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To want to tell my dd her father isn't a nice man

(9 Posts)
Alwaystired122 Wed 04-Jan-17 13:45:16

So here's the background:
Had to go into a woman's refuge when was 20 weeks pregnant due to abusive ex (and dd's father). Moved to new area, changed my name, broke off contact with old life in order to keep us both safe so I have raised dd as a single mum since day 1(she's just turned 3). We live in an area where there are loads of young families. Dd has started asking more and more about her daddy. I have always just said that she does have a daddy but that he's at work. Today dd asked for daddy again. This time she said she had never seen him before and that she misses him. I'm heart broken for her and have no idea what to do. Contacting her father to organise contact just isn't an option for us. AIBU to tell dd that her father was not a nice man and that's why we don't see him or is she too young to hear this? Help please

YelloDraw Wed 04-Jan-17 13:47:17

Shit that is a toughie!

Do you still have any ongoing support from the organisations that helped you leave? Would then know how to handle this?

DailyFail1 Wed 04-Jan-17 13:49:06

Can you tell the truth, that her daddy was a bad man because he hit mummy & so mummy had to leave because hitting anyone is wrong. And both of you would have Been hurt if they had stayed? That's how my cousin explained a similar situation to her 4 yo but depends how sensitive your dd is.

K425 Wed 04-Jan-17 13:51:13

"Not every daddy can be a good daddy, and he wasn't able to be a good daddy for you and me." Would something like that help?

It's a hard one to manage, though.

megletthesecond Wed 04-Jan-17 13:52:15

I told mine that daddy was a bit grumpy and wasn't very good at living as a family. Understatement of the year.

If you can sugar cost it and make it age appropriate then yanbu.

Scarydinosaurs Wed 04-Jan-17 13:53:40

Very difficult- especially because three year olds cannot discern between playground hitting and actual violence.

I would go down the: some families have a Mummy and daddy, some just mummy/daddy, and she just has a Mummy. Explain properly when she is older.

Ilovecaindingle Wed 04-Jan-17 13:56:29

Imo as soon as you can. .
The truth now is better than her imagining he is something he clearly isn't.
Def reinforce it was nothing to do with her. . He is at fault and no reason he needs protecting. .
When my dd reached adulthood and went looking for her df she told him straight I was a good enough parent and she never missed having a dad but she had heard she had a half sister and wanted to meet her. She freely admits he is a disaster of a df still and only sees him for her half sisters benefit.
Your dd will turn out more than fine with just a fantastic mother.

MelbourneClown03 Wed 04-Jan-17 14:36:26

Hmmm? How about

"daddy wasn't a very kind person to mummy - hurt her by hitting her and made her feel very, very sad. Daddies can be all sorts on men (maybe give examples of some males in your lives who are good role models, if you have some) but in order to be a daddy to someone, they have to make mummy and their children feel happy and loved".

Emphasis that her daddy wouldn't stop hurting mummy and you were worried that he would hurt your dd to - You never ever want dd to feel sad, so her daddy had to stop being her daddy. I would emphasis that one day (even if it is not really a possibility), her daddy may decide to stop hurting people but until then, you have more than enough love in your heart for her, to give her mummy love and daddy love.

Ask your dd what she misses about not having a daddy and then point out that you can do all / provide all of the things she has suggested as mummy and daughter, instead. I think at this age children are exploring what is 'normal' and how they fit in to life and wider society. Sometimes, to 3 year olds, it's about wanting and being curious about what others have. As she gets older, you can elaborate on exactly what went on between yourself and her father and she will better understand (and in time respect) your choices for her and yourself.

Alwaystired122 Wed 04-Jan-17 20:21:45

Thank you for the replies. It's given a lot of food for thought and I think I will go down the route of telling her he wasn't nice to mummy and that's why we don't see him.
Thanks again for the support xx

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