Worried about my son going to visit his father??

Tami - posted on 01/30/2012 ( 8 moms have responded )

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My son will be 4 next month. His father and I have had a rough relationship from the beginning. We split for a year when my son was 1 1/2, got back together after that year, then split for good not even 6 months after that. I live in Virginia and his father is in Florida. Obviously my son lives with me and although our divorce papers aren't final, his father really hasn't done much for him and it's been a year since he left.He hasn't really sent much money to take care of his son, nor does he really talk to him much. In the last year, he has seen him once when he came up this way to visit family and I let my son stay with him for 3 days. As our papers will be finalized within a few weeks, I'm already starting to worry about our agreement. I agreed to letting our son spend summers with him and although it's only 2 months, I'm worried about his father taking him to do things that aren't age appropriate. He's talked about taking him 4-wheeling and air boating and I know he just wants to do fun stuff with him, I just don't think my son is old enough and I'm worried something could happen to him. Am I just being an over-protective parent? Or are my worries justified? And is there anything I can do to be at ease?

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Jodi - posted on 01/30/2012

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I am not sure what air boating is, but 4 wheeling, do you mean 4 wheel driving? I can't see that as inappropriate for his age. My son was about 2 1/2 when he first went with his dad to do that. My daughter was 4 when we went on a 4 wheel driving holiday as a family, so I don't think you need to be concerned about that sort of thing. But maybe I have misinterpreted your post.



Having said that, however, I can understand your concerns for you son. 2 months is a long time. Do you have skype set up? Can you talk to your son regularly while he is gone? Is there any way you may even be able to visit midway through, just for a day or two?

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Tami - posted on 01/31/2012

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Thanks Moms! My main concern was basically that his father has never really had our son alone. This will be the first time and I know he would never let any harm come to him. I guess it really is just me worrying way too much.

Kay - posted on 01/30/2012

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I know it is hard to believe, but this is actually kind of natural. Moms tend to be protective and nurturing, while Dads tends to be more carefree. Both of these roles are important. You let your child now that he is loved and safe; Dad let's him know that it is okay to take risks and try new things.



I would focus less on what Dad is doing and more on reminding him to do it safely. Remember, he loves your son too, and doesn't want to hurt him--he is probably just way excited.



For us, it was tubing--floating on an inner tube down a river. I was completely freaked out the entire time! I knew my fiancé was a strong swimmer, but I just could not imagine my four year old sitting still for all that time! I mean, it was several hours to make the whole trip. But he had a great time, and came home excited and with a new depth of self confidence.



You are not wrong to be concerned--but I would temper that concern with knowledge that your son will be able to bond with his father while also learning that it is okay to take risks and try new things. :)

Jodi - posted on 01/30/2012

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Thanks for clarifying Sherri. I still don't see the issue if dad takes it easy and the child is a passenger. In either case. But I can understand why mum may feel concerned.

Iridescent - posted on 01/30/2012

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4 wheeling is legal in most (if not all) states as long as the parent is riding with the child, and the child is NOT in a car seat of any type on the 4-wheeler. It's legal for a child to drive a 4 wheeler alone in many (if not all) states once they are 6 years old and pass the "fit test" - which means their body fits the equipment appropriately. Why shouldn't he take his son 4 wheeling?

~♥Little Miss - posted on 01/30/2012

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All of your concerns may lead you to reviewing your agreement and making any changes before it is finalized. 2 months is a long time for sure, I know I would feel the same way, but a father does have rights.

Iridescent - posted on 01/30/2012

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You're just going to have to try to discuss your fears with him, and let him parent during that time. If you wanted to do something with your son that he wasn't comfortable with, it would be the same - you would not allow him to stop you. That's the right of the parent during parenting time.

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