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Children & Parenting
6 year old granddaughter cried about absent dad
By Dream_chaserPremium member Comments: 25854, member since Thu Jul 26, 2001
On Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:02 AM

My my daughter said that this morning, my granddaughter mentioned not having her "daddy", the b-----d who took off before she was born and can't be found to collect child support.

She has talked about him, before, and we have given her, what we think are good explanations for her age, but today, she cried.

My daughter was (and so am I) broken-hearted over that. She is 6 and most of her friends have a dad. I know she is more aware now, but she is such a loving, great kid. It's just hard to see her little heart broken. We always worry about as she grows, how it will affect her.

11 Replies to 6 year old granddaughter cried about absent dad

re: 6 year old granddaughter cried about absent dad (karma: 1)
By Coccinellamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 5930, member since Sat Jan 25, 2003
On Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:06 AM
Edited by Coccinella (54968) on 2013-09-09 11:11:19
I would be careful about how your family discusses her "father" around her. It is not appropriate to call him a "bastard" in her presence, she shouldn't even know those words. I saw my Dad very part time when I was little and he wasn't an amazing Dad but I remember how much it hurt when my Mom badmouthed him even if she was right.

EDIT: I just wanted to state that I thought the quotes in your post went around the whole comment with "bastard" in it so I thought she said that. Apologies. Point still stands though to be careful. :)
re: 6 year old granddaughter cried about absent dad (karma: 1)
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 34891, member since Wed May 22, 2002
On Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:07 PM
I adored my sons teacher last year, because she really fostered a lot of discussion about families in our house. She had an adopted Korean daughter. And she was very open with the kids about how that was OK - sometimes families are different. People don't always have the same color skin, sometimes people have their mom and dad in the same house, sometimes they don't, and it's all OK, as long as you love everybody. My son really learned a lot about acceptance from her, it was terrific.

Is there talk about her dad? Like, is that a common topic of discussion between she and your daughter? Because if that's the case, I'd probably start to taper off on that.

And, likewise, it might be worth discussing with the teacher. Because there's a chance it came from school. Kids are "giving" like that, LOL...somebody might have noticed that they only ever see her with mom, never with dad, threw something out there, and got her all shaken over it.

Is there anyone in your family that lives close enough to fill that role for her? We don't have any nearby grandparents for our son, but my aunt lives up the road a bit, so she kind of steps in to that role, he spends the night at her house some times, and that sort of thing. Even if she just got that little bit of male attention, it might help.
re: 6 year old granddaughter cried about absent dad (karma: 1)
By Dream_chaserPremium member Comments: 25854, member since Thu Jul 26, 2001
On Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:13 PM
We never bring him up, unless she does, and never say anything derogatory. She sees her his mother, brother and sister, who also don't know where he is.

When she asks, we say that he is far away and that some daddy's don't see their kids because they can't, even if the want to see them. We try to keep it age appropriate.

Hopefully, the book I just ordered, "Above the Trees" will help her understand. It was written for children in this situation and in other different, family situations that are not considered the norm.
re: 6 year old granddaughter cried about absent dad (karma: 2)
By kandykanePremium member Comments: 16415, member since Mon May 01, 2006
On Mon Sep 09, 2013 01:43 PM
My dad took off when I was young. He was in and out for a while then just gone for good. It was probably different for me because he was there when I was tiny and I knew he wasn't the greatest guy. Your grand daughter seems to have no memory of her father at all.

It was hard in some ways. Divorce was not very common in those days, so sometimes I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb. Adults didn't really talk to kids then so I felt out of the loop, although at the time I just kind of accepted the way it was.

This incident will probably stay with her. She's at an age where she's realized this is a different situation and she's probably feeling an empty place in her life. The book you got her is a good idea. I think you should keep talking to her. Let her know it's ok for her to talk to you. I wish someone had talked to me.

I think she'll be fine. You and her mom are showing her what strong women are and that is good for her. Give her opportunities to have relationships with positive male role models. When the father daughter/stuff comes around make SURE she has someone to go with. It may seem like that is something she could stay home from, but it is very important that she go! It still stings that I didn't have that.

kk~
re: 6 year old granddaughter cried about absent dad (karma: 1)
By Lauretta Comments: 1048, member since Wed Dec 01, 2004
On Mon Sep 09, 2013 02:21 PM
I have been in your granddaughter's position, my father disappeared before I was born. My advice:

Give her as much space to talk as she needs. Make sure to be ultra careful to keep your reactions in check. My grandparents thought they were being careful and open. My perception? Even as a young child I knew they hated him, every time I tried to talk about him they pulled the shutters down and made it awkward and uncomfortable. I don't even know what he looks like. I'm in my mid 20's now and that still hurts, I can't even ask them what colour hair he has because they'll clam up.

By extension, this is your granddaughter's loss, not yours. My family seem to want me to be entirely "over it", my response when this comes up is to remind them they all know and have met their biological parents. They're taking my loss and making it about them, which is entirely inappropriate. You can't stop your granddaughter being hurt, the event has already happened and was beyond your and her control. I think my situation came about because my grandparents were so upset at seeing me unhappy, I wish they had not tried to sweep it under the carpet.

Her grief may well come and go as she grows. Mine certainly did, coming back at pivotal points in my development. When girls my age first started being interested in boys, it came back then because I was fearful of making mum's mistakes. Even now I'm preparing to get married in the next few years, my lack of a 'real' father is becoming obvious again.

I'm not sure how clearly I've explained this, this is a very emotional subject for me. I don't post much here any more, but when I read this I thought I might have something to offer you.
re: 6 year old granddaughter cried about absent dad (karma: 1)
By hummingbird Comments: 10419, member since Mon Apr 18, 2005
On Mon Sep 09, 2013 04:27 PM
My eldest son's father disappeared just before he was born. The only contact I had with him after his birth was when he decided he wanted visitation rights, this was when my son was 3 months old and still being nursed. It was pointed out how difficult this would be and the matter was dropped, we never heard from him again.

I met my husband about 2 years later so we were able to put a more positive spin on the situation if you like, my son had a dad and a father, that didn't stop the questions and as they came we tried to answer them honestly, we still had some tears over the years and later a bit of anger.

It sounds like you're all doing the best for her and explaining it in the most positive way you can and that's going to be important to her as she grows up.
re: 6 year old granddaughter cried about absent dad
By Dream_chaserPremium member Comments: 25854, member since Thu Jul 26, 2001
On Mon Sep 09, 2013 04:27 PM
Thanks for your stories, ladies. I know that my daughter said, and I agree, though my husband, her grandfather is does it because he has to, but not wants to, that she does not want her to hate him. If he ever returns to her life, it's fine if they have a relationship, though I am sure it would never be the same as if he had stayed.

We all try to answer her questions, honestly, in a way that she can understand. We don't clam up, as I grew up with a family the clammed up about anything uncomfortable, even sex discussions. I was very open with my own kids, and they were never uncomfortable talking to me, because of that.

My daughter is the same way, so I am sure she will handle it well. It just breaks my heart. In my mind, I think it's better he is not around, at all, rather than in and out. I think that's worse.
re: 6 year old granddaughter cried about absent dad (karma: 4)
By Celebrianmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7921, member since Thu Mar 31, 2005
On Thu Sep 12, 2013 09:16 AM
Edited by Celebrian (127245) on 2013-09-12 09:18:21 Misspelling
If she gets a bit older and starts to manifest anger over this situation, please consider getting her someone to talk to whether its a therapist or a priest or whatever.

My older brother was given therapy about his anger and it benefitted him a lot. But when it came to me, since I was younger and a girl, they figured I didn't grow up in the house with him the way my brother had and that I didn't need him as much as my brother did or something. As I got older and started developing that anger, it didn't occur to them that it might be 'that' and I didn't get therapy until I was already in my early 20s and the anger had progressed to ridiculous proportions. Once it was realized that 'that' was where a lot of the anger stemmed from, I was able to deal with it better. So keep an eye on her for the anger. That vacuum of information really pisses children off and they're too small and not able to understand or communicate that that's why they're so angry.
re: 6 year old granddaughter cried about absent dad
By Dream_chaserPremium member Comments: 25854, member since Thu Jul 26, 2001
On Thu Sep 12, 2013 03:18 PM
Thank you, Celebrian, we will.
re: 6 year old granddaughter cried about absent dad (karma: 2)
By Moonlitefairy06member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 7177, member since Fri Apr 16, 2004
On Thu Sep 12, 2013 03:57 PM
One thing to look out for in the age of the internet is her and her friends looking to try to find her dad. I had a friend who's dad was not in the picture at all. This intrigued me greatly, sort of like a children's mystery book. I had the basic AOL at my house, in my room and we would try to find him. We actually may have, just using White Pages, as Facebook and stuff didn't exist then. I would guess we were 10-11 when this happened. She wrote a letter to him at my house. I have no idea what ever happened with that, probably nothing, it may not have even been him. Just don't underestimate children's technological skills and the skills of their friends. Though I'm guessing if your daughter can't find him to get child support your granddaughter probably shouldn't be able to either.
re: 6 year old granddaughter cried about absent dad
By Dream_chaserPremium member Comments: 25854, member since Thu Jul 26, 2001
On Thu Sep 12, 2013 04:18 PM
Moonlitefairy... I never thought of that! Thanks for that info! She is 6 now, but is already computer savvy. Ugh.

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