Advanced search

How do you explain to a 3 year old that her dad can't be bothered with her?

(6 Posts)
NooNooMummy Wed 18-Jan-17 22:46:48

Me and her dad separated 6 months ago. She thinks he's nice. Even though 'he shouted too much' and was 'too grumpy.'

He's barely made any effort to see her or speak to her since we separated. He's done many other things to me that have truly shocked me (see my other posts here). In brief, he's a #### (insert your own favourite 4 letter word...)

I've tried to explain gently a while ago that mummy and daddy don't like each other anymore but we both love her very very much. Actually, he doesn't. He can't. What do I say to my daughter to explain why she doesn't see him anymore. She does talk about him...

BluePheasant Wed 18-Jan-17 22:55:03

I think at three can you just simply say you don't know why he doesn't see her and divert the conversation to how much you love her and what you love about her. Sorry, just trying to imagine how I would deal with this with my three year old, it must be so hard for you sad

How much has he seen her since you split up? Sounds like she is much better off without him.

BrianCoxWithBellsOn Wed 18-Jan-17 23:09:03

Focus on who is in her life, the people who do love her and chose to spend time with her.

At 3 you should be able to distract her and any direct response should be clear, to the point, unemotional.

So "your dad* is busy, I will tell you if he calls" (*I never referred to DD's 'father' as "Daddy" because that wasn't what he was to her)

It's hard to explain and its a fine line to tread. But don't lie to her, be kind with the truths, keep it age appropriate, keep replies short and to the point.

A fun game was to name all our family and friends (obvs not the father) and if she wanted to we would draw them all. I have a fab picture of our entire family and pets (even the goldfish!) - in stick from, surrounded by flowers and stood on a rainbow. We aren't a small family, it was A3 size! Took her ages and she had it on her wall for a few years. It's in her memory box now.

You need her to trust that you are the one with the answers, so she feels comfortable coming to you in the years ahead. Don't slag him off (at least not in front of her). Never talk him down. Stay even and unemotional where he is concerned.

She will get upset, in years to come.

There will be more answers.

My DD is 13 and her "father" bastardshithead has never been near, no contact at all. I tried for years but have left him to rot in his own bile now. DD is in an angry phase, but again I tell her "it's not about who isn't in your life, it's about the people who are and the people who love you without question"

AnnieAnoniMouse Wed 18-Jan-17 23:11:10

Does she actually ask why her Daddy doesn't see her?

If not, don't try to explain anything. Just acknowledge what she is saying 'Daddy likes eggs for breakfast'. ' Yes he does, he likes them scrambled best, how do you like yours best?' 'I miss Daddy' 'I know you do, you'll have to tell him when you see him next time. Would you like to draw him a picture?'

It's hard, but don't try to explain if she's not actually asking. Acknowledge how she is feeling and don't dismiss it, but don't dwell on it either.

It's bloody hard when they're totally feckless gits 💐

Dinnerout1 Wed 18-Jan-17 23:18:49

I wouldn't say to your daughter that he doesn't want to see her, think of her poor little thoughts and feelings. Maybe just say you don't know why and you haven't seen him for a long time. You say he's busy working away doing lots of hours and nobody sees him. Just for her own little mind to understand she's not personally thinking it's because of her. Then give her lots of kisses and cuddles and she will probably talk about something else. When she gets older she will understand better but I would wait til she's at least in her teens to do that x

NooNooMummy Wed 18-Jan-17 23:38:49

Thank you, everyone. Helpful

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: