Should my child no longer stay at his fathers'?(7 Posts)
Should my child no longer stay at his fathers'? And how do I do it?
I have a 5 yr old DS. He is now a gaming addict, homing in on anyone on the bus who has their phone on or anyone who may talk to him about Playstation. Nothing is as good for him as playing computer games or watching DVDs (fast forwarding to the interesting bits) I have given in! And let him know there is an x box in my flat and he played a couple of times - each time as a reward for cleaning dishes or tidying his room. Now I am thinking if he really is addicted he should leave gaming for another few years but his Dad wont accept this. Sometimes when his Dad brings him round he is in an awful state, has obviously spent the whole night drinking and awake and is unable to function properly. When I say I think DS should live with me and his Dad can visit eg for lunch at the weekend his Dad thinks I have gone crazy.
His Dad allows him to play DVDs, playstation and watch copious amounts of TV. They sleep in the same bed or my DS sleeps with his aunty and baby cousin. When he gets to my flat he doesn't sleep, can't sleep and wakes me at hourly intervals asking for a hug. If I say we can have a hug/snuggle in bed/on the sofa on Friday night before bed and Saturday in the morning on the sofa he seems to spend all night waking in anticipation (is it morning yet?). I can barely get enough sleep. I work full time.
I have to keep reminding him to use a knife and fork, I am sure they don't do this at Dad's house. He is becoming really very rude and he feels he has the right to turn on the TV and hides the remote from me so I can't turn it off. I can deal with this but he is becoming a very naughty child and it is obvious it is because things are so different in his Dad's house and his aunty's house. Often he stays at his Dad's house for about 3 nights of the week and I thought I was being fair but I think I am losing my child. He comes back from his Dad's house like a wild thing.
He is constantly telling me he loves his Dad not me.
Asking when can I see Daddy?
He really does prefer his Dad but I see a very bleak future for him if he follows his Dad's example. (benefits and staying at home).
I take him to the park, I organise day trips, holidays, arts and crafts, we go to all the different museums, we meet up with family.
His Dad wants him 50 per cent of the time but often if he had him and I arrange to pick him up at 9am on Saturday I will get constant texts, we are out, we are not at my flat, come pick him up later and I can be waiting the whole weekend to get my son back. Previously I have had to arrange childminders only for my son's Dad to pick him up from school on a Friday afternoon - because he can and no one will stop him. He is a really bad influence on my son. He loves his Dad and always has, but ever since he was a baby his Dad has been happy feeding him crisps and chocolate and now I have a child who eats a very limited repertoire of food.
My son takes everything very personally. He gets very upset and emotional. The school say he has temper tantrums and he really does have little patience. He always wants to be doing an activity of his choice, he always wants to win at everything (even first up the stairs to the flat).
I have tried to be fair and give him half of his time with each parent, as he loves us both but I do feel his Dad's parenting is more like being a friend and I am sick of it. I wonder if my son would get more used to how I do things if he lived with me and visited his Dad once a month for example. I have tried it the other way round, he has had up to three weeks with his Dad in the summer holidays apparently he did not miss me at all.
His Dad wont come to a compromise with me. He says I can just keep DS and wait till he runs away from me in boredom. But really he does want to be involved and he wants DS to move in with him. (But he would not cope with this as he cannot get DS to school on his own).
*father's flat (apostraphe failure)
Go to mediation. Get contact sorted properly. Accept your ds' father will parent differently. Unless he beats the crap out of him merely letting him play games and eat crisps is nowhere near a good enough reason to reduce contact so much.
Seeing his father once a month is crap. As you say his father can't get him to school presumably he stays with you during the week? Can't do you the regular EOW and one evening a week thing?
Finally don't blame his father entirely for your kids' behavior either at home or school. If he's with him 2 or 3 days a week he's with you more.
And why on earth did you buy an xbox if you thought your kid was addicted to games?!
Mediation is the way forward. I think that a lot of the issues stem from the confusion that having such different parenting styles brings, I would suggest that a set of rules are sketched out about how much tv/gaming he's allowed and when. You will have to be patient, waking you up for hugs is a sign of his anxiety and you need to show him you are always there for him, even if you're exhausted.
Remember that lots of this isn't down to being a lone parent, my four year old often days she doesn't want me/my husband, depending on who has been with her most.
I think there is a time for fairness when looking at access, but if it's at the detriment of his health and well being, you need to address it, especially if school are concerned enough to mention it.
But, surely I can't show him that I am there for him every hour of the night,
surely he needs to know the rules are at my flat everyone sleeps in their own beds and he shouldn't be waking me up I do work full time!
I agree with the others that mediation could be the way forward if your ex will go for it. I think, with time that son will come to accept that there are different rules in different households but you will need to be firm on what the rules are in your house, reward good behaviour and choose an appropriate punishment for bad behaviour. It is very hard to come to accept but how the other parent chooses to parent is their decision and there is nothing you can do about it.
It sounds at the moment like you are very stressed and your son is unsettled. Tbh if it was my child waking me every hour of the night for a cuddle I would just let them sleep in with me - others may disagree with this but he is probably looking for reassurance and you need sleep.
Even if he doesn't go for mediation, you can always apply to the court for a proper contact schedule. It may help because then you both know when you have him and he needs to know that he can not just show up and take him when he feels like it.
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