Wondering if anyone has any advice or experience of this?
I'll try and keep it quite non specific as I don't want to out myself and I've nc.
Moved in with my boyfriend around two years ago. His children come and stay regularly. My children live with us full time.
One of his children has suddenly started refusing to come and stay with us. Has a big tantrum and refuses to get in the car with their dad. He doesn't want to force them into the car or lose his temper. The child has been allowed to not visit a few times now.
My boyfriend only wants the best for his child but doesn't know what to do about this.
I can't think of anything that has changed to have made this happen. I wonder if it has just sunk in that my boyfriend and his ex aren't getting back together and the child is finding this hard. They have been split up for a good few years and I was on the scene way after they split. We have no children together and don't plan to, so no issues there.
Has anyone had this and how have you sorted it out? Child is 9 by the way
Has he asked the mum. Instead of trying not to lose his temper has he suggested taking him to Mc Donald for a chat?
Has anyone asked the child what's upset him/her?
Yes. He has asked the child and so has the mum. Child misses mum and doesn't want to be far from her. Which of course is understandable but isn't new. Both parents have spoken to child at length, on their own and when no other siblings are there.
Taking child to McDonald's on their own isn't really an option when the other kids are waiting around to come to our house.
I realise I sound a bit cold and heartless describing them as 'the child'. I'm just trying not to identify the family set up.
He isn t someone who gets easily annoyed either. In fact he is a very patient man. I only mentioned he doesn't want to lose his temper as he feels this has the potential to get frustrating and he wants to deal with it appropriately.
Can’t his dc have time with their df away from your dc?
Yes they do. If they are here for the weekend, one of the days my children are with their dad. I leave boyfriend and his children to it as well, so they have time just with him.
Maybe that is where it's going wrong why can't him out like swingofthings suggested? spend time with them one on one nearby or why couldn't they could all go but ensuring he talks and has lots of one on one with the child that doesn't want to come over, then take him home if needed? then come back to yours with the others maybe that would be a start and maybe he would become closer to him understanding how he feels & ensures he gets some quality time if he's not going to be staying over.
Some children find it hard in their mind that their parent has chosen not to live with them but he has chosen to live with someone else and their children, some children wonder whats wrong with them that they were not good enough this is how my sister felt and to a point still does when her dad left her but was happy to raise someone else children & he slowly stopped contact. Sometimes they need time with their dad to themselves without everyone else involved, even when you have a few children they still need one on one time individually it sounds like he maybe needs some of that.
I think that's a fair point about him living with my kids and not his own and how his children perceive that.
He does try very hard to have one on one time with each of his children. He plays games with them and takes them to museums and will sit and chat with them all individually. When he puts them to bed he reads them a story each and goes and checks on them if one or more are missing their mum. He make a sure they have photos of her in their room if they want them.
The kids are all made to feel a part of the family and we sit and talk together about things like house rules and make lists of things they would like to do in the summer holidays for example.
He has already changed what happens in the week as the kids didn't want to come and stay over so now he takes them out for a few hours and they go home instead of staying the night. He is a caring and understanding dad and really does try and do what us best for them. I suppose he is worried this child will stop staying over altogether and the impact of this on their relationship.
At 9, I expect there is more to it than just 'missing mum'. Something is upsetting him but he doesn't feel he can say what it is, either because he is scared to be told not to be silly (that's what happened with my son) or he doesn't want to upset someone.
Your OH needs to be more patient, give him more time and get him to open and be prepared to be told something he doesn't agree with or wants to hear and decide in advance how he will handle the situation.
I agree with swing, by the age of 9, there is more to this than ‘I miss mummy’.
My DC (similar in age to this miss me) but that’s wouldn’t be the reaction.
Something else is going going on. What are relations like with your Dp’s Ex? What is her reaction to her child suddenly refusing to want to come for contact? Has anything changed in her environment?
Personally? I wouldn’t press the child but nor would i be giving a child of 9 the choice not to go for contact. I would tell my Dc that spending timw with their dad is critical and that they need to go. That I am always there to listen and if there is a problem we can work through it.
Its not a dynamic i would allow to settle at this stage. Contact needs to happen without 121 time.
I would also speak to the school and rule out any problems there’s (in sept obvs)
*with 121 time
Mine would be put in the car. Personally I suspect he’s doing This because of his mum and is getting rewarded somehow for doing so. This doesn’t just start happening
This is tricky as it could be something’s wrong, or it could be he’s just fed up of leaving his main home or fed up his Dads got a gf. Either way it’s important the child has a relationship with his Dad. I’ve seen kids just drop a parent for no good reason and not realising the serious long term effects for themselves.
Taking him to McDonald’s isn’t a bad idea. The other kids can wait can’t they? Also, talking to the ?Mum if that is at all possible.
Actually @toosassy I think you have hit the nail on the head
Is there a compromise to be had like coming home before bedtime? (This obviously depends on how far away you live from the xw)
How far away is Dad's house? My kids stopped wanting to go when Dad moves 3.5 hours away as it meant 7 hours a weekend in the car.
I wonder how his weekend routine changes when his siblings aren't there? I have 3 kids who all enjoy(ed) when circumstances meant that they were the only child at home that night.
I really think that you can't force a child into the car. I would try to use verbal persuasion but it'll be shit for the other kids in the car if their sibling is shouting and screaming. Depending on how this child tantrums it could mean your partner is not safe driving the car as the child could undo seatbelts, throw stuff, hurt their sibling to get him to stop the car...
I think a lot of it is about staying at home with mum. My boyfriend has three kids so any time at home alone with mum is a treat
Any chance he could pursuade his ex to bring the kids to yours, rather than him collecting them?
My kids always found going between houses easier if they had to say goodbye to a parent when they were already in the other house. Or else try to do pick ups via school.
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