The "when it's convenient" dad (long, sorry)

Stephany - posted on 01/12/2016 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Here's my situation.... my son is 10. His dad and I have been split up since he was 4. His dad lives 2 hours away from us. His dad takes him only when it's convenient for him. My son is in sports and has more and more birthday parties and different activities he is involved in now. Because his dad doesn't take him but once a month, he doesnot feel comfortable going to his dad's. He claims he hardly talks to my son and just sits around on his phone all day. Our court papers read that we have joint custody with primary placement with me and visitations at my disgression. I've never held him from seeing our son but I'm getting tired of feeling bad for my son going there when he doesn't want to. My question is, should I feel guilty telling his dad that he has plans on weekends that he really does have plans so he won't be going for a visit? Also, if it's my son's decision not to go, should he call his dad and tell him, or should i?

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Jodi - posted on 01/12/2016

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Your son is 10. He doesn't get to make the choice and neither do you. Your role at the moment is continue to encourage his relationship with his father. He's 10. He doesn't know what is best for himself - and needs to understand that in life, there are things we have to do, even if we don't really want to all that much. I really hope you are providing encouraging words and finding positive things for him to consider about being at his dad's, and not agreeing with him about how much it sucks....because that won't help the situation. This is most likely a phase he is going through - my son didn't really like going to his dad's at that age - but he is now 18 and drives himself to go and stay there for a few days here and there now because he wants to. The relationships with parents changes over time, and you need to continue to encourage him positively to persevere.

However, if he has some plans, it would be appropriate to talk to his dad about those plans first. Let him know about the invitation, and see if maybe dad will make changes to arrange the following weekend, or something like that.

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Stephany - posted on 01/13/2016

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Oh I always encourage him to. I always tell him what fun it will be to see his brother and that just like when he's gone for the weekend and I miss him that his dad misses him too. I did talk to him about the invitation to the party. He very reluctantly agreed. If he wouldn't have, I would have sent my son to his dad's instead.

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