Monday, March 30, 2009

"My Daddy" - Edited

If I hear, my daddy told me that or my daddy said I could or some such comment from Max again, I think I'll scream. Okay, just kidding on the screaming thing, it doesn't really annoy me, but he has been on this daddy kick lately. Insisting that he does too have a daddy and he's at work or at his house or going to come visit or whatever. And, he's REAL not PRETEND. At first, I was a bit concerned and tried to correct him getting the push back that he is real and how dare I say otherwise. Concerned enough that I thought about talking to someone who specializes in early childhood development. I know that he knows that it isn't true. In fact, when in his classroom setting up for the construction project, I heard him tell someone that he doesn't have a daddy. I still might try to run it past someone if I get a chance, but realized that he has two pretend friends as well that I've always gone with the flow with and probably should just do the same thing with the pretend daddy. So, that is what I have been doing. It's amazing what this daddy of his says and lets him do. Most of the time he is an ambulance driver. Sometimes he is a fire fighter. Sometimes, I'm the daddy (but, not often anymore). Sometimes, he's the daddy. When playing with his "people", he assigns various roles to them such as mommy, daddy, brother, sister, engineer, conductor, garbage man, etc. I'm sure that he hears the kids at school talking about their daddy and wants to talk about "his daddy". I hope he doesn't feel like he is missing out too much by not having one. I've almost convinced myself that this is age appropriate "playing house" stuff and hope I'm handling it the best way possible for him by going along and pretending with him like I do his imaginary friends. If I get some time, maybe I'll try to research it out or follow up with someone to be sure. I don't want to make it controversial by continuing to tell him he doesn't, because he was pushing back very strongly. So, I"m going to let him pretend for now and see where it goes. However, anyone listening who didn't know the story really would think he had a daddy the way conversations have gone lately.

ETA: I had a chance to talk to the director of the preschool today who is an expert in early childhood development about the whole daddy thing. It was an interesting conversation about pretend vs. real, alive vs. dead, and figuring things out. Totally age appropriate as I expected and agreed with how I'm handling it, but will also start to add in more about distinguishing about pretend vs. real and realizing that the push back on saying the daddy is pretend may actually because he "wishes" it to be true and angry that it isn't. She also suggested that I start asking him what makes something alive, why is that real or pretend, etc. And, we had a good laugh at how helpful it was (NOT) that I responded to Max's question about what makes things alive is that they need/breath oxygen (like that really helped clarify it for him :). Keep on allowing him to feel what he feels about the situation and acknowledging those feelings. She also said something that I hadn't thought about, but really resonated. She asked me how I felt with him asking the questions to which, I'm fine. It was my decision and that I just hoped that in time he didn't feel too much of a loss as a result to which she replied, that parents make decision that affect their kids all the time (divorce, have another child, to move, etc). I had never thought of it in terms of that before, but true. So, just keep on keeping on helping him to figure things out and allowing him to feel what he feels. Glad I asked.

1 comment:

Lizzie said...

My son (3 too!) says his donor lives in his (my son's) castle with Superman and Batman. He said to my friend's husband the other day , "You know I don't really have a castle, eh?" He just likes saying it!