Separated parent handover(12 Posts)
So, I have a 5 year old son who lives with me - his Dad and I separated 4 years ago. His dad comes to pick him up every fortnight on a Friday at 7pm and I collect him on the Sunday late afternoon. 9 out of 10 times my son will go crazy saying he doesn't want to go, he cries and screams and hides. I know his dad tries to have fun with him, keeps him busy and looks forward to seeing him but handing my son over is horrific. He clings on to me for dear life and I feel like the worst person ever handing him over. Does anyone else have to deal with this? From what I've read, a child's thoughts and wishes don't carry any weight until they are about 10. His dad and I get on 'okay' and show no signs of animosity in front of our son. Any advice or experience please...!
I have no experience of this and DD is much younger but my first thoughts are that he needs to see his Dad more frequently more shorter periods of time.
Oh I have been there. It is heartbreaking.
Is there any way you can separate the pick up so that you aren't there?
We moved to pick up directly from school where we could so that ds2 didn't have to leave me - which was the problem, not being with his dad.
More frequently for shorter periods and pick-up from school are both good suggestions.
All three of mine would probably have been very upset with the set up you describe. No matter who was picking them up, they'd rather have stayed with me than gone elsewhere for days with long spells between at that age.
I'm not sure why you mention the courts; would you stop your child from seeing his dad if you could? Have you any reason to think that he is at risk with him?
My step-son did this for years, but it was whenever it came to going home to his mum's. The shoe could very well be on the other foot at some point, so I'd be careful to treat his father the way you would want to be treated if your son said he didn't want to go home to you.
7pm is quite late. He's probably really tired....any chance your ex would agree to get him in the morning instead?
How is he when he comes home?
I agree with PP that more frequent and shorter contact would be better.
Friday night handover near bedtime, after a tiring week at school, is going to be tricky when they are young.
If you can't change frequency of contact, can his dad collect him directly from school? Or handover on a Saturday morning when your son is rested?
One of mine did this every time I left her at school at exactly this age. It's a phase. Good advice from PPs above.
Does he enjoy spending time with his dad once he's there? For many children it could just be the separation from you but once he's gone, he will be ok. Upsetting for you I know.
My son can be a nightmare when his dad picks him up. He has him once a week for three hours (wuh!). When he picks him up, my son cries as he doesn't want to leave and then cries when his dad leaves later on. He just doesn't like seeing people go.
Also, 7pm is quite late. Maybe he's tired after a week of school. Maybe your ex can pick him up earlier?
It really is a horrible situation to be in. Good luck to you!
I had a few issues with DS at about that age.
I'd strongly suggest swapping round when you and your ex take and fetch DS - so you take him over to your ex's on a Friday, and your ex returns him on a Sunday. Removing a child from their home and primary carer all at once was generally the trigger for upset with mine. But if i took DS round to my ex's , and stayed for a few minutes he'd usually be happily settled and cope fine with me going.
On a few occasions when it had to be my ex collecting and DS was being difficult, resorting to bribary or distraction seemed to work - eg telling DS they would stop for an ice cream on route.
DS is 17 now, and i really am so glad i persisted through his resistance when he was younger - he has a great relationship with his dad. He's been old enough for several years now to not go if he didn't want to, but he's still very happy doing so.
My ds was like this for years. His dad and I split when he was 7mnths. It was really hard but glad we persisted as he has a great relationship with his Dad now and he is now 13. I think by the time he was about 5/6 he was fine going. It should get easier. Try not to make too big a deal of it i reckon.
Mine didn't do this but their father (when he did turn up at all) would turn up with his GF who had been ordered by the court not to be present on any contact days and it always caused trouble. He never had food in for them or even toilet paper and they were too young to speak up much about it
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