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AIBU to stop contact until ex agree's with whats best for ds

(28 Posts)
woowoo2 Mon 19-Sep-11 10:32:11

Exp's best friend has a son 1 year older than ds who is just the most awful child I have ever encountered. He is nasty, naughty cheeky and bullys my ds everytime he see's him. He is 7 years old and has been excluded from his 1st primary school already!

I have spoen to exp about this many times, and he insists that if the other boy is naughty and/or bullys ds he is disciplined.

Last night ds came home with yet another huge bruise to the shin and a story of how the other boy had kicked him hard for not wanting to run in the field.

Rang exp after ds went to bed and he said I am being petty, ds needs to toughen up and that as far as he knew there had been no bullying

My dp is furious - he is basically bringing ds up as exp only sees him once a week and dp is currently a sahd to the 3 kids we have between us. He says I should stop contact until exp realises he needs to do what is best for ds, and not what suits him (ie seeing his best mate at the weekends)

I feel IWBU to stop contact, but IWBU to also allow ds to get bullied weekend after weekend

worraliberty Mon 19-Sep-11 10:41:06

YABU to stop contact until your ex agrees with you, that in itself is 'bullying' is it not? Or at least it's 'bullying' in the way you seem to use the word.

How does your 6yr old feel about this child?

woowoo2 Mon 19-Sep-11 10:48:14

My son hates the boy. He said he has told his dad how he feels and doesn't like spending every weekend with him

he has even asked me to stop with us all weekend next week instead of having his usual saturday night visit to his dads

Annpan88 Mon 19-Sep-11 11:26:09

Its a tricky one. You obviously want to protect your child but sadly when the boy is with his father sadly its his call. I don't think those are grounds to stop the boy seeing his father (if he is otherwise well looked after) I think a proper calm chat explaining how your son feels? Sorry not much help

SnapesMistress Mon 19-Sep-11 11:47:30

Could you tell your son to just stay away from the other boy if he is over. Shut himself in a room and read for example.

woowoo2 Mon 19-Sep-11 12:13:12

they tend to have a sleepover on the saturday night and then a day out together on the sunday - so ds really has nowhere to go to get away from this boy. Also, this is the only time he spends with his dad and its always miserable for him because of this horrible child

LunarRose Mon 19-Sep-11 12:39:10

OMG do not stop contact for something that the courts would consider to be so minor, if it went to court you would be hauled over the coals and back. There are many more serious problems that Mums stop contact for and still end up in trouble in the courts. This may seem harsh, courts often award more contact if the Mums stop it and your DS will be spending more time with the boy.

I really don't think there is much that you can do..... It needs to be between your son and his father (ie. your son needs to be talking to his dad). At least if he then does nothing to ensure his DS happiness your DS will know for the future

eurochick Mon 19-Sep-11 12:45:53

He is as much the boy's parent as you are and is entitled to parent him. Your partner might not agree with the decisions the father makes but there is more than one way to parent a child and this is not his choice to make.

If you stop contact over this, you would be very unreasonable. It is best for your son to have a relationship with his father. And the courts would rightly tear you to shreds if your ex partner took you there.

It's worthwhile talking to your former partner if seeing this boy is marring his time with him but I would expect 6 and 7 yr olds to be a bit rough with one another and get a few bruises.

Stormwater Mon 19-Sep-11 12:50:25

Have you told your ex that ds doesn't want to visit him because of this boy, and it won't be long before ds gets to make him own decisions about contact? Kind of a threat without actually withdrawing contact. If it came to it, I would be prepared to stop contact until he agreed that this boy was not going to be there, and take it further if necessary - is he the kind of guy that would be likely to take this back to court? It might be that the threat of removal of contact is enough to make a difference.

LunarRose Mon 19-Sep-11 13:06:19

DO NOT threaten your ex, that's really not a good idea. If you do ever have really serious problems you will want an impeccable record over access.

Make it clear to you DS you have done what you can; but it's up to your DS father to do something about the problem and you can't make him.

slhilly Mon 19-Sep-11 13:19:00

I think the "advice" you've had thus far is deeply unhelpful, tbh. Telling you that your son isn't really being hurt is condoning bullying in a way that would not be acceptable if it was a school that was in loco parentis.

You are right to not want your son to be hit and repeatedly bullied. You need to think about what will be the best way to influence your ex-p to change his weekend arrangements. What is the full range of carrots and sticks available to you, beyond stopping contact? How could you (or your son) communicate your message more effectively? What kind of alternative arrangements could you dream up that mean that your son is protected while your ex-p gets some of what he's after (time with his mate?).

This is what you need to think through.

LunarRose Mon 19-Sep-11 13:28:02

Yes bullying is serious, An no I'm not saying at all that OPs ds wasn't hurt

but as eurochick said it is not unusual for active children to end up with a bruise on the leg. Regardless of what I, or anyone else, says about the matter, if access was stopped and if the OP ex took her to court over the matter, it is highly unlikely that a court would support the stopping of access and if the ex used it as an opportunity to pursue more access the OP DS might well end up spending more time with the boy.

Solicitors letter outlining the problem to OP ex might help, but I suspect it's one of those things you can do little about.

niceguy2 Mon 19-Sep-11 13:52:07

Slhilly. What is deeply unhelpful is to suggest this is grounds for stopping contact. Not only would that be damaging to their child but would potentially open up a big can of worms legally.

Ex should be told, they as parents should agree what action to take if repeat happens. IF at a later date things don't improve and this happens again, then it would be more appropriate.

To stop contact because an 8yr old kicked a 7 year old is too much of an overreaction.

If the shoe were on the other foot, would the father be within his rights not to return their son to mum?

slhilly Thu 22-Sep-11 11:06:19

niceguy, wtf are you on about? I didn't say at any point that stopping contact was the right thing to do. The whole point of what I wrote was to try to prompt the OP to look at alternatives. I just tried to do it in a slightly less fuckwitted me-me-me way than your post, which is essentially an attempt to make this about father's rights, which is not the fucking point. The fucking point is: how to get this father to protect his child from being hit and made unhappy by another child. Weekly.

The more I think about this, the more uneasy I am. If the child is really unhappy and is being forced by his father to repeatedly spend time with a bully, that is awfully close to the father facilitating abuse. If I were the OP, I might call the NSPCC for advice. Children don't deserve to be hit regularly in the name of toughening up.

It would also be polite of you to actually read the OP properly. That might prevent you from suggesting that the OP do something ("Ex should be told") that the OP has already said she did ("Rang exp after ds went to bed and he said I am being petty, ds needs to toughen up and that as far as he knew there had been no bullying").

You didn't read my post properly and you didn't read the OP's post properly. In both cases, your misreading enabled you to assume each of us had behaved in a way you didn't approve of - for me, you assumed I had suggested this is grounds for stopping contact; for the OP, you assumed she hadn't told the ex. You need to back off with your moral indignation and start reading posts a lot more carefully before replying, especially on such sensitive issues. Especially if you want to call yourself "niceguy". Nice guys listen carefully and make sure that their own interests and prejudices are not the source of their advice.

mrszimmerman Thu 22-Sep-11 11:19:17

I think if you could find someone your ex respects who might talk to your child and mediate a little.
I'm amazed a father would find this behaviour acceptable but what can you do about people who won't give their children boundaries? Obviously I don't mean parents who's children have behavioural conditions and cannot be reined in.
But I don't think you should be demonised for trying to protect your child.
Remember that case (was it near Hull) where two young boys nearly killed another two boys? Aggressive, bullying behaviour is not acceptable around young children, least of all because your child will copy the behaviour. Nice!.
I think you need to take advice from school or wider family and get some support.
It may not need to be confrontational but you need support if you exp doesn't have your child's best interests at heart And honestly he sounds like an eejit if he thinks it's fine to have this boy around so much.

GypsyMoth Thu 22-Sep-11 11:30:38

Mrs......Doncaster,Edlington I think it was!

Op, you can't stop contact. Monitor it, keep a diary

Is it court ordered contact?

WhoseGotMyEyebrows Thu 22-Sep-11 12:17:37

As Stormwater said Have you told your ex that ds doesn't want to visit him because of this boy, and it won't be long before ds gets to make him own decisions about contact?

I think if you phrased it right that could work. In a way that makes it sound as though you are concerned about the future of their relationship etc.

Why does ex have to spend EVERY weekend with his mate?! Doesn't he want any time alone with your boy? Weird!

Springyknickersohnovicars Thu 22-Sep-11 12:43:04

It must be awful for the little lad if he is being bullied and being forced into that position. If he is and his Dad just thinks he needs to toughen up then the way to do that is to join some self-defence classes not have the local asbo child kick you on a weekly basis.

Bullying can be extremely damaging for children and they all deserve the right to feel protected from it.

So you are right to be concerned but what to do about it is the question. I think I'd have to know how often he is being hurt, how badly distressed he is and whether this is court ordered or a voluntary contact arrangement.

I am wondering if a teacher or someone completely independent of both sets of parents who are emotionally invested, naturally, in the child could talk to him to assess the severity or not of what you son is going through?

mummytime Thu 22-Sep-11 12:50:13

Start keeping a diary of the bullying including photos, and reports from your son about what happens.
I might also mention it to your sons school, and ask their advice (maybe they could even speak to your exp?).
If it is court ordered contact, then see if you can get some brief advice from a solicitor?

mrszimmerman Fri 23-Sep-11 14:43:52

definitely get advice, it's not on, and saying macho things about him toughening up is just ignorant of child development. Eejit he is.

WhoseGotMyEyebrows Fri 23-Sep-11 14:50:42

Yeah I hate that toughening up shite as well! Dick head!

ivykaty44 Fri 23-Sep-11 14:56:07

when your dh says he must toughen up - ask him to explain exactly how he means to toughen up? Does he mean his son should hit back as obviously until now your son hasn't retaliated - or has he and hasn't told you?

Your ds needs to tell his dad what he is and isn't happy with and who he likes to see and play with and not play with.

It needs to come from your ds and not from you and your dp

slhilly Fri 23-Sep-11 16:44:38

Ivy, why exactly does a 7year old boy have an obligation to tell his dad this, ESP when his dad is clearly inclined to be a nobber on this issue? The only person who has a further moral obligation here, beyond what they've done thus far, is the father, who has an obligation to clear his ears out and hear what's being said to him.

ivykaty44 Fri 23-Sep-11 18:23:40

because the father might listen to the son - he hasn't listened to the mother has he but possibly if the son says this loud and clear then the father may just listen - it would be worth a try so that the son doesn't have to keep going through this.

zest01 Fri 23-Sep-11 18:29:24

OP, put the shoe on the other foot for a moment. How would you feel if your ex refused to return DS after a contact week end because he disagreed with you about something and you wouldn't agree to change it, and left it in your hands to go to court to apply to get him back?

Like it or not you are both his parents and have a duty, for your DS's fault to co-parent. That means working together and talking sensibly rather than making accusations and threats.

I am on both sides of this sitauion as I have DC from a previous marriage and step kids as well and trying to dictate terms on the other parents contact time, whichever way wound it goes will serve only to land you in court which is a very distressing situation for the child let alone the parents.

I'm not saying that your concerns aren't genuine however I think it helps a lot to put yourself on the other side of the fence. No parent wants someone else wading in telling them all the things they are doing wrong as a parent, and it is even gharder to take from an ex who your probably have an acrimonious relationship with in the first place.

My advice would be to email your ex and let him know in a calm and non accusatory way that DS has come home upset claiming that x has been happening and you would like to work together to help DS get as much enjoyment as possible from his visits.

And, like it or not your current DH needs to leave it bwteen you and ex to sort out. Yes he is his step father but too many cooks spoil the broth and sometimes the bio parents have to be allowed to work it out on their own. As a step parent, it IS hard not to offer up opionons and advice but sometimes you have to take a step back.

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