way of telling you how he feels.

    Answer by Ash9724 at 8:10 PM on Jun. 2, 2009

  • i agree with the above posters, he's picked up on tension between you guys and he wants there to be none so pretending daddy isn't there is his way of "fixing" the problem in his eyes. just play along see what he says and does during the game. and be happy he's found a safe, healthy way to express himself.
    it could also be that he has friends who live w/only mommy and he wants to know what that is like, so it may not be related to your issues w/his father at all.

    Answer by vabchmommy at 8:19 PM on Jun. 2, 2009

  • It's possible that he simply is wondering what a friend's house is like who has no daddy at home.

    But go ahead and role play with him. Help him work through whatever it is. Pretend there is no daddy so he can see that everything still gets done, he is still loved, and he gets to visit his daddy at another house. But warn your spouse about it. Let him know that you are not preparing the child for a divorce and don't know where this actually came from. Just let him know you are willing to work it through with your son so he can see that no matter what, he is loved and will be cared for.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 8:36 PM on Jun. 2, 2009

  • Thank you all for your answers, I know he wouldn't be getting it from a friend, he won't start headstart until next year and we've managed to avoid daycare so far. So I'm thinking he must have picked up on the tension and bickering we've been doing, though we try to keep it away from him. I keep thinking if his dad had heard that it would have broken his heart. Thank you again!

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:37 PM on Jun. 2, 2009