Posted by: MK | 2008/06/23

Telling kid who her dad is


My boyfriend has a small daughter, almost 4 years old. He is involved in an ongoing bitter court battle to have access to his child which he is slowly but surely winning. As things stand right now he is allowed 3 hours every second Sunday to spend with his child.

The problem is that the little girl is not aware that he is her dad. She has been kept from him until about 4 months ago.

My boyfriend is adamant that the little girl should know he is her dad. At this stage she calls her mom's husband "daddy".

Bearing in mind that she is not quite 4 years old yet, what are your thoughts on this? I am thinking that if they leave telling her who her real dad is for too long, she will end up resenting everyone for lying to her. Furthermore, at some point she is going to start wondering why she has to spend time with this man, especially since these visits are soon going to become overnight visits as well.

The little girl's mom wants to wait before telling her the truth. We really do not know what to do. Any advice would be a appreciated.

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Our expert says:
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If the mother gave the child misinformation and did not let her father have normal access to her, that is most unfortunate. And the mother has a duty to explain clearly and repeatedly to the child that this is her biological father and loves her, and to encourage her to appreciate the time she spends with him. I'm puzzled about why he is allowed so litle time --- that sounds really odd. I don't see anything to be gained by the mother delaying telling the child the truth. That won't make her new husband, the stepfather, any the less her social father, and someone she may well call Daddy.

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Our users say:
Posted by: MK | 2008/06/23

Thanks for your response Tango. We also feel that everyone should have been honest with her from the start and then all this confusion would have been avoided. However, that is not the case and now we have to deal with what we have. Well done for doing the right thing, though.

Reply to MK
Posted by: tango | 2008/06/23

i can speak here from personal experience. The man I married, when my daughter turned 3, was not her biological father. I never, ever told her that he was her biological father. She grew up knowing that her bio father lived overseas and that was that. No fuss, no issues. She never had to suddenly find out that her "daddy" was not her real daddy. I say in these issues - TRUTH must prevail!! Just my two cents worth.

Reply to tango

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