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Unreliable Mother with regards visitation

(12 Posts)
sm12 Tue 27-Aug-13 16:13:35

Should we be worried on the effects on a teenager of a Mother who is unreliable with picking up her daughter on time, or postponing visits, or failing to get in touch?

It is quite common for this Mother to say she needs a 'rest' etc and can we hold onto her daughter for another day or days. We have 50/50 share, which to be honest is more like 70/30 in our favour.

I have no problem with SD staying here for how ever long, even forever. My concern is that when her Mother fails to show, contact us or asks us to 'hold onto her', she very often shuts herself away and gets in a bad mood. I have tried talking to her but she is one of those girls who rarely expresses her emotions. We are worried that this erratic behaviour might be having an effect or are teenagers more robust than we give them credit for?

exoticfruits Tue 27-Aug-13 16:36:51

I would just reassure her that she is not a nuisance and it isn't a problem to have her longer.i don't think that you can say much about the mother, she would have divided loyalties talking about her. Just be reliable and reasonable and supportive from your end. You could try telling her not to worry, more than 50% isn't a problem at your house.

cantreachmytoes Tue 27-Aug-13 16:44:53

I think teenagers are more sensitive than we often think, although they can often be more sensible than they're given credit for too.

I imagine if my mother gave me the impression that she didn't want me around - for any reason other than a surprise party(!) - I'd have been pretty upset. I'd also not want to talk about it because I'd have been feeling quite rejected.

exoticfruits Tue 27-Aug-13 17:02:17

She is bound to feel rejected which is why I think you need to make sure that she feels very comfortable with you, without having to discuss her mother.

exoticfruits Tue 27-Aug-13 17:02:36

Unless she wants to of course.

sm12 Tue 27-Aug-13 17:08:48

Thank you all. When I say 'talk to her' I don't mean about her Mum, just how she is feeling, what would she like to do to make it a good day etc'

We are worried about the rejection thing. It is so hard to know what with her being a bit of a closed book. We do make sure she feels very welcome here, and of course never hesitate in saying to her Mother she can stay on here.

exoticfruits Tue 27-Aug-13 17:37:31

I think the problem is that she can't say how she feels without being disloyal to the mother. It sounds as if you are doing the right thing.

sm12 Tue 27-Aug-13 17:44:53

Is there any merit in the Mother speaking to her on the phone explaining why she can't come BUT that she loves her, just so that point is really hit home in that it's not because she doesn't love her and it's not something the daughter has done (which is a concern we have that she might be thinking). As it is, she (Mother) texts to say she can't have her to stay etc and we are then left to tell the daughter. We try then to play it down and say as little about the circumstances around the prolonged stays as possible. The trouble with having a set routine sometimes is that everyone is well aware where they are supposed to be.

UC Tue 27-Aug-13 17:46:16

Perhaps she does want someone to acknowledge she's hurting though? Could this be a big elephant in the room that no-one's mentioning? How is your DP's relationship with her dad? Couldn't he say something along the lines of "it must be difficult for you to have your plans changed like this, maybe you feel sad? You know you can always talk to us, we love you and care about you very much". I think if it was me, I'd be crying out inside for someone to recognise that I felt sad and let down, but everyone trying to carry on as normal as though nothing had happened would make it even harder to talk if I wanted to.

sm12 Wed 28-Aug-13 13:25:46

She has a good relationship with her Father UC. Agree with you, and especially now I have read others' posts, that this could indeed be the 'big elephant' in the room. Daughter is well aware that her Mother left her first husband and daughter as it is occasionally but rarely brought up, never to see them again. That daughter is in her early 20's now. No one wants her to give up on this daughter too, which is why we are so complaint with the Mother.

sm12 Fri 06-Sep-13 10:02:37

She has now announced that she is off on holiday with her boyfriend at half term hols for a week in the sun without her daughter, again. In fact she has never taken her away, not even for a weekend. Will have to break the news of this one gently.....

Lethologica Fri 06-Sep-13 18:10:03

You have to feel for your DSD. sad. It's good that she has a good relationship with you and her Dad. I am not sure there is that much you can do apart from being supportive and loving.
I think lot of teens have trouble understanding their own feelings let alone vocalising them.
I hope it works out for you all.

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