should i let my baby be alone with his father??

Belinda - posted on 12/11/2010 ( 33 moms have responded )

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i'm at a loss, my son has just turned 2 and has barely seen his father since 3 months of age, his father is known for his temper and the reason i left him was because he lost his temper with my little boy and came close to punching him, so naturally i left.
his father has always been more interested in trying to win me back then seeing his son, but recently i got a new partner and now my ex has asked to have our son every other weekend. he lives with his mum. Tyler (my son) is there as i write this, it's the third time hes been and both previous times he has returned with temper problems, punching, kicking and being incrediably defiant. i'm a first time mum, but i know 2 year olds are defiant, it's just so much worse when hes come back from his fathers.
i dropped im off the other day and he clung to me until they bought the dog out for him to play with. when ever i ask his father says there has been no problems at all, but i know him well enough to know he rarely tells the truth so really i have no idea.
i hope tyler can have a good relationship with his father but i don't want him badly influenced, and he's saftey is a major concern... should i restrict contact or trust his father to keep him safe??

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Krista - posted on 12/11/2010

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I'm with Erin. I would arrange for it to be supervised visits, so that you can see how they interact with each other. I don't blame you for being very wary.

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33 Comments

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Nika - posted on 12/25/2010

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Listen to your gut. Also remember there are laws to protect you. Id tell your x to go to the law if he wants UNSUPERVISED vists. were yall married? It matters. You HSOULDNT leave them alone anymore. If you do the law will say he fine to keep doin it. also go to a psychologist or councelour to DOCUMENT the things youve noticed about your son. Someone who speacializes in toddles. really. Dont wait till he gets hurt bad.

Jennifer - posted on 12/25/2010

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Nanny cam would be a great way to go, if you can get your child to agree to doing that. Some kids are scared to do that, because it puts them in the middle. Unless he sees your child at your house, that would be something you would have to be sure your child is up to doing.

Misty - posted on 12/24/2010

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I don't know if this is good advice or not, but I've heard of nanny cams. You can put a camera in a teddy bear or something. This way you will know if it's something to be concerned about or just something like different rules and stuff.

Jennifer - posted on 12/22/2010

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Belinda - I know you want your child to see his father, but if he is two and you are scared of what is going on, then there is more of a reason to keep him from him until the court says supervision is needed. One way I have seen, is you draw up a picture or find one online and ask your son if that is what is going on. You will be surprised at what he will tell you as long as you let him know it is a safe thing to tell. Make sure he feels safe enough and that he knows it is okay to not tell daddy. Most of the time kids that age are eager to please still, so finding something that he can relate to as far as telling you what is going on that is "bad" will help tremendously. As a stay at home mom that does rely on her husband for financial support, if I had to leave him and go on full welfare, I would do it if it meant our kids were safer. He would have to go to court to fight me for them, and then I would make sure the judge heard me saying that it is a bad situation. If your gut is saying no, then no it is. He cannot force it, because then if he does you will see the side your son sees, that and you will see that you can get the law involved immediately. Call local law enforcement if he tries to take him. Child abuse is not acceptable, and therefore the police are not going to keep him from you when you have more stability. Just keep that in mind.

Evelyn - posted on 12/22/2010

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with all the comments in this one discussion we all can tell this is a touchy subject just because it involves a father that my not be invloved in seeing his own son for the right reasons, but knowing that its up to the mother alone in that situation to consider what the best possible course to follow regarding her "motherly instincts" and what is best for her child, unfortunitly now a days its a choice that most woman do not follow when it comes to an abusive partner and for woman that have experianced mental and emotional if not physical abuse, if you leave your partner for a extreme issue, it would not be prudent to but a child in that same situation, i agree with sup visits, i disagree with not going through the legal system, all this is to protect yourself as a mother and your child at any cost, woman have the power to be great and independent, so please be assertive with your desires when it comes to your child and take nothing less, if you are scared or concered then think what your child feels, its a very akward stage a kid goes through with transition to one home to another, but your ex or even a partner needs to respect the rules of raising children so that its not a conflict and if it starts to raise a problem then something needs to be changed, but with that none of us can force or change anything so please just use what we say as a foundation for what you will do as a individual and a mother and just make sure its in the best intereset of your child

Belinda - posted on 12/22/2010

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thank you guys. how about as his father has him on boxing day i'l have a chat with him before hand but if there is no improvement then i'l arrange supervissed visits, although his father wont like it theres really nothing he can do under the circumstances, i'l catalog everything since the begining ready in case i need to do this through the courts and on the off chance that tyler's reaction is better when he returns this time i'll watch closley and i've spoken to the father about letting me see how he is with tyler, although he threw a hissy fit about it iv given him no choice in the matter. protecting tyler is always my first priority. at the moment he cant tell me if anything has happened, he will tell me someone has been bad etc but he only turned 2 on the 5th of dec so his speech is not flowing at all yet, mostly he mumbles and a few words are recognisable but the rest is still baby talk. as to those asking which state im in well im actually not, i live in kent, which is in england. thanks

Tami - posted on 12/21/2010

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If your ex is known to be abusive, I would suggest going through the legal system. I realize there is a cost with that but it seems worth it to ensure your son's safety. Plus, anytime you ever have a problem, you can just go back through the legal system "social worker" or whoever and not deal with your ex directly. My kids act up everytime after they spend the weekend with their grandparents (who come to dinner weekly). They have a tin of fun with my in-laws, but rules aren't as enforced. So when I try to discipline, they rebell. I think it's normal. I'm not going to ask my in-laws to follow my rules as strictly. But since that's his dad, you DO want to make sure the rules and consequences are consistent, esp. for a 2 yr old. But you may still have to deal with whatever backlash comes from being away from you. That's how kids are. They need to make sure that you aren't getting rid of them (maybe draw him a 2 day calendar, so he knows when he's coming back to mommy-he can cross off a box every morning he wakes up at daddy's house) and that you love them regardless of how they behave. Good luck with everything!

Krista - posted on 12/18/2010

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I've read only a few of these replies, but here's my problem, if your son clung to you because you were dropping him off at his father's house that should be a BIG ASS (sorry) SIGN that something is not right and that little boy is scared. Of course your x isn't going to lose his temper in front of you, cause he knows that he is essentially busted at that point. I think you need to look him over very well when he comes back from his fathers ask little man questions he might be able to answer, and sorry, if it were me, my kid wouldn't go back there till daddy got some help, plain and simple. I'm sorry, but little man NOT wanting to go with daddy, and only going cause he got distracted with the dog, not a good sign. I know every mother wants a kid to have relationships with their fathers, but at the same time, your first concern is that they grow up SAFE and happy.

Fareedah - posted on 12/17/2010

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I would be worried but at the same time you don't want to keep him from his father. I agree with the supervised visits and also try establishing dialog with your son so that if he needs to tell you that something is wrong he is able.

Alexis - posted on 12/17/2010

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your son may be seeing his dad act this way or maybe his dad just isn't consistent with discipline and lets him get away with more and so when he comes home he tires to do it at home too. I agree that some supervised visits may be in order.

Sarah - posted on 12/17/2010

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I agree with every one as well as I have had 2 do that with my ex-boyfriend and then on the 1 visitation he pulled his wife down the stairs @ his sisters place and hasn't seen our daughter since and has been demanding through his sister that he wants un-supervised visitation and in order for me to do that he is going to have to go back to court with me as i am not willing to let him @ this time to have him with un-supervised visitation so if you feel you need to have it be supervised then go with what you are feeling as we are all parents and we have to keep our child/children safe from thous that are acting the way they are and it also sounds like he is only wanting to be with you and not totally be with his son so you may want to talk to a case worker @ your local social services and if they cant help then talk to a lawyer that does the free consultation with you I hope that this is helpful as that is what i had to do and my ex had also not seen our child for almost a year and a half until i went to court to force him to pay child support for Hannah and then that was when he decided he wanted un-supervised visitation and he has had other thing that is something i don't want to say as this is to much of a public form so if you want to tack more just send me an email

Jennifer - posted on 12/17/2010

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I have some advice from a legal stand point. I am studying to be a lawyer, and I can tell you that the court is going to see what you do to protect your son. If you feel he is in danger, the pull the plug. You follow your heart, if he is showing you signs due to aggressive behavior...something is wrong. There is nothing wrong with telling your ex that you want him supervised or he does not get to see him. You can arrange someone that is unbiased or can have an open mind with the situation do the visitation. Either way, you son is obviously telling you something through his body language. Read it closely and get the message. He is not comfortable there, or he would come home happy. Feel free to send me a message if you need more help. I have connections in the state of Kansas that I can find out more information if I need to. Where are you located? Email me if you need...jgowan517@yahoo.com

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recently a friend was saying she didn't trust her husband with her son, thinking he didn't take enough precautions and allowed him to go too far - he's only 2yr. She asked me what I thought about structured play, like a weekend kid's gym or structured lesson where others were present and would report him for not treating him properly.
If that's availalbe where you are, it might help you build up a relationship between them.
Good luck and remember to follow your "motherly" instinct.

[deleted account]

If you haven't already started... document EVERYTHING.... starting w/ exact details of why you left him, how long he was w/out any contact w/ your son, how he was during supervised visits, and especially every detail you can put down of the more recent visits. Then see about speaking to legal aid to explore all your options.

I would definitely want to go for supervised visits. You don't necessarily have to be the supervisor either... just someone that your son knows well that you trust. Good luck!

Angie - posted on 12/16/2010

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@Nicole's comment that your hands are tied and all you can do is sit and wait, and watch... I disagree with this on so many levels. What state are you in?

Angie - posted on 12/16/2010

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I think your best bet is to pay attention to your instinct and protect your child.

Tricia - posted on 12/16/2010

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Supervised visits are the way to go. Because of your Ex's temper issues I would go through the courts. You need to be very careful how you handle this because your don't want you Ex taking his anger with you out on your son. I have a feeling that he wants to spend more time with him alone to see if he can get information out of him about you current relationship. My husbands Ex used to talk bad about me to her daughter when she was little, age 1 1/2 to 5, until she told her mom that she liked me. Now my stepdaughter is 15 and her mother has her convinced not to have anything to do with my husband or his family. Tyler needs a relationship with his father but it needs to be restricted to prevent any negative consequences.

Dawna - posted on 12/16/2010

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If the child comes home starving, has temper problems, and is clinging to you not to go, you really shouldn't force him to go with his dad. It is clear dad is not doing a good job, and more visits are unlikely to encourage a good relationship between father and son. If there is no court order, then dad has little legal recourse. I would stop letting him have unsupervised visits immediately, and only let him see him at the park or somewhere while you are there, while you work on a legal solution (that forces dad to get counselling, hopefully). Grandma is clearly only on dad's side, so she doesn't count as supervision. I'm really getting tired of reading the news stories about abused children being murdered (one is currently being prosecuted in my town), so please don't make a mistake and let this man continue to harm your child just because he is the biological father. It takes much more than DNA to be a parent, and he has clearly not made an effort to be an actual dad. I hope you can work out a solution that helps dad and son have a relationship, if that is really what the dad is after, but please do what you can to protect your son at all costs.

Belinda - posted on 12/14/2010

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tyler's father lives with his mum, she could tell me if anything happens.. but i'm not sure she would. where i live is kind of in the middle of nowere, a little village, there is a park but in this weather its hardly used. i dont have any kind of court arrangement with the father. thank you all very much for your advise. i think for now i will talk to his father and keep a close eye on him when he returns for a couple of visits. picked tyler up sunday night n he spent most of the night crying, his tummy was rumbling, tried giving him food as soon as i realised why he had woken but he was too tired to eat it, so he went through almost 3 pints of milk in one night, so theres deffinatly some things i need to talk to his father about. if things dont improve i will try and convince him of supervised visits but i very much doubt he will like that idea, so i may have to get legal advise in the near future, lets hope not

Becky - posted on 12/13/2010

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i would make sure someone that could tell me what is going on be there with them so i know where the behavior is coming from.

Michelle - posted on 12/13/2010

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Your son is very young and doesn't understand why the person who is the center of his universe leaves him for days at a time. He is just letting out his frustration when he gets home chances are he is perfectly fine with dad. All children go through what is called a transition period when they arrive or return from a weekend visit. It will get better, my son used to get really nasty when he would come home from his dads very mouthy and definitely defiant what I did with him was explain to him that his behavior may be exceptable at his dads but would not be tolerated at home. It worked for me.

Tracey - posted on 12/13/2010

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I almost got supervised visits w/ my daughters dad w/ her but he refused to see hows shes doing and wants to see how im doing more... thats not gonna happen so yes get those supervised vists...

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The violence/defiance is just his way of making sure your rules and boundaries are still the same. Likely the rules and routine are very different at Dad and Gramma's house. Two year old's like their structure and routine.
As to worry about his safety, all you can do is just watch and listen. And unless you have court documentation that allows you to restrict access to your son, your hands are tied until you go to court to rectify that.
And it will be a lengthily battle if your ex does not want to give up his access.
You would then have to prove he is a danger to your son.
This could make things significantly harder on your son.
For now I would just continue to watch and listen to your son.
If something happens or you see something that at all puts you at ease, then get your custody agreement amended.

Good luck!

Lisa - posted on 12/13/2010

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all for supervised visits! I have a son who's almost 3 and met his father for the fist time less than a year ago, I hadn't spoken to him since he was born so I didn't really know who he was anymore and didn't trust him, especially not being there for two years. Granted he may have changed and got help in those two years, but how do I know let him prove to you he has changed or had gone to anger management classes, something. I think no one has the right to keep a child from their parent, UNLESS it is putting their child in danger so just be safe. good luck

Patricia - posted on 12/13/2010

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Supervised visits are an excellent thing and I agree with the others.
If it helps imagine yourself 6 months down the track with 2 scenarios
1) where he has been acting out his aggression
2) he has been bonding well and has a good relationship

Now ask yourself if supervised visits would have done any harm and then ask yourself if doing nothing would have done any harm. Best to be safe than sorry.

If you are having a problem trying to approach this with your ex, speak to a HCV for advice.
Personally I would tell him that your son has been acting up on return and and you feel that he is not adjusting to this change so well and that you will be there to help them. Think about the ground rules before you speak to him e.g. where it will take place, that he is there to see his son and not you.

Or you could be honest with him and tell him you are concerned that your son is being aggressive and you are concerned because of the past one level but you are also aware how 2yo are and also children no matter what age can act out when it comes to visitations but stress that you want them to have a good relationship and will be there to make it as smooth as poss.
\Good luck.

Shannon - posted on 12/13/2010

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i would go with my gut, you obviously left him for a reason, i would even explore the legal system to retrict his visitation rights to supervised if you are really concerned for his safety...

Laura - posted on 12/12/2010

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if you dont feel comfortable and he is having agression when he comes home I would continue supervised visits. Do you have a local playgroup you go to or something like that because the advisor of that will be able to help you with the supervision

Jodi - posted on 12/12/2010

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You can still have supervised visits without him coming to your home. Your local library (read books, bring color books and crayons), a park, or you can always get a non-biased 3rd party to host and supervise visits. Perhaps he would allow you to bring Tyler to his house while you stay and supervise?

Belinda - posted on 12/12/2010

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we did start with supervised visits. the father came to my flat to see our son occasionally over the last few months. he didn't loose his temper with tyler but thats because he barely noticed he was there. unless i told him to do something with tyler he didn't. now that my partner is living with tyler n myself his father is refusing to come here and says that he wants time alone with tyler to bond.. i think he is finally interested in his son but im not sure why. thank you

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