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How should my sister tell her son she left his dad because he was violent?

(5 Posts)
starrynight Sun 09-Sep-07 20:55:21

Ideas? He is 8 and hasn't seen his dad since he was about 4 but has started talking about how other children at school seem to have a great time with their dads and why hasn't he got one.

She doesn't want him to think he will be violent like his dad, and isn't sure what to tell him. I am not sure either and wondered if anyone had been through this and what worked/ didn't.

Thanks

WestCountryLass Sun 09-Sep-07 22:05:04

It's a tricky one, the truth will come out one day so you don't want to lie as such but he is too young to know everything.

How about Mummy and Daddy stopped being friends and so they thought it was best to not live together anymore because Daddy got cross sometimes and it made everyone upset. Or is that too babyish?

Blandmum Sun 09-Sep-07 22:08:27

My cousin had to deal with this, she didn't go into the details with her kids until they were older. She was upfront that she and dad didn't get on, but they kids still saw their father.....he was never violent to them only to cousin, so the situation is a little different.

they are now two very happy, sane, fantastic adults who still have a relationahip with their father in spite on now knowing how violent he had been. I think it says a great deal about how well my cousin raised them that they can cope so well with such a difficult, and emotional situation

madamez Sun 09-Sep-07 22:20:49

It might be worth getting in touch with WOmen's Aid or any domestic violence organisation as they may well have lots of useful suggestions. SHe could say that Daddy was naughty and when grown ups are naughty it's much worse than when children are naughty, so Daddy had to go away and learn how to be good (if there's even the remotest possibility of civilised contact with the violent ex).

What she shouldn't do is lie ie that his dad was a hero who is now dead or a mystery man. Because lies like that always come back and bite you on the arse. Best bet is an age-appropriate, kind-as-possible-without-lying version of the truth.

Blandmum Sun 09-Sep-07 22:23:39

I think, mademez, the last thing you wrote is sort of what my cousin did.

No lies, but at the same time no sudden, 'You father nearly killed me' moment. It was more a gentle, drip feed of information that was age approriate.

And you are right, you can't lie, because this child has to be able to trust his mother, and if she gets coaught out telling fibs, he is going to doubt her.

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