Baby daddy drama

Amy - posted on 12/18/2009 ( 14 moms have responded )

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My oldest daughter refuses to visit her father. How do I handle this? I have 4 children, and just yesterday had my final divorce hearing. The divorce has been going on for 2 yrs and has been very emotional. While it's been hard for everyone, my oldest says she can't stand her daddy and begs not to go visit. He has been very mean to her and unwilling to reach out in her direction (other than to complain about it). I want to protect my daughter but I also want to encourage their relationship. HELP!!!

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Sally - posted on 12/19/2009

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I agree with Courtney - tell her she can see him whenever she wants to, but don't force it on her now, especially when it sounds like her dad doesn't really want to spend time with her either. It sounds like it's currently negative for everyone involved.



I think if a child is telling you that they are uncomfortable around another adult then we have to really listen to them to find out why. Maybe talk with her and ask her what she means when she says he's "mean".

Gabriella - posted on 12/19/2009

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If you feel your daughter is able to make the decision not to go with her father then allow her to. You should consider a mediator/counselor for her and your ex-husband. Make sure that in protecting her you don't talk badly about her father, this will help her in the end if and/or when she decides to reconcile with her father.

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Brooke - posted on 03/09/2011

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Well, I would say this is one of two things.
1. Your daughter is trying to protect you by telling you what she thinks you want to hear. Kids do this. I always told my Mum I wanted to live with her, but when I was at my Dad's I told him I hated Mum's place and wanted to 'come home'. My parents hated each other (still do) and were unfortunately not shy about telling me this, so I thought my Mum wanted me to hate my Dad, and vice versa.
OR
2. Alarm bells are ringing. Is it possible that there is, as someone posted, a more sinister reason? Exactly HOW does he 'be mean' to her? How old is she? Is she the only girl? Did she hate him before, or only sinbce the divorce?
These are definitely questions that need to be looked at. As much as we want to believe that the people we love, or have loved, are trustworthy, this is not always the case.
I would definitely see about getting her some counselling. If she goes on her own, she then has the chance to say anything she wants about either of her parents, without fear of hurting either of you.
I know that here in Australia, the kids can make their own decision about who they live with/visit after they turn a certain age- I think it's 9 or 10- but until then they have to visit, unless it is considered unsafe.
I would definitely sit down with your daughter and have a talk about what is mean, what is regular parenting and discipline, and what is abuse. I truly hope for yours and your daughter's sake that it is simply because he is maybe a bit harsher than you are, but to tell you honestly, your post definitely started those alarm bells ringing!
Good luck, and I hope it works out for you.

Cassie - posted on 12/20/2009

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I completely understand your concerns with your daughter, but unfortunately you must go by what visitations were set in your divorce. A friend of mine has four children from her first marriage and she has found evidence of both sexual and physical abuse when her children come back from their father's house. I won't go into detail about the abuse because it will just anger people. She reported it and had it documented several times, but do to the "lack" of evidence they made her continue with the visitations. She was told time and time again that she would be held in contempt of court if she did not allow the children (they didn't want to see their dad) to go with their father. The good part to this is the father has straightened up since they appeared in court for the abuse issues. The kids are happier and show no signs of abuse now when they come home from dad's. The biggest way you can protect her is to let her continue to make up her own mind about her father. Try your best not to "bash" him in front of her or where she could possibly overhear you. My mom did that to me and it ruined our relationship for several years. We have both come to the conclusion that we just don't discuss dad. Also my eight year old's dad wasn't in her life for the first four years of her life and when he came back into her life she wanted nothing to do with him. As hard as it was for me to watch him drive away with her bawling her head off I did. Up until September she had a very strong bond with him. He moved ten hours away and while he calls her about three times a week he hasn't been back to see her since he moved. She goes back and forth between wanting to see him and being upset with him. I think maybe counseling for you, your daughter, and you ex if you can get him to participate would be a good idea. I wish you the best of luck.

Lawanda - posted on 12/19/2009

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As parents are job is to protect our children your children are at ages were there thoughts should be taken into consideration if he's being mean than maybe he shouldn't be seeing them especially since they are not wanting to see him or asking for him protect your kids don't let them continue to go threw this they have other things ahead of them to be worrying about like school etc.. if thing get to out of hand and crazy that what the courts are for let them do there job.

Sharon - posted on 12/19/2009

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Talk to your daughter about her feelings, why she feels what she feels.

Does your ex really deserve her alienation? is he bad to the children? or just her?

If her feelings are genuine unto her, then explain how this is going to play out. he may ask the police to come with him to enforce the court ordered visitation rights. She will have to stand up for herself when confronted by him & the police at your front door otherwise it is YOU who will be held in contempt of court.

Michael - posted on 12/19/2009

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I think it is the responsibility of your x-husband to mend and repair the relationship with your daughter. I would put that responsibility back on him when he starts to complain. I would also encourage her to see her Father because life is to short and none of us are guaranteed tomorrow but I would not force her to go. Counseling would be good for her to talk to a 3rd party / unbiased adult to help her channel her feelings and emotions and once she is comfortable maybe the father could join a session so that maybe they can clear up some hurt or misunderstood intentions. And Prayer works too!

Renae - posted on 12/19/2009

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I come from a "split" marriage, (mum also remarried to form our own real life brady bunch), I absolutely do not think your daughter should be forced to visit. Please dont mind my asking but if she is begging not to go there isn't any sinister reason is there? I'm not meaning to accuse her father of anything but you never know who else is around and I just wanted to make sure you had ruled that out and that you are certain she is safe at her father's house.

How old is your daughter? I no longer have anything to do with my father by choice and as I teenager I already knew what I thought of him. My mother and sister tried to convince me to maintain a relationship with him because they thought I might regret it in the future. I tried my best to take their advice and have a relationship with him until I was about 25 but he is not deserving of my love or respect. I am now 30 and am happy not to see him again. I think sometimes kids are more capable of making their own decisions than adults give them credit for.

Wendy - posted on 12/19/2009

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You should respect her feelings...If she is old enough...maybe she could have some supervised visitation too....Her father may realize what he is missing if he doesnt get the oppertunity to see her...sometimes distance makes a lot of difference...

User - posted on 12/19/2009

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I have no personal experience in the divorce area so may be way off base, but, I think don't push her to see him.She will work it out in her own time.She knows he is not putting effort in and can't see why she should have to by the sounds of it. I wouldn't want to hang out with a dad that didn't show me love.

Nene J. - posted on 12/19/2009

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I know from personal experiences with my own father that pushing your child on ANYONE will blow up in your face and may cause her to resent you. My first child's father isn't in the picture but my daughter has no problem with it. As far as she's concerned my late husband was her father. You should tell your daughter that if she isn't comfortable being around him that it's ok and that she doesn't have to be. And that whenever she feels she's ready to be, she can.

User - posted on 12/18/2009

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maybe have a talk with him a tell him it is important to be positive around her if you are on good terms with him and make sure no matter how bad things are between you two you never say any negative things around your daughter about her father. Also tell her it is important to have a relationship with her dad because she might regret the lost time later on in life and encourage her to tell him how she feels!

Melissa - posted on 12/18/2009

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Amy, depending on your daughters age, I would do my best to respect her wishes. Of course, if it is court ordered visitation/custody this could cause problems. Remember, sometimes kids decide parents are mean because correction and discipline are being handed out.

Your daughter has been under a lot of emotional stress. i would try talking to your ex and ask that he agree to a month with out visits. Many times finding that they can't visit makes the child be more honest and open with their emotions and feelings. you may find that a little distance for a hort period will change her mind and even improve the relastionship. We all need some emotional breathing room every once in a while.

Ashley - posted on 12/18/2009

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If he is mean to her, I don't see why he would get the privilage to see any of your children. Does he legally get rights to see them? Is he a danger for her to be around? Sounds like a bad situation that could get worse. Is he mean to her if you are around?

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