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4yo asks about absent father - Need Advice

Posted by on Mar. 6, 2013 at 12:12 PM
  • 6 Replies


I am a single mother of a 4 year old who's father refuses to be apart of her life. How should I deal with the questions that my childr asks about her father? I'm really not sure what to say to her or how to explain things. Right now I just smile and change the subject but I know that it is something that I need to address. I think that my daughter at this stage, has created a "fantasy dad" (what she thinks he's like, or would be if he were around) and I know that she's searching for that relationship but I don't know exactly how to talk to her about it. We've gone through a stage where she'd call evey man she saw dad/daddy and I've been able to break her out of it, however not too long ago she's asked her paternal grandmother's boyfriend if he could be her dad. This of course broke her grandmothers heart hearing this and knowing that her son is not stepping up to the plate to be in her life. If anyone who reads this has gone through this or is going through this and have a positive way of dealing with the situation please leave some advice for me. I don't want to bash him or put any type of negative thoughts in her head about him. I want to teach her to have love in her heart for him regardless of him not being there for her.  Any positve advice would be most helpful! 


Thank you,

by on Mar. 6, 2013 at 12:12 PM
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Replies (1-6):
Morrigan333
by Member on Mar. 6, 2013 at 12:25 PM
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I bashed my ex for years until I just realized it was too hard to keep hating the asshole. My dd is now 12, I started communicating with him when dd was about 7 or so. I asked for money and help because she was going through"things" ADHD,etc. I really played on this to at least get my foot in the door(it was a tumultuous ending) DD has never really seen her father. He splitwhen dd was just 7-8 mosold. The last time they actually saw each other was when she was 2 days shy of her 1st b-day. He lives In Tn, we lived, in Va when we split, I moved to Md (with family) in 2006. He emails her (sometimes) but she hasn't had any emails from him since about 8 mos. He sent her a Valentine's Card recently, but that's it. I gave him dd's cell # so he could talk to her direct..he said in an email to her..let's wait awhile. Unbelievable!  

 I just told dd that her father was not who he had portrayed he was, and that he just hasn't grown up yet. From the infrequent emails and such..I think dd now knows he just can't be reliedon.He's still her "father" for whatever that's worth, but she knows if she needs anything...I'm the one who'llprovide it esp if it's emotional, mental, support.  He is a father in name only, and she understands this. She's sad about it, but accepts that he's just not the "dad" type.

GeminiMay31st
by on Mar. 6, 2013 at 1:07 PM

Thanks Morigan333! I completely agree with you about harboring such strong feelings for an individual. I don't to talk about him or think  about him at all, however my daughter does bring him up because his mother is in her life and has pictures of him in her home and explains that he is her dad. I honestly have no feelings toward him at all. I am currently seeking sole custody (legal and physical) of my daughter on grounds of abandonment and my daughter and I will have to do some sort of court ordered counseling and I'm hoping that that will help some as well with helping her understand why he's not around.

LovingMy2x4
by on Mar. 6, 2013 at 2:07 PM
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I am in almost the same sitch with my ex. We have a 7 year old daughter and 4 year old son. He left when my daughter was 3, so she was more aware of what was going on. He comes to visit them once every 4 months (the time gap keeps getting longer and longer) and stays for about 3 hours. 

When she used to ask I would tell her that Daddy is busy, at work, at school, lives far away, etc. As she got older it has changed to Daddy has a hard time being a Dad the right way, Dad doesnt know the right way to take care of you guys on his own, Dad works a lot of hours and they dont let him take off. Every excuse ended with "but that doesnt mean he doesnt love and miss you, he loves you very much"......Now that she is older she pretty much knows thats a crock of shit and has stopped asking. 

My son doesnt ask about him much. When he does its more of the "why dont you ever let us see Daddy?" So I explain to him that Daddy is allowed to come and see him whenever he wants, and Daddy is the one who decides when he wants to come. Mommy ALWAYS says yes. He has called a few other people Daddy also and when I asked him why he said it was because he doesnt remember what Daddy looks like. Last time he came to visit, my daughter said my son wouldnt call him Daddy...he just tapped him whenever he needed something. 

Maybe it might be best if your daughters grandparents stopped talking about her father and showing her pictures. It might be confusing and upsetting her more. For my kids, its mostly out of sight out of mind at this point. I dont bring him up because it only upsets them. If they bring it up, I let them get their feelings out and talk to them about him until they feel they are done.

amonkeymom
by Gold Member on Mar. 6, 2013 at 2:24 PM

The part in red is a good way to handle it.

Quoting LovingMy2x4:

When she used to ask I would tell her that Daddy is busy, at work, at school, lives far away, etc. As she got older it has changed to Daddy has a hard time being a Dad the right way, Dad doesnt know the right way to take care of you guys on his own, Dad works a lot of hours and they dont let him take off. Every excuse ended with "but that doesnt mean he doesnt love and miss you, he loves you very much"......Now that she is older she pretty much knows thats a crock of shit and has stopped asking. 

My son doesnt ask about him much. When he does its more of the "why dont you ever let us see Daddy?" So I explain to him that Daddy is allowed to come and see him whenever he wants, and Daddy is the one who decides when he wants to come. Mommy ALWAYS says yes. He has called a few other people Daddy also and when I asked him why he said it was because he doesnt remember what Daddy looks like. Last time he came to visit, my daughter said my son wouldnt call him Daddy...he just tapped him whenever he needed something. 

Maybe it might be best if your daughters grandparents stopped talking about her father and showing her pictures. It might be confusing and upsetting her more. For my kids, its mostly out of sight out of mind at this point. I dont bring him up because it only upsets them. If they bring it up, I let them get their feelings out and talk to them about him until they feel they are done.


GeminiMay31st
by on Mar. 6, 2013 at 2:35 PM
1 mom liked this

Thank you  LovingMy2x4! I really like the way you phrased things! I will definately start doing this :-)

brieri
by Platinum Member on Mar. 6, 2013 at 4:32 PM

 Hi and welcome to the group.

The best words to use when she asks about him is to say the following:  "I don't know"  .

You are not lieing to her and you don't know what the daddy is really doing - (maybe you do, but it's really not a concern to your child).  Daddy is the one who has to tell the child what he has been doing.

 

 

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