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Help explaining exp behaviour to DS

(7 Posts)
FanDanceLil Thu 09-May-13 20:07:16

I have one DS aged 11 with my exp. Exp was very abusive to me when we were together so I left when DS was 5. Since then exp has regularly seen DS. Originally exp wanted me to ask him for financial contributions uniform for school etc as and when needed but this wasn't ideal as he would often say he didn't have any money and couldn't pay. So I contacted CSA in late 2010. Exp thrn asked for a private agreement instead of Csa collection but often didn't pay for weeks at a time. I involved the Csa again at the end of last year and he finally started paying through deduction of earnings in March this year but obviously has arrears.

Since then he has been trying to pass nasty messages on to me through Ds who finds this very distressful. He's fed up of hearing his dad complaint about paying child support it has started to affect his moods.

I recently took my Ds to the GP about his low mood and he told her he was fed up with having to hear nasty messages and then having to lie and say he told me these things when he hasn't and he let slip to his dad that he'd seen the GP but he says his dad exploded, demanded to know what had been said and called him a liar when he said he couldn't remember. He also called Ds selfish when Ds asked not to be given messages for me.

I have taken advice from a solicitor and have contacted exp telling him to stop ss he's causing distress and upset to Ds. He has obviously denied everything and complained bitterly that Csa means he can't afford to live.

Ds thinks this is all his fault and I have tried to explain it isn't at all. Please could you advise how I can explain exp behaviour in a way an 11 year old might understand.

Dahlen Thu 09-May-13 20:13:09

You need to tell him something close to the truth - that his father loves him but has problems with anger. When he isn't happy with a situation, he tends to respond with anger. Unfortunately, this has the habit of hurting those around him.

Ask DS to think of a situation where he himself got angry about something, showed off, and it made things worse. Go on to ask him what he thinks would have been the right thing to do, and why. Then ask him if he had got angry at you about it would that have made any difference? He will reply no (because it won't have done, obviously), which you can then use to show that anger is always the responsibility of the angry person, not the fault of the person on the receiving end of it.

Good luck. It's a difficult situation to be in, and if it continues and your DS continues to be distressed, I would seriously consider insisting on supervised contact only or even stopping it altogether if that's what your DS wants. It is a form of child-abuse and children have the right to be protected from it.

Samebod Thu 09-May-13 20:22:51

Agree with Dahlen but I'd also contact the solicitor and ask for a letter to go out that firmly tells ex not to use ds as a messenger or to be verbally abused or court action maybe needed.

Samebod Thu 09-May-13 20:26:02

Is there any student support at your ds's school? He may feel more at ease speaking about his feelings with someone from outside of all this.

Samebod Thu 09-May-13 20:37:47

What I need from my mom and dad: A child’s list of wants

I need both of you to stay involved in my life. Please write letters, make phone calls, and ask me lots of questions. When you don’t stay involved, I feel like I’m not important and that you don’t really love me.
Please stop fighting and work hard to get along with each other. Try to agree on matters related to me. When you fight about me, I think that I did something wrong and I feel guilty.
I want to love you both and enjoy the time that I spend with each of you. Please support me and the time that I spend with each of you. If you act jealous or upset, I feel like I need to take sides and love one parent more than the other.
Please communicate directly with my other parent so that I don’t have to send messages back and forth.
When talking about my other parent, please say only nice things, or don’t say anything at all. When you say mean, unkind things about my other parent, I feel like you are expecting me to take your side.
Please remember that I want both of you to be a part of my life. I count on my mom and dad to raise me, to teach me what is important, and to help me when I have problems.
Source: University of Missouri

Might this help too?,just to see that he's a not the cause,all children want the same from their parents

Sorry,I keep posting on your thread but I've got the same problem with ex and have had to seek out help for my 11 year old chap too :-(

FanDanceLil Thu 09-May-13 21:09:13

Thanks for your replies. I have discussed contact both with the solicitor and Ds but more in the form of having a break in contact until exp can control his behaviour rather than an outright ban.

I know my son loves his dad but finds it had to reconcile that with his dads behaviour towards him. I think he feels a little letdown by him tbh.

Thanks for your advice Dahlen I will try and explaining it from an example of Ds behaviour which might help him understand.

Samebod its awful to hear that someone else is in the same boat. Its hard to know what to do for the best.

I will try the school for support. Unfortunately he's also experienced some bullying in school so I have been in touch with pastoral care before.

He just seems so down at times and I just want to make things better for him.

Samebod Thu 09-May-13 21:30:21

I know it's awful isn't it? You flit between sobbing and raging that person that is supposed to love and support them unconditionally,is doing this to their (your) child.

I never bad mouth or show my anger to ds,I've found that I stick to a set reasonable but firm route 'I'm always hear to listen even if you think what dad has said might upset me,I dont want YOU hurting,none of this is your fault,you aren't to blame,I love you -we love you....

Do ask for help,impartial support for your ds might just relieve some of this pressure on his young shoulders.I would go back to the GP if his mood seems to be slipping further,a referral to cahms might be in order (had this option with ds,highly anxious boy but the school support helped plus I started to lay the law down with ex )

Bloody exhausting isn't it?

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