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  1. #1
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    Default simple rant (feel free to advise)

    ex supposed to visit our 3 kids (2, 4, 7) 3 days a week (tue, fri, sat).. most weeks that doesn't happen

    he won't 'confirm' when he will turn up
    his life is a mess (owes money everywhere/debt collectors rining up)
    he never has his phone on/refuses to answer even if he has the kids/does not respond to texts (recentlly said 'listen no phone no visit.. to which he said 'okay I won't bother visiting the kids' all this in front of our children) ended up having to back down on that one because he just wouldn't see the kids anyway
    he has mental health issues (depression/compulsive liar/prescription drug addict)

    this week.. usual issues.. never know when he's coming/if he's coming..
    tue said he'd collect son from school if raining - it was raining so text to confirm.. no answer.. I rang.. no answer.. left message.. ended up collecting our son, just as well I did as he didn't show
    thur - said he 'might' pop by after work at 2pm.. didn't show, no answer to calls/texts
    friday - no show/no reason given
    wanted to swap saturday visit for sunday... text me yesterday to say he'd be round at 9am.. I text back to ask if he was taking our youngest son (he rarely takes all 3 of them for a day visit as it's too much for him) no answer back..
    this morning 7 am text saying 'not coming will see them tue'


    now I couldn't give a rants if he turns up or not (frankly it's one day less I have to see his pathetic face/lies etc..) but what do I tell the kids?
    I text him and said he really needed to tell the kids himself he wasn't coming.. no answer.. text again and said 'just letting you know 7 year old is getting very angry about this' .. no answer

    my oldest (7) is getting this sort of inner rage.. I can see it.. he's starting to become an angry young boy.. the other two (2, 4) don't seem to notice.. my daughter doesn't really care that much but my son (2) is asking all weekend for daddy so think it's a boy/dad thing.. they need their dad.. just so sad for them. so frustrated. don't know what to say to them.. I just try to keep it short and simple 'daddy's not coming, I don't know why' and I'm sorting of saying to them 'well did you really expect him to turn up?' to which they say 'no'.. I don't want to bad mouth him as that doesn't help the kids.. but really.. what do I say? just trying to lower their expectations but really.. how much lower can they go?
    my 7 year old was crying this morning about it and it breaks my heart - they will grow up to hate him (and it will all be my fault won't it according to ex).. just sad.. the boys need their dad, they have no father role model - none at all!
    my step dad is great and helps out a bit but he's 62.. he took them for a little swim yesterday and when he found out ex wasn't showing today he offered to take them out for a little bit to the shops for a cake.. but really it's not his job - they have a father.. just glad my step dad is there really otherwise I'd really worry when they become teenagers they will be angry young men..

    advice welcome... what to say to kids (esp oldest)?, how to deal with difficult ex that won't stick to visitation times/won't turn phone on.

  2. #2
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    I lowered my daughter expectations. I told her that Dad was like Peter Pan, that he loved her very much but he couldn't grow up properly to be a Dad. I told her that its great when dad comes but everything is also great when he doesn't. I didn't tell her when he said he was coming, so she wasn't waiting for him, I may have said "your dad might be here today". It changed as she got older. Now spending time with him is an inconvienence to her. Karma

    If you have a son that is starting to have anger issues about his Dad it might be worthwhile speaking to a professional for extra help.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by beancounter View Post
    I lowered my daughter expectations. I told her that Dad was like Peter Pan, that he loved her very much but he couldn't grow up properly to be a Dad. I told her that its great when dad comes but everything is also great when he doesn't. I didn't tell her when he said he was coming, so she wasn't waiting for him, I may have said "your dad might be here today". It changed as she got older. Now spending time with him is an inconvienence to her. Karma

    If you have a son that is starting to have anger issues about his Dad it might be worthwhile speaking to a professional for extra help.
    I took him for some councilling once before but it was going to cost a lot (and be on his 'record' for life they told me which freaked me out a bit).. might consider it again.

    well slight update: ex rang the kids and told them he was sorry... I asked him (in my gentle non-confrontational tone) why can't he see them.. he said he had a form to fill in.. I kid you not! I told him that really wasn't an excuse and explained how our son is getting very angry.. he just said he'd make it up to them i.e. buy them things)

    what really upsets me I think is my parents divorced when I was 13.. I saw my dad every second weekend but once I got to about 17 we didn't see much of each other and as I've gotten older I pretty much never hear from him or see him.. it's created a huge hole in my life not having much contact with my father.. he lives overseas now and I see him once a year perhaps.. when I do see him he wants to play 'daddy' and I have nothing to give him.. nothing left I just lowered my expectations so much I couldn't give a sh*t if I see him or not.. it's sad as I really need him so much in my life but mentally (and now physically) he's away from me and we can't build bridges back again it's just too far now.. I just see the same thing happening with my kids and am totally helpless about it.. just soo upsetting to think they will have a father-shaped-hole in their lives and it's all my fault for picking a lazy-liar for a father for them. my poor choices have given them this life!

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    I think counselling might be a good idea - at least they might know how to explain the situation better as they aren't emotionally involved plus it's what they're trained to do. If it goes on his permanent record, who will have access to that? No one would judge him for having a bit of counselling at a young age to help with his parents separation.

    Just my non-experienced opinion :-)

  5. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to MoonMoon For This Useful Post:

    Mod-Myztik  (29-01-2012),murrythecat  (29-01-2012)

  6. #5
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    I don't think my daughter has issues about her Dad, she only sees him maybe 3x a year (his choice), I'm pretty happy with life, we have a lot of friends we see and so she has a full life with lots of good people around and plenty of support - I worked at that, made sure she had other adults in her life she was close to. I think kids can grow up just fine in a single parent household.

    And what is "permanent record"? A 7yo can see a counsellor and it wont have ANY impact on his future. You can probably see the counsellor at school for free. When my father died my daughter spoke to the school chaplain (and we aren't religious) and that helped her.
    Last edited by beancounter; 29-01-2012 at 09:23.

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    Quote Originally Posted by beancounter View Post
    I lowered my daughter expectations. I told her that Dad was like Peter Pan, that he loved her very much but he couldn't grow up properly to be a Dad. I told her that its great when dad comes but everything is also great when he doesn't. I didn't tell her when he said he was coming, so she wasn't waiting for him, I may have said "your dad might be here today". It changed as she got older. Now spending time with him is an inconvienence to her. Karma

    If you have a son that is starting to have anger issues about his Dad it might be worthwhile speaking to a professional for extra help.
    ^ This. Honesty with the pointy edges taken off it is the best approach in my experience. Your younger ones don't necessarily have to take big scars with them through life as they're so young they won't remember what having him was like. Keep it short and sweet and always the same simple explanation when they ask…you could even ask them to tell you why after you’ve had the conversation several times so they find their own answers.

    Your seven year old will be able to understand the situation and place blame where it is due. He can handle a less sugar coated explanation but still try to make it a little less than it really is to protect him. Let him be angry and direct his anger towards the person that deserves it. Anger is a totally natural emotion; it's just what we do with anger that can be a problem. Let him explore his anger in a safe environment without allowing any violence. Listen to him vent his anger; agree where it's warranted, etc. Anger is the result of hurt, once he has exhausted his anger he'll be very hurt and you'll be there to kiss him better.

    Letting anger out is healthy, bottling it up isn't. It's how we let it out that's important. We can’t protect them from being hurt but we can help them protect themselves emotionally. Distancing himself emotionally and physically from his father might be his way of dealing with it. My son went through a stage where he refused to see his father, then a stage where he did see him – the end result being that his father stood him up regularly for five years. He’s older now and still deals with his father not showing up for arranged contact. In fact, it’s been 18 months of not seeing him and his father texting him 10 minutes before he is due to arrive to cancel. I know it hurts my son and that breaks my heart, but my son says he knows his father will do that now so he doesn’t get his hopes up too much. I don’t say anything negative about his father to him, but I do caution him occasionally not to count on seeing him or doing the things he promises to do with him.

    I hope this helps somehow, knowing that it is possible for kids to get through it. I know my son is scarred from the situation but he has survived it and in view of not actually being able to change the situation myself, I did my best to help him through it in a way that taught him to explore his anger verbally, and then make decisions on how he could protect himself emotionally from the hurt he’d feel when his father let him down, and then wrapping him up in a big warm hug when he exhausted his anger and needed my love.

    PS: Just read posts that came in while I was typing. Honey, your kids don't have to have a father shaped hole in their lives. Find ways to make that hole null and void. It's not your fault he's an @ss but don't, not for a second, think that this has to define their lives or be something they have to carry like you do. They have you, a caring loving mother with their best interests at heart.

    Counselling is an awesome idea too. Like a PP said, a counsellor is able to guide them through without an emotional involvement, but also with their educated knowledge on how to help fix the problem. It's their field of expertise so they will have the expert answers...and that is counselling for your children, not for their father. You'll never be able to work with him so give up on that line of thought.



    PPS: And maybe some counselling for yourself to help take some of the hurt out of your heart this man has helped create? The less you hurt the less your kids will hurt.

    Last edited by Willow; 29-01-2012 at 09:52.

  8. #7
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    thanks - great advice

    re trying to change ex - yes realise that will never. trying hard to deal with how I resond, getting better over time but he really is trying. I often try not to build up my expectations of having a 'break' when he is supposed to take the kids and then doesn't show it annoys me I can't plan anything properly.

    I might look in to councilling again.. the school did offer some but the waiting list was over a year long (might put his name down again).. when I've taken him before they want to discuss my 'issues'.. I had some serious health complications having each of my 3 children.. having the last one nearly killed me I wa so ill and they always want to discuss that with me and the divorce and then my own father issues... that I find it just opens up a can of worms. My son is also very dramatic and I feel he sort of feeds of the attention he gets when asked how he 'feels' so sometimes wonder about making it a bigger issue in his mind.. but I should probably look into it more. last time we went the councilor said that when boys are 8 they need thei fathers (and girls need their mums).. if the same sex parent is absent from their lives at that age then that is when you can end up with big problems down the line.. my son is 8 in November so I should probably look into him going again.

  9. #8
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    I've used the Relationships Australia service before.. they do counselling & they also do mediation, child inclusive conferences and family counselling. It could be worth taking the kids for some counselling & working towards a conference with the kids' father after a few sessions? Creating a safe environment for the kids, particularly Mr 7, get the message across.

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    Quote Originally Posted by murrythecat View Post
    thanks - great advice

    re trying to change ex - yes realise that will never. trying hard to deal with how I resond, getting better over time but he really is trying. I often try not to build up my expectations of having a 'break' when he is supposed to take the kids and then doesn't show it annoys me I can't plan anything properly.

    I might look in to councilling again.. the school did offer some but the waiting list was over a year long (might put his name down again).. when I've taken him before they want to discuss my 'issues'.. I had some serious health complications having each of my 3 children.. having the last one nearly killed me I wa so ill and they always want to discuss that with me and the divorce and then my own father issues... that I find it just opens up a can of worms. My son is also very dramatic and I feel he sort of feeds of the attention he gets when asked how he 'feels' so sometimes wonder about making it a bigger issue in his mind.. but I should probably look into it more. last time we went the councilor said that when boys are 8 they need thei fathers (and girls need their mums).. if the same sex parent is absent from their lives at that age then that is when you can end up with big problems down the line.. my son is 8 in November so I should probably look into him going again.
    Believe it or not, when you do go through your past you come out the other end of it more whole and able to deal with what has happened. It doesn't ever go away but you can sort of find your peace with it.

    I do think it's very beneficial for boys to have fathers or a male role model - having a bunch of them myself and wishing I could magically produce a male for them, but they do get by without one and can do so in perfectly good shape.

    What I have found is that getting them involved in some sort of interest where they can have male mentors for that interest helps a lot. My eldest (not going to brag too much about him as he's not my finest example) did swimming. The next one down has taken on a musical instrument within a group that has a lot of men who are all really nice strong male type men who he can look up to. Soccer has also been a good one when the coach has been mature and committed enough to his team, sometimes though it's just a teenager from teh club who's been roped into coaching the younger teams and they're usually pretty lacking.

    Your son will be fine, it's you I'm worried about. If you are happy and fulfilled your son will just sort of follow suite. I know that sounds crazy but a happy mum makes for a happy family. I wish you were closer, we could do play-dates and dinner etc. It's always so much easier to have a few great friends you can spend quality time with.


  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willow View Post
    Your son will be fine, it's you I'm worried about. If you are happy and fulfilled your son will just sort of follow suite. I know that sounds crazy but a happy mum makes for a happy family. I wish you were closer, we could do play-dates and dinner etc. It's always so much easier to have a few great friends you can spend quality time with.

    thanks.. I really do need to widen my circle of friends tbh.. I have a few very close friends but they are newly married/busy/working etc.. so hard to catch up with them. I do have a wider outer-circle of friends but I wouldn't really hang out with them much face to face.. more friends of friends. what I need are more single mum friends for catch ups.

    I've been sooo down this weekend it's just been terrible. I know I'm getting a bit depressed when I'm on the verg of tears all the time. I had a reallly long hard trying 4 days.. thur ex was supposed to see kids but didn't, friday was his visitation day but he didn't see them, saturday was long and hard and sunday ex piked again and didn't see the kids so really haven't had much relief. my 2 year old is toilet raining and my 4 year old has suddenly started pooing her pants for some weird reason (4 times a day!) so I've literally been up to my wrists in poo all long weekend.. and it's been raining so they were really bored inside.. just horrible long weekend. it's hard because I want to cherrish every moment with them but I just felt like cr@p all weekend. kids were in school/kindy today and I managed to get out for the first time in days so felt a little better. uni starts again end of feb so that will keep me busy and then when it finishes I'll be looking for work so I just have to try and keep going.


 

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