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What should I tell him about when he asks about his mom?

My 3 yr old cousin lives with me but not by court order. Here's the story:

My Uncle was a SAHD, and she worked. When the baby was about 18 months she met someone new, and my uncle moved out. He had to move in with his brother in CA (he was in FL). He was unable to find work right away and fell into a depression. In June after a year of making no progress, I invited him to live with me in MS.

He did really well, right away and his son was coming to visit for Christmas. When my uncle went to pick him up his mother said that she was in an abusive relationship, the other guy wasn't treating the boy right, and she couldn't take him back.

My uncle got an apartment, so she could move in with him, but now she wont come. She never calls... didn't even call on his birthday, or Christmas.

My cousin stays with me Sunday night - Friday afternoon. he's been asking, what should I say?


Asked by Christina2135 at 11:35 AM on Apr. 7, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 7 (166 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (5)
  • I think if you even take a stuffed animal he already has and when you are playing ask Tigger (or whatever the animal is) if he will keep hugs for mommy. Ten give the bear a hug. Ask him if he wants Tigger to hold mommys hugs until she comes back and let him hug it. he may like it and start doing it or he may not. My dd's teacher asked if the class should skip fathers day craft one year so as no to remind her. I called a counselor and he said she should experience disappointment as it happens a little at a time and should not be sheltered from it. Just be open to discuss it with him We have had to go over it alot and I have been very careful to let her know it hurts me too and experience feelings with her. I have acted out emotion with her saying it hurts my feelings when soemone doesnt come when they say they will. Very important for him to knw his feelings are valid and normal.

    Answer by ria7 at 2:30 PM on Apr. 7, 2010

  • My uncle says to just avoid it, because she'll be here soon, but she's been saying that for months.

    Answer by Christina2135 at 11:36 AM on Apr. 7, 2010

  • I would be as honest as you can with him and be open to questions. Tell him you don't know when his mom will be back. Tell him you know him it is hard to miss someone and give him lots of hugs. Maybe even have him give a teddy bear hugs to "save" them for her. When my dd's dad left for long periods due to alcoholism I told her i didnt know where he was but we had a special box ot save stuff for him. When he would call we would mail out a package to him with a half a years worth of drawings. If you dont know what to say to his questions tell him you dont know and then try to give him an answer later. I wouldnt just avoid his questions. Be happy he trust you enought to ask and give him the most honest answers possible.

    Answer by ria7 at 11:41 AM on Apr. 7, 2010

  • Those are really good ideas Ria. He doesnt ask about her often, but when he does it breaks my heart. he's so sweet, and forms attachments with adults really fast. I know he misses her, i think I'll get him a "momma" bear today.

    Answer by Christina2135 at 11:47 AM on Apr. 7, 2010

  • I agree with Ria to be honest without talking down about mom. Sympathize with him about missing her. Also point out to him that there are many different kinds of families, some kids are raised by single dads, some single moms, some by grandparents or other family members, etc. Try to help him feel grateful for the family he has and the love and care they provide for him. I know this is tough. My niece is 3 and hasn't seen her mom since she was a baby and I think some times she feels like the only kid without a mom.

    Answer by riotgrrl at 12:30 PM on Apr. 7, 2010