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Aibu or is ds's dad re contact

(12 Posts)
FancyFingers Wed 15-Mar-17 13:57:06

I've name changed for this.

Ds1 is 16, and I had him when young(ish) and broke up with his dad when ds was 3.

Never had issues with his parenting it was our relationship that had faults.

Fast forward to current situation, ds splits his time with a week with me then a week at his dad's. Ds was asked whether he wanted this (about 3 years ago) and he said yes. I always told him to never be frightened of speaking his mind, and if he didn't like the arrangement then be vocal about it. However his dad doesn't share this opinion.

It's currently ds's week with his dad. I'm a sahm with other dc, who ds likes to spend time with. Ds and I are extremely close and often Ds will lurk around here as nobody is home at his dad's on certain days. He says he doesn't like spending time alone there. I think this stems from a break in they had.

Anyway, Ds has been saying to me they don't like him coming here when it's their week. They live less than a 5 minute walk away.

Ds doesn't want me to speak to his dad about it, as he said he is old enough. But it saddens me to think they put pressure on when it's really not needed.

We have weeks where he'll spend more time there, dictated by him (if his dad's family are visiting etc) and I think it's his decision, not mine.

But his dad and dsm make Ds feel guilty or question him if he mentions coming here.


IamFriedSpam Wed 15-Mar-17 13:59:45

YANBU. At 16 you can't expect him to follow contact agreements to the word anyway. He'll go where he feels comfortable.

AnneLovesGilbert Wed 15-Mar-17 14:03:45

YANBU. Has he told his Dad that the more pressure they put on him the less he'll want to be there? Why do they care where he is when they're not in anyway?

He's old enough to decide where he wants to be at 16. And he's also old enough to speak up for himself with his Dad about what he wants to do. I can understand the temptation for you to get involved but I really wouldn't as your ex will accuse you of interfering.

Quimby Wed 15-Mar-17 14:04:29

Seems needlessly petty from him and as though having the agreement adhered to down to the letter of it is more important than what's actually practical.

It'd be like someone who works insisting that their sahp partner still sat at home even when their child was at a friends or on holiday with grandparents "because that's the agreement". As though an objective perception of what is fair is most important.

Now he may be worried that if your son is in the habit of going to yours till whatever time on a Wednesday evening that it would be easy to slip in to a habit of thinking "oh it's 9pm at this stage, it's as easy for me to stay here." Which could lead to him having reduced contact just through laziness of not wanting to walk back home when they're playing Xbox or watching a movie.

But there's easier ways to discuss this than creating a vague feeling of disapproval and also at 16 contact arrangements are naturally going to become much more fluid and open to last minute change so it's a natural enough progression.

FancyFingers Wed 15-Mar-17 14:06:31

We've had this the whole time he has had 50/50 arrangement. He attends school in the same area as my other dc so will grab a lift with us. Not planned that way but go with the flow. But I was moaned at about this. I'm hardly going to ignore him and drive off when I drive past his dad's anyway.

ZilphasHatpin Wed 15-Mar-17 14:08:59

At 16 it's D's choice now. He doesn't have to abide by any contact schedule. As long as you are happy to have him he can be at yours as much as he likes and same with his dads.

blackteasplease Wed 15-Mar-17 14:10:31

His Dad is being very petty, and as others have mentioned, is driving ds away.

He is 16 and should be able to go between the two homes as he likes really. He could leave home and live alone - and be married! - if he wanted (but obviously much better that he doesn't).

Can you have a brief word with your ex, or send a message, just saying nicely that as ds is 16 he should be allowed to make his own mind up about where he spends his time?

Would you ex mind if he was at a mate's? If not, why should he mind him coming to yours? A good parent would be glad their dc had company.

FancyFingers Wed 15-Mar-17 14:24:23

I'm undecided whether talking to his dad might make him worse. He doesn't take criticism well.

It does affect Ds when he is made to feel guilty.

xStefx Wed 15-Mar-17 14:30:00

Is there anyway your DS can just "smile and nod" when his dad says he doesn't want him to come to yours and just ignore him anyway and keep coming.

ZilphasHatpin Wed 15-Mar-17 14:37:09

He doesn't take criticism well.

It's not criticism. Just text/ring and say that as DS is 16 now it's up to him where he spends his time and isn't restricted to a contact arrangement anymore. Back your DS up any time EX makes it an issue.

Wishiwasmoiradingle2017 Wed 15-Mar-17 14:41:41

Remind your ex he isn't a parole officer and ds can make his own choices now. .

FancyFingers Wed 15-Mar-17 14:51:48

Thanks, you've given me confidence here.

We (ex and I) do parent differently as do dh and I. The thing is, now ds is older I don't speak to ex much as Ds tells me plans etc.

I'll broach it again with Ds and then give his dad a call for a catch up.

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