DCs decided they want to stop seeing their dad(12 Posts)
I've namechanged because I think my ex sometimes looks on here.
My ex has an on-again, off-again drink problem. When he's drinking he won't see the DCs for months and when he's not drinking we sort out some kind of contact schedule so the DCs can get to see him.
My DCs are 14 and 12 and used to be really enthusiastic about seeing him and I'd try to organise as much contact as possible. Over the last year that seems to have changed. They used to want sleep-overs at his place but now they don't. Over the last few months they've not really wanted to see him for more than an afternoon here and there. He's pissed them about quite a lot this year with not seeing them for ages and I think they're just getting fed up with him.
Anyway, they went to his on Boxing Day and it turned out he wasn't sober. I'm kicking myself because I didn't spot it at hand-over as it was all very rushed. When I picked the DCs up later they were very unhappy. We had a talk about it and it came out about him not being sober. They don't like being around him when he's not sober as he's not "himself" IYSWIM. Nothing spectacularly bad happened but they just don't want to be around him when he's like that. I've told him this over and over again but he's never listened to me anyway.
So they've decided they want to stop seeing him for a while. I know my eldest is old enough to make that decision but it's just sad as she used to be the one who wanted to see her dad the most.
Sorry, I'm rambling. I just feel sad that it's reached the point where my DCs don't want to see their dad. I'm not looking forward to telling him either in case he decides to go to court.
I'm thinking of telling him that it's my decision rather than the DCs as I don't want him putting pressure on them to change their minds. Or should I tell him the truth?
I can see why you'd want to tell him it was your decision, to protect the kids, but in this instance I think the truth is best.
Could you DD maybe write a letter explaining to her dad how she feels about his drinking? It might be the wake up call he so evidently needs.
You sound like a lovely mum
At their ages, both being over 12yo, and given their Dad's issues with drinking and their ability to make a decision that they don't wish to see him because of his drinking, their opinions would both be listened to in court.
They are both old enough that the courts are unlikely to force them to see their father if they themselves are unwilling due to his drinking.
I would be truthful with him - either that will be the wake up call he needs, the courts telling him they don't want to see him will be, or he just won't wake up to it at all, and he will have to live with that.
I think I would be honest with him to, it would be too easy for him to point the finger of blame at you for them not going, whereas if it comes as their request he may be insightful enough to realise its a consequence of his drinking and ask for some help?
Thanks for the thoughts. I think I'll tell him again that the DCs don't want to see him when he's been drinking. But I think the decision to stop contact should still be mine. You're right that he'll point the finger of blame at me but I'm used to that. Even if I did tell him directly that the DCs don't want to see him he'd probably still say I forced them to say it. He never takes responsibility for anything.
I'm sorry but I've given up any hope that he'll ever get a big enough wake-up call to make him change. A few years ago he almost died because of his drinking but he still drinks. He's a piss artist and he always will be.
Does he call the dc? Or any other form of communication, just thinking that he may speak to them and they say that it is them that have decided to stop contact.
That's a good point that I hadn't thought of. He goes through phases of calling them pretty much every day. Bum. OK. I'll talk to them and see what they want me to do.
It's never bloody easy, is it?
Stick to the truth. The dc need to live with it too. And as they get older make their decisions .
You're all right. The truth is important. I will tell him that it was my DCs decision not to see him. I'll wait until he sobers up though. You can't tell him anything he doesn't want to hear when he's drinking and i don't want the DCs getting the backlash.
You can also say clearly that "it is their decision which I fully support " and repeat that it is his drinking that drives them away.
Repeat and repeat.
It's also really important for children, especially if they're 12 and 14 to be heard and have their decisions taken seriously. I can see why you want to say to him that it's your decision, but in an unintended way that actually undermines them.
When I was their age I had an alcoholic mother. My parents were divorced and we lived with our Mum and it was fucking horrible. You clearly love your kids so please support them in this.
And yes, he probably will blame you. My ex blames me for everything which has the advantage for him of nothing ever being his responsibility - his choice.
I feel so sad your 2 dc, but it is their decision, better than feeling abandoned by their father. They are in control of the contact with him and that is for the best for them
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