50 votes
Accepted

How to explain to a 9-year-old why a relative is not welcome

I would provide much less information to your children than you have listed here. It would go something like this. Uncle Joe has a problem in his head and he hurts people on purpose. Not just people,...
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19 votes

How to explain to a 9-year-old why a relative is not welcome

Please forgive my posting anonymously, but I think I might be in a unique position to answer this. Without going into too many gory details about my family history, my mother found out she was ...
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  • 191
17 votes

How to explain to a 9-year-old why a relative is not welcome

To me, the most complicated part of this is explaining a) why you don't want to forgive, or trust (or both) your uncle, and b) why you don't trust your mother's judgement on the matter enough to allow ...
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16 votes
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Maintaining contact with a one year old in a long distance situation

I would not recommend trying to be unusually exciting or interesting to him on those weekend visits. Once you are able to be with him every day again, he might be confused if you're less engaged with ...
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13 votes

How to explain to a 9-year-old why a relative is not welcome

What a horrible dilemma! As I see it, your problem comprises three distinct elements: Your mother has little or no sense of what reasonable boundaries consist of. She also lies when it suits her ...
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  • 1,393
13 votes

What are the options when the mother of a 7 year old is imprisoned?

That question and answer you linked said everything about why you absolutely should tell the child the truth. At seven your grand is perfectly capable of understanding the concepts of right and wrong; ...
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11 votes
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How long did it take your baby to like daycare?

Crying at drop-off and pick-up is more of a separation anxiety issue, and it's totally normal. It has nothing to do with whether she likes daycare. What you really need to know is whether she cries ...
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  • 341
11 votes
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3 yo still asks about my ex

Acknowledge your child's feelings: "you liked X didn't you? You used to have some fun together. Can you remember the things you did?". Then move the conversation on. "We don't see here any more, do ...
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  • 6,608
11 votes

How to explain your absence to 4 year old

I am so sorry to read this. You have my sympathy. First (I hope you've done this already), hire a lawyer. Does your wife have the legal right to withhold visitation from you? Find out. If she doesn't ...
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11 votes
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Preparing and handling 1-month absence of father for 3.5 year-old

In my experience there's not a lot of pre-preparation you can do with the child at that age; it's hard to understand the concept of 'future' at 3. Tell her that you're going on a trip, but focus on ...
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10 votes

How should an infant refer to its biological father and step father?

Let me take a stab at answering this from the opposite side of the situation: I am a full time custodial parent (mother) who found a new partner when the child was 18 months old, said partner is now ...
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9 votes

3 yo still asks about my ex

I would guess your son is really asking "why aren't you together with [ex's name] anymore?" In case that's true, perhaps you can take the time to more fully explain the break-up to your son. ...
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  • 259
9 votes
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Couple separated 18 months ago (irremediably), sharing custody of two children. Good or bad idea to share weekend experience together with the kids?

I wouldn't beat around the bush. Tell them straight what is happening. At ages 12 and 10 the children are certainly old enough to understand that their parents want them to have a great time on a ...
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9 votes

Duplicate or single Christmas tree?

I admire the practical desire to not duplicate toys, items and experiences with your kids. They probably don't need two of the exact same toy or need to go to the zoo with mom one day then back the ...
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8 votes

Do I force my son to speak to his semi-absent parent?

Simple answer: No. Absolutely not. In your question, you haven't given a single reason why your son actually should talk to him ever again, but you've given a thousand reasons why he would never ...
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8 votes

How to be a step-mom to a troubled (or hurt) 5-year-old?

While my circumstances differ from yours, when I saw the age, my first thought was "oh no, it's the dreaded (and widely unknown) Five-Year-Old Fever!" I had a question on here last year about what my ...
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8 votes

What's the father's role in forming attachment?

The father should leave a newborn for one year (relocation) - do you think the consequences will be irreversible? IMO there certainly will be consequences (there's evidence that having heard their ...
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  • 2,846
8 votes

How to help my 10-year-old daughter who is upset because her dad is not in her life?

Her situation is very similar to that of children who were adopted, except that one of her parents is her biological mother. Adopted children ask many of the same questions that your daughter is ...
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8 votes

Is an 8 week trip abroad an appropriate time away for a 14 year old?

Everything looks fine about the trip (reputable group with long, positive track record, worthy cause, etc.) except for one thing: It is 8 weeks long. Is this a group that has a lot of experience ...
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8 votes

Explaining to children about one parent's silent treatment of the other

I fear your children will learn your wife's method of dealing with strife or rebuff or setback. You might start documenting such incidents for possible future use in legal proceedings concerning ...
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7 votes
Accepted

Is it okay to leave a 6-month-old with her grandparents to go on a week-long vacation?

Is it true that leaving such a young baby with his grandparents could create long-term trauma? Unfortunately, I don't think there is any scientific evidence one way or another. I could not find any ...
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  • 2,678
7 votes

Is it okay to leave a 6-month-old with her grandparents to go on a week-long vacation?

I'm currently researching this exact same question, and managed to find one study so far, which does find negative correlations with later child behaviour at age 3 and 5, but its not experimental and ...
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  • 71
7 votes
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Explaining to children about one parent's silent treatment of the other

Being emotionally available to your children is probably the best thing you can do for them in such a situation. Make time just for them, and make it about them. Regardless of what your goals for ...
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  • 1,141
7 votes

During and after a separation - explaining to children who their "family" is

This answer is geared towards a very specific situation. Answers that focus just on the question above (perhaps more practical advice) are explicitly encouraged as per the OP’s request. ————- I am ...
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7 votes

Does separating necessarily cause damage?

Very young children are in some ways more adaptable to changes than older kids who may have complex doubts and fears about the change in family living situation. Soon living and sleeping apart and ...
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  • 7,524
6 votes

How to explain to a 9-year-old why a relative is not welcome

Some very good answers here, but I thought I had some value to add. My ex-wife's father was a serial molester and we took great care that he never interacted with our daughter. Before talking to the ...
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  • 1,171
6 votes

How should an infant refer to its biological father and step father?

Some of this is simply something you must work out with your ex-wife. What a child calls his/her parents, or any individual, is largely a matter of convention and personal choice; some people aver ...
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  • 57.4k
6 votes

Dad makes little effort to see his daughter - to what degree should I encourage contact?

Your maturity, sensitivity and common sense are very evident, and your daughter is fortunate to have such a giving and loving mom. Kudos to you. You're absolutely right: you can lead a horse to water ...
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  • 66.7k
6 votes

How to help my 10-year-old daughter who is upset because her dad is not in her life?

My gut instinct. There's something going on. Your daughter has a problem, which she feels only a "real" dad would solve. It's strange that after four years of not seeing her biological father, she ...
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