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Ds Dad wants to take him to New Hampshire for a week

(48 Posts)
bluebrushes Thu 05-May-16 21:27:37

Ds is 11 going on 12.His dad mentioned that he wants to take him to America for a week this summer. We're in Ireland.
Great, you'd think, except that they have never spent more than 2 nights together in all the years -it's usually one Fri/Sat overnight each week.
Ds has not been away from me other than overnights with his dad for any longer than a night ,when he might stay overnight with a longtime friend (of DS) who lives closeby or with my mother , also lives nearby.
I don't deliberately keep him close-I haven't much option/necessity.
Ds is an anxious child (in process of assessment for dyscalculia/dyslexia-maybe not relevant).He is immature for his age as a result ,I think.
Ds says he feels pressured by his dad when he's with him, to go to on this trip ,but he's asked not to say anything to his dad about that. Their relationship isn't close-DS is a natural homebird but his dad has never done anything to encourage a stronger bond, has never gone out of his way to see more of him etc.I have never stood in the way of them having more time together-it was never an option.

This trip is to see family, so I think Ds is being taken along to mix with relatives which is a good thing but I KNOW he'll be left in the care of whoever is taking care of the other children, so not a bonding experience.
I suggested that his Dad take him somewhere in Ireland for a few days/week before planning the trip to America , to see how things go.
That didn't go down well-I am being negative, apparently.
I would love a week off but not if my son was miserable and " couldn't get back so he'd have to get on with it wouldn't he"
Thoughts please TIA
Sorry for essay-tried to get all info down

Lilaclily Thu 05-May-16 21:29:29

Oh this is tricky
Does ds want to go ?
Would you be happy for him to go on a school residential trip ?

Leeds2 Thu 05-May-16 21:54:49

I think your idea of dad and son having a few days in Ireland beforehand is excellent. I hope you can get your ex to agree to it.

Do you know any of the family in the US that your son would meet? Just thinking it might help if you knew they were decent people.

bluebrushes Thu 05-May-16 21:58:08

I don't know if he really wants to go-when he's with his dad he apparently says "I'll think about it ".When he's with me he says he doesn't "want to go for a week ,just a few days". Told him that can't happen
School trips don't happen here so I don't know.
I don't know whether to big it up for him and hope for the best or if he does go and is miserable he'll be even more reluctant to spend time with his dad.
At the moment he won't see his dad for 2 weeks and he's delighted, really delighted.
But he's going to a sleepover for his longtime friend and is delighted to do that and is hoping he doesn't have to come home too early!
Nothing dodgy going on at his dads btw-just bored
I just don't know what to think.

RapidlyOscillating Thu 05-May-16 22:03:04

Send him imo , it's a lovely place and he is old enough to handle a bit of awkwardness. A week isn't very long. Just be positive abput it yourself. My parents are divorced and I would let everyone believe what I thought would make them happy.

bluebrushes Thu 05-May-16 22:12:59

Leeds I knew the brother a long time ago-he's an idiot. His ex-wife seemed lovely-no idea about the current partner/wife. No idea what the children/both girls are like.
Hoping the idea of an Ireland trip takes hold.
Thanks Lilac

bluebrushes Thu 05-May-16 22:19:33

Rapid
That's the thing isn't it -what does DS want to do? I hope I didn't give off a vibe about it-I don't think I did ,I was thinking OMG a whole week to myself and then ds was saying he's not sure he wants to go....

LouBlue1507 Thu 05-May-16 22:25:02

I think it should be completely up to your DS. He's old enough to decided whether he wants to go or not. If he wants to go, there's nothing you can do to stop it if his father has parental responsibility. If he doesn't want to go then tell his father straight.

SaucyJack Thu 05-May-16 22:29:16

I think you should encourage your DS to go.

Unless there are abuse/neglect issues, then I don't think going away for a week's holiday with one of your own parents should be made into a big deal.

bluebrushes Thu 05-May-16 22:40:53

But Lou I want him to tell his father what he decides-if he wants to go ,I'll wave him off. If he doesn't want to go ,he says he's afraid his father will be upset with him (this is what he has said to me-that he feels pressured into it so he won't say no to his face)- I don't want him pulled in two directions. I don't know how to approach it to make sure I'm not influencing in either direction...

bluebrushes Thu 05-May-16 22:48:35

No Saucy It shouldn't be but when one parent hasn't spent more than a night with a child and now wants a week away after 11 yrs it deserves some thought ,don't ya think?

MaryPopped Thu 05-May-16 23:11:04

Is there any worry with your Ex about taking DS to a foreign country. (SORRY! don't mean to be the voice of hysteria)

Lweji Fri 06-May-16 06:16:56

If he's not so much anxious but just not looking forward to it due to his expectations, then I'd encourage him to go.
Hopefully he'll have an exciting time.

araiba Fri 06-May-16 06:42:48

up to your son- ask him

bluebrushes Fri 06-May-16 06:56:00

No Mary Popped nothing like that!!
I'll see if the subject comes up over the week-end .

figginz Fri 06-May-16 07:00:05

My brother was always like this with my parents, even before they got divorced. You could just never ever ever get a straight answer out of him about what he actually wanted. So frustrating for everyone (even him I suspect!)

If your ds doesn't actively hate the idea, his dad wants to do it, and you fancy the time to yourself I'd encourage him to go. There's just no pleasing some near-teenagers... if he didn't go he'd probably regret it and moan that he wasn't allowed to go on an amazing holiday...

Maybe reassure him that he can chat to you every day if he misses you. And make it into a bit of an adventure.

Charley50 Fri 06-May-16 07:16:15

I'd encourage him to go but also encourage ex to plan at least a couple of exciting activities in advance so he has something to look forward to, not just visiting family, which isn't always a 'holiday' in my experience. What part of the States is it?

Charley50 Fri 06-May-16 07:18:24

If your ex can become a more involved dad it's a good thing and could have a positive impact on their relationship as your DS enters his term years.

Charley50 Fri 06-May-16 07:25:27

Doh! Sorry just noticed your thread title it's New Hampshire! Ignore me. Just woke up. It's a good opportunity for your DS to make links with his wider family. Impulse listen to his anxieties and try and reassure him that it will be fun.

Penfold007 Fri 06-May-16 07:36:58

OP you have the upper hand here. The USA require the absent parent to give written permission for the child to travel, stating who with and where to etc they also strongly recommend that the document is notarised.
Your ex also needs your permission to take your son out of Ireland (as would you).

Tell your ex that he needs to start having your son for longer periods so they can both decide if a week together in the USA is what they want. A whole weekend eg Friday after school until Monday back to school with dad washing uniform etc would be a start. Don't sign anything until he steps up.

Birdsgottafly Fri 06-May-16 07:48:05

Is the reason why he's not seeing his Dad for two weeks, or isn't doing overnights, because of work?

The time he spends with his Dad, being so fragmented, shouldn't continue, unless there's a good reason for it. Your ex needs to address this.

He needs to work on building a relationship, it isn't good enough to just have his Son in his company, he needs to address his Sons needs.

My youngest DD has SN, so I have carefully pushed her outside her comfort zone. There's been times that she hasn't been happy, but that a learning curve. At 18, she knows herself very well (more so than my mainstream DD).

I think there's a few conversations to be had with your ex, before you consent. Pushing a teen with anxiety isn't always the way forward and if not handled right, it could set rely effect her Sons relationship with his Dad.

My youngest doesn't trust my eldest, because she doesn't listen/respect her and it limits (usually city trips) what my DD will do with her, which is a shame.

My eldest works in SN/MH and still gets it wrong, I tell her to think about my youngest like she would a Service User, not as a little sister.

Your Son isn't a tag along, he has the option of not taking him, if he can't feature in your Sons needs or Wants.

Lollylovesbones Fri 06-May-16 08:55:36

OP you have the upper hand here. The USA require the absent parent to give written permission for the child to travel, stating who with and where to etc they also strongly recommend that the document is notarised

If this is true it is not being enforced. DC's father has taken them to US from UK on a couple of occasions when they were young teens (but under 18 ). It was via Canada though maybe that made a difference.

My DS was initially reluctant to go on these holidays. I have always had 100% residency - DC's father has never (in 10 years) had them stay overnight in UK! However, it has significantly improved their relationship even though DC recognise that he is a selfish arse.

I'd encourage him to go but also encourage ex to plan at least a couple of exciting activities in advance so he has something to look forward

This is good advice.

Penfold007 Fri 06-May-16 12:11:05

Lolly it is true and has been in force for sometime however it is being enforced more currently as the whole global situation has changed.

For what its worth I hope the boy does go and enjoy a holiday in New Hampshire with his father.

bluebrushes Fri 06-May-16 12:24:09

Penfold I didn't know that-must keep in mind, if they go ahead .
Some good points made by posters-Thanks
Birdsgottafly-you've kind of nailed the problem -contact is very limited.
Dad isn't really on board with the anxiety that Ds SN cause him. He thinks the issues that come alongside an SN are confined to classroom .
A few more conversations need to be had!!
I would like him to go, but I'm going to push the idea of them spending longer periods of time together beforehand .
Dad is very,very busy,though, don'tyaknow!

shinynewusername Fri 06-May-16 12:28:25

What is the worse that can happen? It sounds as if he will be with kindly relatives and other children. He probably will be a bit homesick at first, but he might have the time of his life. At worst, he won't enjoy it much, but it's only a week and he can Skype you every day.

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