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How do I explain to my 4 y/o that daddy is moving out?

My husband and I have decided to temporarily separate due to issues within the marriage that cannot be resolved...my dd is 4 and ds is 18 mths...how do I make this transition easier for them, and how do I explain to dd what is happening?!

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 12:37 PM on Mar. 12, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (6)
  • Don't tell them anything. Let her think he is going to work. By the time you upset her explaining it to her he might be back and that's just confusing. Kids don't understand that young anyway. Don't let her see him carry out his bags then send him off like he's going to work. Let her adjust to him being gone.
    admckenzie

    Answer by admckenzie at 12:39 PM on Mar. 12, 2010

  • I do not want him to come back. He is determined that we will work it out, but I don't want to work on it....no bashing please, I have dealt with enough in this relationship..I am trying to make the best decision for the lives of my children..as well as my own. He is an awesome father..but has previous children that when he left..it was only a matter of time before he didn't make an effort to see or talk to them anymore. What if he does that to my children?!
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:43 PM on Mar. 12, 2010

  • My mother sat me down and while crying her eyes out, told me daddy left and was never coming back, traumatic life event #1.
    I agree with admckenzie, say he has a lot of work to do...Tell her he loves her and do not share your personal problems with her.
    writeon

    Answer by writeon at 12:43 PM on Mar. 12, 2010

  • I don't think it is fair to lie to your child and say he is at work and not tell them he no longer lives there. 4 year olds are pretty smart.

    I would make sure you are calm and you should BOTH sit down with the children. Explain that daddy is going to live in a new house and when they will get to see him and that he will call and they can call daddy whenever they want. I would not necessarily tell them WHY you guys are splitting unless they ask- and a general statement not 'because your daddy picks on me' or anything that insinuates blame on either party. Please be honest about it and let them know it is ok to be upset or sad and ask about their feelings in the matter too.
    ZaTa

    Answer by ZaTa at 12:57 PM on Mar. 12, 2010

  • I agree with ZaTa. Kids are a lot smarter than you think. Telling her me and daddy aren't getting along anymore and he is going to be moving out. Make sure that she understands that it is not her fault and that her daddy still loves her. It will be hard for her but lying to a kid about it is horrible.

    JAIRATRACI

    Answer by JAIRATRACI at 1:27 PM on Mar. 12, 2010

  • I would just sit ehr down, both of you, and let her know that you both still love he, but daddy is going to go live in another house, and she can still see him and talk to him whenever she wants. And keep your promise in this, especially if you said he is a good dad. If she asks why, tell her that you two are not getting along and think you will be better parents to her and sibling if you can be happy and apart form eachother, but you both love her and it is not her fault at all.
    AK_aries

    Answer by AK_aries at 3:04 PM on Mar. 12, 2010

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