My daughter's 'My Family' page of her nursery 'About Me' book

(27 Posts)
ProtectiveMother Mon 09-Sep-13 21:28:43

Now please if you're going to write here saying 'its no big deal,' please go elsewhere.

My daughter has started nursery already but I've been stumped by her 'My Family' page of her 'About Me' book.

I want to write that her family consists of her sibling and me and herself. Us 3. I don't want to mention her father who left us because I asked him to face up to his drinking problem and he wouldn't. In my view, although he is 'fighting me' (his own words) for joint residency, he's not a proper parent and due to domestic violence I'm very sorry but I don't consider him family at all and the kids are too young to understand all this. Do I have to play along (still!!!!) and draw 2 little houses and say 'Daddy lives here.' I really don't think so! He has recently introduced a new girlfriend to the children without letting me know. Family?? Erm...

Any advice VERY welcome. I know it's only a little nursery book I'm filing out (photos etc are supposed to be included) but the issues go so much wider than this and I'd really appreciate any support :-)

cantthinkofagoodone Mon 09-Sep-13 21:31:29

Write what you want to. I'd imagine that nursery know about dad and that background. It's not really relevant as he's not involved atm.

hettienne Mon 09-Sep-13 21:38:08

The "About Me" thing isn't a legal document so it's not like you have to list everyone who has parental responsibility (I'm sure the nursery have all those details elsewhere) - the nursery just like to have that stuff so they know who the children are talking about.

Maybe you would rather just write about who lives in your house in the "My Family" bit, and discuss the dad issues with her keyworker privately?

renlo Mon 09-Sep-13 21:39:27

Write about the family that your daughter knows, lobes and is cherished by. Believe me, no one will judge you for it. There are so many different types of families now anyway so please don't feel bad about it.

I agonised over DD1's book for a slightly different reason, I have very little contact with my parents (their choice) and my DH's parents are dead. Everyone else seemed to have family books consisting of entire extended families including doting grandparents who were actively involved in their grand children's lives. It used to make me so sad but I realised eventually that those were my issues, certainly not my girls because they don't know any better. Besides, their great aunt is wonderful substitute nana!

renlo Mon 09-Sep-13 21:40:34

lobes = loves but only for today wink

I had the same issue as you, PM. I asked my son to draw a picture of our house with us, and gave him a piece of paper and coloured pens and went off to wait with anticipation as to what would turn out. He drew our house, himself and me inside, our cat outside on one side and his uncle (my DB) and uncle's wife on the other side. They don't live with us hmm I asked where his dad was, he said 'Daddy doesn't live here'. Easy. Just let her choose, and try not to make a big deal out of it if she draws him in. She is very young and he is still her dad, despite his dreadful behaviour towards you. It's only one picture after all.

scoobydooagain Mon 09-Sep-13 21:53:04

Just ask her, my lad drew me, him and the dog, but if he put his (useless, workshy, violent) dad down that would have been fine, family is what you say it is so for him it was me, him and the dog.

IWantToBeAWomble Mon 09-Sep-13 21:59:15

We had to do this when my DD started a new nursery at 3.
She had photos of her, me and my parents. None of my exh. (who she sees EOW).
That was fine.
She used to look at the photos with the nursery staff and tell them about who the people were.
Do what is right for you. If that is you and your 2 DCs, that will be absolutely fine.
Do not lose sleep over it. I wish you all the best.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 09-Sep-13 22:05:43

Hello OP, I can sympathise and I won't be insensitive and say it doesn't matter, because it does to you.
I am not in your position but had a similar one in year 2 of school with all 3 of our dc.
They have to do a family tree including extended family, I was adopted and it was quite difficult to know who to include and what to tell dc.
I know it doesn't compare to an absent father, but just to warn there is more of this to come.
I would agree that you should do what feels best for you and not feel like you have to follow any convention. Families come in all shapes and sizes and your family unit sounds perfect for your book thanks

RitaFajita Tue 10-Sep-13 06:15:41

It is a big deal. My DD came home with a card from school with a drawing of me her dad and her half sibling on the front!! It looked like we were all one family!! I would rather it just being me and her in the pic. And a separate card for them is she wants.... I guess in my case she wanted her card to look like others in her class. But I didn't like it.
In your case when you have ongoing issues with your ex it must be doubly hard.

cestlavielife Tue 10-Sep-13 15:44:56

you and she need to acknowledge who her father is and that she has one. if she visits with him (and it sounds like she does?) then he is a part of her life .

however you can talk to her about who she lives with and in the house there is you her and siblings.
if she includes people she vists like uncles, aunts, dad then fair enough .

it is not up to you to eliminate dad from her life though.

my dds recognize that dad is part of the family tree - we did a lot of wrok on this in family therapy - and hey recognize they share his natonality. even tho dd1 refuses to visit wih him at all.

acknowledging he is their dad doesnt imply anyhing other than what you want it to imply but fact is that in your case she DOES have a dad who she sometimes sees. taking our feelings about him to one side, you can help dd acknowledge that dad is xxxx, and she sees him sometimes and that is a valid family set up.

let her decide where she puts him eg in your house or on the doorstep or in another house completely .

put your (valid) feelings aside.

TwoStepsBeyond Tue 10-Sep-13 16:52:36

I do understand why you're finding it hard, but the book is called 'About Me' not 'About my mum' so it should reflect who your DD considers to be her family.

And yes, at her tender age, you probably DO have to play along with the 2 little houses and even the new GF & her kids - my DD calls my DP's children her sisters, which may or may not piss off her dad, but that's not the point, it's about what makes her happy (which in this case is a big family with lots of siblings).

I'm not saying its no big deal, but the fact that its a big deal for you shouldn't overshadow what your DD feels about it.

ProtectiveMother Tue 10-Sep-13 21:45:53

They want photographs in the book.i feel a little silly taking a photo of us three and pretending its all ok [Heartbroken] Hey! I had been thinking that all was ok until this point! No seriously, I don't want my ex back. Will poke out some pics of us 3 on holiday and stick them in and maybe add a bit about her daddy confused if she mentions it!!

cestlavielife Tue 10-Sep-13 22:31:59

You don't need to have photos of you altogether.
Have a photo of everyone who lives in your house with dd and another photo separate of her dad or her and dad.

TwoStepsBeyond Tue 10-Sep-13 23:18:30

Yes I agree, it shouldn't be one of you all together, just a separate one of him to show who he is and DD can talk about him.

ProtectiveMother Wed 11-Sep-13 07:36:10

No I mean a photo of the 3 of us without my ex. From our holiday. I'm really not going to put in a picture of her dad. She can draw him if she wants lol!

hettienne Wed 11-Sep-13 07:36:57

Why don't you ask her whose photos she wants, and then put them in?

TwoStepsBeyond Wed 11-Sep-13 10:32:25

You call yourself 'ProtectiveMother' but you come across as if you are protecting yourself, not your DD here. What harm would it do to include her dad in this book, other than to offend you. If you don't put him in, the nursery staff won't talk about him, presuming she doesn't ever see him or even know who he is.

No matter what you think of him, he IS her dad, he IS and always will be her family, that doesn't mean he is your family anymore, but I'm afraid to say, your attitude sucks. You asked for advice and have ignored everyone because you still think you are right.

You can't just write him out of her life - it would be different if he never saw her, but she is visiting him, meeting his GF and despite his faults, he loves her, wants to spend time with her and she loves him.

Yes the DCs are too young to understand about domestic violence and alcoholism, but they are not too young to understand that you are trying to pretend that their dad doesn't exist. That is just hurtful.

If you continue to try and drive a wedge between you DD and her dad you will cause resentment from both of them.

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 11-Sep-13 10:44:42

I'm sorry that this is causing you so much pain OP, but the About Me book is about your DD, not you.

She needs to be able to describe and explore her own feelings about her life and her family. Please do not allow your own hurt to censor her.sad

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 11-Sep-13 10:46:11

Her thoughts and feelings are as valid as yours.

TheProsAndConsOfHitchhiking Wed 11-Sep-13 10:49:29

Your poor dd sad

It is not fair on her to just delete dad from her life. You really need to put your own feelings to one side and do what is in the best interest of your dd.

lostdad Wed 11-Sep-13 13:21:56

If he's an arse, he's an arse and your DD will come to realise that in the fullness of time.

But he is her dad regardless.

kinkyfuckery Wed 11-Sep-13 13:28:11

Oh, my DD just drew herself, me, her sister and the cat. She figured it was the people she lived with!
Her dad was mentioned on the contact forms.

niceupthedance Wed 11-Sep-13 14:01:57

I hate this too.

After seeing everyone else's pictures my DS said "our family is too small" hmm (it's just me and him).

Hopefully the picture will just be stuck in there and there won't be too much discussion on it. I would just put a pic of you and the kids.

simpson Wed 11-Sep-13 14:06:11

My DD had to do the same when she started nursery.

She did not mention her dad at all. I asked her who she wanted to put pictures of in the book and she chose me, her brother and the cats.

She drew some pictures of her friends too.

She has a phone call once a week (if he can be bothered) and sees him twice a year maybe.

ProtectiveMother Wed 11-Sep-13 15:20:58

Wow TwoStepsBeyond you're really judgemental!

Anyway I finally asked my daughter about it. (It has been sitting undone thus far!) She would like a picture of the 3 of us on our family holiday this summer and she wants to draw two of her friends.

mimbles Wed 11-Sep-13 17:54:48

My dc's have been asked to draw numerous 'family' pictures over the years and have drawn all sorts of combinations according to how they are feeling at the time.

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