The Deadbeat Dad

A single mother seeks advice about how to tell her son why his father isn't around.

Just Another Manic Mommy

The Unfortunate Father

Dear Manic Mommy: How do you explain to your child that his father simply didn’t want to be with his mother, and therefore opted out of the child’s life as well? Absent father pays child support by court order, but doesn’t want to be involved. He is currently planning a family with another person.

Manic Mommy: First of all, I’m sorry that you’re having these difficulties in your life. I am sure it’s a troubling time for you and your son and I hope you have support from other family members and good friends.

The good news is that families come in so many different combinations that raising your son on your own is not something that will be frowned upon in society or looked at as an oddity. And honestly, if the father is that uncaring to his own child, you really have to ask yourself if you want him in your son’s life?

My thought here is the only person who is going to be missing out is the unfortunate father who is not going to get to know his own son. Undoubtedly, he will look back on his life and think of all that he has lost. Who knows … you mention he is planning a family with another person but there are no guarantees in life. Your son may be the only son he will ever have. And if he’s shunning him now and he never has another child, then what?

You didn’t indicate the age of your son so it’s difficult for me to give advice on what you should or shouldn’t tell him. Obviously, don’t go with “Your father is a deadbeat” because while you might think that, you never want to say that, but your child will probably figure that out later.

Just let your child know how much you love him, and make sure he is surrounded by bountiful love of others so that nothing is lacking in his life, and I think that truly, the only person that’ll be lacking anything is the unfortunate father.

I wish you and your son many blessings as you continue to be there for one another.

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