Being a single mom is not an easy task. Single moms face a countless number of obstacles from the moment they get divorced. A common yet very sad phenomenon that happens is fathers not asking about their children nor wanting to see them after divorce.
Even though at certain times, mothers are to blame for keeping the father from seeing his children, most of the time, the problem comes from the father simply disappearing from the child’s life.
Many single mothers are put into extremely difficult situations when their children ask questions like, “Does daddy want to see me?” “Where is my daddy? or “I want to see my daddy please.” These questions definitely leave mothers heartbroken and helpless.
To help single mothers deal with similar situations, we spoke to Certified Positive Discipline Educator, Rana Hany, who gave us her insight on what to do when a father disappears from a child’s life after divorce and how to handle the situation.
The father of my children disappeared, what should I tell them?
“Unfortunately the mother in this case cannot say the truth about the father not wanting to see the child or not giving them money. She will have to make up excuses such as the father is traveling or busy with work,” Hany suggested. “The mother can also get presents for her children and say they are from the dad.”
This is for the sake of the mental well-being of the child because the father is a source of security for his children just like the mother. If the father’s image is compromised, this will adversely affect the children in the long-term as well as in their relationships.
Hany also stressed that the mother should always try to keep the father in the children’s lives, even if the father does not want to be financially obligated. She should try to set up a weekly outing with him and the children, even if the mother is present during the outing. “If the father refuses, then the mother will have to keep making excuses until the kids are old enough to understand.”
Is there a way to make up for the father not being present?
“If a child does not have a father figure in their life, whether it’s due to death or divorce, it is important to find one for the children. The father figure can be an uncle, grandfather, or any male family member.” This is important for adolescents as well because, at a certain point, boys will need to speak to someone about adolescent-related issues.
The parenting expert noted that having a child raised in a normal environment -even if it’s without the father- is much better than having them grow up in a household where the mother and father are always fighting in front of the kids which will cause them traumas and psychological issues.
What is the best way for a single mom to deal with it?
“The most important thing a mother should do is to not play the role of the victim. If the mother sounds victimized and keeps speaking about the problem, and the family is involved, this will affect the children. The first thing a mother should do is to make sure she does not involve her kids in the problems.”
Secondly, and most importantly, the parenting coach stated that the mother should try to be financially independent, meaning she should have her own house and try to limit any interference from other family members in the way she raises her children and the rules that are set.
If it is not possible for the mother to have her own house, then she should treat her child’s room as if it’s their house. Meaning once they are inside the room, there should be rules and regulations made by the mother that should be followed.
“Having more than one method of parenting confuses the child, while having rules makes the child feel safe and secure,” Hany added.
Having your children raised in a healthy household as a single mother with ONE male father figure to resort to will help in raising a perfectly normal child.
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