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First visitation

Started by stressedoutmom, Nov 09, 2009, 01:20:23 PM

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My son's BF is long distance and doesn't see him very often, so I have worries like you. The conversations that you are having sound good, nice and simple. Your daughter will take cues from you. If you don't make it a big deal, just someone else who loves her and wants to see her, she won't see it as a big deal.  That's how you present it to daughter, even if you are worried about impacts.  Don't let her see it. Treat it the way you would if one of your relatives was coming to visit her. No talk about the future, or any big build ups about seeing him. Just, we are going to see dad tomorrow at McDonald's. It will be fun to play there won't it? (You don't know whether he will play with her or talk to her or what, so don't build up his behavior to her or create any expectations, except to let her know that she should expect to see him) Over time, she will develop her own relationship with dad, and dad will be the one who controls the nature of the relationship. You don't have any control over him and what he does or how often he comes. He will be the parent that he chooses to be. You can only control how you react in the situation. Try not to build yourself up too much either, that way you won't be disappointed.

I know what you are looking for, and I know the ways in which you imagine it might be great. You can try to give him advice, but he will probably just resent it (often what he hears is that you think he is too incompetent to figure it out himself). Just let him interact the way he wants to, and hopefully he will figure it out (unless there are some special medical issues with child that need to be conveyed, ect..). But he will have to figure it out on his own. Even if he doesn't you and she will be ok.


Goodness...who are  you and why are writing about my life? hehehe J/k.

I could have written your post nearly word for word!  My X walked out when I was 6 months pregnant with our daughter.  I was really close to HIS family so I didn't feel completly cut out.  When my daughter was born, HIS sister was in the delivery room with me, she tried to find him, but he didn't show.  He came to the hospital the next morning, spent about 20 min with her then took off again.  I tried working out a plan with him...nothing.  I filed for CS and it took nearly 3 years to get that going becuase he would evade service.  Finally the CS hearing came about and the judge asked him if he wanted visitation, he said no.  But my daughter was very close to HIS family.  She would spend weekends with Grammy and Pappy, birthday parties with her cousins and spend time with HIS sisters.

Then Pappy died.  My daughter had just turned 6 y/o and I debated taking her to the funeral because I knew HE would be there.  Because my daughter was so close to her Pappy, I knew she needed to go and say goodbye.  We got to the church and sure enough, he was there.  He came over to where we were standing....said "hi" and asked if we could talk afterward.  I said of course.  When he walked away, my daughter asked "Who was that?"...I just said "I'll tell you in a little while".

After the service, he sought us out, I left daughter playing with her cousins and Aunt.  He had his back to me at first and when he turned around he had tears streaming down his face...I thought it was because of the death of his father...turns out he was crying because he realized what a huge mistake he'd made with our daughter.  He said "she is the most beautiful girl he's ever seen".  We talked about him getting to know her and I was relieved!!

So we walked back to the area the kids were playing and my daughter came up to me and again asked "Mommy...who is that?"  I knelt down and said "Honey...this is your father."  Her eyes got huge and she looked up at him...and said "hi".  He then knelt down..said "hi" back....she then launched herself into his arms.  I sat there bawling like a baby....because finally...she had met her father.  Now he had a daughter from a previous relationship that is a few years older than my daughter....I was surprised to find out that HE also had gotten custody of her.  So my daughter also got to meet her 1/2 sister and my daughter was thrilled even more!!! 

We talked about her seeing him more...he would come by for a few hours a couple times a week.  Then he'd take her out for a couple hours and then eventually led to her staying the night at HIS sister's house (a place where daughter was comfortable).  All of that led to her spending weekends with him.

About 3 years after that, I finally met the man of my dreams and got married.  My DH was offered a position that we couldn't turn down and so we ended up moving.  Daughter's father lives in MD and we now live in FL.  I didn't have to go to court because I still maintain SOLE custody...but her father wasn't against my move either.  Now I fly daughter up to him on her school breaks.  She'll be going up next month for 2 weeks, then she'll probably go for spring break and a few weeks in the summer.  They talk on the phone a couple times a week as well.

My daughter was 6 when she met her Father....it took them some time to get to know each other...but if you're supportive, then it will be the BEST thing for your daughter to meet her father...it was for mine!!
Now I'm living....Just another day in Paradise!!


Giggles, Thank you so much for your post.  I needed to hear that things can work out for the best.  I'm sorry that it took a death in the family for it to work out but none the less I'm glad it did. 

I am trying to hard to go in to this with a positive and encouraging attitude but still have doubts in the back of my head and trying to figure out what all of a sudden changed his mind.  I may never know that and really its not important.  What is important now is how we move forward.  He and I haven't talked to each other in over 3 years so I'm a little nervous on how everything is going to go.  I am glad that he agreed to meet with me first so that we can together figure out what is the best way to introduce them.  I do want his input on what would make him comfortable and I know what ideas I have as to what would make her comfortable.  The more comfortable he is the more likely he is to continue to see her.  I am also hoping that since he and I are going to sit down today for the first time in 3 years that we can get some of the awkwardness between the two of us out of the way so we will both be more relaxed when they do meet each other.

I'll keep you posted with how this goes.  Thank you all for your support! 


How did it go with the BF??

If you are able to have good communication, putting all pettyness aside and really work for the benefit of the child, then anything is really possible.

I did want to suggest that once the relationship is established, it might be a good idea to hammer out an incredibly detailed parenting plan.  That way should an issue present itself, you and the BF are covered.

Thankfully, my daughter is old enough to tell her father how she feels.  If she feels he doesn't call her enough, she calls him up and lets him have it.  I've taught her to be independent and to express her feelings.  She knows she can talk to me about anything and if she complains to me about her father, I simply tell her that she needs to discuss that with him...she and him control their relationship and that's how it should be!
Now I'm living....Just another day in Paradise!!


Things yesterday went way better than I ever could have imagined!  I did ask him why he all of a sudden decided that he wanted to see her.  He told me that it isn't all of a sudden and that he's wanted to see her for a long time but he was scared and didn't really know how to ask or how I would react.  He also said he did it now because he wanted to do it before its too late.  I gave him credit and told him that I'm sure it was a hard message for him to write.  He said he had written it many times but never hit the send button.  I still think that there is some other underlying reason as to why he decided to do it now but whatever it is he is he apparently doesn't want to share right now and I'm not going to push the issue.  If whatever it is can bring about a positive relationship between the two of them I don't really care what it is.

I told him that I was concerned about his level of committment.  I told him that I don't want to see her devestated because we introduce him to her and then he stops seeing her.  He assures me that he is committed to this and that won't happen.  I have nothing to go on but his word and have no reason to believe he was insincere.  In the past when he would give you his word he would stick by it.  The problem back then was getting him to express what he wanted. 

We also talked about how the two of us are going to need to be able to communicate open and honestly with each other so as things come up we can address them together as parents and not be the parents that can't stand to be in the same room with each other. 

Overall, I am very happy with the way the conversation went.  I think it was good for both of us to talk to each other and I think it will be beneficial to her.  We have a plan to meet at the park next week, pending the weather cooperates. 

My daughter was at her gymnastics class when he and I talked and she had no idea that I was going to talk to her dad.  I was very careful not to say anything around her until after he and I had talked.  So after gym class my daughter and I were shopping and out of no where she started saying things like Where's my dad?  What's he doing?  It's almost like she had a sixth sense or something.  But at least it opened up a conversation between her and I about her dad and if she would like to meet him, etc. 


I am glad it went well.  Sounds like you guys are off to a good start.

I hope you guys are able to continue working together for your daughter's sake.  Good luck and don't forget to update us when your DD meets her dad.

Kitty C.

Wonderful!  I'm so glad everything started off on the right foot!  As for his reasons for waiting so long, consider what he said to be the honest-to-God's truth.  You said: 'In the past when he would give you his word he would stick by it.  The problem back then was getting him to express what he wanted.'  The operative phrase is the second sentence...if men have no clue how women think, then this is the area that women have difficulty with men.  Yes, it IS very hard for them to speak from the heart, because so many of them have had it ingrained in their system that they have to be 'tough'.  Even my DH can have a difficult time expressing himself, if he remotely feels that it might upset me.

And I've also come to understand that many men have difficulty with rejection, so if he said he was worried about how you'd react to his wanting a relationship with his daughter, he spoke the truth there, too.  He was afraid of being rejected for it.  That also may go back to your statement that you could be 'intimidating' and I'm sure that may have been a factor, as well.

But you spoke volumes when you said when he gives his word, he sticks to it.  Take him for his word, because you have no reason to believe otherwise.  Just don't go looking for trouble when there's none there.  Take it slow and steady and enjoy watching your child blossom in this new aspect of her life.

You both have started off on the right foot and I will be praying that all goes well for you all and you are both able to effectively co-parent for her.......all in all, your daughter is the winner here!
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......


So I thought I would give you guys the update.  So I've spent the last few days trying to prepare my daughter to meet her dad.  We've spent some time talking about dads in general and then specifically her dad.  So tonight he came over.  He brought her a princess balloon which of course was a good move on his part.  The visit was amazing.  She is usually shy and a little slow to open up to new people but not him.  I don't know if it was just the instant connection between parents and children or if it was the princess balloon.  They laid on the floor and colored together, sang songs together and she even had him crawling on his hands and knees so she could ride him like a pony.  I just kind of stepped back and let the two of them play together but she knew that I was there.  I couldn't have asked for it to go any better.  We all three had smiles on our faces the whole time.  He wants to come over again on Friday.  Personally, I think it is a little soon but I agreed to it because I think she has been without him for 3 1/2 years so if this is what it will take to get their relationship off to to a good start then that's what we will do.  I'm so excited that it went so well, I just hope it continues!


I am so happy for all of you that I could just about cry.  I hope everything continues to go smoothly.

Kitty C.

That is absolutely wonderful!!!!!!!  I am SO glad for your daughter that it went so well!

You may think that him coming again on Friday is too soon, but I think that the combination of the first visit going so well and his desire to come back so soon is absolutely what your daughter needs!  And I think you're right.....I think there was an instant connection between them and they have YOU to thank for that because you prepared her in advance and you did it right.

Trust your instincts and the lead of your daughter........you are doing great so far and your daughter will thank both you and her father for it.
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......