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To not allow DC to go to this funeral?

(58 Posts)
PlasticBagMillionaire Tue 30-Aug-16 21:28:53

XFIL recently died and XH wants to take our DC aged 8 & 5 to the funeral which is being held on a school day during the first week back.

Initially I said he could take them but having thought about it some more, I'm not sure I'm happy about it for several reasons.

1) it's during school hours. Last year he took them on a term time holiday against my wishes which resulted in me being threatened with education welfare even though the head had authorised the holiday. I don't want them to miss school, particularly during the first week when they're settling back in. Initially I thought the funeral would be this week when I said yes so this has helped change my opinion.

2) I think my 5yo is too young to go.

3) they barely knew him. XH didn't speak to his dad for years due to a huge falling out and afaik only got back in touch after we separated. My DC know that he has died, and they seem OK with the news. He was very ill and I have discussed death etc with them before and since the news.

4) I don't think he deserves to parade our DC in front of his family (which is what I suspect his true motives are). He doesn't pay maintenance any more and was always behind with it before, constantly cancels having them on his contact, is borderline neglectful when they're in his care. Basically, he's a poor excuse for a father and never ever considers their welfare and leaves all caring and financial obligations to me. It sounds spiteful and probably is but I've had enough of him getting the good bits of parenting without any of the responsibility. There's a huge backstory with so many examples of this.

So, AIBU to tell him that they can't go?

fabulous01 Tue 30-Aug-16 21:34:20

I think young children don't need to be at funerals. My first one still haunts me and I was 9.

fastdaytears Tue 30-Aug-16 21:35:37

I think you know some of your reasons are stronger than others!

But 5 is way too young.

HeCantBeSerious Tue 30-Aug-16 21:55:28

I disagree. In order for children to grow up to be able to handle death they need to be exposed to the reality of it. Eldest DC was 6 months old when they lost a g-grandparent. We attended the funeral as a family. She was nearly 4 (and youngest 18 months) when another g-grandparent died. We talked about it and all went to the funeral together. (DH sat with his brothers and parents and g-grandfather and us women had the babies and children near the door in case we needed to move them.). That funeral was a true celebration of life - yes sad, but also joyful and brightly coloured. DD still talks about it 2 years on. We didn't take the children to the crematorium though.

I was shielded from death as a child and that's affected me through my entire life. It's really not the best thing for a child.

BrightOranges Tue 30-Aug-16 22:08:35

I personally think they're too young, especially the youngest.
BTW how did you get authorisation from the head for term time holiday last year? Are you in the UK?

HeCantBeSerious Tue 30-Aug-16 22:10:06

Term time holidays are allowed in some parts of the U.K.

HerdsOfWilderbeest Tue 30-Aug-16 22:13:42

Too young. And they didn't know him.

AveEldon Tue 30-Aug-16 22:15:20

Not too young and I think YABU

TotallySpies17 Tue 30-Aug-16 22:15:56

I don't think it's necessarily too young- mine have been to funerals at 8 and 9 - but the fact the kids didn't know him and the fact you suspect his motives makes me more complicated.
Have you asked your older child? I've given mine the choice and made it clear there is no right or wrong choice

WhooooAmI24601 Tue 30-Aug-16 22:17:51

Mine came to their Great Grandma's funeral at 7 and 3 years old. I wouldn't have considered not taking them; she thought the world of them and they adored her.

For someone they don't know I'd say no. For someone they weren't close to I'd say no. Otherwise I'd be fine with it.

Icantstopeatinglol Tue 30-Aug-16 22:18:29

Op I agree that they're too young. I do also agree we should talk to children about death but not to the point of seeing other family members really upset. I know my dc would be really affected by this and they're 8 & 5 so there's no way I'd agree to this.

KC225 Tue 30-Aug-16 22:27:41

My twins were 6 when my FIL died and my DH didn't want them to go. Seeing the reactions of his neice and nephew at the funeral (same age) he said he made the right decision . We visit the grave, take flowers and light candles. They know he died and where he is buried, we have discussed death but we didn't feel they needed to go the funeral. I don't think there is a right or wrong on this one, only what is right for you and your family.

From how you have described your Ex's behaviour I would say no. If they were not close, and you suspect he is using the children for show, you have every right to refuse. Hope you are prepared for the backlash though. Good luck OP.

PlasticBagMillionaire Tue 30-Aug-16 22:31:30

Thanks for the replies everyone. Part of the reason I'm asking here is that I know he'll hit the roof if I tell him no.

I actually went to my beloved grandmothers funeral when I was 5 and have very vivid memories of the day. I was also taken to the funeral home where she lay in an open casket. I don't remember being scared but it was confusing seeing all the adults so upset. The thing with my 5 yo is that she's very attached to me and doesn't like visiting her dad. I'm worried about how she'd cope with such an emotional day without me being there and I don't trust him to comfort her (he gets cross when she's upset usually). Then there's the issue of him drinking which I know he'll definitely be doing on the day.

I haven't yet asked the eldest but I could do. I suspect she'd say yes without fully understanding what the day would involve. She's having a tough time emotionally since we separated so I'm not sure how she would manage on the day.

As much as I dislike XH, I do feel bad for him and feel like I should say yes to help him but on the other hand, my obligation is to make decisions in the best interests of my DC. I don't know what to do for the best because I know he's going to be angry if I say no.

Bright, I'm not sure how XH got the go ahead for the holiday as it was his request to the school and I told the head that I was against them going. Whatever was agreed between them, I was still sent letters complaining about their poor attendance (the holiday plus a couple of days off with illness) and was threatened with education welfare hmm.

Lunde Tue 30-Aug-16 22:34:35

I don't think that they are too yound necessarily if treated in the right way that funerals are a normal part of life - mine attended my Ddad's funeral at 2 and 4 and then MIL's at 3 and 5 - no choice really as both required international travel. At neither funeral were they the youngest attending.

suit2845321oie Tue 30-Aug-16 22:36:02

I think they are too young. My eldest came to a funeral at 13 and was quite distressed and didn't feel able to come to the burial. I didn't even consider letting my younger ones come aged 6 &11 and totally feel that was the right decision

BooAndM Tue 30-Aug-16 22:42:19

I actually take funeral services regularly and I think sometimes it's a good thing for children to be there, particularly a close relative like a parent or sibling. However, when I'm asked my opinion I always say that it's up to the parents/family or possibly children themselves to decide as what is right for one family isn't necessarily right for another.

strawberrybootlace Tue 30-Aug-16 22:47:49

We always take our kids to funerals. I think that it's important.

However in your situation I would not allow the kids to go without me. Not because it's a funeral but because your ExH is neglectful. The kids will need support through an unsettling new experience and it sounds like he won't provide it.

PickAChew Tue 30-Aug-16 22:49:51

YWNBU. They don't need to be there.

Ebony69 Tue 30-Aug-16 22:53:52

I think YABU to deny them from attending. Although you suggest that it would may be too emotional for them, your objections seem to be more about your resentments towards him for unrelated reasons (which may be justified). I think often the adults' anxieties over children attending funerals are not borne out in reality. The kids are generally fine. This is part of life. This is their grandfather and they're your ex's children, too. I think he would be fully justified in hitting the roof.

GoldFishFingerz Tue 30-Aug-16 22:54:49

It's a funeral, it's not a holiday! Of course the kids can have time off for such a thing! It's not a jolly.

Tubbyinthehottub Tue 30-Aug-16 22:55:51

If they didn't really know him maybe it's a good first funeral for them to go to, if there is such a thing.

Scrumptiousbears Tue 30-Aug-16 22:56:44

OP, what if it was your father? Would you want to take them then?

Scrumptiousbears Tue 30-Aug-16 22:57:07

OP, what if it was your father? Would you want to take them then?

CaptainMorgansMistress Tue 30-Aug-16 23:00:07

OP - might there be any scope for you to take the DC?

Then they could say goodbye and the have a sense of being part of the family but you would have more control over it as could take them home before / during the wake / give them the explanations you feel appropriate.

I appreciate its a bug ask of you potentially but it might be a good compromise?

JellyBelli Tue 30-Aug-16 23:00:48

Its odd if they weren't close to the deceased.
After reading your update I think you need to get legal advice about the whole situation. It doesnt sound healthy at all.
I'd be very concerned at a Head taking sides with the father this way, especially as they are at the dame time threatening the mother.

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