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To listen to my 8 year old?

(10 Posts)
GoldenOrb Mon 20-Mar-17 23:05:21

Slight backstory. Stbxh and I separated last summer. He refused to move out of the family home, so I moved out. initially the kids were with their dad 1 night in the week and every other weekend (2 nights) and currently it is 2 nights in the week and every other weekend (2 nights)

Our eldest is 8, has struggled with the separation, and is currently being assessed for asd. He is also showing some anxiety and OCD symptoms.

Consistently, the 8 year old is saying that he doesn't want to go to daddy's house. He wants to be with me. He wishes it was a weekend with me and not with daddy. He didn't have a good time at daddy's because he wanted to be with me. He doesn't say it every single time he is due to go there, but I am keeping a log and it is happening quite a lot. Maybe 50% of the time.

My question is, do I listen to him and take his wishes seriously? Or do I try and be encouraging him to continue with the current plans? I am not biased either way at the moment, I do try to stay impartial and if he says he says he wishes it was my weekend I will say it is my weekend next weekend and we can do x. But I don't know if I am doing the right thing for him.

CatsRidingRollercoasters Mon 20-Mar-17 23:31:12

How is his relationship with his dad?

I would try to delve a bit deeper to see what his reasons are by chatting using non leading questions. Tell me... Explain to me... Describe... Etc.

Bottom line is that yes you absolutely should listen to your child. Best case scenario is that he prefers your company/home. Worst case scenario doesn't bear thinking about.

Dilligaf81 Mon 20-Mar-17 23:32:56

What is your relationship like with your stbx ? Could you not approach this togetjer as im sure you both want what is best for your son.

Feelinglikeafailure Mon 20-Mar-17 23:51:31

I used to try and hide at that age when we were due at my dad's for the weekend.

Now I'm glad my mum made me go as if she didn't I wouldn't have the fantastic relationship I have today with my dad

JustAPlasticBag Mon 20-Mar-17 23:55:55

How is he when he's actual at his dads OP? Does he react similarly when he's returning from his DD's to yours? He might just act like that with you then be perfectly fine when he's actually at his dads.

Joffmognum Tue 21-Mar-17 00:14:05

My little brother hates going round his father's house so much he's started wetting the bed again.

My father doesn't severely abuse him, hed never hit him or anything, he just ignores him. He doesn't plan any weekend activities, he eats dinner in a seperate room, he doesnt buy him anything nice. He sends him to school in illfitting school uniform (until recently, my mother has bought him new uniform for dad's house too). He barely talks to him and hasn't done anything about his room being dirty.

I don't live there (I'm a parent myself) or visit much (I don't him), but I can see why my brother doesn't like going round. Thing is, he struggles to articulate why. Dad doesn't actually do anything WRONG - he doesn't hit him or say mean things. Nothing worth getting social services involved. But he's not being cherished and he knows this, even if he can't articulate it, and he'd be better off not going.

My mother does her best to book his playdates around dad days, and often doesn't take him at all, but still won't push to change the custody agreement.

I'd do whatever you can to make sure your child is happy.

GoldenOrb Tue 21-Mar-17 08:38:00

cats I would try asking him more, but because he is likely on the asd spectrum he struggles with feelings and emotions and I don't think he would be able to say what it is he feels.

dilliga stbxh is pushing for a 50/50 split, regardless of how the children feel or what might be right for them. Therefore I don't feel at this time I could try and approach him about it as he would no doubt disagree.

feeling can you remember why you used to hide? What you were feeling?

justaplasticbag I don't know what he is like when he is there, although stbxh has said before that ds has said to him "I miss mummy" when he is there. He never, ever says he misses daddy when he is here.

I really feel as though I am letting him down by not fighting for what he is telling me he wants, which is more time with me. But I do also wAnt him to have a relationship with his dad and I know that would be difficult to maintain if he is not there as often. I'm really torn.

Feelinglikeafailure Tue 21-Mar-17 11:12:49

Because I was little, I just wanted to stay with my mum, my room and have my things around me. I don't think I understood why he couldn't just come to our house to stay.

Introvertedbuthappy Tue 21-Mar-17 11:23:02

What is your ex like as a father? If he is decent (although maybe does things in a different way to you) then I would continue to encourage him to go. I think children tend to have a favourite parent - DS1 is 8 and is all about his Daddy. He always asks when he is getting home from work (I know on the days I work he doesn't ask this) and he absolutely loves DH. He loves me too, very much so, I do fun things with him, spend 1-1 time with him swimming, at the park, visiting castles etc but at the end of the day I know if he had a choice it would be with both of us, or if a straight choice was drawn would definitely choose DH (although wouldn't as he knows now that being that overt hurts my feelings and is rude).
I guess what I'm saying is that I feel I am a pretty good parent, DSs get lots of cuddles, stories, games and activities with me, but if DH and I were to ever split up (hopefully not!) DS1 would struggle and want to be with DH more. Not because I am a terrible parent, but because for some reason DH is his favourite and has been since aged 2. I would be heartbroken if DH used that as a reason not to share custody.

GoldenOrb Tue 21-Mar-17 19:56:19

introverted he was largely absent for the first few years of the kids' lives. He worked long hours, did a lot of extra curricular stuff outside of work and his relationship with the kids as a result was not great. As soon as we separated he halved his hours at work and told me he wanted 50/50 split in terms of living arrangements. I'd imagine the children are far more used to being with me, and maybe that is why ds wants to be with me more. I'm sure they do love their dad, but they are not used to being with him.

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