what do i do with a father who doesn't call or visit unless forced?

[deleted account] ( 43 moms have responded )

am i unreasonable in expecting my ex to use his own initiative to see his 6yr old son...rather than expect family to organise everything (including arranging things with me-yes...i have to go thru his mum or sis)? i want them to be close but not if it has to be forced out of him :) if it's forced, my son will work it out one day and it'll break his heart

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Sarah - posted on 05/17/2009

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You can NOT force him. I tried that method myself. It NEVER works. You just need to be strong for your son and let him know that you will always be there. My daughter hasnt seen her dad in 2 years and only talked to him a hand full of times during that time and that is only because she calls him. I would make sure that you keep up on his child support. Let them know that he hasnt seen him and what you need help with. It is always hard for the child but in the end they will know who has been the one there for them. I wouldnt even organize anything through his family. I would just make it a point to tell his mom and sister you can see him anytime you want to but if "dad" wants to see him then he needs to contact me. Dont make it easy on the "dad". I have done that with my childs dad's family and it worked. She asks about him of course. I just remind her that he does love her but he is just going through a rough time in his life and that he is have a selfish moment. That one day he will come around. Then it will be her choice to have a relationship with him. (this will all depend on your childs age and how much you think he can handle.) Honesty, this is how it is with my father and me. Its hard. I am not going to lie to you. But you have to stand your ground. you dont want your son resenting you for making him have something to do with someone that doesnt want something to do with him. Hope this helps.

Leah - posted on 05/29/2009

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Don't force the issue. If he really wants to be a father he will be and if not than your son will eventually figure out who his father really is. In the meantime just be the best mom that you can be.

User - posted on 05/13/2009

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What do you do? Nothing! Well, be co-operative, but be clear in your own conscience that nothing you can do will make it happen. You'll notice it's a common theme - reluctant fathers - amongst single mums. You aren't alone in your frustration and sadness. This is something the father has to work through himself and no amount of pushing, convincing, accomodating, cajoling, presauding, pleading from you, from his family, from anyone, will change the situation until the father himself is ready and wants it. Been there, worn the tshirt, seen the film, made the documentary, recorded a sequel....:) Your child will form their own opinion of the situation and their father...and you will do a wonderful job in raising them and helping them to make good sense of it, without the fly-by-night 'father'. No dad is better than a bad dad.

Mary Ann - posted on 05/28/2009

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I'm going through the same thing with my son's sperm donor. My son will be 4 mts old the 29th and his sperm donor has seen him twice, once when he as 2wks old and once the sunday before mother's day. The combined time of maybe an hour and a half. His 1st baby mama has to crawl his ass for him to ask about Carson. Hell he dont even know my son's middle name, which is fine cause I have done alot of research and just because you serve him with child support papers doesnt give him rights to your child esp if he child has your last name and the "father" isnt named or any thing. I wouldnt push the issue if he dont want to be apart of your childs life then let his sorry ass go. Dont worry about it you and your child are better off with out him. Dont get me wrong like you I want his family to know my child and to be close but Im not going to beg them to be around. The way I see it if they want to be there then they will if not then it is thier loss. If the "father" wants to have rights to your child then I would make it CLEAR that he has to take you to court and fight for it. Just remember this it takes a BOY to lay down and make a child but it takes a REAL MAN to raise a child and be a DADDY

Like April said when the day comes that your child ask about "daddy" just tell em the truth. If you keep things from him then it is very possible that he will resentment towards you. Don't talk bad about your ex in front of your son but I wouldnt praise him either. I also wouldnt make excuses for him.

Felecia - posted on 05/26/2009

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I have a 6-y/o that hasn't seen his father in almost a year and he lives 20 minutes away. At the end of the day, the only thing you can do is be the best MOM you know how. Don't waste your time on energy on trying to force that relationship. As long as you don't do anything to block/hinder the relationship, then you have nothing to worry about. Your son won't blame you and sooner than his father realizes, your son will be old enought to decide for himself it he wants to have a relationship with his father, and guess what, when the ball is no longer in the fathers hands, the rules change. Keep your head up, you're doing a great job.

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Alexandria - posted on 05/06/2013

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My daughters father has only seen her 9 times since she has been born and she's about to be six months. I was giving him a time and day to see her recently. But only did it for that one day. And the times before that he would do it on his time and last minute. And I told him I'm not going to force him to see her. And he hasn't seen her since. We go back to court soon. And I made sure that I kept a track of when he's seen her and when he hasn't seen her. And that it was on his part that he didn't want to see her. And he's only no more than 10 minutes away from where I live. And he will make up excuses of him being tired and that he's in pain.

Stepha - posted on 05/28/2009

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My son is 9 yeas old he will be 10 in Aug. my sons father saw my son only once when he was 2 weeks old. as far as i am concerned my son is doing great!! he doesnt know any better. But when he does ask a question i answer to the best of my ability, yea i have lied once or twice like whe he asked why he was not arround. i told him that his dad and i did not get along very well and we argued all the time. so we thaught it was best he was not here. he accepted the answer. some times i ask him if he has any more questions and says no. i let him ask in his own time. i think my son is better for it.

April - posted on 05/28/2009

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I wouldnt force it. The way I look at it is if they dont want to see their child then it is their loss. They are the ones missing out. Some day your child will grow up and probably ask about (daddy), just be honest and let them make their own decisions. If you dont let the child choose then they may have alot of resentment towards you. I say all of this as I am a single mom and also my mom was a single mom. She held many things from me and made all decisions about my father for me. As I got older I had alot of unanswered questions and also a lot of resentment. now that I am a parent I understand why she did this but it made teen years very difficult.

My sons father is not involved at all, very difficult to do it on your own but it only makes you a stronger person. You cant make a person be a daddy. (They may be a father but a daddy is something you have to earn).

Ashley - posted on 05/27/2009

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Im in the same situation. My son is 10 months and his dad started seeing him when he was 3 months and not by choice but because his mom wanted to see him. He never asks to take him unless he wants to show him off to his friends or a new girlfriend. He doesn't have a job, nor does he help with any of the bills, diapers, wipes, clothes, food, etc... He always has better things to do, like sleeping, hanging with his friends, helping other people with their kids, but never his own, so Im going to take him to court, but im not telling him because i know him well, and he will start taking him more to make it look like he's not a deadbeat father, which he clearly is. Long story short, contact the child support office if you havne't already and set up a court date to either reliquish his rights, get full custody, or have court ordered visits.

JENNIFER - posted on 05/26/2009

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I tried that. I called for months, but since I am a single mother, never married, and don't make much, I don't deserve priority. To them it's almost like it is my job to do all the leg work and maybe they'll do something with it. I haven't seen anything in over a month and he is over $12K in debt to his daughter. That would be a nice chunk for college. She only knows his first name, not dad or daddy. She deserves a father that cares enough to want to see her, not that waste.

JENNIFER - posted on 05/26/2009

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It may be required by law, but the state doesn't seem to care much. I had to fight to get them to call him into court, and they fucked off for 2 years, then had the nerve to penalize ME for their lack of effort and delay. Now that he is ordered to pay, they won't do anything to get it. It was almost a year before I saw any money & now when I do, it isn't anywhere near what he is court ordered to pay. The law only helps certain people, not those of us who are truly struggling to make ends meet. If you have money to burn, they will do whatever you want.

[deleted account]

Quoting Karla:

My twins are 4 years old and the sperm donor only calls every once in a while and makes no effort to see them or provide for them. He wants to be with me and since he can't he won't try to be a dad. I send pictures (I never get a thank you) and I go visit at least once a year (with my own money and time). They do not know that he is "daddy", they call him by first name. I figure when the kids are old enough they can come to their own conclusions about him and his family! I am all my kids have and they are the ones missing out on 2 wonderful kids!



"Sperm donor" is required by law to pay child support, so make him pay.

Karla - posted on 05/25/2009

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My twins are 4 years old and the sperm donor only calls every once in a while and makes no effort to see them or provide for them. He wants to be with me and since he can't he won't try to be a dad. I send pictures (I never get a thank you) and I go visit at least once a year (with my own money and time). They do not know that he is "daddy", they call him by first name. I figure when the kids are old enough they can come to their own conclusions about him and his family! I am all my kids have and they are the ones missing out on 2 wonderful kids!

JENNIFER - posted on 05/25/2009

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It is what it is. You can't force the issue. He has to make up his mind to be there for him or it's not good for him. My daughter hasn't seen her father in a over a year and he hasn't realized that when he finally decides to be a dad, she will have made up her mind as to how she feels about him. By then, he will have inadvertantly shown her she isn't important to him. Let it be and it will be fine.

Angelina - posted on 05/24/2009

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I was pregnant alone. My son's father never has even held him. My son will be 14 months old. I do not even try to force it. He has already made it clear that he wants nothing to do with our son. So be it. It's not your burden to carry!!!!

Melanie - posted on 05/24/2009

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I do know how you feel but I learnt very quickly you can not force anyone to be more than they are able to be even a father. My ex was very much the same unless I forced it or yes rang his mum he did nothing to see or call his four children. While I was to busy worrying about them being without a dad I failed to see or consider is that what he wanted, I was to wrapped up in my childrens needs for a father to even realize what was actually going on. Now after six years my children haven't seen there father for a good part of three of those years & have with my love & support have come to learn a very valuable lesson about people, "you cannot make anyone do anything they are not ready or wanting to do". It is hard for us as mum's to accept or even understand how any parent can be this causal about there children but there are those out there that are like this, they seem to have the what ever atittude (I call it). All you can do is stop worrying about his relationship with your child & concerntrate on yours with your child & help your child understand all the different kind of poeple out there & teach him not to take others actions towards him personal including his dad's. My 16 & 12 yr old have really come to understand this aswell as my 8 & 6 yr old have too, children are never to young to understand anything if the right words are used by us as parents. I hope this helps you !!!

Sue - posted on 05/24/2009

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I divorced my ex when our daughter was 2 , I have said nothing negative to her about him I can count on my fingers how much he has seen her sence the divorce she calls him her holiday daddy and calls my brother "uncle daddy" even in front of my ex , her last visit with her dad she stole his remote even if he came back to yell at her and nothing from him, he is seeing her this weekend 2 months sence last visit and 7 months before that, I am at the point step up and be in her life or go away all together We just found out she could have add I am 1000000000000000000000%vshe does but , she wants him in her life she begged cried ect just to get him to visit and nothing , My momma says say nothing when she asked to see him I dial his number and give her the phone and when she gets hung up on she will know who loves her and bout 5 years later its sinking in .



His Parents and sister and mom I arrange visits myself they try to help just love him tell him you will alway be there for him and he will get it someday



If you want your son to have a email pal message me and I will give you her email addy ( have to have one by divorce agreement) might help to have someone who knows what its like she is 7

Chloe - posted on 05/24/2009

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My son is turning one next week, his father has seen him for 2/12 months of his life which is pathetic. I have tried so hard to get him to meet up with me so we can work something out or call so we can talk and arrange for him to see his son. I find it less stressful to let it go, i know that it is hard because i am actually still in love with my sons father but honestly, i know you don't want to break your sons heart but it sounds like he is better off without his father. If he doesn't want to be there for your son, he wont. As much as u push, you are just pushing him away. I don't think you are a bad person for wanting him to be there, he should be but u cant change a zebras stripes.

Amber - posted on 05/24/2009

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I am not sure i am a good advice giver on this subject, but I completely understand, I have almost 3 year old and his father has seen him like 7 times?? maybe less... everytime i have took at least 4 buses with both of my children or had someone drive me 2 hrs and i got a hotel room just so he could see him, not sure exactly what to think at this point, im moving far away and he is complaining he wont see him, the last span in between visits was freaking 7 months! I dont believe i should put my life on hold because he might want to see him...

DeAnna - posted on 05/23/2009

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Not at all unreasonable. You have your own life to live with your son and you need the opportunity to enjoy each and every moment. You cannot do that if you are worried about his fathers actions, you can work with him but you cannot control him, his actions, or feelings. All you can do is document, for yourself, your son, and legal purposes. Mom's become mom's when we pee on the stick, it took forever for my son's father to come around and act like a dad. My son's father still flakes on a regular basis. I keep a journal and a calendar.

Megan - posted on 05/23/2009

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You are not unreasonable. My son's father had nothing to do with isaac from the time i got pregnant and he barely came by to see him. I realized then my son was better off without his father in his life.

Michelle - posted on 05/23/2009

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Don't force the issue. My daughter is 16 months old and her father has seen her twice. He never calls to check on her and she has no idea who he even is. If you are getting child support, leave the rest alone. I know that for your 6 year old it is tough and there are probably the questions of why-Just be honest with him. Right now he may not understand and it may be so confusing, but in the long run it will be the best option you could have choosen. At least if will build a strong bond/relationship for you and your son.

Nina - posted on 05/23/2009

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I had this same issue with mine and I use to make excuses for the kids so they would not hurt but one day when my daughter was 6yrs old (i will never forget it) her dad was suppose to pick her up and he didn't no call no show. And as a mother you want to protect your child so I started with the excuses again and then I caught myself I told her to call her father and ask him why? She did and their was no excuse at that point no lie just put him on to his responsibility. Your child or children will grow up and realize who is the stable party in this thing we call parenting and will respect you in the end. It's a hard road sweetheart but worth every bit when your kids get older and realize your the rock and the foundation of their lives. I realize; because you wouldnt be asking this question that you didnt lay and have this child on your own but as women we tend to take alot more in life....ALWAYS. Be strong you can only control your actions so be the best single mom that you can be! (Now my Daughter is 16yrs and my Son is 10yrs)Peace and Blessing.

[deleted account]

thanks Jasmin, i don't worry bout it too much anymore...i used to really stress...but that didn't help anything. i figure....my son is growing up happier and more well rounded than alot of kids who have both parents at home...and he's asking bout his dad less and less now (which is sad...but better in the long run i guess) and ur right bout not ssaying anything negative bout his dad...i only ever say nice things if my son brings him up, everyone i know knows not to say anything negative around him too (might explain y no-one ever says anything bout him) but thanku....i just felt so isolated and alone in my decisions at times...i accept now that im right and not being unreasonable at all. if his dad wants a relationship with him, then it's up to him...not me...and i will not be made to feel guilty by his family anymore...it's funny tho....when i hear what my ex's version of events are. awhile back he told every1 that i was refusing him access (this was the 1st time i refused to drop marshall on his doorstep)..it bothered me abit but, really i ended up laughing at it because it was such a ludicrous statement to make!!

Jasmin - posted on 05/18/2009

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they may be doing you a favor. do you really want that type of person in your childs life? do you want to have to always make plans with this type of person? and what about the child when he finds out its all forced? i had a hard time with it and its still hard because you are worried about what the child might feel but its not worth having to stress about it on top of everything else you already have to do. don't say anything negative about the father and don't plan anything around him. if he calls, you are busy and then make an appointment for another day and time. it is not when its convenient for him, he should be taking out that time. a 16yr old girl gave me this advice about her own father that was the same way. she said to let the child figure it out for themselves. she did and she is just fine and is a wonderful girl. if you worry about it the child will feel its important.

[deleted account]

THANKU TO ALL OF YOU!!! I DON'T FEEL SO ALONE AND MONSTEROUS NOW. IV BEEN DOING ALL THE THINGS THAT U HAVE ALL SAID....IT SEEMS THE ONLY PPL WHO CAN'T SEE WHERE IM COMING FROM ARE MY EX AND HIS FAMILY!! I GUESS I SHOULD'VE REALISED ALL OF THIS WHEN MY EX FORGOT HIS SONS 1ST BDAY!! BUT LOOKS LIKE IV GOT THER BETTER DEAL :) THERE'S NOTHING LIKE HAVING UR CHILD TELL YOU HE LOVES YOU 10X A DAY!!

Jessica - posted on 05/17/2009

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Don't force it. It is his loss if he doesn't have a relationship with his son, & when the boy is old enough to figure out what is going on... he'll blame him. Most important is make sure he has a GREAT male role model (Grandfather, Uncle, Coach, Big Brothers program, etc.) Help him work on his self esteem & make sure that he knows, it is not his fault that Daddy does not see him & it has nothing to do with him. Daddy is not making very good decisions right now.

User - posted on 05/15/2009

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i have learned the hard way... i thought i was doing the best by trying to have him involved in my son's life but all hehas done is missed out in all the most important moments of his life. sooner or later they will regret the descision they have made... when their children are older and can respond to "donors" you were never a Father but just a donor....

Katie - posted on 05/14/2009

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I have the same problem. He is a part of his older kids' lives, and his new wife's children (she is the reason our marriage broke up and she is in prison!!). It hurts like nothing else. But it does it easier over time. The worst thing you can do is force it

Julie - posted on 05/14/2009

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i am having the same problem too and have felt really depressed about it since yesterday does anyone else see other happy families and wish they had someone to lean on?

Katelynn - posted on 05/13/2009

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i had the same problem after months of trying i gave up its his fult that hes missed out on seeing his son grow up

Rasheda - posted on 05/13/2009

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You cant force, My daughter is almost 11 months old and she does not see her dad often at all. The last time she saw him must have been March 2009 and that's only because I brought her to see him. She cries bloody murder when she sees him because she does not know him. I don't like when he makes promises to come and see her and does not show up because he will disappoint her when she gets older and I will always have to pick up the pieces. Girl just be as strong as you can and until you meet that special someone if you even want to meet that special some one you have to be mom and dad. that's what i have to do. i refuse to have ANYONE disappoint my daughter. Good luck. We are strong women believe in that

Robin - posted on 05/13/2009

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A third party is not the issue. If he is showing up at his famillies house to spend time with his son,do not stress. If it is just a lack of interest on his part well your son will see it and I am not so sure that is a bad thing. :You are not the bad guy and your little one will remember all of this. trust me.

Erin - posted on 05/13/2009

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Quoting Ginny:

What do you do? Nothing! Well, be co-operative, but be clear in your own conscience that nothing you can do will make it happen. You'll notice it's a common theme - reluctant fathers - amongst single mums. You aren't alone in your frustration and sadness. This is something the father has to work through himself and no amount of pushing, convincing, accomodating, cajoling, presauding, pleading from you, from his family, from anyone, will change the situation until the father himself is ready and wants it. Been there, worn the tshirt, seen the film, made the documentary, recorded a sequel....:) Your child will form their own opinion of the situation and their father...and you will do a wonderful job in raising them and helping them to make good sense of it, without the fly-by-night 'father'. No dad is better than a bad dad.



Well said! This is the approach I've had to take with my ex after a pregnancy frought with confusion. You do what you can then accept that it's up to them to do the right thing...

Lori - posted on 05/13/2009

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No-you are not unreasonable in wanting your ex to have a relationship with your child. However, if he chooses not to, it's on him. Don't force the issue. Just be sure to surround your son with positive male and female influences and whatever he loses out on with his father, the positive influences in his life will surely make up for it. Sometimes kids are better off without an uninterested parent because they don't have to feel the constant rejection from that parent. It's better for the child to develop healthy relationships with adults who do care and want to be there than to try to develop one with someone who could care less.

[deleted account]

FIRST OFF BEEN THERE DONE THAT! AND THE FATHER DOES'NT KNOW IT YET BUT HE IS TRULY MISSING MEMORIES AND EVENTS THAT CANT BE REPLACED. TRUST ME HE WILL COME AROUND LATER IN LIFE ONCE UR SON REACHES THAT MATURITY AGE....BUT BY THEN IT WILL BE TOO LATE UR SON MAY, OR MAY NOT ACCEPT HIM N2 HIS LIFE. TRUST ME KIDS KNOW, AND ARE VERY AWARE OF WHATS GOING ON.....WITH OR WITHOUT IT BEING SAID.

[deleted account]

My ex is the same, i decided it would be better for my son to have a relationship with his father because his father wants it, not because i forced it upon him. Its tough but you have tried, now its up to him. on the occasions that my sons father does visit, he gets his mother to call and arrange it?!? Just enjoy being his mum, it will all fall into place.

Erin - posted on 05/13/2009

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I completely agree. You can't force a man to be a father. I have a 3 month old daughter whose father hasn't even seen her, and it is terribly sad. But I can't make him be her Dad, and nor do I want to. He would only end up resenting my daughter, and me, and there's no way I want to expose her to that. As long as you know you're doing the right thing and being as cooperative as you see suitable, there's not a lot more you can do.

Antonia - posted on 05/13/2009

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Dont force it. My son is 14months and his dad is the same. If it is organised around him or for him, then its fine otherwise he has no desire to get involved. Because of this he hasn't seen his son in about a year.... and wont if he doesn't get his backside into gear. There is no point in trying to make a situation something that it clearly is not. You are right--- your son will figure out eventually that his father hasn't made the effort himself, and that could never make a child feel good

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