To consider stopping access?? LONG sorry!(25 Posts)
Firstly sorry for how long this is, sort of got carried away in my ranting and didn't know when to stop!
Right quick bit of background (never posted in AIBU).
I have 3 children, 2 from a previous marriage, DD aged 8 and DS aged 6.
DS suffers from Autism, ADHD, Global Development Delay and has continence issues, to say he's a complex child is an under-statement!
My ex-husband lives round the corner from me and since we seperated 4 years ago has had joint custody, voluntary not official. He takes the children Wed pm and returns them Sat pm so they spend a lot of time there.
My ex-husband is WONDERFUL with DD and she is truely a daddy's girl, he adores her and is a great parent to her.
With DS it's a different matter, I think he finds him hard to handle but he makes a rod for his own back,
e.g - he refuses to put DS in nappies for bed despite needing them and then punishes him for wetting (he genuinely has no control over this)
Anyway recently things are bothering me more and more and it's got to the point where I want to tell him he can take DD but not DS.
A friend pulled me up recently to say am I aware how different the children are treated by him, I am but as she is his friend more than mine I pretended not to and asked what she meant.
She explianed that when he picks them up from school (her DC are in same classes) he gives DD a big fuss and hug but DS is just told ' come on' and virtually ignored.
He drove me mad just before xmas at a school meeting, my DS had stabbed another child with a pencil and school were very concerned about his increasing level of violence.
What did dad wear to the meeting?
A vest top printed with the words ' violence isn't the answer but it sure makes me feel better'
My son can't read but it isn't the point and considering the context of the meeting he could have worn something more appropraite.
He also has a lovely vest top with 'tap here for a guilt free fuck' printed on it that he wears to school also.
The main issue that has made me want to do this is that just now my son has woken screaming having his 3rd nightmare since returning from his dad's house, the reason why?
Well his idiot father didn't see a problem with letting his 6 year old son watch him play a very violent age rated 18 computer game. My son tells me there were dead people hanging from the roof!
Apparantly however it's ok according to dad as DS didn't PLAY the game, but admits he did sit there and watch it all!
He's bloody Autisitc and as well as being paranoid that everyone is going to die he has a fear of loud noises and guns scare him (it was a shooting game)
My son will be upset to not go to his dad's house as he loves his dad but a 6 year old does not understand that it's not always best for him.
He will see it as a punishment, especially if DD continues to go to dad's.
I have tried talking to dad on many occasions and he dosn't care, he is sceptical that DS has these problems because obviously the professionals who diagnosed him know nothing.
Anyway rant over, basically what I am asking is what would you do in the same situation?
I have no experience here, but I didn't want to read and run.
Sound like ex has real issues coming to terms with ds Autism, which is v sad for both of them.
Are there charities/organisations which help parents so that he could receive some counselling/education on what his son needs for him?
I hope someone with some experience comes along soon to help.
in the meantime have an un-mums-netty [hug] x
Simples, as the meerkat would say.
Stop them both going.
If he's no use with a kid who, with the best will in the world, needs a lot of attention, what's going to happen if DD needs attention?
What if (godforbid) she's hit by a bus and has brain damage? Or if there's a fire when they're with him?
There's no way I could trust him to look after EITHER of the children if he WOULDN'T look after one.
You don't get to choose your children, ENDFUCKING*OF*
Would it help maybe if a doctor talked to him about autism etc?
Sorry I can't be of more help, in your situation if my ex refused to achknowledge a medical condition that (in my mind) would constitute neglect and I would be stopping access fir both children.
Thanks for the responses.
I know it makes sense to stop access to both children, or at least lessen it but he really is a wonderful parent to DD.
He regularly takes her horse riding and does lots of activities with her etc.
I agree the dignosis for DS is the problem as he was a good parent to DS when he was younger but it's all changed now.
He has been offered conselling as was I but he refused, he also has social services involvement so the help is there if he needs it but he honestly believes (and did before DS diagnosis) that ADHD and Autism are just excuses for naughty kids and don't really exist.
I should also mention that dad has a new child, a 2 year old DS with his new partner. I sometimes wonder if this is affecting the relationship as while my DS is lovely he is violent, especially to younger children.
Dad claims that DS is a prefect little angel with him and all the issues that me, school and everyone who meets DS can see just vanish as soon as he walks into his house.
I don't want to stop access, I know the children will suffer from not spending the time with him but I really feel that DS is suffering from not having his extra needs met, even though DS will not see this himself.
Totally agree with lady YANBU, is neglect and almost abuse (you don't shout at a kid for bedwetting if he cannot physically help it)
And neglectful parents are neglectful parents - if it suits him to leave DD up shitcreek without a paddle, like he does with DS, he will. Wouldn't trust him to look after a guinea pig.
Maybe look at 'family councilling' or some stuff like that - it can be a bit easier to persuade him along to that than saying "you need a fucking psychiatrist", even if 2nd option would be more honest.
What a fucked up thing to do to a small, confused boy
I will try and remember to bump this tomorrow daytime, so that the daytime people can comment too. Maybe someone will have some helpful advice.
I would suspend all contact until you have some family counselling in place. If he wants to see the DC that much, he will agree to it.
He sounds very immature. Not that that means he is necessarily a bad parent, but it seems like he needs some professional guidance.
Thank you both.
Seems's like I am thinking along the right lines.
When we first seperated he was so worried about losing contact with the kids and I promised him that would never happen and that I would never stop him seeing the children so I now feel like i'm going back on that promise but thing's change and so has his attitude to his son.
Family counselling would be a good idea, may not work as planned as while dad INSISTS that his new partner ( a lovely woman I might add who is very welcome in my children's lives ) attends all child related events etc. he makes it very clear that my partner (also a lovely woman) is not welcome. Will try suggesting it to him as something has to change for DS's sake.
He is immature and always has been, to be fair he is 24 years old and when I was a young silly school girl he seemed so grown up and mature, feel like I have now aged more then he has but I suppose children do that to you.
It would not be fair for him to insist that his partner is there, but not yours. Do your partners live with each of you?
By the way, you are not going back on your word, you are just saying that all of you need some professional input.
It isn't fair no but it is what he does.
Yes both our partner's live with us. I have been with my partner for 3 years now, and he has been with his for 2 years.
His partner is a lovely woman and I really like her so have no problem including her in anything that is organised, after all she plays a big part in my children's life.
My ex-husband however resents the fact that my new partner is female but that's a whole other story and feels that it 'shows him up'.
Anyway think it's definately decided that I will be speaking to him and trying to get this solved. They are due to go to him tomorrow and as yet un-decided as to let them go and speak to him about working on this issue or not let them go and stop access until he agrees to / starts to work on it.
Oh dear. He is very immature, isn't he?
Regardless of whether he feels that her presence 'shows him up' (FFS) if she lives with you, then she is part of the family. She would need to be present at any Family Counselling.
I am afraid I would be issuing an ultimatum to him: either attend Family Counselling, or access will be curtailed. You need to do this for your son's sake.
Yes I agree, ashamed to say I have put up with this far too long now but seeing my son terrified but what he has seen has made me reach breaking point.
Will give him a call in the morning and ask him to pop round and discuss before taking the children so I can judge how seriously he is taking me.
Going to attempt to sleep now before early school run, thanks a bunch for the help and will update with how I get on.
Bumping to get opinions from the daytime crowd.
what a horrible situation.
couple of points- you really cant just stop access can you?
you cannot deprive dd of her time with her loving parent, how is she going to feel?
rather than rush in, why not say to ex that you think that ds would benefit from a couple of weeks with just you and it will be nice for him and dd to spend some time just the two of them?
then you can compare ds behavior over that period and tackle it from that point on. it might be that permanently reducing the amount of contact might be necessary.
He clearly doesn't see his own behaviour as problematic so I doubt that he will be willing to change it on your say-so. I would also worry about threatening his time with your DS as it could well spoil what is clearly a very good relationship all things considered.
Is there a professional, perhaps in school, who could suggest the idea of family therapy and raise the concerns about the effect he's having on his son? I just wonder if he may be more receptive to the message if it is not coming from you?
Another way to think about it (for the other posters mainly) is how would this situation best be handled if OP and her ex were still together? If he refused counselling yet treated DS like that in their own home, what would be the next step? What do other parents do in this situation, if their DP treats their children so obviously unequally and unfairly?
It's purely theoretical I know, but it's a bit relevant since his contact with the kids is not just once a month but nearly half the week, every week. So cutting off that access would create a huge change in their lives.
I think that separating the children i.e. one goes and one doesn't would be a bad idea, and the cause for untold amounts of resentment in the future ( would your ex be arsed enough to sort himself out to ever look after your son properly if he's still seeing "daddies little angel" (which is a bit how his behaviour comes across).
I think your plan to sit down with him when the children are not present and discuss your concerns are great, you do however need to stand your ground and be prepared to follow through, horse riding activities for your daughter are not enough of a reason to allow your sons needs to be neglected. I would also be talking through with the children why things have changed in language that they can absorb, so they know that it is NOT their fault, and it is not necessarily permenant. Counseling sounds a great idea and will showe just how commited he is...
As an aside if I was your partner I would be a bit
f*cked off that my prescence wasn't wanted becuause it made him feel less of a man, and my partner went along with that(but maybe that's just me..)
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Forgot to add dsis has a son with austism, dn it took my exbil a VERY long time to accept the dn had any issues at all despite her sending all reports etc his way, he is only now just coming to terms with it.
(He used to do stuff like not using his harness near busy roads, when he has a tendency to leg it etc life and limb type stuff, oh and the nappies one too...)
Thank you for the advice everyone, it's a great help to get other opinions.
Doris - just to clarify I certainly do not go along with leaving my partner out at his request, after all she plays a huge part in my children's lives and it is very important that she is involved. I mentioned it as it is normally his excuse to not attend such mettings and comply with these types of things.
As planned I have spoken with dad and explianed my concerns, didn't go well but I expected that. My point blank denied that he treats the children differently and claimed that I 'mard' DS as he is the youngest and I just want him as the baby forever.
Would like to add that DS is NOT the youngest and I have another DS but as he is not biologically my child in the eyes of my ex-husband he dosn't count (heartless bastard)
I was raving when he actually blamed DS for the problems, i.e. he snuck down out of bed whilst I was playing the computer game which is why he saw it. I pointed out that all games consoles have a pause button and from the scenes DS has detailed he saw much more then a few seconds.
Anyway after a heated and long debate of getting absolutely nowhere I reminded him that CAHMS are well informed of these issues and if something dosn't improve drastically then I will be requesting supervised access for BOTH children, CAHMS have already stated they will prepare a statement to back me up for this.
The idea of conselling was rejected immediately although not for the reasons I expected. He claimed that only people who 'need their head sorting out' go to conselling and he dosn't need it.
I feel like banging my bloody head against a wall.
Anyway the children have gone to his against my better judgement as I feel I need to at least give him a chance to change this and pre-warn the children if it comes to it.
I have decided to try and approach another way and have sent a text message to dad's partner asking if we can have a chat. Might get a bit more sense from her and perhaps she can talk to him better.
AS I said earlier she is a lovely woman and appears to really care about the children when I see them together so hopefully she can also see the problems.
Not had a reply from her yet however.
Do you think I handled this well?
I am a self-confessed pushover, my ex-husband is very dominating and persuavive and while he no longer has a hold over me he knows that with enough pressure I will back down. Determined however to stand my ground, it's heartbreaking seeing DS so terrified and although he dosn't really understand relationships I am sure he must feel that he is treated differently.
Stewie - Just wanted to add that social services have visited his home but not for these reasons.
My DS attempted to suffocate his older sister a while back (not a deliberate act I might add but from not understand the seriousness of what he was doing) and social services wanted to ensure that both myself and dad were following appropriate saftey measures to keep the other children safe from DS.
They I believe were satisfied as they did not raise any concerns with me.
I say again, if he WON'T look after DS, he CANNOT look after DD. The sheer fact that he is so immature and unwilling to face reality in all it's difficulty suggest to me that if DD were to have a problem and stop being 'his perfect girl' he would stop caring.
He seems like the kind of parent who kicks his teenage daughter out for getting pregnant, iyswim? An admission of imperfection is seen as a betrayal or as Just Not Good Enough for him.
Do try talking to his partner... Maybe she can persuade him. Perhaps he is one of those irritating men who will say "my behaviour's fine" but will quietly change it once it's pointed out to him. One can hope.
Perhaps suggest to him that HE might not feel like his head needs sorting out, but if he went with you all to a fam-shrink, they would be able to prove he was right? They would agree completely with him and he would be allowed to go home. Or not, in which case it's worth him being there.
TBH, I had to laugh at the idea of two parents, two partners and two children and a child psychologist all in one small consulting room
hope it goes well for you all!
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Still no reply from dad's partner so either she won't talk to me hasn't checked her phone.
She is very timid and shy but we get on well so don't see why she would avoid me.
I am going to speak to Social Services again about my concerns and see what they suggest.
I feel like me and all the professionals involved in DS's care put in so much effort to try and solve his problems and it all gets un-done every time he goes to dad's house.
School phoned me today to tell me that DS had stabbed another child with a pencil
Phoned dad to make sure he was also aware as DS was with him at the time to be told yes he was aware, he made no comment on the behaviour but did tell me they were all in Mac'donalds.
So basically has taken DS for a treat after he has behaved appaulingly, I am sure it's not a deliberate ' lets reward the bad beahviour' attempt on dad but he dosn't think about what he doing.
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