Need advice! Or answers not sure what to do!

Texas - posted on 09/12/2012 ( 8 moms have responded )

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My 11 year old son has stopped wanting to go see his bio dad. My son used to put up a fuss about going to see his dad but I think it was b/c he was used to our routines; as soon as he would see his father he was all smiles. That was when his dad some him on a regular basis, like every other weekend. Now his father has a different job, moved 30 min out of town and is living with his girlfriend (i call her his step mother she is good to him). But she does have two children of her own. After an incident with my son getting dragged by a rope from his father's dog, my ex and I had it out and I told him that our son is very reluctant to go to his house anymore...his answer was when "I am off I have so many people to spend time with it's hard to get to everyone" I told him that was his choice but he would only have this time with his son. We have been divorced since my son was 2 and I have since remarried and now the family he has he thinks this is just the way life is. Although, this time I'm very concerend. I always try to let me son know as as possible that this is the weekend his dad will be picking up, we never know we just have to wait for the text (I think this is part of the problem and many times he will text and then "oh no i've got to work") but this week my son is pulling at my heart strings and my momma bear attitude. Since I've told him he has been depressed! He isn't sleeping well and has come right out and said I don't want to go! My question is do I back up my 11 year old and put my foot down or not? I'm so lost and confused!

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 09/12/2012

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I have to add: I hate to see dogs on leads, rather than in a fenced yard. It creates such situations as this. I also hate to see kids be afraid of a dog because of something that was beyond the dog's control.



I'm an animal person. I've always worked to make sure that my animals (German shepherds are one of my top favorites) are baby friendly, because baby friendly translates into kid friendly. People that want to have a dog, but don't want to give it the space to run, or train it to be gentle irritate the heck out of me, and shouldn't be allowed around animals, much less allowed to own one!

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 09/12/2012

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Ok, so he was playing with the dog, who got excited, wrapped him up and dragged him...Um, that's pretty normal dog type behaviour. I would suggest to the ex that perhaps a fence is in order.



German Shepherds are awesome family dogs, and LOVE kids. they love to play, they love to romp. Sounds like your son may now be afraid of the dog, which is unreasonable, as he was the "instigator", in playing with the dog and getting him wound up.



But, I can see where his fear could originate, in that he was not in control of the situation. And, the dog probably is excited to see him when he arrives, so starts jumping up, or otherwise getting into your son's space.



You need to be up front with your ex. The dog didn't do anything wrong except that he was on a lead, rather than free in his yard. If a fence goes up, the dog won't have anything to wrap around legs, will be much happier, and much easier to play with. There's not any "danger" to your son.



Now, if the issue is that dad's not consistent with visits, etc, is there court ordered visitation in place? If not, then there's no pressure on dad to be consistent. I'd try to work out a better schedule with your ex, and if necessary, get a court ordered schedule that has to be adhered to. But, in my opinion, buy "backing up your son", you're telling him that if he doesn't like something, he can avoid it, and it'll all be OK...which we all know won't work in the real world, when he grows up.

Katherine - posted on 09/12/2012

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Umm, he was dragged by a dog?? I would back up your 11yo. That's enough reason for me.

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Texas - posted on 09/13/2012

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Hi Shawnn! Thanks for your response. My son knows it's not the dog's fault we talked at great length about that. At our house we have 4 dogs 3 little ones and a golden. My son has always been around dogs. I talked to his father at great length about the dog and also with my son that if he wants to play with the dog he needs to have his father put him on a leash and be beside him. Unforturnately my ex is not like me and has not trained his dog, basically got him as a pup put in the backyard at the old house and that's about it. I didn't mean to turn this into the dog dragging. I should have explained that much better. My ex didn't even call me to tell me what happened and he wouldn't let my son call me either. His father's opinion was it wasn't that bad. By a fluke we had some unexpected visitors that weekend and I asked his father if my son could come home for the day and that's when I was notified of his leg. He dropped him off with bandages around his knee and when I took them off it looked like the rope had lacerated his muscles (even the urgent care clinic I took him to immediately got the doctor to inspect to see if in fact I needed the ER) my son doesn't do well with his father's "you need to act like a man it's not painful attitude" and not only in this situation but with sports as well.



My son's reluctance began a while ago when his father got this job. At first his father would always pick him up and then all of a sudden it was his step mom and then my son telling me that his father wouldn't get home until late the next day. I talked his father and said please pick him up when you are there, he likes his step mom but wants to see you not her and her two younger children when you are not there. He was fine with that.



We do have standard visistation but we have never stuck to it his b/c he has never held a traditonal Monday thru Friday job so asking him to stick to a standard schedule which is every other weekend and 6 weeks in the summer would not allow him time with his son. I have tried extremely hard to always let him know he has free access to our son. If I enforce that my son will most likely only see his step mom.



I don't want to bash my ex as he is my son's father and gave me that precious gift but at his house things are so different than at mine. I understand two different houses (my parent's divorced) and two different set of rules but he makes my son eat stuff he doesn't like, clean his plate (with big portions I have never been fond of the you must clean your plate before you leave the table attitude). I am for having him try a variety of different foods and I always serve him something to try but he actually spanked my son for not eating his corn! He has never liked corn even as a hungry baby he would refuse corn every time I tried to feed him his baby food.



And one more note on the dog dragging that I couldn't bring myself to type is my son swears that his dad stood there laughing and waited to come help; telling him he needed to do it himself. He cried and cried about this. I told him (before talking to my ex) that he was probably scared and it was probably minutes and now way would daddy laugh at you! But he turned his eyes to me and wiped his nose and said yes he laughed, came and got me and swatted my head for being there! I was enraged! My ex denies it, he usually denies everything! But my son is no liar!



It's just so confusing I really do appreciate all the input. My son is going to see his father this weekend and i'm going to gauge how it goes and hopefully I will have some insight on what I should do.



I completely agree with not allowing my son to feel like if I don't want to do something my momma is going to get me out of it at all....that's where i'm stuck!

Texas - posted on 09/12/2012

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Hi Jodi! His father owns a large German Shepherd that is about 2 years old. The father moved in to a house without a fence so they tied the dog up with a very long rope. My son was playing with him and the dog got excited and wrapped my son up around the knees and dragged him 10 to 15 feet. His father was outside with him at the time it happened and upon further discussion with his father it was found out that this also happend to my son's younger step sister who is about 5. I know I didn't put that in my original post b/c thinking of this incident makes me cry.I try to do what my gut is telling me is the right way for my son..just looking for a little guidance here :)

Jodi - posted on 09/12/2012

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I'm actually a little confused as to how he was dragged by this dog, and how that was his father's fault?

Katherine - posted on 09/12/2012

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Maybe he needs supervised visitation? If the dog is a potential danger he really shouldn't be around it. I would have gone all momma bear too!

Texas - posted on 09/12/2012

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Hi Katherine! Thank you for your response. I was typing too fast when I wrote this to get the words out. My son didn't go see his father for several months after that incident b/c I just couldn't let him (the only tjme he got to go was to his paternal grandparent's house with his dad for his uncle's graduation from high school). My son requested about 2 months ago to go see his dad b/c he missed him but he only got to see him for a couple of days and this is the next time going. Yes he was dragged a good 10 or 15 feet it was horrible! But that is another story and I just let his father have it, there was no controlling me; momma bear was free and wanted to tear a car door off! I agree with you. I'm just so scared my son my look back and ask why I put my foot down.....

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