Ask SWK: Would you have put Dad's name on? - Single with KidsSingle with Kids

Ask SWK: Would you have put Dad’s name on?

Posted on by Single With Kids

A reader asks…

“My children’s father and I separated 3 years ago. He was tragically killed a year later in a car accident. I have just had a scrabble art made with mine and the childrens’ names. My daughter asked why daddy’s name wasn’t there. I explained that it was just us as a little family now, and we weren’t together when he died. She kicked up such a fuss after misinterpreting what I said, that I feel a bit guilty for not putting it on. My question is, would anyone else have put it on there?”

Please note that replies to Ask SWK questions are from both single mums and dads, we use initials on the blog to protect our readers.

Our followers answer…

TM – “Maybe get one for your daughter that can have his name that she keeps in her room.”

SS – “Are his parents still around? If so, you could maybe get one with grandparents, their Dad’s name and their names. I personally wouldn’t have thought to put his name on.”

KB – “Daddy was still part of their lives. Maybe have one just for them with daddy in it. Ask his family if they can help as they may want a copy too. It’s good to keep ties up, especially if you need help.”

SD – “I wouldn’t have put his name on.”

LC – “Maybe you could do something else with daddy on it. Obviously for your children daddy will always be a part of their lives and memory and whatever your situation was with him, you should encourage them to remember and talk about their dad.”

NO – “I would create something else and maybe do a special day on fathers day for their daddy and give it then. It is a difficult one as if you were just seperated still you wouldn’t include him. You can even buy the scrabble pieces now so they could spend fathers day creating their own scrabble art for their rooms, or similar. Do they have contact with his family as maybe it could be something they are included in, so as to reinforce the daddy connection there instead of with you.”

BP – “I would… it’s all about the kids. :)”

MD – “I wouldn’t have put his name on it either based on the fact that you were separated only”

RC – “Maybe a family tree would be helpful? Rather than just replicating what sounds like a special piece of artwork… you could do something different… it would help make connections for the kids… but is also more factual too? P.S. I wouldn’t have thought of it… don’t feel guilty for thinking of yourselves as separate little family… they’ve experienced a complicated loss but that doesn’t change the shape of your family now…”

CT – “I wouldn’t have put his name on it either if I was still with him when he past then yes but not when we split. maybe get a sep one done xx”

WS – “I do spate things for my kids they have a daddy frame in their rooms they can add or remove things pictures etc I do special things for them at xmas or birthday dad related , I have to as he never sees them but he is their dad so I do things for them , when they are grown up they will either keep it or throw it dep on how they feel about their dad as adults as he does not bother.”

TC – “Do them there own one for there room with daddy x”

AI – “She is seeing it as an artwork for her, so her dad is missing. But from your point of view, he’s not part of your life.”

KL – “I wouldn’t put his name with yours but maybe one with her and his names x”

CD – “No, I wouldn’t have put it on.”

EM – “It’s a hard call, emotions and feelings get in our way at times, from your children’s point they probably need it right now so he’s not forgotten. I’m sure you will do your best as only anyone can xxx”

AK – “Your art is a celebration of your beautiful family as it is now. Be happy, be proud, you love and care for your children. You weren’t trying to airbrush the existence of their father from their hearts or history, nor should you be expected to airbrush the separation from history. Find other ways to help them cherish his memory, to think and talk freely about him. Keep a balance they shouldn’t pretend he was perfect, nobody is. Keep on supporting them and trust what feels right to you as their mum. Acknowledge your own feelings too.”

MS – “I respect and understand your decision to not put his name on, and had he been alive it would’ve been totally justified. but i think because of the sad news of him passing, it would’ve been nice for them to keep his name tied into theirs (and yours, after all you once loved each other and brought children to the world together) for all to see. its a small gesture for them to know that you respect his place in their lives as his father. XXX”

SW – “Depends. If this was for you, then I wouldn’t put his name on it, as he isn’t your family. If it was something for the children then their family includes him and his name should have been on it”

WT – “I’ve thought long and hard about this stuff .. making family art of hand-prints or photos etc.
I concluded that I would not do anything at all .. we just get on with our lives. Normal is as normal does. This is our reality, no need to highlight the detail.”

CM – “I wouldn’t have .. but know she has got upset about it. I would take the line ok, lets get something done for all our memories of being together. I think the suggestion of adding grandparents or other extended family was also a good one. Good luck X”

AW – “Is there a way I can PM this lady? Situations are very similar x”

SB – “How old is ur daughter? I wouldn’t have put his name on!”

AB – “I wouldn’t have put his name on either, but we all speak with the maturity of adults. We cannot expect children to understand, particularly if the subject is emotive.”

JH – “Do a separate one for daddy with an Angel or something on it and explain that he’s in heaven so that one is special.”

DB – “No. Maybe make a separate picture, just for her, with her name with Daddy? That way she has a reminder in her bedroom.”

RT – “I wouldn’t have as you had separated x”

RW – “No!”

CN – “No I wouldn’t have done either. Maybe have a separate one done as a nice keepsake for the children.”

AW – “I did something similar, no dads name in it but he had my died, do her own 1 like earlier suggested.”

TH – “Hi I’m the OP. I have a picture on the living room wall of him with all the children, and I also named a star in his memory on what would have been his 40th birthday last year, that we have a plaque for. Believe me, I have thought about the children. But there comes a point where we have to let go and move on with our lives. The artwork was for me. I have a new partner, but wouldn’t have dreamed of putting him name on it either. In my eyes, here and now, it’s our little family unit now, me and the children. As much as I’d never deny them their dad, I can’t live my life into the future still clinging on to the past. My daughter is a typical stroppy 12 year old, and she’ll be fine. It’s true what they say, you never understand until you’re a parent yourself. Thanks all for the input x”

  • BC (reply to TH) – “It seems like you’ve allowed them their memories too, not much more you could do, yes she is probably at 12 not quite as rational as could be…my ex hubby and I divorced when my son was 4 and he is 21 now and occasionally still plays the guilt game with me about us not being together, try not to worry too much grief is a tough process especially for children. Best of luck xx”

JG – “I would have put his name on. He was their daddy and nothing will change that. Presumably you were separated because your relationship broke down, rather than his relationship with his children?”

SA – “Definitely he is their father , and will no longer be in their life so would have been a nice gesture.”

TCR – “I wouldn’t have, my childrens father left us and then died 5 years later, things with him an the boys yes, but not all four of us…”

PN – “No. Because he may not of had accident and been going for a one nighter. The fact fate took its toll shouldn’t alter how a family should see life now. X”

CH – “I’m in the same situation it’s been a year since my kids dad died suddenly, we separated two years prior x o have had many pictures and walk arts mad and daddy features in them all. We also have photos and drawings of him in the house xx”

JE – “If this happened to my ex husband I would probably make a big scrap book with photos, memories of him from family and friends, favourite things he liked etc etc so they can look at it whenever they want. Must be awful for children to lose their father. But I wouldn’t of put his name on it either X”

AC – “I’m a single dad with a 12 year old daughter my estranged wife walked out on us a year ago after physically abusing and mentally abusing my daughter and I, I would never put her name to anything!!!!!”

BC – “Maybe get one made for him and them a special memory to keep without compromising the little unit you are now or making you feel awkward….I wouldn’t necessarily include him on yours as you weren’t all together when he died…I am sure whatever you do will be Ok…they just need love and to remember him, a scrap book is an amazing idea x”

SS – “Nope I wouldn’t it’s just you guys sorry!”

The original post is available on the Single With Kids Facebook.

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