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How to explain to son that his father has cancelled his visit

(11 Posts)
JudasInTheTescoVan Fri 14-Oct-16 20:06:44

There is a back story to this. XDP has always been inconsistent visiting the children. He loves several hundred miles away and cancels on a semi regular basis. He used to live 5 mins away and cancelled just as often then.

The last three months he has been more consistent, phoning regularly and even managing to see them twice.

In September he told them he will be visiting them at the end of this month. He has since told me that he isn't but is refusing to speak to the children and doesn't answer the phone if they ring him.

DS(8) adores his father and I have always tried to keep things amicable, never slagging off his dad etc. He also suffers with anxiety and will be devasted that his dad isn't coming to see him. His dad is clearly not going to tell him and because I know I feel like I must.

I don't know the best thing to say because he's going to immediately ring his dad and of course he won't answer so then his anxiety is going to get worse and worse. Of course the longer I leave it his dad may well say to him "well why didn't your mum tell you, she's known for ages".

It makes me mad that he messes them about when he knows the difficulties DS has.

DarklyDreamingDexter Fri 14-Oct-16 20:53:38

What a horrible man to treat his children like that. I can only suggest telling little white lies to soften the blow to the kids. (Eg. Daddy's phone is broken at the moment so can't take any calls.) As they get older and see him less, hopefully they won't care about seeing him so much and he will lose his power over them and you through them.

Jinglebellsandv0dka Fri 14-Oct-16 21:00:06

What an utter bastard.

You need to tell your DC ASAP, be as honest as your can with out it being harsh. Do not make excuses up for him. If your ds rings and gets no answer be near to comfort.

Men like this fuck me right off. Dd1 father was and still is the same 21 years down the line. It's heart breaking. My dc used to sit near the front door with her coat on and back pack ready and he wouldn't show angry

Don't make excuses to try and soften the blow as this will continue for many years to come.

JudasInTheTescoVan Fri 14-Oct-16 21:15:26

I've text him to say that they want to ring him tomorrow so he's definitely aware and hopefully will answer after I've told them they want to speak to him. I'm not going to make excuses for him. DS is 8 now and I can see that he's starting to realise that his dad is unreliable for himself.

Revealall Fri 14-Oct-16 21:54:58

I think you need to stop pretending and just be breezily honest with the children.

Why are you arranging phone calls? He can phone them himself, he's a grown up. That way he can drift out without everything being a huge drama. If you arrange something he doesn't go along with then unfortunately you will end up having to make excuses for him won't you?
If you leave it up to him to contact it's not your or the kids problem is it?

I make it a point to mention my sons Dad ( a lot) in a factual but positive way ie "wow that's the music your dad liked" or " well your dad always did that" . So he's not forgotten but he's just some idea rather than an actual factor in their life.

Your kids may adore him but if he's not in their lives it's not healthy to make it all about him. They need to adjust to their father not being around and part of life. Many children have to accept the loss of a parent for many reasons and they do well in life.

P.S I know this is fucking hard.

JudasInTheTescoVan Fri 14-Oct-16 22:06:04

I'm not arranging phone calls. DS will want to speak to him so I've text him to let him know if he gets a call from my phone it is DS and not me then hopefully he will pick up. You're right though I do need to step back and let his relationship with the children takes its natural course. It's just so hard because DS1 idolises him. DS2 was only 18 months when we split and he really doesn't mind whether he sees him or not so it's a little easier for him.

Capricornandproud Sat 15-Oct-16 07:43:20

jinglebells that is heartbreaking. What a wanker.

Capricornandproud Sat 15-Oct-16 07:47:06

OP; sending hugs to your lovely DS1. How cruel to put a young boy through that and how can it not KILL your exdp to know what he's doing to him? Men, I swear... this is going to come out harsher than it sounds but could you plan to 'phase' their dad out of their lives by a huge amount? As a PP said, let him become more of an idea so it lessens the pain on your boy and the stress levels on you? Xx

2kids2dogsnosense Sat 15-Oct-16 07:55:58

What a tosser he is!

My heart aches for your poor son, and for you too - the pain you must feel watching his disappointment time after time must be unbearable.

It would be better if your ex stopped seeing/communicating with the children altogether, rather than muck them about like this - but I daresay he wants to maintain that degree of control.

I don't know what I would say to a disappointed 8 year old. He isn't so young that he will accept any story you come up with, nor is he old enough to understand that his adored dad is just a cowardly git.

Perhaps in future, don't tell the children he's coming at all - and then if he deigns to show up, it's an unexpected and delightful surprise for them. Doesn't help you this time though.

What about "Daddy rang when you were asleep - he's really, really sorry but he can't come after all. Something to do with his work, I think. He's going to get in touch as soon as he can but he's so very busy it might be a while."

That poor child. I would happily take your bastard ex "out" for hurting him like this. I don't know if these fathers who don't bother (usually is fathers IME, before the "Oh, it's not just men" brigade start up) don't realise or just don't care how much pain they cause.

Could you try shaming him? Record your son's sobbing and "Why?"'s and play them back to his dad. Put a photo of his crumpled little face on father's F/B page for all to see. (I don't use F?B, so not sure if this is even possible BTW). I appreciate you may well not want to make your son's disappointment public - I'm not sure i would - but it seems like dad is getting away scot-free and that shouldn't happen.

He's bloody nasty.

category12 Sat 15-Oct-16 08:10:34

I wouldn't lie for him. You need to tell them that daddy isn't coming - but you & they will do something nice together that weekend. Distract and comfort as much as possible. (It's Halloween, there will be parties and stuff going on with any luck - do a little thing with Halloween games yourself, whatever). Don't feel you have to explain or make it reasonable somehow for the dc, it's OK to say "I don't know" "he didn't explain it to me" when they ask why.

Personally I would get a cheap handset for the kids to have at home to call their dad, tell him their number, have it on charge in the kitchen or wherever so they can use it (not giving them a mobile as such, giving them a dadphone at home) and then he has no fucking excuse not to answer the phone to them.

But he's an unreliable shite bird angry, and you are just going to have to compensate by being the most reliable and loving parent you can be. flowers

BlackeyedSusan Sat 15-Oct-16 08:59:21

you need to tell your son that it is not your son's fault that his dad does not come. do not make excuses. just tell your son you cannot understand why his dad would not want to spend time with such a lovely (insert other positive characteristics) son.

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