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right age for child to know why he has no dad?

Posted by on Sep. 23, 2014 at 9:37 PM
  • 6 Replies

Hi Ladies.

My name is stella. a single mom to a wonderful 5 going 6yrs old boy, Erik.

His dad left shortly after he was born and it's been tough but we coming through somehow. He is beginning to notice and wonder how come he has no dad while my sister's kids have dad.

It's awkward situation. I really want to be careful not to break him or offset a wrong nerve.

Can someone in my shoes tell me the best way, time and age to go about this.

Hopeful mom

by on Sep. 23, 2014 at 9:37 PM
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by Ruby Member on Sep. 23, 2014 at 9:44 PM
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He should always know in age appropriate manner that he has a father out there. I don't think kids need to know an untactful truth (your dad is a deadbeat and don't want you) he should know more tactfully (he was not ready to be a dad, he has issues)

I wouldn't sugar coat w "he loves you" cuz that may not be true. Just say you don't know why and reassure him that you love him. Remind him of other ppl who also love him (your mom? Your dad? Aunts or uncles?)
by Carrie on Sep. 23, 2014 at 9:46 PM
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 As soon as he asks you tell him the truth. His father has chosen to not be a part of his life. Share the good about his father, leave the bad alone.

If he is in school he will meet other children who are from single parent/divorced homes, as well as have parents who are incarcerated, are being raised by Grandparent(s) other family members, in foster care, same sex parents,  and some who have never known either parent.

Let him know these children so he will know he is not alone in not having a father in his life and will know not every family has the same.

by on Sep. 23, 2014 at 9:57 PM
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Tell him he has a Father. And always will have a Father.  Do not emphasize the reasons why he doesn't have a Daddie.  If there is someone out there who is going to take both of you in, then he can call him Daddie if he chooses to do so..  For now, reflect on you two being a family together.  In time, your child will want to locate his real dad on his own, if he does have one, you can help him search for him. 

Perhaps you can find a Role model to be a Daddie through Big Brothers.

You cannot answer the questions he wants to know about his daddie only daddie can give those answers. 

by on Sep. 23, 2014 at 9:59 PM
Be honest from the start. Just say his father wasn't ready to be one, that the fault is with the father, not with the child. I am not in this situation, but as a child with no father in the picture, I can tell you that my mother being honest was important.
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by Member on Oct. 1, 2014 at 5:06 AM

Thanks Ladies

Your replies are really comforting. In as much as I feel like saying the bad goods about his dad to him because he (dad) hadn't been good. walked off few days after he was born despite all, never gave a dime to my son's life till date. says mean and disrespectful stuffs to me when he chats me on my phone. I really don't understand why he just don't want to grow up and accept his son even if he hates the hell out of me.

so with all these negatives; how can I possibly say good of him to my son since there is really nothing good about him towards me or my son. I really wish I could say his dad is dead just to save him the hurt of knowing all the verbal abuse I got from his dad.

It's all nerve wrecking.

by on Oct. 1, 2014 at 7:45 AM

You don't say good things about his father - you just don't say bad things about him either. 

My kids are 13 and about to turn 11. My standard answer (when they ask, which has become incredibly rare) to "Why isn't my father around?" is "I don't know. I'm not privy to his thought processes, so I can't tell you what made him decide to sit out on your lives. Maybe someday you'll see him and have a chance to ask him." Personally, I know it's because my ex is a selfish loser who doesn't give two sh*ts about anyone other than himself and that my kids are better off without him and that he's a convicted felon - but my kids know none of that. Eventually, I will tell them about the conviction only because they will find out anyway, but not until they are older. 

If I were you, I'd go with an answer like the one I use. It's something that answers the question without saying anything good or bad about the father, and it doesn't leave you saying something that might later prove false (Daddy loves you) that would make your son wonder if he can trust you. As he gets older, if he begins asking more specific questions (Why aren't you and Dad together anymore, why doesn't Dad pay child support, etc.), you can answer those questions in an honest, but age appropriate, way. 

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