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  1. #1
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    Default Step son does not want to see bio dad

    I have a situation I have no idea how to deal with. My 4.5yr step son does not want to go to his dad's house now. The last couple times when he was meant to go, he basically threw a 10 minute tantrum right in front of everyone. Today has been the bio dad's birthday and the same thing happened and bio dad broke down outside afterward.

    I try to ask my step son what is the matter but he never tells me exactly what is going on. The mother and I have managed to find out from him that he 'fights' his son (rough play fighting?).

    This really sucks because both the mother and the bio dad don't like talking to each other and rather me be some sort of mediator or something!

    I'm a strong believer that the biological father has the right to see his own kids unless there is violence or some other issue, of course. At the same time, I realise that a 4.5yr old can't be forced to go see his dad if he is that much against it.

    What would another step dad do in my situation? I feel like it needs to be resolved but I don't seem to have the power or experience with kids/other parents to pull this off. I'm out of my league.

  2. #2
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    I don't have very much experience with this but after reading your thread the first thing I thought was for you all to catch up together (not sure how great relationship is between bio parents) a couple of times (at bio dads house). Not much help sorry.

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    My step daughter went through a stage of not wanting to come to our house when she was around 4.5 as well, not because of anything we had done just that she had had a good time at bio mums and didn't want to leave or sometimes bio mum had been upset and SD didn't want to leave her, but as soon as bio mum would leave my SD would have a great time with us.
    Just keep encouraging him to go and dont make a big deal of when he throws a tantrum as this will make it worse, the stage will pass hopefully

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    My 5 year old step daughter did this and we organised counselling and the reason she didn't want to come see her dad was her biomum told her how sad she was every weekend when she had to leave and the only other reason we got was we don't have tv's in bedrooms so she couldn't watch a movie if she got bored at bed time (both my step daughters have had tv's in bedrooms since the parents split so the now 5 year old has watched tv every night at bedtime from a baby). After a few weeks she stopped complaining- she does get great joy out of visiting- we do lots of trips to the park/pool etc and our house is set up with lots of games, play equipment etc so whilst we don't gave tv she's hardly expected to stare at the wall.

  5. #5
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    The bio mother and dad need to grow up, put any bad feelings aside and talk to each other for the sake of their kid. Between them they should be able to find a cause for the child not
    Wanting to go to dads. You shouldn't have to play piggy in the middle.

    Perhaps if the parents stayed around a bit at handover (had a cup of tea together, or lunch), the child would feel more comfortable.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by VicPark View Post
    The bio mother and dad need to grow up, put any bad feelings aside and talk to each other for the sake of their kid. Between them they should be able to find a cause for the child not
    Wanting to go to dads. You shouldn't have to play piggy in the middle.

    Perhaps if the parents stayed around a bit at handover (had a cup of tea together, or lunch), the child would feel more comfortable.

    I completely agree with you, however, the mother's motivation to actually do that isn't there anymore, thus no desire to fix the situation. That leaves me.

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    Coming from a kid of a broken family, and having spoken to kids from broken families, part of it may the disruption of routines etc

    I hated going to see my dad as a kid (apart from the awful step mother) - I hated packing my bag, saying goodbye, I hated packing to come home and saying goodbye - I felt unwanted and out of sync.

    I know from other kids what did help was if they were picked up from say school or kinder and then they felt like they WERE going 'home' and then going to school or kinder on Monday and the other parent collecting the child after school.

    I think there may not actually be a problem like tv's and rough fighting, but rather the swap over has become stressful, the change in environments, the how was your week conversation etc.

    Our neighbors found their kids liked a park/play time swap over and death better with that than leaving from home - so Mum would take them to a park, they'd play for awhile, Dad would be there, they'd all play for a few minutes and the child woul dog home with Dad. This was not because of hostility,but a changeover on neutral ground felt like the child WAS going 'home' after being out for a play.

    Maybe if you took DS to the park, kicked the footy, his Dad joined in and then dad takes him home *might* help.

  8. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to WorkingClassMum For This Useful Post:

    BenTas83  (25-07-2012),lovesushi  (15-07-2012),Maia  (25-07-2012),OJandMe  (26-07-2012),share a book  (15-07-2012),Stiflers Mom  (15-07-2012)

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenTas83 View Post
    I completely agree with you, however, the mother's motivation to actually do that isn't there anymore, thus no desire to fix the situation. That leaves me.
    Sorry but it's not good enough to simply 'not have the motivation.' When a child's happiness and relationship with their father is at risk your wife should find the motivation or just suck it up and do it anyway.

    If it were me Id tell my spouse to pull their socks up and do their job.

    Good luck, it sounds like your are a great step parent, your heart is definitely in the right place

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    I think his mother and father need to grow up and sit down and discuss the issue.

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    BenTas83  (25-07-2012)

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    It is really common for kids to start favouring one house or the other at about 4.5. ANd often, with a bit of work, it is a stage that can be handled.

    I am a bio mum and my DS put up huge resistance at seeing his dad for about 6-8 months. It took some work, but we did get there in the end and 4 years on, all going well.

    Does he have fun once he gets to his dad's house? Is it just on leaving he arcs up?

    Can you have hand over somewhere other than home? This made a huge difference with my DS. We would meet at a playground...we would be there for a while, then ex would show up...say hello and start playing with DS. We would leave about 15 minutes later and say good bye etc...cause he was already having a good time, it was easy.

    You said your DSS mentioned wrestling? Can you talk to bio dad about it? Maybe he is being too rough for DSS (not he is being rough..but DSS not liming it). If it helps, get your wife and DSS and bio dad to talk about it together? Sort of along the lines of "we've been talking and thought we should not wrestle anymore...incase someone gets hurt"...so DSS can put that worry away?

    Good luck, keeping that line of contact open with bio dad is a really good thing for DSS. Has your wife given up for a reason? Is there any way you can talk to her about getting back with the program and focusing on DSS?

  14. The Following User Says Thank You to River Song For This Useful Post:

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