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DSD doesn't want to see mum anymore(19 Posts)
What do you do if your step child doesn't want to see their nrp any more?
My dsd has poured out her heart and soul in a big long letter to me and her dad saying she doesn't want to see her mum any more. She's 13.
What would the general advice be in this situation?
Following. Going through this with my son right niw- he absolutely does not want to see his dad. I feel very out of my depth! But DS very calm and sure, cold almost at times when I mention his dad.
Support her . Is there a court order for access ? At 13 a judge would listen to her .may not agree , but would take in to account . Do you think with time and space their relationship could be re built ? Too many unknowns to give a proper answer but that’s my first thought.
A judge would rule that her wishes were to be respected.
Ds1 doesn't see his Dad but has been through several shorter breaks with him (3m-6m). I told ex that we should see if a break helps so I asked ds1 after 1 month NC, 3 month NC and 6 months NC. Ds1 was told that he could change his mind at any time and neither of us would judge. Shortly after the 6 month mark it was December and ds1 got very anxious about things. I gently told him that I would help him if he wanted to resume contact but he didn't. This is when I told ex that I thought that NC was permanent. He's not spoken to his Dad in 3.5 years and seems happy about it.
At 13 I think you need to talk to her and listen to her. She I presume has explained why. Do you feel her reasons are justified, or is she acting out or being immature?
If they are justified and she is sure this is what she wants then I feel you should support her. No one else will have her back.
I'm following with interest too. My 3 DC's (15 ,14 & 12) feel out with their mum last xmas & moved in with me. The 2 boys (15 & 12) see their mum about once a month but my daughter hasn't seen her mum in 6 months. She is quite assertive & knows her own mind. I have said that she might regret going nc later on life (family events like weddings & funrtaks) but I have respected her wishes & not tried to force her at all. All I think you can do is talk & listen to her.
Don't force her. My DM was very persuasive with the "but he's your dad" routine and tbh it took me years (and therapy) to realise that it's okay to cut people out if they treat you badly.
Lisa, my instinct is to support my son's clearly expressed wishes, after all I left his dad for essentially the same reasons. But the message from cafcass and mediators is that I should be really pushing him to have contact, although I can fall short of "forcing" contact . It's a horrible place to be. That's why this thread is helpful to hear from people like you. I am prepared to do whatever is right for my son, but I have to tread a delicate balance so we don't end up with a court order forcing him to have contact or, worse still, making dad the RP. So my reading of the situation is that I have to be seen to have actively promoted contact even though if anyone else had treated him the way his dad did I would never allow them to see him again!
Please don't tell her that if it ended up in Court the judge would "respect her wishes". That may be some people's experience, it is not the law. The judge would take her wishes into consideration but there are never any guarantees which is why it is unfair to raise a child's expectations.
I would recommend therapy of some sort. Individual therapy for your DD as a starter. Mainly to give her support but also so you have independent corroboration of her wishes etc if needed.
Hi @HerondaleDucks - I'd say try get to the root of why she doesn't want to see her dm before you make a decision. All my three went through phases of not wanting to see their dad due to certain behaviours on his part. I did encourage them to stick with seeing him as (& I had to make the judgement calls) I didn't deem the behaviours worthy of nc & I worried they'd regret it or blame me in the future.
That being said I never dismissed their feelings, but rather I encouraged them (with the help of therapy) to express how the feel to their father even if he didn't always listen. I think they now all have or are developing the skills to manage their relationships with their dad independent of me.
Obviously if you deem the reasons serious enough - abuse/neglect - then that's very different.
What is the back story? Unless the mum is abusive or neglectful then you really need to encourage the visits because the dsd is probably saying this from a selfish ‘these visits don’t fit in with my friends / life’ perspective which she will regret later. If it is abuse / neglect then take it to court.
Talk to her and if you feel it would help her, try and find a counsellor/therapist where she can express her feelings with someone who isn’t involved. I did this with No 1 child at the same age and it was of huge benefit. Don’t force the contact if she has a good reason for not wanting contact - possibly ask about letter writing or phone calls instead? At the end of the day you can only do what you feel is right by your SD and as long as she knows that she can change her mind at any time and you will support her then that’s ok. My motto has always been that mine will always be able to say that I did the right thing by them, regardless of my feelings for my ex. Sending virtual gin x
Thanks all for the good advice.
There is a huge back story with mum. Dsd wrote a long letter (for her) giving 5 very valid reasons as to why she felt this way.
There is a court order which gives dh residency of both children, there was conditions around contact when the order was made in 2016 but due to various reasons this is no longer possible. It stipulated for eow over night for dsd and to see dss through supervised contact as dss has profound learning disabilities and does not have capacity and is vulnerable.
Within 2 months of having overnight contact with her mum had had an unsavoury character to stay at the same time and our social worker advised that we get a check via Sarah's law. After the disclosure it was advised that mum had contact via a contact centre as she couldn't be trusted unsupervised as this fellow was very much around. She went 9 months without seeing either child as she and the man were very abusive and refused to go to contact centre.
In the end I got fed up and said she would have contact at our house and if he turned up that it would stop. This has worked very well for the past 18 months. I have over time said she is welcome any weekend she wants but she comes on average twice a month for a couple of hours (her choice).
She has had a baby with this man and social services have removed the child and it has been placed for adoption.
My dsd has now decided that she doesn't want to see her mum anymore as she feels that she doesn't love anyone other than herself and that she has been let down by her.
My dh and I have talked with her about how she is feeling and we said that should could have a break from contact and that we would manage any fall out with this with her mum so she doesn't feel guilty. But this also means if she changes her mind that she can see her again no problem. We have said to mum she can take dss out in his wheelchair instead of staying indoors as this would be unfair to dsd. But mum is very angry and said what's the point in seeing him if dsd doesn't want to.
Dsd seems a lot happier since she got it off her chest. I know this situation is very complex but last night I felt a bit despairing about what to do.
Again thanks for the advice and any more tips are welcome!
It sounds like you've handled this extremely well. Your dsd obviously doesn't feel safe around her dm & in an instance like this her wishes should come first.
You're playing a blinder & she's very lucky to have you .
It sounds like you are doing a fantastic job under very difficult circumstances 💐
It sounds like you've supported your DSD really well. Is it worth asking social worker for advice on how to proceed and ensuring the children wishes are recorded.
@pikapikachu can i ask what the reasons were for no contact in brief, 3.5 years is a very permenant mind set. You mentioned the DF was supporting the situation and DS could change his mind etc so I cant help thinking how hurtful it must be for you own child to cut you off. Im guessing there is more to it?
Just wanted to pop back and say to any pp whose children are having a hard time with this. There is an online counselling service for kids called Kooth.com
My dsd has found it useful. Hope it helps others!