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4 year old refusing to see his dad

(3 Posts)
ZoeJohnson1991 Sat 28-Nov-15 15:04:07

Brief history
Me and his dad have been separated since early 2014, so 20 months-ish and my DS was 2 and a half then. His dad has a son with a new partner now and a new house. Both me and his dad are students at University.

My son is now four and has suddenly decided he doesnt want to go to daddys any more or see him. We have a court arrangement that has settled to friday nights till monday, he drops him at nursery and i collect him, same for the friday. This has been ongoing since 18 months.
Usually my DS is a little upset if this arrangement happens away from nursery (holidays and so on) but yesterday he had an absolute break down, tears and sobbing, me and his dad felt awful so his dad, who was also very upset, decided it was best to leave him for the night and collect him today. Today has come and i've been reminding him continuously its 'Daddys day today' and so on, and my DS has been fine. And he continued to be fine right up until the moment his dad walked in, then he just exploded with tears and hysteria. Me and his dad both got upset and he's left without him again with a feeling of pure devastation...

I have a few questions,
1) How/why has this suddenly become an issue?
2) How do we rectify it?
3) In regards to the court order, have i done the right thing? I havent stopped his dad leaving with him, i've remained neutral when the whole thing goes up in the air. I try to coax DS to go with him but i dont vocalise any thing else or make any suggestions either way.

Thanks for reading.

enderwoman Sun 29-Nov-15 08:42:10

How far away does his Dad live?

Can you have a chat about his time with Dad? Something seemingly insignificant to adults can be huge to kids. For example my kids find it strange that ex never chats while driving (he's normally very chatty and has been driving for 30 years so v confident) and that he plays talk radio rather than music radio stations.

redteddy Sun 29-Nov-15 18:28:12

1) Try and get your son to talk about why he doesn't want to go to his Dad's but avoid leading questions! Use toys/dolls if he responds well to role play.

2) Allowing him to stay with you won't rectify the situation. It may feel awful but you should make him go the next time. If he's afraid of something 'silly' then going to his Dad's may help him see his worries are unfounded.

3) Court order-wise, you're covered if his Dad agreed not to take him on the day. But again, you're best off sending him. I always think - if the child cried and screamed not to go to school, would you let them stay home? Probably not. Spending time with each parent should be just as important.

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