I'm April, I just joined this group in hopes that someone might have a similar situation and be able to give me some advice.
I have a 6 year old who has never met his father. His father was abusive and I left when I was pregnant, so needless to say, I did what I had to do to keep my son and myself safe. He has a ton of male role models in his life, family members, who are amazing with him. I know that doesn't fill the gap, but I'm just grateful that he has them. Anywho, he has periodically made comments about the lack of a father in the past year or so. He told me that he calls his grandpa "dad" when he's in front of his friends. Also, I have a 4 month old and he told me that since J is A's dad, that he could be his dad too since he takes care of him. I love that he feels that closeness, but he still makes comments that make me feel like I need to do something. In the past week or so he has said, more than once, really loud (and in public), "I don't have a dad!". He says it with a big smile on his face though. However, he is the kind of kid that doesn't like to show when he's feeling down about something. I have always told him that there are many kinds of families and (until J came along) it was just him and I and there was nothing wrong with that. I feel like I totally messed up and contradicted that lesson the other day. He made that comment and it caught me off guard so I told him we would talk later if he had questions, but we didn't want to make the people he was talking to feel bad. He asked me why they would feel bad so now I feel like I killed my own lesson....parenting fail.. :/
I'm just not sure what to do next. I want to talk to him, let him know that he can absolutely ask me questions at any time, but I also feel like I shamed him the other day when he tried to bring it up. I feel so bad about that. I want to be prepared so I'm not so taken aback when he mentions it. So, should I tell him I was wrong to shush him? Also, do I ask if he's been feeling bad about it and that's why he keeps bringing it up? Or should I just ask if he'd like to talk about it? I'm at a loss and I don't want to approach it in the wrong way or make him feel shamed at all. (any more than I already did... :/)
Thanks in advance for any input ladies. :)