How can I help my child understand our family isn't like others?

As a single parent of a child in preschool- how do I get my only child to understand that our little family isn’t like others? I am not trying to say that my child doesn’t have a dad. She does see her dad a few days out of the month per court-ordered visits. He just doesn’t do anything extra. He does have a family of his own. We don’t have the best relationship- we only speak to discuss drop-offs/pickups. In the past, I’ve tried having conversations (sending pictures to him, asking how she was, etc.). He always ignored me, so feeling like I’m a bother, I ended that as it was always one-sided by my effort. He’s had visits with our daughter since she was a few months old… yet she doesn’t care for it. She throws tantrums when she hears his name. I am bothered by her reactions because it’s out of character; she usually loves just about anyone right away- I just feel like she should love him by now. She has times where she will call other men daddy (they can be uncles, other relatives, friends). I do tell her that her daddy is “so and so,” but she cries and tells me, “no, it’s not”. She will ask me where her daddy is, but when I say, “daddy so and so” isn’t here. She responds by telling me that’s not her daddy. She wants her daddy. That’s another who really is her uncle or etc. I just feel like she’s missing something like a dad’s love. This has started since starting preschool- I feel like it might be from seeing other kids with their dads. Just not sure how to let her know our situation.


Tell him that a relationship with his daughter is extremely important. Father’s are the first male figures in their life and will dictate how she views men as she grows older. Direct link to strong father relationship and daughter’s self-esteem.

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You need to communicate this to the father

Every single family is unique. I’m sure the kids in her class all have many different types of families.

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Saying anything to the dad isn’t going to do anything. If he hasn’t stepped up by now, he isn’t going to. I don’t think it’s just because she’s in school it’s different, kids don’t take their dads to school everyday. She may hear them talk about it, but maybe she identifies with her uncle as her father figure and that’s fine. Don’t break that relationship just to correct her. More than likely your aren’t the only single parent of her class. It’s not that uncommon.

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You can’t make a man be a father. It is gut wrenching to come to the realization. You can only be the best mom you can be. A strong male figure in your family…brother, uncle, grandfather? You are not alone💗

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Try a book about different types of families sit down with her and explain it to her in an understanding way might take a little research to find the right one but it could help it’s what I have planned when my son starts asking about his real father even though his stepdad is his dad

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Have to thought for one moment that she could be hearing at dads house that he is not her father and that she is responding to that, just an idea. Try counseling the truth always comes to light, but I think she is hearing this somewhere and it seems likely at dads house.


Sad, She seems not to want to be around him and I would wonder why. Maybe talk to her about it or maybe a teacher could ask her. Sometimes a teacher can find out more than a parent. Something is happening when she is with her Dad and you need to know. She can talk. My son started refusing to go to his Dad’s. Found he pawned our son off to a neighbor so he could carry on. Told him bring him home if you don’t have time for him cause I do. At 5 he refused to go with him. We did not have mandatory visits. I left that window open for his Dad. My son did not have ill feelings for him though. So that troubles me with yours.


I feel like such major tantrums at just the sound of his name is a little off. Is there a possibility there are things going on that you dont know about?


If he’s not involved with her other than what the courts are making him do, have you discussed him just signing off rights? …
Personal opinion only, because sometimes making them have a relationship does more damage than not. Huge red flag if shes having such traumatic reactions to him like that. You may want to revisit the courts.

Yea have him sign his rights over

I’d honestly go see a therapist with her. They’ll give you both the tools you need to navigate these big feelings she’s having.

You should teach her everyone’s family is different. Not just yours. Every one has something

Have her talk with a pediatric counselor, therapist or teacher. I had a similar situation. Turned out my 5 yo daughter was being sexually assaulted by her cousin who lived in the same house as dad.

She’s probably confused ECT as four days out of the month seeing her father is not enough time to make a father and daughter bond. Have you thought of offering him more days like a couple days a week

Might be that she can sense your contempt for him.

My daughter had this and I got her a monkey teddy to call daddy. He would come to see her at school plays sit at dinner read a book everything a daddy should do. Till she was at the age to understand daddy wasn’t around she said I know mummy but I’ve got my monkey daddy.

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It’s a hard age but she will grow to understand. I was a single mom and my daughter had no one at all as far as dad or even father figures, she never asked and drew her family pictures as just me and her so I guess I got lucky. Once she got old enough to understand she started asking more questions, but until then you have to just be patient with her.