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Son doesn't want to go with ex-partner, and ex not fussed(12 Posts)
My 5 year old was meant to go spend 3-4 hrs with dad today but son kicked up a fuss saying he doesn't wanna go. Ex's reaction was, "Well if he doesn't want to come,I don't want him at mine." And not in an, "I don't want to take him if he's upset", it was more of a spiteful, "If he's going to say that to me, I'll say it back to him." The kinds of things a kid would do, and he's meant to be the adultt
This isn't the first time this has happened and ex reacted in exactly the same way. He actually even said a few months back, I don't want to see him unless he asks to see me (which never happens, no exaggeration, son never asks to see or speak to him, he never comes up in conversation). Ex never puts in extra effort to see DS, never calls and asks how he is, drops/picks him up from school etc.
Ex picks him up from after school club on Weds and has him for about 2 hours and I know he goes with him fine then. I know son probably has a reasonably good time with ex when he is with him. I also tell my son how important it is to spend time with him.
I don't know what to do now though. On one hand, I don't want to force my son to see him but at the same time, I think he should spend time with him. I'm also mindful that if ex decided to come back into his life in the future and actually WANT to see him, I won't have a leg to stand on (legally) to say no and then I would be worried the impact that would have on DS (having to see a dad loads that he hasn't seen in ages) As well as this, I'm fuming that my ex won't discuss this like an adult with me. TBH, it feels like he's not bothered about seeing DS and that each time he kicks up a fuss, it's just an excuse for him to sidestep his parental duties.
Any help on this gratefully accepted!
I think the best thing to do is to tell DS he's going to Dad's and ignore any fuss. He's 5yo and not in a position to decide for himself. Your ex's attitude is childish but he can't use it to get off the parental responsibility hook. Stick to the schedule...... less 'sell' more 'tell'...
Hmm. I made my 4+ daughter see her dad at every opportunity (probably three weeks out of four) and what did I get? A depressed child/teenager/young adult with dad issues. She only started to heal once she'd cut him out of her life round about the age of 22.
We tried to do the 'done thing', follow the then-current advice, but in retrospect we'd have been better making a clean break when she was four.
By seeing him though, she had the chance to find out what a wanker he was and therefore didn't glorify him in any way.
I have to disagree with Cogito I'm afraid.
I wouldn't make my DS go in these circumstances, and if dad is more than willing to forego contact then he doesn't sound like the kind of parent who is going to be any sort of decent influence on a child.
I'd be letting contact wane if that's what's going to naturally happen anyway.
You get no points for forcing a parent to take responsibility, and it's fruitless in the end anyway. His relationship with his child is his responsibility.
Is this court-ordered contact or just an agreement between the two of you? Does your ex have form for such childish behaviour? Why do you think your DS doesn't want to go? Does your ex want to be 'dad' and have a relationship with your DS, because if so it might be worth explaining to him that just being there and being consistent is very, very important. If weekends at his dad's, or even just a few hours on a regular basis, are the norm and are pleasant then it won't be such an issue as long as its seen as being non-negotiable. My parents divorced when I was six and we spent every other w/e at my dad's. It wasn't fun, but it was a part of life that I didn't see as being optional. Being a parent means being there and being reliable. Does you ex understand that?
I think I'd make him go if he seems to have a reasonable time with ex and comes back happy and okay. If your DS makes a really massive fuss I'd wonder why and try to get to the bottom of that.
If ex has such an immature and rather nasty reaction to your DS being upset though I'd wonder if he really does have an okay time. Horrible to have to wonder. I think practically you should probably try to persevere with the contact and just keep a really close eye
wire up DS so you can listen in to the visit and monitor how it is going. Perhaps Christmas will warm your ex up a bit?
Hi everyone, thanks for all the replies.
In answer to some of your questions, yes, ex is always this childish. Never answers text,emails about things, refuses to discuss things with me, just walks away. I wish he'd walk away for good instead of keeping son hanging on by a thread.
When I ask son why he doesn't want to go with him, he says stuff like, I don't have fun or he wrestles too hard with me. Ex lives in a shared house and doesn't have anything for son to do,, doesn't take him to the park or play football with him etc, so not really surprised he doesn't like it!
IMO, ex doesn't want to be a dad, never did, never had. He was forced into this situation and never lived up to the responsibilities - never had a job, never paid for anything for son. I only wish we could sit down so we could actually talk about how important reliability and actually making an effort is, but as I have said previously, doesn't answer texts, emails and walks away when I try to chat to him.
Son came back from dad's today and ex was saying how awful he'd been but when I asked what he did, he wouldn't tell me. - said he had been complaining but wouldn't tell me what about - he's 5 for god's sake, he's going to moan occasionally.
Neither ex nor son seem to get anything out of visits so I'm thinking if I should just not contact ex about seeing son? He would barely ask if I didn't bother contacting him to check if he's going to have him on the arranged days. Our arrangement is something informal between us, nothing court ordered.
You worry that your son might have to have a lot more contact in the future, but, realistically, how likely is that? If your ex had to take you to court to have more contact, do you really think he'd put his hand in his pocket and take the time to do that?
I'd listen to your son - he clearly doesn't want to spend any time with his dad.
Does your ex pay any maintenance for your son?
If contact is down to you to organise then I agree. Just leave it and see if he gets in touch.
Very true Imperial, I doubt very much he would put his hand in his pocket to take me to court. Ex had a 3 month contract from Sept - Dec which has just finished, was like trying to get blood from a stone trying to get maintenance from him and once he actually started paying it (after I said I was going to go to the CSA) it was always late, never on time. Now he's not working, he won't be giving me anything. He won't claim JSA as he's too lazy and will just borrow money off his mum to pay his rent then claim he doesn't have any.
I think you're right about just leaving it and waiting to see if he gets in touch. My only worry now is that after tonight I rang him and said that considering he nor son seems to be enjoying it, did he wanna cut contact. He didn't take too kindly to that. Which I would understand if he actually made an effort/enjoyed spending time with his son, but he take him for the minimum amount of time he can.
My ex is the kind of guy who will do anything to retain a bit of control over me and I feel that he thinks when he has son, he is doing me a favour and now I have suggested he drop contact, I get the feeling he is now going to try and retain some sort of control by INSISTING he see son.
Sorry, this is very stream of consciousness, I feel so annoyed and confused, why can't he just be straightforward, be a good dad and be a co-parent with me, why are things so difficult.
Stop contact. This man is a wanker and a shit father. And set the CSA on him so that he pays a reasonable amount (or, if he doesn't pay, they can harass him, which will at least make you feel a bit less like he's getting it all his own way.)
There is no benefit to a child in spending time with a shit father. Particularly not one who 'wrestles too hard' ie likes to hurt the child.
I wouldn't make him go, he's obviously not enjoying his time there and given your exes attitude who knows how awful he is to him when he has him alone. He may be getting upset for very good reason and not able to properly express why.
Be grateful he's not interested because your son is better off without that piece of shit and cut him out. I don't think a man can abandon his kid and be entitled to custody years later?
Better no father than a bad one. Your child needs to be surrounded with security and love, shared genetics can be overrated.
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