Aibu to stop kids seeing their dad(21 Posts)
Basically the relationship ended 4 years ago. I left him after almost 20 years together. He was emotionally abusive and extremely controlling. It took me a long time to pluck up the courage to leave.
He has the kids every other weekend and some days after school for a few hours.
In a nutshell, he is an awful parent. He humiliates the kids (we have two), encourages them to swear, doesn't insist on them using table manners, shouts and swears at them for the most ridiculous things, talks to them about world issues in the most graphic and frightening way in which their young minds can not comprehend or process (he is a big conspiracist), has no parental restrictions on devices, no set bed time and he never takes them out at the weekend- they literally stay in all weekend regardless of weather.
The above is only half of it. I have self referred my family to social services several times, only to be told that they are unable to help as nothing physical has happened!! So I've had to deal with families first who had no power to help. I've also sought help with other services to no avail. The police have been called several times over threats of violence made to my children. The police could only warn him, nothing more.
So, the past year, I've basically had to suck it up and tippy toe around him to keep the peace so that at the very least, he isn't verbally abusive to my kids. It's been heartbreaking as the kids are too young to realise that their dad is emotionally blackmailing them and they feel sorry for him even though they don't like going there.
My eldest child is extremely overweight. I won't go into why. But I take my half of the blame as a parent. I've tried relentlessly to help her loose weight by healthy eating and being more active, only for it to be undone every time they go to his. She is basically juggling a few pounds every week.
I've had to finally stand my ground today as I'm just so worried about her health. Her confidence is low and health st risk. I've asked that he works with me to give her healthy food and take her out weekends (doesn't have to cost money). He had refused and told me not to do dictate what he does with them on his weekends.
I've told him that if he doesn't agree then the kids can no longer go to him.
He's snapped and is twisting everything... I feel like he still has control as I'm starting to doubt myself.
Was I wrong here?
This arrangement isn't court ordered, is it? If not, he would legally be allowed to have 50% custody in some sort of arrangement. I really think you should get a lawyer and build up a case with evidence of why the children shouldn't see him.
Someone else should come on with more detailed information too.
Poor kids, I see why you don't want them around him. How old are they?
Ah cross post with the age question.
Move further away and make it awkward for him to see them if no one can help you legally.
Why should you and tham have to put up with his lazy fuckery.
It's child abuse to not feed them properly and make sure they have excercise.
Thank you so much.
No, it's not court ordered. But this is what worries me. I was so shocked that ss wouldn't intervene as it is neglect and emotional abuse. That I fear the courts will grant him 50/50 and they will be even worse off.
I would happily facilitate a relationship between them and their dad if he would only cooperate. But sadly, people like him are not capable of change. I'm on antidepressants after what he's put me through all those years. I'm petrified of my daughter ending up with someone like him when she is older. She already suffers from anxiety and is very timid. Both kids are dealing with what I endured but on a lower level. It breaks my heart
I'd love to move but I can't afford it. Also my work is established where I am as well as my family who are a massive support to us
It is a tough situation, I do see it.
I don't want to scare you or make you anxious but what do you think would happen if you did stop the children from seeing him? Just wanting to think of solutions for you, iyswim
He would turn up at the school to collect them on his usual days I expect. And if all else fails, take me to court 🙁
He would do that, wouldn't he? I do think you should take him to court before he does as that shows him that you can't be controlled anymore and also shows the court that you aren't blocking access out of spite because you have evidence of what he is like. there have been a few mumsnetters who have blocked access (for the wrong reasons) and the judges gave the father custody..
For starters you need to keep a diary. .
Ask the school for info on their behaviour - especially after they have been to his house /on the days he collects them.
Speak to your hv about the weight issue. If she recommends something and he won't facilitate the plan it will go against him if it gets to court.
Exposing your children to age-inappropriate material with sexual content is sexual abuse. Do Social Services know about this?
I'm about to send a letter to my exh regarding his contact with our children (different circumstances to yours but equally fed up with continuing to be treated poorly by him and him coming up with ridiculous excuses not to have contact with one of the children due to a current medical problem he has). I second what PPs have said about a diary and would suggest putting any requests such as supporting dietary requirements etc in writing. Be aware that if you do decide to go down the court route, there is a good chance that you will have to go to mediation first unless there are certain circumstances meaning this would not be appropriate the citizens advice website has some good info on this.
I hope you manage to get something sorted, it could be worth having a chat with a CAB advisor too prior to a solicitor.
I'm not sure entirely that they are exposed to sexual content, but the fact that can easily access it is just as bad.
Thanks, I'm keeping yet another diary of events. On some respects things were a lot worse a couple of years back and even then, SS wouldn't intervene. I was truly horrified tbh.
I'm nervous what a poster has said about a judge not looking favourably at me stopping access! Seeing as if I allow it to go on, I would not be protecting my children- therefore breaking the law? Surely they would take into account the police logs, my calls to ss, my working with ff and all the incidents I've logged with my GP and the school. As well as my counselling and antidepressants due to the hell hes put us through. Really scary to think he could STILL get custody!!!
Frazzled- I hope all goes well with you. It's bloody awful these situations. You must be drained x
I think school is your best hope here.
Thanks lucky - it seems to go through phases, things tick along quite nicely for a while then he (either of his own volition or because his partner is pushing it and he wants a quiet life with everyone else doing the things he should be doing) will start up the 'trying to control me' thing again. When I was with him, I generally didn't bother to argue against it as I wanted to keep the peace and was too low to fight back, but eventually I woke up to it and saw it for what it was. I'm also on anti depressants and utterly fed up of this man being somewhat lacking at times in the parenting skills department (he has 3 children from his first marriage who he has no contact with now as far as I know, three with me and an almost 1 year old with his current partner). It is draining at times, more so when also mixed in with the fact I'm currently unemployed and desperately trying to find work, and have two unwell parents, my DF being terminally ill.
Glad you're keeping a diary of it all, and have records relating to police calls and SS etc - under normal circumstances a court would look to split custody 50/50, however they will also be looking closely at what is in the best interests of the children, and evidence like that will help you. I really do suggest you have a chat with CAB and or a solicitor to get a clearer view of the options that are open to you, involve health professionals, school etc too. It's tough, and really not pleasant to be caught up in 'drama' that isn't of your making, but I have found that when I stand up to the ridiculous and generally pathetic attempts at manipulation and control, once he's thrown a huff over it, he backs down and behaves again for a while at least (if anything because he's not used to me standing up to him and he doesn't know how to deal with it/doesn't like it).
Good luck, keep smiling and give your kids a great big hug
Every single case is different. There is always a history behind the father got residency stories. There is either drugs/alcohol/abusive current partner involved. Or the mother repeatedly for no provable reason keeps breaking the court order.
I think the idea to get the HV or GP involved with your child re healthy eating is a good one. You clearly had issues in the past with him, which will be shown through the old reports (if you do a subject access request you can request all your info from SS/GP etc), defo get the support from school over how they are after contact with him.
You would have to go to mediation first too. However if it was an abusive relationship it is not generally recommended.
I would suggest getting all the above ducks in a row first then set out some boundaries ie food and exercising, limiting internet access, but other things you may need to let go ie bedtimes. You need to be seen as being the reasonable, responsible parent putting the best interests of the children first.
you need to pick out the concerning behaviour.
the shouting at them and swearing.
threats of violence.
not managing her health. (go to gp and get medical advice and ask him to follow it. if he doesn't he is shooting himself in the foot. it will be no different to the situation now so you will not lose anything, but may gain if he even half heartedly tries. if he actively tries to go against advice it would not look good for him)
the bedtimes, not going out, etc, while not ideal are probably not severe enough to be taken into account as I think the view is crappy parent better than no parent.
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