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Do your children cry when they have to spend time with Daddy

(29 Posts)
fairyfly Sat 09-Apr-05 11:06:33

Just trying to work out how normal it is. Apparently they are fine once they get away from me, but i feel so cruel making them go.

lilibet Sat 09-Apr-05 11:16:50

They never cry when they are going but they are very often in tears when they come back.

How do you kow that they are fine once they are there?

fairyfly Sat 09-Apr-05 11:18:41

I know because i ring and they dont want to come to the phone

lilibet Sat 09-Apr-05 11:19:59

because they are playing?

Did they ever do this when they started school nursery?

fairyfly Sat 09-Apr-05 11:23:51

Yes, i hear them in the background and they say they dont want to speak to me, they are amusing themselves. Sometimes i make them come to the phone and they tell me they are great.
When they return, my eldest says it was fine but he doesn't want to go again, he likes it better at home. The tears start from the moment i tell him he is going, he doesn't get in hysterics , his eyes fill up and he tries to be brave.
I only make him go as i think it is the best of two evils and try and make sure he doesn't loose contact with his father.

lilibet Sat 09-Apr-05 11:28:58

I think it's worse when they are trying to be brave. But FWIW I think that you are doing the right thing - they are not unhappy there or getting mistreated and it is imortant that they maintain contact with their dad (cretin tho' he is!) as long as they are safe while they are with him.

My x at the end of last weekend told ds2,8, that he didn't want him to go again as ds2 had been naughty. ds2 came home in tears. But then he turns up for him again. It isn't the first time that this has happened ad I know it won't be the last.

fairyfly Sat 09-Apr-05 11:38:18

Lillibet, that is a dreadful thing to say. My x tells my son if you dont stop crying now you are not coming. Ridiculous threat.

karen01 Sat 09-Apr-05 20:21:42

Fairyfly- My dd was 15 months when I split from her dad. She used to cry when ever he took her with him (he used to have her for week at a time as we lived 300 miles apart) he only admitted to me last year that she used to cry*/scream everynight asking for me. I was livid and said why didn't you tell me. His reponse was correct in that I wouldn't have let her go, but i said you could have stayed with us for the week for the sake of her.

clare1980 Sat 09-Apr-05 20:48:45

me and dd have moved 200 miles away from xp so he comes down on train to get her or me and dp that her to his in the car, she gets all excited when she is going but if he is late she gets upset saying he has forgotten about her and is inconsolable, which i think is because he used to promise to come and never bother. when she is with him she refuses to speak to me on the phone and screams if she has to, and when she comes home she crys til her dad is out of site then says i really missed you mum. it really hurts when she dont wanna speak to me so now i ring when she is in bed to see how her day went. today i have decorated her bedroom in a hope that she will like it but i am sure because i have decorated her room here her dad will go and buy her something expensive so she doesnt even care

TwinSetAndPearls Sun 10-Apr-05 16:30:13

My dd is inconsolable when she gets back from seeing her dad, she then goes on to be uncontrollable for about two days, major tantrums shouting at me, smacking me throwing things. She has been referred to the local child mental health team as we have been so worried about her.

He hasn't seen her for two months and she is a completely different child, so much calmer and happier but I am dreading his access starting again.

fairyfly Sun 10-Apr-05 16:47:41

So it is a very common scenario, what i want to know now is it damaging to make them. I am constantly told it is healthier if i do. But who has decided that? I think his priorities to his children were outlined when he walked out in the first place but we are all constantly forced to watch our children have their hearts broken. Something just doesn't add up to me about the entire plan.

TwinSetAndPearls Sun 10-Apr-05 17:04:48

I do sympathise FF as am in a similar situation, in mycase I am sure that my ex loves his daughter but he is just crap at showing it. his priorities are all wrong. However as tempting as it is I a not going to stop the access as I know that if I do even if the intentions are right I will be the one in the wrong. Kids blame us for enough without giving them further ammunition.

I don't know your circumstances but I am lucky to enough to have a partner who adores my dd and to be honest we could get by without my ex and although dd would be upset she would get over it . I have made this clear to my ex and said that I fully understand if he doesn't want to see dd as he has a new partner but that if he wants there relationship to be a positive one he needs to make access regular and minimise the upset. I have then left the ball in his court. Could you have a similar conversation with your ex?

Caligula Wed 13-Apr-05 21:12:14

FF I think that until this generation of children grow up and find their voices, we won’t know whether the current practice of sending them off to fathers they may not want to be sent off to, is a good one or not. What we do know from many of the now adults who grew up in divorced families in previous generations, is that they felt very damaged by their parents’ splits, mainly where they felt they had been used as one of the weapons in the adults’ armouries. The current fashion of sending them off for every other weekend or whatever, still carries the risk of them being used as weapons.

My view is that it doesn’t really matter what arrangements split families have, as long as both parents are absolutely, implacably determined to put their children’s welfare first and if each of them are totally determined to work with the other parent to achieve that. Where one or both of the adults involved are not so determined, I think the children are probably as likely to get hurt with full contact with both parents as with no contact with one.

I think the courts have really taken the view that as long as the child is seeing both parents, that’s the main thing, but imo the main thing is that the child is given security, stability, consistency and the absolute assurance of unconditional love. And regular contact with the non-residential parent or even 50:50 parenting doesn’t guarantee that; in some cases where a parent is using contact just to score points off the ex or to make the point that it’s their “right” to see their child without actually wanting to engage in the hard work of real parenting, I think such contact can probably be harmful to a child. But as you point out someone else has decided that it’s nearly always in the child’s best interests to have this kind of contact, irrespective of its quality. Until they’re adults and can tell us about it, we won’t really know, imo. I guess the big question you’re asking is, is a really crap father better than no father at all? And I suspect that the answer will very much depend on individual circumstances. Which is why there can be no hard and fast simplistic rules on it.

Sorry, gone on a bit as usual, I think this thread is very thought-provoking.

debs26 Wed 13-Apr-05 21:16:47

does he collect them? my kids went thru this phase and we found it was easier dropping them off because then they were arriving somewhere instead of leaving at the point of separation and they were easily distracted by the different toys rather than being wrenched away from familiar things

fairyfly Wed 13-Apr-05 21:40:50

Caligula wonderful post.

I think ultimately my x is has become more of a distant relative figure. None of the actual real parenting issues concern him anymore. He is unaware of most aspects of my childrens lives from schooling, medical issues to friendships they have created etc. The role he has is one in which the children will go and live in his life for a while. When he feels like it. They will get plenty of attention as it will be a novelty i am sure for all his young student friends and girlfriend. This visit he had them for 24 hours and then said he was busy. My main concern is that it is obvious they are way down his list of priorities. I am hoping they dont feel this when they are with him.

I pointed out to my x that if the children get upset and dont want to go i am not going to make them anymore. I told him last month that he was in real danger of loosing his sons and he needed to put more effort in. From that discussion he has managed to keep two visits ( fortnightly) but still no phone calls or basic compassion.
My x was extremely angry when i said that i wouldn't make the children go if they didn't want to. His argument is i am a terrible parent if i can be dictated to by a 6 year old and my parenting skills are quite pathetic.
All i know i can do at the moment is never ever say anything derogatory about him, remind them they have a daddy who loves them. I dont mention visits until i know he is on his way as so many times he hasn't turned up. I feel i protect him from a hell of a lot. I will love them and make them feel a safe and secure as possible. I am consistent as i can possibly be in this situation.
I suppose there is no formula to situations like this and everything has to be played by ear, i constantly have to revaluate my decisions. For the moment they have said they will see him next time. I have no idea how this will work out but i pray one day he will see the light and give them all they deserve.

Yes he collects them debs, he moved an hour away and i dont drive. I think in this case it would upset them dreadfully if i went all the way to the other house, they would wonder why i wasn't going in.

Caligula Thu 14-Apr-05 00:13:56

I think that's one of the glories of being a man in today's world, really, that you can stand back from the real get-your-hands-dirty work of parenting, while proclaiming what a good father you are and actually having the credulous believe you; but otoh that's what men have always done, I suppose, whether they lived with their kids or not!

As you say, you've just got to play it by ear and use your judgement against that of the experts, to decide at what point it becomes against your kids' interests, to go and see their unreliable father. FWIW, I think you're doing absolutely the right thing by giving it the benefit of the doubt, and protecting them by protecting him; but of course it's outrageous that you should have to.

At some stage, they will be old enough to make their own minds up about whether to go and see him; and that stage will come sooner than you and he are expecting. It is also at that stage that he (and you) will begin to reap what has been sown. You can't just switch on and off from involvement, commitment and love of a child; not when that child has been presented with a steadfast, consistent, reliable alternative. Which is what it always sounds to me like what you're doing.

fairyfly Thu 14-Apr-05 11:54:25

You totally sum it up, nobody in society questions his fathering skills. I have been told my many people he is a good dad. This is because he tells people he loves and misses them. That seems to be enough, and i am sure he laps up the attention he gets when he puffs out his chest and shows them off.
On the otherhand if i mirrored his behaviour i would
be fighting to keep my children out of care. It seems to me these type of men just have to act hard done by, say a few sentences about how much they miss their kids and that is the total amount of parental responsibilty.
I am not one of these women though that take great
comfort in the fact my kids will probably hate him. I dont want them to go through that. I want them to have consitency off both parents. But a long while back i learnt to drop that responsibility and guilt from his actions. I can do no more.
It will be very interesting as you say to see the outcome of this new lazy father society.

HappyDaddy Thu 14-Apr-05 12:35:49

Not all absent dads are shit, you know. I see my oldest dd once a fortnight as my ex made it completely impossible for me to see her any other way. She has poisoned her mind against me and still she wants to see me. She doesn't stay at mine anymore because she misses her mum too much so I see her for one day.
When I left my ex it was HER I left and not my daughter. I never wanted the single life and miss my daughter as much as you would. My ex tells all and sundry what a crap father and husband i am/was and they all believe her. My daughter is 8 and knows that her mum is full of sh*t.
Sorry to rant but you can't tar us all with the same brush just because we decided to leave an impossible marriage.

HappyDaddy Thu 14-Apr-05 12:44:20

I want nothing more than to be a good, proper parent. My ex has blocked school from talking to me or sending me newsletters/reports/photos. I don't even have a contact number to speak to her or my daughter on. Meantime she's moved her boyfriend in, which i wouldn't care about exceptshe claims he doesnt live there so she doesnt have to pay her part of the £20,000 debt I'm left with. The CSA payments have gone on two cars for her and bf and she still begs my mum for money to buy my daughter stuff. 5 years later she's still saying she wants me out of my daughter's life but then asks my mum what im doing and who im with. She's the reason I don't see my daughter and there's nothing I can do about it.

HappyDaddy Thu 14-Apr-05 12:54:19

And now i've killed this thread cos you all think i'm a miserable woman hating bloke! Sorry ladies.

HappyDaddy Thu 14-Apr-05 12:54:52

And now i've killed this thread cos you all think i'm a miserable woman hating bloke! Sorry ladies.

fairyfly Thu 14-Apr-05 13:09:58

I said in my post happy Daddy i am well aware there is no formula. I have and do not tar all seperated fathers with the same brush. Infact it makes me angrier with my x as i have seen how much some men try and want imput. It just so happens in this case the father in question is useless.

( swap useless with a cunt if you dont mind swearing)

HappyDaddy Thu 14-Apr-05 13:20:42

Fairyfly, i'm really sorry I didn't mean to have such a go at you all, really I didn't. The red mist descends a bit when I read stuff like this as I've tried so so hard to be a good dad despite everything my ex has done.
I know how hard it is to be a single parent, my mum raised my brother and i after my dad left and I really respect anyone who goes through it.

I don't mind swearing at all. Actually that word describes my exw pretty well, too!

fairyfly Thu 14-Apr-05 13:30:23

Well women who play games with their kids dont do me any favours. it makes it all the more easier for my x to say i have refused contact because i am bitter and for people to believe it. I was very aware from the begining that i would put my feelings to the background and do what was best for the kids. The amount of time i have wanted to tell them what he has done, i never would though. I have spoken to many people who grew up with their mothers and one of the issues they carry is the fact they slagged their father off. I wont go there, i have to look myself in the mirror. I also dont want to be responsible for breaking my boys hearts.
I hope you get where you want to be and wish you luck.

HappyDaddy Thu 14-Apr-05 13:33:19

My daughter is nearly 9 now and will soon be old enough to decide where she wants to go. Last visit, she defied her mum and asked me for a pic of my new dd (10 months) so she could put it in her bedroom at home. She's starting to resent her mum which I think is very sad.

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