Single Moms

LaBelladreamer
MIA Father...How to answer a 3yr old where her father is???
January 19, 2013 at 10:44 AM
My kid has seen her father a few times but it doesn't seem he will be around for a while, who knows. But I need to know how to explain to my kid where her biological father is? Or do I not say anything? I don't really know what to say since 1. I want to make sure what I say doesn't negatively affect her because I had a "sperm donor" that diched his kids to live a stressfree life and left his ex to deal with all his kids on her own. 2. I don't know if my childs biological father will resurface in her life because nothing was really agreed upon the last time we spoke. But she has been asking for a while. I don't want to talk negatively about him because she should be allowed to make up her mind about him and two I feel like she shouldn't have to deal with the negative feelings. She is three and I'm lost as far as telling her he lives close just chooses not to be a part of your life. I thought about the," your father died in battle" and all those lines BUT the truth always comes out and I'd rather her know Mommy always was truthful with me than her feel like she has no one she can trust. I'm so lost with what to tell her that won't cause a wound that will take forever to heal or may never heal. Advice???



Thank you

Replies

  • Mocking.Jay
    January 19, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    ... you just tell them honestly that you don't know or just don't say anything. My son didn't really start asking until he turned 4.

  • momma1708
    January 19, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    I agree with Mocking Jay. You have to honest in a sense that your child can understand. My son didn't start asking till he was 4. I explained to him that his dad knew how to contact him but he was chosing not to. I don't know how to contact his father or that side of his family. They have all dissapeared on both my kids. His dad has a new family and that is fine with me. My son does say things now like "I think my Daddy is dead..." He gets very sad at that thought. I always tell him that if that was the case then we would know about it. He told a department store Santa that his daddy doesn't want to see him. It all makes me very sad. He is 5, and he will be starting therapy on Wednesday. 

    I have given him the pictures I have of his dad and myself and him. I have set aside some for my daughter as well. She is only 2 so she doesn't know the difference she was 1 the last time she saw him and DS was 3. It was a month before DS turned 4 when he saw his dad last. 

  • Mznaye
    by Mznaye
    January 19, 2013 at 1:48 PM
    I am in the same boat. My lo tells people my dad is his dad. He doesn't see his dad. He knows his grandparents on his dad's side tho. And I don't say anything negative either
  • KayAndKen
    January 19, 2013 at 1:50 PM
    I'm having the same problem. My 5 year old daughter has been asking about her "dad" and I always seem to get tongue-tied. I spent the first 3 1/2 years of her life begging him to be a part of her life, with little to no response. When he did finally respond, it lasted 2 weekends and then he disappeared again. And that was that. I finally realized that you can't force someone to care. I've been looking into how to answer the questions (because anyone who knows me, knows that I can't lie worth a crap) and I'm trying to put everything together so that I can sit down and have "the talk" next time she brings it up. I definitely think honesty is always the best policy, but not to be brutally honest. I get so impressed when other mothers refuse to talk bad about the absent parent, despite the fact that they deserve more than a few bad words. I have always believed that as well because I don't want my daughter to blame me or resent me in the future. I have recently thought about starting her in therapy and that is why I joined this site. I would like to know how therapy goes. I'm so scared to waste the little money that I do have!
  • momma1708
    January 19, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    My DS is starting therapy next week. I will let you know how it goes with him. I go to therapy myself and I enjoy it. It helps with a lot. I can let you know how it goes for him if you'd like. I have thought about it and talked to other moms whose kids are in therapy and they all say that it is helping their kids and that it is better to get help at the beginning that to have them feel lost and alone as they grow up. 


    Quoting KayAndKen:

    I'm having the same problem. My 5 year old daughter has been asking about her "dad" and I always seem to get tongue-tied. I spent the first 3 1/2 years of her life begging him to be a part of her life, with little to no response. When he did finally respond, it lasted 2 weekends and then he disappeared again. And that was that. I finally realized that you can't force someone to care. I've been looking into how to answer the questions (because anyone who knows me, knows that I can't lie worth a crap) and I'm trying to put everything together so that I can sit down and have "the talk" next time she brings it up. I definitely think honesty is always the best policy, but not to be brutally honest. I get so impressed when other mothers refuse to talk bad about the absent parent, despite the fact that they deserve more than a few bad words. I have always believed that as well because I don't want my daughter to blame me or resent me in the future. I have recently thought about starting her in therapy and that is why I joined this site. I would like to know how therapy goes. I'm so scared to waste the little money that I do have!



  • LaBelladreamer
    January 19, 2013 at 2:43 PM
    She has met him a few times when she was smaller and most recent was a few months back. She has been saying Daddy since she started talking since she goes to daycare and many kids their have both parents picking them up and yelling "daddy, daddy" when they pick them up. I have said" I don't know "not because I don't know because I have an exact address but because I cant explain why he isn't there for her. I do let it out how I feel because it does get to me at time but trying to let go of the anger BUT I never let it out to her because it won't help probably burden her more and I agree with you that sometimes kids come out resenting a parent for bad mouthing the absent father. And kids are smart and I believe she will figure out exactly the kind of person he is on her own. I tried to leave him alone and not force him, then I tried being kind and reaching out but in the end, I see my little girl as the greatest blessing in my life and going on his absence from her life he does not feel the same. I don't know whay words to use. Hopefully therapy goes well. Please let me know if they say what is the best way to approach the answer. I'm grateful for the responses! Glad and sad at the same time to know I am not alone.



    Quoting KayAndKen:

    I'm having the same problem. My 5 year old daughter has been asking about her "dad" and I always seem to get tongue-tied. I spent the first 3 1/2 years of her life begging him to be a part of her life, with little to no response. When he did finally respond, it lasted 2 weekends and then he disappeared again. And that was that. I finally realized that you can't force someone to care. I've been looking into how to answer the questions (because anyone who knows me, knows that I can't lie worth a crap) and I'm trying to put everything together so that I can sit down and have "the talk" next time she brings it up. I definitely think honesty is always the best policy, but not to be brutally honest. I get so impressed when other mothers refuse to talk bad about the absent parent, despite the fact that they deserve more than a few bad words. I have always believed that as well because I don't want my daughter to blame me or resent me in the future. I have recently thought about starting her in therapy and that is why I joined this site. I would like to know how therapy goes. I'm so scared to waste the little money that I do have!


  • proudmother5946
    January 19, 2013 at 2:44 PM
    My ds's dad stopped being a part of his life before he was three. The last contact was a gift card to JC Penny's for his third birthday. $100.00. He had my son and I move to Alaska to live with my parents because of financial problems. Then he pretty much disappeared.
    My son never asked for him. He was 4 1/2 when I got married and he started calling my husband daddy that day.
    Biodad suddenly "remembered" he had my sister's phone number when he was 8. So he calls and starts telling me what "I'm going to do" for him. He wants this, he wants that, I'm going to do what he says. Blah, blah, blah. End of conversation. I didn't any of it. He vanished again.
    Ds found out about his other dad soon after. A neighbor accidentally spilled the beans. He didn't realize that ds didn't know. I answered all his questions. I explained that his father's father never was around and so his dad never learned how to be a dad. I didn't talk bad about his biodad and tried to explain in a way he could understand. He accepted the info and seemed to understand.
    My son is 28 now and after an attempt by biodad to be in his life, now wants nothing to do with biodad. All biodad wanted was someone to support him, even though he was never there for his son. They live an hour away and biodad has no clue that son is married and they are expecting their first child. As far as my son is concerned, biodad doesn't exist.
  • LaBelladreamer
    January 19, 2013 at 2:53 PM
    Around what age did you explain? I am definitely going to wait since she is just 3 but I want to address her question with a real response at some point. Glad your son is okay and making a family of his own.


    Quoting proudmother5946:

    My ds's dad stopped being a part of his life before he was three. The last contact was a gift card to JC Penny's for his third birthday. $100.00. He had my son and I move to Alaska to live with my parents because of financial problems. Then he pretty much disappeared.

    My son never asked for him. He was 4 1/2 when I got married and he started calling my husband daddy that day.

    Biodad suddenly "remembered" he had my sister's phone number when he was 8. So he calls and starts telling me what "I'm going to do" for him. He wants this, he wants that, I'm going to do what he says. Blah, blah, blah. End of conversation. I didn't any of it. He vanished again.

    Ds found out about his other dad soon after. A neighbor accidentally spilled the beans. He didn't realize that ds didn't know. I answered all his questions. I explained that his father's father never was around and so his dad never learned how to be a dad. I didn't talk bad about his biodad and tried to explain in a way he could understand. He accepted the info and seemed to understand.

    My son is 28 now and after an attempt by biodad to be in his life, now wants nothing to do with biodad. All biodad wanted was someone to support him, even though he was never there for his son. They live an hour away and biodad has no clue that son is married and they are expecting their first child. As far as my son is concerned, biodad doesn't exist.

  • KayAndKen
    January 19, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    It's hard to explain to someone something that you don't even understand. I've read that it's best to just be up front and tell them that you don't know, but then to just reassure them that you have enough love for your child, that they don't need another parent for that. I have the same problem with the daycare issue. I just tell her that every family is different. Some have a mom and dad, some have 1 mom, some have 2 moms or even 2 dads. That has been my approach so far. My struggle is the guilt and blame that I'm feeling. I start questioning myself and wondering if it's my fault. And even though I know deep down that it isn't, I can't seem to get the possibility out of my mind. I also feel guilty because of my absent father and a rocky childhood, because it just seems like a pattern forming. I'm trying my best to make sure my daughter grows up confident, intelligent, and without the feeling of being abandoned. I think that because my feelings of abandonment, that my Mother never addressed and still doesn't, I hold a lot of anger and resentment. I think we just all need to stop the cycle. I want to be able to use my past to better my daughters future. 


    Quoting LaBelladreamer:

    She has met him a few times when she was smaller and most recent was a few months back. She has been saying Daddy since she started talking since she goes to daycare and many kids their have both parents picking them up and yelling "daddy, daddy" when they pick them up. I have said" I don't know "not because I don't know because I have an exact address but because I cant explain why he isn't there for her. I do let it out how I feel because it does get to me at time but trying to let go of the anger BUT I never let it out to her because it won't help probably burden her more and I agree with you that sometimes kids come out resenting a parent for bad mouthing the absent father. And kids are smart and I believe she will figure out exactly the kind of person he is on her own. I tried to leave him alone and not force him, then I tried being kind and reaching out but in the end, I see my little girl as the greatest blessing in my life and going on his absence from her life he does not feel the same. I don't know whay words to use. Hopefully therapy goes well. Please let me know if they say what is the best way to approach the answer. I'm grateful for the responses! Glad and sad at the same time to know I am not alone.



    Quoting KayAndKen:

    I'm having the same problem. My 5 year old daughter has been asking about her "dad" and I always seem to get tongue-tied. I spent the first 3 1/2 years of her life begging him to be a part of her life, with little to no response. When he did finally respond, it lasted 2 weekends and then he disappeared again. And that was that. I finally realized that you can't force someone to care. I've been looking into how to answer the questions (because anyone who knows me, knows that I can't lie worth a crap) and I'm trying to put everything together so that I can sit down and have "the talk" next time she brings it up. I definitely think honesty is always the best policy, but not to be brutally honest. I get so impressed when other mothers refuse to talk bad about the absent parent, despite the fact that they deserve more than a few bad words. I have always believed that as well because I don't want my daughter to blame me or resent me in the future. I have recently thought about starting her in therapy and that is why I joined this site. I would like to know how therapy goes. I'm so scared to waste the little money that I do have!




  • LaBelladreamer
    January 19, 2013 at 7:21 PM
    So true!!! I had a interesting childhood and I want better for my child. I want her to feel confidence to take on her dreams. I don't want her father not being there to affect her self esteem. Their are so many people in our life that love my little girl so lack of love will never be an issue but I do feel guilty for not choosing wisely on a better father for her. I also hope it doesn't affect her on how she sees men. Thank you all for the advice! I will go with I'm not sure about him for now then I will have to prepare for the talk we will have when she gets older.


    Quoting KayAndKen:

    It's hard to explain to someone something that you don't even understand. I've read that it's best to just be up front and tell them that you don't know, but then to just reassure them that you have enough love for your child, that they don't need another parent for that. I have the same problem with the daycare issue. I just tell her that every family is different. Some have a mom and dad, some have 1 mom, some have 2 moms or even 2 dads. That has been my approach so far. My struggle is the guilt and blame that I'm feeling. I start questioning myself and wondering if it's my fault. And even though I know deep down that it isn't, I can't seem to get the possibility out of my mind. I also feel guilty because of my absent father and a rocky childhood, because it just seems like a pattern forming. I'm trying my best to make sure my daughter grows up confident, intelligent, and without the feeling of being abandoned. I think that because my feelings of abandonment, that my Mother never addressed and still doesn't, I hold a lot of anger and resentment. I think we just all need to stop the cycle. I want to be able to use my past to better my daughters future. 



    Quoting LaBelladreamer:

    She has met him a few times when she was smaller and most recent was a few months back. She has been saying Daddy since she started talking since she goes to daycare and many kids their have both parents picking them up and yelling "daddy, daddy" when they pick them up. I have said" I don't know "not because I don't know because I have an exact address but because I cant explain why he isn't there for her. I do let it out how I feel because it does get to me at time but trying to let go of the anger BUT I never let it out to her because it won't help probably burden her more and I agree with you that sometimes kids come out resenting a parent for bad mouthing the absent father. And kids are smart and I believe she will figure out exactly the kind of person he is on her own. I tried to leave him alone and not force him, then I tried being kind and reaching out but in the end, I see my little girl as the greatest blessing in my life and going on his absence from her life he does not feel the same. I don't know whay words to use. Hopefully therapy goes well. Please let me know if they say what is the best way to approach the answer. I'm grateful for the responses! Glad and sad at the same time to know I am not alone.






    Quoting KayAndKen:

    I'm having the same problem. My 5 year old daughter has been asking about her "dad" and I always seem to get tongue-tied. I spent the first 3 1/2 years of her life begging him to be a part of her life, with little to no response. When he did finally respond, it lasted 2 weekends and then he disappeared again. And that was that. I finally realized that you can't force someone to care. I've been looking into how to answer the questions (because anyone who knows me, knows that I can't lie worth a crap) and I'm trying to put everything together so that I can sit down and have "the talk" next time she brings it up. I definitely think honesty is always the best policy, but not to be brutally honest. I get so impressed when other mothers refuse to talk bad about the absent parent, despite the fact that they deserve more than a few bad words. I have always believed that as well because I don't want my daughter to blame me or resent me in the future. I have recently thought about starting her in therapy and that is why I joined this site. I would like to know how therapy goes. I'm so scared to waste the little money that I do have!







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