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3 Bumps

How do I tell my son? adult content

I was raped when I was 16, and I got pregnant. My son is now 5. He knows that my husband isn't his real father, but since he's the only father he's ever had, he loves him, and doesn't ask many questions about his bio dad. He has been spending time with a boy down the road, who keeps asking him where his real dad is. Everyone knows my husband and son aren't related because my husband is dark skinned and my son is totally white. So my question is, how do I tell my son that I don't know who his father is? He's obviously too young for the full truth, but what do I tell him when he's older? How do I let him know that it doesn't make a difference to me? How do I keep him from worrying about becoming like his father? A boy I grew up with was the result of rape, and when he was older, he took his own life, rather than risk becoming like his father. So how do I help my son? Has anyone dealt with this?

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busyyoungmom

Asked by busyyoungmom at 3:35 PM on Nov. 9, 2010 in General Parenting

Level 6 (110 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • I would just tell him you don't know where his real dad is and leave it at that for the moment. He doesn't need to be loaded down with a bunch of information at 5.
    meandmyshadow

    Answer by meandmyshadow at 3:38 PM on Nov. 9, 2010

  • What a difficult situation, I'm sorry. I guess you could just tell him that you don't know where his biological father is, but as far as you're concerned, your husband is his dad, and that's all he needs.
    MeandMyBabes

    Answer by MeandMyBabes at 3:39 PM on Nov. 9, 2010

  • I know, and that is what I will tell him. But eventually he needs to know the truth, and I want to tell him, rather than risk him finding out by accident. And I don't know how to tell him the truth.
    busyyoungmom

    Comment by busyyoungmom (original poster) at 3:39 PM on Nov. 9, 2010

  • I do not know what you can or should say to your son, I have never been in that position. I wanted to respond however to commend you for keeping the baby. An unplanned pregnancy is very hard to deal with and process without adding the issue of rape. I could not say what I would do in that situation, however that must have been so imaginably difficult to work through. I admire your strength and determination in dealing with this issue.
    DeeDee323

    Answer by DeeDee323 at 3:40 PM on Nov. 9, 2010

  • Thank you DeeDee. It wasn't easy, but I was very lucky. My family was very, very supportive, and always there for me. Without them, I don't think I could have done it.
    busyyoungmom

    Comment by busyyoungmom (original poster) at 3:42 PM on Nov. 9, 2010

  • When he is old enough to understand, there will very likely be a conversation which will be the perfect time to tell him the whole truth. You will know when that time comes. In the meantime, I would just say what meandmyshadow said. I hope that you will not spend a lot of time worrying about when the time will be right, because I truly believe that you will know when it gets here.
    NannyB.

    Answer by NannyB. at 3:49 PM on Nov. 9, 2010

  • I totally agree with the first answer. Children have a very sensitive antenna for being lied to or not. For now, just tell him you met him once and have no knowledge of his whereabouts (of course not in these words ;-) He's got his whole life ahead of him and there's plenty of time to tell him later. But whatever you do ... DO NOT be the one to plant the idea in his head, that he could become/ needs to worry about doing what his bio father did. Whatever you heard about other kids being the result of rape ... it's got nothing to do with your son. He'll make up his own mind about it. I wouldn't speak about that, don't even think about it. Unless of course he brings up the subject himself. And when he does, try to make him see as much positive sides of it as possible. I suppose you love him dearly .... Then he's the most wonderful thing that came forth of pain. A present on disguise.

    BeachMom81

    Answer by BeachMom81 at 3:57 PM on Nov. 9, 2010

  • I think that five is too young to be given a full explanation about rape, though I can understand not wanting to lie to him as he grows up. All I can think of to tell him is the same you would tell any child with an absentee father... that you don't know where his biological father is, that some men may make a baby but are not good enough to stay around and raise that baby, and that what makes a REAL dad is someone who is willing to parent a child as they grow, like his stepdad does.
    Freela

    Answer by Freela at 4:10 PM on Nov. 9, 2010

  • Yes, Freela! "thumb up" for you.
    Becoming a father is easy, being a dad is hard work ... but sooooo worth it!
    BeachMom81

    Answer by BeachMom81 at 4:15 PM on Nov. 9, 2010

  • im not really sure what you could tell your son, maybe that his real dad left and you dont know where he is and that you are sorry . ANd maybe talk to the mom of the little boy. YOu don't have to give any details but let her know that talking about his real dad is difficult. i think fewer details is best.
    cuteness13983

    Answer by cuteness13983 at 5:27 PM on Nov. 9, 2010

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