my godson is 6 years old. i spend a lot of time with him after school waiting for his mom to get home from work. Recently he started asking questions about his father. his father and mother divorced about 2 years ago. his father is an alcoholic and also living in a homeless shelter. his father is working to get back on his feet and is in several programs (he also gambles). We always, always, always tell my godson that his father is working hard to be strong so he can be a part of their lives. His father writes letters saying similar things.
My godson witnessed his father drunk during a time when his father had visitation. He had been drinking and driving with the boys in the car. nothing happened thank god but it caused a big uproar with everyone. it made my godsons mother angry and his fathers mother angry. everyone was angry about the drinking when he had the boys with him. It was a shock to everyone. No one even knew he was drinking. We only found out because my godson told us that his father had thrown up and spent the night sleeping on the bathroom floor and he had cried and had some kind of a breakdown. When we confronted the father about it he admitted he had been drinking while the boys were with him.
Everyone was really angry about this happening. about how dangerous it was. It was the catalyst for the father to finally go into a program and limit his time with his sons.
My godson remembers that everyone was angry at his father but he doesnt understand why. he blames us for why his father is not around. no matter how we explain, he doesnt seem to accept or understand the truth. We have explained that alcohol can make adults act in ways that are not healthy. We have explained that everyone was angry because he and his little brother could have been hurt. We have explained that sometimes when people are angry they yell and say things that are bad. We explain that everyone wants his father to get better and especially that his father and mother are still friends - which they are. He claims to understand all of this but then if you ask him, he will say "my mom hates my dad and thinks he's a jerk." No one has ever said that. None of us say such things. His father is working very hard and has had a hard life. We all encourage him and always have.
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