Should I keep my kids from visiting their dad?

Christa - posted on 05/28/2011 ( 15 moms have responded )

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Help! My ex and I have been separated for almost 4 years. The agreement we have is that they visit him every second weekend, but I am the primary caregiver. Dad has been seeing someone for about 6 or 7 months now and has recently moved two hours away to live with her and her daughter (from a previous marriage). Our son is 10 and our daughter is 4, the girlfriend's daughter is 9 and an only child. The problem is that my kids' dad has become super-dad to the gf's girl, to the detriment of his own kids. Every time he kids come home there is the same story "we didn't do anything, dad pays all his attention to them and not us". At first I took it with a grain of salt, changes are always hard for kids I know. But my kids have their very first dance recital tomorrow and their dad is not coming. He has known for at least two months about this and the reason he gave our son is that he has stuff to do with his girlfriend. My son is crushed. His dad has never once picked up the kids from school, yet he picks up the gf's daughter all the time. The kids were made to go to a first communion and party for the girl, but none of them are coming to the recital. I am so tired of my son and daughter being sad and hurt by him. As a dad he is inattentive at best and has been for...well forever really. The kids have said they don't really want to go to daddy's because he's mean and pays more attention to the new girl than them, but they end up going because they think he will get mad and they don't want to upset them. What do I do?????

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Jodi - posted on 05/28/2011

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Nothing, unfortunately. You keep with the custody agreement. They aren't old enough to decide for themselves, and he has a right to see them. It is your responsibility under that agreement to ensure that it happens. I know, it sucks that he is doing this to the kids, but unless he is actually putting them in harms way, there is nothing you can do.

Been there, done that.

I would suggest, IF you have a reasonable relationship with your ex that you try to talk to him about it and let him know how that kids are feeling. He possibly doesn't realise what he is doing.

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Constance - posted on 06/03/2011

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My BF was a complete asshole in and out when he chose. I was ripped apart for so many years because my mom didn't take a stand to protect me. If he has been doing this for a while then put limits and stand by them. If he isn't really maing an effort then he may not even realize that you have plans once again on his weekend. Just make it inconvient see what happens. My sister did this and he has been gone for 5 years no fight just disappear.

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leave it up to the kids, if they dont want to go visit then let him know that. sorry that this is happening, I have a friend who is going through the same thing

Hollie - posted on 06/03/2011

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yeah i wouldnt let them go talk all of the issues out and always make sure if have legal grounds to do it!

Christa - posted on 06/03/2011

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Grr he did it again. It's his weekend with the kids and he cancelled. He said it's because their vehicle is in the body shop and won't be back till Monday. Don't you think you would work that out in advance? Yet again the kids are disappointed. Arch he's a jackass!!!

Gwen - posted on 05/31/2011

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Find a good family counselor where you and your kids can go together. Learn how to gain strength from each other and work through these changes as a team.

Alysoun - posted on 05/29/2011

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Unfortunately you have to stick to the "agreement' or go to court. Don't keep them from him or eventually they will resent you. let them go to him and if he keeps it up he will be the one that comes off second best in thier eyes. Could you try talking to the G/F if she seems nice.

Christa - posted on 05/29/2011

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Man I wish child support were the answer, a government office deals with that and he's still two months behind on payments. My 10year old was so hurt and angry today because dad didn't come to his dance recital, dad told him "sorry I have to go out with gf and her daughter". It was the kids' first recital :(

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child support if he is not taking the part of being a dad to your kids and being a dad to kids not his own child support they will get taken care off and he can also have visits if they want to go or if he want them

Patricia - posted on 05/29/2011

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I had a similar issue and I ended up going back to court and he has supervised visits every other week. I had to prove the drinking problem and the kids had to talk to the judge without me or my ex. It is a better for the kids. The only problem is that he misses the supervised visits and the kids look up to them.

Good Luck hope it gets better.

Jody - posted on 05/28/2011

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I normally think that its very important for a child to have both parents in their lives if at all possible. As such, I think the best thing to do is to talk to him. Find out why he is acting this way towards his own children. And I know from experience that it will be excruciatingly hard, but when you ask him, do not judge him or blame him, because that will only cause him to become defensive and withdraw further. Likewise, don't threaten to take the kids away if he doesn't shape up. Instead, explain to him that you have been seriously considering challenging his visitation rights, and calmly ask him how he feels about it. The best way to get men to open up and deal with something is to keep asking questions about how THEY think and feel. Men are inherently self-centered, women are inherently other-centered, its the way our brains are wired. Keep him talking about himself while directing him towards the issue of the kids with your questions; if you mostly tell him what you're thinking and feeling, he's more likely to shut down and stop listening, but if you show interest in his point of view, he will show much more interest in what you have to say. This is woman's great secret strength when it comes to men, our subtle sleight of hand - get him to want to pay attention to the kids, but make it seem like it was his idea.

Christa - posted on 05/28/2011

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Thanks all for your advice. I have tried bringing up the kids' concerns with dad but he just says our son is exaggerating and then gives him crap for lying and complaining. What I have seen of the gf is great, she seems kind to the kids. Sadly dad has a drinking issue, which he is supposedly working on but I've heard that for 9 years, and is not opposed to lying and play-acting to look good. Guess I will just be there and look out for them.

Hollie - posted on 05/28/2011

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I would adress these issues with him get his incentative. unfortunetly in our state (FL) you can't hold custody or you will be found in contemp of court and people are pretty sneeky about getting court papers, this is start a ruckus with soon to be SM of your children. (it could happen your BD marry her) . I would watch out very closely to see how the next visit goes. Tell him your concerns and what has been brought to your attention, then go from there. But I know i wouldnt want to be no contempt of court for not allowing his rightful visitation.

Krista - posted on 05/28/2011

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I'm assuming you've tried talking to him about this? That would be my first suggestion -- just to say that the kids are feeling shoved aside, and that they're very hurt by his lack of attention.

If he doesn't respond, then your recourse probably depends on your custody agreement. You'll probably need to continue to send them there, though. And you'll need to pick up the pieces after he continues to hurt them. It completely sucks, and it's unfair, but this is not an uncommon thing, sadly enough.

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