What to tell my son?
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  1. #1
    Registered User TheresaRHPS's Avatar
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    Default What to tell my son?

    Thought I'd try to get some fresh perspective...perhaps from people who have been in similar situations.

    My son is now almost 10 months old, but I assume that when he gets older, he's going to ask about his father, and I'm not entirely sure what to tell him, or HOW to tell him.

    His father and I dated briefly, and it was apparent from the start that this was not someone I cared to even be around. He was a compulsive liar and had a laundry list of bad habits that I didn't care to deal with. We broke up after only dating for 2 weeks.

    Somehow, in that short period of time, and through two methods of birth control...I had just switched to a new pill, like, two days before, so I can see how that failed...I conceived my son.

    I told my son's father I was pregnant, and showed him the official blood test results. He immediately wanted to get back together. He was excited about the baby, and wanted me to move in. I told him that was NEVER going to happen, lol. So...if I didn't want to have anything to do with him, he didn't want anything to do with the baby. Within days, he had moved back home, out of state, and within weeks, was allegedly married--we found that out because he forgot to block my sister from his FaceBook and MySpace pages.

    I have no desire to ever see him again, and could care less about whether he is in my son's life or not. My son has his godfather, who is my best friend. He acts exactly like a daddy with him...he even helps me out financially, and loves my son as if he were his own. My son also has strong male role models in my dad, my nephew, and his godfather's father (my best friend's parents are also extremely active in my son's life, which is a blessing).

    Child Support Enforcement is after him currently, since I had to comply or my son would lose his medical card. However, they haven't had any luck. Our hearing last month was canceled because he was never actually served and is apparently running.

    I want to be completely honest with my son, but don't think that is necessarily an appropriate conversation until he gets older. I don't plan on badmouthing his father to him, but I don't want to idealize him, either.

    What would be an appropriate age for the 'real talk,' and what should I tell him when he's younger and starts asking about why he doesn't have a dad?

  2. #2
    Registered User mek42's Avatar
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    I don't have kids and I only wish I grew up in a single-parent family.

    My thoughts are to never lie about things. You don't need to get into details and if you feel the need can maybe euphemize a little ("mommy and daddy weren't together very long and just didn't like each other" as opposed to "that lying rotten snake", for example).

    Also, you will omit some details for legitimate reasons. Some of these details will become known to your child through means other than you telling them. Have a plan well in advance for how to deal with being confronted with this information. The plan should be well thought out and considered often, as Murphy clearly states that the confrontation will occur at the same moment as the fight of the lifetime is underway.

    Good luck with everything.

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    Registered User porembam's Avatar
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    Kids accept what is normal for them - you don't need to say anything. I agree with above comment that you should never lie because then you look bad and you shouldn't make the father look like a villain because you look bad ( I know it's not fair but your child loves you for who you are)
    When he asks about his father you let him know that his father
    was unable to raise a child and it was best for you to raise him alone.
    If the Dad isn't found by the courts when your child is older you could let him look for his Dad ( the grass isn't greener on the other side)

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    Registered User Mom2-3's Avatar
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    Tell him when he asks and make sure its age appropriate, just like the "facts of life" talks.

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    Registered User TigerGirl1226's Avatar
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    My parents split for good by the time I was 4 after a few trial separations before that. My mom never really had to explain it to me, I just knew he was gone and that is how our family was. My mom never talked about the fact that he wasn't there, but instead enforced how she and I were family. We might not have been like the other families at school, but all families were different.

    He might never ask questions because he will know by things said unintentionally. I did have other kids ask me stuff like "isn't it weird not having a dad?" so I'd ask them "isn't it weird having a dad?" lol

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    Default 10 months...

    You still have time... he is quite young and I wouldn't worry about it...but like other posters have stated never lie cause it will bite you in the hiney later on.....be honest and it will all work out....

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    Registered User frugalfranny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mom2-3 View Post
    Tell him when he asks and make sure its age appropriate, just like the "facts of life" talks.
    Yeah, that.

    You have lots of time. With all the single parents now, you may not get too many questions. Don't lie...........but he doesn't need to know all the details, as you see them, as being bad. He DOES have a dad.........his father just isn't in his life.

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    Registered User militlady's Avatar
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    I agree with what everyone else has said. My son just turned 18 and didn't even ask about his father until about a year ago. He actually seems pretty mad at him for not being involved in his life at all. I have been trying to find him since my son asked about him with no luck. If at all possible try to at least keep current on his contact info. Also be prepared for him to try and get visitation. He may come back at you at some point in the future and want a relationship with his child. If it comes to that I would make sure that they are supervised visits because he lives out of your state. I don't want to scare you. I just want you to be prepared. You never know what another person may do in the future.

    I think it is really great that you have a strong group of males in his life.

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    McD
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    Whatever you decide to tell him, make it age appropriate at the time.

    Wesley was 15 months old when Zac deployed and we just told him that daddy was in Iraq. That was enough for him and when people asked us where his daddy was or when the Santa at the mall asked with such nasty contempt why we would have to be mailing his daddy the picture that was being taken, Wesley would be the first to say, "My dadd in Whack!" With the now-not-happening Afghanistan deployment, we were telling Wesley that daddy needed to be an Army man in Afghanistan to help train men to be cops. We never mentioned a war or bad guys or anything. If he had been old enough to figure out it was a war, we would have changed how we explained it.

    Go with age appropriate and you can explain more as needed and when necessary. Good luck.

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    Registered User hotprincesscm's Avatar
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    My boys are at an age where they ask questions. I try to answer their questions the best I can and that is age appropriate. Although I never bring up the topic of their father, I let them do that. Their father and I seperated when they were 4 and 7 years old. So they remember him...although he hasn't been in their lives at all the past 3 years. They are both mad at him, and have said that they never want to see him again. They have asked where he was etc....which I don't know...so I tell them I don't know...and that I know that their daddy loves them, even if he doesn't know how to express it properly to them. I have also told them that daddy will come back into their lives when he is ready to be a GOOD daddy to them...if that never happens, then they still have me, and we are doing just fine without him. And the agree and have accepted that! It's hard...but it's also very common these days...so hopefully they'll be able to cope with it just fine as they grow up!

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    Registered User MaryCarney's Avatar
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    I beg you, whatever you decide, PLEASE do not bad-mouth your child's other parent to him!
    My mom abandoned us when I was 13 and the other four kids were 12-5 months. It was painfully obvious to all involved her many failings. Despite this, my relatives never stopped talking trash about her. It was awful, humiliating and bothers me to this day (and she's been dead for almost 15 years).

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    Registered User frugalfranny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaryCarney View Post
    I beg you, whatever you decide, PLEASE do not bad-mouth your child's other parent to him!
    .
    SO TOTALLY AGREE!!!!!

    You don't have to make him seem super human but just no bad mouthing..........either keep it neutral or say you don't know or use the opportunity to explain that each person is different in how they handle things.

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    Registered User MomToTwoBoys's Avatar
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    I think when he's old enough to understand, you should sit down with him and have the discussion. Age of reason starts at 7. I wouldn't hide anything from him. Kids appreciate honesty. Whatever you tell him will help him to make the decision whether he wants to have contact with his father. I think that by keeping him from his father, he'd resent you in a lot of ways.

    He needs to decide for himself if he wants to have a relationship with his father.

    I'm in a similar situation. My oldest's father ran and didn't want anything to do with him. He's also not able to understand why because of his Autism. He thinks of his stepfather as his dad. If he wasn't developmentally disabled, I'd have sat down with him by now and told him about the past with his father. I wouldn't stop him from knowing his father.

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    Registered User Luckybustert's Avatar
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    My advice would be to tell him that you and his father weren't meant to be together and leave it at that. I would particularly avoid saying anything negative about his father in front of him. Eventually he'll want to meet his father and he can see him for what he is (or not) at that time. If you take the other route (telling him what a dirtbag his father was), he may be more likely to gravitate toward him when he goes through his rebellious stage....and I have yet to meet the kid who doesn't go through that stage, it's just a question of how rebellious they will get. Good luck!

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    My daughter is five and will occasionally ask about her dad. Her father split when she was about five months old. Didn't want anything to do with raising a child sort of thing. He's seen her about a total of 10 times in her life. I have told her from the beginning, that her daddy wasn't ready to be a daddy ... but if and when he is ready, he will be able to come and see us.

    Sometimes, and not often, she asks me to ask her dad if he is ready to see her. This kills me, and we do not have any contact with this man. It will come out of the blue ... the moment I think she might have forgotten him, she'll bring something like that up. I just tell her the age appropriate answer ... the story hasn't changed much to this day, really.

    Just be warned, he might say something one day that will break your heart about this. Sometimes my daughter will cry asking about why other kids have dads and she doesn't .. and I say to her "Because you were lucky enough to get just a momma who loves you more than the world" It literally last five seconds, these odd times when she wants him around. Mostly, she never mentions it.

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