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How to prepare DD for possible stopping of contact from dad?

(9 Posts)
starrychime Mon 11-Jul-11 17:21:48

DD is 7. Her dad and I were never really in a 'relationship' as such. When I found I was pregnant he suggested I 'get rid of it' but obviously I didn't grin So never saw him whilst pregnant, he got in touch a while after the birth and since then has seen DD 'sporadically' to say the least. He cancels at the last moment for example today we had arranged to meet at 1, he phoned at 11.30 to cancel saying he was fed up, didn't want to meet, DD was a bit upset but isn't too bothered now - as he phoned later to say he actually had to work today but would try later in the week. She does love seeing him and they do get on well together. I have made up my mind not to tell DD again in advance that we're due to meet him as I hate her being upset when he cancels - I'll just tell her as we are on our way. However I get the feeling is is 'petering out' contact and at some point will just go off and do his own thing, will probably say he can't deal with things etc. What on earth can I say to prepare her or say after this happens if it does? sad

mrscolour Mon 11-Jul-11 21:13:25

Don't really know what to say but I didn't want to read and run.

As long as she has you, she will cope. If he hasn't been a constant then it's maybe not as big a loss as you think.

Does she have other significant males in her life? e.g. grandfather, uncles...

PinkCarBlueCar Mon 11-Jul-11 21:19:50

I don't think you can pre-warn her at 7 without it becoming a larger conversation, tbh.

Contact seems to be petering out for my DD too, but she's only 4, so there's been very little mention of mummy.

I've quoted Slambang on a another thread for her post before, so give me a minute to find her post on this sort of scenario. brb

PinkCarBlueCar Mon 11-Jul-11 21:32:48

Found it. Hmm. Doesn't really fit your situation, so I'll have a shot myself. I'm not great at his sort of thing, though.

How about: "Some Dads aren't that good at being Dads. He doesn't know how lovely and amazing you are because he has never really got to know you, because he doesn't see you regularly."

<hopes someone better at this comes along>

starrychime Mon 11-Jul-11 21:56:42

Thanks for replying both. Not really got any other males about. I've no family close and his family don't know about DD. Just off the phone to him and said he was in a bad mood this morning because of a misunderstanding about work and will try and meet later in the week. I will just have to deal with it as it happens I guess - keep seeing him when he wants for DD's sake. I have been telling her we both love her but sometimes adults can love a child but not really get on with each other sad. This single parenting business isn't easy <sigh> - lately been getting queried about how dad gave me the seed etc - can't really say it's when a man and lady love each other can I, as I've never hinted to her that him and I were ever 'loved up' so to speak!

gillybean2 Tue 12-Jul-11 04:02:21

You could refer to the special kind of cuddle grown up's have. Or it could be time to get her a book on puberty and actually talk about it.

Don't know your situation sorry but was there no element of love/lust involved? You could say you thought you were in love but it wasn't true love and didn't last. And then explain about the excitement of new relationships and hormones and that sometimes you don't realise till later that it wasn't love, or the right kind of love which means people decide to get married.

cestlavielife Tue 12-Jul-11 09:36:06

if contact has only been sporadic anyway then she is used to it in a way...just keep saying thaty is how dad is - some parents arent so good at being parents.

my dds 9 and 11 have reached point where they say there is no point having contact start to then only stop again (ex has MH issues - contact been erratic since 2008)

Maelstrom Fri 15-Jul-11 01:10:26

My ex stopped contact quite abruptly so there was no time for preparation. Having said that, my child had been mistreated so much during contact than instead of dealing with disappointment, I had to deal with a lot of anger. However, I found that it helped to:
- Let him speak his mind and acknowledge his feelings
- Don't let him blame himself for the lack of contact, it is not his fault but be very careful not to make him feel as a victim, that is self destroying.
- Not bringing the subject in unless he did.
- Don't give him false hopes, sometimes the best answer to the questions is the truth: "I don't know"
- Giving him a lot of attention but no commiseration (give her plenty of one to one time while the problem passes but do not do it out of pity, otherwise she will notice and feel worse).
- Distract, distract, distract.
- Don't make a huge issue of it, at the end of the day they don't need to know they are not seeing their father anymore, especially as neither you or the estranged parent know for sure if the situation is permanent.
- Give them time... time cures everything. It will come a time when the memory of the absent parent turns from a parent into a distant relative, and they stop bothering.

Obviously, I would have liked for the contact to continue but... you can take a horse to the water but you cannot force him to drink, so we are trying to do as best as we can.

Hope that helps.

cestlavielife Fri 15-Jul-11 10:28:49

agree with maelstrom - and espec dont make a big issue , this is the normality and it is ok. just part of life. life isnt fair sometimes., so be it.

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