This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
How do I handle this?(4 Posts)
My ExH and I have been separated for 4 years, finally divorced last year. Things haven't been easy, with the last year or so being extremely difficult with his behaviour. It is getting increasingly hard as my 2 girls are really unhappy when it's time to see their dad. They see him for 2 overnight stays a week but when these visits are imminent thet become tearful and withdrawn, such a change from their usual happy boisterous selves. They regularly ask why they "have to go to daddy's" and they wish they didn't have to go. Obviously I try and "smile it" off as "daddy wants to see them and spend time with them" "I know you will have fun once you are there" but it is getting harder and harder. They were both crying before we left then in the car, I tried to cheer them up with some "happy music" but as they got out they began crying again. It breaks my heart my heart to see this, I had hoped it would get a little easier but it seems to be getting worse. I have now been asked by exH what was wrong with the girls last night. I have no idea how to respond. The girls are 7 and 9.
Have either of them been able to say why they don't want to go?
Is dad's place very different to what they are used to? Is dad in a merged family with others or do they have to sleep on camp beds because there aren't enough beds? If so encouraging him to make it more fun with popup indoor tents may work? Certainly I have worked with beavers and cubs for years and many of them love indoor camping...
Is dad struggling to parent and leaving them to their own devices?
Is it that they don't have favourite clothes or toys there in which case taking some and if needed duplication at home be an option?
Obviously there may be something more sinister but even more case for regular discussion on why they don't like it...
Thanks for replying @Otter71.
The irony is that their dad stayed in the marital home, so it's their old bedroom. My youngest always takes one of her cuddly toys with her, they always have to take clothes etc with them as there isn't an abundance of their own stuff at dad's.
I try and talk to them about it as much as possible, trying to point out all the positives for them.
Unfortunately there appear to be different reasons ranging from him saying nasty things about me and my new partner, (he has been rather nasty trying to still control certain aspects of our lives), he doesn't do a great deal with them, apparently very short tempered with them. Basically they miss me, don't want to be away from me and don't feel comfortable with him. I had hoped things would get better with time but after the spat of rather nasty behaviour from him it has got worse.
If he is being nasty and not parenting them I would probably write him an appropriate email possibly to your solicitor or carcass if involved rather than direct to him and see if for their sake he.can either be encouraged to change (sounds unlikely) or moved onto shorter supervised contact. Sounds hard. .
Please login first.