Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Single Moms Single Moms

Son is 3 and asking about dad...

Posted by on Jun. 23, 2013 at 10:41 PM
  • 18 Replies

Hi.  I'm new here, and have a problem. My son's sperm donor (aka biological father) left before he was born, and not on particularly good terms. It's a very messy story, and not one a 3 year old can understand. His babysitter is a SAHM with a great husband and two kids of her own. Of course, he has now realized that there are families with dads, and has been asking, and I don't know what to say!

What should I say? What kind of information should I give him? He's only three, what will he understand?

i have no idea where the father is now or what he is doing. He is not on the birth certificate, and has made no effort to be involved. 

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

by on Jun. 23, 2013 at 10:41 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
mnivis01
by Member on Jun. 23, 2013 at 10:43 PM
4 moms liked this
I would explain to him that not all families have a mommy and daddy. You will be surprised how well a short answer can satisfy them.
MIMIBRIE
by Jayme on Jun. 23, 2013 at 10:45 PM
3 moms liked this

 At three id imagine a simple answer would do. Just be truthful. Say he lives somewhere else and wasnt ready to be a daddy but that its ok bc you love him twice as much

woodstock525
by on Jun. 24, 2013 at 9:12 AM
1 mom liked this
Quoting MIMIBRIE:

 At three id imagine a simple answer would do. Just be truthful. Say he lives somewhere else and wasnt ready to be a daddy but that its ok bc you love him twice as much

This above is too much information and is extremely hurtful to the child.  If his daddy wasn't ready to be a daddy, that means his daddy didn't want him and doesn't love him.  DO NOT tell a child this.  The fact that you love him is not enough to replace the love of his other parent no matter how much love you have.  Plus, if the other parent ever does show up in his life, you will have already started with the PAS which can lead to serious psychological disorders for your child and a distrust of other males in his life (including male friends his age). 

Just say that there are many kinds of families and yours has just a mommy and him.  Let it be at that.  It's plain and simple and doesn't get into the hows/whys and your opinions of his dad as a douchebag.

My dad suicided when I was 4.  When I asked about him, I was told that he ran away because he didn't love us any more and that he was never coming back.  Saying that a guy wasn't ready to be his daddy is very similar.  I can't tell you how hurtful the comments were...and after that kind of answer, I blamed myself for why my dad wasn't there and looked everywhere for him behind my mother's back. 


amonkeymom
by Gold Member on Jun. 24, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Hi!

It's pretty normal for kids your son's age, living with single moms, to start asking questions about dad, or even calling other men dad.

I'd just let him know that his dad isn't there, but that you love him enough for a mom and a dad. 

Quoting gunshyvw:

Hi.  I'm new here, and have a problem. My son's sperm donor (aka biological father) left before he was born, and not on particularly good terms. It's a very messy story, and not one a 3 year old can understand. His babysitter is a SAHM with a great husband and two kids of her own. Of course, he has now realized that there are families with dads, and has been asking, and I don't know what to say!

What should I say? What kind of information should I give him? He's only three, what will he understand?

i have no idea where the father is now or what he is doing. He is not on the birth certificate, and has made no effort to be involved. 

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!


MIMIBRIE
by Jayme on Jun. 24, 2013 at 2:38 PM

 So you think a 3 year old would think his father didnt love him bc someone told him he wasnt ready to be a dad?

Quoting woodstock525:

Quoting MIMIBRIE:

 At three id imagine a simple answer would do. Just be truthful. Say he lives somewhere else and wasnt ready to be a daddy but that its ok bc you love him twice as much

This above is too much information and is extremely hurtful to the child.  If his daddy wasn't ready to be a daddy, that means his daddy didn't want him and doesn't love him.  DO NOT tell a child this.  The fact that you love him is not enough to replace the love of his other parent no matter how much love you have.  Plus, if the other parent ever does show up in his life, you will have already started with the PAS which can lead to serious psychological disorders for your child and a distrust of other males in his life (including male friends his age). 

Just say that there are many kinds of families and yours has just a mommy and him.  Let it be at that.  It's plain and simple and doesn't get into the hows/whys and your opinions of his dad as a douchebag.

My dad suicided when I was 4.  When I asked about him, I was told that he ran away because he didn't love us any more and that he was never coming back.  Saying that a guy wasn't ready to be his daddy is very similar.  I can't tell you how hurtful the comments were...and after that kind of answer, I blamed myself for why my dad wasn't there and looked everywhere for him behind my mother's back. 

 

 

woodstock525
by on Jun. 24, 2013 at 7:08 PM

Yes...not only would he possibly think his father didn't love him bc someone told him he wasn't ready to be a dad, but he may also become anxious that if his dad wasn't ready then what happens if mom becomes not ready too...but he may not ask that question.  Children aren't miniature adults and they don't think like adults.  Simple is better.  HIm not being ready to be a dad is mom's interpretation....and not what the child is asking. Frankly I would say nothing unless the child brings it up again.  It's not something you sit down and bring up a conversation about with a child.

A simpler response is that there are different kinds of families and we have just a mommy and you in our family.  There are probably other kids he knows that don't have a dad in their family either and their are books at the library that talk about families that might help...just beware, they may talk about families with two mommys or two daddies or grandparents, etc....  He doesn't need any more information or detailed information.  He's just three.  He's not asking for a long drawn out explanation.  Actually no kid really wants to know the whole story about mom and dad and who did what to whom.  I know my kids didn't want to know...even as they grew up.  That's parent business, not child business and the only thing served by "telling the kids the truth" is to make one parent look like a martyr and the other parent to look like crap whether it's your truth or not. 

Quoting MIMIBRIE:


 So you think a 3 year old would think his father didnt love him bc someone told him he wasnt ready to be a dad?

Quoting woodstock525:

Quoting MIMIBRIE:

 At three id imagine a simple answer would do. Just be truthful. Say he lives somewhere else and wasnt ready to be a daddy but that its ok bc you love him twice as much

This above is too much information and is extremely hurtful to the child.  If his daddy wasn't ready to be a daddy, that means his daddy didn't want him and doesn't love him.  DO NOT tell a child this.  The fact that you love him is not enough to replace the love of his other parent no matter how much love you have.  Plus, if the other parent ever does show up in his life, you will have already started with the PAS which can lead to serious psychological disorders for your child and a distrust of other males in his life (including male friends his age). 

Just say that there are many kinds of families and yours has just a mommy and him.  Let it be at that.  It's plain and simple and doesn't get into the hows/whys and your opinions of his dad as a douchebag.

My dad suicided when I was 4.  When I asked about him, I was told that he ran away because he didn't love us any more and that he was never coming back.  Saying that a guy wasn't ready to be his daddy is very similar.  I can't tell you how hurtful the comments were...and after that kind of answer, I blamed myself for why my dad wasn't there and looked everywhere for him behind my mother's back. 


 



wormspoop
by on Jun. 25, 2013 at 1:32 AM
1 mom liked this

My son's father died when he was 3, even though it's not the exact same I to had a curious child who asked a lot of questions. I went to the library and found children books related to our situation and then I would compare the story to our life with him and just let him control the conversation. Start with simple answers and let him take it from there. Also might be a good idea to try and find other single moms in your area that he can be around so he knows that he is not alone.

newlife2013
by on Jun. 25, 2013 at 3:28 AM
When my son was 4 he loved watching calliou and little bear because it showed a 'family', turns out because it had dads in it. The ex was unreliable to comply with the visits so when my son asked about where his dad was I did tell him not sure but he wasn't doing what dads are supposed to do and we talked about what the dad was doing in the show, which was just talking with little bear. he agreed. Very simple.

I did not downplay how irresponsible his dad was, I'm not portraying an individual as a father when they are not, you can't tell them they are not loved they already feel the void wo knowing what's wrong , but there are many ways you can answer the question. Just adore him and he will grow up confident.
momof4b2g
by on Jun. 25, 2013 at 3:40 AM

My kids dad and I divorced when my son was 2 months old.  He was an alcoholic and not interested in his family at all.  I told my son that he was sick and wasn't around, but that didn't mean he didn't love them in his own way.  Now my son is 9 and his BF has passed away.  My kids are now old enough to understand the whole truth and I give them nothing less when they ask questions.

CarlosFer
by Member on Jun. 25, 2013 at 3:53 AM
1 mom liked this
I will have to disagree with woodstock. your reasoning is brilliant but far more elaborated than what the reasoning of a 3 Year old would be. The baby is 3 not 13!

Quoting woodstock525:


Quoting MIMIBRIE:

 At three id imagine a simple answer would do. Just be truthful. Say he lives somewhere else and wasnt ready to be a daddy but that its ok bc you love him twice as much

This above is too much information and is extremely hurtful to the child.  If his daddy wasn't ready to be a daddy, that means his daddy didn't want him and doesn't love him.  DO NOT tell a child this.  The fact that you love him is not enough to replace the love of his other parent no matter how much love you have.  Plus, if the other parent ever does show up in his life, you will have already started with the PAS which can lead to serious psychological disorders for your child and a distrust of other males in his life (including male friends his age). 

Just say that there are many kinds of families and yours has just a mommy and him.  Let it be at that.  It's plain and simple and doesn't get into the hows/whys and your opinions of his dad as a douchebag.

My dad suicided when I was 4.  When I asked about him, I was told that he ran away because he didn't love us any more and that he was never coming back.  Saying that a guy wasn't ready to be his daddy is very similar.  I can't tell you how hurtful the comments were...and after that kind of answer, I blamed myself for why my dad wasn't there and looked everywhere for him behind my mother's back. 


Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN