How to Help Your Child Cope with an Absent Father
Have you had to have the "talk" yet? Not that talk, mind out of the gutter, please. I'm talking absent father or deadbeat dad talk? Yeah, those are the worse. Having to explain to and help your child cope their absent father can suck.
In some cases, kids may feel like it may have been something they have done. These kinds of talks required us to provide a lot of reassurance on our part. To let our children know that there is nothing they did or could have done differently.
The topic of single parenting is something that many single moms prefer not to openly discuss because of shame. Or we don't want our business floating around. Nevertheless, it is important to nail down all the facts before your children get any older and things in the home escalate.
You know that a fathers role is crucial in the upbringing of a child. Especially because of how men and women parent differently. The absence of the father all together does give children a disadvantage.
Statistics show that too many children suffer from psychological effects from growing up fatherless. Children require love and support from both parents, and unfortunately, that's not always the case. Here are some tips on how to help your child cope with their absent father.
how to explain an absent father
I personally couldn't imagine NOT being around my child. Whether you wanted them or not you made an adult decision to create them. One of my issues with solo parenting is that as kids get older they start asking more questions about where he is, why they don't see him. Over time you stop knowing what to tell your child.
No matter how bad things are NEVER speak ill of the other parent. Your child may hold on to those words and as they get older may think YOU were the reason they never seen their father. Also, let him know that he is NOT the reason for their dad not coming around. That there is nothing that they could have done to make their dad stick around.
When the absent parent Doesn't Call
At the beginning of my single parenting days, I went well out my way to make sure my children had a relationship with their dad. There lied the problem. I made all the effort. I would arrange phone calls, video chats, or give him our schedule to align with his so that we could be free when he wanted to see them.
It was when my therapist (yes my therapist) pointed out that I was the only one concerned with him having a relationship with our children. When I stopped making the extra effort, so did the calls.
My daughter was old enough to catch on to this and asked me why daddy has not called her today. I use to lie and tell her that daddy got stuck at work. After speaking with my therapist again, I put a stop to the lying and just told her, I don't know. Now the only time we reach out to him is if she or my son ask could they call him.
Don't spend too much time forcing a relationship between your child and their father. If their dad doesn't want to be involved, he won't be. All the effort you are making also paves the way for him to tell everyone else how great of a dad he's being, when in truth it was you who just wanted your child to have a relationship with their dad. Let your child ask could they call him. If he doesn't answer, say "Well daddy didn't answer today and let him leave a voicemail.
Coping with an absent father
Furthermore, in a situation where it's not possible for the bio dad to be present for these lessons, remember community. It takes a village to raise a child. Do you have mentors, coaches, brothers, cousins or uncles that would make the perfect stand-in positive role model for your child? These men can help guide your child and give him a new outlook on the world that can neutralize the risks of growing up in a single-parent home.
All things considered, one day your child will realize how his father has fallen short. When he realizes it and pulls away, his father will end up hurt in the end. Unfortunately, I've observed 3 situations where dads have shown up after all the hard work has been done and then wanting a relationship with their offspring. At the end of the day, your baby will always remember that mommy was ALWAYS there.
I'm Daisha Renee; single mama, foodie, and lover of yoga. Here on the blog, I love providing powerful solutions for overwhelmed single moms who struggle with balancing all the components of single motherhood. If social media is your thing, I would love for you to come hang with me in my Facebook Group! I can't wait to virtually meet you!