How to cope with child going overnight?(1 Post)
Hope it's ok for me to post here- I'm no longer a single parent but this is a single parent issue. My son is almost nine and has never lived or stayed over with his dad. His dad has paid maintenance for only a few months of his life in total. He frequently quits jobs because he thinks he's too special to have to work hard. He still lives at home with his mom, so just scrounges off her for a while. He's started about six different courses in the time I've known him, none completed. Never his fault, of course. Needless to say, I think he's a pathetic piece of shit.
Our contact arrangement is two weeknights for tea and Sunday morning. He has never turned up or turned up on time for all three in a week. He has been nothing but a let down for his entire life. I've never been able to rely on him. Always has reasons he seems to think are good enough, though.
I called and confronted him for the umpteenth time last week. Told me he was going to be late, pushed it back, pushed it back again and then cancelled. My son had the biggest tantrum I've seen - screaming that he hates his dad, there is no point having a dad if he never bothers with him, throwing things around the room and hitting things. He's recently started calling his dad an idiot. I thought it was the start of a new phase where he was getting a bit older and seeing him for who he truly is. It was heartbreaking to think he'd have to go through that, but better than feeling the constant disappointment. Anyway, I was wrong. He still thinks the sun shines out of his arse.
I called him to tell him that his constant let downs were really affecting our son. I've been telling my son for a while to let his dad know how he is making him feel, but it's really unrealistic for me to expect a child to be able to confront a parent like that. He asked me to do it and I explained that I've tried many times over the years but he doesn't listen to me and argues with me. In reality, he calls me a shit mom. Anything to detract from his own behaviour. So I made the call, hoped it would shock him into action. Asked why he kept pushing back times, explained that we could change the time permanently if that was better now (times/days have been swapped around many times over the years, almost always for his benefit) but he said it was all fine. He seems to think that the pick up time is a starting point for him to pick the most suitable time for him that day. I can't make plans around my son going out because his dad will simply text '12.' to let me know he's going to be an hour late. I have to text every day to check he is coming, at my son's insistence. He gets anxious around my phone on those days because he knows his dad is likely to let him down.
Anyway, he has started another new job which makes it difficult to get back in time to give him tea and then back here for bed. So he asked if he can have him overnight. He's asked a few times over the years and I have considerd it every time, but I really don't trust him. My son has an injection every night and his dad was supposed to come to my house and watch as the nurse taught us how to do it, so that overnights could happen. He never showed up and acted confused when I questioned him. His way of dealing with things is to lie, lie, lie and act confused if you have irrefutable proof. He will take that as far as to act as though he doesn't understand meanings of words. That was five years ago and he's made no attempt since. However, my son is now old enough to really be learning to do it himself. I have no reason to say no to overnights.
It feels as though he is being rewarded for consistently being shit. I've just brought up the idea of Christmas morning with my son, and it turns out that he's entirely happy to wake up there, where there will be very few presents, no other family and no Christmas cheer, while I'm at home with his brother who adores him and the step dad who has actually raised him y entire life has been about him and I know my son well enough to know that this will only be the beginning and within a few years I wouldn't be surprised if he tells me he wants to live with his dad. I literally gave up my future, as I became a parent very young, and his dad swanned off and continued to live the life of a young, single bloke. His son apparently lives on fresh air while he doesn't feel like working.
How on earth do I cope with this?? People seem to think that the fact he still lives with his mom is a good thing, as she'll be there to supervise. But their whole family is fucking dysfunctional. My son has been very scared lately, won't even be in a room alone, but I know he won't feel comfortable enough to tell his dad that because he always wants to impress him. His dad is 'cool' and puts image above all else. I can't stand the thought of him being there and not wanting to say things to his dad and the extra influence his dad will now have. He often has a very bad atttude when he comes back.
This is a very long post, there is so much more in my head, so much more about their family and the relationships and what he is exposed to. I feel gutted but I can't stop it.
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