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Question

09 Dec 2004

How do I help my child?
Hi,

Yesterday, I posted "MY CHILDS USELESS FATHER", and gave a long speel...

Anyway, what I didn't mention is that I want to help my daughter...
She does not know who her father is, and has not asked. (She's 4 years old, turning 5 in Jan). She thinks my bf is her "daddy" and calls him "dad" now and again, is this wrong? We are serious about our relationship? If her father decides to get back into her life, how do I help her get through it, and what do I say to her? When I spoke to a child pyschologist a year back, they said not to tell her that her father is her daddy until he shows some sort of commitment, of which I've done, but now, what if he does decide to take part in her life again, what do I do and how do I tell her?

The psycholgist also said to wait for her to come to me with questions, is this the way to do it and keep his identity away? Or what?

Please help!!!
Answer 393 views
Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

I fully agree with your psychologist and with Liza. You can't prepare the child properly for an irresponsible and unpredicatable father, and it wouldnt help her at this stage to be told he's her father when as I recall he has never really acted like a father. If and when he is ready to make an ongoing commitment, you can discuss this with her. And that isn't when he announces that he will make a committment --- but when he convincingly demonstrates this by his actions.
And it makes a lot of sense, as suggested, to answer her questions honestly ( using terms she could understand, which would be age-appropriate ) --- questions indicate that she is ready to and wanting to know something.
Never forget the cautionary tale of the litle boy who came home from school one day, and said : "Mommy, where did I come from ?" Mom panicked, called her husband home, and they pulled out all the books and diagrams, and gave him the full Sex Talk, from a to B. He listened solemnly, then said "That's all very interesting Mom --- but What I wanted to know was this --- was I botn in Bloemfontein or Cape Town ?"
So it's important to use questions as cues, but to be sure we are actually ansering the question that was asked.
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