Is there really a specific age to tell your child about why they don’t have a dad? If you want the best timing and the most appropriate atmosphere in telling your child about this matter, read on.
It’s a fact – not all kids have their mom and dad living together at home. In fact, nuclear families are becoming less and less common these days (but that’s a separate article, right?). There are many children around the world who grew up without having a complete set of parents to nurture them. In fact, the number of single parents globally is increasing. This simply means that there is also an increasing number of “fatherless”/”motherless” children throughout the world.
What It Means to Have a Child With No Father
Practically, “fatherless” means not having a father. However, the reasons for not having a father vary. It could be that the child’s father has died when the child was still very young, or the parents separated through a divorce or some other arrangement. In short, the child grew up without having a father whom he/she can rely on (aside from their mother, of course).
Is There Risk Involved in Being Fatherless?
The role of a family is very crucial. Parents are responsible for rearing and nurturing their children to become responsible citizens in the future.
Studies show that a child who grew up in an unpleasant environment, especially in a problematic or a chaotic home, has a greater tendency of becoming a problem to society. In fact, most criminals have unpleasant family backgrounds. Some children who grew up without a complete set of parents have poor self-esteem and deal with some emotional issues. But then again, so do children that did grow up in intact family environments as well. There’s really no secret formula to success (or failure).
Single parents face the most challenging and crucial role in rearing their children alone. Single mothers must be sensitive to determine the needs of their child, whether it be financial or emotional in nature. They are responsible for loving and caring for their children to fill the child’s need for a father.
When (At What Age) and How To Talk To Your Child About Not Having a Dad
So, at what age is it best to talk to your child about not having a dad? Consider the “when” and the “how.”
As they grow up, children will become more curious about their environment and their family. Soon, they will start to ask you striking questions like “Do I have a dad?” Then, they will ask follow-up questions like “Where is he?” or “Why is he not with us?”
Practically, single mothers must be sensitive enough to determine the best time to talk to their children about their dad and their whereabouts. Of course, nobody will talk to their kids about this issue if the kids are still too young to comprehend (i.e. infants and toddlers). Even if you start sharing these matters with them, they will not really understand.
However, it doesn’t mean that the best time to tell them would be if they are mature enough to understand your words. Make sure to also consider the atmosphere and see to it that they are mentally and emotionally prepared to discuss the matter. In short, age is not really an issue. What matters is their mental and emotional maturity level if they are ready for such a discussion.
When your child starts to ask you about their daddy, remember this: do not ignore them. Make sure that you are honest and sincere in answering their questions. In addition, don’t just pour out your heartaches to them by telling them some negative and destructive things about their father. Instead, simply tell them what you do know about their father’s whereabouts.
If there is a chance of them meeting their father, then discuss that possibility with them. Ensure that you are conversing with your child in a calm manner. Don’t let them hold grudges against their father because there will be that tendency for that to affect their personality in a negative way.
These are the important factors to be considered by single mothers in telling their children why they don’t have a father. So, if you don’t want to create a negative impact on your child’s personality, please do consider these pieces of advice provided above.
About the Author: Daniel Ruyter has been a single dad since 2005 and wrote the book Memoirs of a Dating Dad, chronicling his experiences in dating as a single parent.
- Baby Daddy Denial (dangerouslee.biz)