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How do I explain to children why their dad has stopped visiting?

(7 Posts)
trix11 Mon 29-Aug-11 20:34:47

I seperated from Ex h nearly 2 years ago. The contact was never great I felt he disliked having them at weekends or overnight in case I went out and he repeatedly told me he was not a babysitter for me. However, in the last 2 months contact has virtually stopped. Our daughter who is 6 cries for him and asks when is she going to see Daddy. Our ten year old does not mention him much but I know he is gutted deep down. I am on a waiting list for family councelling with Relate which I hope will help both children but in the mean time I am at a loss as what to say.

balia Mon 29-Aug-11 22:34:36

Has he given any reason for the lack of contact? Do you have any discussion/working relationship with him? Is he likely to re-instate contact at a later date?

I remember having a conversation with my ex about contact and hearing the usual 'I love her would do anything for her' rubbish and saying that he had to show her, by giving his time, that he loved her. I think I shamed him into contact, TBH.

At their ages, though, distraction and being very matter-of-fact would be the way to go, perhaps? Daddy's busy/working hard/away doing xyz? Unless there are issues, in which case you may want to start the 'Daddy doesn't know how to show you how much he loves you/Daddy finds being a daddy very hard' type thing.

cestlavielife Mon 29-Aug-11 22:38:34

be honest
"when will i see dadddy?"
"i dont know - daddy knows he can see you whenever/next saturday/next week - but it is up to him, not me"
the ball is in his court and the DC hard as it is have to know that

blackeyedsusan Mon 29-Aug-11 23:46:52

let them kno that it is not their fault and they have not done anything wrong too.

TastyMuffins Tue 30-Aug-11 00:04:17

Do the children phone him? I prefer the honest approach, when my DS asks, I usually suggest he calls Daddy. He's 6, hasn't seen Daddy for nearly 4 months (apart from brief few minutes), calls are not answered and voicemails not responded to but DS knows he is more than welcome to call Daddy so there will never be any concern that I have stopped contact.

Horrible situation though and I know how hard it is to resist the urge to say that ex is a total waste of space.

HystericalMe Tue 30-Aug-11 10:46:51

Of course you want to be honest. But also I think you probably have to protect them a little?

Tell them Daddy loves them, but he says he can't see them right now. Tell them we have to keep busy and and we can write him letters to tell him how we feel (or draw pictures). Explain you don't know why Daddy doesn't want to see them because you think spending time with them makes you smile, seeing them happy means everything to you, makes your day, etc. smile

trix11 Wed 31-Aug-11 14:22:44

Thanks for the advise it is more or less what I have been saying. Just heart wrenching to hear them ask for their daddy. He phoned them yesterday and told them he might be able to see them tomorrow night. If he does come which I think he will I know it will be for an hour, take them to the park and then bring them back. Its just not enough time with them but what can I do?

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