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4 year old says hse doesn't want to go and see her father anymore

61 replies

evolucy7 · 19/11/2010 20:40

Hello.... now before I start, if you have read my other thread about my ex paying £5 per week maintenance, please do not give any 'helpful' advice about how these 2 things or my attitude or whatever may be linked to this thread...

So...it has been 2 1/2 years since ex left myself and 2 children now 3 and 4. They have stayed overnight with him every other weekend since October 2009. On several occasions my 4 year old has said that she has not had a nice time when she goes to see Daddy and I have always talked about it and tried to talk about the nice things that she does when she sees Dadddy etc. However in the last few months she has been very quiet when she comes back, and after her last visit she has now told me several things, I know these may not be serious events, and of course children like to tell a tale and make out they are so hard done by etc. She said that she drew a picture of our house and our cats and Daddy scribbled on it, and so she went upstairs and cried on her own. She says when they go to bed, the girls sleep together in a double bed but her sister keeps kicking her legs around and scratching her with her toenails lol! So Daddy has decided that her little sister gets to sleep in Daddy's bed from the start and she gets left to sleep on her own, now to me it should be the other way round, its like the youngest messes around and gets the 'privilege' of sleeping in a parents' bed. My 4 year old has said she doesn't like Daddy and doesn't like what he does with them, it is not fun. She says he just 'plays with his toys' and won't draw with her or anything. She has asked me to ignore him when he knocks on the door to collect them next time and not open it.

Has anyone any experience of this, she genuinely seems unhappy about the whole thing. Ex is impossible to talk to, when the subject first arose a few months after they started staying overnight I did talk to him and he just said she was fine when she stayed with him and that was that. He said until a court told him that they were not to stay with him every other weekend then that is what they would do, kind of regardless of how the children mioght be feeling, the only thing he was bothered about was the court order.

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dittany · 25/11/2010 12:57

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Truckulent · 25/11/2010 20:42

MJ- I've had a similar split to you and agree it was difficult at the start but has worked out well for the children, as they now can come and go as they please

evolucy7 · 25/11/2010 20:48

dittany...I made the suggestion about a year ago not long after they started staying that perhaps if the eldest or youngest for that matter said they wanted to come home when it came to bedtime on the Saturday night that I would come and collect one or both if necessary...he just said they are fine and the court order says they stay so that is what will happen until a court tells him differently.
I do think that he does not give them the time and type of attention that he should do and perhaps that is why the eldest and now the youngest is joining in too.

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SparkleSoiree · 25/11/2010 21:34

The issue with collecting them at bedtime Evolucy7 is that how will they get used to sleeping over at their Dad's place?

evolucy7 · 25/11/2010 21:39

Well they've been doing it for a year and have now said they don't want to...Confused
As I have said this may not really be what they mean but I am trying to work it out.

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mjinhiding · 25/11/2010 21:51

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mjinhiding · 25/11/2010 21:52

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SparkleSoiree · 25/11/2010 22:11

evolucy7 it could be something as simple as they miss you at bedtime but that does not mean they should not stay with their dad. In order to move forward try and have a more open chat with your ex. It is a starting point isn't it? Tell him you are not trying to undermine him or cause any issues with contact but between you there needs to be more effort put into why your DD is saying this so in my mind, the ideal would be for you both to have a chat with her at the same time and reassure her that she is free to talk in front of both of you about anything she wants and take it from there.

The thing is that if you work on trying to figure this out yourself with your ex's involvement then it will only irritate him (quite right as he is an equal parent regardless of personal opinion) and you may end up in more legal embroil which I am assuming you really don't need/want the stress of.

When I am embarking upon anything big or slightly scary I use the term baby steps to steady my nerves and keep my focused as I work at the issue. Maybe baby steps is something you could use in moving forward with your ex?

Don't assume right at this point that he is a bad parent or that somehow your DD is at risk. None of us are perfect parents and every poster on here has their own way of doing things which may be different from their partner and being separated only emphasises that issue. Moreso because there is usually a power struggle of some kind going on until both parents actually get to the point of being able to co-parent.

Good luck!

evolucy7 · 25/11/2010 22:12

When he left May 2008 he instructed a solicitor straightaway, so obviously I did the same, they saw him for half a day each weekend from the start, progressing to a full day quite quickly and then every other weekend from October 2009. He insisted he wanted it in a court order.
To be honest whether he thinks it undermines him as a parent is not the most important factor to me, if the children are unhappy that is what is important. Hmm

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SparkleSoiree · 25/11/2010 22:12

with=without

mjinsparklystockings · 25/11/2010 22:19

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SparkleSoiree · 25/11/2010 22:20

Whether it undermines him as a parent is a very important factor because if your children pick up on this it tells them that daddy is not an equally important person in their life like yourself.

There has been a lot of publicity over the last few years about family access cases and fathers struggling to see their children so perhaps he felt more reassured that he would be able to see his children knowing it was written in an order. It is quite sensible actually. DH and his ex worked out all these issues at the divorce point and it is all in an order. It allows everyone to know where they stand.

You have criticised your EX and not mentioned the positive aspect of talking to your DD together....it would appear that your anger toward him is seeping through and you may be losing focus a little bit in relation to doing what is best for your DD. I say this because if somebody said something to me that may help my child I would be picking up on that issue rather than taking the opportunity to criticise my EX.

evolucy7 · 25/11/2010 22:34

Yes I have criticised him with good reason, there is no positive aspect of talking to him at all, he will not talk to me about anything and has told me so on many occasions.
If my anger is seeping through it is because he will not discuss the children with me. Suggestions to talk to him are futile. Hence why I am trying to work it out on my own.
As someone said to me a while ago, and I apologise if this is a generalisation and controversial it is just to illustrate a point, they wished that they never worked, lived on a council estate and didn't give a s* about what really happened to their kids, how much easier life would seem than this constant worry about trying to do the best. Blush

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SparkleSoiree · 25/11/2010 22:39

Do you know if he is angry with you about anything that may be stopping him communicating with you?

evolucy7 · 25/11/2010 22:50

He just doesn't like me lol...hence he left lol Smile
Unfortunately it has become apparent that we seem to have different ideas about parenting. Now I actually think that some of these differences may be part of the reason why the girls may say they don't have a nice time. For example, he is not big on praising children, he went to parents evening, and when he came to collect the girls, I tried to start a conversation where both of us agreed in front of the girls, how pleased their teachers were with them etc and how pleased we were, and all he did was mumble something. He is sarcastic with them, last week when came to collect them, the eldest said Daddy look at my new baby isn't she sweet she's blah blah, and he just said oh another one! This is how he was brought up, he was told by his Dad that his Mum was fed up of looking after him well before he was 1, and she went back to work and his grandmother looked after him. His parents had well paid jobs, it was not a neccessity, and he is 42 so things were different then. He did not get praise as a child, and readily admitted this to me in the past and how he felt about it, but now he is just doing the same.

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SparkleSoiree · 25/11/2010 22:59

Can't parents do a lot of damage to their children? It seems to be a case of history repeating itself there...

I have to be honest in that I don't have a clue what to say. If it was me I would be squaring up to him mentally and somehow having 'that' conversation with him about how to co-parent together. You say it is not an option because he won't communicate and apart from my EXH I have never encountered it. My EXH never met our DD so it was never an issue about differences! Grin

Ok, why don't you do something nice with the DD that is giving you concern and try to talk to her about her visits to daddy and try to see if she can find something positive about being there, even if it is something as simple as he reads her a story or gives her a hug. I am not even sure if there is such a thing as mediation for separated parents trying to co-parent. ..

Maybe somebody else will have a better idea than that.

Truckulent · 25/11/2010 23:06

I said this on another thread, you're going to have to deal with your ex for years, so you have to let him get on with it when he has the children, difficult as that can be.

He really shouldn't have gone to solicitors straight away if there was no need, as it can antagonise the situation.

Is there no way he'll talk to you?

evolucy7 · 25/11/2010 23:09

Thanks...I'm sorry if I seem annoyed about it all Blush
At the first stages of court process, I was agreeable to mediation, but he said no, even the CAFCASS women put it to him but he wouldn't do it, so unfortunately I can't see him agreeing to anything like that.
Yes I am trying to talk with my DD1 in particular to help her like you said, and as Saturday approaches I just hope that when he arrives they just go without a problem. I have listened to what they said last week after they came back from his, so I hope that they feel that they have been listened to, but I've not mentioned it unless they say something and then tried to be positive. So hopefully it will be ok on Saturday, but it is really just the question of what to do if he turns up and they say they don't want to go, what do I do. It might well not happen, they may have vented their feelings and been reassured that its all ok.

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mjinsparklystockings · 25/11/2010 23:15

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SparkleSoiree · 25/11/2010 23:16

I remember once - and it only ever happened once - DH went to collect his children with his EX and the eldest on trotted out with his gear happy as larry but the younger one who was 4 at the time was being held and hugged by his mum as he was crying his eyes out, really bawling. It was clear his mum was upset too, obviously, seeing her child upset. But Dh just picked him off her and carried him straight to the car hugging and kissing him and telling him what exciting things they were going to do over the weekend. By the time he was strapped in the car he was much calmer and had stopped crying. Dh returned to his EX to ensure she was ok then we went. By the time we got to the end of the read he was laughing with his brother.

It never happened before then and has not happened since. I just asked DH a minute ago what he would do if it continued like that and DH said "I would probably only let that happen 3 or 4 times then put a stop to it as it would clearly be too stressful for him. Talk to him on the phone regularly until he was ready to try again..."

But then again that is my DH and I don't know what anyone else would do..

evolucy7 · 25/11/2010 23:24

A chat about mummies and daddies being different is a good idea..thanks mjin

Sparkle...it would be me that would probably have to pick her up and take her to his car and say that kind of thing, as I remember when she didn't like going for tea on a Wednesday with him and he arrived and she would say I don't want to go, he would say well you have to! By the way he doesn't take them for tea anymore on Wednesday through his choice, he kept not coming due to work apparently and then said he couldn't come at all anymore.

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SparkleSoiree · 25/11/2010 23:26

This is a really sad situation. You're not happy, your DD's not happy, your EXH is not happy and yet you all have years together to be like this.

Surely there must be something that can be done? And I don't mean YOU have to come up with the answer but you would think there would be more support for families in your position.

evolucy7 · 25/11/2010 23:36

Tell me about it...the thing is aside from it being the best thing for them have a good relationship with him and everything, I thoroughly enjoy my time when they go to stay at his Smile
It is sad I know, I just want the girls to be happy Smile

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SparkleSoiree · 25/11/2010 23:38

So, what do you feel your options are at the moment then?

evolucy7 · 25/11/2010 23:39

Luckily their school says they are happy bright confident children, so it must be ok so far in spite of all this in the first few years of their lives, I just worry that it could change if they are not listened to.

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