44

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, but children like you. I won't allow him near you in case he decides to hurt you. (Optionally: it's a very small chance, but even a small chance is too much.) ...


16

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 her to see your son. (Not that I'm questioning either element - you know the situation - but explaining the above to your child.) Presumably your child has ...


16

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 him then -- so behave towards him just as you normally would, more or less. The same games you currently play, reading books, talking, and so on (adjusting as ...


15

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 married to A Very Bad Man and, immediately, left him, taking my sister, her three-year-old daughter, with her. I was born later, in her second marriage, and growing ...


14

Short answer: Tell the the truth Long answer: My father went to jail... twice for the same offence, one time for a short period, 6 months, in which my mom told us nothing, and one time for 2 years, and my mother spoke openly about it towards me and my older sister, we also visited regularly and my dad always had writings to give to us or nice drawings. ...


13

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; understands making mistakes and also understands punishment. The mother is paying for the mistake she made. If it is true, say that Mother is sorry and is ...


11

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 throughout the day, or if the crying is limited to a brief period at drop off and pick up. I used to sneak in to daycare at the end of the day and see my son ...


11

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 purposes, and for some reason has prioritized her relationship with her son over the safety of her grandchildren Your uncle has even less sense of boundaries than ...


11

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 we? We do other things now. That's a shame isn't it?" Then look to the future. "Maybe I'll find someone different. Would you like that? What do you think she'...


11

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 want to see you, maybe she can drop your children off at a friend's so you could see them without fear of confrontation. Second, is there an equivalent to ...


11

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 things you can do during the trip for the most part. Daily or nearly daily calls are definitely one key element, in my experience; while neither my wife nor I ...


9

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 my husband and a full time care giver ("daddy" in every way except biological) to the first child and two more of the child's (half) brothers (technically). Ok, ...


9

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. Obviously he is young, so you'll have to tailor your explanation accordingly -- but I'd suggest giving him something more detailed than "we're not together anymore."


9

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 holiday together. They can be told that it's not about their parents getting back together, just about having a good experience and building good memories. ...


9

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 next day with dad. But some things will be duplicated out of necessity (your kids have clothes, beds, food, etc at both houses right?). Other things will be ...


8

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 daughter's teacher named the Five-Year-Old Fever: LOTS of defiance, lying, tantrums, the works. It took a while, but the stage eventually passed. And it ...


8

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 want to talk to him, and why talking to him wouldn't be any good for your son anyway. You would do your son a great disservice by not respecting his feelings and ...


8

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 parents' voice while in the womb has influence on newborns, after all) and, given the fact that you cannot go back and do it differently, they are by definition ...


8

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 probably asking. Why wasn't I wanted? Why am I different? What is wrong with me? Was it my fault I was "given away"? What did I do wrong? You might try ...


8

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 planning such trips for 14-year-olds? The answer to the main question: Any thoughts on how to know if a long trip away from family and friends is appropriate ...


8

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 custody. You might explain to your children that there are various ways of dealing with such situations, some more productive than others. You might help your ...


7

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 study that deals specifically with babies being in non-parental care for a week or more. However, serious trauma seems very unlikely to me. First, there is ...


7

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 so doesn't rule out that this correlation is driven by omitted factors: Multiple regression models revealed that, controlling for baseline family and ...


7

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 going to break one of the basic Stack Exchange rules - “answer the question” - in this specific case. I went back through your past posts and tried to read ...


7

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 the schedule of going from one house to the other will seem normal to him. It's not an indicator of any problem that he seems to be as happy and functional as ...


6

We had a similar situation at that age, so I believe it's nothing unusual, even though seeing your child in fear can be quite upsetting. The only solution we found is to give in for a few weeks, until the anxiety settles down: Sit with him until he sleeps, and if he wakes up in the night you need to do the same. It is important to address this issue: talk ...


6

When my oldest was having trouble being dropped at daycare, I moved the decision for how long I would stick around at dropoff onto her. (She was about 3 iirc.) We didn't have a traumatic experience like yours complicating things, but I think this might help for you. I simply told her that each morning I would stay until she told me to go. The immediate ...


6

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 but you can't make it drink. So, what to do? Legally, you can't just decide to end his visitation. To do that, you have to go to court and get a ruling to ...


6

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 is now crying every day. Perhaps she feels she cannot confide in you, so the crying is a manifestation of her frustration. Is your rapport with your partner a ...


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