Mum, I don't want to see Dad anymore

(139 Posts)
enderwoman Fri 17-Jan-14 19:38:38

These are the words that my dd have just said.

Bit of background- I have 3 kids (12,10,7) Dd is the 10 year old. I split from their Dad a year ago. He left to be with OW and was EA.
Ds1 doesn't see ex as he knows that he was EA and is angry with him. Ds2 does not see ex as ex was a lazy dad who did not properly bond. Dd has been seeing ex weekly. Ex saw the boys on Xmas day for 45 minutes because I invited him in when he picked up dd.

Ex and I are neither friendly or acrimonious. We organise gifts for each other from the Judson each other's birthdays/Xmas but don't see each other in person sort of arrangement.

Dd has confessed that she'd rather not see him anymore. Her reasons are
1- ex lives 2 hours away which means being in a car 4 hours per weekend.
2- He's "mean" (I think she means EA) Her examples are that she feels scared to tell him what she wants (like for him to change the channel from Top Gear)
3- Contact time is boring. She doesn't exactly have an amazing time with me but she says that I "do stuff" with her which is what she wants.
4- She feels that she is intruding on ex and ow. Ex and ow have been living together a year.

What do I do? Ex loves the kids but as my 3 dc say he will never love anyone more than himself.(How did they get so smart?) She currently has 2 weekends with me followed by 1 weekend with ex (Fri night to Mon morning) and no mid week contact so it's hardly excessive.

I'm gutted that it's such a mess. Ex FIL is estranged from his 4 kids and we've created another generation who don't want to know their Dad sad

MuttonCadet Fri 17-Jan-14 19:44:48

Why wouldn't you just make all your children see their father? Mostly kids don't get options about who they do or don't see. Yet when it comes to divorce it seems fine for a 7 year old to not "want" to see his dad.

"How did they get so smart" - listening to their mum?

enderwoman Fri 17-Jan-14 20:00:33

Ex refuses to see the kids if they don't want to come. Ds1 and ds2 have told him that they won't go.

I would like them to go to their Dad's regularly. They have never heard me criticise him. By clever I mean working out that he was narcissistic despite me minimising his behaviour.

MuttonCadet Fri 17-Jan-14 20:04:12

So you've got two boys that don't want to see their father and now your daughter feels the same.

Why would DD be any different? you already allow your sons not to visit their dad.

I hope they never tell you they don't want to go to school.....

Monetbyhimself Fri 17-Jan-14 20:17:56

He's emotionally abusive. Of course she doesn't have to see him. And if he doesn't give a damn about his boys, he's hardly likely to put up much if a fight to see her either.

I wouldn't force her to go, encourage her to keep in touch with him by phone or email and see how she feels in a few weeks time.

DarkKnight123 Fri 17-Jan-14 20:24:35

I think by allowing your daughter to dictate terms all your doing is making it that much harder to restart contact. Once a status qou gets established it can be very hard to change. My advice would be to continue to encourage your daughter and reinforce the positives where you can. Giving dad some insight into the problems may seems a thankless task but might be helpful.

mummytime Fri 17-Jan-14 20:53:59

I believe OP you have name changed? Or there is another MNer with a very similar tale.
If it is you I believe the others here have been harsh.
This is not just a child saying " I don't want to see Dad" and you just let them. I believe you have tried in the past, and there is more to this of course.

If you are who I think Then I am not so surprised your DD has decided she also doesn't want to see him.

learnasyougo Fri 17-Jan-14 21:08:56

goodness, I was this child, years ago. I hated going to see my dad, selfish man. as an adult I tried to start afresh with him. I had high hopes for a rebuilding relationship once I was expecting the first grandchild. nope, . he hasn't changed one bit.
I have since gone nc with him because I can't bear his company.

in the past I was made to spend time with him. hated it. in the hour leading up to pick up time both my sister and I would become really bad-tempered or tearful. it was just the stress of about to go and do something we hated.

he is very close to losing his other two daughters, too. they have more patience than I do, though my younger sis won't see him without another one off its there. hee lives abroad so we see him only once a year. always out of obligation. I'm glad we're nc now.

I hated being forced to go and it didn't make me like or trust him.

queenofthepirates Fri 17-Jan-14 21:10:31

Could DD write Dad a letter explaining how she feels? Maybe Dad needs to hear it and have the chance to make some changes before he loses all contact with the kids. I appreciate he is EA but if he has a chance, it might kick him into shape.

learnasyougo Fri 17-Jan-14 21:14:57

what I'm trying to say is, powerless who think you should just force her do not know what they are taking about. what message sites our send that her feelings are ignored for the sake of an adult's feelings? I wondered did my feelings count for nothing against his? she is alone there with an EA adult and no one who can stick up for her when he's being horrible to her.

I don't think I would have had the courage to send my dad a letter. he would have guilted me into seeing him more. it's there a neutral third party who could go along to supervised visits? I airways finds things less difficult with other people around. it also meant he behaved himself better.

Penguinttc Fri 17-Jan-14 21:24:47

I think mutton cadet is out of order! Children aged 10 and 12 have feelings and wishes! If Cafcass was involved their needs would be listened to and why shouldn't they?!? Saying that the mum has influenced them with no proof is awful.
I hope your children never go to you to tell you they don't want to go through with something, and that someone else is there for them instead that will listen to their feelings.... Jeez

I would get dd to write how she feels down, draw a picture of her at mums, and another at dads. (This can be very insightful) Perhaps speak to the school, see if anything has been said or if she reacts differently around the time she has contact. Explain how not seeing her dad will effect her whole life, and that she has to make the choice based on what she wants, not what mum or her siblings want and do.

Monetbyhimself Fri 17-Jan-14 21:26:54

Queen I think letters to abusive men are fraught with potential danger. Dd wrote to Ex. He used it to ridicule her.

DarkKnight123 Fri 17-Jan-14 21:35:19

It seems to me that a child of 6 taking on the burden of deciding whether to have a relationship with her father is dangerous nonsense. No one with any sensibility towards child development would think its a good idea. Suppose she has a lifetime of regret and guilt? If mum has taken the decision to stop contact then it is for her to have the courage of her convictions and go to court and argue her reasons. Displacing that responsibility onto a child is detrimental and harmful, doubly so for one so young.

Monetbyhimself Fri 17-Jan-14 21:45:57

The child in question is 10.

DarkKnight123 Fri 17-Jan-14 22:04:37

My mistake. The point remains though. If mum is of the view that contact should stop, then she should shoulder the burden of that decision.

cestlavielife Fri 17-Jan-14 22:07:30

reduce the contact - one weekend in four or five.
see if that improves things.
wriitng a letter to him is pointless.

Monetbyhimself Fri 17-Jan-14 22:11:25

And where has the OP said 'she' wants to stop contact ? Seriously Dark Knight, this is absolute proof that your agenda is that of an MRA.

RTFT and then your 'advice' might loosely apply.

MuttonCadet Fri 17-Jan-14 22:40:04

Yes the child in question is 10, her younger brother who has not had recent contact with his dad is 7, seems a bit young to make that kind of decision.

But yes, I am clearly out of order (with an exclamation mark to prove the point)

DarkKnight123 Fri 17-Jan-14 22:56:10

hey Monet unfortunately your abbreviations went over my head...not sure the point your making but good for you for making it.

Monetbyhimself Fri 17-Jan-14 22:58:49

The mask is starting to slip Dark Knight. You could always apologise to the OP for saying that she is stopping contact ? Or you could try and deflect away from your agenda with a dismissive piece of PA bull ?

DarkKnight123 Fri 17-Jan-14 23:07:20

not sure where your going with this monet...your going to have to dumb it down a bit...'mask starting to slip' sounds a little dramatic?

You said the child doesnt need to see her dad. I replied underneath that a child shouldnt be burdened with that sort of decision.

Now...excuse me, v busy, evil machinations to work on...

Monetbyhimself Fri 17-Jan-14 23:18:32

And your apology to the OP ?

DarkKnight123 Fri 17-Jan-14 23:39:52

Monet - the OP has serious concerns and doesn't deserve to have them sidetracked any further with our banter so lets agree to direct our comments solely on supporting her.

Elderwoman - you know my view, whatever you go with, good luck.

comingintomyown Sat 18-Jan-14 07:26:00

Very difficult

My DD at a similar age began to say she didn't want to go to XH but I knew from DS that he was making tons of effort to give her a nice time and it was more about her finding her life with me more convenient plus he was stricter with her which of course didn't go down well. Once I felt confident that she wasn't being badly treated in any way I stuck to my guns that her Dad wanted to see and spend time with her and she needed to go. We only live 5 minute sin the car apart though and she could still see her friends .

She was is hard work and I treasured and frankly needed that fortnightly break and knew if she stopped going their relationship would grind to a halt.

In the end she stopped the mid week visit and now at almost 15 runs her social life from his house when she goes on his weekends so never complains and I still get the break that I very much need from her and her teenage dramas. So even though I did feel mean and questioned myself during the times she didn't want to go I am glad I stuck to it and she and her Dad get on fine now.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 19-Jan-14 01:19:04

Has she given a reason?

Monetbyhimself Sun 19-Jan-14 10:44:42

She's given 4 reasons. One of them being emotional abuse.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 19-Jan-14 11:32:57

Then you need to back her up. It is that simple even if in the long run he makes it impossible to prevent her going you backing her up is important.

Mrscaindingle Sun 19-Jan-14 15:24:00

I think some posters on here have been very harsh enderwoman I am in a similar situation with my 2 DS (ages 13 & 10) who at the moment are refusing to speak to their Dad who lives abroad.
I've tried everything I can think of to persuade them but have come to the conclusion that I cannot force them to do so. They are very hurt and angry and I feel they do need to feel listened to even if I wish for their sakes they could have some sort of relationship with their Dad.
I know my ex is blaming me for having poisoned them against him but equally he is unable to accept responsibility for making rotten decisions which have had a devastating effect on our family.
It's a really tough one, I would say that you need to try and speak to your ex and give him a chance to work on his relationship with your DD first.
Good luck.

ItsDecisionTime Mon 20-Jan-14 01:22:07

I empathise with you as my DD, now 13, won't visit her father for the exact same reasons - he's mean, boring, has a different girlfriend every time she visits. When she voiced this independently through CAFCASS when she was 10 y.o, he took me to court then ultimately he stopped speaking to her and hasn't acknowledged her birthday or Xmas for the past year. His loss.

As long as you continue to give her every opportunity to see him when she wants to and explain to her the consequences of not having him in her life, then let her make her own decisions. At 10, she knows what she feels even if she isn't yet mature enough to have a voice.

DollyHouse Mon 20-Jan-14 02:05:43

Bit O/T but nice flash of an EA, passive aggressive man there in darkknight. Definitely see the slipping of the mask.

And on topic, I think as long as you reminder her every so often that she can change her mind and see him again, reducing contact wouldn't be a bad thing. We wouldn't send an adult to an EA person so we shouldn't send children either.

Wow, OP some really harsh comments here! You can disagree with someone without sticking the boot in you know!

For what it's worth if ds said he didn't want to see his dad at 10 then I'd listen to him. Hopefully your ex might pull his finger out and start making the most of his time with his children. It is not your responsibility to make their relationship work out. It's his! Your duty is to your children and comparing it to not wanting to go to school is ridiculous.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 20-Jan-14 06:15:46

Have you not noticed those two posters have turned up on several lone parent threads with agenda filed posts?

I expect they are both members of that org we don't like to name who have popped over for sport.

DarkKnight123 Mon 20-Jan-14 06:59:30

Hey Dolly, your post made me smile. Well if my post was EA I cant help feeling your setting the bar a little low. In the real world there's often more than one side to an argument, broaden your horizons a little.

DarkKnight123 Mon 20-Jan-14 07:02:00

Hey Dolly, your post made me smile. Well if my post was EA I cant help feeling your setting the bar a little low. In the real world there's often more than one side to an argument, broaden your horizons a little.

FrogStarandRoses Mon 20-Jan-14 07:02:10

I think as long as you reminder her every so often that she can change her mind and see him again

I disagree - a child of 10 is old enough to understand consequences of her choices - and the reality of life.

She may not have the chance to see her Dad again - he may not always be there.

That was a stark lesson my DHs daughter learnt when she was estranged from him; and he was involved in a life-changing car crash. The dad she knew left that day; she's never had the chance to say goodbye or see him again. Instead, she faced the prospect of getting to know a completely different person.

Monetbyhimself Mon 20-Jan-14 07:29:44

Dollyhouse it's scary how they all use the same tactics. smilimg as they make you out to be the crazy one hmm

FrogStarandRoses Mon 20-Jan-14 07:39:17

monet do you mean all men? It's scary how all men use the same tactics?
I'm sure that's not what you meant - who do you mean when you say "they all"?

DarkKnight123 Mon 20-Jan-14 08:13:35

Frogstarandroses - am very sorry to read such a sad post. You write powerfully about how temporary our lives can be and how fleeting childhood actually is. Whatever viewpoints people hold, am sure your words will help them a think a little.

CuttedUpPear Mon 20-Jan-14 08:39:33

OP I'm sorry to see the negative input on your thread. It's not constructive at all.

I also had this with my DS. His father was EA and obsessive about regular contact, to the point where DS often missed school trips and family occasions because XP wouldn't be flexible about which weekends were 'his' and which were 'mine'.

I feel guilty for all the times I forced DS to go against his will. Eventually, after years of it, I told XP that DS wasn't going to be seeing him. I know I did the right thing. They see each other about twice a year now and DS is loads less distressed.

It seems like your DD is old enough to know her mind. I now feel very strongly that children shouldn't be forced to stay with EA adults if they don't feel comfortable with it.

Do you think that giving her a break from the commitment at least for a while might help?

You XP will just have to behave in an adult fashion and accept her decision.

Skullfucker Mon 20-Jan-14 09:05:03

Hello op what have you decided?

If two out of the three children already want no contact, there is already clearly issues. I wouldn't want to send a child to someone they didn't want go to.

It's not your fault or the child's it's the df. It's on his toes.

I had to visit my DM every weekend, which got dropped to every other weekend which finally went to NC when I was brave enough to tell her I didn't want to visit. It's no fun bring uncomfortable and clock watching the whole weekend. At ten years old, I took to sleeping as much as I could just to pass the time. I hated it.

Monetbyhimself Mon 20-Jan-14 11:11:58

I refer to the abusive, PA MRAs who continue to jump on any thread and offer dangerous and damaging advice to women and children. It seems as if you are also a DA apologist with a very clear agenda Frogs, and no insight into the damage that EA does to children.

DarkKnight123 Mon 20-Jan-14 11:18:15

...and there was me thinking you were referring to the men in white coats.

lostdad Mon 20-Jan-14 11:34:21

Monetbyhimself - `it's scary how they all use the same tactics'

Who are `they'? confused

FrogStarandRoses Mon 20-Jan-14 11:38:09

I refer to the abusive, PA MRAs who continue to jump on any thread and offer dangerous and damaging advice to women and children. It seems as if you are also a DA apologist with a very clear agenda Frogs, and no insight into the damage that EA does to children.

I'm sorry monet I don't know what an MRA is.

You have misunderstood my post - I have not expressed an opinion as to whether the OP should force her DD to see her Dad in this situation; my post was to highlight that the DC's in this situation should be supported to make an informed choice, rather than made promises that cannot be guaranteed.

Misleading a DC into believing that their Dad will always be there, even if they choose not to see them right at the moment, is misguided. I base that on my own experience, where a momentary loss of concentration of the part of a stranger resulted in my DH's life changing forever and his DC's losing the Dad they had known up until that point in their lives.

The OP cannot possible guarantee to her DD that her Dad will always be there if she changes her mind about seeing him - circumstances, or choices made by her ex, may result in her DD not having that opportunity in the future. It is unfair to mislead a DC in that way.

crunchyfrog Mon 20-Jan-14 11:38:55

Is mediation an option?

I'm in a similar situation, 10 yr old DD often refusing to go. 8 yr old DS1 sometimes refusing, but he has additional needs that complicate things. 5 year old DS2 desperate to see Daddy. So I am listening to all three and really struggling.

We are mid-way through mediation and it seems to be going well.

BTW, the oft-trotted out "you'd make them go to school" is bollocks. If my child was sobbing, screaming, clinging to me etc, I would not send them to school before thoroughly investigating what the problem was, and fixing it as far as possible.

FrogStarandRoses Mon 20-Jan-14 11:39:40

lostdad I asked that too - apparently it is the "abusive, PA MRA's who jump onto thread and give dangerous advice" - but I have no idea what an MRA is!

FrogStarandRoses Mon 20-Jan-14 11:42:59

I would not send them to school before thoroughly investigating what the problem was, and fixing it as far as possible.

Exactly! I am a very strong avocate of getting to the bottom of these issues, rather than accepting them at face value and placing responsibility for the solution onto the DC.

Skullfucker Mon 20-Jan-14 11:47:52

frogs so in theory you would encourage dc to see a parent that is EA and the child is resisting going just incase some thing bad happens to the parent.

Who is actually benefiting from the forced visits?

If you told dd ' sorry dd you should see your df even though you don't want to as one day something bad might happen and he won't be around' that's emotional blackmail .

It sounds as OP has always encouraged access as it was still on going with her dd till she has decided she wants to stop.

If somebody is EA then they lose the right to see their child.

Sorry for your dd and I mean that in a non PA way.

Lioninthesun Mon 20-Jan-14 11:51:29

I'd try some sort of group counselling. It seems he isn't very good at keeping relationships going? Perhaps all of your children would benefit, especially if they feel the air has not been cleared and in their visits they feel too uncomfortable to talk about anything (I imagine if they aren't able to change the channel from fear then this is true).

I wish anyone would have done this for me with my parents as I was growing up. Too much water under the bridge and things not being discussed leads to a confusing adolescence and by the time you feel adult enough to voice things the moment has passed and you feel like you are dredging up dirt for no reason, even if it means clearing it from your life.

I don't know if they would agree to it but I do think it would be good for all of them in the long run. Hey, even if they just vent at him, at least he will see why they won't see him and they won't carry that around.

DollyHouse Mon 20-Jan-14 11:54:21

Exactly, Monet. It's the passive aggressive, patronising attempts to shut women down that make it more obvious. All the sarcastic little "good for you"s and completely ignoring making an apology to the OP and instead shutting you down and trying to make you look like the pain in the arse for following it up. It makes it obvious what type of men these people are in real life and makes it clear to me why they have such an agenda.

Darkknight, I said a flash of an EA man. You use the same tactics as many of them, the same talking style, the same type of posts as a couple of other men on here who clearly hide why their relationship really broke down. Patronising, shutting people down etc. I have no doubt in my mind what kind of a man you are and why you post here.

lostdad Mon 20-Jan-14 11:59:41

Communication is the key here. If both you and your ex are sincere about wanting what is best for your DD nothing is going to work like talking to each other.

If it's difficult to talk to him for any reason - if there is a history of DV or EA between you, if neither of you will compromise, hate the sight of each other, etc. - consider mediation.

Even if you can't sit in the same room as each other there is always the option of shuttle mediation.

I assist a lot of mums and dads going through the court process but a lot of the work is outside it. It's about getting people to talk, to compromise and work out the issues they face as parents. Parenting is hard enough when parents are together. When they are separated and there is a lot of emotion it's nigh on impossible. I see a lot of minor issues that could be resolved in 30 seconds by a quick `Oh...fair enough. Sorry!' turning into whole day hearings where there are expert witnesses there to discuss if a couple of extra nights a year with dad are in the best interests of the child.

The best interests of your child are paramount so long as everyone is safe. It is hard. Maybe your ex is an arse. Maybe he's just clueless. I don't know...the OP will. At the end of the day though it's in the best interests of a child to have a meaningful and good relationship with both parents though...and that's something worth working on.

FrogStarandRoses Mon 20-Jan-14 12:05:10

in theory you would encourage dc to see a parent that is EA and the child is resisting going just incase some thing bad happens to the parent.

Not at all - whether or not contact is safe with an abusive parent is something for the parents and protection agencies to decide.
But, I certainly wouldn't reassure a DC who is resisting contact that they'll always have the chance to see the rejected parent anytime they want to in the future! that is what I have strong views about because of my own experience.

How can the OP be sure that is the case? the DC's Dad may refuse conact in the future, he may (like my DH) experience a life event that changes his personality, or he may die prematurely due to illness or accident.

By all means make the right decision for the DC - but don't make guanratees or promises that you can't keep.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 20-Jan-14 12:27:36

Lostdad,

Can you clarify in what capacity you assist people with this issue?

lostdad Mon 20-Jan-14 12:37:50

You've asked me that before Sockreturningpixie! wink

Why do you ask incidentally?

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 20-Jan-14 12:47:03

Because I'm rather interested in the validity of the advice you give.(and that's not an insult at all so don't take it as one).

Several times on threads I've read your advice and IMO and experience it has the bare bones of being correct but there is something always a bit off about it,and I would be interested to know if you are actually qualified in any related capacity or if you have acted as a Mckenzie friend on a few occasions and picked up stuff.

I know I've asked before but as far as I recall you have always declined to answer.

Skullfucker Mon 20-Jan-14 12:51:31

lioninthesun I wish wholeheartedly wish that some one would have given me the chance of group counciling with my db and DM as we still carry issues around with us twenty years later and it would have be good to tell her to her face how she made us feel.

Unfortunately the narc in her wouldn't have accepted any slight on her side.

frogs myself and db choose to go NC with out DM (db refuses to call her mother so calls her by first name)
Growing up wasn't a nice place at home , DM could be cruel physically abusive and emotionally abusive she was also a raging narc. I was able to escape and go live with my df unfortunately db had to wait till he was 16 to leave.
DM has had multiple suiside attempts - I don't know if they were genuine or not , but she is still here so couldn't have tried that hard it's just strange they all coincide with important birthdays with me and db.

I live with the fact that one day she might actually do it and how I feel about it then, I just don't know. But at this moment we can't have contact because she is toxic and that's our choice for now.

You have to live life in the moment and not what could happen.

Skullfucker Mon 20-Jan-14 12:54:16

lostdad mediation is not always the best idea. My friend suffered badly in hers as the ex had an opportunity to belittle and bully her in a closed session away from support.

FrogStarandRoses Mon 20-Jan-14 12:56:29

You have to live life in the moment and not what could happen.

skull I could'nt agree more -that is excatly the ethos DH and I live by following his experience.

BUT - to emphasis my point again, because it seems to have been missed - I am not suggesting that the OP should decide wehther or not her DC's should spend time with their Dad because of what could happen to him.

I am merely disagreeing the poster who advised the OP to tell her DD that "she can always change her mind" if she decides not to see her Dad right now. The OP cannot make that assurance, guarantee or promise. Whether or not the OP's DD sees her Dad is one thing - making promises about what opporunities the DD has the future is something different.

Skullfucker Mon 20-Jan-14 13:08:25

frog I absolutely get your point, it wasn't missed.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 20-Jan-14 13:09:55

The child can always change their mind.

Changing your mind does not mean the same as you will always get to see him again

TeamSouthfields Mon 20-Jan-14 13:14:05

MUTTENCADET...

Why should children be made to do things they don't want to?

For obvious reasons they have to go to school and brush there teeth etc...

But they don't HAVE to see there father?!

lostdad Mon 20-Jan-14 13:14:31

Skullfucker `mediation is not always the best idea'

Oh, I agree. It's not. That's why I say `consider mediation' (and mention shuttle mediation - the link I put in my previous post specifically mentions the implications of DV). The OP knows her situation better than anyone here so she knows if it's an option. Everyone has a right to be safe of course.

I see a lot of people dismiss mediation as an option though before they end up with court. It's worth trying to avoid.

Sockreturningpixie - check my posts. We don't want to hijack the OP's thread!

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 20-Jan-14 13:31:05

So you want me to advance search you to work out if advice you are wording as if it is professional actually is,on the thread your giving it. To prevent a derail?

Do you not think the person your advising would be interested?

hmm now derailing would be presenting yourself (how ever unintentional it was) as being in a certain capacity to offer advice based on nothing more than agenda or bias.

FrogStarandRoses Mon 20-Jan-14 13:31:14

Changing your mind does not mean the same as you will always get to see him again

I think the nuance of that would probably be lost on a 10 year old, don't you? I really don't think advising the OP to mislead her DD is a good idea.

Saying "It's OK DD, even if you decide not to see him at the moment, you can always change your mind when you are a bit older" makes a commitment on behalf of the DCs dad that just can't be guaranteed.

lostdad Mon 20-Jan-14 13:34:23

It's a free country Sockreturningpixie!

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 20-Jan-14 14:24:03

Yes indeed it is, but many members of it could choose to be fair.

I haven't advance searched you but if I haven't mixed you up with another poster (your name also suggests I may be correct) and my memory is doing ok.

Chances are the real reason behind many of your posts could be much more useful,the damage done to your dc with no reason is a much much better deterrent.

A huge amount of the advice given by posters who have an axe to grind but little formal knowledge could be very dangerous.

Skullfucker Mon 20-Jan-14 14:28:14

frog so what would you suggest the op says ?

Nothing in life is guaranteed.

FrogStarandRoses Mon 20-Jan-14 14:42:28

skull I would never, ever speak for, on behalf of or commit the other parent. If the parents decide that the DCs can opt out of contact then that should be treated as a final decision; future contact cannot be guaranteed by either parent so it is foolish to imply or directly promise a child that the decision taken not to see them can be reversed in the future.

It's clear that both parents are allowing contact to be child led - the OP has said that the DCs dad won't take them if they say they don't want to go - but has anyone explained to the DCs that there are a lot of other options between contact as it has been up until now and no contact at all? I would certainly explore the various options with the DCs; supervised contact, indirect, shorter/daytime only to see if there are solutions that they, as DCs, haven't thought of. Of course, if the DCs are still resistant to any contact despite other options being explained, and both parents believe that is right for the DCs, then it is not the place of anyone else to interfere.

Skullfucker Mon 20-Jan-14 14:53:25

frog I don't agree with your first paragraph . I do however agree on the majority of the second however ultimately if the child does still not want contact the mother has to support that.

Although I don't think the df will be that bothered as there are two other siblings he doesn't bother with.

The op posted on here for support.

Monetbyhimself Mon 20-Jan-14 15:56:33

Crunchy Frog mediation is NEVER advisable with an abusive man. In any circumstances.

Sock people have been asking Lostdad the same question repeatedly on this forum on similar threads for a significant length of time.

Dollyhouse you have it summarised to perfection.

For anyine reading this thread who recognises glimpses if their own Exs and is struggling with child contact issues I can really recommend Lundys book 'Why does he do that? inside the minds of angry and controlling me' It's s really useful resource for developing strategies to manage EA men with regards child contact.

DollyHouse Mon 20-Jan-14 16:00:35

Mediation should not be recommended for people who have suffered EA or DV. Why do people keep giving this advice? All that would do is allow the woman to be manipulated again. Bad advice.

DollyHouse Mon 20-Jan-14 16:02:22

And I include shuttle mediation in that. As if someone still can't try to charm, pressure and manipulate using a messenger!

Skullfucker Mon 20-Jan-14 16:07:16

Spot on dolly

FrogStarandRoses Mon 20-Jan-14 16:18:12

I think when it comes to abusive situations, it is not possible to create an environment which is beneficial to the DCs - the aim to to come up with the solution that is least damaging to the DC's. They have an abusive parent; that cannot be changed - what is important is that the consequences of having an abusive parent are minimised.

It's not as simple as eliminating the abusive parent from the DC's life. The damage caused to DC's by an absent parent (even an abusive parent) is well documented and researched - but that may be the least damaging option when the only alternative is exposure to an abusive, high conflict or manipulative environment. However, I do think that there are a lot of compromises in between that can provide the opportunity of contact for the DC, while minimising the damage through the abusive behaviour.

The reason that many resident parents believe that no contact at all is the least damaging option, rather than seek to compromise through supervised or indirect contact (for instance) is because the damage done when a DC has no relationship with one parent is not immediately apparent.

Often, a previously anxious and unsettled DC will become more relaxed and happy if all contact ceases. However, it is when that DC becomes an adult, enters into relationships themselves, and faces the challenges of parenting their own DC's, that the consequences often come to the surface.

RP are faced with the choice of short-term visible gain by cutting off contact between DC/abusive parent or a long-term hypothetical outcome that is difficult to quantify or even visualise.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 20-Jan-14 16:40:16

I know Monet. But it does point out to the person asking (whilst staying within the talk rules) that despite the impression he try's to convey in his posts he is not quite right.

Some posters when talking about legal stuff make it clear they are either not qualified or when it comes to complicated matters like DV then they may be but generic advice is not appropriate and none anon formal legal support is the best way to go, the ones who don't and doggedly push for contact or imply someone with genuine reason to prevent contact could be rightly punished by a court are dangerous, it could lead to a harmed child,an investigation for failure to protect or a complete breakdown in contact when safer methods could be attempted.

DarkKnight123 Mon 20-Jan-14 19:49:11

It seems to me that suggesting communication to narrow the differences if safely managed is quite sensible.

Indeed, it may offer the only prospect of a good outcome for this child and the parents.

Think the OP needs advice not dogma

DollyHouse Mon 20-Jan-14 20:48:55

Mediation in cases of DV and EA won't necessarily lead to good communication for both parents though. It can lead to an extension of the EA which can affect how comfortable one parent feels expressing their views and can lead to them being stomped all over just like the EA during the relationship. So every time mediation is recommended to a parent who has experienced EA and may be frightened of the other parent, you are basically recommending them opening themselves up to further abuse. And it's obviously not the only prospect of a good outcome. That's what courts are for.

But I'm guessing that's just a way of saying it's the only prospect for the EA parent to get exactly what he, sorry, they want from the arrangements.

DarkKnight123 Mon 20-Jan-14 21:07:57

Hi Dolly; I think that perhaps EA won't mean the same thing for everyone and, peoples views of whether they have suffered EA may change over time. But even in the scenario you describe, yes, if some form of mediation can be safely managed then its worth trying. Certainly the family courts will engage in dispute resolution meetings. In care proceedings mothers and fathers who are demonstrably abusive will participate in family group conferences. So the idea of shuttle mediation doesnt strike me as particularly outlandish.
We dont agree on much and i resisted responding to your last post as I didnt want to get into a slanging match. But coming back to this lady's post. A child not wanting to see their dad is very sad, it would be equally sad if she didn't want to see her mum. Surely anything that might help that kid is worth trying.

Monetbyhimself Mon 20-Jan-14 21:16:03

No slanging match required Dark Knight. You are a DA apologist, most likely a perpetrator and you repeatedly suggest that vulnerable women and children are placed in situations in which they are open to further abuse. Fortunately there are many wimen in this board who recognise your agenda and will continue to call you out on it.

DarkKnight123 Mon 20-Jan-14 21:20:56

Monet - i think its ironic and sad those genuine woman who suffer abuse have the term tarnished by your labeling nonsense.

Monetbyhimself Mon 20-Jan-14 21:36:05

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

DollyHouse Mon 20-Jan-14 21:48:21

The OP states that her ex was EA to her and is currently possibly being EA to their child. It's clear there what the OP thinks and so mediation should not be recommended.

And there you are with your child centric comments to induce guilt again. "Surely anything that might help that kid is worth trying." No. Not if it puts the child's mother at risk of EA or manipulation or further mental distress. A woman who is used to being manipulated by a partner will find it hard to stand her ground at mediation even with a messenger between them and will be as manipulated and pressured as she may have been in the relationship. Why would you even recommend someone expose themselves to further abuse? Especially under the guilt of doing the best for her child?

And as an aside, I also think you are extremely typical of an abusive man and I find it disgusting that you come on here and give such terrible information to vulnerable women and dress it up as good advice. I feel so uncomfortable to think there are women out there who might actually listen to someone who is so clearly biased and misinformed.

DarkKnight123 Mon 20-Jan-14 21:49:52

Is it just me or is it all posters who disagree with you?

DarkKnight123 Mon 20-Jan-14 21:54:06

Hi Dolly - I guess the olive branch idea didnt get very far. In brief reply; in some cases no communication is appropriate. In other cases, no communication will be a source of additional worry or stress for a resident parent. So, shuttle mediation, does have a place. Not all the time, but shouldnt be written off. As mentioned its an approach already widely adopted. Sorry to read you think im abusive too, i shall continue to be a model of manners and hopefully change your mind smile

ReluctantCamper Mon 20-Jan-14 21:54:31

it's just you. do fuck off

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 20-Jan-14 21:57:29

In all fairness any form of mediation is not recommended when abuse is involved.

Family group conferences are very very different things.

DarkKnight123 Mon 20-Jan-14 21:57:36

hi reluctant - that kinda comment just makes me want to post more you know

DarkKnight123 Mon 20-Jan-14 22:01:36

Hi Sockret - i agree the power relationship inherent in an abuse relationship does not lend itself to tradiational forms of mediation. However, wether you call it conflict resolution or shuttle mediation or whatever...forms of communication between parties to narrow differences do take place routinely in the family court.
I think FGC's are a useful comparison as you have abusive or neglectful people in a mediated environment. Am not saying its the same as a separated couple but some of the principles of externalising issues to find a way forward would overlap.

Monetbyhimself Mon 20-Jan-14 22:02:48

Abusive men usually display impeccable manners. It's what gives rise to the phrase 'street angel/house devil', widely referred to in DV recovery programs. Every post you make confirms your agenda. I hope your Ex partner/ partners and children ate safe for you now. Your focus/obsession with lone parents on MN suggests that you have in fact lost control of your own victims and have had to shift your attentions elsewhere.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 20-Jan-14 22:03:58

DarkKnight.

How does it help a child if you don't protect them?

DarkKnight123 Mon 20-Jan-14 22:06:07

Hey Monet - you are right i ought to spend less time one here smile Stop insulting me...let me get bored, please!!

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 20-Jan-14 22:06:23

Yes they do,of course they do but you are massively over simplifying matters.

DollyHouse Mon 20-Jan-14 22:06:50

You will not change my mind. I've read many of your posts over my time here and every single one just reinforces what I already know about you. I don't want an olive branch from you so don't patronise me with that rubbish either.

It is interesting how you switch between the charm offensive, passive aggressive comments and use certain ways of speaking. It's just so typical of an EA man that if there was a big red light above your head it would be flashing right now. I agree with Monet. You can't manipulate or control your own ex anymore so you come on here and try and manipulate and control the women seeking advice by feeding them posts full of guilt inducing words, dangerous advice and basically any advice that would actually help the man in their lives succeed.

DarkKnight123 Mon 20-Jan-14 22:12:19

Sockret - i think the litmus test for any intervention is protecting the child and that issue should be the main determining factor.

Part of that would be protection from emotional harm due to exposure to parental conflict. I suggest that communication will in many cases reduce that risk. I also think that mothers and fathers when separating often put forward a self serving narrative that deflects blame away from themselves and locates it with the other parent. That narrative will be sincerely believed. Over time that narrative can actually change. Communication can help that process.

DarkKnight123 Mon 20-Jan-14 22:14:23

Ok dolly, its a fair cop, you got me bang to rights, i think from now you should just ignore me

DollyHouse Mon 20-Jan-14 22:17:43

Not while you keep giving out the shitty advice smile

And you seem to miss the point that part of protecting the child means protecting the main carer because they will both be so closely linked. Part of that is not putting the main carer in a position of being abused. So no mediation.

Monetbyhimself Mon 20-Jan-14 22:17:51

How many women have 'falsely' accused you of DA Dark Knight ?

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 20-Jan-14 22:17:58

You have realised this op is asking for support for now,don't you? Her child is to frightened to even ask to turn the tv over at dads,this is current not future.

Perhaps you should avoid abuse threads.

FrogStarandRoses Mon 20-Jan-14 22:21:22

Given the change in the law regarding family cases due in a few months time, I imagine the way in which DA/EA is identified will have to be clarified - does anyone know what the standard of "proof" will be?

If an allegation of EA provided parents in conflict with the only chance to avoid mediation, then the number of allegations from either party will increase significantly, I expect?

DarkKnight123 Mon 20-Jan-14 22:27:07

Dolly - as ever, for some reason your posts make me smile
Monet - you get as nasty as you want am not going to respond in kind. Sending you positive vibes over the net smile

Sockret - I feel my advice was supportive, although i admit to getting to getting sidetracked, but will try not to respond to further abuse.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 20-Jan-14 22:29:08

Not that different to how children's services prove it.

Monetbyhimself Mon 20-Jan-14 22:32:13

Your lack of response to a simple question speaks volumes.

DarkKnight123 Mon 20-Jan-14 22:36:57

could you repeat the question?

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 20-Jan-14 22:37:21

Monet, stop biting. The nature of the posts are very obvious as is the thought process behind them.

You do not need to lower yourself.

DollyHouse Mon 20-Jan-14 22:37:25

Keep smiling. Anyone reading will see that attempt of passive aggression as exactly what it is and a sign of exactly what you are and that's all I'm bothered about. smile

Monetbyhimself Mon 20-Jan-14 22:41:08

You're right Sock. Thank you.

The mask is on the floor.

DarkKnight123 Mon 20-Jan-14 22:41:58

Starting to feel like Custer's last stand on here smile
Seriously, can we all stop the bickering and just focus on this lady's post?

FrogStarandRoses Mon 20-Jan-14 22:42:41

sock I don't want to derail, but do you have any links regarding that process?

My DHs ex has applied to Family Court to secure a no-contact order on the basis of the EA that DH and I subject his DCs to. I have been unable to gain any kind of SS assessment of risk to my DD; no one except DDs Dad seems bothered that these allegations have been made and DH and I still have care of DD. I'm desperate to reassure DDs dad that she's safe - but can't get anyone to pay any attention!
If there's some kind of assessment that they use then why can't they assess me and DH?

DollyHouse Mon 20-Jan-14 22:45:41

Ooh, it's like your ticking off boxes on a how to checklist! grin

You haven't had to reply to us at all. No need to ask our permission on what you post either. My replies have been related to the OPs post, particularly mediation and EA. Yours are your own responsibility.

DarkKnight123 Mon 20-Jan-14 22:46:33

Frog - social services would use the assessment framework which you should be able to google. )

DarkKnight123 Mon 20-Jan-14 22:47:13

ok, dolly thanks for that

DollyHouse Mon 20-Jan-14 22:49:09

You're welcome grin

DarkKnight123 Mon 20-Jan-14 22:51:31

glad we're all friends again smile

DarkKnight123 Mon 20-Jan-14 22:52:48

Dolly/money/whoever - have to log off has been entertaining evening, many thanks

FrogStarandRoses Mon 20-Jan-14 22:53:55

Thanks knight - sadly, it looks like DD and I are in our own; SS have refused to get involved "because it's subject to private court proceedings".
So, I'm facing the prospect of losing either my DD if her Dad believes the allegations, or my DH if leaving him is a condition DDs Dad places on assuring him of her safety.

From my experience, right now, it seems that an allegation of EA can be made and believed without any 'evidence' at all. That must be very depressing reading for the OP - I don't doubt your own experience OP, but it seems likely that the new legal framework regarding mediation will lead to an increase in false allegations in order to force a court hearing to take place.

Monetbyhimself Mon 20-Jan-14 22:59:19

Frogstar if your child is subject to family court proceedings and allegations of abuse are made, the judge will order cafcass/childrens court officer to become involved.

FrogStarandRoses Mon 20-Jan-14 23:06:48

monet My child isn't - her dad and I have shared care and are/were quite happy with that.
DH and I have been 'accused' of emotionally abusing DHs DCs by his exW which is the basis of a no-contact order application in front of magistrates, there is no judge. There is no current risk to DHs DCs as they aren't having any contact with him/us - but, understandably, my DDs Dad needs some reassurance that she isn't at risk.

CAFCASS are interviewing DHs DS for a wishes and feeling report soon - they won't come near me or DD, and SS won't get involved.
I feel like we've slipped through a crack in the system, that has the potential to tear our life apart.

Sorry, OP - blatant hijack blush

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 20-Jan-14 23:10:07

That's correct they will.it would be down to your ex to make the allegations and the courts to fact find about it.

Be open and honest with them and if its untrue you will be fine.

Monetbyhimself Mon 20-Jan-14 23:16:29

Research ' Re L Hearings' with regards fact finding and DV.

FrogStarandRoses Mon 20-Jan-14 23:17:04

So, if DDs dad is unhappy that DH and I have been accused of EA towards other DCs, the only way he can be reassured by professionals is to apply to court for residency?

DollyHouse Mon 20-Jan-14 23:19:38

Oh, we aren't friends. I'm sure you know that. But you do have to keep ticking your boxes. smile

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 20-Jan-14 23:21:22

Well that would be a bit like cracking a almond with a hammer.

Is he to daft to use his own eyes and ears?

Monetbyhimself Mon 20-Jan-14 23:25:37

If he hasn't already started proceedings, presumably he's waiting for the outcome of the priceedings regardingbyour husbands children ?

Noregrets78 Tue 21-Jan-14 00:14:27

Haven't had time to re

Noregrets78 Tue 21-Jan-14 00:15:20

Haven't had time to read all of this but wanted to jum

Noregrets78 Tue 21-Jan-14 00:16:14

Stupid phone! Will post tomorrow.

Peacesword Tue 21-Jan-14 08:18:53

I think it's a shame the thread didn't stick to helping and supporting the op as its really hard when your children are having difficulties with their Dad.

It is so hard to know what to do for the best. You don't want to send them if you know they may well be subjected to EA, you want to send them as you dont want to believe that a Dad would be cruel to their own children, and then there's you own stuff tied up in any decision you may make.

I think too what has been overlooked here is what is Dad doing about building and improving his relationship with the children he doesn't see? Doesn't sound like anything. I do think that if a child comes home saying they don't want to go then the onus is on the Dad and at times SM too to take responsibility for that and change things. Otherwise mum is being expected to work with something she has no control over. I don't just see this as mum just needs to insist they go. It's complex in these situations.

I hope the op comes back, or starts a new thread.

CuttedUpPear Tue 21-Jan-14 08:29:40

I also think it's a shame that the OP's thread has been hijacked by bickering from FFJ types.
She has received very little support or intelligent comment on her actual situation.
If those posters arguing about their own issues or hypothetical situations would like to start their own threads on their specialist subject, that would be far more appropriate than the bashing that has gone on here.

OP if you want to start another thread I wouldn't blame you, you could pm me if you like if you do so.
I hope you find a workable solution for your DD and yourself.

lostdad Tue 21-Jan-14 08:51:04

Regardless of anyone's view the simple truth is that if the OP's ex chooses to take the matter to court she will be placed in a very stressful situation. That is more damaging - financially, emotionally and from a relationship-with-the-ex point of view.

Chances are she may not even get legal aid - instead facing direct communication from an ex (or his solicitor).

My agenda? Erm, not wanting people to go through that sort of thing if it is at all avoidable. I help people who are in this very situation and it's heartbreaking. It's a messed up, painful and fruitless exercise that it's worth doing almost anything to avoid. If I have a drum to bang, that's it.

Facing this situation is not a gender issue. It's a human tragedy.

Skullfucker Tue 21-Jan-14 08:51:54

Thank god for some of the vigilant women posters on here. Some of the 'posters' have been agenda filled and down right sinister.

Very fuckng scary.

Well done ladies flowers

Peacesword Tue 21-Jan-14 09:01:08

I don't think it necessarily follows that court will be a worse option. It can be helpful.

Sounds like this Dad wouldn't do it anyway - he hasn't bothered for the two children he isn't seeing.

mummytime Tue 21-Jan-14 09:03:38

Lostdad - if the OPs ex is choosing not to see two of his children, I can't see the courts being very aggressive in making his Dd see him. however it doesn't seem as if he will try too hard anyway, just maybe will enjoy moaning that his evil ex keeps his kids from him. It was the OP who has been doing her best to keep him in contact with his DD.

But I'm not sure the OP is in this country anyway.

lostdad Tue 21-Jan-14 09:04:59

I'm a cynical sod who expects the worst to happen, that's all. In this sort of situation I'm all for putting the ball in the father's court. That way he can't bleat that the OP has been unreasonable and he'd look like a fool if he took it further (such as court).

I've helped a few mums in this situation In each case they have proposed mediation or discussion about a way forward to their ex and in every case he's gone quiet. On each occasion the mums have said they have done their best for their kids, can't be painted as contact-denier and have stopped their ex playing the victim.

Noregrets78 Tue 21-Jan-14 09:19:36

I'd agree it's a real shame the thread has been derailed. I'd say I hope the OP is still reading, but to a certain extent I hope she's not! I also think some of the 'dads' on here also have good points, but for those I don't agree with, there are far better ways to argue a case than name calling. A lack of legal qualifications doesn't mean you can't use what experience you have, to provide advice on a public internet forum.

In terms of the original thread - things are not black and white, either allowing the kids to dictate, or forcing them to go. You can listen to their views, take them on board, and use that as part of the information which helps you make up your mind what's in the best interests of the DCs.

My DD is nearly 10, that's the approach I take. She has refused to see her Dad, I've listened to her concerns, discussed them with her Dad, he refused to take them on board. DD then changed her mind and said she wanted to go, I said 'no' as her Dad hadn't addressed the issues. He's now made improvements, and I'm likely to be starting to reassure DD again. But my point is - their willingness, or not, to go, is only one of the factors. Keep in mind what's in the best interests of the child at all times. But absolutely listen to their worries.

Definitely put the ball back in his court, and put that in writing. If he's not fussed about making the effort then try to make him understand, but do not make excuses to the DCs.

FrogStarandRoses Tue 21-Jan-14 09:32:57

I must have missed a post by the OP somewhere in the thread.

As I understand it the parents are in agreement - the OP doesn't believe it is in her DDs best interests to be forced to see her Dad, and the DDs Dad doesn't insist on seeing the DCs if they say they don't want to.

So, no need for mediation or court - the parents agree on the way forward (all be it for different reasons).

If anything, the OP is going to be less exposed to the EA from her ex, as there won't be any interaction between them.

All this talk of agendas has confused me - and OP, I'm sorry for hijacking your thread; although I think it had already gone off the rails when I posted, sorry!

TeeBee Tue 21-Jan-14 09:34:52

I would put the ball back in their Dad's court. Can you raise the issues with him? Who the hell would want to sit in a car for 4 hours, not feel comfortable enough to be able to change the channel and feel in the way. Could he see her closer to home maybe? They could go out and have a trip together every few weeks instead maybe? If he loves his children, as you said he does, he would go out of his way to ensure their concerns are addressed. If he doesn't - well, there's the answer.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 21-Jan-14 18:16:44

Noregrets,

Your right a lack of qualification is not an issue that would prevent info sharing,but it's quite a hindrance when you imply you are and consistently post talking about 'helping people' as if you are an authority.

OnBoard Thu 30-Jan-14 22:38:25

Personally as a small very scared child i do not thank the folks that thought it was good idea i should spend weekends with my abusive violent drunk father because 'he's your father'

FUCK YOU ALL.

Monetbyhimself Thu 30-Jan-14 23:41:09

Onboard. I'm sorry. I don't know what to say. Whatever I say will sound trite. I will do everything I can to protect my kids. I'm sorry that you have suffered. No child ever should. Ever.

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