Dad reaching out to his son, and not sure how and when to start the relationship

Alex - posted on 04/26/2013 ( 2 moms have responded )

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Hello to you all from a dad,

I need a little advice and guidance from you please.
I know this site is called moms circle, but I researched and couldn't find anywhere else to go.

Need:
I am a father, who recently in fact yesterday found out that my son is back here in the states. I spoke with his mom on the phone and she is open with me being part of my sons life (he is 15 years old). But, the question is when to tell him and how to start the process.

Brief background:
His mom and I dated in college, she got pregnant, moved to a different state, we continued to see each other and by the time our son was 4 or 5 years old, she got engaged and eventually married someone she was dating. She moved out of the country and had 2 additional kids with him and unfortunately things didn't work out between them, she left her husband and returned back here in the states with her three kids. He husband didn't want me to be in contact with his wife, when they were here in the states, it was difficult then when they left the country, I had no means of finding them. She would reach out here and there, that our son is doing well in school, happy and healthy. They were often in different countries and she had maids, drivers, cooks and lived the life of a queen or a princess (financially). I couldn't compete with him financially, our son was getting a good education and love, and I didn't know how to be part of our sons life. The only thing that I could do, was to pray/meditate and wish that he was happy and healthy, wherever he was.

In 37 years of my life, I have seen a lot in my life, made some mistakes and learned a lot as well. My parents, six siblings and I came here when I was 10 years old. We went through hell to get here from Europe and to start a life. What helped kept us all together and achieve modest level of success (professionally and academically) was the unconditional support and love from our parents and siblings. I see that my son, at the age of 15, also has lived in four different continents, speaks several languages and has seen a lot through his eyes. Happiness and Pain.

Current:
Two days ago, I found out that she is here, we talked yesterday evening. She is here with all three kids, working and started dating someone as well. Thank god, the mom and the three kids are all healthy and happy. The 3 kids are 15, and I believe 5 and 7. Yesterday during the our phone call, I didn't ask how old are her two other kids, but by looking at the pictures she sent, my son and his two siblings, I guessing they are 5 and 7 years old.

Our son believed that her husband was his biological dad. She didn't want to confuse him. Now, that she left her husband and they are back in the states, I definitely would like to be part of our sons life. To be there for him and his two siblings.

I would like to start our relationship in the right path, the path that would bring him a solid understanding, support and happiness and would not to negatively affect him and his two siblings and cause any psychological damage. According to his mom, he is doing very well in school and life, and I don't want to anything to disrupt it. So, I have to be slow and careful on how to approach and rebuild this love and friendship.

I am thinking of waiting for another month, when he and his siblings are done with school and finals, then have his mom slowly introduce us and start there...I guess?

Thank you in advance with any advice you can provide.

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Amy - posted on 04/26/2013

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Obviously it would of been best if he was told all along but you can't undo it. I agree with waiting till school is out but his mom should be the one to sit down and tell him the whole truth. It's not going to be easy but she should answer any questions he may have as openly and honestly as possible. Once she's told him give him time to come to terms that he's been lied to most of his life. Maybe right a letter reaching out to him and his mom may want to look into family counseling.

Once he's accepted and willing to meet you do it on his terms as slowly as you need to so that he feels in control, since he ultimately has no control. Be prepared to answer some very difficult questions, I wish you the best of luck it's not going to be easy!

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Alex - posted on 04/26/2013

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Amy, thank you. You are right, I will research an excellent child psychologist or family counselor and make sure that we have found the best approach, covered all of the possible questions, prior to his mom sitting down with him and letting him know. I am meeting her for the first time in years next week Wednesday to discuss the best method.
If you know if any good child psychologist or family counselor please let me know.

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