How do I explain my father's pedophile actions to my young children?
October 4, 2006 8:55 PM Subscribe
I severed contact with my father after discovery that he is a pedophile. My school aged children are now curious why they’ve never met him – how do I explain?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Many, many years ago my father was charged with indecent acts with a minor (with my siblings who were still at home) and sent me a letter detailing this. After a lot of deliberation, I chose to sever relations and contact with him simply out of a desire to protect my children. He appears to be a preferential pedophile (though I escaped abuse) and I don't want my kids exposed to potential harm. Though this is a lesser issue, I do not want him to be tempted by them. It’s worth noting that he has not tried to contact me all these years.
In an interesting twist, my oldest child came home with a school assignment on family history. (This might even count for a tie in to current affairs.) While we worked through this last night, it involved 'mapping' the family tree. I helped to complete it and he picked up on the fact my father is still alive and he’s never met him. While my children are old enough to know about ‘stranger danger’ and ‘inappropriate touching,’ I really don’t think they’re old enough to understand this whole sordid affair.
Any suggestions how I can explain this closeted skeleton without scaring them?
And... is there ever an age when I should encourage them (my kids, my father) to have a relationship?