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My child doesn't want to visit his dad.

(6 Posts)
ClaireS2707 Sun 21-Jun-15 11:05:32

Does anyone know where I can find advice/support to help my 9 year old son talk about his difficulties in relation to not wanting to visit his dad?

His dad and I both want contact to happen but it has become increasingly difficult in recent years because our son says he can't cope there. He is nearly 10 now and when I ask he says he can't cope without me (he is an anxious child by nature) or staying overnight.

His last visit (3 days long) went well we all thought, I even dared to hope it might be a watershed. His dad said he had a wonderful time and I'm sure he did. However he has refused to go back since; when I put it to him that he'd had a good time last visit, he replied "I was hiding it in" and that he was in fact miserable.

I asked the GP couple of years ago to refer him to CAMHS where he could talk about his difficulties to someone other than a parent and hopefully get to the bottom of things but he was signposted to the PFSA counsellor at school with no shift since. I wondered about Family Mediation but I think this is just for parents who cannot agree about contact arrangements.

Regrettably his dad has by now concluded that I must be somehow driving this reluctance to visit. I'd like to get this resolved for the benefit of all.

Claire S

LazyLouLou Mon 22-Jun-15 14:56:06

First and foremost, have a chat with his dad. Tell him you are worried by DSs refusal, tell him what you are trying to get sorted and why, ask for his suggestions as to how to support DS in keeping proper contact.

Make absolutely certain he understands that you are trying to help sort this out for him and your son.

I say that because then, if he is a good dad, he will not be likely to add to your DSs misery with any snide accusations.

Also, if your ex is playing a nasty game of his own, you will have shown your good intentions and he won't have a leg to stand on.

But mainly because, in the absence of any specific known reasons, your DS needs to be able to feel comfortable, either when visiting his dad, or in saying he no longer wants to.

Melonfool Wed 24-Jun-15 16:35:49

You can get private counselling.

I wonder if ds feels 'guilty' for enjoying himself away from you so that when he's with you he says he hasn't?

Melonfool Wed 24-Jun-15 16:35:56

You can get private counselling.

I wonder if ds feels 'guilty' for enjoying himself away from you so that when he's with you he says he hasn't?

ClaireS2707 Wed 24-Jun-15 18:54:21

Thank you L and M.

In an equal landscape I would love to talk to DS's dad but find him verbally intimidating and at best come away feeling disempowered (there is a backdrop that would not be appropriate for me to disclose here). Suffice to say the relationship was not a good one (nor a long one) and ended badly before I even knew I was expecting DS. I did not share my discovery of the pregnancy with DS's dad because I knew I could not cope with pregnancy / nursing with him in the picture. I remain haunted by this decision but could contemplate no other option. Even with hindsight, I do not see how I could have made a different decision, especially with two other little children to think about / raise on my own. All three children needed and still need a happy and healthy mum.

DS has been told from birth of his dad and when 4 years old asked to meet him, which I set up through family mediation because I did not feel I could cope communicating directly with him. It sounds weak but I only feel safe (emotionally) if there is an intermediary or an advocate for me. I feel and become voiceless before this man.

I think I probably need to see a family solicitor because the recent communication from him is profoundly upsetting in content and to understate things, paints a very dim view of me. Despite my usual resilience (and I am a strong woman) I am overwhelmed by this and have to strive hard not to believe all he writes - despite my brain knowing it's nonsense.

Are there family advocates does anyone know that are not costly? I am still a single mum working hard to keep us all afloat with no savings. And I do want things resolved. I need a break and DS needs a dad.


Melonfool Wed 24-Jun-15 21:33:30

No one is judging you. Well done for supporting DS to have that relationship.

I don't know if you could ask CAFCAS to help, or do they only get involved in ss cases?

You could have a half hour consultation with a solicitor (CAB will probably be able to put you in touch with one) and ask if there is a way you can approach mediation for DS sake, but ask ex to pay for it (via the solicitor)?

Meanwhile, can DS speak to his dad on the phone, Skype etc to keep in touch even if he's not so keen to see him?

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