Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
When dc refuse to see ex(75 Posts)
A few weeks ago my dc asked to be collected from their dad's and have refused to see him since. This has followed months of them saying they weren't happy there but this time they are adamant they won't go again.
In my opinion the problem is entirely on his side and he should be acting in a way that means the dc WANT to see him. I do not want to keep them with me, but I also do not and will not force them into a situation they feel uncomfortable.
They are 15 and 10.
However obviously he sees this as me stopping him seeing his children and is insistent it is resolved asap.
Anybody else had this kind of issue and found a way of dealing with it?
Do you know why the DC don't want to see their Dad? Does their Dad know?
The current problem is that he lost his temper with them. Quite badly. But it follows months/years of really pretty crappy parenting (he would disagree!). 15 year old is also going through a lot of therapy at moment and trying to make sense of his behaviour and she feels unsafe there.
Ah that's tough. I had similar with my DS when he was much younger (pre school age) , it improved after a while and has now got back to the stage of DS saying he doesn't want to go anymore (he's 12, nearly 13). I've taken the view that he's now old enough to decide for himself. I've spent many years encouraging and cajoling him to have some kind of relationship with his dad but decided that once he reached secondary school he could make his own decisions about it.
I've put it to my exDP that it is developmentally really normal for children to spend less time with their parents, more time on social/sports and with their friends as they get older. I have suggested that exDP come & watch DS play football or take him out somewhere for a few hours rather than expecting him to always go & stay (he lives about an hour away). Hasn't happened much so far but he at least took the conversation with good grace.
It isn't easy and good luck.
No real advice I'm afraid but I would say at 15 she is old enough to make up her own mind and there really shouldn't be any question of trying to "make" her. Sadly is sounds as though her dad won't/can't accept this.
I think the only way of dealing with it is to respect your DC's decisions. To do otherwise will send the message that their wishes/feelings/fears don't matter, especially if they have been consistently saying for quite some time that they don't want to see him.
I would tell it to your ex the way it is. They don't want to go. You aren't going to go against their wishes. He lost his temper with them really badly, they don't want to go back again. Keep repeating.
Have this issue too and am following in case someone has a bright idea! Pre-teen DD refusing to see her Dad, he won't see her unless she shows she wants to see him leaving me stuck in the middle!!
I am keeping on repeating...several times a day sometimes!
Can the NRP take the issue to court of the child refuses to go?
Put the onus back on him. He is insistent this is resolved ASAP, so it's up to him to resolve it.
Don't allow him to continue to see HIS issue as yours to solve.
Next time he tried es to get you involved, tell him that he needs to reflect on what might have gone wrong and the best way for him to find out and address it.
Joys mum I get what you are saying here but if the Dd is already in therapy due to feeling unsafe with the DF how is he to resolve it without talking to or seeing his Dd
It sounds like an abusiive dynamic here - the op needs to protect her Dd and her Ds mental wellbeing over and above his contact. He cannot see he has an issue he has already done his Dd harm - maybe she needs to Finnish her therapy sort out her own feelings and if she want to see him or not see him that is her decision.
Op I feel for you - I have two kids that desperately need therapy to come to terms with their feelings as a result of divorce but both refuse. Instead the battles are severly impacting on my own MH and I have got to the stage where I need to give myself a break as I can take anymore.
I don't think the courts have caught up with this yet - they just don't see the long term damage they are inflicting on some kids with their insistence on contact and somehow the dm is to blame
I think what @Joysmum said was absolutely correct. It is HIS issue with HIS children. Let him sort it. Don’t respond to his demands of you sorting out HIS issues. If he wants to make an effort with your children and mend the relationship he will. I’m sure you’ll soon find that he gets bored of trying to control you.
my dc asked to be collected from their dad's
I take it he's aware of this, so why is it your job to resolve the situation?
Just let him know that the DC have expressed their wishes not to see him and you're respecting their wishes.
You can't make a 15 yr old go if she doesn't want to, and nor should you. And I wouldn't attempt to make the 10 yr old either. I'd just continue to back their choice and not engage with him - he knows why. It's his problem.
Support your children and tell him he is free to take it to court but undoubtedly the court will be asking his children why they don’t want to see him and his ‘version’ of events won’t trump theirs. However, cover your arse by outlining the issues in writing and ask what his plans are to address them; mediation, family therapy etc. He will find it harder painting you as the obstructionist if you can show willing in supporting a resolution.
I'm fortunate in a sense that I have letters from therapists etc outlining how his behaviour is a problem. So I don't think a court would order them to see him.
I have reiterated to him that I am willing for him to see them whenever they want to. I am not obstructing that.
Unfortunately he does see it as my problem to fix. Apparently it's caused by my talking negatively about him to the DC. Which I do not do, but I also refuse to ignore their feelings or try and make light of the situation.
I'm not sure how I'm supposed to frame his behaviour positively to them? "Yes daddy pulled you down the stairs by your arm and shouted in your face, but he's just having a bad day and is a lovely daddy really"? My difficulty is if I try and paint it positively (which is impossible anyhow) I will do them even more damage
Apparently it's caused by my talking negatively about him to the DC.
My ex used to say this, it's infuriating. It's like they can't understand that kids have a mind and opinions of their own, it just MUST be the mother feeding vitriol to the kids.
Your kids are at an age where they know what they want and your doing your best, it's a horrid situation.
If he were a good dad and maybe there was a personality clash or he was a lot stricter with rules but still in a caring way I would say try to explain his behaviour and encourage contact.
But your ex sounds like a bad father and frankly dragging someone about and screaming in their face is abusive. In that case I would go the opposite way and back the kids up 100% in their desire not to see him.
I have never expected him to do parenting. All I want is for him to have a fun time with his DC. I don't care if it involves McDonald's and haribos and showering them with gifts. The whole Disney dad thing. I was prepared for all of that. I wasn't prepared that he would be so miserable and bad tempered that they would rather not see or talk to him.
If you don’t think a court would back him up even if he could be bothered to go and professionals have documented the impact of his behaviour, why are you even entertaining this arsehole?
He assaulted your children and they have taken the courageous and sensible decision to limit contact with him, now it’s your turn.
Detach, detach, detach, you can not change him.
Why are you characterising his assault of your children as him being moody and bad tempered? It really is time you stop expecting him to be different and start accepting him for who he is, which is a negative influence on your children.
I remember your last thread. Am I remembering right that he hurt the 10 year old and that was what led to the kids coming home? And the 10 year old doesn't want to go unless their older sibling is there?
I'd say at this point he can take it to court if he wants to; they will certainly confirm the 15 year old is old enough to decide if they want to or not and with your evidence and the 10 year old not happy, and them being on the brink of their opinions carrying real weight, I'd think it's likely they'd be supported too.
I'm detaching as best I can and am rapidly running out of patience with being expected to solve the whole situation. He seems to think I have somehow engineered all of this so I can have them 24/7. Which is not the case. Im now unable to work/see friends/ have any kind of break from the dc so it's hardly done for my benefit (DD has mental health issues and is pretty unwell so it's full on care with her).
My issue with it is that if my DC had made claims that I had hurt them/scared them, then I would expect him to take their side and protect them. He believes I should have realised they were lying and backed him up over this. Not going to happen! Surely it is normal parenting to put the children first in this kind of thing??
Came out of cinema this eve to calls/texts asking where I am, why aren't I home, where are the DC. He gets like this if he phones and we aren't here/they won't answer the phone. It's driving me mad.
You need to set some boundaries in contact. It's none of his business where you are.
You need to rethink the level of contact you're allowing and the amount of engaging you're doing with him. You might want to think about blocking his number and using email or some other method that you can control. You should ignore phonecalls asking where you are etc - it's nothing to do with him.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now »
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.