Dd obviously doesn't like her dad but won't tell me why

(15 Posts)
chickensaladagain Sat 20-Jul-13 00:23:18

It's his birthday coming up so I suggested she get him something 'do I have to?'

She's bought him a card, no present, and has literally written 'to dad from little chicken'

This is not like her so I've asked her what's up and she says 'dunno'

He was and is an absolute arse to me but my relationship is not her relationship and I have done everything I can to facilitate their relationship, I have never said a bad word against him and she doesn't know why the relationship broke down

I feel sad for her but on the selfish side I worry that he will think I have orchestrated this in some way because he will take it out on me

What to do?

Clearlymisunderstood Sat 20-Jul-13 01:00:39

How old is she?

chickensaladagain Sat 20-Jul-13 06:30:26

11 nearly 12

MissMarplesBloomers Sat 20-Jul-13 06:32:45

Mnnn old enough to have a say in visitation arrangements.

Does she see him often? Is she reluctant to go or upset on returning?

chickensaladagain Sat 20-Jul-13 06:51:09

She sees his parents every other week which is in theory his contact time -he sees them there but his mum in reality is the one doing the caring

She never says she doesn't want to go but is moody the day after

beeny Sat 20-Jul-13 07:10:23

Ask her very directly what the problem is, it could be something big or nothing serious.

chickensaladagain Sat 20-Jul-13 07:55:34

I've asked her why she doesn't want to do anything for her dad's birthday, has she fallen out with him and is everything ok with her dad

All I get is dunno

TurnipIsTaken Sat 20-Jul-13 16:23:51

Might be hard for her to talk to you? I'm not suggesting that's your fault, just that because you were involved with him maybe she's worried about upsetting you. It might be easier to talk to someone neutral, like does she have an auntie or an adult at school she could talk to?

Doesn't sound like he is that involved in being a dad so maybe she is just getting the flavour of him and feels disappointed.

MissMarplesBloomers Sat 20-Jul-13 16:28:01

My DD 2 is a bit like this even at 16. She was 11 when her Dad & I parted and there were times when things were tough (still are but not so often) for her. Sometimes they were serious big things, sometimes just seemed so to her. Either way they needed talking about but it was like pulling teeth.

I told her right from the start that there would be times when she wanted to talk but couldn't & times when she'd just want a hug & either way I was there for her.

We developed this silly strategy where she'd be extra cuddly & we have a snuggle, & after a while I'd ask if she was OK. If she said yeah then we just enjoyed a cuddle. If she shrugged then we started a guessing game,

Something bothering you? <nod or shake of head>

Then school/me/your dad/friends/life the universe & everything?

Took farking ages some times!!!!

We have a joke that I ask first off if she's pregnant & she says NO, then anything else is OK (obv if she was it would be too)

What I'm going round the bushes to say is that sometimes they can't verbalise what is wrong & do want to talk but can't find the words but inside they're screaming "Can't you SEEEEE!!!??"

By doing something that doesn't require eye contact often draws it out of them....I spent ages rearranging her clothes sometimes just to have a pretext to keep a convo going! grin

JambalayaCodfishPie Sat 20-Jul-13 16:36:39

Could it be that she just doesn't want to go, and is worried you'll be angry about that or make her?

babyhammock Sat 20-Jul-13 19:24:37

Hi
The fact that he was and continues to be arsehole towards you probably means that fundamentally he is an arsehole. Someone like that will more than likely be that way with their kids one way or another and I imagine that is what the problem is.

I expect its fairly complex what he's doing and your DD will find it very hard to verbalise what the problem is... after all its often hard enough for an adult to explain especially when it's emotional abuse. (I'm guessing that's how it was for you, please accept my apologies if that's wrong)

BlackeyedSusan Sat 20-Jul-13 23:10:53

it might also be why bother when he does not bother much with her, given that you have said that expils do the caring.

chickensaladagain Sat 20-Jul-13 23:24:04

Babyhammock yes it was EA with me hmm

I have always known that one day out dcs would figure him out, I just expected it to be when they were much older

babyhammock Sun 21-Jul-13 08:21:10

Children pick up on so much of this. He's probably so highly entitled that he would find it impossible to put her needs above his own especially as she is a girl.

I'm always amazed that some people think that a complete arse can miraculously transform into a different person when dealing with their children. Sure they can put on a short lived front, especially when someone else is around to marvel at their parenting skills. This can work to their advantage with younger children but your DD sounds very bright and he probably can't manipulate her like he used to be able to.

If you want to talk to her, given her age, you could maybe ask if her dad sometimes makes her feel bad about stuff that she finds hard to explain? Oh and always validate her feelings... but you sound like you do already.

Sorry you still have to deal with his twatty behaviour x

STIDW Sun 21-Jul-13 19:25:42

At 11 or 12 years of age children are at a stage when they start becoming independent of adults and focus on developing relationships with peers. It can be really uncool spending time with adults but with persuasion and coercion teenagers do usually fine. Our children as teenagers often said they didn't want to visit extended family, family friends or even go on holiday and sometimes they weren't overly keen on contact. However once they were there they normally had a good time and now they are adults they appreciate having maintained the relationships as well as developing their own friendships.

Of course sometimes children come to a mature judgement about the value of contact, but that is based upon experiences which they are able to describe. If, for example, they find contact unrewarding or boring because the contact parent is unreasonably restrictive or preoccupied the contact parent might be persuaded to change their behaviour through mediation or family counselling.

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