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How to explain to DD that her Dad doesn't want to see her?(7 Posts)
We separated 6 months ago, and she's stayed with him 3 nights a week ever since. She loves him to bits.
But... there's been a variety of concerns raised, culminating in her talking to the teachers at school, and a referral to children's services. Their advice was that overnight stays were too much at the moment, to maintain day time contact. The issues can be sorted.
I've tried explaining this to her Dad, but he's fuming at everyone and everything. He's now said that if she's not staying overnight, he never wants to see her, or speak to her again. A normal person might calm down and change their mind, but this is not a normal person.
I've made excuses so far why she hasn't gone round there, or phoned him along the lines of 'he needs some time on his own'. But I'm running out of excuses, and she's crying for her Daddy. She thinks this is her fault for saying something, and I doubt she'll ever tell anyone anything again. She no doubt thinks I'm keeping her from him.
What on earth do I say. i can't tell her the truth. DD is 9.
Oh bless her, have you asked the school for support?
I've learnt recently kids do better with the truth in some form. Ask the school for some guidance as the last thing she needs is to blame herself.
Does school have a counsellor who can help her with her feelings?
If he was my Ex (and mine has done some truly stupid things) I would write a warts and all e-mail telling him the whole truth about what he is doing to her. I always start this e-mail (I've had to write a few) with I am not criticising you only telling you how she feels and that her welfare is my only concern.
School is up to speed,but I haven't really asked them for guidance, that's a good suggestion. I have an appointment with the school nurse with a view to getting some more help for DD anyway, so I'll pick her brains too.
It's all about him - he doesn't want to deal with school, or child services, and would rather not see DD at all. He wont see reason, and appears to not care about the impact on DD.
lonecat another good idea about the email! Although whenever I write emails he sees it as me trying to get something on paper to use against him. He hates anything in writing, and would see it as an attack no matter how I worded it.
If you use the terms I have about not criticising etc. if you ever went to court it would be seen as you have your DD's best interests at heart no matter how he tried to twist it. I point out to him that I am not saying that is how it is, just that is how the 9 year old feels ( reminding him of her age is very helpful).
It has been similar messy for me, I am lucky in that my Dad has 25 years family court experience and i write like this on his advice.
I also work on the principal that if it did all go tits up and he dropped out of DD's life and then she came back to me as an adult or teenager I am hand on heart able to say I did everything I could.
The best pieces of advice I have received for a similar case were:
- there's no need to tell them the situation is permanent. It is very likely or your ex to change his mind, so there's no point in hurting the child with statements that include the words ever, never and even "until"
- don't lie to cover his absence or make up for it. It is better to say the truth in words she can understand ie, Daddy is very angry at the moment but I expect tat when things calms down things will be different. But you need to know that we both love you very much and this is not your fault.
If he returns that's great. If he doesn't those simple words would provide the basis on which you can later
- no need to idealise a parent, no need to talk bad about him/her either.
- no need to beat yourself about it either, whatever you have done is not enough for a parent to stop contact, much less so if that happens while you were trying to put DD'needs first. It is ultimately his decision and if he wants that there's nothing you can do about it (you know that hing about you can take a horse to the water but you can't force it to drink? That's true). Think about it, will you stop seeing your child indefinitely because you are angry? You know you won't, and just for that you are better than him and your child is safer under your care.
- if your ex can stop contact in a tantrum with no consideration off your child's feelings, you child will be much better without him in the long term.
- yes it is true that children do better when both parents remain involved in their upbringing... As long as neither parent is an abusive twat.
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