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DS doesn't want to go to his dad's...

(11 Posts)
HoldOnHoldOn Mon 11-Jul-16 22:31:34

Just that really. He is 9.5, sees his dad 2 nights a week (private agreement made 5 yrs ago) but is getting increasingly upset about going there. Begging me not to send him and when he's there texting me to come and pick him up. I've got no concerns about any form of abuse. This has been building for some time but is now worse than ever. Can I stop him going? Should I stop him going? Feel like the bad guy making him go but his dad is entitled to see him. It's heartbreaking. Help!

KittyLaRoux Mon 11-Jul-16 22:36:05

What reasons does he give for not going?

WhyHasAllTheRumGone Mon 11-Jul-16 22:38:14

What's ur relationship with his dad like? Could you discuss it?
I had a similar situation with my DS at that age and (to my shame)I continued to make him go. I couldn't face court again.
Eventually it came to a head when he was 11 and he just refused point blank to go. I wish I'd listened and supported him, instead of thinking I was supporting his relationship with his dad. He was so unhappy, just wanted normal family life, not passed between warring parents. If you can't talk to his dad, try talking to ds and seeing what his issues are? Might be something simple like going for shorter periods, or less frequently?
Good luck, sometimes it feels like whatever we do us wrong.

RandomMess Mon 11-Jul-16 22:51:29

As it's not court ordered you can stop it and his Dad would have to take you to court to reinstate it via mediation and with cafcass involved.

I would ask your DS what contact he would like and amend it accordingly.

HoldOnHoldOn Mon 11-Jul-16 22:51:53

Oh thank you! Good to know I'm not alone. Yeah tried to talking to his dad but he refuses to see that the way he is with DS (very alpha male shall we say) is the problem and thinks it's just DS "attention seeking".

RandomMess Mon 11-Jul-16 22:55:38

Hmmm perhaps he actually doesn't enjoy spending time with someone who is so insensitive to his emotional needs!

Fourormore Tue 12-Jul-16 12:21:19

What do you plan to do in the longer term? 9.5 is far too young to decide he doesn't want any relationship with his father. While you aren't legally bound to send your son if there is no court order, it isn't going to look great if his father takes you to court and you've unilaterally decided not to send him anymore.

Perhaps mediation may be a way forward or some kind of family counselling? Is your son able to articulate what the problem is?

MrsBertBibby Tue 12-Jul-16 12:32:25

Some mediators are qualified to include children in mediation, that might help, although family counselling would probably be better.

My guess is it would be better if your ex backed off a bit, had shorter visits etc, until you get to the bottom of what's troubling the boy. But that has to come from him, not you.

HoldOnHoldOn Tue 12-Jul-16 16:37:21

Thanks all, good to get other people's perspectives. I think cutting down the number of nights in the short term might be a good way to go for now and take it from there. Not that I think his dad will agree to this! You're right about treading carefully though, his dad wouldn't think twice about using this against me in court, if it ever came to that. Thanks again

RandomMess Tue 12-Jul-16 16:48:53

I would speak to your DS and ask him what he does enjoying doing with his Dad etc. Then think up a contact schedule that is different to current with the aim to break the pattern cycle of your DS being unhappy etc.

I would proposed new contact in writing to your Ex. Stating as non-confrontational as possible along the lines of "Clearly the current arrangement is causing distress to DS and we need to break the current pattern of him asking to be collected early. Over the summer holidays contact could either be xyz or abc with it then change klm in September with a view to increasing contact back to it's current level after half term."

Basically set out a plan that shows you are putting DS interests first and addressing it without reducing longer time contact time (would it be happier with full days at weekend without overnight stays). If Ex gets arsey and he takes you to court then yes he will contact again but it would be suggested to build it up etc if there had been a break in between.

Any chance that school would give him someone to talk to about why he doesn't want to be there etc?

Fourormore Tue 12-Jul-16 17:36:20

You need to understand what the problem is before you start trying to figure out a solution.

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