My 7 year old ds wants to live with his father(15 Posts)
I have been a single parent for the past 6 years. My ex husband has never financially supported me. He has wanted custody. For 2 years he was only a skype parent. Now he takes our two ds on holiday to Dubai where he lives and has asked me to move there so we can share in their parenting.
I am much more easy going person to him. He is very strict, and very structured. I am so suprised and shocked, that both my 9 years old ds and and my 7 year old ds want to live with him. My 7 years old ds even cried and said he misses his dad. And when I asked him, he said he didn't miss me when he was with his dad
I don't know what to do!
With the greatest respect, your 7 yr old isn't best placed to make that decision for himself. And the last place I'd let my child move to would be somewhere in the Middle East where my rights as a mother weren't recognised at all.
I would have to say no to that, hard as that might be for your DS.
I agree with the previous poster. I would take urgent advice from Reunite on what your rights are if he refuses to return them to you.
Thank you for your advice , yes he is too young. I think I'm just so shocked. I never thought he would say he didnt miss me!
And that when he cried for his dad!
I feel like I've done something wrong. After all I've been through with him. He spends 3 weeks and cries for his dad.
I guess it made me doubt myself. Maybe I'm not such a good mother....
I would say it's nothing to do with your parenting skills and more to do with your ex being manipulative tbh.
You need to understand it's perfectly normal for a child to miss their parent, especially an absent one. Missing his dad isn't actually a reflection on your parenting at all, but just how a 7 yr old feels about his dad after spending time with him. Your are his rock, the person who has been there for him without fail, and he feels secure enough about your love and support that he can share his feelings with you. You are a good mum if he can do that, and you need to have more belief in yourself as a parent because you have always been the one constant in your DS' lives.
Rather than ask you to uproot yourself to 'share parenting' - if your ex was serious about that he'd be the one doing all the upheaval to make that happen. Don't get drawn into any further discussion about it with your ex. It's a straight no, with you taking advice as suggested above.
Yes, he does put me down in front of them. When they come back they say, "Papa said brush our teeth like this or we need to be forced to eat more etc"... they feel like have to tell me how to parent
I can only assume, he makes me sound like an incompetent parent.
I will try and not take it personally that they prefer him. He told me on the phone that I give them too much. Too much attention , too many things too much 'fun' and that I'm spoiling them.
Which means he must be much stricter with them. And inspite of that they prefer him? They must be missing something from me...
But yes I agree, I cannot let a 7 year old decide where he wants to live....
My guess is that he told your children that if they told you they wanted to live with him, you'd move to Dubai and you'd all be together.
As others said don't be drawn in.
And if they tell you how to parent, tell them to stop. That their dad has his way and you have yours and you are the parent not them.
I agree with Forgiveher.
It has nothing to do with you as a parent, it is all the fantasy of having their parents together. They don't know the reality of what that would be like.
Do not move there under any circumstances.
And you say he has never financially supported them. Well if he wants to be more of a parent maybe that's where he should start
Thank you for all your advice.
Im not sure its even the fantasy of parents being together. As he says I can stay here in Malaysia and he can live with his dad in Dubai.
My ex takes them often on holidays now so he has plenty of opportunities to manipulate them even further. I'm afraid soon they won't even want me at all. I don't know what else to do. I can't stop them seeing thier father but it seems like every time they seem him they get further and further away from me
I had given up everything for the past 6 years. I have hardly any friends, don't go out, my father is helping support me as I can't work enough to support myself and the children on a part time. It's been so hard and lonly. ..but knowing they love being with me makes it worth it. Now when they say this it hurts....
But as the post have said, not to take it to heart. Thank you all. I appreciate your replies.
Natasha, I think there are a couple of things here.
One, of course your children are more anxious about desertion / abandonment by the parent who ignored them for so many years and who is not the resident parent. They know they have you, unconditionally. They probably feel that living more permanently with their father is the way to hang on to him. Children often feel much safer saying things like they want to live elsewhere with the parent that they actually feel more secure with.
Secondly, I think it is really worrying that he is 'grooming' them so heavily to do things his way. Where does your DS get a line like 'As he says I can stay here in Malaysia and he can live with his dad in Dubai.' from? I strongly suspect that he is planting this idea in their heads and pushing it. And telling your DS he doesn't miss you when he is away from you. He is feeding them a script. I would echo anther poster - I would be very wary of so many trips to Dubai where the status of mother appears to have no legal currency. Is their father a citizen? What nationality / passports do the children have?
After no contact for all those years I would make him see them in your country.
And take legal advice.
of course they want to live with him, he does holidays, and he tells them how great it is with him and what a good parent he is
You do school runs and homework etc, which seem less exciting to the child, but which are more important int he long run.
The resident parent is often 'invisible' to the child, because they are always there, always constant, there is no fear of them leaving. They are like the background to their lives, and at 7 he cannot imagine what it would be like to lose the background, because he has never lost it. (being away for a couple of weeks isn't the same)
Also, it is natural to miss someone you love, so of course he misses dad. That doesn't mean that when the cold hard reality of life all the time with dad hits, that they will still like it.
I echo all the posters who say take legal advice.
Yes Blu, I agree it's very odd, they way they talk. And how can my 7 year old ds say he didnt miss me? We are so close, until recently he used to cry going to school.
Thanks Steppemom, nice way of putting it. All your replies make me feel a bit better. I was was schocked and sad when he initially said that he missed dad and wanted to live with him!
Regarding legal issues. He is British, but originally from Iran. He used to be a resident. Has beeb living there since before the divorce.
But at the the moment he does not have a work permit in Dubai. He leaves and enters the country to work. He says he will get one soon.
That is to my advantage though cause if he not a legal resident in the country he cannot try and keep them without my consent.
Plus as he has been returning the children back to me each time. I don't think his intention is to do that. He never has enough money. Even after never supporting me and I think he would want me to help with their schooling etc. Thus needs me and cannot go against me.
I will do more research on this and find out more. Also contact Reunite.
It's so sad how some parents can manipulate and groom the children
It would be wrong for you to want your dc to be thinking of you and missing you all the time ..it is good if they feel secure enough to be away from you.
You can't expect them to be in exciting place with dad and be pining for you.
It s normal for them to say dad does it this way etc. Just say yes that's nice but here we do it like this.
Saying they want to live with dad does not mean they don't like you etc. Again just say oh that s nice but right now it s not possible maybe when you 18 you can decide etc. Make it clear they dont decide til they much older.
Be calm and matter of fact. They can't move there now because of school etc.
Keep being there for them. Don't get riled or think it s about them liking him more etc.
But look into legal stuff just in case.
Yes, thank you.
I need to think clearly and practically and not emotionally.
It took be by suprise but as you all have said it's natural. And I agree.
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