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What do you do when your DC hate their dad?

(18 Posts)
RogerThatOver Wed 25-Oct-17 23:15:19

I left DP over his lack of relationship with our DC (as well as his infidelity) and have been trying to facilitate contact since but it's so difficult. We have a new born son as well as the older DC, plus ex DP is sofa surfing, so contact has been at my house or with me there. He won't take the older ones alone, they would be distraught if he tried and TBH I don't trust that he could keep them safe because they actively run away from him.

Yesterday he came on an afternoon to the park with us. All DC refused to sit on the same side of the picnic bench as him. None of them would have him push them on swings- they'd rather not go on them than have him near them. Every time he talks to our 3 year old, he shouts 'I don't like you!' and runs away to me - resulting in him getting hit by a swing yesterday because he was so desperate to get away.

They are so much happier when he isn't around; it's like a weight off their shoulders. When he's there, they're over emotional, tantrumming and miserable. They cry at the prospect of seeing him, don't enjoy his company at all and spend the whole time utterly miserable. I don't know how to improve things but I don't want to keep seeing them unhappy and even hurt because of contact.

Changerofname987654321 Wed 25-Oct-17 23:23:54

Do you actively arrange contact or do you wait for your ex to contact you?

ABadIdea Wed 25-Oct-17 23:27:03

You need to ensure they have time alone with him. It seems your view of him is influencing their behaviour. If he doesn't want them on his own then that's his decision and then they won't have to see him, but I don't think that will work out well for them in the long term.

Hermonie2016 Wed 25-Oct-17 23:27:21

You can't fix this solo.

Why does the 3year old hate him? Was he abusve to them as it seems extreme behaviour if they are not terrified.

If he's abusive to them he should not be in their life or strictly supervised at a contact centre.

RogerThatOver Wed 25-Oct-17 23:33:37

It isn't my view of him colouring things. It was like this when we were together, too. He doesn't give them any boundaries, then all of a sudden will tell them off for something he usually tolerates- they don't know where they stand with him. At the park I tried sitting at a distance feeding the baby but they'd rather sit doing nothing than play with him.

Cookingongas Wed 25-Oct-17 23:36:24

How old are they all? And do they have any alone time? Because it's clear that you're current Contaact arrangements aren't working. If they are old enough a few hours building up to more is a good idea. Otherwise. Your resentment builds. As does your children's. They are intuitive.

Ninjakittysmells Wed 25-Oct-17 23:41:29

I kind of had similar with my Ds. His dad left when I was pregnant but visits regularly once a month. Ds went / still sometimes goes through phases where he just refuses to go with him. Ds dad also lacks boundaries and often just sits on his phone and so Ds doesn’t feel very engaged with I suspect. That said, I want Ds to have a relationship with his dad - i know he loves him in his way, and I hope that as they spend more time together that relationship will grow (even if it isn’t a traditional father son one)

For me, I went into mega positive mode. “Yay daddy is coming tomorrow - you guys are going to have so much fun at the park” etc. I might not have felt it, but Ds needed to know I was okay and happy for him to spend time with him.

I engineered situations where Ds was comfortable and Ds dad didn’t have too much pressure on him. Soft play, cinema, bowling etc. Things where there is a focus other than each other and the activity leads itself - free styling it at the park was too much for them both.

I try and stay out the way. If I’m there then Ds automatically comes to me on autopilot. If I’m not, then he goes to his dad and that improves both their confidence.

I know it’s hard. It’s often the very last thing I want to do to pack my wonderful son off to a man who I know is not parenting to the standard I want him too, but I know he is safe and I have to do my best to make this work for my son. Good luck flowers

SatansLittleHelper2 Wed 25-Oct-17 23:44:02

That sounds a bit sad in a way.........might be worth contacting your hv. He clearly needs some sort of support.

RogerThatOver Wed 25-Oct-17 23:52:57

But my DC wouldn't be safe with him Ninja. 3 year old refuses to hold his hand near the road so he chases him along and blocks him from the road instead. He won't tell thrm not to do anything in case they get upset and say they don't like him- that's why he got hit by a swing, because ex DP didn't want to tell him not to run near it. I can't bear to witness it anymore but I also can't send them off alone with him the way things are - even if ex DP wanted them alone, which he doesn't. He recognises it's disastrous and often offers to leave.

Ttbb Wed 25-Oct-17 23:55:50

From experience no oarent is a better than a bad parent. If they hate spending time with him so much maybe you shouldn't make them do it.

Cricrichan Wed 25-Oct-17 23:59:30

I find that very odd.

RogerThatOver Thu 26-Oct-17 00:05:41

I agree it's odd, but it's the way it is.

He went a few weeks without seeing them and they were fine with him for the first couple of hours after that but then they'd had enough of him. They'll sometimes tolerate him if he's doing precisely as they tell him and as long as he doesn't ask anything of them but those occasions are getting rarer. My 3 year old cried himself to sleep in my arms last night asking me to look after him and not to see his dad the following day. Ex DP had so little involvement before I left, I don't know how he can pull it back and I'm fed up of seeing the DC upset while I try.

ferando81 Thu 26-Oct-17 00:39:14

I'm amazed at the number of mothers who feel compelled to involve a poor father in their children's life.If they hate him and he's useless don't involve him.
Of course if he is a decent man and father it would be absolutely wrong to omit him from their lives.Its just that it seems that some women feel guilt ridden and feel obliged to involve a useless father in their children's lives

Isetan Fri 27-Oct-17 12:33:50

Hate is a very strong word. Could it be less about disliking him and more about not being away from you? There could be a number of reasons why they are uncomfortable being around their father and for their best interests, it’s best that you try and find out why, a child psychologist could be very helpful.

RogerThatOver Fri 27-Oct-17 23:33:59

No, they're fine with leaving me for school/nursery/clubs/friends houses.

HeddaGarbled Fri 27-Oct-17 23:38:52

It's not working, you supervising his contact with them, so I'd give that up. You don't trust him to look after them without you. How about supervised contact with a third party? His family, maybe? Or a contact centre?

RogerThatOver Sun 29-Oct-17 22:48:08

I persuaded him to take two of them out today, just for a walk to the shop. One cried the whole way asking for me and hs d to be carried and the other tried to run away from him sad His family only live an hour away but haven't seen the DC in months.

Carouselfish Mon 30-Oct-17 00:22:35

Jesus, can't believe posts saying they need alone time with him! If my toddler expressed dislike of someone, dad or not, to that extent that would be the last thing I would do! That wouldn't make them feel secure with him at all.
FWIW, I know someone who left her toddler with EXP at w/e despite screaming protest because they 'had to have a relationship with their dad'. Turned out he was abusing them. They don't scream for no reason. What's more important? Listening to your child or forcing them into a stressful, upsetting situation because he happens to be their father. Why would he want this for them anyway? He needs to earn their love, it doesn't just magically happen if he's unpredictable, uninvolved, uncaring etc etc.

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