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Anyone else fizzled out contact between dc and their dad's?(7 Posts)
Huge Jeremy Kyle story.
Dd is ten and has an utter arse of a dad.
He didn't meet her until she was six. He emotionally blackmails her, has more children that she doesn't know, isn't consistent with contact and shouts at me every now and again when he rings to have her and we've already got plans.
I've tried really hard not to involve dd in any arguments we have. (they're one sided as I don't engage but he rages and throths) He doesn't pay dd the same consideration and tells her things like for example "I'd be around more if your mum would marry me" as he always tries to make me look the bad guy.
I rang him up the first day of the summer holidays and asked him what dates he would like to see her. He said he'd get back to me but yet again does shit like ring in the afternoon and ask where we are and can he have dd which by then we're already out somewhere. He then gets to blame me for stopping him seeing her.
I have even more but it'll turn into a thesis if I continue.
I don't feel he has dds best interests at heart. He doesn't want to have her regularly like most dad's to and I hate his guilt tripping. It would be quite easy to fade him out. Dd loves him but isn't that bothered about seeing him or talking to him.
Am I going to emotionally fuck up my dd by not pushing contact? She probably would be quite happy to see him and her siblings eow or something but he isn't consistent and doesn't want to go down that path.
If she loves him, she should see him. Don't be a pushover, but don't try to prevent it, she'll make her decisions over the next few years, and with you in her corner, they'll be good ones.
I'm just fed up of the way he can't be consistent. Why should I always be available and not make any plans in case he randomly wants to have her? It would be OK if I knew eow or even once a month but its the randomness I can't take.
As an aside, he is currently trying to get his younger dd to live with him by making false allegations against her mum to social services. He had his eldest son also live with him until he couldn't claim benefits for him anymore and kicked him out. He's now living in a youth hostel.
I weirdly wish he loved dd enough to fight for her although I'm very glad he hasn't influenced the way she's been brought up so far as he isn't around enough to play games with her.
I had this when I first separated. Exh wanted to see DC, but only on his terms. He refused to set up an arrangement in advance, not appreciating that children need routine and stability. So I know where you're coming from; it's like banging your head against a brick wall. I think most men just like to feel they're still in control, and see you trying to impose set days on them as you trying to take back control from them. You could have a last try at pinning him down to set arrangements, even if it means just one weekend a month, and then explain to him that if he does have free time in between, if he calls and you have no arrangements, he could see her then too. If you allow contact to fizzle out, it might come back to bite you on the bum in future years when your DC asks you why you didn't push for contact.
How often is contact at the moment? And how mature is your DD in relation to a typical 10 year old? What sort of role models (of both sexes) does she have and does she see good father-child modelling in any of her extended family or friendships? All these elements can have a bearing on how to handle this.
As we understand more about the parent-child relationship and the long-term effects of separated families, the research is starting to show that inconsistent parenting is actually more damaging than absent parenting. A child generally finds it easier to overcome an emotional blow once than to deal with it, be dragged back in, then have to deal with it all over again. Inconsistent contact - especially with a parent who is using that contact to bad-mouth the other - is deeply, deeply damaging to a child because they experience rejection over and over again, with contradictory messages that it is their consistent parent's fault. This makes them doubt their own judgement about people. Emotionally it's easier to believe it's the parent with care's fault than to believe it's the inconsistent parent's fault - because accepting it's the inconsistent parent's fault means they start questioning whether they as a child aren't 'loveable enough' to make that parent consistent, etc. If a parent is completely absent, it is easier for the child to process the absence rationally, as the emotional pain caused does not stay so sharp and raw for as long a period (even though it may not go away entirely), allowing for reasoned thought to take over.
The best thing you can do for your DD is to teach her that any issues with the relationship are her father's fault. He is the adult, not her. You don't have to run him down, but neither should you be making excuses for him. Be as factual as you can and try to explain his behaviour in terms of his own shortcomings (kindly if you can manage it). Don't block contact but don't change your plans to accommodate it either. IF he CBA to contact you until the day before he wants to see her, that's his own lookout. I'm fairly sure that if someone said to him they'd give him £1m if he turned up at X date in a months' time, he'd organise it to be free on that date and turn up. His child should occupy no less importance.
Before too long she will be at an age where if you went to the family courts, they would take her wishes into account. At that stage, if she says she doesn't want to see him, support her in that decision. The fact that you've never blocked contact but encouraged her to see where the responsibility lies (i.e. with him) will help her avoid blaming herself and also you.
Thank you pounding that's really helpful.
Dd is fairly mature for her age in some ways but not in others. She takes on responsible tasks in school and leadership roles but also wants to be a werewolf and runs around outside with her 'pack' howling at the moon
She doesn't have any males really in her life as I've been single for a long time and have no plans to change that yet. Family wise I have a lovely brother and cousin who were the ones that taught her to ride a bike, balance on a skateboard and stuff like that. We don't see them all the time though.
She does do taekwondo 6/7hrs a week and the instructor is male. Not really sure if that counts but he's a consistent part of our lives.
I will take onboard what you said in your last post. It's kind of what I'm doing already apart from I don't tell dd anything really. I will start chatting to her a bit more grown-up now and factual.
Thanks again you've been really helpful
Can you do some kind of mediation maybe? To get it in writing your expectations? Ie ring by Saturday at the latest for contact the following week? I need x amount of days notice to facilitate contact etc etc?
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