The father of my child couldn’t handle the responsibilities of being a parent early on and isn’t around anymore. He tried reconnecting with my son (now 3) on a few ocassions but it didn’t last longer than a few weeks. My son hasn’t seem him for 6 months now and has been asking where his daddy is. As he’s too young to explain the reality to, I just tell him I don’t know where he is.. Which is the truth… What age is old enough to develop that conversation further? He told me today that he loves his Daddy “because he’s my Daddy” 🙁 he told me we need to look for him and that he’s just probably working hard and will be back soon. It breaks my heart. He has plenty of other fabulous male role models including grandads and uncles… But he keeps hearing other children talk about their Mummy AND Daddy and now he really wants to have his own Daddy :/
It’s definitely heartbreaking, and it hurts to disappoint a child.
How realistic is it that the father will make an effort to have regular contact in the future? If it’s not likely and he has no interest in it, then you can’t force a relationship. I think it’s really important to set expectations, and of course you can be gentle and age-appropriate with the truth, but it only hurts more to keep them focused on a day that may not come.
By the way, I think it’s a sad situation and I’m sorry you’re hurting. My ex is still somewhat in our lives but doesn’t make much of an effort. I keep the door open for any contact on his terms and he rarely takes me up on it. It does get easier to cope with over time.
There is no right age of when to these things.. I am dealing with a absent father too.. I have a 5 year old and 8 year old.. and I’m always thinking about what I say about their dad. I never bring up the subject, but it has popped up several times over the years. Yes honesty I think is best.. my 8 year old understands the reality more than my 5 year old due to maturity. When my younger one asks when will they see him again.. I say “ I’m not sure, but I’m sure he will tell us when he is here” over time questions are asked less and they accept their reality.. it’s great you have other role models so they don’t rely on just the father.. I would let them lead the questioning whenever their curiosities arise.. it is hard.. especially around fathers day…