How can I help my child

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I have a five year old child who is very confused and hurt over her child. I love her so much and work to reassure her all the time but I am not sure how else to help. Her dad (my ex husband) left me while I was pregnant. He was not there at all when she was born. He didn't see, talk to her or inquire about her until she was 4. Then he came into her life for a few months and has not seen her since. She will be six at the end of the week. He has not seen her for about 16 months. She is still so confused about why he left again.
 

criticalthinking

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I had to deal with a deadbeat, thoughtless biofather myself. I told my kid that his so-called father was only hurting himself. It was his loss to miss out on spending time with such a great kid, and that someday (probably when it was too late) he would come to regret it. This was many years ago, and this is exactly what happened. My kid has zero interest in his biofather, and nothing but contempt for the way he dropped the ball on his responsibilities. I didn't teach him to hate him or anything. He just grew up enough to realize I was the only person there for him when he was sick, or hurt by a mean comment from someone at school, or in need of advice, and he decided the person who was never there for him was irrelevant.
 

Sarah C.

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I would reassure her by telling her that she is wonderful and beautiful! Let her know that this is not her fault! He is the one that has the problem. Be honest and tell her he is not being a good Father. Explain to her that some people make bad decisions, and he is one of them. Let her know it is okay for her to talk about it, if she is feeling sad or angry. I would also tell her, he is not wise, because he is missing out on the best little girl in the whole wide world! My daughter is adopted, and she is my only child. I always tell her that she is my favorite person in the whole wide world! Find something to say to her regularly that affirms your love and appreciation for her. Be her biggest cheerleader!
 
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Thank-you both for the good advice. I do try to reassure my daughter and to just remind her all the time that it is not her fault and that her dad is missing out. I do not speak negatively about her dad but just try to do so with honesty.
 

MysteriousMommy

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I agree with the other posters, especially Sarah C. My parents divorced when I was young, and my dad was really never around after that. I blamed my mother for their divorce and I was a very angry little girl. I still feel badly for the way I treated my mother. Anyway, no matter how horrible I was to her she always loved me unconditionally and she was (and still is) my biggest supporter. Just do what you can to reassure her that she is beautiful and special. It is a struggle now I'm sure, but one day she will fully realize all of the sacrifices you made for her.

Also, I just wanted to say kudos to you for not talking badly about her father. I know how difficult that must be for you, especially when she is struggling to understand why her daddy isn't around. You are doing her a tremendous favor by not badmouthing her him. As she gets older she will understand the truth about him more and more, and will draw her own conclusions. I think that overall that is much more healthy than hearing someone badmouth the only father she has ever known (even if he is a poor excuse for one).

Good luck to you. :)
 
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MysteriousMommy, thank-you for sharing your story. I think sometimes children do blame the parent who is still there (even if not intentionally). I know my little girl loves me and so I try not to take it personally when she acts out. I think as she grows older she will realize that it is her dad's loss that he is not here and not ours. I'm not saying that will make it easier because I can only imagine how much it hurts. But I think she will have many happy days ahead even though she might struggle for awhie.
 
A

artistry

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When there is discord or separation in the family, children will tend to blame themselves or the parent they are with, for the absence of the other parent. As the others have commented, so well, continue to show her a lot of love and understanding. Reassuring her that her father's absence, has nothing to do with her, that she is good and she is very loved by those around her. Give her a reason to be happy about her state. Help her to find hobbies that she can enjoy. Let her find herself in life. If you think she might like tennis, get her a racket, and find a court. Tennis allows you to expend some of the pent-up anger., when you are hitting the ball. It is also good exercise. She could grow to love it. Give her as much affection as you can. Keep doing what you are doing. Good luck.
 
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My daughter does have some hobbies and I think this is helping her and will continue to do so. I do reassure her of my love and that she has done nothing wrong and that nothing is her fault. I know things will just take time and obviously this isn't something she will ever get past completely. I know she will always have some days when she struggles over this.
 

Dorothy

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I have had the same problem my daughter is six years old and her dad has been in and out of life. She is dealing with it pretty good because he has never been there in the first place, I don't talk bad about her dad to her and when calls or wants to see her, I don't deny her of that. She knows that I am here for her no matter what and that her dad not being around as he should is his choice, his fault and his lost! I have always been open with her about her dad and when we were able to go back to texas to visit other family members we would go see him too and take pictures and such, and she has come accustomed to the way it is. All I can say is , love your child let her know she has you there for her always and do the best you can and she will be alright. Good luck, I know its hard!