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Author Topic: How to tell my son...(long, sorry)  (Read 19099 times)

Amy_in_MA

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How to tell my son...(long, sorry)
« on: Jul 26, 2006, 08:05:51 AM »
Saturday afternoon, an off weekend for visitation, my son's dad called and wanted to talk about our son's visitation. Currently, he only spends every other Saturday with him, from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (by dad's choice). I was hoping that he was going to ask to up the time. Instead, he told me that our son does fine the first half of the day, and then the second half he's just miserable asking when he's going home, doesn't want to do anything except go home, etc. As such, dad wanted to shorten his visits to half the time. I told him that I thought actually the opposite was what was needed and he needs to spend more time with him and give him more one on one attention...and I suggested that he touch base with our son's counselor about it before making any decision. Our son is 5.5 years old. I reminded him that our son has a lot of issues with separation anxiety, and it's been made worse by my mom's recent and very unexpected death (she was really my son's other primary caretaker and adored my son and he her), and that the answer isn't (I don't think) reducing the time he has now but rather to increase it, make it more one on one, etc.

I asked him what it was he was hoping or expecting I could provide him with...I didn't want to offer suggestions if he didn't want them, but that I could also share my perceptions of our son's time there (he comes home saying that his father never plays with him, even when he asks him to, that it's already too long being over there, etc.). I also told him that our son might be overstimulated with all that's going on (there are 4 children there at visits, between the ages of 3 and 10, in a small 2 bedroom trailer), and by the time half the day is over, he may really be needing some quiet time. I suggested that the counselor needed to hear from him because she: 1) needs to have as much information about how son is doing in all situations, and he could provide valuable input to that; 2) may have some really good suggestions on how he can best work to improve the situation. He told me he would call the counselor and talk to her and then get back to me.

I've suggested additional visits on off-weekends with his other kids occasionally, for more one on one time with Zachary, he says he can't because any time he doesn't have the children, he's working. I've suggested a once or twice a week short phone call to keep contact open/regular between visits. He has declined these. There was, admittedly, a part of me that thought I should just let him shorten the visits since our son doesn't seem to want to be there and dad seems to not care less if he's there...but I know ideally, that's not the best answer.

So yesterday, I spoke with our son's counselor and she was in agreement that right now, in particular on the heels of my mom's death, would be a really bad time for our son to endure another loss by losing time with his dad. She's in agreement with my suggestion that dad spend some one on one time with son to strengthen (create???) that bond. The bad news is that dad hasn't called her so far, as he said he would. I was talking to son the night before last night about it and he said that basically, his dad doesn't play with him or the other boys, only with Jordan (who is 10). So he is very much feeling as though one sibling is getting all of the time and attention.

Dad and I talked yesterday, and it became obvious that the only solution he really wanted was for me to agree to him taking son for only half a day. He said it isn't fair to the other kids that son is so miserable in the afternoons, and doesn't want to do anything except go home. I told him that was unfortunate, but sometimes kids are in bad moods, unhappy, and it effects other people but as parents, we have to deal with that...and we're talking all of 4 hours. He said it wasn't my choice to refuse to let him cut his visit short. I told him that it was, and I would just not be here when /if he tries to bring him home early. He said "you would do that???" And I said "hell yes...he NEEDS that time with you." His reply? "Then I just won't pick him up." I said "are you serious??? Because you don't want to deal with an unhappy child and make any effort to improve your relationship with him, you'll just walk away from him and abandon him? The only way that I'm going to agree to you decreasing your time with him is if you're going to just back out of his life altogether...and that's not what's best for him." He said "I'm not picking him up." I told him "You're an asshole." Yup, I said it, and I don't regret it. And he hung up on me, of course.

I left a message for dad that if it is truly his plan not to pick up son, he needs to call and tell him and explain to him why. Now of course, I can't MAKE him call...so I am fully expecting that I'm going to have to tell son. How would you approach this? What would you even say to him? I also have a all into son's counselor to get suggestions on how to approach this with him.

Thanks in advance...I know it was a long post to read, and I appreciate the input.

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notnew

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« Reply #1 on: Jul 26, 2006, 10:35:18 AM »
And I sure do wish more of us had other parents to deal with who thought just like you do.

You should stop wasting  your time trying to convince dad to be a dad. It is degenerating into arguing. If you have a court order in place, then you should tell dad that you will follow the visitation to the letter and if he wants it changed, he needs to file the proper motions with the court. Period - end of conversation.

If he fails to pick up the child then you should keep a log of everything that happens so when and if he says in court that you have denied his time, you have something to back it up with.

What an asshole he is. I am sorry to swear, but it is true and knowing there are guys like that out there when I am fighting tooth and nail for my kid just makes me feel like beating the crap out of him.

Poor kid. Good thing you've got him in counseling. He is going to need it to get over the rejection by his father.

You have done the right thing but it is time to pull out as far as trying to convince him to do the right thing. HE is trying to get YOU to tell him what to do and you cannot do that. He needs to grow up and realize he is messing up his and that kids life.

Good luck and bless you for doing the right thing for your kid.

notnew

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« Reply #2 on: Jul 26, 2006, 10:35:54 AM »
And I sure do wish more of us had other parents to deal with who thought just like you do.

You should stop wasting  your time trying to convince dad to be a dad. It is degenerating into arguing. If you have a court order in place, then you should tell dad that you will follow the visitation to the letter and if he wants it changed, he needs to file the proper motions with the court. Period - end of conversation.

If he fails to pick up the child then you should keep a log of everything that happens so when and if he says in court that you have denied his time, you have something to back it up with.

What an asshole he is. I am sorry to swear, but it is true and knowing there are guys like that out there when I am fighting tooth and nail for my kid just makes me feel like beating the crap out of him.

Poor kid. Good thing you've got him in counseling. He is going to need it to get over the rejection by his father.

You have done the right thing but it is time to pull out as far as trying to convince him to do the right thing. HE is trying to get YOU to tell him what to do and you cannot do that. He needs to grow up and realize he is messing up his and that kids life.

Good luck and bless you for doing the right thing for your kid.

catherine

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hiya
« Reply #3 on: Jul 26, 2006, 10:51:52 AM »
I don't know what I'd say to my son in that situation.  I'd have to do whatever the counselor reccomends.  I wish you had other family nearby that Z could get to know.  Does Z know which weekends his Dad is supposed to see him?  I would avoid any Dad talk at all until the counselor reccomends what to do.

What a frickin asshole.  No, Z does not need to lose two members of his family.  I know you are doing your best to co-parent but he really doesn't seem mature enough to handle it.  Maybe he will someday?

I think about ya lot gal and hope that you are making it day by day.

catherine

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double post sorry *nt
« Reply #4 on: Jul 26, 2006, 10:52:48 AM »
I


catherine

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triple post, sorry *nt
« Reply #5 on: Jul 26, 2006, 10:53:55 AM »
I

catherine

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,, was having problems, double (or quaddruple post)
« Reply #6 on: Jul 26, 2006, 10:54:27 AM »
I

Amy_in_MA

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RE: hiya
« Reply #7 on: Jul 26, 2006, 11:17:14 AM »
Hey there. :) I just got off the phone with the counselor and she feels that it would be best for Zachary not to lose ALL contact with his dad (unless that is what his dad ends up choosing). She also said that I could leave it on Zachary's terms of when he asks/wants to see hsi dad. So I suggested talking with Zachary, asking him how he would feel about having a shorter visit with his dad, and let him know that ultimately it is mommy and daddy's decision, but we wanted to know how he felt about it. I plan to talk to him about that tonight, and I've already left a message for Rob asking him to give me a call so we can discuss a compromise. It's entirely possible that he'll just refuse to come altogether anyway. I'm not sure.

You know, it's not that Zachary won't go with anyone else. He had a sleepover (the first since my mom's death in May) with my brother and his fiancee this past Saturday night...and he had a blast! Wanted to stay there every other night. So it's not that he won't go anywhere, he just wants to go places where he feels loved and welcomed. We (counselor and I) talked about how strongly Zachary is attached to me, and that strongly attached children do better in life later with relationships and socialization, though it can drive the parents nuts (she's concerned that I never get any breaks and I desperately need them...I assured her that I would work something out with friends to get breaks even if Rob doesn't continue his visits, so I won't base my decision on that).

Anyway...I'm tired...I'm sad...I'm heartbroken, missing my mom even more because she gave so much to Zachary in terms of love, and now this...
--------------------

Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be; your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil.

     ~ James Allen
"Continue to share your heart with people, even if it's been broken." ~ Amy Poehler

Sherry1

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« Reply #8 on: Jul 26, 2006, 11:22:04 AM »
First off, I am so sorry about your mom!  

As you know, you can't force Z's father to step up to the plate and be a dad.  I don't think there is a good way on how you tell Z or try to explain it to him.  Bottom line, his dad is an ass and always will be.  I think Z's dad doesn't want to spend time with him so he is using a cop out of the half day scenario.  Does Z's dad even try to make his parenting time fun and/or eventful?  Doesn't sound like it.  Nor does it sound like he is even making an effort.

I think that whatever approach Z's counselor advises you to use will probably be the best.  Sometimes it is too emotional for the parent to see the best approach and the counselor might be able to help with it.  But like I said, I don't see any good way to tell Z.  I think Z is going to feel totally rejected, and this isn't a good time for that right now especially since he just lost his grandma!

Sherry1

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« Reply #9 on: Jul 26, 2006, 11:22:49 AM »
First off, I am so sorry about your mom!  

As you know, you can't force Z's father to step up to the plate and be a dad.  I don't think there is a good way on how you tell Z or try to explain it to him.  Bottom line, his dad is an ass and always will be.  I think Z's dad doesn't want to spend time with him so he is using a cop out of the half day scenario.  Does Z's dad even try to make his parenting time fun and/or eventful?  Doesn't sound like it.  Nor does it sound like he is even making an effort.

I think that whatever approach Z's counselor advises you to use will probably be the best.  Sometimes it is too emotional for the parent to see the best approach and the counselor might be able to help with it.  But like I said, I don't see any good way to tell Z.  I think Z is going to feel totally rejected, and this isn't a good time for that right now especially since he just lost his grandma!

 

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