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Teen DCs - how often do they see their Dad?

(13 Posts)
faffalotty Wed 19-Oct-16 14:03:00

I have DS 14 and 17 who live with me. When we told them we were splitting up we told them that they can see their dad whenever they want (although he lives about 40 mins away so they can't just pop round).

STBXH partly moved out in June and then we both moved to new homes last month. Youngest has seen his dad once since then for a couple of hours, eldest has seen him twice for a bit longer. Is that normal? I don't want to force them to spend time with him but it feels like they're going to end up not really knowing each other. They don't mention him generally but haven't said anything bad about him (he lied and cheated, but we haven't told them that).

I was having a bit of a laugh with my youngest last night and suddenly realised how lucky I was, I can't imagine not having them around.

MrsBertBibby Wed 19-Oct-16 19:00:38

Is he not trying to arrange to see them?

junebirthdaygirl Wed 19-Oct-16 19:20:38

Yes it's up to him to arrange it. Usually at that age he should try to fit in with their schedule so short times might be best. My friend and her dh split up when dc were aged 9 to 12. They saw their dad every Sunday without fail. Now oldest is 30 and they still have lunch with him every Sunday. They see him at other times now obviously but that Sunday became such a routine they never stopped. He is a foolish man if he is not setting up a routine.

faffalotty Wed 19-Oct-16 20:47:46

No he hasn't asked me and I don't think he's contacted them directly to arrange anything - other than when they've seen him so far.

I'm not really sure what his current setup is, regarding any females etc. Not sure if he's just otherwise distracted. I'm trying to have as little contact with him as possible.

Forme2016 Wed 19-Oct-16 22:39:56

Faff - just replied to you on the other thread but this strikes a chord with me too!

My DC are 13 and 10 and contact between my STBXH and the eldest has definitely been tricky. Ex works shifts so it's not easy to establish a routine but the main reason is that my DS has his friends, "stuff" and routine at home. My ex is leaving it up to DS to decide when (or if) he wants to see him.

To begin with I was leaving Ex to it as thought it was up to him to manage his relationship with his own son, but then I discussed with a friend who was a similar age to my DS when her parents divorced. I know that her parents messed things up massively so really value her opinion - think sending her in a taxi on Christmas Day aged 13 between their homes as they couldn't bear to even see each other to hand her over. She said I need to do what is right for DS and if that means telling STBXH what he needs to do then so be it. I don't like it but now I remind my ex to ring or text DS ( I know, I know, I shouldn't have to) and it's definitely having a positive effect on DS. I'm sure lots will disagree with this approach but at the end of the day I've got to do what I think is right for my son. All the while calling his father every name I can think of under my breath grin

My DD is 10 and still daddy's girl for now so that is easier to deal with.

Again, I've rambled on. Sorry if none of this is helpful but thought I'd share just in case it might be.

Honeyandfizz Thu 20-Oct-16 08:27:59

I have a 13 and nearly 12 year old and last month split up with stbxh. We are still in the early stages but so far he comes for tea on a Wednesday and they go to his on a Friday and Saturday night with him dropping them back to me Sunday lunch time. We have said to the dc that this is not rigid and if they other plans eg to see friends, school activities etc then its fine for the plans to be changed. I think the older they get the harder it is as they are spending less time with you anyway. I think in your position op (with him not living local) at least one day a week should be set aside for him to see the dc. Of course though its up to him to instigate it and at their ages I would expect him to be in direct contact with them.

faffalotty Thu 20-Oct-16 10:28:31

Well this morning I received a text from him asking how the boys are as they haven't been in touch with him. So I have asked them both to make more effort to contact him, just with silly banter or keeping him up to date with what they're up to.

I can't see that they will want to spend a day every week with him. My eldest is generally out with his friends all weekend and youngest is online with friends (trying to get him to actually get out the house!).

When we were together he was out the house on weekdays often till quite late, worked away a lot and spent a lot of time of his spare time training, so they're not used to him being around anyhow.

rememberthetime Thu 20-Oct-16 22:05:04

I see this from both sides. My 17 yr old son lives with my ex and i have our 14 year old daughter. She refuses to see her dad as they really don't have a good relationship - this has been going on for months and was a big reason for our split.

But he keeps trying (to give him credit). He texts her, goes to her school things and comes round to ours every weekend just to see her. She ignores him...

Seeing my son has been tricky too. he is of an age when going out with his friends and working weekends takes up so much time and is a priority. But we message each other all the time and he comes on a sunday with his dad so we get to catch up then.

The fact is that as parents we have to be the ones to make the effort cause the kids are involved with their own lives at this age.

I am trying to foster a relationship between my daughter and ex, but it is very hard. To be honest i understand why she doesn't want to see him - but I am hoping that she can put it to one side as being an adult without a relationship with your dad is not nice - I know this from experience.

But we are just two weeks in - very very early days

Foxyspook Thu 20-Oct-16 22:14:07

I have been separated for almost a year. My dd2 (9) always had a good relationship with her father and sees him once a week. My older daughter (13) had a terrible relationship with him - he was not patient with her and they never got on, she will not see him now. I don't let him into the house because she didn't want him there and I sought advice and was told that she was old enough to choose.

He is constantly ringing me about this because he finds it upsetting. I wish she would see him but I think he is not her priority as a teenager. I hope one day she will see him and try not to say anything bad about him (although I find that pretty hard!).

Foxyspook Thu 20-Oct-16 22:18:38

Rememberthetime, very similar situation. I started off the same as you, letting ex into the house so that he could see DD running away from him and ignoring him. I found it very difficult having him there because he was a bit of a steam roller and refusing to believe it was over between us, but I kept on because he persuaded me it would be better for family. In the end, after much advice, I did decide that I wasn't going to force my daughter into contact and stopped him coming in. Our house is a much happier place as a result, but I do still wish she would see him.

faffalotty Fri 21-Oct-16 09:53:40

Thanks for all the replies, sorry to hear about the problems that this is causing some of you.

I'm certainly not planning on having him in my house, but other than that I am not going to stop them seeing him at all and will help with ferrying them about if need be.

He chose to live so far away, it's ridiculous to me that he has done that (I chose a location which was convenient for the kids for school but he chose to be near 'friends') as it is obvious that it limits his contact with them.

Blobby10 Thu 03-Nov-16 12:53:54

MY DC are 20, 18 and 16 and live in a house with me. They see their dad nearly every day (when they arent away at work or uni or college!!) and he sometimes joins us for evening meal when they are home (if I'm feeling particularly generous wink)

However, their dad lives only a mile away but he also makes considerable efforts to keep in touch with them - to the point that he is over-parenting sometimes! Our split has been as harmonious as its possible to be and we are still OK with one another so its not impacted on the children as much as it has some other people on here.

But I do agree with you faffalotty it is up to the dad to make as much, if not more effort to see his children as they do to see him.

seventhgonickname Wed 09-Nov-16 00:57:46

Me and stbxh separated in June and he lives between the marital home and a new house he has bought about 60 miles away.I moved to be near dds school and her friends.She has gone for weekends with him 3 times,all initiated by me.He has a great relationship with her but seems ti think it's up to her (13)to ask him.I work shifts and part of this is to make life difficult for me but it mostly impacts on her.I have tried to sort the Christmas break out but he says he can't decide yet.He did the same over the school holidays when she spent a total of IWeekend with him.
All you can do is support your kids and keep ensuring the contact is maintained somehow as they need both parents.

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