My 3 year old has never known her dad: Advice?

My 3 year old has never known her dad. His choice. Recently my brother got home from jail and my nephews got their dad back. So she’s catching on to what a dad is. Tonight my 3 year old came up and said she needed a dad. What do I do? How do I explain this?


Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. My 3 year old has never known her dad: Advice?

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Age appropriate conversation is all you can do whilst they’re little. “All families are different” is a good place to start, but do validate her feelings. It would be nice to have a daddy around, and hopefully one day that may be, but for now it’s xyz and we all love you so very much.


Just tell her all families are different and you can be mommy and daddy. Do NOT introduce anyone you date unless it’s serious. I see people do that all the time and that’s just unhealthy for everyone.


Explain that all families are different and are made up of different people. Not everyone has a daddy and a mommy, some have 2 daddies, or are being raised by grandma or their uncle…


I told my daughter some kid’s unfortunately don’t get one, but let’s name all the people you do have? Some don’t have a Grandma, you’ve got 3, some don’t have a Grandpa, and you have 2!! Or Uncle’s, she got 2! Name the important people she does have, don’t focus on what she doesn’t have, blessings I know it’s not easy. :heart:


I think if they are old enough to ask a question they are old enough for the truth! Please don’t make up some story to satisfy her right now! Later in life that story you made up becomes a big lie!!


Don’t tell her her Dad doesn’t want her. Explain that every family is different and that not every child has two parents and some that do, do not have a better life or are better off for it.


This is a good opportunity to explain that all families look different. Some just a mom or dad, mom and dad, 2 moms, 2 dads, grands raising kiddos, etc. I’m sure there are books that could help in explaining this to her.


All families are different, explain what you can in a way that makes sense for her.


My daughter has never had a dad either since b4 birth I tell her some ppl only have mommies and some only have daddies everyones life is different for many different reasons :black_heart::hourglass_flowing_sand: but god is our father and he will never leave her! Also my dad and brother stepped up the past 18 years so she has had more love that she could ever ask for


Always tell the truth to her


I think there is a Daniel tiger episode on this…


As mentioned before, age appropriate answers, i like the all families are different and our Heavenly Father is always around (if that is part of your belief system). Other wise perhaps she can have more time with YOUR father? My son’s dad and i had a mutual agreement of “this relationship aint workin” when my son was about 2ish, and he absolutely LOVES his Papa and following him around.

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If some children are fortunate to have dads and others have dads that are in prison or do drugs, or abusive. Tell her that her dad has made a conscious decision not to be a part of their lives but that you love her and all the people in your family that love her.
Not having a hands on Dad doesn’t mean she is loved any less.

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My daughter is 9 now never met her dad I told her me and her dad didn’t like each other very much so he lives somewhere else … she has been fine with it we still talk about it in that context but more mature wording I made sure she had other positive male relationships around her she has only ever met one bf of mine now she calls him dad and I was very firm what I expected from him as a role model i know I will have to deal with the absent father one day and when she does start questioning it more and it affects her I’ll reach out to him but otherwise she’s happy and confident in herself


I always told my son he does have a dad I showed him pictures of him I even put Christmas and birthday presents for him from his dad and I explained that his father works a lot and that’s why he doesn’t get to see him


Every family is different so I only know from my personal experience and what I went through. My daughter’s father was abusive to me but never to her so when I left he always had the opportunity to see her if he wanted. I never cut off their ties. For the first few years he didn’t want much to do with her and how he acted she caught on (kids are not stupid they pick up on a lot). He has changed with being in her life but I know that it did hurt her when she was younger. She would talk about it and I would explain what I could with her in a way she understood. It did hurt her feelings and she still remembers the way it made her feel. She likes that her dad is in her life now and she loves her stepmom but there are times that she is still reserved when it comes to her dad bc it still hurts her in regards to what he did when she was younger. I reassured my daughter over and over again how much I loved her when she asked questions. Yes it hurts to have these conversations with your child bc you can see the hurt in their eyes and hear it in their voice. But I made sure to NEVER talk bad about her dad.


Find a man that can atleast be a good role model for her and explain that some kids don’t have a dad and/or a mom in their lives. I had to explain the opposite to my daughter. I had to explain why she has a mom and dad but her new friend doesn’t have a mom or dad, just a papa and grandma. Unfortunately the little girl came from a rough upbringing and has neither in her life. My little one is 5 not 3 but close.

Kids only need 1 healthy parent…. That’s what my chiropractor said he was raised by a single mom and he’s an amazing man. So yea my 3 will be okay. They have a dad but I have primary custody.

I taught my kids the definition of “Dad” is a man who loves & takes care of their kids. I also explain some children don’t have a dad at all while others have 2. Same with moms. Some kids don’t have either biological parent but someone else steps into that role. I always enforce that the relationship of the people don’t matter. All that matters is love. My 3 kids have never missed their father.

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I think there are books available for her age that might speak to her mind a little better with the help of visual aids. I’ve heard wheres my daddy? Can be a helpful book but there may be more like it that might help.


You do nothing. She will be fine if you don’t dwell on it and act like she needs one. I grew up with mine and ended up so glad I never had to deal with another parent, besides my mom. Tell her she has a dad, but he chose not to be around so you are her parent who is there for her. Tell her many people don’t have their fathers around and that having one can be a bonus while 2 parents isn’t necessary to be happy. It’s very simple.

You tell her she has a dad but one day she will be blessed with a father when God sends one that will love both you and her. Do not lie.

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Please, be honest. I know it’s hard on our momma hearts now by it’s harder if we come up with a “nicer” story and then have to reveal the truth when they are older. The feelings of betrayal and like your life was a joke/lie blows

Sometimes there is no answer, just acknowledging that you hear her and give her a hug is still acknowledging the question. I was your three year old once…I met my dad a few times and if I was going to give advice it would be, don’t let any man walk into her life and pretend to be dad (bio or not) for a moment and walk away again. Kids are better off without them if they don’t commit to them 100% … if the linger for a minute (the dads) and come and go, that has a terrible impact on issues with rejection. You are better off without him around.

I’m in the same boat. I told my daughter from the start that not everyone has a mommy and not everyone has a Daddy and some kids don’t have either one. Everyone’s family consist of different family members. There’s some good cartoon DVDs showing different blends of family’s. Very helpful for them to understand

My advice to you is be honest with your child, Make it age appropriate of course.

What? You tell her the truth. Her dad just doesn’t have time for her right now. Maybe one day he will. And if not you always have mommy. That simple.
Don’t lie to your kids people!!

Just let her know some families are different and it’s :100: ok!

Every family is different and what makes our special is I got you and you got me and that equals a family

Maybe you should reach out to his dad and tell him

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Reading this broke my heart some (men)and that’s using the word lightly don’t deserve these beautiful babies x


Work on this a little at a time. Every family is different Seek professional help if necessary to explain .Many good suggestions here.

Just be honest with her and explain it in terms she will understand

Have a conversation at her level. Be honest too, it’s hard to have those conversations at times but they need it

I would say you’re both mom and dad

My kids 12 and 6 both never had a dad and they still haven’t asked about theirs lol

Some kids have a mommy, some kids have a daddy, some kids have both, some kids have two moms, and some have two dads, some kids live with their nana and papa… it’s okay to explain to them everything’s a little different.


Mine did this. I was stumped cause I didn’t know what to tell him. His bio was a man that tried to kill us and addicted to meth. All I could say was daddy was sick and couldn’t come home. Maybe just saying he can’t be here right now until she is a little older. This is hard and there is no right answer here.

I was lucky to have a good male friend that was trying to be a good male role model to him. He ended up falling in love with me and my son and choosing to be his father. So my son doesn’t know he is adopted.


That’s so sad, start dating again maybe you might find a good man who will take her on as his own and love the two of you like you deserve, good men do exist still. But I feel for you, been in your shoes it’s hard. It’s devastating.

I’ve told mine that all families are different, as she’s gotten older I’ve told her he wasn’t ready to be a dad……I’ve always told her that I love her with all my heart though and that she’s my family and I’m hers.

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I never skated my eldest’s dad. I just explained that we were very young when we had her. That I was ready to be a mommy and he wasn’t ready to be a daddy :tipping_hand_woman:t3: she accepted that just fine.

Some families actually have donor babies where no father was ever involved and explain about the seed producing the baby but mommy choosing to raise them and be their mommy.

Tell her when the time is right she will get one

Wow all the people commenting are awesome!

Sadly this is all too common. Start with therapy or programs like rainbows

Tell the truth that hes gone to a place that he wants to be and maybe 1 day he’ll come around when he is ready …

Just tell her something simple, like her daddy is not ready to be a dad yet ,and that all families are different

All families are different.
Some have one parent, some have two. Some have more.
Some have two mums, some have two dads.
But what matters most is the love the parent has for their child, and that family is a feeling, not just the people.

There should be some age appropriate books around talking about different families, might be worth hunting one down?

You be honest.
Obviously make it age appropriate.

You explain to her that she doesn’t need one but you understand her feelings. Teach her that every family looks different but they are all valid.

I was this kid. Those feelings will come and go as she ages but it’s important to be honest as much as it’s appropriate.

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You can tell her that no, she doesn’t need one.

With simple explanations and honesty.

I would tell her about our Heavenly Father that looks over her all the time, and that someday you’d like for her earthly father to know his daughter, but God and Jesus and the angels watch over her too. There are lots of single moms, and even single dads for sure, make sure she knows she’s not alone in that. Reassure her often that you love her and are proud of her and that you will keep her safe.


Connect with the dad more…send pictures and notes.