DEAR ABBY: My husband and I are in our 60s and raising our 4-year-old grandson. His mother is incarcerated, and the father signed away his rights a couple of years ago.
The child is starting to ask questions about his father. How much of the truth should we tell him? -- STUMPED IN CORPUS CHRISTI
DEAR STUMPED: Be as honest with your grandson as you can without being cruel. Explain that when he was born, his father "wasn't ready" to be a father, so it was his wish that you take care of his son.
If the boy asks where his father is, tell him he is "far away." (Even if he lives across town, emotionally he is far away.) As your grandson grows older, he will have to be told more of the truth. But the information he receives should be age appropriate.
Please don't think your situation is unique. Millions of children today are being raised by their grandparents. Grandparents As Parents (GAP) is a support network where grandparents like you can share feelings and find support. The mailing address is: GAP, 22048 Sherman Way, Canoga Park, CA 91303. The Web site is � HYPERLINK "http://www.grandparentsasparents.com" ��www.grandparentsasparents.com�. When you contact this organization, you may be surprised to learn how much company you have on this "adventure" of parenthood the second time around.