The Super dad that is a Super let down

Cassandra - posted on 03/24/2013 ( 1 mom has responded )

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Hey ladies I am so confused on what to do! My daughter is 6 and see her dad as the best thing in the world to her but he also lets her down so often. It hurts me inside to think that he lets her down some much and she is so sadden by it. one week but the following week he buys her candy and coloring books and all the fun stuff and he is the best thing since cotton candy. He builds her up and then knocks her down. I am really thinking about removing him completely out of the picture but I know she will blame me for making daddy go away. She has told me that I am the reason she don't see or talk to her dad. What should I do?

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Denikka - posted on 03/24/2013

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My siblings have dealt with pretty much the same thing, especially my sister (we have different dads, same mom).
She had visitation with him on a regular basis since very young, but that is really all he has done for her with any consistency. Like what you describe, he would buy her some things, then break promises, not show up to important events, etc. It was a roller coaster for her.
She is now 18 and, for most of her teen years, she has figured out the system. Dad has to pay for any right to access her. She uses him like crazy. She figures since that happens to be all she is going to get out of him (the occasional money gift or buying something for her), she may as well milk it for all it is worth.

It hurt her fairly deeply when she was young. She could not understand it. She blamed herself, she blamed our mother. But as she grew up, she realized that it was him and his issues. I am sure it still hurts her, but I think she has made as much peace with it as possible.


Now, on my side, my dad was asked to leave when I was very young, before I was even 5 years old. He could not be bothered to fight for custody of me, could barely be bothered to visit, and then it was only until something more interesting, like a friend walking by, came along.
My mom and my grandparents decided to give him the option to step up and actually be a dad, or to get out entirely. He left.
When I was about 15, I was given the option to meet him and I took it. In the 8 years since that first meeting, he has shown me exactly why he was asked to leave in the first place. He has 5 other kids with his wife and is a good dad to them, but still refuses to really be any active part in my life, support me in any way, etc. Like my sister and her dad, I keep in just enough contact to ensure that I get nice gifts (usually money) at birthdays and Christmas. I figure, like my sister, that if he will not be there for me in any other way, I can at least work the system for all I can get.

It was hard growing up without my dad, especially since no one would tell me about him. But I think it is harder knowing him now. At least before I knew him, I could imagine that him leaving was more like a 1 time thing. That maybe he regretted it, but could not get back in contact with me, or was too afraid to. I could imagine that maybe he felt it was in my best interest for him not to be in my life.
Instead, since meeting him, I get faced every day, with every Facebook post, I get faced with how easily he separates me and his other kids. What a good dad he is to them, how capable he is of being a good dad to them, and what a shitty hand he has decided to deal me.

The point is, no matter what choice you make, it is going to hurt your daughter. That cannot be prevented. It is just going to hurt in different ways.
You need to look at your own situation and decide on the pros and cons of both options. Try to decide what the best decision may be. It will not be an easy choice, and it will take a lot of deep thought. Try to think about your daughters perspective instead of your own. Think about what will be better in the long term, not what will be better for now.

Unfortunately, you cannot control another persons actions. He has made his decisions, you need to make yours.
Good luck

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