Children in single parent homes
'I have never said one bad word about her father to her, and never will.'
My lovely daughter age 7 is being asked unkind questions by the kids at school and even some of her young cousins. I don't know why only now - we have always been a single parent family. But I think what sparked the most recent question is the fact that her father made a date with her - then cancelled it an hour before. She was at a party with other kids who also all thought her dad was coming to pick her up. When it became known he was not, the others said to her 'your dad didn't come because your parents are divorced.' She was very hurt and came and asked me what divorced means and if it is true. I was in fact never married to him but all the details are so hard to explain to her, she's just a child.
What do I say? She also has the habit, on the occasions that he does visit, of holding both our hands and looking up at us very hopefully and expectantly and saying 'my family!' It breaks my heart. She sometimes calls the extra pillow we have on our bed, 'Daddy's pillow'. Yet we have never lived with him - he in fact abandoned me years ago, in response to my announcing I was pregnant. We'd been dating 2 yrs then he dumped me the same day I announced the pregnancy. He left us completely alone. She was born very very ill and spent weeks in ICU, he still stayed away and offered no help with expenses. I got on with my life just me and my child but he decided to start visiting her when she was about 1 year old. He'd then come every six months, it's more or less every month they see each other now.
I don't know what to say to her, she says our family needs a father, as it does. But after that very bad heartbreak, a part of me shut down and I have met no one all these years - plus am def not the type to bring boyfriend after boyfriend home.
She says she wants a a father, she wants a sister, she wants a 'proper family'. How do I make this happen, how do I answer her needs?
How do I explain to her we are a different sort of family, and why we are different? How do I get other kids to stop being mean to her?
I emailed the father asking him to try and be more a part of her life. He didn't even bother to reply and we have not seen him in a while now. We last communicated when he sent a text cancelling the date, which I later found out was because he was taking some friends to dinner.
What is the best way to deal with her hurt and disappointment? Even if I tell her nothing is wrong with us being just mother and child, the world will forever tell her something different. She does have a couple of loving uncles but it is not the same and she knows it is not the same.
I have never said one bad word about her father to her, and never will. She believes this must mean there is no reason we shd not be with him. I don't know what to do.
We are both depressed pls help.