What ways can you show the child that they are still very loved and appreciated and that it is the parents fault for abandoning them? It's hard because the mom doesn't want to trash the dad to the son, but at the same time, the dad has made the irresponsible and selfish choice to stop being involved after many years. His stepdad is around and very involved - should that be the focus?
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I agree with you, kansasyarn. Children are smart enough to figure out what's going on. It is wise to let them come to their own conclusions. :)
I totally agree with you about children figuring it out as they grow and it's awesome that you chose not to talk badly about the father, that likely made your children respect you even more.
I totally agree, in some cases it is painfully obvious when a child is better off without a certain parent.
Absolutely and I'm one of them. I was raised by a stepparent who adopted me and it was not wonderful always, but certainly better than my biological father who was a very bad person.
I agree, it's not right to give them false hope because that could certainly make a child angry in the future and feel that the mom was being dishonest.
Beautiful, spot on answer! Reality Talk, you responses are always intelligent, beautiful, and shockingly spot on!
I agree. I think it's also good to focus on strong male role models in these situations. I guess for me, I was never close to him and so it didn't phase me. I think it would be hard thought had we been involved initially.
It is definitely a fine line that is difficult to navigate I'm sure. On one hand, you don't want to lie but on the other hand you want to shield them. tough call indeed. def agree to focus on the positives with stepdad.
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I agree that it's def good to tell the truth but in a way that isn't demeaning to the other parent. Glad you were a good stepfather - I admire men who take on that role and do a good job.
I agree any parent can definitely choose cruelty, but I don't think biological ties are always that strong. My bio dad for example is a sociopath, thankfully I am not because I wasn't raised by him, but by a stepdad instead :)
I think I can understand single parents over compensating, but you are so right about the real world hitting a child in the face if they grow up thinking the world owes them a living.
I agree, compensating with material things doesn't solve the underlying problem, but I am not sure how the second half of your answer ties into this situation. No one is giving him material things to ease his pain and he's a responsible young boy.