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DH not seen DS in 6 weeks how to support ....(13 Posts)
DSS mother is a classic case of parental Alienation (thanks Mumsnet for identifying that for us) DH hasn't seen DS in 6 weeks. Always an excuse, tired, sick, doesn't want to, will miss mum, pet etc.......we are currently going legal. But short of DH banging down the door to get to DSS, he can't force him/her to let him/us see him. DH is struggling understandably, we thought we'd see him this weekend but DSS politely declined a visit(will miss his new pet too much) He's been quiet and cagey with his phone all day, I sense there has been some bickering. How do I support him - apart from the usual...... he must be breaking inside ! Help
All you can do is be there for him, support him and listen.
I’ve been there it’s tough.
My OH wasn’t ‘allowed’ to see his own kids for various reasons..... mum would miss them too much, a party was more important than them spending time with their dad.... I could go on.
It almost broke my OH.
He did take it to court (now has a very defined contact order). He’s taken his EW back to court 3 x for breaching the order. Once the contact order is in place the RP’s power is taken away. It will get better.
Get a contact order and stick to it. When she beaches take her back to court (the last time my OH did this the judge stated that the children would be taken off her and they would live with their father. Children aren’t weapons or possessions.
Good luck OP. Oh and remember you can’t control their actions but you can control how you feel. Always act with dignity and never stoop to their low level.
It’s heartbreaking for your OH and I’ve had to support my DP through the exact same.
One question, how old is the DC?
So my advice is this,
1) push the legals as quickly as possible, double down on that.
2) Get a meeting with the DC’s school - ask for a meeting with the head teacher and the form teacher. Go in prepared and calm and talk (factually) about the fact that you haven’t seen the DC. Ask the school if they have seen any changes in the DC’s behaviour. Ask them if they can support you in anyway - for example does the DC ever talk about ‘daddy’ at school. Schools see this a lot and can help and make suggestions.
3) does the DC have a phone? Is there any direct form of contact? FaceTime/ phone calls? Or have all comms ceased? I would right now even push for a few hours here and there, regularity of contact in these situations is more important than duration. This will eventually end up in court and if she has refused even a few hours on a weekend then it will reflect poorly on her. Start with a few hours daytime contact and see how that is received.
4) get medical records of the DC. See what (if anything) she has been reporting medically.
5) Start communicating (if you aren’t already) via email/ text, not phone calls. Keep everything in writing, all of it is evidence. All communications should be about ‘this is not in the best interests of the DC’, nothing in there about your DP’s rights (courts don’t care about that, they rule in the best interests of the child).
With every single professional, every one. Do not under any circumstances throw the term parental alienation around or say *anything’ about the mother. That can work against you. The system is not geared to deal with that and the minute one parent makes an allegation about the other, they view it that you are creating conflict with the parent.
First thing, just try a few hours of daytime contact ASAP. And get it all in writing.
Then get information gathering and remain neutral, calm and child focussed. Everything gets documented and shown to courts if needs be.
Your job in all of this is to pull back, be logical and calm and steer him through this with steely calm resolve. Don’t get as emotional as your DP, that doesn’t help him
DSS old enough to talk to DH directly and he has a phone (we pay for it) however there can often be radio silence from him. He has had the odd hour here and there but the past 6 weeks have been horrific !!!
I think given the mothers attitude you’re unlikely to hear much from your DSS over his phone - my ex regularly checks my children’s phones in from of them to see what they’ve been doing, ostensibly to make sure they are ‘safe’ but he pulls them up on conversations they have had with me. My DD inparticualr therefore won’t message me while she’s with him for fear of a row.
Ok. So start the info gathering as I have said.
Everything on email and don’t put the child under any pressure directly at this stage. Continue to message with things he will find funny or things he is interested in. Tidbits that don’t require a response but make him know he is still being thought of.
Empathise with him. This must be hard for you. I know, just know I always love you. Miss you. Am thinking of you. He may not respond but face to face hammer that message home every opportunity you’re given.
Then start pushing for regular (every weekend) if you can, for a few hours here and there. Like a dog with a bone. All in writing. In neutral language. Because if you ever go to court, it will all be submittable as evidence.
The problem is here is his age - on another thread the daughter doesnt want to go to her Dad and the advice there is very different from here.
If he is old enough to have a phone its a tricky one as they will have to take his views in account and here it seems he is the one that doesnt want to
What is your situation - has anything changed recently - presumably before the 6 weeks you saw him
Parental alienation has started to be discredited now. Even by Cafcass. I wouldnt use the term.
What's the pet? Could DH send a thoughtful (not extravagant) gift, maybe saying hes looking forward to meeting said pet soon?
Mother may be using pet to divide and conquer, but if Dad shows enthusiasm about the pet it may help the relationship?
It's a snake .......
How old is dss?
I have seen this from both sides . Ex was quick to cry parental alienation but the reality was that dc did not feel happy to see their Dad due to his behaviour. No matter how much dc tried to talk to Ex he refused to listen. They made excuses as well as the truth was not something they felt able to say for fear of Ex's reaction.
If cafcass get involved and the child is old enough his views will he heard. Thankfully Ex did moderate his behaviour after Cafcass as it was clear it was Ex's behaviour that caused the issue. Contact is now more regular.
Can your partner offer to take his son for a few hours after school, that would perhaps build a bridge and might help to take pressure off his son. My dc were not keen to stay over as they felt trapped so knowing they could leave helped them to build confidence.
Your partner could also suggest family therapy with his son as a 3rd party might help.
How old is your step son? I know kids like to do their own thing when they are past a certain age, they have friends nearby and don't like to be too tied down to parental arrangements.
If the boy doesn't live far away, could your husband not just pop round to see him for a while, maybe in the evening after school. Or he could come to you, have a meal, do his homework, watch TV and chat and then be taken home. Seeing his dad doesn't have to mean staying overnight.
He is a young teen, it's not his social life (well maybe his xbox) he'll let DH take him to footie, but not interested in coming mid week for a few hours. Doesn't like being out of routine apparently.