Dear Aunty Aurora,
I am a single mother and my son is 11. Lately he has become very stubborn and is asking questions about his biological father.
The problem is that at the time of his conception I was having an affair with my uncle. I was 17 and naive but the relationship was consensual, he did not force me into anything. He knows that he is the father of my son and he helps me to raise him but nobody else knows about this. My son is very keen on this because he is being harassed in school when he cannot tell the other boys who his father is. He is nagging and I don’t think he is going to let go of this until he gets to the bottom of this matter. I just don’t know what to do now. Thanks Tolani, Iju-Ishaga
Dear Tolani, The situation you are facing is a result of the principal differences between raising a boy and a girl. Naturally, each one of us is curious to know our biological parents but this has an even higher bearing on boys compared to girls. This is because boys base and mould their identity from that of their father so it has much more significance to them.
The fact that nobody else knows about this makes this even more difficult for you. However, I would ask if you have consulted him over this matter and what his response was. Looking at this, the whole truth may put your son’s soul at rest but what will it do to your big secret? It will just be a matter of time and the whole world will know. It could also have some effects on your son where among others knowing that he is the product of an illicit incestuous relationship may affect him even further. This can also spark untold animosity between him and his cousins who will now become step-brothers and sisters and could put a strain on the whole family.
Remaining silent on this matter is certainly not an option. Something has to be said to put his soul to rest. You may introduce a vague story about his father that would have a loose end such as he left the country or you really don’t know where he is. However, it may help if he got some form of settlement at some point and he knew that it was from his father. This would reassure him that despite the differences between you and his father, his father still recognises and appreciates him as his son.Photo Credit: Getty