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"Mum ...do you like ... my daddy?"

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm going to try and keep this as short as possible (and since most of you have gone through/are going through the same-old with the ex, I'm sure you can fill in the blanks)

My son is 3 years old (bday August). I was a single mother from his ages 1.5 until July 1st; when my S/O and I decided to move in together after dating for almost a year (we've been friends forever though). My S/O and I got together within about 3 months of splitting up with the X and S/O has been DS's primary male influence ever since. X has been the typical immature boy the entire time, and it's gotten worse in the last little while.

So, last week, DS is playing on the computer chair a few feet from me, and he looks at me and says "Mum...do you like...my daddy?"

I look at him for a few seconds and I say "do YOU like your daddy?" and he says with this dreamy kind of look on his face "yeah, I like my daddy" and I say "oh; what else do you like? Do you like cookies?" and I try to lead him off the thought. But then, a few minutes later, he comes up to me and says "I like my daddy.......Nick (S/O) likes my daddy too"

DS and I often have this I like/you like/Nick likes discussion, but it's usually about food. And I make a point to say if I don't like a food and ask him if he does. I'm teaching very carefully that it's ok that he likes something, even if I don't because we're all different; but I didn't know it would be this discussion THIS soon!

So; I thought I handled the situation ok; by redirecting it to a question about what he likes, then trying to change the subject. But it's been coming up again and again all week. He's looking for an answer here; and I don't want to lie to him. He's not stupid, he'll figure out I'm lying and then won't trust me. Uncool.

So, what do I do now? I WANT to say "NO, I DON'T like your daddy. Your daddy is irresponsable and childish and couldn't care less about you; about us; and only comes around when his family bugs him enough and only brings money when he see's fit. You have a perfectly good guy here who loves you and is WAY better than your 'daddy'; and I like HIM because he's a good guy who makes sure you have what you need; and takes care of you when you're sick, etc etc."


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post #2 of 10
Could you say something like "I like that I have you because of your daddy" or "I like your daddy because now I have you", "I like that your daddy loves you so much" or "I like that your daddy takes good care of you and that you have fun together" even if it's just a little true and you have to force the words out? I think at that age he wants to feel safe, and even if you think his dad is immature.

Or what if you said "Yes, I like your daddy" but in your mind you are thinking of your SO, even if your son means his own father. I think a white lie at this age is good. When he gets older he'll figure out the truth on his own.
post #3 of 10
"Sometimes I like him, and sometimes I don't like him so much"? Kinda as a nice way to say "I used to like him..."
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
WOOOHOO!!!

Today, my son was getting his jammies on; and he said to me, out of nowhere "Mum... Nick's my daddy"

I almost fell over backwards!

I said "yeah? Why?" and when he went silent I said "is it because he takes care of you?" and he smiled and said "yeah.....and he's my friend too"

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinxie View Post
"Sometimes I like him, and sometimes I don't like him so much"? Kinda as a nice way to say "I used to like him..."
Haha. I like that. But you know what, if he asks again referring to X, I think I'm just going to be honest about it. I mean, nice too, but honest. I'll just say like..

"No, I don't really like your daddy. Your daddy isn't very nice to me alot and he's selfish; and I don't like when people are selfish; it's very mean. But if he's nice to you, and he doesn't hurt you; and you like him; that's ok with me."

Or some variation of that. I don't think it's right for me to sugar-coat things for him, he's not stupid. Obviously if he didn't sense something going on; he wouldn't be asking these questions. I'll be nice but honest. I think that's what's fair to him. I can teach him that it's up to him to make his own opinion of people no matter what other's think. It's a good social lesson anyways.
post #6 of 10


Maybe stick with I statements though, so to speak...

Yay, that's so sweet what he said about your DP
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blu Razzberri View Post
WOOOHOO!!!

Today, my son was getting his jammies on; and he said to me, out of nowhere "Mum... Nick's my daddy"

I almost fell over backwards!

I said "yeah? Why?" and when he went silent I said "is it because he takes care of you?" and he smiled and said "yeah.....and he's my friend too"

:
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blu Razzberri View Post
Haha. I like that. But you know what, if he asks again referring to X, I think I'm just going to be honest about it. I mean, nice too, but honest. I'll just say like..

"No, I don't really like your daddy. Your daddy isn't very nice to me alot and he's selfish; and I don't like when people are selfish; it's very mean. But if he's nice to you, and he doesn't hurt you; and you like him; that's ok with me."

Or some variation of that. I don't think it's right for me to sugar-coat things for him, he's not stupid. Obviously if he didn't sense something going on; he wouldn't be asking these questions. I'll be nice but honest. I think that's what's fair to him. I can teach him that it's up to him to make his own opinion of people no matter what other's think. It's a good social lesson anyways.
That may be a little too honest. I know if my DH's ex said that to their dd we would have a lot of problems and so would my dd. Be honest, but maybe say something like "No, I don't really like your daddy. He does a lot of things that make it really hard for me to like him. I love that I have you becasue of him, but thats it." Then, if your kiddo wants some examples you can say because he is selfish etc.

I remember when dsd asked my dh if he liked her mommy. We were newlyweds and they were very recently divorced and he said yes and it broke my heart becasue I knew he didn't like her at all, esp at that point becasue she played really dirty during the divorce and it really hurt him. I know he was just trying to make his dd feel better, but in the long run it made her think for a while that her parents would get back together. I totally think honesty is better. Good luck!
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zilla View Post
That may be a little too honest....I remember when dsd asked my dh if he liked her mommy...and he said yes...I know he was just trying to make his dd feel better, but in the long run it made her think for a while that her parents would get back together. I totally think honesty is better...

Yeah, I know...little too honest, you're right. I appreciate your input as "the other family"; it gives you a different perspective. Our situation is a bit different (ie: X just dragged me to court for visititation rights - though I was never stopping him in the first place..don't ask - and we ended up doing court-sponsered mediation and decided to put every other weekend into practice again; only to have him decline for the last two weekends in a row!! ) and X is dragging me and my 'new' family throught the mud for nothing, making my DS sad and it's all around selfish and not right. It's really hard to lessen the impact of someone's irresponsabilities when they're HORRIBLE! *breathe...breathe....sigh*

But what you said about your DH 'lying' to DsD, you're right, it only creates false hope. It also probably didn't help establish your relationship with DsD, and that's also unfair.

AAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUURRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHH HH. Why are some people SO immature!?!? Sorry for the venting; I'm having one of those days!
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blu Razzberri View Post
"No, I don't really like your daddy. Your daddy isn't very nice to me alot and he's selfish; and I don't like when people are selfish; it's very mean. But if he's nice to you, and he doesn't hurt you; and you like him; that's ok with me."
You have to remember that he is only 3yrs old.... he doesn't need the specifics. MY opinion is that it's ok for you to say "No, I don't like your daddy very much." Leave that part of it at that, any more is too much, invites questions and aren't fair to your son. BUT, make sure that you follow up immediately with "But I know that YOU like your daddy and your daddy likes you and that's ok with me because little boys are supposed to like thier daddies."


(The opinion of a step-mom to two kids who are constantly told by thier mother why she hates thier father and also makes them feel badly about spending time with him and loving him.)
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