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When children don't want to see the NRP

(15 Posts)
ChasingSquirrels Thu 18-Aug-11 23:33:48

At what point do you say "ok then, you don't have to go today"?

Kids stay with their dad 2 nights a week.
Eldest (8) is always happy about going and while he has some moans about unfair things at dad's I suspect he does the same about here.
Youngest (5) is another matter, he rarely wants to go, will say throughout the day that he doesn't want to go, will say mid-way between visits that he doesn't want to go. But, I understand (from ex and ds1) that he is fine when he is there - although given how much he doesn't want to go I do wonder how fine he actually is.

If he was meant to be going anywhere else then there is no way that I would be making him do so, week in week out, sometimes having to physically prise him off me.

I think he deserves to have a relationship with his father, I don't think he is old enough to make the decision not to go, and so I make sure that he does.

But at what point is it his choice?

(hopefully it will never come to that point, and he will start going happily and this will be a pointless question!)

gillybean2 Fri 19-Aug-11 02:15:52

Depending on his maturity a court will start to listen to a child at around 12 years old or so.

ChasingSquirrels Fri 19-Aug-11 20:04:45

god, would I hope it doesn't come to court.

I am trying to think of and implement ways to encourage him to want to go, and to make the actual "going" process easier for him.

And to try and find out why he doesn't want to go - there does appear to have been a specific reason recently, and we have talked about it and their dad has talked to them and is hopefully trying to address it.

I just don't want him to be unhappy, and I don't want to get to (say) 12 and for me to say "ok your choice" and for him to say that he wished I hadn't made him go for the last 10 years.

I know that he is only young, but just recently he has been very very articulate about not wanting to go, and about wanting a day off from going to daddy's (but if I said ok to once, then he will want another and another and I don't think that would be helpful).

One visit at a time!

Lilyloo Fri 19-Aug-11 20:09:20

I think the courts will listen once he becomes a teenager. I have a friend whose eldest dc feels as your youngest does. He reluctantly comes to visit her after going to court and a prolonged period of time he had no contact with her. It is devestating for both parents and her dc.
I really think if you can play it down and encourage him to go it will be for the best for all of you. Presuming he is safe with his dad.
I do sometimes think kids can be fine when they are left somewhere despite initial reservations. I work in a nursery and can testify that it does happen.

CheeseandGherkins Fri 19-Aug-11 20:13:23

The court listened to dd1, she was 8 at the time. She was very sure in her beliefs though and there were court appearance, supervised contact centers etc. She's 9 and a half now and refuses contact still.

ChasingSquirrels Fri 19-Aug-11 20:14:16

I am sure he is "fine" when he is there - but is fine actually good enough, and would he be happier if he wasn't there. But even if he was would he be happier long term.

I am SURE that it is in his best interests to have a proper relationship with his dad.

I do play it down, and every time he goes (twice a week) I encourage him, and have reasons why it will be good to go, and try desperately NOT to get in the situation where he is clinging to me, or I have to carry him out to the car.
I have been doing this for over 3 years.

It is very very wearing, but I will continue to do it.
I do just wonder when it gets to the point where you don't do it any more.
Sounds like that is early teens - and as I say I really really hope that by then it won't be an issue.

ChasingSquirrels Fri 19-Aug-11 20:17:55

see there is no external reason not to have contact, I have no concerns at all about the fact that their dad loves them, and cares for them, and that they are save, and loved etc.
They have stayed with him twice a week since a week after he left, they go on holiday with him, they spend alternate Christmases with him, he doesn't just swoop in and out of their lives he is an integral part.

ds2 has said very matter of factly a couple of times (when I have said "but you love daddy, you would miss him if you didn't go") "I don't love him, I quite like him but I don't love him".

gillybean2 Fri 19-Aug-11 20:34:33

Maybe he has realised that behaving this way, being clingy and saying he doesn't want to go, gets attention? Maybe he feels he has to side with you. Maybe his dad is more affectionate with dd and ds has to be a little man and he prefers how mum treats him. Or maybe he really doesn't want to go.

Whatever the reality if it went to court now they would more than likely order contact and you would have to make him go from what you've said.

If you're worried it will continue and escalate then keep a diary of contact and when he said he did/didn't want to go, why and if he was fine once he got there etc.

ChasingSquirrels Fri 19-Aug-11 20:46:28

They are both ds's.
Maybe it is any combination of things.
I am not worried it will go to court - why would it? Ex and I have an agreed arrangement which has never ever been broken.

Do I think it will escalate - I was about to type that I don't think it could get any worse, but is could. And even just thinking about him going through that is making me well up.

I don't want to stop contact, I have no intention of stopping contact, and I am doing everything that I can to make the handover as painless as possible.

I just don't want him to be so unhappy about going, and I don't want him to turn round in x years and blame us for making him go.

And I don't want to keep going through it twice a week - but tough, I have to suck it up.

My initial question has been answered though, as to when it would be reasonable to say "ok, don't go".


SheCutOffTheirTails Fri 19-Aug-11 20:55:27

How long has he been doing this?

I think you are doing exactly the right thing by continuing to make him go, but it would be worthwhile trying to find out what his reluctance to go is all about.

SheCutOffTheirTails Fri 19-Aug-11 20:58:17

Sorry, that is not very helpful, I guess I mean that you can take him seriously when he says he wants to go, and try to listen to his concerns, without letting him stay with you when he should be with his Dad.

ChasingSquirrels Fri 19-Aug-11 23:27:47

On and off pretty much for the whole 3+ years since their dad left, more on than off. there has a specific issue recently which i feel i got to the bottom of, and which i think their dad addressed - but i don't live in that household and i don't actually know the dynamics so it is hard to know if it is still a bit of a problem. i suspect that given the household dynamics it is very difficult to change completely and that is just a fact of life for my sons.
It did get a bit better for a couple of weeks, but regressed again.

Mostly he says he doesn't know why, or he "just doesn't want to".

ChasingSquirrels Fri 19-Aug-11 23:29:57

(it was a three children, one getting left out issue. but even when this wasn't the case he didn't want to go)

HauntedLittleLunatic Fri 19-Aug-11 23:36:09

How does your ex feel about him not wanting to go?

My 10yr old doesn't always want to go - xp is fine with this and is happy not to force her. That said she has always been for the overnights. It's the ad hoc hour here, hour there contact outside the formal contact time which she tends to miss, although I whilst I would encourage her to go to the overnights I wouldn't force her.

notsorted Sat 20-Aug-11 09:57:29

How is your relationship with ex? Can you talk to him about it? You show that you are really being very considerate and thinking about this from all angles.
Could you change the contact or try a different arrangement - say dad doing fun trips out in the day - DS may be reluctant to be a Dad's house but a theme park with dad would be fun.
Or could you both manage to go somewhere with both of them ie a day out and see if you can fade into background a bit and let Dad take over but your DS have reassurance of you being there.
It sounds like your DS have backed himself into a corner re this one for whatever reason (and reasons for a 5yo can be pretty confusing but very strongly felt).
Perhaps advice from Gingerbread helpline or even via the GP to come up with new ideas. But if possible get your ex on board so that you can try new approaches.

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