"It's my other dad's fault"

The C-Monster had his first therapy session yesterday.  I think it went OK. He evaded the majority of the questions that she asked (which were mostly about feelings), but I'm hoping that as he gets more comfortable he'll start answering those. He talked a lot about things like amusement parks and other fun things that we do, so that's good I guess.  He only has 5 sessions approved by Medicaid so I guess hopefully that will be enough.

Then last night he was a holy terror. It was the worst night we've had in a while. I think he had to go to time out for throwing giant fits at least 3 times in about 2 hours.  This was after we played for an hour outside in the wading pool...not sure if he was just tired or what.  I am not sure if talking to the therapist could have awoken some feelings that he had suppressed or something too.

Then this morning out of the blue on the way to preschool Y said "I want to go live with my other mom and dad".  He was removed from the home at 9 months old, so pretty much no way he can remember living with them.  I asked what made him want to go live there and he said because they give him a lot of candy. And we only give them candy sometimes.  So, there's loyalty for you!

C said the same thing, then C said "It's our other dad's fault that we can't live with him and our other mom."

Now, I know he has heard this from D before.  Clearly, it is untrue.  They have both made some (ok, a lot of) sad choices in their lives.  D chooses to believe that his mom is completely innocent and is a victim of circumstances beyond her control. That is his prerogative to believe that, but he should not be passing this bias on to his little brothers. So I don't know if we will have to talk to him about that.

So I tried to explain to the boys that their other mom and dad made sad choices and weren't able to take care of them as a result of those choices. I don't know if they understood...of course this was a 5 minute conversation on the way to preschool, so there wasn't much time and I was flying by the seat of my pants.  I did tell them that we could talk about it later if they want to.

I'm sure it's confusing. When they make sad choices, what happens is they might have to go to time out, or they might have to clean up a mess they made or miss out on a fun activity.  Clearly they have no concept of making sad choices that have a huge consequence, like being removed from their home.  I suppose that's good.  But how to you explain to a 3 and 4 year old about REALLY sad choices?  I just don't know.


  1. Only 5 visits? Really? Can he get more approved after the therapist does an initial report?

    Hang in there. I think you're doing a great job just trying to keep the lines of communication open for them, so that they can talk more to you when they are ready to understand more.

    I don't know how to explain these things to little ones either. (How do you tell a sobbing 3 year old that "I want to be with Mommy" combined with Mommy saying Mommy wants her to come home does not equal her going back to Mommy's house?)

  2. When Tyke would make emotional statements outside of Therapy I would comfort him to the best of my ability just like you did. Then I would say, "Let's remember to talk about this with T too, okay?!" It helped him to figure out that spending time with T was also a place where we talked about big feelings.

    1. Thanks for mentioning that, I think bringing up the therapist is a great idea!


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