Thursday, January 21, 2010

How can a single parent explain to child why other parents is not around?

I have a friend that is a single mother to twins. One of the twins has starting asking her where is my daddy. She isn't sure how to answer. The twins are only 5 yrs old. Any help will be greatly appreciated.How can a single parent explain to child why other parents is not around?
Children are sensitive and more aware and perceptive of things more than we give them credit for.

The best the mom could do is be honest in a way the child understands. If the mom doesn't know who the dad is, she could say that he moved to another town and they lost contact. If the dad wants nothing to do with the kid, the mom could say that the dad decided to live alone somewhere else. Things of that nature.

Regardless, make sure you tell the child that it is not their fault and have nothing to do with it. Kids tend to feel guilt for things not their doing.How can a single parent explain to child why other parents is not around?
Tell her to tell them that mommy loves them enough for both of them enough and that daddy just had to go buh-bye. a 5 year old doesn't have the mental capacity to understand adult situation, and you never want to expose adult problems to children. Plus, you don't want the child to grow up thinking daddy is a bad person, because you never know if he will want to pop back into their lives. A simple explanation of how a single parent family works might be sufficent. Telling them that some families have a mommy and daddy, some families have grandparents, some have aunt and uncles, some just have a mommy and some just have a daddy might work wonders.
It depends on why she is a single mother.

If the dad died then Daddy is in heaven usually works pretty well for little kids.

If the parents are separated/divorced then saying ';Mommy and Daddy live in different houses'; fares well.

If she isn't sure, then... perhaps you could try ';Mommy is looking for the daddy?'; (Never had that one come up in my field)

If she used A.I. ';Mommy IS daddy. God brought you.';

If she is perhaps a lesbian then ';Some children have two mommies.';
She should keep it simple, yet still true. That way, there aren't any weird lies to untangle later.

The situation is perfect, because she can explain it simply to kids this age, and they are just basically going to say, ';ok.';

Just remember, too, that kids this age, what they really want to know, is, how does it affect them?

For example, if her husband had died while she was pregnant, she could say something like:

Mommy and Daddy loved you very much, but Daddy had to go to heaven. Daddy wanted to stay with us, but he got sick. Grandpa is around to do Grandpa things with you, and to help you and talk to you, a lot like a Daddy would do.

If she got out of an abusive relationship, she could say something like, Mommy made a bad choice when she chose the man to be your daddy. He didn't want to be a daddy and wasn't nice to mommy. (And then talk about Grandpa again.)

The point is that you explain the situation truthfully, and then help them understand how it affects them.
to everyone asking: who cares where the father is!? what difference does it make to the question? none at all - the answer is still:

tell them what they can understand and no more.

';mommy and your father (better to use ';your father'; instead of ';daddy'; if they never met him - it's a more formal approach and puts a bit of distance) decided it was better that we didn't live together any more.';


';you know how sometimes you two fight and then you hug and make up and are friends again? sometimes grownups can't get to the hugging and making up part, so it's better that mommy and your father decided to live in different places.';

if the father's a deadbeat, nothing wrong with:

';your father left before you were born and i'm not sure he knows about you';


';your father had a lot of things happening in his life and didn't have time left over for anybody else. that might change when you're older.';
I think at this age it's better to not go into details. I think she should stick to the truth as much as possible but try not to bad mouth the dad.

She could also explain that it is just the way their family is. Some families have one child, some several, just like some families have just the dad, the mom or two parents... This way her children still think their family is ';normal';.

Check out the attached link, that might help.
tell them the truth, that is the best way

she does not have to go into great detail, she does not have to bad mouth the absent parent. do not give them more information than they asked for and put it into child like terms but be truthful.

if she does not know the answer to a question they ask, then she should tell them that and then say that she will try and find out.
Tell the truth?

Believe me, in this situation it really needs to be the truth.

If he's dead, tell them he's in heaven watching over them.

If she doesn't know who the dad is, say so.

If he has left her for another man/woman say so.

Don't ***** foot around cos when they are older and find out the truth from other people, which they will, they won't thank you for ';tryin to protect them';
I was brought up by just my mum as we had an absent father. To my knowledge i never asked where he was when i was younger i just assumed it was normal just to have a mummy. However, i do know that she never lied to me. tell them the truth. my mum would just say, i dont know where your daddy is sweetheart, which was the truth. Although she would always add a but mummy is here and mummy loves you. Keep to the truth as much as possible, dont say anything like daddy doesn't love you because that hurts children.
i think it is best to be honest at any age but not brutally honest because a child at that age doesnt understand the concept of relationships. its important not to bad mouth the other parent no matter how the mother feels about him when the kids get older they will be able to decide for themselves how they feel about their farther. they will decide this if he is a part of their life still or not
Me and my ex sat down with our sons and said that we both love them very much, and nothing will change that, but that we dont love each other, and cant liev together anymore.
Where is their daddy!?

How about the truth?! Are they divorced? Did he die? Is he around will he ever see them?
tell her to tell the kids that hes on vacation then when they are old enough to understand then she should tell truth
because they didnt use contraception properly?
Is it because she does not know who the daddy is??? i reckon the milkmans the best bet., or maybe your dad!!!

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