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Should I have this conversation or not?

(20 Posts)
confusedandhurt1 Mon 06-Jun-16 17:22:25

Not sure if I am posting in the right place but desperately need your opinions on a very hard decision that I recently made.

I was contacted by my dd father recently. He suddenly wants to see her, after years of not bothering.
I have decided that this would not be good for both my dd and I. I have my reasons, but I'm not going into details, because that's not why I am here, asking for your opinions.
I understand I may be judged, but I have my reasons.

I would like to know your opinions on whether I should have a conversation with my 9 year old about why I don't want her father in her life (she knows he contacted me)? I mean is she too young?

Part of me wants to explain her gently (I'm not going to be horrible about her dad, not sure what I am going to say yet, to be honest), but the other part of me is scared of hurting her in any way.
I guess I just don't want her to hate me when she is older.

What would you do?

imsorryiasked Mon 06-Jun-16 17:28:56

I think you have to be honest with her. But if you're not going to be "horrible" about him are you certain that there is a definite reason that she shouldn't have contact?
She is old enough to understand but she's also old enough to realise if you're fobbing her off.

LumpySpacedPrincess Mon 06-Jun-16 17:31:20

You need to be honest, and factual which may include saying negative things about him if he has acted in a negative manner.

wannabestressfree Mon 06-Jun-16 17:40:18

You run the risk of her not understanding particularly if it's been a long time or your reasoning is linked to you and not her.
I am in favour of a open door policy and my DS2's dad is very in and out. I want him to make those decisions.
I realise you didn't ask though.

confusedandhurt1 Mon 06-Jun-16 17:41:01

The reason why I don't want to be too negative is to not hurt my dd, but maybe LumpySpacedPrincess is right, maybe it's impossible to have this conversation without saying the whole truth.

imsorryiasked yes there is a reason, actually there is more than one reason. My dd is very close to me, after all I'm all she's got and her dad is basically a stranger.

confusedandhurt1 Mon 06-Jun-16 17:43:43

wannabestressfree all opinions are welcome, thanks

ImperialBlether Mon 06-Jun-16 17:51:45

If you feel he doesn't want what's best for you and for your daughter, then I would just tell her that. She needs to know some things are unacceptable.

imsorryiasked Mon 06-Jun-16 18:34:41

Then you need to be honest with her about the reason.
Of course your daughter is close to you but when she's older she may wish to be closer to her dad too. She's not going to be able to make the right decision about that if you aren't truthful now. Unfortunately I know from personal experience that finding out years later something wasn't 100% accurate, even though it was done with the best of intentions, had long lasting and irreversible consequences for all involved.

VimFuego101 Mon 06-Jun-16 18:44:01

Is there an actual reason which a court would uphold? (ie is he a danger to her/abusive?) if not he may pursue that route.

Also be aware that your DD may seek him out herself using social media in a few years time, if she doesn't agree with your decision. I assume you have very good reasons for making it, but if you gloss over the reasons why they can't have contact then she may build up something of a fairytale image of him and seek him out.

KindDogsTail Mon 06-Jun-16 18:45:09

I am so sorry for your dilemma. I do feel nine is on the border line of being too young, but on the other hand it is true that hiding facts from a child can cause untold hurt later.

Maybe how you put it all is the main thing to think of so what you tell here makes her able to understand without being upset.

If you felt you could say more here maybe other posters with experience might be able to advise whether or not to tell her and of so how.

confusedandhurt1 Mon 06-Jun-16 18:46:50

imsorryiasked when my dd is older if she wants to have contact with her father it's up to her, she would soon understand my decision though.

Everything I'm going to tell my dd is true, I am not making things up about her father. I'm doing what I feel is the best for my dd.

confusedandhurt1 Mon 06-Jun-16 18:50:33

Thank you for all the answers. As I said before, I will not discuss the reasons why my dd is better off without her father. He never cared so he will not go to court.

KindDogsTail Mon 06-Jun-16 19:18:12

Sorry, Confused, I do understand you would not want to discuss this.

Maybe, if you could put it all in very simple terms, and she would understand, and there is nothing too upsetting, then tell her now. Otherwise be vague and tell her when she is a bit older.

wannabestressfree Mon 06-Jun-16 19:24:48

You see you say 'he never cared'
What if that has changed?

confusedandhurt1 Mon 06-Jun-16 19:37:56

KindDogsTail Thank you very much, I think I will do that.

wannabestressfree some people will never change, even if they want to, to explain exactly what I mean, I would have to say the reasons why I don't him anywhere near my dd and as I said before, I don't want to discuss this.

Florentina27 Mon 06-Jun-16 22:55:55

If he doesn't represent a danger to your daughter and she wants to see him then I'll be fine with letting them meet. I don't care about the dad, I will work with my dds wishes though. I had s friend who grew without s father and she loves her mum to pieces and didn't bother too much obiut not having a dad but she said she wished she'd at least met him even if it wadsnt a close relationship and I think I would have felt the same. She is old enough to know if she enjoys spending time with daddy or not. Good luck anyway and everything turns out well

KindDogsTail Mon 06-Jun-16 23:08:50

Good luck Confused

notagiraffe Mon 06-Jun-16 23:14:05

After such a long estrangement, I think you have the right to make decisions based entirely on what is best for your child and for you. Your emotions count too. His don't unless there are really powerful reasons why he couldn't see her.

MiscellaneousAssortment Mon 06-Jun-16 23:24:19

I've got this dilemma ahead of me, how to explain to DS the reasons why his daddy isn't in his life, but in a way that doesn't do damage to DS.

I have a horrible feeling that it's basically impossible sad

One thing I do know is that whatever you tell your child, it has to be 'forwards compatible'

I.e. It can't be a lie that in the future gets shown to be untrue, as that gives the child a feeling of betrayal and shakes their faith in the only parent they have.

It worries me a lot as DS can't remember/ wouldn't understand the bad stuff so I can see him painting this perfect idealised image of his daddy... And therefore it hurts him a lot that his father has walked away. Yet, if I tell him his father isn't this angelic man, it would be terribly hurtful, and either drive a wedge between me and DS, or make him worried that he is half made from badness, which is a common problem I've been told. The fear of themselves being intrinsically bad strikes at the foundations of their emerging self identity, so needs to be considered.

So tricky. I hope you find a way through the maze.

KindDogsTail Mon 06-Jun-16 23:52:09

The fear of themselves being intrinsically bad strikes at the foundations of their emerging self identity, so needs to be considered

That is an important point I feel sure MIscellaneous. How careful and tactful one parent has to be about the other to tell the truth but avoid that.

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