I am curious about the implications abandonment can have on children.
My daughter is 5 1/2 years old. Her father has never been involved in her life (not by my choice - by his).
She was an unplanned pregnancy. I have told her that her dad is "too sick to take care of us" in an attempt to ensure the problem is NOT focused on her. I do not say mean things about her father.
Now, every day, several times a day, she asks about her dad. It will either be in the form of "I miss and /or love my daddy," to "do you have a picture of me and my daddy."
It has now escalated into unusual fantasies about her father, such as, "when I was a baby, my daddy took me on a trip," to "when my daddy feels better, he will come and see me."
I have kept in communication with her father and have asked several times for him to be involved in her life. He has not yet committed to any involvement. He is not a criminal and I have no worries about any bad effects he would have on her - I really want him to be involved - if only for 1-2 days per month.
I would like to know, from professionals in this field, several things:
1. What effect will his absence have on her later in life?
2. What can I tell her to ensure that this issue is not about her?
3. At what age is it appropriate for her to enter counseling?
4. Will she continue to have abandonment issues for the rest of her life?