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dd doesn't want to see her dad

(38 Posts)
Daisypops Tue 10-Sep-13 22:19:38

Thats it really.

Exp and I separated nearly a year ago. He has probably seen our dd's about 10 times. He last saw dd1 at the beginning of August. When I met him to handover dd he literally had to peel her off of me. She was sobbing and saying she didn't want to go. In the end she did go and was ok but she told me when she got home that she didn't want to again. She is still asking if she has to see him.
He hasnt been in touch (only to tell me hes met someone else and is in love hmm)
So, do I force dd to go? I do try to encourage her but she still insists she doesn't want to go because she doesn't like it. Shes hinted that she is bored when she is with him and last week she told me that there was a picture of a woman and a young boy and boys toys in the house. I am now wondering if this is the reason why she doesn't want to see him.

betterthanever Mon 16-Sep-13 21:10:29

You sound like a good dad Lostdad - that is how relationships are formed and maintained regarding you and your DS but if there were real reasons why your DS could not form a relationship with gran then you would understand surley and not force at all costs?

It sounds like the relationship the Op's ex has with his DD is an issue for some reason. I agree OP the sporadic contact is an issue here and maybe one reason - I don't have advice on how to solve that as you can't make him see her regularly and when he does have her, built the relationship. You can't build a relationship between two other people even if you wanted to, you can encourage it which is what you have been doing.

The thing I disagree with lostdad on is that is is not in the child best interest to have a relationship with her dad per se, it is in the child's best interest to have a good relationship with her dad and at the moment that isn't there - research clearly states that bad relationships can damange children. That is not to say it is to be abandoned at this stage but needs to be looked at which is what the OP is asking for help on, to just pretend there is no problem and force contact will not solve the issue. Again I'm being unhelpful really as this doesn't give you a solution OP.

I agree with those who have said if thier DC suddenly didn't want to go to school a good parent would ask why - not just force them. This happened to my DS, I found the root cause, it was solved and he was back to enjoying school. He was involved in the whole process, he knew he was able to express he was upset/frightened as it turned out, children have to be able to feel confident they can communicate thieir distress, so they don't grow up overly responsible and not abused by others. At your DD's age they are in the process of developing that emotional understanding, if it is not developed properly then she will have problems later in life.

So I guess what I am offering as advice is to try and find out why she does not want to go and if there is something that can be done and a regular pattern of contact is always a positive as DC need routine and knowing where they are.

Daisypops Mon 16-Sep-13 21:27:49

Betterthanever- I have asked dd lots if times and sges gives various reasons. Hes not nice. He'll drink (he gas before, the driven her home), she gets goes on. I said in a previous post ex appears to be living with his new gf and her son and im sure dd picked up on this when she was last there.

I arent forcing her. Like someone said it is up to him to repair his relationship with her.

My concern now is how do I minimise any damage?

I am worried and upset that dd will be permanently damaged by his rejection, uninterest and lack of a father sad

betterthanever Mon 16-Sep-13 21:46:06

One day she will learn that not all people are nice, I hope her dad doesn't become her first example.

lostdad Tue 17-Sep-13 08:54:47

True betterthanever - I agree with most of what you're saying.

I am giving the whole `granny' analogy because it can be hard for anyone who feels mistreated by an ex to be rational and child-focused about things (for a long time I needed a second opinion where my one was concerned and even now I ask my other half `Am I being a twat?' before I say or do something where my ex is concerned because I really want to have as good as a relationship as it is ever can be).

But with the analogy - I'm guessing that the OP's attitude if her DD said `I don't want to see granny' would be `Well, it is good for you AND granny to spend time with each other because she is one of the family and you should try to have a nice time together' (unless granny is not safe and/or abusive of course - but then again...surely we give people the benefit of the doubt rather than automatically thinking the worst of them???)

I'm not saying that in this case that the OPs ex is a good (or bad) dad. You and me BOTH know that there are different sides to the same story (hell...if the OP's kid was a boy instead of a girl she could be MY ex who is considered the waste of skin and she's talking about mewink).

Kids benefit from having a relationship with their dad however - unless the negatives outweigh the positives (and there are a lot of them). We're likely arguing by degree here - we've just got different benchmarks. Being `a bit crap' isn't really a hill of beans unless what you mean is neglectful or abusive.

HavantGuard Tue 17-Sep-13 09:01:23

Are there any relatives of his she could have contact with? Somewhere she could go for the day on a regular, fixed basis where he could turn up if the mood takes him hmm but she would be looked after by someone else? A grandparent or aunt?

Daisypops Tue 17-Sep-13 13:21:03

We tried that havantguard and he didn't like it so it stopped . The problem is there is no consistency. Its as and when he chooses which isnt fair. His relatives arent bothered i only hear from his sister at birthdays and I refuse to visit people who don't even ring to see how dc are. I wont force me and my dc on people

cestlavielife Tue 17-Sep-13 13:50:09

thing is with the school analogy is tha that particualr school isnt compulsory - education is though. if school isnt working - you look at reasons why, try to soelve them and if not - well you can always find another one.

knowing who your dad is, yes. v important.
not stopping a relationship - important too.
accepting how he is - yes and if that means you dont force a relationship then you dont.

op has tried.
she can try again in a few months. or if dd asks.
and in meantime get on with having a good life for dd and building relationships with other role models.

HavantGuard Tue 17-Sep-13 13:55:34

sad I think I'd still suggest going back to that on a set basis. At least she'll be safe and supervised there so you won't have to worry about her being driven by someone who has been drinking and it will keep the lines of communication open. She wouldn't be there overnight either. If you arrange it with his sister so that your DD visits whether her father turns up or not it will give her a more settled routine.

It would be very easy to break contact and he sounds like a waste of space, but how she feels now isn't necessarily how she'll feel at 15. By then she might not remember that she didn't want to go. Unless you feel she would be ill treated there I really think it would be good for her to have some connection with that side of her family. It might even be that your ex didn't like seeing your DD there because his sister was giving him shit about his parenting.

Mama1980 Tue 17-Sep-13 14:01:21

I disagree with most of the posters here my mum did everything she could to facilitate our contact with a disinterested father, sending me off to see him crying just made me dislike him more. we didnt bond and resented each other terribly, him for me not wanting to go and me for having to go. He was not a nice man and even as a child I understood that. By the time I was old enough to refuse to go I didn't care about him and our relationship was well beyond repair. My step dad is my dad in everyday that matters. I haven't seen my biological father in many many years.
I would not force her but encourage her, maybe give her time to miss him. Assuming he is basically a decent guy maybe try to stress his good points a bit?

betterthanever Tue 17-Sep-13 14:06:34

Agree totally cestlavie well put
lostdad you are a consistently good dad with normal human emotions. Agree with this Kids benefit from having a relationship with their dad however - unless the negatives outweigh the positives (and there are a lot of them).
I am not sure having her dad allowed to turn up as and when the mood took him is a good example to set for the DC's future relationships. I agree it is better than having her driven around by someone breaking the law though. She may feel differently when she is 15 - what happens now can be changed at a later date if she chooses to, it is the right's of the child after all - we must not let lawyers skew that.

Daisypops Tue 17-Sep-13 14:10:53

Arranging for her to go to his sisters who she sees once a year wont be good for her will it...and wait and see if daddy turns up? I have never and will never force my dc on anyone.
I have decided I will continue to talk about her dad and try and encourage her to want to see him but that is all. It is up to him to repair his relationship with her. No one is forcing him to see her every two months. Its just when he has nothing better to do we are expected to drop everything and be there. Hows that fair

lostdad Wed 18-Sep-13 13:20:41

Like I say betterthanever - there are a lot of factors. Inconsistent, unpredictable and unreliable is a negative when it comes to contact with a father.

Were I advising him I'd be pointing this out in my usual diplomatic manner...wink

smallchestofdrawers Thu 19-Sep-13 01:10:55

When my parents split up I didn't want to see my dad (felt very angry with him coming an going as he chose etc) my mum tried to encourage me and I still remember 40 years later the terrible extra pressure that put on me.

It really was up to my father to make it right, he never did really and I wish my mum hadn't told me I should see him-it felt like I was seeing him to make them feel better about the split not me.

Every situation is different, of course, but at the moment what is your dd getting out of contact with her father really?

If my father had been different and stuck to a routine and did things I enjoyed then it would have been different but I only ever felt like I was being forced into spending time with him and accommodating what suited him.

I never knew when he would turn up and be back in my life. I think inconsistency like that is very disruptive and damaging.

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