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Question
Posted by: Anon | 2011/04/19

My response

I have been blessed with a beautiful, intelligent, little girl. I have been told by her teachers at school that even though she is from a “ broken”  home she doesn’ t show any sign of this. She is well-mannered and has respect. I give her what she wants with limitations and discipline when the need arises. I am blessed to have a job where I can comfortably look after her. I have had serious problems in the past, but with perseverance I am confident that I will be over that hurdle by the end of the year. Fortunately she has not had / or noticed a lack of anything. Her father and I broke up 3 years ago when he cheated on me and chose the other woman (we were not married but living together). Since then he has been sporadic in his visits and communication with her. We got to the stage where we were civil and I told him that when she grows up she will understand exactly what’ s happening and it will affect her in some way or the other. I have been to maintenance courts 2 years in a row and they keep telling me that they haven’ t been able to summons him. I just gave up on that and he now pays what he wants, when he wants. She will be 5 soon. On the weekend I had to get her a new pair of shoes and when we got home she was so appreciative her exact words to me were: “ Thank you so much mummy for the new shoes. I Love you so very much” , then she hugged and kissed me. Then she had frowned and she told me: “ Mummy, why doesn’ t my daddy want me?”  “ He doesn’ t call me anymore, is it because he doesn’ t love me anymore?” . I didn’ t know what to say. I don’ t badmouth her father but I have run out of excuses and just ignore the questions, but I can see that that will no longer suffice. What response do I give to a 5 year old. I have asked him to put our differences aside for the sake of the child, but he is not willing. How should I respond to this?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

How well you have managed in very difficult circumstances ! Choose a calm time for a chat with her, to explore her concerns and re-assure her. Often kids thionk it is somehow THEIR fault when a divorced or even still married parent ignores them, and they need to be assured of this - sadly, it's a problem her dad has, that he isn't very good at being loving, and hat it is in no way her fault that he is, sadly, missing our on all the pleasures of loving her and being with her.
Its a pity the court gave up too easily ( he surely lives somewhere and works somewhere ? )

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Romany | 2011/04/20

You have certainly been handling this wonderfully.
Firstly DO NOT GIVE UP ON THE COURTS. HE MUST PAY REGARDLESS IF YOU CAN AFFORD HER.
It sound like your daughter is now reaching a stage where you cannot ignore her questions anymore. If you do, she may perceive that you are lying to her of hiding something from her.
You now need to start explaining to her (without being bitter or nasty) that her daddy has chosen someone else over the two of you, that he loves someone more than you guys.
At the end of the day it is the correct thing to do. Honesty... the only thing that works with kids.

Reply to Romany
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/04/19

How well you have managed in very difficult circumstances ! Choose a calm time for a chat with her, to explore her concerns and re-assure her. Often kids thionk it is somehow THEIR fault when a divorced or even still married parent ignores them, and they need to be assured of this - sadly, it's a problem her dad has, that he isn't very good at being loving, and hat it is in no way her fault that he is, sadly, missing our on all the pleasures of loving her and being with her.
Its a pity the court gave up too easily ( he surely lives somewhere and works somewhere ? )

Reply to cybershrink

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