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  1. #1
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    Default 4yo wont stay with his dad

    So I am having some major issues with my 4.5yo not wanting to stay with his dad overnight.

    Some background - we separated probably close to 2yrs ago now. Our relationship is very amicable for the most part. We dont have a fixed parenting arrangement - mostly because of our work situation - he is a firefighter, so on rotational day/night shifts, and i work part-time, so xDh will have the kids, if he's not working, while i work after school etc, and also help out with "babysitting" as needed as we have very limited family here. So he sees the kids several times a week - sometimes for an hr or two (at my home) and sometimes for the whole day. Early in our separation, he had his own house with rooms set up for the kids (3kids - 12,10 and 4.5) etc and they would spend 2/3nights there and all have a great time. About 12mths ago he moved in with a GF and her 3 children. His GF is nice to my kids and treats them well. Of her 3 children it seems the 2 youngest have some sort of "Spectrum Needs" - I'm not sure of the issues and in fact if they have a diagnosis at all, but it seems they are "difficult" and "needy" and my ex DH finds them very difficult to live with. My children dont enjoy their company My children have been catered for in the home, with (shared) bedrooms etc. Unfortunately, my XDH and his GF seem to have a very volatile relationship, lots of arguing, often about her children and lots of other things.
    XDH is a very loving dad, his children are extremely important to him, and he wants to be very involved in their lives, but over the last 12mths, due to his living arrangements, our children have had less and less overnight sleepovers (In the Xmas school hols it was 4-5 separate nights, usually when GF children arent there).

    My older children are happy to stay overnight, despite not loving it there, because they love their dad and want to spend time with him. My 4yo is getting more and more adverse to staying there, if he goes he cries for me and calls begging to come home, wont go to sleep. He gets anxious about it long before actually leaving. Tonight as I kissed him goodnight, he said "I dont want to stay at daddys", and I havent even mentioned him staying over. When I ask him why, he just says "Becasue I want to stay with you, because I love you". If I ask him if he loves his dad, he says "Yes, but I dont want to stay there". I dont think there is anything bad going on, although he did tell me a few times that the 9yo son told him "You're a dead-man". He will happily spend hours with his dad but not overnight at his house.

    Its making us all upset and sad - I want the kids to have a great relationship with their dad, but I feel awful forcing him to go somewhere he really doesnt want to. His dad feels hurt and rejected and sad, but also sort of feels he shouldn't make him stay there.

    I dont really know what to do...anyone got any advice, tips? Anything! Happy for non-single parents to reply!!

  2. #2
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    Default 4yo wont stay with his dad

    It's a toughie! Maybe Dad and DS can leave the sleepovers for now to lessen the anxiety. I would suggest to Dad that those two do something special on their own once a week even if it's just kick a ball around.

    I would remind Dad (gently) unfortunately he is the adult and he has made the choice to live there. His kids didn't. He will have to (for now) find a way to connect with your son without pressure and I'm sure in time Mr 4.5 will want to stay with Dad again. Maybe point out the big kids are cool so he might need some time.
    Last edited by Aquillah; 12-02-2016 at 01:01.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Aqillah. It is really hard
    Last edited by Kaybaby; 12-02-2016 at 01:11.

  4. #4
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    I feel for your kids, it must be very hard for them having to live with 3 other kids they don't really get along with. What does your ex think of the situation. If he finds it difficult living with his partners children, surely he must realise that his kids may also find it difficult? Its great that he is a good and loving Dad, but he needs to prioritise his children. My partner comes a very poor second to my kids and if I felt her presence and her kids were adversely affected the lives of my kids then I'd separate. Considering you have an amicable relationship with your ex, perhaps you can sit down over a coffee and discuss the situation?
    Last edited by DrewS; 24-02-2016 at 17:27.

  5. #5
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    Yes, we have had a number of conversations. My kids have stayed there less and less over the past few months (actually 2 separate nights in the last month). ExDH is very aware of the issues, acknowledges them but tbh does nothing about it. I guess his priorities are elsewhere. That bothers me and makes me very sad for my kids. I don't know that there is anything I can do really..it sucks on multiple levels.

  6. #6
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    Could it be maybe your son being so young doesn't understand about having step siblings? Maybe they're not being very nice to him. I wouldn't force sleep overs if he doesn't want to, let him and your ex hsve special days together and slowly build from there.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquillah View Post
    It's a toughie! Maybe Dad and DS can leave the sleepovers for now to lessen the anxiety. I would suggest to Dad that those two do something special on their own once a week even if it's just kick a ball around.

    I would remind Dad (gently) unfortunately he is the adult and he has made the choice to live there. His kids didn't. He will have to (for now) find a way to connect with your son without pressure and I'm sure in time Mr 4.5 will want to stay with Dad again. Maybe point out the big kids are cool so he might need some time.
    I think Aquillah hit the nail on the head.

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    VicPark  (27-02-2016)


 

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