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Daddy is in jail?

What would you do/tell a 4-year-old child about their father being in jail? The child doesn't really know that their father is a drug-addict and was arrested for possession and also fraud. They also barely know the father -- but has recently began asking questions about why daddy never comes to see them. They do speak on the phone occassionally and the child believes that dad is "at work." Is it wrong to lie? WOuld you? I do not intend on this person being a part of my life -- but they are insisting that they will be a part of the child's life. He has no visitation rights.


Asked by Anonymous at 5:21 PM on Feb. 14, 2011 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (10)
  • My husband works at a jail and when ever I visit him to bring him something, I see or hear about this problem all the time. Honestly, I would just tell them the truth, because eventually you will have to (especially if he is repeatedly in jail or will be going to prison). Explain it in the simplest terms that daddy did something bad and he is having to take an adult time out. Good Luck!


    Answer by JeremysMom at 5:26 PM on Feb. 14, 2011

  • why ot tel him, its a good time to explain what happens to people who dont follow rules.

    Answer by IraqiVetWife at 5:25 PM on Feb. 14, 2011

  • At four he won't understand what jail is. Just tell him that his dad is somewhere far away.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:23 PM on Feb. 14, 2011

  • Daddy is away now and can't come.

    Answer by Bmat at 5:25 PM on Feb. 14, 2011

  • Ugh.. what a hard situation.. I wouldn't let my children be a part of this mans life.. I couldn't do that to my kids.. but then again, I am not in that situation so I can't say for sure what is right or wrong.. Good luck

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 5:26 PM on Feb. 14, 2011

  • that's tough. it's not horrible, what you're doing now. it would be better to tell your child those things when he/she can understand them.

    Answer by febmom007 at 5:29 PM on Feb. 14, 2011

  • First do not let them speak on the phone. Sense he has not visitation rights at all.  Then just say,  the dad does not live where you live and can not come see him/her/them (the kids..


    Answer by louise2 at 5:32 PM on Feb. 14, 2011

  • My uncle tells his daughter he is away at a "school that will make him a better person." I don't know if I agree with it. It's a hard situation to be in.

    Answer by other_mother at 6:05 PM on Feb. 14, 2011

  • if he barly knew said father then I wouldn't say anything about him being in jail. Also, it's as to much for a 4 yr old to handle.

    Answer by red_head_mommy2 at 11:33 PM on Feb. 14, 2011

  • I would tell the truth but on the level the child can understand. "Daddy did something wrong so he has to go to a grown up time out, he loves you and hopefully, when he gets to come back, he won't make those bad choices again". There is no point in lying, they will find out sooner or later, and then, you have lied to them.

    Answer by JLS2388 at 12:01 AM on Feb. 15, 2011