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Does your dcs dad ask about the kids?

(15 Posts)
thunder10 Sun 04-Mar-18 13:10:23

Just wondering really....

2 dcs, kids see him every other weekend.

They speak about twice a week on the phone.

I'm just wondering how involved your ex's are with the dcs?

For example, ex has no idea about how dcs are going on at school, who their friends are. How they get on in after school clubs. What new foods they like, what they don't like. What they've been up to - like going to the cinema etc.

Had parents evening last week and mentioned it to him. He said he would ring later that night and ask how they are doing - he never did.

Now I used to keep him informed in absolutely everything when dcs were younger. Partly because they were too young to explain anything themselves and partly because I thought it was my job too.

Over the years I've learnt that if I tell him stuff, hes really not that interested. It's just an 'oh right' sort of reply. So I suppose I've just told him less and less things.

I sort of also feel now dcs are older, he can ask them this stuff. He can ring and say 'good day at school?' 'Learn anything good?' Etc.

When he does ring, I leave them to get on with it but I can always hear the silences in the conversation.

It's impossible for him to see them more as he moved over 2 hours away from them. But I'm starting to feel he's drifting further from them as they grow up.

Should I start keeping informed again? Or is it up to him? If there's anything major happening then obviously I let him know. Dcs do ring him but I sort of have to ask them to a few times, neither of them ever really want too.

I sort of feel it's not my place to keep the relationship up with them, that's his responsibility but I'd hate to see them drift apart.

When he does have the dcs, he is good. He takes them out and does things with them and they absolutely love it. But i think that's all it is. They love spending time with their dad cos they go on days out and get new toys (something I can't do that often as can't afford it) but from the emotional and 'being there' side of a parent, it just isn't there from him.

Like dd has some friendship problems recently and me and dd both rang him to speak to him about it. All he said was 'oh well, sure you will sort it' there was no advice, no love or sympathy which I think dd really needed from her dad.

Does anyone else get this? I might not be explaining myself well but I know what I mean x

OP’s posts: |
Thierryhenryneedisaymore Sun 04-Mar-18 13:16:21

That is not an easy sutuation to be in and it is clear you have done more than your part for a long time.
Rather than stop telling him or keeping him informed, would you not consider being blunt and honest with him, tell him there is a problem and that you think it will become a widening distance if he does not start to address it.
I think it is good that you want to address this, i know it might be giving him the benefit of the doubt, and something you should not gave to do, but if you tell him bluntly then he might do something about it.
Does he have another partner and any other children in his household?

thunder10 Sun 04-Mar-18 15:48:14

Hi, no other children, he lives at home still with his mum and dad. He does have a partner and she has a child but he's much younger than my dcs.

I think he just thinks his role as a dad is he sees them every other weekend, soon as he drops them off, that's his bit done until 12 days later when he sees them again. I've always thought that but as times gone on, it's becoming more clear.

I have mentioned the fact that he doesn't speak to them much when he's not with them. It causes an argument usually but he always tries harder at the time....for a couple of days and then it goes back to normal.

Like I say, I am grateful for what he does when he has them, the dcs have a great time. I'm glad they can go and do things cos I just can not afford too so that's great. It's just such a shame he can't give them that little bit more. I don't know if he expects me to get them to ring him (which we do) but I just feel so busy on a night, tea, homework, bath and everything else that I just don't think to do it....or I do but it's too late and the dcs are settling down in bed.

I will bring the subject again but I feel I'm just wasting my breath. I just want the dcs to have a dad that's there for them. He uses the fact that he moved far away as an excuse to not really be there.

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Phillipa12 Sun 04-Mar-18 16:32:33

op you have literally just described my exh. He has the dc everyother weekend, loves them dearly, speaks a couple of times a week to them but after that as he also lives over 2 hours away he is oblivious and uninterested in them. I have tried to keep him informed but he never asks after their wellbeing so i have stopped telling him, our eldest who is 9 has ptsd and has just been refered to camhs yet he still does not ask after him and this to me speaks volumes. As long as they are happy for him on his weekends he has no interest in their emotional and physical wellbeing. But then he was the same when we were married so i really dont know why i expected more now that we are divorced!

stressedoutfred Sun 04-Mar-18 16:41:22

Ex isn't really involved

DS1 is older now (14) and has his own phone, so I don't know if his dad makes any contact between contact weekends (EOW)

He never used to message me prior to DS getting his own phone. Nothing at all. I honestly don't know how he could go so long without knowing how DS was? Even if for some reason he missed his contact weekend he would go 3/4 weeks with nothing at all. I've always felt it was a case of out of sight, out of mind.

mrselizabethdarcy Sun 04-Mar-18 16:45:41

Hope you don't mind me placemarking OP. I don't have any advice but my ex is exactly the same (but he doesn't even phone or have contact during the week) - just every other weekend. Hope you get some good advice from others. X

stressedoutfred Sun 04-Mar-18 16:47:59

For to add,

EX probably has no idea which school DS attends, wouldn't know his friends, probably doesn't know that he now has a girlfriend.

He's been to one parents evening in 9 years. No sports days and no school plays. He's attended one hospital app, but hasn't been since as he decided that when the consultant asked if DS had had any reactions recently ( allergy) Ex piped up that he hadn't hmm, even though he had - whilst in his care!!

I used to let him know about them all but I gave up bothering after a few years. He knew these things happened so he just needed to ask and he'd be very welcome to come along.

He split with his wife last year and I have to hear all about how much he wants to do with his other children but his ex wife won't allow it. He's never fought for DS like that sad.

I'll give him his due, he's continued contact which I know some dads don't, but other than that I think he's a pretty crap dad.

Sorry I've ranted!!

thunder10 Sun 04-Mar-18 16:52:50

@Phillipa12 my ds was diagnosed with autism aged 5. I gave up a long time ago keeping the ex up to date with that as he wasn't really interested and it made me more angry than anything so I've let it go and realised as sad as it is, it's better I just deal with that one on my own. Like ds has an ehcp in school which means he gets funding and has someone actually employed for him in school to help. Ex has no idea. I used to email over the updated echps but I don't anymore as it means nothing to him. Sorry you go through it too, not easy at all, lots of love to you and your ds x

Well it seems I'm not the only one that puts up with this. I spoke to my mum about it the other day and she said one day soon, dcs will realise for themselves that their dad isn't the best. Which I think is true and very sad, I don't want that for them.

I'll bring it up with ex again. Whenever I do he accuses me of using them to bring him down. I don't at all. I just wish he would put more effort in but I've come to the conclusion that if it's not there, it's not there. I don't think we can change it unfortunately

OP’s posts: |
thunder10 Sun 04-Mar-18 16:59:49

Oh no problem @stressedoutfred, rant away all you like. I think that too, he does still see them. He does pay maintenance. I know so many out there don't bother which is awful for the kids involved, and the parent doing it all.

I just think (through no fault of their own) dcs look at their dad as a cash machine. Someone who takes them out and spends money on them. The first thing they say to him when they see him on a Friday is 'what we doing this weekend dad?' Not 'aww I've missed you' or anything like that....from either of them. So in a certain way....they are growing up without a dad. A dad who is there for them, who gives them advice, who asks them what's going on at school, what they like playing with, who's their best friend, what's the gossip at school.....all that stuff.

Part time dad I think is the best term. Looking after them 2 days out of 14....2 days is his bit....they just brush off the rest.

OP’s posts: |
ThinkOfAWittyNameLater Sun 04-Mar-18 17:08:56

He doesn't sound like a dad. He's behaving like an uncle.

Thierryhenryneedisaymore Sun 04-Mar-18 17:16:07

Reading on from your subsequent posts, it seems like you have done what you can and his behaviour has been broached already and all you get is a temporary improvement. On that basis, i think i would be tempted to say one last time, and if it does not permanently improve keep contact to when he sees them and dont go out of your way to contact him in between, including calls although not so easy if it is him calling you to speak to your DC. Don't go out of your way to make them talk to him.

He has it easy and needs a wake up call but unfortunately it's anyone's guess as to whether he will ever understand that and it doesn't look great on past form. He won't have any idea what you have to do (or care) which i get must be totally frustrating for you.

I am thinking rather than talk to him, would you write or email instead? Take some time to say what you need to, calmly? That way he can read in his time and there doesn't have to be an immediate defensive reaction causing an argument. If you spell out exactly how much you do, how much you feel he and DC could have a better relationship, in what way, emotional and better connection etc. No need to be too negative as such, more emphasising how things could be a bit better than they are without even much effort on his part?

What about his parents, do they have any contact with your DC? Was only thinking perhaps they could talk to him .... but guess that may not be an option.

Your mum is probably right and it is hard to stomach. You can only do your best for them. You can't make him be a better Dad as hard as that is to live with. I would have one last go then i would write him off to be honest and try not to waste more time on him.

VitriolicMuse Sun 04-Mar-18 17:38:24

My ex is exactly the same. It used to bother me but it doesn’t anymore I just think it’s his loss. He see’s our son once or twice a week, otherwise there’s no phone calls in between and his only financial contribution is £50 a month to cover his school dinners. If you asked him what kind of father would say he was the best father in the world, he genuinely believes it. He only lives around 3 Miles away from us, has no other children, works a standard 9-5 job and as far as I’m aware now single. He does however have hobbies and a social life is puts ahead of seeing his son more, I know that much! He’s never offered to have him extra days and never books school holidays off work, in fact he’d always used 3 weeks annual leave to go away with his then girlfriend in the summer!! He’s the same as yours, once he drops him off he almost wipes his hands of him until next weekend. Our son will eventually see for himself what sort of man his father is. Luckily I have a really good husband who is a wonderful father to him and our other son. I guess I just wanted say you’re not alone!

thunder10 Sun 04-Mar-18 19:07:40

@Thierryhenryneedisaymore thanks, I think I'll do that. I've messaged him about it before over a casual basis but I think you have a good idea. I'll spend the next few days putting a message together. If I make sure I include everything I feel I need to say then take it from there. I'll spend proper time on it I think as I want to make it as clear as possible where I think it's going wrong. It's gonna be one long essay...

Thing is, I don't go on at him about stuff. I'm not a 'I do everything for them and you do nothing' sort of parent. It is what it is and that's fine. Never once have I had a go at him for moving back home. I just don't see the point in any of that....but I don't feel I ask for much i.e ring your kids and speak to them.

I think any parent who deals with this sort of thing, it's important to turn it around. Yep our dcs have shitty dads in some respect but we do a bloody good job of dealing with everything on our own. I for one am proud of myself for that. It makes any sort of anger I feel disappear and I realise that I am in actual fact super woman :-)

OP’s posts: |
Thierryhenryneedisaymore Sun 04-Mar-18 23:42:16

Good luck smile

wendz86 Mon 05-Mar-18 08:41:28

Yes he texts if he hasn’t seen them a couple of days to ask how they are . I let him know anything major he needs to know about and he always attends parents evening .

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