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<p>My 6yo DS asked me this a few months ago when we were talking about grandparents. My DH's parents are still married, but my parents divorced when I was 6 and I haven't seen my dad since I was 8 (he had a drug problem and didn't want us to be around him until he got it under control -- I guess that never happened... <img alt="eyesroll.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/eyesroll.gif">). </p>
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<p>So anyway, my DS noticed that he should have 2 grandpas instead of just 1, and he asked me where my dad was. I was totally caught off guard and said something lame like, "Oh, we don't see him..." and changed the subject (which my DS thankfully went along with). But I'm sure the subject will come up again, and I'm having trouble coming up with an age appropriate way of talking to him about it. The idea of a parent just going away and not coming back seems like it'd be pretty scary for a kid. Any ideas for how to discuss this with him when it comes up again? </p>
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<p>(ETA: I'm going on a week's vacation in a few hours and won't check the computer, so sorry if it seems like I ditched the thread! I'll check it when I get back.) </p>
 

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<p>I would be as kindly honest with him as you can be.  Explain that sometimes people have problems that make it difficult to be around other people.  I obviously don't know your situation or if this would be stretching the truth too far, but if you feel comfortable with it, tell him that your dad left so that he didn't make life harder for the people he loved.  Reassure him over and over that you and his father are going no where.  Make sure he understands that you & your DH don't have the same problem your dad had and that he has nothing to fear.  Your DS knows you both love him.  However you chose to explain it to him will be the right way.</p>
 

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<p>I have a very similar situation in my family and a seven year old and a five year old who are curious about my dad. I just told them as honestly as I could what alcoholism does to people and they seemed comfortable with the explanation that he had a sort of sickness that would make him unable to stop drinking. I agree with the previous poster that lost of assurances that his parents don't have this kind of sickness are important.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>MamaMamaMama!</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1281204/mommy-where-s-your-dad#post_16070318"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I have a very similar situation in my family and a seven year old and a five year old who are curious about my dad. I just told them as honestly as I could what alcoholism does to people and they seemed comfortable with the explanation that he had a sort of sickness that would make him unable to stop drinking. I agree with the previous poster that lost of assurances that his parents don't have this kind of sickness are important.</p>
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<br><br><p>Yes, this. My son is 10 and we've told him since he was small that Grampy died when he was a baby, that he had a sickness called alcoholism and that he couldn't stop drinking alcohol and all the alcohol he drank was so bad for his liver that he died (because you need a liver to live! Just like you need a heart and a brain, etc.) He isn't too scared of alcoholism because my MIL has been in recovery for many many years (much longer than DS's life) and she is open about it with him, so he knows alcoholism doesn't equal death. We have explained to DS that DH and I are very moderate drinkers because being alcoholism can run in families and we want to be responsible, careful, etc. I think it's important to be honest with kids, on whatever level they can understand.</p>
 

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<p>Thanks for the input! To be clear, I wasn't planning to be dishonest with my kids about this issue, I was just looking for ideas about how to phrase it in the least scary way. Thanks for the ideas. </p>
 

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<p>Oh, I know you weren't planning on being dishonest.  I just meant to not do what my mom did.  She used to give me a lot of those "just because", "that's the way it is", or "you aren't old enough to know" answers.  Never really getting to the point of how, why, etc.  She was never dishonest, just beat around the bush a lot and left too many questions unanswered.  Good luck finding the right words and I hope you had a great vacation!</p>
 

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<p>Not to hijack this thread... but what if it's not the parent who left, but the kid (me) who has chosen not to be in touch anymore?</p>
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<p>My kids are 2 and 4, and I am dreading this question-- where is that other grandpa?  My dad left my mom for another woman when I was 10.  I tried over the years to be in touch with him, and it always would fizzle out.  My husband and I decided that I just didn't have the extra emotional energy to keep trying, and so when my son was born, I called him for the last time just to let him know the baby was here, was safe-- and that was the last effort I've made.  I haven't heard from him since. </p>
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<p>So I can't be honest about him going away for health reasons.  If I'm honest, I'll say... "my dad was not a very good dad, and was not that interested in me, so I do not talk to him any more.  If you would like to meet him, I can help you write a letter..." is that what I say?  BTW, I just tonight posted a thread in GD asking for help with the fact that my boys seem to hate their father, who I think is a wonderful parent, so this honest response could really backfire.  The last thing I want to do is to tell my kids that it is ok for them to not talk to their father... but that's just what I've done!</p>
 

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<p>My parents divorced. I let my kids know that my father left the state when my parents divorced.When they were older I went into more detail about how he was a really mean person espcially when he drank alcohol. The kids never asked to get in contact with him,and I doubt I would even support it.There is no reason they should be in touch with  such a negative person just because it is *grandpa*.</p>
 

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<p>nak.  I never met my maternal grandparents or my paternal grandfather because they all died before I was born.  This was very straightforwardly explained to me, not too many details, though. I don't remember not knowing.  I only met my paternal grandmother once as a toddler.  Don't remember.  My parents told me she lived far away; wasnt til I was much older that I learned she was also kind of crazy and my dad didn't like her very much.  None of this was traumatic/fearful etc for me.  So probably being matter of fact was a good way to go at least for my family.</p>
 
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