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Upset Child
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Upset Child

My daughter is 4 years old and is having a hard time understanding why her father isn't a part of her life. I used to live in Ca. I had been with her father for a few months but had known him for a few years. When I was five months pregnant I moved to TN to live with my parents for financial reasons and because her father had made it pretty obvious to me that he wasn't ready to be a good dad. Two weeks after I moved he was arrested and this was when i finalized my decision to never go back to him. I made him aware of this decision but also told him that I hoped he would do what he could to be there for his daughter. Since this time he has made no efforts to see her and refuses to see her anytime my daughter and I take trips to CA. He accuses me of being crazy and that is why he won't see his daughter; "it isn't worth it to me to see her if it means I have to see you" has been his response. So, basically... I don't see him being in her life anytime soon, if at all. He blames the whole situation on me and seems to be incapable of taking any responsibility. My daughter cries periodically about him not being here and I try my best to console her. How do I explain to a 4 year old that their dad isn't in their lives without making them hate their father? I don't know if he will ever be a part of her life or not and don't feel that it is right explaining his choices when they don't even make sense to me. She asks me to call him but contacting him in the past has never resulted in anything positive for myself or my daughter. I just want to know the best way to address this issue without giving her false hope of killing any chance of seeing him positively. Is this even possible?
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184674_tn?1360864093
It's really not possible to explain to a 4 year old all the reasons why daddy isn't in her life. All she's going to comprehend is that daddy's not here and she wants him to be.

You don't need to explain his choices to her anyway. In situations where my son asks or cries for his dad, I just tell him, with no specifics, that Daddy's busy or at work, or I don't know where he is, but maybe he'll call sometime soon. That's all he needs to know because that's all he understands (he's three) and that's all he can accept. I tell him that I'm here for him and I always will be, no matter what, even if I'm upset with him (he usually says he wants his dad after I discipline him). He calms down in any situation eventually.

If you don't say anything negative and don't have a negative attitute toward her father, then she's not going to hate him. I'm not on the best terms with my son's father, but we're civil with each other for the most part. But when it comes to portraying him to my son, I just keep my tone very matter-of-fact, non-specific, avoid being negative, and always stay honest. I don't want him to ever hate his dad, and I don't think he ever will, but I know as he gets older that he'll understand his dad better as he learns from experience. Then he can make his decision of whether or not he wants anything to do with his dad, and I can feel confident that I wasn't involved in biasing his perspective.
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292932_tn?1209309180
I have a smilar situation.   My daughetr is 3 and her dad was in her life up until a year ago.  We seperated and are in the process of divorce and his crazy new fiance talked him into signing away all rights to my daughter- so legally he is not even her dad anymore.  My daughter mentions him frequently- more often lately.  She has an unbelievable memory and if we go someplace we ued to go as a family she will mention him, she will mention him if something reminds her of him and when she gets upset with me she cries for him.  She tells me freuently "mommy I love daddy".  Well I bite my tongue and say "Daddy lovesyou too".  It is very difficult for children and I know ithurts me as a parent to watch m y daughter wonder where daddy is.  
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305180_tn?1279720347
Either way you look at it, it's rough for the kids. But I think all of you are doing the right thing.  If we all stay positive about things when talking to our children (even if we cant stand their father or mother in some cases) its best for the children. If we start telling them it's the other parents fault, they will eventually grow up to resent us for the things we said. My mom and dad used to talk down to me about each other all the time. I just ignored it somehow, but it still hurt to hear it. My ex husband has a tendency to say things to or around our daughters about me or my fiance'. They came home one day and said, " Mommy, Daddy says he's going to kick so and so's butt cause he hates him." I couldnt believe what my little girl was saying. She is only 7. Her sister is 9 and understands things a bit more, but for some reason they always tell me if their dad says anything that they know is wrong. Besides that, they love my fiance', and they dont want to hear bad things said about him. I wish I knew of a way to stop my ex from saying things innappropriate around our little girls, but he is just that type of person. Errogant, manipulative, verbally mean, and thinks he can control me through my kids. Wow, what a winner huh?  

Anyways, sorry about the babbling...The best thing any of us can do is to be mature and as honest as we can without hurting our children's feelings.

Something that I would tell my girls when they asked about their father when he wasnt visiting them like he should, was that he was working long hours and when he wasnt working he was trying to sleep. That he would visit when he could.

guatmommy--I think you are definitely doing the right thing. It is hard when they are asking about the other parent. The best thing to do is stay positive.And I know how it feels when they cry for daddy when they are upset. My 7 year old tells me she wants to go live with Daddy, when she is mad at me. Once she is calmed down she is fine and happy to be with me again.
Dont know if any of this made any sense or if it helped at all, but there ya go anyways.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Ruby,
It sounds like this father is an abuser blaming you for everything.  I hate to say it but stay away from him and try as best you can to just keep positive.  I can't tell you that you should tell your daugther to forget about her Dad but it is not easy, and you should just keep her busy.  Try not to bring him up and when she does just be a gentle as possible with your explanations.  
She may try to find him someday and you don't want to bash him, but he sounds psychotic!
Men who blame women, say they are crazy.. well they just don't understand women.  We have hormones and mood swings and that may be with in a normal range if not excessive.  I am not a dr. but I am tired of all of this bipolar stuff.  Women have always had ups and downs and the men who don't have sisters or have never been there for a woman simply just don't understand the cycle of hormones etc.  
That should be a highschool required course for young men.   Womens health!  Yup that would help a lot of what is wrong with society today.  We women used to stay home.  Well look at what "we" now have to do.  Women put in way more hours towards the running of a house/home than men as they sit there with the remote.  I am not saying all men are lazy but we as women need to raise our sons to do more than take out the trash and mow the lawn.  If we raised our young men to learn to cook, and clean (the toilet too!) and be more active participants in a home instead of letting them sit and do computer games..... well then maybe the next generation or two would have more successful marriages.  But, if we don't start changing the involvement of our young boys now..in my opinion marriages will continue to fail as we women get fed up and tired/burned out.
What do you think?
And by the way sorry for straying off of the subject.
tracletch
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364382_tn?1300245899
...torn between wishing I never had to deal with or hear from my son's dad again, and hoping that someday he will grow up enough to have a good relationship with his son...
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