Our expert says:
SO his dad chooses not to be really involved in his life ? THat's sad. Fortunately children are usually very forgiving, and very ready to love. Their love for us should be seen as a major responsibility we then owe to them, not to hurt them or ignore their love.
I'm not at all sure there is ever a "right" time that can be decided according to external rules. It depends on your child and your relationship with him.
Quite young children can understand enough of those sort of concepts to be able to deal with learning such things, and their level of understanding developes, they can ask more or talk about it further with you if you keep communication with him open. ALl such things shouldn't become about one occasion when you "tell" but about starting an ongoing conversation about this theme.
It may help a bit that the other boy is much older, and not in a sense a direct rival of a similar age.
You're so right about the idea of basic picture and then answer his questions, rather than a complete long and detailed lecture. I think you already have the wisdom and know what to do
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