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To tell my kids that my father is deceased?

(25 Posts)
FancyNewBeesly Wed 14-Feb-18 19:05:51

My twins are only small so it won’t come up for a while. They only have one grandparent in their lives - my MIL. My DH’s father has issues, he may meet them at some point but I doubt it will be often - that’s up to my DH.

My mother passed away. I am NC with my father as he abused me as a child, haven’t had any contact with him or his family for over 20 years, he doesn’t know my name or where I live.

I’ve recently been thinking that at some point my sons will figure out/be told that grandparents are your parents parents, and they’ll want to know where mine are. Would it be wrong to tell them they’re both dead? In fairness he might well be dead for all I know, and for all intents and purposes he is dead as far as I’m concerned. There is obviously zero chance of reconciliation although I suppose there is a chance he could be bothered to track me down one day (although he hasn’t tried for nearly 20 years as far as I know). He has no contact with any of my living relatives.

It feels very wrong to contemplate lying to my children even in the future but I just don’t know how else you handle something like this. I don’t want a situation where I gloss over it and they want to try and track him down or ask me to contact him.

If anyone has been in this situation, how did you handle it? What age were they when it came up? I know it’s a way down the road but I want to have it straight in my head.

MotherofaSurvivor Wed 14-Feb-18 19:07:01

No. Def not. They won't thank you for it when they find out the truth in the future. Family history etc

Praisebe Wed 14-Feb-18 19:09:02

You could tell them your dad lives in another country or far away ? I wouldn't tell them he's dead in case he does turn up on the doorstep one day. My dad is NC too for abusive reasons but I'd never lie and say he's dead i just refer to him as more of an absent parent/ sperm donor

cryingbehindsunglasses Wed 14-Feb-18 19:09:06

I think it would be better if you just tell them that you don't see him and he doesn't live near you. I think they will accept that as an explanation.?

Alloftheboys Wed 14-Feb-18 19:09:11

I would say only explain anything when they ask and give very basic information.
E.g if they ask at 2-3 I would say something like "Grandad hurt mummy which wasn't nice so we aren't friends"
I wouldn't lie and say he's dead just in case he does turns up in a few years.

norfolkenclue Wed 14-Feb-18 19:09:49

Could you just say Grandad wasn't very kind to mummy and we no longer see him. It's a tough one, but I don't think you should say he's dead! I wouldn't say anything at all until (unless) they bring it up themselves. Sorry for your terrible experience OP 💐

booellesmum Wed 14-Feb-18 19:10:18

Be honest.
Say you don't know where is now as chose to not be in contact as he's not a nice person.
Tell them that has made you determined to be the best mom you can be and give them a hug.

Aquamarine1029 Wed 14-Feb-18 19:12:37

DO NOT LIE. Nothing good will come of it. All you'll be teaching them when they eventually learn the truth, and they WILL, is that it's ok to lie instead of dealing maturely with a situation that is uncomfortable.

Slightlyperturbedowlagain Wed 14-Feb-18 19:14:09

I know someone in a similar situation to you/your child. They were told when they finally asked at about age 7 that he was not part of their life as he had hurt them (the mum) when she was a child and was not a nice person. The child accepted this explanation and was later told a few more details when she was in her teens when she asked a bit more. As an adult now she doesn’t want anything to do with her grandparent either. It has worked out fine and IMO it is important to give sufficient age-appropriate information to make them understand that contact would not be advisable.

FancyNewBeesly Wed 14-Feb-18 19:14:28

Thanks all - I realise it sounds like an awful thing to even contemplate, telling such a big lie. I just don’t want his actions to hurt them in any way, or confuse them, or for them to even be aware of the possibility of parents being so fucking evil to their children in the first place. I won’t tell them he’s dead.

OoOoOoBaaabbbbyyyy Wed 14-Feb-18 19:14:36

My egg donor and her husband abused me badly, I was taken into care with a protection order until I was an adult.
I have 7 yo twins, they've asked if I have a mum, I just say no, I don't have one. Repeat. They stopped asking.

CanaryFish Wed 14-Feb-18 19:16:08

We told ours that DH’s dad lives somewhere else and we don’t see him.
DC is 5 abs didn’t question it further.
We’ll add to the story as required.

DeathStare Wed 14-Feb-18 19:18:16

I'd just say you don't have a dad, not everybody does. That's not a lie, it's true.

By the time they are old enough to work out that someone must have provided half your DNA, they will be old enough to explain to that yes someone did provide the biology but he wasn't a very nice man and was not a dad to you.

FancyNewBeesly Wed 14-Feb-18 19:34:10

Thanks everyone - good to know that’s an option, I wasn’t really sure how much kids ask about these things.

OoOoOoBaaabbbbyyyy Wed 14-Feb-18 19:39:47

Once you give them the stock answer and keep repeating it, they soon get bored and move onto something else.
If they ask when they're older (adults) I'll tell them, but at this ages they really don't need any more.

olympicsrock Wed 14-Feb-18 19:45:47

I am in your situation. When DS was 4 if asked if had a Dad, i repied that I do but that he wasn’t kind to Granny and Mummy , we are not friends and we don’t see him. He understood and will mention it every so often . At the time he just said poor Mummy , you can share my daddy instead. When ages 6 he was asked to draw a family tree he put a big cross in the mother’s father box.

UnimaginativeUsername Wed 14-Feb-18 19:46:55

I haven’t seen my dad since DS1 (now 17) was a baby because he’s a toxic and abusive arsehole. I have simply told my children that my dad is a horrible man so I don’t see him. They’ve never really asked or talked about it.

thecatsthecats Wed 14-Feb-18 19:50:52

Only adults have feelings about these things. Children have no preconceptions and will accept a simple version of the truth.

Alloftheboys explanation is just right. You don't need to lie or spill out your emotions either.

Now if someone can come up with an explanation for a 55yo to say why I'm not inviting my sister to my wedding I'm all ears...

Flobalob Wed 14-Feb-18 19:56:30

I've told my children that my Mummy wasn't very nice to me. As they got older and asked more questions I said that she hit me and hurt me. That's when they labelled her my 'naughty mummy'. That's who she is to them and explains why we don't see her. She's a naughty Mummy who hurt their Mummy and if they ever see her they are going to kick her because they don't like her because she isn't very nice to their Mummy.
At least they know their family history and where they sit in it.
Could you explain it like that?

Mormont Wed 14-Feb-18 19:58:18

I don't understand when people say they don't have a mum/dad. Everyone has a mother and father. They might be dead or not see them but they still have had one. I think it's best to be honest with children from the start. Keep it simple and add to the story if they ask as they get older.

SugarNyx Wed 14-Feb-18 20:01:09

I’m having this problem too. My son is 9 months old and I’m nc with mum after years of abuse. Was thinking I’d just tell him she’s dead, she may as well be as far as I’m concerned and if she ever turned up I’d kick her to the curb. My DH disagrees though and says I should tell him the truth. I just don’t want my old horrible life tainting my new one in any way. I don’t know who’s right but would deffo be nice to hear what other people have done

HildaZelda Wed 14-Feb-18 20:04:39

I'm NC with my parents due to abuse growing up.

How old are your DC's OP? I think initially when they start asking it might be best to say that you do have a father, but he lives far away (doesn't matter if he does or not, my parents are only about 30 minutes away unfortunately) and as they get a bit older and start asking more questions, just say that he's not a very nice man and so you don't see him anymore.

I wouldn't say he's dead just in case, God forbid, he ever does turn up on your doorstep and you end up with poor confused kids who can't understand why their Mummy lied to them.

It's bloody hard though flowers

LipANik Wed 14-Feb-18 20:05:55

I don't understand when people say they don't have a mum/dad. Everyone has a mother and father.

No they don't. Egg or sperm donors. It takes a lot more than that to be a mother, Father, Mum or Dad.

FancyNewBeesly Thu 15-Feb-18 10:37:17

No, but I do think it could confuse a child who’s learning how things work to say that I don’t have a father - that would have really confused me when I was little.

They’re only young toddlers now so plenty of time before this will come up. I’ll figure it out. Maybe he’ll die before they’re old enough to ask - not that I’d know!

LipANik Thu 15-Feb-18 11:27:14

We have friends (2 female) who have kids, they are Mum and Mama. Used a sperm donor, so for us kids with no father is quite usual.

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