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What to say to 4yo ds

(6 Posts)
onetiredmummy Sun 13-Sep-09 12:45:37

Split with dh a week ago but have not told ds as he started school this week. In the meantime dh moved out & has seen ds a few times in the past week. Now ds is asking why his daddy isnt home & other questions.

Have spoken to dh who thinks it best not to tell him until nearer the time when the house is sold & we both have new places. What is the best delaying tactic to keep ds satisfied for another week?

Sycamoretreeisvile Sun 13-Sep-09 12:49:58

DD is 4. I think you have to respect the fact that they are very intuitive at this age.

Has he settled ok at school? If he's enjoying it I would be as honest as possible with him otherwise you will lose his trust. He has already cottoned on that things are not as normal. I think you owe it to him to explain that you and Daddy have been getting a bit cross with each other lately/having arguments or whatever, and so you have decided to live in different houses for the moment - followed up by lots of reassurances about how much you both love him and he's the most important thing in the world etc.

If you tell him the truth in a week, he will realise you have lied to him this week, IYSWIM?

I'm really sorry to hear about you and your H btw.

SycamoretreeIsVile Tue 15-Sep-09 22:46:46

I'm sorry you didn't get any more responses to this OP, so am bumping for you in case anyone with more experience has any words of wisdom smile

VeronicaMars Tue 15-Sep-09 22:57:21

You should also be together when you tell him.
Sorry you are going through this btw.

toomanystuffedbears Wed 16-Sep-09 03:29:55

I agree with Sycamore. You don't really need to go into the negative facts of the circumstances. Let him know the things that will affect him. The catch all phrase-living in separate homes is the best thing for mom & dad right now-doesn't really need much explanation. I know the incessant, Whys from dc at that young age..."that is just the way it is" could be a repeated answer to it.

And emphasize that parents that live apart are still fabulous parents and he is not being abandonded and he will have continued love and care and toys and everything else that he already has (if true-if he might have to give up a pet or something then just be honest about it, but simply, tailored to his perspective).

Good luck, and I hope you have better times ahead.

abedelia Wed 16-Sep-09 10:33:59

When I kicked H out I told the children that M&D weren't getting on any more so it was best we didn't live together, although we still loved them and they would always see us both. In the end I tried to explain it like school - eg, if you argue all the time with one of your friends then you don't want to sit next to them or hang around with them, do you - so that's what mum and dad are doing because when we are in the same house all the time we argue . The important thing is to reassure them that although things have changed they are not losing either of you and it's not their fault - I did lots of reading on this and apparently children tend to blame themselves, sadly.

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