Single Parents

tips on explaning to 3.5yr old why "daddy" isn't a part of her life

She really hasn't asked yet... but I wanta  be prepared when my DD and younger DS do ask.

DD is in preschool now and sees a lot of dads but hasn't connected it to Ex or that fact that he was previously rarely around but now isn't at all as he signed over all custody and stopped visits totally. 

 I haven't found books really that make sense to a single mom household where the dad doesn't have visits with the kid.... so any thoughts? I hesitate to even say "he loves you even if he can't be with you" because I think it's a lie. I really don't think he loves the kids at all or ever really did but I don't obviously want the kids to grow up thinking they were rejected or "not good enough" ya know? 

DD born 2007 & DS born 2008

Re: tips on explaning to 3.5yr old why "daddy" isn't a part of her life

  • hummm... really lurkers? all these views and no replies :(
    DD born 2007 & DS born 2008
  • There was a previous poster that had asked her pediatrician the same question, and the doctor said to tell you child something of this respect:  "Your daddy may come and go and not always be around, but mommy will always be here and will always love you." That's what I plan on doing.
  • I always told my children, that "he loves them but isn't able to show them the way they need or deserve to be loved"  then I would go on to list all the people in their life that loved them.  And when they got older I would them them that he loves them he isn't able to show them he loves them the way they want to be loved and then asked them to list all the people in their lives who love them.

    Eventually, I just ask them start listing who does loves them and then they feel overwhelmed by love and the moment passes.

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  • image sweetie0228:

    I always told my children, that "he loves them but isn't able to show them the way they need or deserve to be loved"  then I would go on to list all the people in their life that loved them.  And when they got older I would them them that he loves them he isn't able to show them he loves them the way they want to be loved and then asked them to list all the people in their lives who love them.

    Eventually, I just ask them start listing who does loves them and then they feel overwhelmed by love and the moment passes.

    I really like this.  Also, ditto what the ped had said in the previous post.

    I wonder if it will be easier to explain if they have never known their father (as will likely be the case in my situation).  I think that P may have questions once he sees other children with daddies, so he may feel different.  However, I think it is an easier thing to deal with than in a situation where the father was present and is now MIA. 

    I think we just do the best we can, and it helps that they are surrounded by family and friends who love them.  When I think about P's situation with SD and his family being absent from his life it makes me sad.  But then I also think of the overwhelming amount of love that he has from my family and friends.  It really is incredible.  He is a lucky little man!

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  • I tell her the truth,  Daddy has his house and mommy has her house.  There is no reason to go into who loves who more, I don't think that is fair to her.  all she knows is that we both love her, but she lives with me and visits Daddy.
  • thanks, the responses are helpful.

    I do plan to focus on who DOES love them and participate in their lives not on the fact that ex decided to be MIA. 

    DD born 2007 & DS born 2008
  • I tell my son : "both mommy and daddy love you but we just decided to live in different houses. It has nothing to do with you at all and it was our decision"

    sometimes he asks when he will see his dad again, because he doesnt visit regularly. That's where I am totally honest because I dont want to build him up for a let down. I say something like "Mommy isn't sure because I am here and he is where he is. But me and you can do something like go to the park or see your cousins!"

     Hope that helps..

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