Kansas City, Missouri
Number of kids: 1
Ages of kids: 3
Problem: My husband and I were divorced when my daughter was two, for a year she saw her Father once every other month. Recently we went to court and he signed over all rights as a parent. I don't know how to handle this situation or what to say to my daughter when she asks where her Daddy is. If handled wrong, this could scar her for life. I don't want her ever to feel rejected or unloved, what do I tell her?
Solution submitted by Debi from San Francisco, CA : I had to respond to your problem because even though my son's father did not give up all legal rights, he does not want to be a father and has told me so. He left me when my son was 6 months old. I did not tell my son that his father doesn't want to be a part of his life, but since he has never been there, my son & I just live our lives as mother and son. Now he is 14 years and is going through difficult times, but as long as you are strong, stay with your values, spend time doing things with your child, things will work out (I'm told by other parents of older teens). I don't know if I will ever tell my son that his father did not want to be the kind of dad my son wanted, but if someday he questions me about his dad, I will be honest and tell him that he grew up ok without him, which makes him a better man than most. There are times when its tough to be a single parent especially for a mother (I have those days) but keep positive and strong, and seek professional help when you can for both you & your child (If needed). It really helps and could pay off in the long run. I hope everything works out.
Another solution submitted by Cindy from Kingsville, Ont, CAN : I will try to stay short but it's hard. I have a 21 & 20 yr old now who have never met their dad because both husbands died. The one thing I worried about was the changing of their last names. I was in my 20's at the time and felt if wasn't my right to change them, that at a legal age, it should be their decision. They still keep their original father's last names. It was easier for me because I knew their fathers didn't really abandon them, however, the 21 yr old, my daughter just went through what you are. They weren't married but she was so excited to have this guys child. I kept telling her he wasn't what she should be tied down with and of course, what did I know. It wasn't until he dumped her she was unhappy. I was glad because he went on and married someone with three kids.
She had problems with the father because he would pop in whenever and the child was confused. He would say he was coming and not show. Finally, as yours, he signed off all visitation etc but has to pay support which he's very behind. Now she is living common-law for three years with a very nice "working" man who my granddaughter calls "dad." She will be told when the time is right, but there shouldn' t be worry in here small mind now. If you should date or remarry, it would cause a large problem not only for her, but your new man. He may get rejection and denial. If no one is flagging it in her face, why start. He doesn't care. He's written her off.