Is there ever a good time? At what age do you talk to your child about his absent father? Kyle McMahon discusses it in our latest video.
In a new video series titled, The Fatherless Questions, Kyle McMahon answers the question: At What age do you talk to your child about his absent father? After appearing in a special series of episodes of the Emmy winning show, Oprah’s Lifeclass : Fatherless Sons, Kyle McMahon has been called “the face of fatherless sons”.
“To this day, I still get messages, e-mails and tweets every single day asking questions about the fatherless epidemic. I wanted to start a video series that answered some of the most commonly asked questions I get about the issue – at least from my perspective,” Kyle said.
Age Appropriate Answers
Kyle says that the discussion doesn’t necessarily need to happen until the child begins asking about his absent father. When he does ask, make sure that the answer is age appropriate. You probably wouldn’t want to give the same answer to a 7 year old that you would to a 14 year old. “Generally, less is more. Especially when talking to the younger kids“.
Factual Statements, Not Emotional Ones
When speaking about the issue, you want to give factual statements, not emotional ones. “You don’t want to start hysterically crying or go off on a rampage”, Kyle says. “Just give a factual statement like: Your father chose to leave us before you were born but that has absolutely nothing to do with you. You are loved so much and I’ll always be here for you.” You don’t want to make it into this event that hovers over the child’s life forever, even though it will in some way. “When you keep it factual, you are taking some of the negative energy away from the situation.”
Don’t Talk Bad About His Father
Whatever you do, don’t talk bad about the child’s father. “As tempting as it may be, you don’t ever want to talk negatively about your sons father. I promise you, he will eventually grow up and form his own opinion of both his father and the situation“, Kyle says. “What you don’t want is for your child to end up resenting you for making him hate his father.” By being giving factual statements over emotional ones, you can help ensure that you aren’t bad mouthing his father.
WATCH: At What Age Do You Talk To Your Child About His Absent Father?