How to answer 'why don't I have a daddy?'

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  • #28996 Report

    Gracie 2014


    Just looking for some advice please. My son is 5 and in his mind has never had a dad, because he has never been aware of him being around. He basically hasn’t been in the picture since he was a few months old. When my son has asked why don’t I have a daddy and I want a daddy and that kind of thing ( since the age of 3) I have tried to keep it light and said things like you know ( from books we have on different types of families ) every family is different, some are big sone are small, not everybody has the same people/ parents in their family ect. You’ve got me and our other family members and we love you very much ect, I  know it’s hard to understand but you will more when you are older. I say  he’sdoing the right thing asking and should always talk to me about it if he wants to.

    My question is at what point do I say and how do I say you do have one somewhere he just isn’t in your life? Personally I think he’s too young at 5 still but really would appreciate advice!


    Thanks in advance!

    #29012 Report


    I had that with my son. At school, the children talk about their families and their daddies, and your son will feel left out not having anything to say.

    I think You need to be honest in an age appropriate way. So give your son some basic facts that he can tell his little friends, daddy is called Fred, he is an electrician, likes bowling, lives in France etc. That will be enough for your son to feel included in that stuff at school.

    Then he will probably ask why daddy doesn’t come & see him. I was honest with my son that daddy lives a long way away and wasn’t very good at being a daddy, so we were a family of two but have grandad instead.

    More questions come up over time but if you start now, gradually, your son will probably accept it as normal & it won’t turn into a big unspoken secret.

    #29217 Report



    I have this same question and my daughter is only 3. I find books have been helpful like The Great big book of happy families which is about families in all different situations, Runaway bunny which is about just a boy rabbit and his Mum and the Soul bird which encourages even little ones to start talking about feelings. I haven’t really found a way of explaining things but she just seems to accept it when I say she hasn’t got a Dad for now. Her friends do ask questions though and I’ve avoided them so far just changing the subject. I don’t want to answer questions she hasn’t asked yet. Good luck.

    Sarah x

    #29965 Report

    Gracie 2014


    Both of you, thank you for your responses and apologies it’s taken me a while to reply!

    Kathy, I totally get what your saying is true, and it has already come up from various places. My worry is how do I say to him you do actually have a daddy but he just chose to not be in your life? He doesn’t live far away so I can’t use that reason, my son is very thoughtful and he tends to internalise things and think things are his fault. I know a 100% that how he is at the moment that information would definitely make him think it was his fault no matter how much I say it isn’t. That’s my main reason for keeping things from him, I just don’t know how to say that his dad just isn’t around for no good reason. But I am unsure how long I can keep answering every family is different,  everything has different family members ect. I never shut his questions down and always encourage him to talk about it and ask questions. I don’t want him to think it’s a taboo subject!


    Thank you for book tips, I have ordered run away bunny and the other 2 sound similar to books we have. I think books are great with helping these subjects! It sounds like your approaching it the same as I have, my son was happy with that answer at that age too. Now he is wondering more and more though and he is so bright it’s not going to be long before he realises you actually need a man to make a baby so where is the man that made him. As I said above im just really worried about how he will take the information he has a dad that just doesn’t see him, I know that will affect him very badly from how he handles things 🙁 not sure what to say anymore when it comes up and about how children get here when there’s just a mummy!

    Good luck with your daughter too!

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