Son doesn't want to talk to his dad

Leela - posted on 01/01/2014 ( 10 moms have responded )

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My son is 10. His father and I seperated before his birth but they have had a great relationship. The problems always seem to stem around day's girlfriends. The last 1 mistreated our child over 3 years. We only found out after that relationship ended how bad it was. My ex says he knew nothing about it.
His current gf left her marriage 6 months ago to be with my ex. She has 3 kids including a baby. They have completely integrated the kids, all activities are together and he gets no alone time with his father. Note that the do not live together but my ex is now sleeping over at her home (our son is not allowed to).
My son feels that his dad doesn't have time for him as even when he's not with the gf, they're on the phone together. Last night my son had a major meltdown and cried over his dad. He says he does not want to talk to him and prefers that we just discuss it between him and I. In the meantime, I don't know what to do. I've noticed my son become more introverted and sad. His father is in love and in his own world. Should I force the situation and make my son talk to his dad?

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Jodi - posted on 11/30/2016

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Aries, your child should always be aware that his step dad isn't actually his real dad, whether real dad is in his life or not, so there is that. Regardless of how long he has been away, he is still the child's father, and the child has a right to a relationship with him. I understand your frustration that he pretty much checked out for 2 years, and I know you feel it isn't fair, but what is even more unfair is not allowing a child a relationship with the other parent.

The court made a good decision if they decided on supervised visitation. This is an opportunity for your child to get to know his dad in a safe environment. Don't be TOO truthful with your son (i.e. he doesn't need to know all the details) but tell him that before you met the daddy he has now, you loved someone else, and that person is also his daddy and he loves him very much, but had a hard time being a daddy for a little while, but now he is able to be a daddy and isn't it great that he has 2 daddies?

As he gets older, and as he asks questions about that (and he will), just tell the age appropriate truth. Eventually he will be ready for the whole biological parent talk without it confusing him - you'll know when that is.

BTW, you asked the question of whether you should force your son to talk to his dad? You have a court ordering supervised visitation. You don't get that choice.

Lynzchristine - posted on 11/30/2016

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Hi there I am new to this site and I have a similar problem looking for advice.

My son's biological father has been out of the picture for 3 years now. We started out with him wanting visitation with my son every other weekend but when I went to pick up my son from his care he was physically abused/neglected. Since then we have been to court very month for child support and now custody.
Now that we are in the court he wants his every other weekend back and it's crazy because last time my son has seen his bio father was two years ago. My son doesn't know him. He calls my fiance of two years daddy. I'm just scared that the court has granted supervised visitation and those questions are going to come up about who his father is. I know his bio father is going to bad mouth me to my son. That's just the kind of person he is. I have resolved to be very truthful to my son he is very smart. I'm just worried about his confusion. Any advice on how to handle these hard questions?

Leela - posted on 01/30/2014

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Thanks ladies. The rift between them is healed but now my son doesn't want to let his father out of sight. He told me he doesn't want to lose him. So he's spending a lot of time by his father. I miss him! This is so hard.

Meadow Elizabeth Ehryn - posted on 01/03/2014

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when i was a kid i had the same problem between my parents my father wanted a divorce and my mom had a huge meltdown. i was on my dads side i understood why he wanted a divorce but yet i was still felt really bad for my mom.
Anyways if i were you i would plan a father son day so they could really sit down and talk it out because its sounds like he isnt very happy so dont let your son know about it but make a plan between his dad and his son so they can have some father son time together that way maybe once or twice even three times a week they couldhave a father son day :) i wish the luck to you both

Ev - posted on 01/02/2014

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Leela-You tell your son you love him, you spend extra time with him when his dad does not have him, and you make the boy feel like he is the most important person in the world. Over indulge the praise on his grades, his accomplishments, and anything that is important to him. Get grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins on board too. The more family that he can hear things good from will help him. Find things of interest for him and develop an interest too. He will love this. I am not saying to do this as a competition. I am saying do this so he will feel a bit better about life. Its his dad's loss. Its his dad's choice. When he is older you will be able to explain this.

Leela - posted on 01/02/2014

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Thanks ladies. You are both right. Had the talk with his father. Got the impression that he was very upset with me since its his business. However he did say that he would spend more alone time with our son. I'm not sure what else I can do. Last night my son started acting almost babyish - I'm not sure if that's because he thinks he's competing with the baby. He told me that her daughter said that his dad is getting married to her mom and he was hurt that his dad didn't tell him. You need to understand that the last time his father was engaged he wasn't invited to the wedding. His father said that isn't true and in the short term I believe him since she's now going through the divorce process. It's hard watching your child hurt. I can't make his father be a father. Right now my son is playing with his friends while his father is taking care of his gf's kids. He could have spent the evening with him. How do I as a mom help my son cope?

Jodi - posted on 01/01/2014

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I don't think the conversation coming from you should be about how he is moving too fast, or anything to do with his girlfriend, per se. That is far too much acting like you want control over his relationship (at least, that is the way he will view it). This should be discussing with him about having one on one time with his son. Do NOT make the discussion about the girlfriend - he isn't going to listen to your advice about that. Make the discussion about his relationship with his son and finding the right balance so that your son doesn't feel left out.

Ev - posted on 01/01/2014

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And Leela, he feels he is when the new woman in dad's life has kids. His dad seems to be fixed on them more than his kid if your son keeps telling you these things. You need to sit his dad down and remind him he has an obligation to his own child first. He needs to spend some one on one time with him. Tell him how his son cries about it and how he says he is loosing his dad to these other kids. Make him see this.

Leela - posted on 01/01/2014

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Hi Jodi the one topic we've had problems discussing is his girlfriends. He believes that I will never like anyone he's with. I tried talking to him in the past as I thought they were moving too fast, but he thinks I'm over cautious (which to be fair I am). Her kids are already calling his parents 'granny' and 'grandpa' and his gf has tried to have my son call her parents the same, which he hasn't. My son cried again today - called for his dad and he was busy with her baby. I've told my son that having more kids around isn't a bad thing, but he keeps saying he's losing his daddy.....

Jodi - posted on 01/01/2014

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I think maybe you should talk to his dad about it, if that is at all possible. Dad really needs to put aside some alone time with his son as well as having time with his gf and her family. Do you and your ex co-parent well enough for you to approach him about it?

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