Relationships Quick Answers
My child's other parent stopped being involved in my child's life when he/she was a baby. Now my child is asking questions about his/her other parent. What do I say?
Sometimes parents of an infant divorce and one parent drops out of the child's life. If this happens, your child won't remember the other parent, but will probably become curious about the other parent. Provide short, simple, honest answers to your child's questions, such as "Your dad/mom and I couldn't get along, so he/she went live somewhere else." Avoid saying negative things about the other parent, but reassure your child that the other parent's absence is not your child's fault. For example, you might say, "I don't know why your mom/dad is not around, but I know it has nothing to do with you. " Reassure your child that you will always love and take care of him or her. Help your child form close relationships with other adults who can be role models and sources of support.
Source: Kim Leon, Ph.D., Former Human Development and Family Studies, College of Human Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia
Last update: Wednesday, August 20, 2008