How to explain to a child the absence of his father?

Many children live in families where their father is absent. Although this does not mean that the family is less effective, educated and loving than a traditional family, the truth is that not having a father in the family can raise many questions for the little ones, questions that they want answered. .

Whether your dad is raising another family, doesn’t know where he is, dies, or is completely uninterested in raising a child, your child needs to know that and explain it in the best possible way. possible way.

Knowing how to explain the absence of a child to a child is not easy, and asks for extreme delicacy but telling him the truth because, after all, they have the right to know what their origins are. Let’s find out how.

    How to explain to a child why his father is not in the family?

    When we talk about family, the first idea that comes to mind is the so-called traditional family: a dad, a mom and one or more children. Although this is the prototypical idea of ​​what a family is, it does not fit all. Over the decades, society has become more aware of this There are other family models that, as long as they meet the needs of the little ones and give them love, are just as good as the traditional models..

    Among the most common family types is the single parent or, rather, the single mother. Many families are made up only of the mother and her children, the father being partially or totally absent from the lives of the little ones. This absence can be very painful for children because the absence of a parent they know must exist and live somewhere. It can have a very negative effect on your growth process if you don’t explain why..

    The absence of the father can be due to several reasons. One of them is the unfortunate situation in which the father died, leaving the mother a widow. Others, on the contrary, the father is still alive, but he neglects his own children, has formed his own family or the mother does not know who the real father is. The father may have become pregnant with the mother, and as soon as he found out, he may have run away for fear of not being ready to raise a child.

    We would like to emphasize that you do not need a father and a mother to have a good child development. Scientific experience has shown that alternative family units to the traditional family can be just as beneficial for child development. What matters is not the number of parents they have, but the quality of their relationship with the young.

    However, especially in single-parent families (both without a mother and without a father), it is normal for a child to wonder why his classmates have a mom and a dad when they only have one. In the case of single parents, the question “what happened to dad?” it will inevitably arise. As a mother, it is very important to know how to communicate this situation to the little ones, because they have every right to know what happened to their biological father and what were the reasons why he is not present in his life.

    Telling the little ones is not easy, but it is necessary. They cannot live in complete ignorance of the whereabouts of someone as important as their father. Whatever this man did is still 50% of the origin of the creature. The child has every right to know what his origin is, he has the right to know what happened. You have to know when the right moment is, how to explain it.

      Tips for explaining that your father is not

      The nature of boys and girls is characterized by curiosity. On their way to discover and understand the world, the little ones ask themselves all kinds of questions, questions to which they want to receive their answers as soon as possible. As we said, the day will come when, seeing that the other classmates have mom and dad, they will wonder why their family is not like the others. “Where is dad?” and other similar questions will begin to come from his lips. What to answer?

      Answering this question requires adapting the answer to your age, giving the necessary details so that they understand the situation but according to their own level of understanding. If the child is still in kindergarten, we should avoid unnecessary details about the relationship with his father because they probably do not understand. Instead, it can be explained that boys and girls can live in different types of families and that sometimes some of them do not have a father or a mother, but in each of them there can be have the same love as in families with parents and mothers. .

      It is important to be aware that the information given to children about who their father was will influence the construction of their personal history, their self-conception and their self-esteem. Therefore, it is very important to provide all the necessary information about his father, such as knowing how he was physically, what he liked, his personality traits and other characteristics that will allow the child to imagine what his father looked like, to conceive a real idea of ​​the same.

      It is very important to tell them stories that are true, not to lie to them about it, because it will make them feel insecure.. However, you must also select which aspects of this truth you wish to convey. There are details that are unnecessary, and the truth must be nuanced and positive because, if it is still too small, some negative data will not be able to adapt. Already in adolescence, more serious aspects could be introduced, but always explained in a neutral way, as if he had a mental disorder, was not a good father or abused his mother.

      It is very important not to give children false hope. If as mothers we do not know if the father of our child will reappear in her life, you can’t tell him things like “he’s coming to see you one day”, trusting that the little one will forget and leave the subject. Phrases like that only increase your enthusiasm and desire for something that probably won’t happen, breaking your heart. No more than the excuse “your father is an astronaut” or “he is on a long trip”. Realistic expectations should be conveyed without negative emotional charge, such as “your father can’t come”.

        How to explain to the little one that we are single mothers

        In this particular section, we will address the case of single-parent families resulting from adoption or artificial insemination. These are very special cases because here, as the mother does not know who the father was, if the little question about his origins, it will not be possible to answer his question “Who is my father?”. The father is still alive, of course, but his whereabouts are unknown. Because you don’t know, you don’t even know who he is. Simple and sensitive words should be used to explain this.

        You can talk a bit about adoption or artificial insemination, but with great care and adapting the topic to your age. At a very young age, we must avoid talking about adoption as what comes after abandonment, or the possibility that his biological parents do not want him. It is better to explain that there are mothers who turn to places to have a child in places where other people have left their children for them to have a better future.

        If the child had artificial insemination, it can be explained that the mother wanted to have a child but could not. So, since she couldn’t find the best dad possible, she decided to seek help from doctors, who helped her get pregnant and deliver the baby. As she begins to understand a little better how human design works, the child can be told that she has a biological father, but her mother does not know him, but thanks to her gift she was able to have the small.

        In this situation, It is essential to make the child understand that he is a loved onethat the mother felt ready to raise him and therefore requested artificial insemination, and that his mother and baby are the perfect team to be happy and that they do not need to more people during this process. Of course, if the mother has a future partner, male or female, as long as she helps raise the baby, she will be welcome.

          How to explain that your father has another family

          Blended families are very common. These are made up of couples whose members have children from previous relationships. Sometimes a father divorces his first wife, with whom he had children, and forms a new one. neglecting or having little involvement in their first family. This is a particularly difficult situation for the little ones from the previous relationship because they see that their father is investing time, resources and love in another family, despite having a previous one. “Why doesn’t Dad pay as much attention to me as he does to my other siblings?” “Am I an underloved child?” “What did I do wrong that my father didn’t love me?” »

          Each person must go their own way. After a divorce, even if it is painful, the father and the mother have every right in the world to meet new people. create new families and enjoy a new life. Ideally, when rebuilding your life, remember that you have children from previous relationships, but unfortunately sometimes the parent who is no longer part of the central family of the child, when creating his own family, will inevitably pay more attention to this again.

            How to tell a child that his father is not his biological father

            You don’t have to be the biological father to be a good father. However, there will come a time when the child will have to know the whole truth, that the man his mother is dating is not his biological father. Regardless of their relationship to him, the child has every right to know that his father is not his biological father, although he is educationally and emotionally a father nonetheless. Hiding this reality from him for too long is counterproductive, and all he can do is increase his confusion.

            It’s natural for moms and stepdads to be afraid to start this conversation., but the little one deserves and must know the truth about his origins. They need to be honest with the child, because not doing so will do them more harm than good, and no good mother wants that for her children. The couple can be very helpful during this process because, if they have already been like a father for the little one, they will be able to show him how they feel for the child and that, although he is not his biological father , he considers him as a child. Parents do not understand genetics or physical similarities.

            Experts believe that Little ones should be informed as soon as possible, but considering his age. Between the ages of 6 and 8, they might start to understand the situation, so delaying this conversation until adolescence could lead to deep conflicts, discussions, blame. The young man would live it as if he had lived a lie most of his life, and he could harbor such a grudge against his mother and stepfather that it could affect even his own partner.

            Bibliographic references

            • OnlineJaramillo Medina, Y. (2015). Effects of the Absence of the Father Figure on the Relational Development of Santarros Children Aged 7 to 10 (PhD Dissertation, Psychology).
            • Jociles, MI and Rivas, AM (2010). Is the absence of the father a problem? The dissociation of paternal roles between single mothers by choice. Journal of Anthropology, 26(1), 1-25.
            • Morales, J. and Narvaez, A. (2012). Orientation guide for mothers on how the absence of the father affects children aged 2 to 3 years in the child development center Carita Feliz del Valle. Research, development and innovation.
            • Silva, ML (2011). Death, seduction and absence: the enigmatic place of the father today. Journal of Psychoanalysis, 9, 95-103.
            • Zuluaga, DMM, Hincapie, North Carolina, & Carmona, NDM (2016). Faced with the absence of parents: psychosocial resources and construction of well-being. Colombian Journal of Social Sciences, 7 (1), 181-200.

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