March 2, 2024

Dear Manang,
I understand now that young love is really not permanent love. I got pregnant when I was in first year college. I was so in love with the man who was four years older than me, so I was devastated when he left me five months into my pregnancy. I had suicidal thoughts. I sought help from my relatives but what I thought of as scorn turned out to be right. They said he wasn’t worth anything to leave me. Besides, he was jobless and was just absorbed with doing petty things to fill his time. My child is now 11 years old and suddenly her father and his family want to join her birthday party. Until they got in touch a few days before her birthday and I had married a few months ago, I almost completely forgot about them. Then my daughter was surprised and said, “Why are they suddenly interested in me?” I thought the same thing. Am I supposed to be suspicious?
Donna of EPZA, Baguio City

Dear Donna,
Sometimes time heals old wounds or maybe the family of your daughter’s father realized that he had stray oats left out. To make an even more evil deduction, maybe he is married and childless? When we look back, we can only surmise that it took too long for them to consider the child as a member of the family. Well, I wouldn’t mind child support because education is expensive. Maybe the father is finally in a position to take the father role? Further yet, maybe karma has set in. You can allow your daughter and her father to get to know each other. It might happen that a fondness will grow and they will bond but it is up to your daughter how she will deal with this episode in her life. She may be too young to make her own decisions but it is she who will benefit or lose from it.
Give it space,

Dear Manang,
My five-year-old son is special. He was born a month ahead of my expected due date. He survived all the challenges and now he is getting ready for school. His father and I split up when he was three. On weekends the father would have him picked up and returned on Sunday. Until, one day, my son asked me if he could stay home with me and not go with his father. I thought he was sick so I communicated to his father his condition. But the succeeding weeks saw the same request until he said he didn’t want to go with his father anymore. I don’t influence my son to stop seeing his father. What do I do?
Krryza of Legarda Road, Baguio City

Dear Krryza,
Your son was traumatized. He must have been hurt by someone in his father’s house. Maybe his father hurt him and he doesn’t understand that your son is special? In that situation, you need to understand your child more. Let him be. Maybe later he will tell you why he doesn’t want to go. I know confronting the father is futile because he would not admit harming the child. You need to wait and tell his father prudently that he can try again next week and that the wind may shift.