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Where’s Dad? When and How to Explain Single Parenthood to Your Child

When parents separate or divorce, it is hard on the children, no matter how old they are. Infants can detect changes in their parents, even though they may not know what is going on, they know something is happening and that things are different.

Before you tell your child how they can “find out the real reason you are fatherless“, there are a few important things to think about.

Need to Know

You will need to think about what your child needs to know. Even if they are in their teens, do they really need to know that your spouse cheated on you? This is beyond their comprehension and it will make you look bad, not your spouse.

It will be hard, but maintain a good relationship with your ex-spouse. Even if he plays games and calls you names or talks bad about you to your children, take the high road and don’t take the bait. Say something like “Oh, I don’t agree with that,” or “I will talk with your father about that, sounds like adults only subject.” And then change the subject.

No matter how hurtful or mean whatever the other person says, do not allow your feelings to seep into the time you are spending with your child. Your feelings towards your ex have nothing to do with the children.

No Blame

Make sure you do not blame your ex-spouse or your child for anything that is not going right. More importantly, make sure your child or kids know that separation or divorce is not their fault.

Many children think that they are the cause of their parents break up. Let them now they are not that powerful, that the distance between you and your now ex-spouse is about the two of you as grownups, not them.

Make sure your son or daughter know that they are loved by both parents and that will never change. Your physical place in their daily lives may change a little, but you will always be there for them. Then show them you will be there, by showing up.

Ask for Help

It is important that you are feeling your best because if you are feeling bad, you cannot take proper care of your children. Self-care is always the first to go when we get busy or depressed about situations we can’t control.

If you need something, ask for help. There is no shame in getting help. The shame would be to let things go and then lose self-respect or the love and respect of your child because you did nothing.

Get Them Help

If you notice your child is sad, not eating, or perhaps acting out in a violent way, get them some help. There are therapists for young children and group therapy that allow your child to talk about what is bothering them.

The fact that they will be with others going through the same problem will help more than you will ever know. Or that they can talk openly and freely to someone not directly involved in the divorce is also extremely helpful.    


Heather Brummett

I am Heather Brummett . I'm just a real mom, sharing my real life experiences with the world. Thank you for being a part of my world. Here you will find recipes, crafts, fun ideas for the kids, how to work at home, encouragement, inspiration, and the latest news in and around Houston. To be featured or for information on freelance work contact me at [email protected]

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