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Show ALL Forums  > Single Parents  > How do I tell my son Daddy's not coming back home to us.      Home login  
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 shanny6900
Joined: 1/10/2010
Msg: 1
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How do I tell my son Daddy's not coming back home to us.Page 1 of 2    (1, 2)
My husband and I have been together for 4 years and married for 3 out of the 4. We have a wonderful 3 year old who is Autistic. His father has up and left us for a 18 year old who happens to live just a few doors down. Yet he chooses not to come and see his son, call, or help us out in any way. He's been gone for almost six months now, and my son cries for him each and every day. The only thing that I know to tell him is Daddy loves you baby! I know that some where in the man he does care and love his son... See his father used to be the type of man who said "i couldn't live my life without you or your mother". He's not asked for a divorce, I guess he think's that he can have his cake and eat it too. Yet, through all this the main person who's getting hurt is our son. Our son is only three and does not understand why daddy's not here and its a little harder for him to understand on top of being so young but because he's autistic. I'm at a lost on what to do anymore. I'm going back to school to get my MBA's and I'm searching for a job. (When we found out we were pregnant we agreed that i would be a stay at home mom)! Now I'm left with the responsiblities of being a full time mom and DAD, the one to pay all the bills alone, and to deal with all the stress of not only a single parent life but a single parent of a special needs child. I do the best that I can do without his father. Yet I'm at a loss of how to let my son really know and understand that dad's not coming home. I've done my best to keep everything in, so that i'm not so upset and crying infront of our son....I want him to grow up and make his own judgments of his father....but what can i do in the mean time to either get his father to spend more time with him or for my son to know that daddys not coming home again?
 SaraCuteMama
Joined: 1/28/2010
Msg: 2
How do I tell my son Daddy's not coming back home to us.
Posted: 2/20/2010 8:19:58 PM
be 100 percent honest not in a crude way i mean i have seen many different tools parents have used myself my son is 19 months his father has never seen him so he doesnt understand meaning of mommy and daddy he just knows mommy and granpa and uncle.

some of the ways

1. parent a says to her daughter you dont have a dad but you have mommy,nana,grandpa,grandma who love you.

2. parent b explains to her daughter hunny your dad had many things he needed to figure out and he was just not ready to be a dad but I love you very much and will always love you.

3. parent c waited until child came and asked and flat out said daddy left and wont be coming back but I am always here for you.

4. parent d explains to child that it didnt work out between mommy and daddy but its not child fault but both mommy and daddy are there for him/her and both parents love the child.

I hope this helps a little bit
 DOWNTOWNGEORGE
Joined: 11/2/2007
Msg: 3
How do I tell my son Daddy's not coming back home to us.
Posted: 2/20/2010 8:43:42 PM
Tell his Dad to "Man Up" and tell the kid!..omg Let dad be the one to tell him hes leaving and why....he told you,didnt he?
 packagedealx3
Joined: 2/4/2006
Msg: 4
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How do I tell my son Daddy's not coming back home to us.
Posted: 2/20/2010 10:27:22 PM
No one can really answer this for you because we don't know what your son can and cannot understand in comparison to a three-year-old that is not autistic.

Have you considered asking a therapist or child development specialist? As with all kids, it is best to be as honest as possible, provide enough information so that he will understand but not too much because particularly I am assuming with an autistic child, too much information will only confuse him.

I know you are having a tough time but six months is a bit of a while to adjust. Maybe you need to really accept that he isn't coming back before you try to tell your son?
 brown_eyed_woman
Joined: 8/31/2008
Msg: 5
How do I tell my son Daddy's not coming back home to us.
Posted: 2/21/2010 5:07:17 AM

Daddy loves you baby


STOP saying that. The father is not showing any love, and this child should not grow up to think people who love you can waltz in and out of your life without consequence!

Tell the child, in childike terms, the truth. "Daddy is having problems right now, and some adults, when they have problems forget that they are Daddies. This is about Daddy forgetting his job, and it doesnt not mean you are a bad child. I love you baby!"

Telling kids the missing parent still loves them may sound fine on the surface, but you are setting them up to be confused about love later on. Love is action, not words.

Keep it real, and when Daddy does come around, he should be asked by your child why he forgot to be a Daddy. He should be made to face that question. (he should also be made to face a boot to the head) People who leave like this, and come back should have to look into those little eyes and answer the tough questions, maybe they will think twice next time. You making it easy for him, by telling the child Daddy still loves him/her, takes some of those tough consequences away when he returns.

At some point, Daddy will want to see his child once more, and I dont believe he should just be able to pick up where he left off. He should have to face the consequences here and know he has built dis trust and know he will have to work at gaining it back. I would say the exact same thing if it was Mommy who left.
 freetime2bme
Joined: 1/16/2006
Msg: 6
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How do I tell my son Daddy's not coming back home to us.
Posted: 2/21/2010 5:21:52 AM
Have you offered visits to the father? Visits not at your house or with you. It might not be his son he is avoiding, it might just be you. He might think your still pissed off about him hooking up with the 18 year old a few doors down. Is she hot too? Just let that go and tell him you just want him to rember his son. He has not asked for a divorce, because when that happens he will get hit with support. Hello. You need to take care of that, but that should not effect your offer and your keeping the door open to him visiting with his son away from you. As far as letting your son know daddy is not coming home, just let your son know that your home is no longer his dads home, but some day he might visit, but you do not know if he will or not. Lots of women get left for other women, stop will not help you or your son.
 carolann0308
Joined: 12/9/2006
Msg: 7
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How do I tell my son Daddy's not coming back home to us.
Posted: 2/21/2010 7:53:02 AM
You need to file for divorce. Forget the Dad's and the GF's drama, and take care of your child. The father is nearby and an adult, let him be the father he is even if it just means a weekly check. Keep the open door policy and allow him time to nurture the relationship with his kid. It does not have to be your financial burden alone. Get off your duff and fix this problem.
 rdaily941
Joined: 8/30/2008
Msg: 8
How do I tell my son Daddy's not coming back home to us.
Posted: 2/21/2010 4:59:59 PM
Just be honest with the kid...
 clambroth
Joined: 10/27/2007
Msg: 9
How do I tell my son Daddy's not coming back home to us.
Posted: 2/21/2010 6:09:52 PM
Up to somewhere around two years ++ of age I understand that a child will forget a parent after something like a week. Pretty much the same at age 3 so don't worry about it. Maybe two weeks memory tops. Your child has pretty much already forgotten who that other person was and he doesn't understand the concept of daddy or who daddy was. I know this sounds means and bursts your dramatical sounding thread but a 3 year old isn't worried about where daddy is and when he's coming back and why he isn't home. Those are YOUR concerns. Don't impose them on the child (or us for the sake of your child). At three it isn't an issue a concern or anything. There is nothing you need to explain. Been through it myself with mom and trust me it isn't an issue with your child. You don't have to explain anything. I feel your pain but your child isn't feeling what you would wish him to feel. Thats really harsh and I am probably going to get banished again by our moderator - but OH WELL.

Your upset and crying doesn't mean anything to your son at age three and you don't need to worry about hiding what you are upset about. He doesn't care other than when the next meal is coming. Trust me on this. Three year olds need no explanation - EVER. You are hurt and wounded and if and when you seek some direct advice as to YOUR issues we'll be glad to provide it.

You are concerned and need some explanation so just ask us without the artifice of using your child. He doesn't need an explanation. Your husband is a miserable lousy excuse for a human being and abandoned his family (just like my ex wife did to us). What can I say about that? Hey, that really sucks and I feel bad for you and your son but by tomorrow your son won't remember who that guy was.
 SISunshine
Joined: 2/2/2010
Msg: 10
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How do I tell my son Daddy's not coming back home to us.
Posted: 2/23/2010 1:33:39 PM
I don't know about your kids, clambroth, but my daughter's three, and she worries about a whole lot more than just where her next meal is coming from. Three is plenty old enough to notice that mommy and daddy aren't living together anymore, and anybody that expects that a kid of that age will simply forget all about the missing parent in a week or two is sadly deluded.
OP, this is something I am struggling with myself. My daughter asks every day why her daddy doesn't live with us anymore, and most of the time, I try to lead her into another topic of conversation, because I just don't know what to say to her. I can't tell her that daddy chose to leave because he didn't love mommy anymore, even though it's the truth, because I'm afraid that she will then make the leap to thinking that daddy doesn't love her anymore, either. And as much as he was a lousy husband, I have never doubted that my ex loves his kids. I can't tell her that even though daddy's gone, we're still a family, because in her mind, our family's not complete without daddy in it. I guess what I am trying to get at is that there's really no simple answer; you just have to say some prayers and trust that you will be given the words that will start to make things better, for you and for your son. Good luck to you!!!
 BrodyWal
Joined: 1/21/2010
Msg: 11
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How do I tell my son Daddy's not coming back home to us.
Posted: 2/23/2010 5:38:26 PM
I agree with the poster above to say daddy loves you. I have raised my 8 year old on my own sence he was 4 months old. With little or no contact from his mother for the first 6 1/2 years. I believe that it would be the most beneficial to your son to believe his dad loves him completely. After all it is all about your son. I told my son often that his mother loves him very much, she just isnt able to be here right now.
 uc0339
Joined: 9/12/2008
Msg: 12
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How do I tell my son Daddy's not coming back home to us.
Posted: 2/24/2010 2:19:05 AM

I told my son often that his mother loves him very much, she just isnt able to be here right now.


But it's a lie!! You are giving your son false hope that she isnt able to be here right now which infers that she will be there later on. As your son ages the strength he will put everything on is knowing you love him and that he can trust you completely.

You don't have to be an as$ and say "Hey your mom is a worthless piece of $hit but you can mislead him either.
 SISunshine
Joined: 2/2/2010
Msg: 13
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How do I tell my son Daddy's not coming back home to us.
Posted: 2/24/2010 9:59:48 AM
So basically, you plant the idea in the child's head that he/she has one parent who doesn't love them-which then leads to the child being scared that the parent who IS there for them and DOES love them will someday stop loving them, just like the absent parent did. Me, I'd rather "lie" and let my child gradually figure out the truth on her own as she grew up and was better able to handle it.
 Morth74
Joined: 11/23/2009
Msg: 14
How do I tell my son Daddy's not coming back home to us.
Posted: 2/24/2010 10:37:08 AM
I'm not sure that telling the kid his dad loves him is a great idea. Is that not teaching him that being loved means getting hurt, ignored, neglected, unhappy etc .. and the other person who loves the kid thinks it's ok to lie about this.
Hmmm.


I stuck to the bare facts - we don't get on and have to live apart. I'm sorry, I don't know when or if he will come and see you again but I really hope he does.

Honesty is always the best policy.

However! My child is not autistic. I know very little about the condition or how "severe" (for want of a better word) your child is so perhaps you could look to other families with autism for advice on this? There's bound to be tons of support groups and forums on the internet.
 SweetnessInFlorida
Joined: 6/26/2008
Msg: 15
How do I tell my son Daddy's not coming back home to us.
Posted: 2/25/2010 6:57:20 AM

The only thing that I know to tell him is Daddy loves you baby!


Why, why, why, would you tell a kid that someone who abandoned them, loves them? Thats not love, not even close to it. Do you want your son to think that loves means deserting your children and not putting their feelings and best interests first?

I tell my kids i love them.

I also back it up. By housing them, feeding them, clothing them, nurturing them, having hugs and kisses and encouraging loving words at the ready, being available to them,being a stable and secure force in their life, and physically and emotionally being there for them.

Do you want your son to think that that is how you treat people you love?

In my book thats not love, and it is a huge disservice to the c hild to tell them that is love.


I know that some where in the man he does care and love his son...

No he doesnt. If he did, your son would not be crying over him wondering where he is.
Pretty screwy notions of what love is some people have
 myblueshadow
Joined: 11/11/2009
Msg: 16
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How do I tell my son Daddy's not coming back home to us.
Posted: 2/25/2010 9:40:54 AM

I told my son often that his mother loves him very much, she just isnt able to be here right now.

But it's a lie!! You are giving your son false hope that she isnt able to be here right now which infers that she will be there later on. As your son ages the strength he will put everything on is knowing you love him and that he can trust you completely.


How do you know it’s a lie? Love can be an emotion. You can love someone and still not make good choices. You help the child to separate the two things. Just like any emotion. I can be angry and not lash out. I can be sad and not cry. You don’t tell a child that the parent loves them and love means hurt, abandonment, etc. You show them the difference. You love them and you are still there.

The reality is that sometimes parents “hurt” their children. Parents make mistakes, forget a special occasion, get angry and yell about something, have to disappoint them about something, have to say no to something the child really wants. The lesson is that despite the external behavior, the parent still loves them! Younger children, especially, are not able to separate being LOVED from being LOVABLE. That is what you are reassuring them of when you tell them daddy/mommy still loves you, they just don’t know how to make good choices.
 GBockers
Joined: 8/25/2009
Msg: 17
How do I tell my son Daddy's not coming back home to us.
Posted: 2/25/2010 12:04:35 PM
Wow I can't disagree more with Brown-eyed Girl and UC's comments. Nothing good will come from bad mouthing the other parent. It's about the children, always, keep that in focus. IMHO there's nothing wrong in stating something like: "Daddy has something(s) to take care of which are keeping him away at the moment. But your daddy loves you, just like I do." A statement like this is neutral; not necessarily a lie and doesn't make the custodial parent seem angry, resentful which the child will pick up on.

One poster wrote to leave the door open for daddy, I agree with this comment. I also agree that daddy will have a lot to answer for when he decides to resume his responsibility and is faced with all of the questions from his child.

If you're constantly ripping your EX to your child he/she might eventually begin resenting you for speaking ill about their other parent. My brother had problems with my mom over this; he disappeared never to be seen again and he resented mom's frustration. Mom passed away and now he's tearing himself up over not reconciling with her while she was here. It's awful. Don't do that to your child.

Peace,

G
 Island RaVen
Joined: 12/19/2009
Msg: 18
How do I tell my son Daddy's not coming back home to us.
Posted: 2/25/2010 12:33:09 PM
First of all I am sorry you are in this place OP

Second this is a very hard thing to ask someone else what you should do ....I have a son who will be 4 in a few months and I finally had to leave his dad and after trying to let him have some visitation it became clear that would not work either. He was an abusive immature man - did he love his son ..of course he did, but he is not in a healthy strong place to be good to him or to his son's mom ....Your son has autism and no one but you can gauge what he will understand or how he will process it. A three year old can miss someone and often will pick up on a mom's emotions and mirror them as his own ...so it's hard to have an accurate feel for how the child is feeling etc...

My advice ...tell the child his dad loves him but cannot be there for him right now and you are not sure whats going to happen but that you love him and will NEVER leave. Beyond that I would not say a word about his dad in his presence and just let it be ....3 yr old's are still very self focused little people and as long as he has consistency with you and is not being confused by anger , harsh words about his dad and being given too much information he will be fine ..,..

As for you ....time ....there is no magic solution except just focus on you and what you need ( self care etc...) and give it time ...don't make any big decisions now . I would just focus on caring for your son ..putting food on the table and self nurture and therapy to help you stay strong and give you some empowerment when it is time to deal with your husband and the choices you will have to make

 packagedealx3
Joined: 2/4/2006
Msg: 19
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How do I tell my son Daddy's not coming back home to us.
Posted: 2/25/2010 9:52:25 PM

So basically, you plant the idea in the child's head that he/she has one parent who doesn't love them-which then leads to the child being scared that the parent who IS there for them and DOES love them will someday stop loving them, just like the absent parent did. Me, I'd rather "lie" and let my child gradually figure out the truth on her own as she grew up and was better able to handle it.

You DO NOT lie to your children. You cannot keep children from having fears of abandonment, most do at some point whether they have two active caring parents or some other situation in their lives. We tend to want to reassure our children that we won't die but hellooo, if you do, how are they to cope with it when you promised them that you would always be there for them?

No one can do that, something that my family became painfully aware of when I nearly died.

There are ways to side-step actually telling the kid that mom or dad loves them when they are not a part of their life. You need to figure out the age-appropriate truth that allows the child to maintain self-esteem while living with the reality of his/her life.

My ex doesn't go to any of the school functions, has never seen any of the three kids in a school program and can barely bother to attend a couple of ballgames during a season with at least a dozen game for each of my sons. When my daughter was around eight and I started yet again to make an excuse about why he wasn't there it hit me full force that my kids were too smart for that. If I continued to lie about why there father couldn't be bothered doing whatever, I would lose my credibility with the children and in either case wasn't doing them any favors. As he was still living with us at the time I told my daughter that her father loves her but doesn't realize that it is important for him to be there for those moments.

The situation is not easy for my kids but I have not bad-mouthed their father and it certainly is better for them that we aren't leaving that topic as the huge elephant in the room. Because I dealt with the situation honestly, I can try to help my children deal with how this makes them feel.

GBockers is absolutely correct, there is a neutral stance that can be taken.

That said, the OP has a special needs child and as none of us know the extent to which the autism impairs his reasoning, we can give no specific advice for handling this. OP pretty much has to figure out what will work for her and for her son.
 FirstLady31508
Joined: 8/17/2009
Msg: 20
How do I tell my son Daddy's not coming back home to us.
Posted: 2/26/2010 12:34:10 PM
Technically, she doesnt have to be divorced to get child support. I was together with my sons father for 3 1/2 years, and just married 9months. Once i left him a couple months after our schedule weekly payments of $70 and every other weekend visit were being ignored by him & complainin of paying me "soo much money" , he quit picking the baby up and paying. So off to child support i went b/c i too was a stay @ home mom per his request, so the money was indeed important for the baby but anyways i was granted child support, & for $133.40 a week. Now...doesnt help him not seeing my son, but he will always remember him & it is possible to get payments for your child regardless if your married or not. Some cases you would have to be living apart for 6months.
 livindagoodlife
Joined: 2/10/2010
Msg: 21
How do I tell my son Daddy's not coming back home to us.
Posted: 2/26/2010 1:53:39 PM
Hey OP. Sorry to hear about your troubles.
1. You can't make dad care and spend more time with him.
2. If your son is crying for him every day you need to tell him the truth be it oh so gently but still the truth.
3. How do you NOT tell him? He cries every day as it is.
 golfoasis
Joined: 8/30/2008
Msg: 22
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How do I tell my son Daddy's not coming back home to us.
Posted: 2/26/2010 11:58:47 PM
I will be his dad and never disapoint him like that. Todd
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 23
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How do I tell my son Daddy's not coming back home to us.
Posted: 2/27/2010 6:45:50 AM
As a father of a multiply handicapped child myself, my advice is to take things one at a time. Autism is a category of a wide group of challenges, and not a specific set of limits that anyone can predict anything about, so each parent of an autistic child must find their own way.
In my case, my son can't speak as well, so I don't even know if he DOES wonder why mom and dad don't live in the same house anymore. However, the "normal" children have asked their own questions, as they occur to them, and I have responded honestly, and that is working for them.

The greatest CAUTION I would give you, is to watch out very carefully that you aren't projecting your OWN emotions about the situation into the child. You have great and understandable anger towards the father. It might be tempting to want to sit down and explain your own side of things to you child, not for HIS sake, but to protect yourself from the possibility that he will somehow blame you for dad being gone.
Has your autistic child ASKED about his father? If he does, answer the exact question he asks, as factually as you can. Don't say, for example, that "your father isn't home because he wants to play with that chippy down the hall, and neglect us." If your son asks where dad is, and you actually know where he is at that moment, answer factually: "he's in the other apartment." Let your son figure out himself what is what. Anything more, and you will be trying to decide FOR YOUR SON what he should believe and feel about his father.
Getting the father to spend more time with his son is a separate issue. It sounds as though your first step should be to initiate divorce proceedings yourself, since your husband hasn't. Your emotional post suggests that you may be tempted to try to use guilt about your child as a manipulative tool to try to force your husband to do as you wish, and that is VERY unwise. Instead, the divorce procedure will include establishing his legal responsibilities in a much healthier, less emotional way. The divorce will ALSO set up boundaries between you and him which will BOTH serve to protect you and your child AND will actually HELP the father to know what he CAN do to go on with his life, and spend time with his son, without fear of being trapped into things he doesn't want to be in.
 CodeNameKitty
Joined: 1/9/2010
Msg: 24
How do I tell my son Daddy's not coming back home to us.
Posted: 3/1/2010 6:08:53 AM
I really have no first hand experience with autistic children.

But I would venture to guess that this is a job you might want to try to bring in as many people as possible for support for you and your son. Like his grandparents, uncles, aunts..Is there anyone at all in your life or at a special needs group that can be a type of father figure for him?
My gut is telling me that you're in an extremely difficult position that's going to remain so with his special needs.
I also know that kids can rebound if they know that they're loved and cared for by who is present.
I can't offer an opinion on how or what to tell him about his missing dad other than to find groups in your area with special needs kids and ask how to best handle the situation.

I'm really sorry he left you holding the responsibility bag.
It sounds like the situation got too tough for him and he bolted.
It also sounds like he is choosing to be in denial about the importance of his role.
And where does that leave you...I know..

Yes, I agree with some of the other posters. You may need to give yourself some time to accept what he's done. Once you find it, it'll be easier to look forward into the future rather than questioning what's already happened. It's a process, it most likely won't happen over night. Just take it one day at a time.
Do you have any inclination at all to join a good church group? Some are really very gracious and their goal is to support people in circumstances as your own.
 Synnie
Joined: 4/5/2009
Msg: 25
How do I tell my son Daddy's not coming back home to us.
Posted: 3/3/2010 7:21:25 PM
Walk your son 2 doors down and let his father explain it to him...

I learned some time ago, going thru a divorce and their dad pretty much disowned them, that I will not make excuses for him or lie to my children in any way.

So you telling your child "daddy loves you" and daddy isn't showing it, makes YOU look like a liar to your child. Dont protect the father because he didn't protect you OR your child.
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