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coping w/o dad

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I ended my relationship with my son's father almost 2 years ago. The best decision I ever made! After he moved out we all adjusted to semi regular visits with dad. Then son's dad got into a heap of legal trouble and split town. No contact-no nothing. I don't think he is going to be popping up in his son's life anytime soon because of the risk of going to jail for a long time if he shows his face around here again. Anyway son (who is 5) sometimes talks about his dad. I've explained it to him why he is not in his life at the moment. He seems pretty excepting of it all, but on occasion will feel sad and tell me he misses his papa. Are any of you mothers out there in a similar situation with kids father not invovled in kids life? How do you help them cope without a father when almost every friend has a dad in their life to a certain extent?

-mama R
post #2 of 3
For many months my dd's father was basically out of the picture... long story.

She would often feel sad and miss him. I would explain to her that her daddy loved her and wanted to be with her, but the circumstances would not allow it.

Often she would reaffirm that both I and her daddy loved her, out of the blue. I would confirm it, and honor her feelings.

You really need to just reiterate to your son that it is not his fault that his daddy is not near him, and that his daddy loves him. And always honor whatever he is feeling around it, even if its frustrating, and you want to tell him that his father is in trouble and running from the law.

Best of luck and let us keep posting. It is so good to get ideas and feedback from the boards.

post #3 of 3

processing grief

My children all start off as foster children. By the time they get adopted they will have all lost their bio families. I spend a lot of time helping children process grief. The best thing is that kids are generally very good at dealing with it if we as adults/parents can be supportive.

Definitely let your child talk about his dad as much as he wants. Try to answer his questions the best you can for his age. I do find that it's best (as you've done) to keep any negativity out of why he's not around (i.e., I don't tell my kids about their parents doing drugs, just that they couldn't take care of them). As the children get older more can be explained. In addition, I have my kids draw pictures (or write letters) to these absent families. If they don't see the family I will keep these things in a special box/place. It's their way of communicating the things they need to communicate regardless of whether the other person/family gets the pictures/letters. I try to bring up the subject as much as I can. I ask them fun things they can remember with the parents or sad things or whatever.

Humans need to process loss and they will either do it "underground" or out in the open. If you do something that he used to do with dad, talk about that. Ask him how it makes him feel, etc. It takes a long time and expect the issue to come up when you least expect it. The loss will always be a part of them, but they will definitley be able to live with it.
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