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13 year old DD wants no contact with her dad(16 Posts)
I have been divorced for a few years and separated for 6.
My DDs have seen their dad regularly. I find him very difficult, selfish, egotistical and unable to see fault in himself. DD doesn’t know I feel this way since I don’t believe she should hear negative things about him from me.
DD1 says she isn’t a priority to him, he only cares about himself and will become very angry with her if she doesn’t want to see the film he suggests, for example. He regularly turns up late, invites his friends on their days out so he has other people to chat to and has never once been to a parents’ evening or done homework with them.
She has decided not to see him at all, refuses to call him Dad and will only speak to or text him to tell him she doesn’t want to see him. She has been referred to a specialist for anxiety and sees a counsellor.
ExDH says I should be forcing her to see him or forcing her to get in his car. I absolutely refuse to do this. He is furious with me and says he will take legal advice and see me in court. I’m assuming he can’t do this. I really have tried to mediate between them. My other daughter still sees him and is happy doing so.
I suppose I would like someone to tell me I am right not force her. I think this goes far beyond teenage hormones. And can he take me to court? I’m in Scotland if that makes a difference.
He can take you to court, but her opinion will have increasing weight. Does she have the capability of getting from his house to yours under her own steam if he is being an arse.
Of course you are right not to force her.
You're definitely right not to force her.
Doesn't he realise that if she is forced, she'll likely go completely NC as an adult, permanently? What good does he think it will do to force someone to spend time with him who doesn't want to? It's almost as if he's seeing her as a possession and not a person.
That he believes in using force in this relationship with his daughter, rather than modifying his own behavior so she is happy to see him demonstrates how incapable he is of being a loving Father. I would keep a record of these events and take some legal advice.
I don't know what the legal position is, but he sounds like a terrible parent and she's sussed him out. I'd go down the road of being completely on her side. She's surely getting to the age where legally it's up to her anyway? Bless her she knows what's best for her.
You are right not to force her. How would one go about forcing a strong willed teen to do anything anyway!
I doubt he'd really be bothered taking you to court. It's unlikely to go his way even if he did go through the process. Her opinion does matter.
You are absolutely right not to force her. Just support her and how she feels.
I was in a very similar situation with my father and cut him out of my life when I was 18. Best thing I ever did!
My mum, like you, never spoke badly of him in front of me and I came to the decision myself.
Why have someone in your life that doesn’t bring anything to it? Your daughter sounds like she has a very sensible head on her shoulders.
Could you speak to her counsellor and get advice?
I’d also see a solicitor yourself and check the position although I wouldn’t force mine to go. She’s old enough to have a view and she’s more likely to change her mind if he lays off her
Of course you are right not to force her.
But of course he can take you to court and possibly win court ordered access.
At 13 court ordered access is unlikely. If he has money to burn let him try. I appreciate that having your child not want to speak to you is heartbreaking. My now 18 yo DS has barely spoken to me since his father threw me out but both kids (also have now 14 yo DD) were told totally their choice by mediators who they see and stay with ..
At 13 her views will be taken very seriously by the court. I'd go with what she wants and let him take it to court. I doubt he will get very far, especially since you are still being accommodating around your other DD.
"You're definitely right not to force her."
I disagree, at least to some extent. A 13 year-old could refuse to go to school, or to medical treatment -- would it be right to force them? If there is an accepted agreement, then it needs to be respected. At least to some degree. Your DD might also regret her actions a few years down the line if all contact is lost.
So I think you are in a difficult position. One where you encourage as much as you can. But, ultimately, probably you cannot actually force contact. In England he could go to court -- don't know how things work in Scotland, except that Scotland tends to give rights to kids to do things. So I suspect he can huff and puff, but change will be hard if it is against her wishes, if she is seen as mature enough to be making such decisions.
I would carry on supporting her, she may decide to see him in the future. She might not. What on earth does he think that the weekend with a child that doesn't want to be there would be like!!
waterSpider contact with a parent is supposed to be for the benefit of the child. As indeed is going to school, medical appointments or other things. However, if a parent does not make the effort to provide that beneficial contact, for instance by not spending actual quality time with the child, or by constantly turning up late and not taking an actual interest in the child's life, then where is the benefit? It is possible for a parent to forfeit the moral right to contact with their child by their behaviour and when that happens, the child absolutely should have the right to stop contact and should not be forced.
This father has done much to forfeit his right to respect and his right to contact, wouldn't you say? So not a difficult position at all. If he wants contact he will have to earn it back by changing his behaviour and being a better father.
You are completely right not to force her. I am in a similar position, my 13 year old rarely wants to see her Dad. She seems to have phases of wanting to see him, then sees that he remains a difficult man and switches off from him ... until the next time. She cries when she arrives home almost every time she sees him.
I encouraged her in the beginning but have learnt to take a step back. XH blames absolutely everything in his life on someone else. This lack of contact is my fault. Only it isn't, it is because he behaves like he did before he left.
I would love to have an every other weekend situation with a lovely dad in the picture but we don't have that.
I too gave DD access to a counsellor, spoke to my GP about her when I was worried (my GP didn't think that I should be forcing her to do anything). She gave me details of a social media scheme in my county where teens could access someone independent to talk to whenever they wanted to talk. Apparently results show that they engage with this service.
OP, it isn't easy. If he chooses to take it to court so be it but I am not sure why you would put your teenager through that stress.
Water - this really is nothing like going to school for goodness sake!
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