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Daddy arrested, filing for divorce, and won't be coming home. What do I tell my daughter?

I finally had my abusive husband arrested yesterday after he grabbed and held me, leaving bruises, then chased me around the house ...IN FRONT OF THE KIDS, WHO WERE CRYING! He's not allowed back for 72 hours after arrest. I initially told my 4-year-old he was spending the night at a friend's (though I think she may have seen a little of him getting cuffed before I swept her away and distracted her). It'll be another 5 days before legally allowed over here (wish it were more). I'll be filing for divorce. I'm thinking it might be wise to get a restraining order too. The guy's on lithium and gets pretty angry when he's not on it.

So what on earth do I tell my little 4-year-old angel? I don't want to give her more information than she can comprehend or deal with emotionally, but I have to tell her something.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 2:33 PM on Jul. 5, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (9)
  • Tell her that daddy misbehaved and has to deal with the consequences. Let her know that you will always be there for her and that her daddy will not be able to put a hand on you again. Tell her this will make things a whole lot better and that she has to trust that you know best.

    Good luck! I've never been through this before, but this is what I would tell my son.

    Answer by Krystal.Ingalls at 2:38 PM on Jul. 5, 2009

  • I can't give you advice on this one, but you may want to check out some of the groups here on Cafemom. I'm sure there's a couple of domestic violence type groups where you can find women who have been in your situation and can better help with any and all of your questions. I wish you and your family the best- it sounds like you're on the right track already. Nobody should have to put up with abuse and I applaud you for having the courage to take the upper hand and get out of a bad situation. Good for you!

    Answer by dannydawna at 2:41 PM on Jul. 5, 2009

  • I just want to say good for you!

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:49 PM on Jul. 5, 2009

  • MY heart aches for you guys..

    Answer by MarGeee at 6:12 PM on Jul. 5, 2009

  • Okay, first def. get the RO. As to what to say? I' consider getting advice from the domestic violence groups as well but perhaps something along the lines of daddy and mommy can't see to get along in an okay way so daddy is going to go stay somewhere else so that we don't fight anymore.

    Answer by MamiJaAyla at 8:46 PM on Jul. 5, 2009

  • Just be sure to let her know every day how much you love her and that you have each other :)

    Answer by twotwinsmom at 10:59 PM on Jul. 5, 2009

  • Definately get the restraining order and good job on ending the abuse. Since the kids saw it I would tell my daughter that because Daddy acted that way he wasnt allowed to come back and was staying at a friend's house and that Daddy was fine. Explain to her that when we act that way it is not ok.

    Answer by MiSSHiSCAMP0S at 11:36 PM on Jul. 5, 2009

  • I wouldn't say anything unless she asks. Take her places if you can. Like to the library or Mcdonalds playland. Do fun things like have a sleepover in your bed or watch movies. Keep her distracted. If she asks. Tell her that sometimes big people have to go on timeouts too. But this timeout means he can't be in the house. Then explain how important it is to use your words and not your hands. There are books on this that you could get that are geared towards the age level.

    Answer by sweetpea532 at 11:45 PM on Jul. 5, 2009

  • sorry to hear that get a order of protection before he gets home and whats go heart u again for gettin him in jail, u can tell you'r daughter that he's away in at a job.

    Answer by jennyadrian at 12:55 AM on Jul. 6, 2009

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