MAKE my child see his father?

Brianna - posted on 09/16/2016 ( 10 moms have responded )

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Hi, everyone! First day here. Just wanted some advice, & not from friends who will most likely take my side.

My son is about to be 3 in a couple of weeks. He has not seen his father since December of 2015. Almost a year now. Before then, I was forcing their relationship; calling to ask him if he wanted to see him, having my son call him to talk; etc. Once I stopped doing that, the contact between the two got less & less frequent.

My child's father used to abuse me; emotionally, physically, mentally, & sexually. I want to say that i know he would never hurt his children, but he has 3 others, & I have seen how he disciplines them; not to mention I do not trust him with my son, whatsoever (Mom feeling). The last time my son saw his father, he only had him for 2 hours for me to get a haircut, & i had to have my sister pick him up because he complained the hair appointment was taking too long & he had things to do. He saw him once or twice, then would go months without seeing him. He has brushed him off, ditched him, ignored calls, lied about having plans not to see him; lied about his job so I haven't gotten support since November 2015. He was dealing drugs out of the home my son was visiting when he would see him, which was the reason I stopped contact. He had no job for over 6 months, only asked for my son twice, both of which he was already asleep, but he demanded to see him & that I was making that hard for him. He would harass me with threats, so I changed my number & blocked him on any social media. He knows where we live & also all of my family's phone numbers, but hasn't contacted anyone or come by. He didn't show up to the parenting class we were both ordered by the court to take.

BUT my son still asks about him; but he doesn't call him daddy, he calls him Tony (his name). He calls him sassy, but still asks where he is. I never talk bad about him. I usually just say he is working or sleeping or something.

Most people are on my side about not letting him see him, for his own safety & mental & emotional health. Most of the time I feel I am in the right as well because that little boy is my everything, & I canNOT leave my son with someone that I don't feel will be stable & safe for him. But I also don't want him to resent me or be mad at me in the future. But his father is just not making an effort, not support financially or any other way, not to mention he supposedly has a new job for a few months now, but I am still seeing no child support. I don't NEED the money, but he SHOULD be paying for a child he helped create.

Anyway; Am I wrong? Do I keep them from having contact, for my son's safety right not? (By the way; I WOULD let them see each other if my child's father grows up & gets/keeps a job, does his share, & becomes a stable & safe & reliable adult for my child to be around.) Or do I force them to have contact?

Also, I want to mention, I would NEVER use my feelings toward my ex as a reason to not let them have contact. I have since let go of all of that (Or you could say working through it in counseling) & it has never & would never play a part in their relationship. & I have been seeing this man for a year now & we just moved in together recently, & my son loves him. Even calls him daddy sometimes. This man treats my child like his own; teaches him things & pays for half of his daycare with me, plays with him & takes him to the park, talks with him to understand things; he even checks on him in the middle of the night sometimes. :)

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Dove - posted on 09/16/2016

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There should be a court order for custody and visitation and then it is up to the father to take his visitation or not. You can't MAKE him be interested, but it's not right to deny him access if he's asking unless you have a court order denying him visitations (different than the court just saying mom has custody... because I have full legal and physical custody of my children, but their father still has court ordered visitations that I must adhere to if he takes them).

As far as your son asking about him... casual and kind 'blow offs' is how I've handled it for years. If my son wants to call his dad I hand him the phone to do so, but if he's just talking about wanting to see his dad or when he will see his dad or that he misses his dad... I answer him honestly, but simply... and remind him of all the other great men he has in his life. It's 'not enough' to my son (he wants me to get married, so he can have a dad that lives w/ him), but it is what it is and we do our best.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 09/16/2016

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well, you need to step up, and get court ordered custody, support, and visitation. then, if he decides not to take his visits, its not on you

Sarah - posted on 09/16/2016

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Is there any court order that give your son's father rights to see him? If so, then if he asks to see the child; then you let him see his son. To force your child to go see a man who has not shown any interest in parenting? I would not. I would continue to tell your son that "Tony" is just not able to see him, but that he loves him and hopefully he can be able to see him soon. You are wise to not bad mouth this man to your son, as someday they may repair their relationship. Just keep it neutral.

10 Comments

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Jodi - posted on 09/17/2016

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Mary, she only gets to dictate the rules if she has the appropriate court orders. Otherwise, he has the same rights she does.

Mary - posted on 09/17/2016

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Dear Brianna,
If his dad wants to see him, he will need to play by the rules. I would suggest that if visits are wanted by dad, that they be supervised until he can prove that he is safe and reliable. From everything you have said, he is not safe to be alone with his son. The more honest and loving you can be, the better. Its good to be honest with your ex and with your son. And I am so sorry for the abuse you endured. I am so sorry for your sons sadness. I pray the best for you and that you know that Jesus loves you and your son. God bless you
Mary

Michelle - posted on 09/17/2016

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You need to go to court and get set custody, visitation and child support.
If he doesn't see his child the times that are court ordered you can go back and get it amended due to him not bothering.

Dove - posted on 09/16/2016

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An 8pm last minute visitation is unreasonable by any stretch of the imagination. It sounds like you are handling the situation about as well as you can.

Brianna - posted on 09/16/2016

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Thank you all so much for your input. I haven't denied him the right to see him ever. He just doesn't ask. We know the same people, he has my contacts & our address. He just does nothing. I don't even know where he lives & neither does the court so even if I file for visitation & what not, I doubt he'll show or even know about it, just like he failed to show up to the class. I thought by cutting all ties right now he would grow up & take responsibility & actually make an effort but it seems like it's just Made it easier for him to not be a dad. The two times he's asked for him in the last 9 Months, it was after 8pm when my son was already in bed, but he wanted him right then & there. Didn't try to plan anything.. My responses to him were "hes already in bed. What's another day that works for you?" His response to that was that I can't dictate when he sees him & I should be grateful he's in his life & should wake him up. He's 2 & gets up with me at 6 everyday. I'm not going to wake him up. I shouldn't have to. There is no reason he can't ask earlier in the day or plan ahead of time. & that's provided he even asks. So I feel at a loss here.

Brianna - posted on 09/16/2016

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Also, there is no court order saying anything about custody really. He is not even on the birth certificate. We never took a DNA test, he just went to court & legally said hes his father. The court docs say placement & custody are the mother's as well as I am the only one who can claim him on taxes.

Brianna - posted on 09/16/2016

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I am doing my best. It still breaks my heart to drive past where he used to live & my son can literally point it out that that's where Tony lived & where he used to visit him. & he asks where he is & I say at work or sleeping or something along those lines. If he tries to contact me, which he hasn't in months, I reply calmly & rationally & try to work something out, but it's always his way or no way. There's no compromise. He has no stable home, i don't know where he lives, he has no car, no reliability, etc. But that has always had to take a back seat in my mind because i still want them to have a relationship, but at the same time, i get this terrible feeling in my stomach of worry just at the thought of my child spending time who knows where around who knows who while his father does who knows what. I just want to know my child is safe & taken care of.

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