Son Asking/Talking about his Father

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2007
Son Asking/Talking about his Father
5
Mon, 08-11-2008 - 4:07pm

So my 4 1/2yo son has been asking questions about his father since he's been about 2... I was shocked when at 2 years old he started asking about his father but was able to just say "your daddy lives far away" and leave it at that... He would walk around the house and casually say "my daddy lives far away" and keep on going... Now that's he gotten a little bit older and is in preschool and at church, he talks about his father more and more.... Last year he was sitting on the potty and told my mom that his daddy loves him and he loves his daddy and when his daddy is done living far away he's going to come and live with him... My mom called me at work and was crying because Connor had no idea what he was really saying couldn't happen.... It made me cry... Well here lately he's been talking a lot about his father and how I'm his father's wife... We never married and Connor was born well after we had split up.... We were out Saturday and he saw a guy walking by and said really low "that's my daddy" then Saturday night he told me before he went to bed "I miss dad"... It's so heartbreaking for me to hear him talk about this because his father has never taken an active roll in his life and because he's an extremely violent person I've never pursued it and don't plan on doing that at any time.... Connor has my father in his life full time (we live w/ my parents) and he's also got both of my brothers and my brother in law around a lot... I can't begin to understand how he feels because my parents have been married for 34 years.... I just wish I could do something to help Connor understand that his father isn't going to live with us and he probably won't be in the picture yet he's just way too young to understand all of it.... I answer his questions in ways that he can understand and in ways that won't give out too much information that will get him confused..... Does anyone have any advice on this?? I posted a comment about behavior a few minutes ago and I think part of Connor's behavior issues are due to his father not being in the picture at all... I just don't know.... I'm heartbroken for him because I see how he hurts and it in turn hurts the hell out of me... I just wish I could take the pain away from him but I know that I can't do anything about it....

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-03-2008
Mon, 08-11-2008 - 6:24pm

WEll vagirlinsc...I think you have answered you own question here within the 2 posts.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Mon, 08-11-2008 - 9:01pm

That is hard.

I think you do need to tell him something of the truth. Not the whole unvarnished truth as some things a 4 yo doesn't need to know or wouldn't understand. I agree that it would be better coming from you and not someone else. The kids at preschool might tell him stuff they've overheard if their parents have talked to them about it. He might overhear other adults talking about it. His cousins might say something to him. All of that is going to cause you a lot of grief if you don't talk to him about it first. Even if he doesn't hear anything and just continues to have dream of being with his dad like he sees his cousins, your parents and probably families of his friends he is going to be hurt more when he finally finds out that you didn't talk to him about this. This is a lot different than letting a child believe in Santa or the Tooth Fairy.

Something along the lines of what the pp said should be enough at this age. Mommy and Daddy are not married. We live far apart because we don't get along. That has nothing to do with the fact that you are loved, it is all about mommy and daddy. Look at everyone here in our family, they all love you. You are surrounded by people who love and adore you. You can tell him that due to some problems Daddy has, he isn't able to be a part of your life. I would not tell him it has to do with anger issues at this point. He has his own anger issues so that could make him start to wonder if you will leave him if he ever gets angry enough. If he asks what the problems are I would just tell him that you don't know exactly or when you're older we can try to figure it out together.

dawn200608.jpg picture by cariadlawn


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2007
Tue, 08-12-2008 - 10:51am
Thank ya'll so much for your advice and input.... The only thing that his preschool director knows is that I'm a single mom and have sole physical and legal custody of him.. They have a copy of the custody papers through the courts on file just in case there is ever any kind of issue or problem.... Since I work full time my mom takes him to preschool and picks him up... I go for special occassions and on the first day but other than that I'm not really around the parents or anything like that.... My mom hasn't discussed his father with any of the parents (this I'm sure of) so I think his entire thing is they talk about mommies and daddies at school and at church and he see's the other kids with their fathers and he's gotten to the age where he starts asking questions more than he did 2 years ago.... The only thing that I have said to him is that his father lives far away.... He asked what his dad's name was one time and I told him... The one thing that I have NEVER done and vowed never to do was to talk bad about his father to him... I knew that one day it would come back and bite me in the butt and also felt like that was being unfair to my son.... He doesn't know much about his dad and the last thing I wanted to do was to make him out to be some kind of horrible person in my son's eyes; especially at such a young age... I figured that once Connor is old enough to really understand the truth about his father then I will sit down with him and explain everything... I think for the time being though what is being said is enough... He knows that mommy and daddy aren't married and never lived together... I think he's thinking that at one time we were married and I've tried to explain to him that we were never married but at 4 years old, he doesn't understand all of that completely so I just leave it alone until he comes to me with more questions or comments.... I'm sure down the road he'll want to try to find his father and I've decided that when he's 18 years old if he wants to find him then I will help him but I won't do it before then... I honestly have no idea where his dad is or would be so I'm not lying about that... I've been very truthful to him about everything and he knows that anytime he has a question about this I will answer it as best I can... I have told him several times that his daddy had some problems and couldn't be in his life then... He hasn't brought that up for a while so I think that kind of settled that part of it for the time being... I know that now and down the road I'll have to answer more questions for him and I'm more than willing to do that... I guess it just really breaks my heart because in a way I feel like he's being cheated out of a father but at the same time he deserves so much better than what his biological father could or ever will give him.... The entire relationship with my son's father was a mess from the start and I was just young and stupid and thought that love would fix everything... I realized that it couldn't and after being beat up I walked away... His father knew that I was pregnant and I never once tried to stop him from being a part of the pregnancy.. He chose to stay away on his own and I never pushed the issue... I just knew that I couldn't have someone abusing me in my life.... I think down the road my son will have some bigger issues with all of it but I also think that when he's old enough to understand what really happened he'll see that it wasn't a good relationship and it wasn't safe and by me leaving that was the best choice... I'm trying to raise him to be respectful of people and to know that hitting no matter if it's a girl or a boy is wrong and we don't do that... I think years down the road he'll understand even if it will be hard for him but I'm going to be there for him no matter what and I'll do everything I can to comfort him and to help him through it.... Thanks again for the advice and input on this.... :)
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Tue, 08-12-2008 - 7:38pm
You don't need me to tell you but you did the right thing by walking away after he beat you. {{hugs}} It has to be hard to see him wanting a daddy like everyone else around him has and having to be honest without breaking his heart. {{hugs}} Based on your posts I think you are handling this the right way and I think your honesty and determination to not bad mouth his dad will help you both stay honest and close.

dawn200608.jpg picture by cariadlawn


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-01-2006
Wed, 08-13-2008 - 6:39pm

I think you are doing a really good job, and I commend you for not speaking bad about your son's father.

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