How To Tell A Child About An Absent Parent


Bit of a personal post this afternoon – some of you won’t know that I have been a lone parent to Alfie. Over the years he has asked me many questions regarding his Dad, his family and why he doesn’t see them. 

The first time I openly admitted to Alfie about his Dad was when he was 4.

He had asked me many questions in the past and I tried to ignore it or change the subject, because for some reason I held so much guilt about the whole situation even though it’s something I never chose.

It was one day that Alfie had asked me and I thought to myself – why have I been keeping it a secret? It’s only going to bite me in the arse when he’s older that I’ve kept it quiet for such a long time.

So I approached it with “You do have a Dad, his name is…” 

He cried.

And so did I.

It was such an emotional moment because for the past year, he was finally hearing all the questions he had ever asked me.

As far as he is aware to this day, he is loved, missed and wanted.

I could never admit to him that in actual fact, he was pushed away like an unwanted object.

This child had feelings and a heart with so much love to give.

The amount of times I could’ve approached it by screaming & shouting that his Dad was a complete arsehole that chose not to love him – I didn’t.

That wasn’t going to solve anything and by doing that, I would of taken away Alfie’s right to have his own feelings and thoughts about him. 

Within this time, I had to make sure Alfie knew none of this was his fault.

It took a while, and he did blame himself. “Why don’t they want to see me?” was something he also asked on a regular basis.

This tore my heart out and I had to say things were complicated – that his Dad and his family did want to see him, but hope to meet him in the future.

That was of course a white lie, but I couldn’t bring myself to say that they just didn’t want to.

Some of his family have come forward and do message me now & again regarding Alfie and wishing him good health.

I’m sure those people are aware how grateful I am, even for the quick message to know he is thought about. 

The most positive way I look at this situation is – I have the most inseparable bond with Alfie, he loves me beyond words and I can take all of the credit for the wonderful person he has grown up to be.

Other people, will live with the guilt and curiosity for the rest of their lives – whilst I get to enjoy every part of him, his life and his achievements.

When Alfie was first given the knowledge of his Dad, he did refer to him as that, Dad.

But I corrected him and called him by his first name, he was confused by this, so I had to explain what a Dad was.

A Dad is someone who tucks you into bed, comes to your football practise and swimming lessons and supports you through life, this person wasn’t that. 

Alfie is exceeding in school, is polite, has good manners and a heart of gold.

And that is why I am proud to say I have been a lone parent – especially to those who thought I would fail.

Alfie’s positive attitude and love towards people and life makes me so happy – I thought he would have been effected tremendously by the loss of his Dad, but in fact it has made him a much stronger person. 

It is hard having to explain to a child about such a raw subject with many confusing emotions in tow, but it’s something which many parents have done or will have to explain to their children in the future.

It’s nerve racking, and worrying that you’ll be the one to blame, of course I prepared myself for this.

I don’t regret being truthful to Alfie and telling him about his paternal family, it’s made our relationship stronger and has shown him the courage I have, and people who lack it. (Burn)

So to all the single parents out there, even those who have found new love & have a greater role model for your children.. You rock!

L xx

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  1. Beki
    August 25, 2016 / 3:28 pm

    You've done an amazing job,he's such an amazing little boy. You should be extremely proud babe xxx

  2. August 26, 2016 / 6:47 am

    Known you and alfie for a fair few years now and you are a one in a million mum. You have been so strong, supportive, caring, loving person and it shows it when it comes to alfie. He is such an amazing little boy and is unbelievably clever! You have brought him up so well and im sure alfie will understand this situation even more in the future and know that it wasnt you that made the decision for him to not be in his fathers life. You should be so proud of yourself and im sure alfie is proud to have an amazing mum like you! Tristan x

  3. October 30, 2016 / 9:07 pm

    Here here. It is such a shame that the man won’t see such a delightful .ittle boy. You have obviously done a brilliant job. I can’t stand the rejection of children it is just so unfair. Thank goodness he’s got such a lovely mum X

    • October 30, 2016 / 10:51 pm

      Thank you for your lovely comment Emma, it really does mean a lot to me. xx

  4. October 30, 2016 / 9:52 pm

    I have a similar situation with my eldest.. well done you for being so brave! #SundayBest

    • October 30, 2016 / 10:52 pm

      Thanks Chloe. It’s a very hard situation to be in xx

  5. November 6, 2016 / 1:17 am

    I can’t even imagine how heartbreaking that must be. Some people have a lot to answer for, how could anyone father a child and not want to know that child. How truly sad for them that they will not know what theyre missing until its too late….His loss. And what a massive loss it is. Thanks so much for joining us at #SundayBest, hope to see you again tomorrow! x

  6. November 7, 2016 / 12:39 am

    Oh this made me cry. What a fab mum you are, and what a shame Alfie doesn’t see his dad and family but that is their loss. Thank you for linking up to #SundayBest x

    • November 14, 2016 / 7:44 pm

      Thank you Sian. (sorry for making you cry!) xx

  7. January 20, 2017 / 1:04 pm

    What a moving post. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to have that conversation with your son. How lovely you have each other x

    • January 21, 2017 / 8:08 am

      Thank you lovely xxx

  8. January 21, 2017 / 9:30 pm

    Aww! What a fab post….So moving.
    My teens dad is mostly an absent father. He does get in touch now and again via email to hurl abuse and me and tell me my girl has to send him birthday, Christmas and father’s day presents. She’s 14 and has no interest now…..When she did want to see her father he showed no interest…
    You are such a strong person for being so honest x

    • January 23, 2017 / 3:32 pm

      Thank you Kim! I like to be honest about our lives and it’s a question I had been asked about for years after I had Alfie about who his father was and why he didn’t see him.. This post kinda summed that up! It’s a hard subject for some. I believe we are what I like to call.. Super mums! xx

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