What to Do if My Child Wants to Meet Their Father?

Has your child told you that they want to meet their father and you don't know what to do? It's usually best not to deny them this right.
What to Do if My Child Wants to Meet Their Father?

Last update: 09 August, 2022

There are families in which the father, for one reason or another, is absent and doesn’t take care of the children. This situation can be complicated for the children to manage and process, but even so, they often want to know their parent. They don’t know what happened, but the mother does. It may be an abandonment, a refusal to take care of them, or other reasons that are difficult to explain. So, what happens if they want to meet their father?

Faced with this situation, it’s natural to feel disoriented and not know what to do. Therefore, in this article, we’re going to try to inform you about how to explain to your child who their father is and why he didn’t take care of them or abandoned them. In any case, children have the right to know who their parents are, and if they request it, they shouldn’t be denied this information.

If your child wants to meet their father, what should you do?

It’s important that if a child asks to meet their father, you don’t deny them this right, even if he doesn’t exercise this role. A child has the right to know their biological parent, and thus, avoid confusion or the development of insecurities. They need to know their history and understand their roots. What you must take into account is the way you give them this information, and this will depend on the age of the child and their understanding. The older the child is, the more they’ll be able to understand the situation and why.

Explaining to the child who their real father is is necessary to avoid confusion, especially if the mother has another partner. This way, you’ll keep them from growing up with the wrong idea about their past and the uncertainties that this causes them. So, how should you act?

A mother looking at her daughter crying.
Talking in a derogatory way about your child’s biological father can create resentment and produce damage to your child.

How should you tell a child who their father is?

As we’ve already said, you must adapt the information according to the child and their age, and it’s best to do it with a lot of sensitivity. We must talk to them in a clear way and avoid details that aren’t easy to understand. On the other hand, it’s not a good idea to speak in a derogatory way about your child’s biological father, as this will only make the child have a negative image of him, which won’t do them any good.

It’s not good to grow up with resentment, and therefore, it’s better to explain to the child who their father is and let them decide if they want to meet them or not. It’s bests to avoid influencing little ones in a negative way.

How to explain to your child that their father abandoned you?

Next, we’re going to see in what ways you can talk to your child about who their father is and why he’s absent. If your child wants to know him:

  • Adapt your language to the child’s age. We must explain things to the child with great sensitivity and choose the words we’re going to say so as not to make them feel bad or guilty.
  • Don’t lie to your child about their father. This can provoke insecurities and uncertainty in the child. We have to make it clear to them that the fact that he left has nothing to do with them. This way, you’ll prevent him from thinking that they’re responsible for the abandonment.
  • Tell the truth, but without going into the exact details about the reasons for the abandonment. If the child is young, they may not understand the causes and may have a bad image of their father. You can tell them that their father left because he wasn’t well or that he wasn’t prepared to face the situation.
  • Don’t speak badly about their father. No matter how much he’s hurt you, it’s preferable not to do so because the only thing you’ll achieve is hurting your child.
  • When the child grows up and is able to understand the exact reasons for the father’s abandonment, then you can explain the reasons in more detail.
  • Don’t forget to tell the child that you’re fine with them wanting to know their father. But even though he’s gone, there are many people around them who love them and will always be there for them and support them.
A mother comforting her teen daughter.
We shouldn’t withhold information from children. It’s best to allow them to decide whether or not to relate to their father and in what way.

About what to do if your child wants to meet his father, we can say…

Throughout this article, we’ve highlighted that children have the right to know their father. No matter how much resentment or contempt a mother feels towards him, his existence shouldn’t be denied. He may be a bad father or an irresponsible one, but he’s the biological parent and, as such, is part of their life story. As a mother, you must accept that your child has a father. As much as it pains you and as much as you may not want your child to know of his existence, if your child wants to know their origins, you shouldn’t deny them the option.

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  • Aranda Ponce, M. D. L. A. (2021).El abandono del padre biológico y los daños causados en la primera infancia y en la madre, en los procesos de filiación del juzgado de paz letrado de familia de Huánuco, período 2018.
  • Cadavid, H. B. (2008). Cuando papá no está: la ausencia del padre como un factor generador de violencia. Psicoanálisis: Revista de la Asociación Psicoanalítica Colombiana, 20(1), 61-80.