7 year old boys

User - posted on 02/17/2018 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I have a seven year old son. My son's father contacted me through Facebook right before Thanksgiving after FOUR years and wanting to come in his life. Well my son is ADHD and has bad separation anxiety. Got him to see someone to help both my son and myself. Everything was going great until we went to see his Father for the first in four years. Now I'm having hell with my son. This has been going on for two weeks. And I'm stressed now. Can someone help???

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Christine - posted on 02/20/2018

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I am so sorry for this time of high stress and anxiety! I have had to go through a lot with my daughter. She has had her father in her life but not always present. Sometimes he checks out and decides to not keep regular visits. My daughter went through a phase of separation anxiety and she still suffers with anxiety disorders. She too, is ADHD. Her father thinks it’s reasonable to step in and out of her life any time it works best for him. He has also gets into unhealthy relationships that take priority, for the time. It’s been so painful to know how this is affecting my daughter. I think watching them go through an unjust pain is harder than walking through it. I have kept doctors and counselors in our lives for support and help along the journey. I personally found working from a faith base has been the most helpful to help her walk through the hard times. I took a Dialectical Behavior therapy class a couple times and have taught her skills from the exercises I learned. Things like deep breathing, reframing, accepting and letting go, sensory work to become mindful of present moment rather than fear and emotions, etc. I have currently found a trauma therapy that works with EMDR. I am very excited about this tool because it’s helping her become identified with her body and emotional responses. There’s power in knowledge and awareness. When we are aware of what’s really going on we have the power to make a change and shift our realities. Your son is probably confused about his father and may have feelings turning inward or directed at you, his safety net. It stinks that the one that sacrifices everyday to love and nurture is the one that will get the arrows for target practice. I don’t know if you sent your son for a visit a lone, overnight, etc. One of the things I required for my daughter when father was absent for a time was to phase in visits. He’d start to come to my house to visit with her an hour or so, then after she got comfortable with that he’d take her to dinner, treat, or activity. I would invite him to school activities and encourage him to show up to build back confidence he’s sticking around. Then we tried an over night where her return would be late morning the next day informing him of her routine and schedule. I checked in on her and talked to her before bed encouraging her to be brave and know she’s not alone…I am thinking, praying and my heart is with her always. We would talk and lots of hugs when she’d return. If she decided she didn’t want to talk than I didn’t force it but worked to not take it personally when she acted out. It’s an adjustment every time she sees him. Even when he’s on a regular visitation. I also don’t allow her father to get more if it’s not earned. For example, he wanted 50/50 after most of a year he wasn’t involved in her life, due to his own life crisis. We had finally gotten things settled for her and a routine and he sweep in thinking seeing her a couple times he should get her half time. He had a hard time understanding that it would be foolish of me to trust she’s safe with that. Just because he found a new relationship and wanted to make believe his life was great as a new family doesn’t demonstrate stability and child over own wants or needs, it also doesn’t warrant something just because he wants something. It’s my job as the parent of stability to watch out for her well-being and remain the stability/safe harbor for her. It’s a hard job. I am sorry you are going through similar things. Keep seeking and you will find what you need. Sometimes it takes hard work in your most exhausted hours. Please make sure to take care of yourself. Find nuggets of time to nourish your mind, body and soul. Carrying for kids that have needs is exhausting but the reward is great! Someday parents that didn’t realize the magnitude of their responsibility will have to be accountable for how they hurt these little ones. I let that be enough for me as I work on what’s effective and helpful in my constant practice of forgiveness. It doesn’t mean I don’t continually practice boundaries as I forgive. You are stronger than you feel at times! Hang in there! You’re not alone!

Michelle - posted on 02/18/2018

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It will take a while for the relationship to develop between Father and Son but you have to be persistent.
Your Son has a right to know who his Father is and he will also need to learn to handle changes.
Talk to your therapist but don't stop the building of the relationship.

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