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.

How do we get through to him?


3602 days ago
Hmmmm...It does indeed sound like you have been saying the right things to him.

Perhaps the "Mom says Dad's a jerk" comment comes from what he has heard from her because of his behaviors.

Would it be possible for her to speak to him (the son) by herself and remind him, like you said, that he is changing and trying hard to get better?

It will probably be best for him to hear it from her. I mean, if you said I was a bad person, I would rather here an apology from you than I would from your cousin...get what I am saying?



3599 days ago
it is hard to tell a young boy something like that and even harder for him to understand it sounds like his dad is trying his best to help him self first so that he can help his kids it wount make it easy if the boy keeps hearing negative things about his dad i know it probably just makes him angry and upset keep a positive attitude around him i miss my dad every day havent seen him in 16 years and will probably never see him again i wish i could a young boy needs his father in his life so hopefully his dad will keep his word and change his ways

2611 days ago
Being six, a boy worships the ground the dad walks on. He sees his dad as superman, and nothing can sway his feelings toward him.

Getting him to realize that his dad isn't perfect and needs help isn't the real problem as I see it. IMHO all you can do is love the boy as he deserves to be loved, be patient with him as he processes all the negative responses he has heard about his dad, and even the positive seem to him to be as if they were being said about him and nor his dad.

Just keep loving him for who he is, and accept the fact that in his 6 year old eyes, his father can do no wrong, despite what anyone says to the contrary. Giving him space to process the feelings and letting him decide for himself what his dad is doing that isn't the greatest at the moment. Maybe someone from outside the family can talk to him and give him some answers that he can live with.