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Son doesn't want to go to his Dads

(46 Posts)
MrsIncognito2017 Sun 17-Dec-17 21:09:32

My 10 year old son today told me he is not going to his Dads for Christmas.

We alternate Christmas so the last time he went for Christmas it was 2016. He usually sees him about once a month. He Skype calls every week and 10 year old always refuses to talk to him. I have two other children who Skype him and are happy to see him.

Obviously I would prefer having my children with me over Christmas, but as it's been arranged they will see their Dad DH and I have been planning some much needed alone time. We fear this is clouding our judgment a bit, hence coming onto MN wink

Should I allow my son to stay home with us? Or encourage/make him go to his Dads. His Dad will be very hurt, and this could damage their already fragile relationship. It's a slippery slope. Is my son old enough to know his own mind and make his own choices? Or as his parents should we be deciding what is best? Is it actually in his best interests to stay with me (even though I was looking forward to the break) or would be in his best interest to go with his siblings to his Dads?

RB68 Sun 17-Dec-17 21:11:08

No you need to talk to son and be clear that his going is not a choice and that he needs to go. Unless there are other issues that you are not talking about such as abuse

minniemummy0 Sun 17-Dec-17 21:37:58

Have you asked him why he doesn’t want to go? That would influence where I would go with this!

olivesnutsandcheese Sun 17-Dec-17 21:38:00

Definitely make him go. He is too young to appreciate the consequences of not maintaining a good relationship with his DF particularly as his siblings are happy to go.
But it is worth having a good 121 chat about why he is so reluctant. You need to be very clear with him that there is no other option and he needs to make the best out of it and give his DF a chance. You also need a break. Your relationship with your DH is important too

WhooooAmI24601 Sun 17-Dec-17 21:44:14

I think if possible you need to sit down and listen to why he doesn't want to go and take it from there. I think bulldozing his feelings and saying "you don't have a choice" isn't going to help.

Once a month contact isn't a huge amount for his Dad to be maintaining a close bond with DS. I'd be worried that your DS has shut himself off, but would absolutely not lay down the law until I'd dug a lot deeper.

MrsIncognito2017 Sun 17-Dec-17 23:26:03

I've tried asking him; he said he hates the car journey (5+ hours) and he wants a bit of peace and time away from his annoying younger siblings. Reading between the lines I think things can be a bit chaotic at his Dads - no bedtime, lack of discipline, lack of personal space, and they spend a lot of time at various 'mates' houses.

He certainly wouldn't win Dad of year, but he does love them in his own selfish way. I told son that his Dad would be sad if he didn't go, he just shrugged.

Valerrie Sun 17-Dec-17 23:30:32

I'd never force him to go, poor kid.

Mxyzptlk Sun 17-Dec-17 23:33:27

Those sound like good reasons from DS.

Could you arrange for DS to stay somewhere else, at another time, while his siblings are with their dad? So that you and DH can have time together then.
DS should be able to understand you wanting that, but Xmas isn't a good time to try to insist on it.

Mxyzptlk Sun 17-Dec-17 23:35:30

he needs to make the best out of it and give his DF a chance.

He already knows what his DF is like.

Vitalogy Sun 17-Dec-17 23:42:25

I wouldn't force him to go.
I've never understood why a parent would live so far away from their child.

MrsIncognito2017 Sun 17-Dec-17 23:54:52

I've never understood why a parent would live so far away from their child.

Me neither. At one point he promised told DS2 that he was going to move closer, I told Ex I thought this was a good plan, there are always job vacancies in his sector, much cheaper housing, and he would also get to see the children more frequently, every week if he wanted. The next day he messaged to say he had changed his mind.

condepetie Mon 18-Dec-17 00:00:54

Sounds like he has some very good reasons for not wanting to go... if it's as chaotic as you make it sound, maybe he has outgrown it. It's Dad who needs to grow up and act like a parent, and that's not the kid's responsibility.

Could he spend time with grandparents? Otherwise you might have to think selflessly. As much as you might want some calm time, he needs you.

MrsIncognito2017 Mon 18-Dec-17 00:02:27

He already knows what his DF is like.

Sadly this is true. Although I fear I don't get him to go this will be the end of their relationship. I'm not sure what the repercussions of that would be. He already missed a visit recently, as the visit fell on his birthday (usually his Dad comes up here for birthdays) and he wanted to have a party at home. He said if his Dad wanted to see him he could come to his party, but he didn't come. Thinking about it maybe he is upset by that?

Vitalogy Mon 18-Dec-17 00:06:31

The man's a fool and I think you son realises this, sounds a very intelligent lad.
My son's dad moved to the next town, obviously not as bad but just for example, last week with the bad weather, he couldn't pick him up,
If he'd lived around the corner different story. Your son deserves better just like mine does. Fickle parents men

Thymeout Mon 18-Dec-17 00:19:09

I feel v sorry for you and DH, but I don't think I'd be able to enjoy my Christmas if I knew my 10 yr old was having a miserable time at his Dad's. The fact that he's been refusing to join in the regular Skype sessions show that this isn't just an impulsive fit of pique. It's going to be v difficult on the day when his Dad comes to collect him if he doesn't have a change of heart. What if he refuses to get in the car?

Unless you can persuade him to change his mind, I think he'll have to stay home with you. Do you have any grandparents close by who could have him on Boxing Day or something?

Vitalogy Mon 18-Dec-17 00:32:22

I feel v sorry for you and DH what the heck for!

Thymeout Mon 18-Dec-17 00:48:43

Read the OP. They were planning some 'much needed alone time'. I guess DH in particular might have been looking forward to having his wife to himself.

Mxyzptlk Mon 18-Dec-17 00:49:14

I fear I don't get him to go this will be the end of their relationship.

It may be that even if he does go, if he has a miserable time.

I should think he was upset that his DF didn't come to his birthday party. DF is the one who should be making efforts and, if he won't, you can't expect the relationship to last.

Gallagher4 Mon 18-Dec-17 00:50:06

My eldest DD used to get fed up having to 'look after' her two younger siblings every time they went to stay at their dad's. She felt she had to behave, help, set a good example, comfort them if they missed me. It was no fun for her.

Mxyzptlk Mon 18-Dec-17 00:50:32

I meant - it may be the end of their relationship even if he does go.

TheDowagerCuntess Mon 18-Dec-17 01:37:39

He said if his Dad wanted to see him he could come to his party, but he didn't come

If Dad gets to opt out of the long journey, then so does son. Simple as that, really.

Dad could maybe try a bit more - his son might just react to that. As it is, he clearly doesn't, and this is the end result. Maybe Dad needs this spelling out to him.

NovemberWitch Mon 18-Dec-17 02:52:48

Much needed alone time
Your son should still come first, just as if you were both his parents and didn’t have the option of palming him off somewhere he doesn’t want to go and for good reasons. Perhaps him actually having some control over his choices might make his dad make more of an effort if he doesn’t want to lose the relationship. Find your alone time whilst still parenting your son.

Longdistance Mon 18-Dec-17 03:16:31

Your dd sounds very smart. He’s learnt that his dad won’t make an effort, so he can’t be bothered either. I don’t blame him tbh, if his dad can’t be bothered about his birthday sad

Don’t force him to go. 5 hours is an arse of a journey. My mil lives a similar time difference away, and we struggle doing it every few months.

Longdistance Mon 18-Dec-17 03:17:10

It should say ds (stupid autocorrect)

laudanum Mon 18-Dec-17 03:18:23

I wouldn't make him go.

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