Anxious 12yr old not wanting to go to his Dads
HebeJeebee · 02/11/2018 08:49
Background is , split up from Ex whilst pregnant with DS2 who is now 12yrs
Have two other teenage DC with Ex
They all go to his house in a nearby city on alternate weekends and are due to go tonight.
DS was in tears last night as he doesn’t want to sleep there , happy to go for the day but says he can’t sleep as he’s too worried about there being a burglary and lies awake fretting whilst everyone is asleep
, he didn’t go on the previous time as he said he felt sick , which I’m now thinking was an excuse
Ex is unsympathetic, thinks he needs to ‘man up’
DS2 doesn’t like sleeping away from home and although confident in most other things doesn’t really enjoy sleepovers and residential school trips .. but does go .
So do I make him go tonight to his Dads ?
Ex is saying he has to go etc etc ,but I’m sure what the best option is if he’s this anxious ?
OrgyOfSpookiness · 02/11/2018 08:52
He needs reassurance from both of you that nothing bad will happen. I'd be asking why he feels like this tbh?
It's odd that a child is happy to go to a parent overnight and suddenly doesn't.
Santaisgettingbusy · 02/11/2018 09:01
Rings a bell for me op.
Turned out exh was going to the pub while ds's were not even in bed!
Once older ds was threatening younger with a dart set!! His df was at the pub.
Woke up several times and he still wasn't home.
He went nc at 12 as did his db at 14 . Exh didn't argue.
Listen to your ds.
Or he won't confide anything to you again.
Ozziewozzie · 02/11/2018 09:10
I definately agree ds needs reassurance from both of you and to make sure fear of burgalary is the real reason. I had the same situation with dd. Her dad kept phoning her then incessantly to discuss it with her. Dad refused his calls as it made her feel awkward or uncomfortable. He ignored this for ages and blamed me as he said I should force her to speak to him and visit. I did try to explain that this would only have an adverse effect and that his badgering her would only make things worse. He took me to court and the judge said as ds was 12, she was old enough to decide for herself and that myvex had to respect that. She chose not to see her dad for 8 years because of this. I would gently try and reintroduce contact but to no avail. Last year I managed and they see each other occasionally. She’s at uni. Try not to make a big issue for your son. Best of luck
HebeJeebee · 02/11/2018 09:13
@Santa - I am worried if I tell him he has to go then I lose his trust that I’m looking out for him ? .. can a child choose not to go at 12yrs ? We have no legal contact arrangement but alternate weekends have always been the case but Exinsists he has to go
DS1 says house is very dark at night and lots of sirens outside as close to city centre he insists Ex is in but goes to bed at 10pm, door shut, lights off no arguments , DS2 says he lies there crying himself to sleep
I have talked him through that no one is going to break-in , that he’s perfectly safe but he just says ‘I don’t feel safe’ and is also scared Ex will shout at him for not going
HebeJeebee · 02/11/2018 09:29
Thanks Ozzie - Ex comes to pick them up from the house tonight so if DS2 doesn’t go I imagine he’ll get shouty on the doorstep and make things worse , maybe I’ll ask DS2 if that’s what he wants to do and I’ll back him up if he does
DD (13) says that if DS2 doesn’t go then she’ll stop going .. but that’s because she misses her mates/social life when she’s there !
I suggested that he picked them up all up tomorrow morning , spent the day together then DS2 came home instead of staying over ..with the other two staying over as normal ...then gradually try and get him sleeping one night .. then maybe both
He just says “No”
The boys share a room there , so he has his brother with him but unfortunately he’s a heavy sleeper
CarolDanvers · 02/11/2018 09:34
I wouldn't make him go and I would text his Dad to let him know beforehand then at least he has warning and no reason to kick off.
Santaisgettingbusy · 02/11/2018 09:36
We had a court order in place - exh didn't contact me regarding ds. He had been mainly with him (school near and I am 25 miles away) until ds announced df was a rubbish Disney f and he needed a proper parent! Been 2 years and exh still hasn't contacted me!!
Ozziewozzie · 02/11/2018 09:53
Maybe it’s wirth asking your ex to gently reassure your son, rather than get frustrated with him or telling him to man up. If he’s just saying, don’t be ridiculous, your ds feelings and fears are not being acknowledged. Once a child gets a fear, it will only get worse if it’s ingnored and not acknowledged. Your ex sounds quite alpha male which could contribute to your son feeling unsafe. Lots of kids have fears or worries. It has no indication at all on whether they need to man up. Your ds is t stupid. He’s well aware burgalarys happen, so simply being told it won’t happen, won’t help. Maybe reassure him getting him to help ex secure the place at night, or even give him walkie talkies so if he gets panicked he feels he can contact ds without getting out of bed in the dark, if he thinks he’s heard someone in the house. Houses can be very noisy at night to a worried mind. Maybe talk about the noises a house makes. You could also say that if he can hear sirens etc, it means police are close by so burgalars won’t be! X
HebeJeebee · 02/11/2018 10:11
I am going to have a talk with DS when he emerges from his bed and say something along the lines of lets give it a go this weekend , tell him to wake his father up if he’s worried or his sister as she is Mir likely to make a fuss and wake everyone up ! .. or to ring me for a chat
Will tell him about lots of police sirens means there’s less likely to be burglars around there .
If he does this weekend and Ex doesn’t make an effort to be more supportive then he doesn’t have to go again
There is history that over the Summer Holidays DS2 texted me to say he wanted to come home , Ex read it and got angry and DD said he made him message again to say he was having a great time
Ex is quick to anger over things like this and make it all about how it makes him feel and disregard the other person completely .. not a sympathetic bloke at all
Ozziewozzie · 02/11/2018 10:30
I think you pretty much have your answer right there. Your son is trying to tell you something. Your ex and sons relationship is down to your ex. Your son is the child. As long as you don’t obstruct contact to score points, I’d say you have to listen to your sons expression of anxiety. If your ex is not prepared to be patient and understanding with your son then I can’t see things improving. Suggesting the day instead of sleepover is a great idea. It will be interesting to see how your son likes this idea, or whether he will still be hesitant. It’s a shame your ex is taking the path he is. I’m sure it’s just because he’s feeling hurt as your son is expressing he’s not happy at his house, but to be fair your ex is only thinking of his feelings (childish) yet interestingly staying your son should ‘man up’
Starlight345 · 02/11/2018 10:34
Particularly after update , he is 12 so no.
12 year olds don’t respond well to been bullied into anything.
HebeJeebee · 02/11/2018 10:41
Spoken to him .. he teared up as soon as I started , DS is up for the spending the day and not the night , I suggested that his Dad may be more sympathetic now I have raised the subject with him .. he’s going to have a think about what to do
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