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6 year old upset that her dad and I aren't together. Help!(7 Posts)
My daughter is 6 years old and I ended the marriage to her dad before she was 2. She doesn't remember us being together but has seen photos. She met my current partner when she was 2 and a half and loved him instantly. She is still very close with him as he is so attentive to her and will play for hours. The three of us live together, are happy and have no issues.
My daughter visits her dad and his partner around 2/3 nights a week. They live close by and all 4 of us adults get on fine (even though I think he's an aggressive prick, but she doesn't know that!).
Recently she asks questions such as "did you ever love my dad?" Which I found awkward but tried to answer in a way that would be a comfort to her.
Recently she has got tearful and told her dad that she is sad we aren't together.
I find it strange as she has never really known us together and likes both of our partners but I guess a lot of it is down to knowing that her peers have a mum and dad in the same house.
Anyone experienced this or similar and have any tips on what to say/do to make her feel better?
I'm sorry no one has had a chance to answer this yet!
I'd talk to her about how family's come in different shapes and sizes. You did love him once, even if its a white lie, but you both fell out of love. Usual script of both loving her more than anything.
See if you can get some books about different kinds of families from the library or bookshop. Read them at bedtime like normal (or whenever you read together) and hope that helps her understand without being obvious about it. Hope that makes sense!
Sometimes children like the idea of something, rather than a memory of it. She may also question if she is in anyway responsible. Obviously she isn't but children sometimes associate a parent leaving as leaving them rather than their partner. They then question what they did wrong and start to blame themselves.
Equally she may just noticed some of her friends mums and dads live together but hers don't.
I would simply explain that sometimes mums and dads start to argue with each other and break up. Ask her to imagine there always being shouting and arguments at home and how she would feel living like that, so she understands it was for the better. With emphasis that she is loved by both parents and honesty about why it is best you aren't together, she should start to accept it more, it will just take time.
DSD went through this phase. I think we said something similar to "Mummy and Daddy found that living in the same house as each other started to make them sad and cross. Mummy is very happy living with you and X, and Daddy is very happy living withyou and Y, and we all love that we get to see you lots and lots."
Thank you everyone, all your comments make perfect sense. I really like your ideas and appreciate them. I think it's obvious what to say when you're an outsider but for me, as soon as she mentions anything to do with him and I being together or loving each other I get rather freaked out and can't think straight!
I will definitely use these ideas and have a chat with her. Thanks again!
I would just empathise personally. E.g. "maybe it's hard for you to live in two houses" or "it's ok to feel sad that Mummy and Daddy don't live together any more". You can still be clear that you're not ever getting back together but in a way that also shows her that it's ok for her to feel sad about it.
Ime dc like to ponder themselves in other lives. I have many dc. They used to ponder if they were only dc /had dbs and no dsis or the other way round...
Like wise if we had a bungalow not a house etc.
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