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Author Topic: Wow...that mess of posts below made me rethink....  (Read 3181 times)

sweetnsad

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Wow...that mess of posts below made me rethink....
« on: Jul 13, 2004, 12:35:31 PM »
posting my question at all...  Haaha!  Anyways, here it goes...

As some of you know, I have a six year old daughter that I have custody of and her father has "reasonable access within reasonable notice"....I haven't denied him visitation, but when he calls up a few days ahead of time asking for her when plans were already made, I've had to tell him no and request that he decide on the following weekend or whenever, etc...We have no set visitation schedule and that was fine by him because he was going to school two hours away from her, had no car, and eventually no income.

Anyway, six months went by with no visitation from him (xmas to June)...he saw her one day, her birthday, because we invited him to her party and he came.  He hadn't had any overnights with her during this time.  He eventually moved home with his father in June and since then acquired himself a car....he has made attempts at visitation, but they have since ended in disaster.  Here's why:

He took her for a weekend in June to his father's home....well, the weekend was a bust.  She called me crying every few hours complaining of being hungry (he "forgot" to feed her supper) and she was very lonely.  His father lives in a very small community with very little to do.  He made no attempts to make her visit an enjoyable one and she came home very relieved.  Since then, she has absolutely refused to go back.  She wants him to come to her where we live and spend the day with her at the park, bowling, etc..(she's asked him several times to do this) and he gets very upset and says he wants her to come with him for the weekend, etc...She doesn't want to go.  She cries and becomes very, very upset when it's even mentioned that she should go visit her dad for the weekend.  

Two weekends ago, I finally convinced her to go with him, but it wasn't without a fight...she was supposed to go Friday around 4 and come home Sunday...no way!  I sent her with him crying her little eyes out, basically kicking and screaming(broke my heart).  She was home Sat morning.  He couldn't take it anymore listening to her tell him how much she missed us here.  

What do I do???  I want her to visit with him and have a relationship with him, but she isn't interested.  She never asks to call him and never wants to go with him.  It hurts him too, but he blames me for this....I haven't discouraged her in anyway.  I feel it has alot to do with her initial visit after six months...am I wrong??

Thanks for any help....


 


Ref

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have you talked to dad
« Reply #1 on: Jul 13, 2004, 12:53:53 PM »

I suggest you talk to your ex about what HE thinks can be done to make things easier. Before you talk write down ideas that you might have that may make things easier. Look over your suggestions and make sure that they can not be taken the wrong way. (this may take a couple practice sheets of paper) Incluse stuff that she loves to do that can be done in his home like coloring or movies. Let him give you ideas before you read yours to him.  

BTW, don't recommend that he spend his visitation with her at any location other than one he chooses espeially not at your house. That is really insulting.

As far as conflicting activities with time that he would like to see her, why don't you invite him to come to the event too? Maybe he could take her. She will be doing an everyday thing so she would be more comfortable and you can go run errands/get your hair done whatever.
Also, make an effort to cancel any activity you can for her to spend time with him. If she sees that you consider it a priority, then she will be more likely to see the importance of it herself.

As a matter of fact, why don't you ask him if he would like to take her to activities? A little preemptive parenting.

JMO

sweetnsad

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RE: have you talked to dad
« Reply #2 on: Jul 13, 2004, 01:18:19 PM »
>I'm not sure how old your child is but at any age kids are
>not always reliable sources of information.

Our daughter is six...she's pretty good at telling what goes on, but of course, I don't take it as bible script...that wouldn't be fair to him.

>I suggest you talk to your ex about what HE thinks can be done
>to make things easier. Before you talk write down ideas that
>you might have that may make things easier. Look over your
>suggestions and make sure that they can not be taken the wrong
>way. (this may take a couple practice sheets of paper) Incluse
>stuff that she loves to do that can be done in his home like
>coloring or movies. Let him give you ideas before you read
>yours to him.  

I have done this...I have talked to him and asked him what he could do to make her visits more enjoyable....he has tried...he took her to the movies and to the carnival (on her second overnight visit), but it never made any difference.  She still refuses to budge.  I've suggested things to him like watching a movie and making popcorn, taking her on her bike, etc...but she still doesn't want to go.  I just don't know what else I can do....Does the fact that she now has two little sisters here with us have anything to do with it??  Maybe she doesn't like to leave them, I don't know....
>
>BTW, don't recommend that he spend his visitation with her at
>any location other than one he chooses espeially not at your
>house. That is really insulting.

I haven't recommended that he do this...our daughter has.  She constantly asks him to come to our town to spend the day with her.  I'm not sure why, but she isn't comfortable going to his town and spending overnights.  I don't like making her go crying if she doesn't want to go that badly.  
>
>As far as conflicting activities with time that he would like
>to see her, why don't you invite him to come to the event too?
>Maybe he could take her. She will be doing an everyday thing
>so she would be more comfortable and you can go run
>errands/get your hair done whatever.
>Also, make an effort to cancel any activity you can for her to
>spend time with him. If she sees that you consider it a
>priority, then she will be more likely to see the importance
>of it herself.

When I say no to a particular weekend that he's asked for her two or three days in advance, it's because we are going to visit my step children...they live two hours away and we stay at my inlaws...I don't think my ex would be very welcome or feel very comfortable going.  Also, I'm not going to include my ex husband in every activity that we have going on in our lives....we have a life of our own.  She is involved in soccer and he's been more than welcome to go to her games and practices (he's gone two times)..but I am not going to cancel any plans that we've made just to accomodate him.  That's not fair.  I've never gotten in the way of him having her or spending time with her.  I don't think he should be cutting in on time that she spends with us either.  

We do things as a family, just like she should do things with her dad.  But, how can I force her to do something she doesn't want to do?  How do I fix this so she wants to be with him?

Ref

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Sorry
« Reply #3 on: Jul 13, 2004, 01:35:47 PM »
I seem to not have been much of a help.

I don't blame you for not wanting to bring your ex to your step children's home. That would be entirely inappropriate for most people. I was thinking more on the lines of sports.

For the most part I agree with you with not canceling your plans to suit him, not as a rule. On occasion, to help things along, maybe you can shift around your schedule.

You are in a pickle and I have heard others with the same problem (on the other side) on this board. Some people say that kids grow out of this.

The only other thing I can think of is to put together a regular visitation schedule. If it is a bit more consistent, then maybe she will be more comfortable.

Good Luck! This is a toughy

sweetnsad

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RE: Sorry
« Reply #4 on: Jul 13, 2004, 02:11:28 PM »
No, no...you've helped...I wasn't trying to be mean or anything...you were right to assume when I wasn't clear on some things.  

Initially we had it so he would take her every second weekend.  She enjoyed this very much.  Then, it went to once a month or so because he started going to school again.  From there, it was occasionally, because he lost his car and became very financially unstable (not new for him, he's been in this boat before)....finally, it just stopped altogether because he was unemployed and "couldn't afford to see her".

I understand that finances affect everything, but his lack of time with her seems to have affected her greatly.  That first overnight visit in six months just seemed to turn her off from going with him altogether and I don't know what to do to fix it.  

Thanks


Forthelittleones

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ok
« Reply #5 on: Jul 13, 2004, 07:44:07 PM »
Here are my suggestions..

Is daughter in counseling?  If so, with Dad?  It seems that your daughter might feel abandoned by her Dad since she did enjoy seeing him on every 2nd weekend.

I would use tough love.  As her mother you are obligated to ensure that she has a relationship with her Dad.  This is what I would do..

I would tell use a reintro phase such as one overnight for 2 visits then 2 overnights.  During this time, let her be with her Dad and let him deal with her.  Do not talk with her for the time she is gone.  She and Dad need to figure this thing out.  You can be there for her when she comes home and to help them work through this together.

Just my two cents!

sweetnsad

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RE: ok
« Reply #6 on: Jul 14, 2004, 04:17:56 AM »
I appreciate your suggestion, and it sounds like the right thing to do, but how do you actually do it??  I would find that sooo hard.  Especially not talking to her the whole time she is there....I worry about her so much.  

But, it would probably work, because if she isn't talking to me, she's concentrating on him.  I know I'm obligated to ensure she has a relationship with him...that's why I'm here.  I have tried forcing her, but when she cries her heart out and is absolutely miserable, what do I do??  Tough love, it is...

*Sigh*...being a parent IS the hardest job in the world....but, the most rewarding...:)

Forthelittleones

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RE: ok
« Reply #7 on: Jul 14, 2004, 06:12:21 AM »
She is 6 right?  You can probable still pick her up and place her in his car  and let her know that you love her and will see her in a couple of days.

My SD cries when she gets in our car and makes her mom all worried.  Within 2 miles she is laughing and ggiggling with Dad.  Why does she do this?  I haven't a clue but she does enjoy her time with Dad.  then about an hour before she goes home, she switches modes and wont say I love you   or hug us or anything.  Again why?  I haven't a clue.

Her therapist says she is trying to disengage from her dad so she doesn't miss him as much and about the crying with mom - she says she is trying to please her mother.

Anyway, I digress.  Good luck!

hisliltulip

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RE: ok
« Reply #8 on: Jul 14, 2004, 09:04:02 AM »
I have to agree with forthelittleones.

My son sees his Dad sporatically at times too.  DS went through the phase of crying while being put in his Dad's truck, and would cry when I called to talk to him.

I stopped calling.  It was too stressful for DS.  I can survive two days without talking to him, you can survive two days without talking to her.

I realize that you worry about her, but she's with her Dad for that time.  It's his time.

And I (and ex) in the past would cater to DS's crying during drop-off.  Extra hugs, kisses, I love you's, etc.  Ex even called me while on my cell phone once as I was getting on the exit to pull over and give son one more kiss.

I talked to ex after that visit and told him that we needed to try something new.

DS gets kisses and hugs before being put in car, then one kiss and hug after he is strapped in.  After that, I get in car, and leave.  Three visits later, he was doing the trade off fine.  A lot of it was a power struggle with DS I think, but he is a little drama king.

Don't let your daughter see your distress when she is throwing a fit.  That just makes them freak out more (If Mommy is upset, than I should be even more upset).

Hang in there.  It is a tough thing when the Father's don't adhere to a normal schedule, but try to make the best of it.

Oh, and another thing I found helped DS when his Dad was not around was to have son color him a picture, or "write" him a letter (DS will dictate, I transcribe, then DS signs it).  We stick a stamp on it, and send it in the mail.  It helps DS because he gets to contact his Dad (and what kid doesn't like mailing stuff?), plus it helps with Ex staying in contact too.  He gets the letter (or Pic), gets to thinking about son and calls to see him.

Good Luck, it can be hard, but your daughter will get through this phase.

Bolivar OH

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RE: Wow...that mess of posts below made me rethink....
« Reply #9 on: Jul 14, 2004, 04:55:18 PM »
Ask him to post on this site.  I would be interested in how as a parent he will be emotionally dealing with this problem.  

A book for him I would highly recommend is:

Dr. Jayne Major
Breakthrough Parenting Inc.
2118 Wilshire Blvd. #987
Santa Monica, CA 90403
Phone: (310) 207-9977
Links:
http://www.breakthroughparenting.com/
http://www.bpinaction.org


P.S. sweetnsad I wish you were my X :-) .  Children need a father; it is too bad he is acting so foolishly.  I have spent huge sums of money and time to get more time with my son.

sweetnsad

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RE: Wow...that mess of posts below made me rethink....
« Reply #10 on: Jul 15, 2004, 04:48:12 AM »

>P.S. sweetnsad I wish you were my X :-) .  Children need a
>father; it is too bad he is acting so foolishly.  I have spent
>huge sums of money and time to get more time with my son.

Boliver...thank you...how sweet!  I do believe children need both their parents....my fiance is so blown away by how much I try to encourage my daughter's relationship with her father.  His ex doesn't try at all with his three children.  If he dropped off the face of the earth and still managed to pay her cs, she would be very happy.  Sad, huh?

I just feel so bad for our daughter...she seems torn and I did call a child psychologist yesterday to make an appointment...just to see if she will open up.  But, yes, he is acting foolishly and it angers me....the only person he is hurting is her by "coming and going" whenever it's convenient for him.  What about how it makes her feel??  :(

Thanks to everyone for the advice.  



lacunar

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RE: have you talked to dad
« Reply #11 on: Jul 15, 2004, 08:19:14 AM »
I would guess the reason she wants the vistis to be near her familar activities is so she can share her life with HIM.  She wants him in her life, that is obvious.  But what it seems like to me is that his world doesn't interst her because HER world doesn't interest him.

If you somehow gracefully explain to him that this her way of reaching out for him, and that he can show her how much it means to him that she cares that much for him by letting her take the lead, then he may understand.

Finally, I suggest that you and he schedule a visit routine that introduces some predictable expectation in your daughter's routine.

rini

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RE: Wow...that mess of posts below made me rethink....
« Reply #12 on: Jul 16, 2004, 09:04:59 AM »
dear sweetnsad

i have been dealing with a similar situation for years and i have opted to take the less traveled road and allow visitation with next to no notice.

dad has a job that changes his schedule every week he hardly ever has weekends off and if i would have made him stick to standard visitation he would have probably not had visitation except perhaps once a year on his summer week ..  and that would have been if i would have accepted last minute notification,.

my kids have not had a workable schedule for over 8 years but what they have had is irreplaceable and that is a relationship with their dad because i sacrificed having a schedule written in stone and allowed it for the good of the kids.  whether it will pay off or not in value with the kids educations and what not remains to be seen but for now i have 3 half decent teen agers .....  and when compared to other peoples teenagers sometimes they seem pretty good ...... other timeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesssssss   wellllllllllll...........................


if my plans for the kids were not overwhelmingly important (like a family wedding or birthday)  i always let the kids choose when notice was given late and plans had been made..  I always tried to work out so dad could have part of a holiday if he had to work that day even if it was just a few hours to take the kids to his parents..  

i can check in with my maker and know that i have done everything i possibly can to make sure dad was involved even when his job precluded involvement  ( i have even gone so far as to offer suspension of child support so he can find another type of work)  

All we can do is try the rest is up to them..........

rini

 

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