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Dr. Bonnie
Dr. Bonnie, Psychologist and RN
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2189
Experience:  35 years experience counseling children and families
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My daughter 5 years old and hasnt seen her Dad since she was

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My daughter 5 years old and hasn't seen her Dad since she was 15months old. She has pictures of him and asks about him alot lately. She has also asked "when am i going to have a real Daddy?" Her dad in in Tanzania and has a mental illness and hasn't contacted her for about two years now. Recently we sent him an email from her becuase she really wanted to, we have heard nothing. What advice do you give me in talking to her about her dad and about her wanting a real daddy?
Hello and thank you for consulting JA,
Children her age often wonder about their absent parent. Because of their magical thinking they also wonder if they did something wrong that caused that parent to leave. So I would be honest with her about his illness. You don't need details...just that he is sick and may not be able to do the things that other daddies do. In your prayers pray for his health as well. Above all let her know that his leaving or not responding is not her fault and that, although he cannot show it right now, you know that he loves her very much. This will lessen the feeling of abandonment that she is feeling.

I hope this helps...warm regards,
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