The non-communicating 12 year old son?

Melissa - posted on 05/29/2011 ( 3 moms have responded )




My son is 12.5yrs old who lives with his father. I have visitation, and court ordered child support. I have been back in his life consistently for about a year now. I have him here every other weekend, and every other Monday following a non visitation weekend. I have always been in contact with his father and have always paid child support. His home life is (from what I have gathered from the paternal side of his family) not so good. The dad and the wife constantly arguing. When I first moved back to the area the father actually had the audacity to tell me that he would leave his wife if I would take him back. This, after 11 years was not going to happen. I have talked to our son on several different occasions about what he wants, because it seems like a constant battle to have him when he is allowed to be here. The father is always planning their stuff on my weekends, and makes our son not want to be here because then he is missing out on what fun stuff his dad is doing. At first he told me he wanted to be here and his dads equally.. then he said he didn't want to be here at all anymore, and then he wanted to just come when he felt like it (meaning only when I have something fun planned and theres nothing better to do) and then again wanting to come equally and now he makes it out like I have ruined his life by being here and wanting to spend time with him. I am very stable, am about to marry in 3 months, and have another son who is 8 who has a true deadbeat father, and about to gain a wonderful stepdaughter when I marry. I am so torn on whether I should just take his dad back to court ( I have been consulting with an attorney who says the probability of me getting joint physical custody is very good) or just throwing up my hands and saying forget it. I don't want to make my son hate me, but it seems no matter which I choose, he just might. I try to talk to him about how he feels and he won't breathe a word in reply. Please help!


Jodi - posted on 05/30/2011




I think you are underestimating what your absence may have meant to him. How long were you absent for? All 11 years, or just a short time? Either way, you can't undo that in a year. At 12, he probably would rather be with the family he has always known, especially if they are planning to do something fun. Do you really expect their family to sit around and not make any plans on the weekend he is supposed to come to you? The boy is 12, and you have only been consistently in his life for a year. What do you expect? Remember he is going through a lot of things too right now, like puberty.

I guess I am a bit confused about what you are expecting from him.

Personally, I think you should persist with spending time with him, but I don't think you should drag this into some court battle. If you get your way and it isn't really what is going to make your son happy, he won't thank you for it.


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[deleted account]

At that age they tend to think more of their friends and more of what you can do for them than anything else so obviously if his mates or dad has something more exciting planned hes not going to want to be with you instead. This is just the way kids that age are.

[deleted account]

You state that you've been back in his life for a year now. Why weren't you in his life consistenly before? He's 12. If his home life is not so good and he was abandoned by his mother (whether or not that was the case.... that may be exactly how he feels).... what can you really expect?

I know that's not exactly helpful, but I really don't know WHAT to say that would be. I definitely wouldn't forget it unless you really DO want him to feel abandoned.

I think I would give going for joint custody a try... and get you and your son both into counseling... seperately AND together. Good luck!

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