A friend of mine asks, how do you deal with a child who's been left by his father? When should be the best time to tell the truth?
I have a colleague who experienced difficulties when the father of her daughter left without any communication months before she gave birth to her youngest child. Her daughter threw the question, "Where's my papa?" at an early age of 3. She decided to tell her daughter instead that the father was already dead. However, to make it fair to the child, a year after, my colleague's sister showed the child a photo of her dad. Yet, the child refused to believe and angrily claimed that her father was already gone. The kid is now 9 years old and the feeling of denial is consistent. Based from the personal experience of my colleague, it was a good idea to open up the real deal to her daughter. Nonetheless, there were times when the child would linger the nurture of a father. On a positive note, the kid became open-minded especially when there are activities that require the presence of her father. Good thing also that her mom has brothers whom the child considers as her own dads.Read more
Ideally, I think it's best to hold off until the kid knows how to understand certain circumstances. If the kid keeps on asking the father's whereabouts and is completely aware that he/she has none, then maybe that's the time your friend can explain. However, she must explain it very gently and as much as possible, gradually. Even though the kid cannot fully grasp the entire situation in her mind, she can feel everything--the incompleteness, insecurity and sadness--and this can overwhelm her if things aren't carefully explain. I hope this helps your friend.Read more