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how to talk about your ex spouse to your kid (his father)

my son is only 4 monthes old but i dont know how i am going to tell him that mommy and his real daddy arnt together anymore and why he cant see his real daddy anymore because daddy was abusive and at what age is this approriate to do and how do i explain how his step dad has been here almost his whole life.

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Asked by Anonymous at 4:32 PM on Nov. 18, 2009 in General Parenting

Answers (8)
  • You only bring it up when he asks about it... If his step dad has always been there, I wouldn't even bring up his real dad until he is definately old enough to understand and discuss it (And i'm talking teens or older here)

    Answer by AngeLnChainZ at 4:49 PM on Nov. 18, 2009

  • my oldest has always been aware that she has a bio dad. All i said was that we were young and neither of us was really ready to have a baby. But once i saw her, there was no way I could ever live with out her. as she got older I explained a little more on what her dad was like. She has now met him once when she was 11 and her first comment was "I now understand why you u never stayed with him" It was good for her to understand. She is allowed to call or email him but has choosen not to. She is also aware that she now has 6 half brothers and sister scattered in 3 different states.
    Lots of kids find this really shocking if they found out later in life. and it really bothers them that a parent can keep this BIG of a seceret from them for so long. My advice tell little bits of the story as they get older. when they can understand they will thank you for it. Mine did.

    Answer by roxyann76 at 5:01 PM on Nov. 18, 2009

  • When he is mature enough to ask the questions then he is mature enough to know the answers.

    Answer by motherofhope98 at 6:00 PM on Nov. 18, 2009

  • You tell them the bare minimum, or if they ask, specific answers to specific questions. My ex was convicted of rape, as well as being verbally abusive to me during our marriage. I have not told my 8 & 6 yr old sons any of that yet, b/c they don't ask. When they have asked why I'm not with their father, I simply tell them that he and I didn't get along very well and that we decided that it was better if we weren't together. When they get older, I will tell them what happened, but not until I feel they are old enough to not only comprehend what I am telling them, but to deal with it, emotionally and mentally.

    Answer by tropicalmama at 7:52 PM on Nov. 18, 2009

  • I agree with roxyann76, i'm in the same boat you are in but my dd is only 3 but the day will soon come. But I plan on doing it the way roxyann76 did. I was 11 too when I met my dad and didn't really click with him so I left him alone and till this day I havn't seen him or looked for him. But there comes a day when they want to know and met them at least once in their life.
    Like my mom says a dad can be anybody but the father is the one who is always there. (I think I said that right.)

    Answer by ProudMom351 at 7:58 PM on Nov. 18, 2009

  • I think it's ok to give basic facts about specific questions and wait until he is older to give the harder news. I wouldn't hide the info and I definitely wouldn't wait until he's a teenager. He'll be hormonal as it is, you don't want to break out that little tidbit of info for the first time at that point.
    I think you should really play up his step dad and how lucky you and he are to have him in your lives...more of a focus on the positive. Tell him he's really lucky, he has a bio dad and then a dad who actually picked him to give his love to.

    Answer by JawgaMom1 at 12:09 AM on Nov. 19, 2009

  • My oldest daughter never asked even though she had a different last name. My second husband has been the only daddy in her life since just before she turned 2 years old and he is an awesome daddy. He has never called her anything but HIS daughter right from the get-go.
    I never told her about her bio-father until she was in high school and I decided she should know some basics, but I didn't want to harp on everything because the abusive relationship I had with him was still haunting me, but I felt she should know who he is and that we divorced.
    She asked to be adopted by my husband, but her bio-father refused to give up his rights (he's spiteful) and he wrote her a letter full of lies that she knew the truth to so she wrote him back and told him he couldn't lie to her, that she knew the truth.
    Well, after high school, she was curious and met him and he was a jerk and she hates him now. She went to court and changed her name.

    Answer by PrydferthMenyw at 8:08 AM on Nov. 19, 2009

  • (con't)
    She changed her last name to her "daddy's" last name because she has always been his daughter. When she gave birth she gave her baby our last name, too.
    She told me that she wants nothing to do with her bio-dad, that even though I never spoke badly of him (calling him names and going on about our relationship) she's glad she learned for herself what a jerk he is instead of being influenced by my prejudice of him.
    I can't tell you what to do, but if his father is not in his life, then there is no reason to speak of him and give him the illusion that his 'wonderful daddy' is going to 'save' him whenever you set rules for him or punish him. You definitely don't want to speak badly of him, either, so he won't blame you later for trying to influence his feelings for his father.
    I wish you well.

    Answer by PrydferthMenyw at 8:13 AM on Nov. 19, 2009

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