How would you react?(11 Posts)
Ds (5) came home on Tuesday & asked if it was ok to tell his friends at school that his daddy worked away & that's the reason he doesn't see him, As opposed to the fact daddy actually turned his back on Mammy the day after he found out she was pregnant & has chose not to play a part in his sons life!
I told Ds that I wouldn't be angry with him if thats what he's already told his friends but it was better to tell the truth that he does have a daddy but he doesn't see him because he ran away when (Ds) was a bean in Mammy's tummy but he has a Mammy that loves him very much!
I've always been as open as possible with Ds so he Knows Mammy wanted him even if daddy did "run away" & i've never bad mouthed Ds's dad in front of him (even though xp deserves it!). Ds has many friends at school & he's a happy little boy so don't think he's getting bullied about it think it's more likely something that come up in conversation & Ds is starting to realise his "family" is different to others.
I knew this day would come sometime where Ds would start to notice the difference in our family structure but it did upset me because I don't want him to feel different.
I don't have a boyfriend, I've only had 1 brief relationship in 5yrs since I had Ds, I don't have a very good relationship with my own father (for reasons I won't go into) but there are male figures in my sons life he can look up to.
Has anyone had similar experiences & how did you react?
Just want some reassurance I've said the right thing.
I wouldn't have an issue with it tbh. My dd is 4 and tells people her daddy lives with her nanny (he doesn't, but he does tend to see her at his family home). At this age, that's fine for her to think. SHe doesn't know that we split when I was pg- it has never come up and I don't think helps anything to say that he 'ran away' regardless of whether tha's the truth iyswim. I don't think your ds is 'lying' as such- he's telling the truth as he sees it.
agree with littlelamb about the "running away" thing - tbh I'd never tell my DS's that if exH suddenly decided he wanted nothing to do with them anymore,
I agree that the 'running away' bit is not very helpful; that is putting your spin on it, which might of course be absolutely completely right, but he is too young to get into all the whys and wherefores of adult relationships/responsibilities. and that would be quite a heavy topic to bring up with his friends.
So I don't think he is doing any harm. The truth is not necessarily the best thing, sometimes a little white lie or a diplomatic soothing is more helpful for everyone.
Rereading your post does make me worry about you though- there's no reason to worry about your son. Ime, it is enough to have one parent who loves them, and the one idea I refuse to entertain is that my dc are somehow worse off with just one parent. In my case, as well as the single parents I know, it's just not true. Also, coming from a single parent family is really not the big deal it once was- I would be very surprised if your son felt at all singled out at school. It's certainly not something i have heard children getting bullied for (and I was raised by a single parent myself).
In hindsight maybe "running away" wasn't the best way to describe why Ds's dad is nowhere to be seen! & I really don't think that ds is any worse off for him not being around if anything I try to love him for the both of us.
I did blame myself for a long time after xp left thinking I should have known what he was like etc.
My main concern was that ds is starting to feel different maybe embarrassed by not having dad around. There are other children in ds's class who come from single parent families but their mams have new partners or dads have some access to children (a father figure in their lives) where as ds wouldn't know his dad if he stood up in front of him.
Thanks for advice, I'll talk to ds make sure he knows that dad didnt run away from him but mammy (if that doesn't make things worse.)
I would just knock on the head any talk of 'running away' from anyone. He is just too young to understand, this is adult stuff and I guess would be confusing and upsetting for a child. Can't you just say that daddy isn't here but you love him very much and if he ever wants to talk about 'boys stuff' he can talk to your dad or the other male role models he has??
I honestly don't think that at this age he will want to ask loads of questions about WHY daddy isn't here but I think if he does you just have to keep it very brief and not bring in any talk of running away/abandonment. that is very hard for an adult to deal with, let alone a small child.
Your DS doesn't need you to run yourself down (daddy ran away from mummy), nor should you. His daddy doesn't live with his mummy but that's okay because mummy loves him very much. He was created out of love but some daddys live away, some mummys live away and some children live with grannys and grandads, some with aunties and uncles. A family is a unit of people who love one another. You are a family.
My DS also (just) 5 is going through an adopt a dad phase. He has been know to approach blokes and asks if they'd like to be his dad!
Good on you for not running XP down in front of him I know how much effort and energy that takes believe me.
Thankyou ANTagony & everyone else for your responses I know exactly what to say if ds brings the subject up again & it won't involve "running away".
I LOL at the running away but it is not something I would say to my kids only to female friends on a night out!
I just think facts are best for kids as much as possible. he doesnt live with us as others have said is enough.
These things are complicated and trying to simplify them when the kids are young is best. As they get older they will ask more when they are ready as mine have done and make up their own minds about things. All three of mine have different opinions on my X which shows they are independent and reach different conclusions with the information given to them.
At the age of 5 my son tended to tell people that his dad was dead. I did tell him that this wasn't the case, but he was adamant and in the end I decided that if that was how he wanted to deal with it then so be it. He is now 11 and understands that sometimes relationships just don't work and that sometimes one parent just doesn't stay in touch.
If telling people that Daddy lives away is your son's way of dealing with it at the moment, then as hard as it is for you, maybe you should let him have that. You and he both know the truth, but if it makes it easier for him... [sympathetic emoticon]
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