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Need Advice- 3 yr old daughter is obsessed with her absent father.

Posted by on Dec. 31, 2014 at 1:09 PM
  • 28 Replies

My three year old daughter has become obsessed with the father that she has never met.  This has been going on for about 9 months.  She will point to men with a family or sometimes just a random man and say "mom, that's my dad!", or 'is that my daddy?!" (She has done this dozens of times) I just say, "no that's not your daddy" (you should see some of the looks I get...) She often says her daddy is "at work" and sometimes makes up stories about what he's doing at work and that she's helping him, etc. When she does this she doesn't seem upset.  She's her regular little chirpy self.  She usually says these things very loudly and excitedly. Sometimes, very rarely, after she's done one of the above things, she has said, "I don't have a daddy" to which I didn't have a good answer for at the time.  Lately, I have been telling her that, of course, she has a daddy.  Then she says, "yeah, he's at work" and I will just say "ok..."  or, "oh, he's at work? Ok." and she will say, "no mom he's REALLY at work, ok?" and then I will agree with her... 

I have read all about how I shouldn't disparage him (I don't), I just tell her I don't know where he is ("mom, he's at work!)  and I've told her that there are all kinds of families, its ok that ours just has two people and before she goes to sleep she likes for us to name all the people who love her (there are a lot) and she knows that I love her most of all.  But she still goes on and on on a daily basis that her daddy is at work or her daddy did this or that and I have seen the way she looks at kids with dads.  She will call those kids dad too.  She calls my brother and my cousin dad sometimes and has told me she wishes they were her dad.  So, dad, daddy, papa, seems to be on her mind an inordinate amount of time.  But, she is an extremely happy child.  Extremely extroverted, loves everyone and everyone loves her.  

So, my question is:  should I just go along with these fantasies of hers?  That's pretty much what I do now.  I feel so bad for her and I want to always do the best thing for her.  I've even considered counseling (probably going overboard there) because I SO want to handle this the right way.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

by on Dec. 31, 2014 at 1:09 PM
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Replies (1-10):
virginiamama71
by Carrie on Dec. 31, 2014 at 1:13 PM

 Is she doing this cause she hears you talking about him? Or calls other people daddy cause she hears them being called daddy?

jillamm
by on Dec. 31, 2014 at 2:24 PM

I literally never talk about him.  I'm sure she hears other kids say daddy but not excessively.

virginiamama71
by Carrie on Dec. 31, 2014 at 2:31 PM

9 months is too long to keep saying this unless she has heard someone talking about him, has met him before or spent time around other men and was told it's ok to call them daddy.

My oldest nephew never met his Mother until he was 13. He did not go around calling other women Mommy.

Quoting jillamm:

I literally never talk about him.  I'm sure she hears other kids say daddy but not excessively.

 

Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Dec. 31, 2014 at 2:37 PM

Why not let her meet her dad?


I wouldn't lie to a child. She could grow up to get angry with you. Find an answer you're comfortable with and stick to it.

Oliviasmom72
by Gold Member on Dec. 31, 2014 at 3:25 PM

Why is Dad not involved? Is it his choice? Are you open to reaching out to him to see if he wants to meet her? Of course if there is any risk he will disappear again I would not do it.

quickbooksworm
by Bronze Member on Dec. 31, 2014 at 3:32 PM
Where is her father? My advice would heavily depend on where he is. Generally, I would not play into fantasies like that.
wise.toes
by on Dec. 31, 2014 at 3:53 PM

show her a photo of him. then she will know what he looks like and she'll have something of him to ease her "obsession."

amantonacci
by on Dec. 31, 2014 at 4:00 PM
My ds is 9 and his father is absent, he went through a stage very similar to this and his half brother who is about that age is going through the same thing. It seems like a stage that they work out just keep reassuring her you love her
cjsmom1
by Group Admin on Dec. 31, 2014 at 4:23 PM

I suggest showing her a picture of him so she can see what he looks like. Just explain that he wasn't ready to be a dad and leave it at that. Depending on your situation I would also contact him and let him know dd is asking for him

Flylady14
by on Dec. 31, 2014 at 10:05 PM

My friend's son went through this. He grew out of it or asked less. where is her father? My dd never realky sees her dather but has met him but it doesnt seem to phase her. She knows who he is. She diesnt miss what she never had, My father is the man in her life that has helped. 

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