Home > Psychology > Coping With Life as a Separated Dad

Coping With Life as a Separated Dad

By: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 15 May 2018 |
 
Separated Dad Kid Children Weekend

No father wants to be away from his children, but if you find yourself in this situation, there are certain things you can do to ensure that you have a great time with your children when you do see them. Breaking up with your partner is always painful, and more so if there are children involved.

Even if you only see your children every other weekend, you are still a very important part of their life. It is vitally important to ensure that you try to make peace, if just for the sake of your children, with your children’s mother. Although this may at times seem like an uphill struggle, the hard work it requires is far outweighed by the benefits to both you and your children.

Handovers

Inevitably as a separated dad, you will come into contact with your children's mother. Try to make the handover times as stress-free as possible. If you can, ensure that you don’t express any anger. This flares up the situation and your children may start to play up. If Your Ex Has A New Partner, he is likely to be tense as well, and in such circumstances it is easy to see how situations can get out of hand.

When it’s time to say goodbye, tell your children you love them and give them a hug. Ensure that you tell them when you are going to see them next and, at all times, try to be strong for the sake of your children. Remember, no matter how hurt, angry or bitter you may feel, you are the adult and they are the children!

Time Out

When you haven’t seen your children for a while, it may be tempting to plan a huge weekend full of exhausting activities for them. That’s not necessarily what they need from you as a father. Try, if you can, to balance fun and exciting activities with quiet time for you and your children. Reading a book with them, playing a board game, or just listening to them are all good ways to show them that you care without spending a fortune. (For more information, read our article Making The Most of Your Time With Your Child.)

Keeping in Touch

When you’re not with your children, it’s really important to keep in touch with them by phone, text and email – or whatever way you can. If your children know you are around, thinking of them, you are reinforcing in their mind that you are there for them. They should know that you are always around to talk to them if they need you.

Discipline

If you only see your children twice a month, try not to be too much of a disciplinarian. While this doesn’t mean allowing them to run riot and create total havoc for two days, it does mean that they should come away with happy memories of the time you have spent with them. You may feel that you need to enforce authority and stick to rules, but remember that your kids have been hurt in the process of separation, too. Talk to their mother and agree certain rules, which you can use flexibly, so that your children have some continuity and know the difference between what is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong.’

Check out the Separated Dads Forum... It's a great resource where you can ask for advice on topics including Child Access, Maintenance, CAFCASS, Fathers Rights, Court, Behaviour or simply to have a chat with other dads.

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[Add a Comment]
@KMar - explaining to them with kindness why you do the things you do is the best way. Hopefully somewhere down the line they will realise.
Greg - 15-May-18 @ 11:14 AM
My partner, Chris and his ex-wife, lets call her Sarah, split up over 3 years ago.They have a 6 year old girl and an 11 year old boy and my partner and I have them every 2nd weekend.It use to be more often but Sarah moved out of the city. Chris is really struggling with the situation as he feels that they are slipping away from him.Unfortunately Sarah does not discipline them and allows them to eat whatever they want, whenever they want, which means that when they come to us we look like the bad ones as we say no and it is turning out to be a constant battle.When they are with us we try to do fun things with them as Sarah doesn'tspend time with them but this can also be challenging, as with Sarah they have their own rooms, all the toys a child could want, including a games console and when they are with us, they share a room and have some toys but not loads and no games consoles. As a part time parent, it would be nicer for Chris to be able to spoil them (to an extent) but we feel that if we do this they will get absolutely no discipline whatsoever.Chris's son has poor manners and an unrealistic belief of entitlement ('why won't you get me a games console', 'why won't you take me abroad' etc).I wonder if anyone has advice on how to handle this?
KMar - 14-May-18 @ 1:52 PM
Gacal - Your Question:
I have separated from my wife for theblastb3 months.but her and her family have refused me access to my 4 sons and when I ask I am told I need to ask my brother inlaw for permission to see my children on top of that my ex wife doesn't want to contact me directly about my children and I really hate her family and asking for permission to see my children is that the law in T the uk

Our Response:
Please see the link here which will tell you all you need to know.
SeparatedDads - 10-May-18 @ 3:27 PM
I have separated from my wife for theblastb3 months.but her and her family have refused me access to my 4 sons and when I ask I am told I need to ask my brother inlaw for permission to see my children on top of that my ex wife doesn't want to contact me directly about my children and I really hate her family and asking for permission to see my children is that the law in T the uk
Gacal - 10-May-18 @ 1:36 AM
Lucylu - Your Question:
Hi I was hoping for some advise. My partner divorced from his wife nearly 3 years ago and with that left his 6 year old son with his mother. They then left the country leavin my partner separated from his children for many months until he is able to travel back to see him. His mother had been reluctant to bring his son over to see his dad so it can be many months before they see each other. They talk on the phone every night and he does he’s upmost best to be a great father and I don’t doubt that he is. Recently he’s struggled though, his ex wife is difficult to communicate with - give her an inch and she will try and take a mile causing conflict and drama between myself and my partner. I try my hardest to be patient and fully understanding and compassionate towards my partner and the relationship he craves with his son however upon recent times it’s starting to tear our relationship to shreds sand every difficulty from his ex is usually taken out on me. My partner goes in cycles of trying to do the best for ultimately his son but also myself. I am a firm believer that his son will always come first and I follow second however I am starting to feel massively that he is struggling to get a balance and would be happier if we separated and he could continue to father his son, still with the stresses and pressures from his ex but perhaps with the worries of me his partner. I’m finding myself between a rock and a hard place and I don’t really know what to do so I was seeking some advice from people in a similar situation a him as to how you would possibly deal with the situation and battle juggling a son, toxic ex wife and partner. Hope you can give me a little advice. Thanks in advance.

Our Response:
Only you can decide what to do in such a situation. Obviously, you are sympathetic to your partner's situation and the fact he has difficulties to be a good dad to his son and deal with an ex who is putting obstacles in his way. To be separated from your child, can be emotionally crucifying for some parents, especially if the child is being brought up in a different country. All you can do is to communicate with your partner and try to support him, but at the same time not accept his behaviour if he tries to take out his frustrations on you. Ultimately, if the relationship turns into an unhappy one because of the situation, then removing yourself from the dynamic may be your best option. You don't have to end the relationship, but you also deserve to be treated with respect and consideration. Communication is always the key and if you can keep doing that, it is half the battle.
SeparatedDads - 27-Apr-18 @ 3:18 PM
Hi I was hoping for some advise. My partner divorced from his wife nearly 3 years ago and with that left his 6 year old son with his mother. They then left the country leavin my partner separated from his children for many months until he is able to travel back to see him. His mother had been reluctant to bring his son over to see his dad so it can be many months before they see each other. They talk on the phone every night and he does he’s upmost best to be a great father and I don’t doubt that he is. Recently he’s struggled though, his ex wife is difficult to communicate with - give her an inch and she will try and take a mile causing conflict and drama between myself and my partner. I try my hardest to be patient and fully understanding and compassionate towards my partner and the relationship he craves with his son however upon recent times it’s starting to tear our relationship to shreds sand every difficulty from his ex is usually taken out on me. My partner goes in cycles of trying to do the best for ultimately his son but also myself. I am a firm believer that his son will always come first and I follow second however I am starting to feel massively that he is struggling to get a balance and would be happier if we separated and he could continue to father his son, still with the stresses and pressures from his ex but perhaps with the worries of me his partner. I’m finding myself between a rock and a hard place and I don’t really know what to do so I was seeking some advice from people in a similar situation a him as to how you would possibly deal with the situation and battle juggling a son, toxic ex wife and partner. Hope you can give me a little advice. Thanks in advance.
Lucylu - 25-Apr-18 @ 11:34 PM
@Dallen - sorry to hear this mate. It will get better as they get older. I felt exactly the same as you when my kids were near enough that age when me and my ex split. Now they are 15 and 12 and we have a good relationship but I have also come to value my personal space. The key is to get a full life outside your kids so your mind is kept busy. The worst thing you can do is dwell on stuff. I hope it improves for you.
SiB - 23-Apr-18 @ 3:31 PM
I’m a separated father of two. A six year old boy and four year old little girl. It’s been 2 1/2 years and I can tell you it isn’t getting easier at all. I literally want to die. I took them back tonight and here it is 2:25 am and I can’t stop crying.......... I just can’t take the pain anymore .......
Dallen - 23-Apr-18 @ 7:26 AM
@Alii - I really feel for you and know completely where you are coming from. As much as I look forward to having my son for a Sunday every other week I also dread it because as soon as he comes I know I'll have to part with him again and he'll start crying. It is so cruel I don't know how mothers can stand by and watch their kids getting so upset. Hearts of stone.
GaryV - 17-Apr-18 @ 3:10 PM
My son :( I rarely get to spend time with my son I had him for the weekend and he just left back to arizona my heart is ripping apart right now. Every time that moment he has to go back home, drives me insane. I can never get used to parting ways with my only child. It's not fair he tells me all the time he rather be with me,that he'd rather stay with me. When we say our goodbyes is like tearing my heart out of my chest. I can see it on his face now his tears dripping down his eyes Every time he has to leave. I pray that no man should ever suffer and feel this pain that I have now. Thank you for your time.
Alii - 17-Apr-18 @ 11:34 AM
Thanks for your reply Simon, much appreciated, I hope some day I can get to see my kids alot more. I don't think their mother genuinely cares how often I see them or that it deeply effects me. I am stuck now wondering what to do. My kids are off school for a week at the start of April and I have asked their mum if I can bring them from England to Northern Ireland were I am from for a week. She doesn't have a problem bringing them however she says she hasn't got the money to pay for the flight across. I have said I will pay for the two kids here and for me to take them back, she also doesn't have the money for her flight either she says if that is genuinely true it looks like I have to pay for her flight there and back aswell. Costs alot of money but if it is the only way I can see my children consecutively for a week then it's what I will have to do. She is adamant she cannot contribute to the flights whatsoever. I could have went over as I usually do but she seems like she's pushing for me to have them for the week. I have since found out she is swanning off to the lake district with her new partner around the same time so would make sense why she's pushing the idea that I take the children. I love my children more than life itself I just feel their mother makes a complete mug out of me and their is nothing I can do about it.
markus - 11-Mar-18 @ 7:04 PM
@Markus - that's really sad and I hope in time you get the rewards back. My friend had to wait until his son was 18. His ex moved to Greece and he had to do the trips and many times she would deliberately turn up late or make an excuse that his son could see him as he was ill. But he perservered and what do you know, a year ago his son came to live with him. It might feel like a life of lost years, but it can be repaired very quickly. He's having a great time with his son now catching up on all that lost time, and now it is the mother who is suffering. I know that it doesn't turn out like this all the time, but I hope it can give you hope. Your dad is always your dad no matter what. Keep hoping. Simon.
SiU - 12-Feb-18 @ 3:55 PM
I am not looking for legal advice just a place to vent really. When me and my ex split up she moved back overseas to be with her family. She took our two kids my daughter who's 6 and my son who's two. She's been away now for two years with the kids and while I visit every three months it's so difficult. I constantly get upset and would spend so many days crying in the month. I always have a heavy heart missing them and even though I go to see them when I am returning home I feel so depressed again. My ex has a new partner and he has publicly commented about me as a father and while I have never met this man it hurt deeply. I love my kids and would do anything for them. My kids mum has a mental illness borderline personality disorder which is the reason I left as I couldn't take the ups and downs anymore and how she treated me. We also have a son together that passed away when he was only 6 weeks old due to being very premature. My youngest son who's two I feel I've never properly bonded with him or got to see all his milestones etc. I guess I just don't feel complete in life and miss my kids so much.
Markus - 12-Feb-18 @ 12:22 PM
U.K Father- Your Question:
My wife recently left me I have two children 7 and 13 I miss them so much I speak with them twice a week and see them for 4 hours every other week. It's just not enough I miss them so much it hurts. I find myself being emotional and on the verge of crying when I see and speek with them I'm trying to be positive when I talk wth them but it breaks my heart being a part time father. My ex says they don't know what to talk about when I call and they get upset when I see them I'm a good farther I think and I love my children but she is doing all she can to ruin the brief time I have with them she even says they don't want to speak with me on the phone and get upset before I see them I have fun with them and they seem happy to see me. I have lost everything my home my wife but I don't want to lose my children they are all I have left I don't know how to live my life without them and I'm scared she is trying to turn them against me.

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this and it is completely understandable that you feel this way, especially if your ex is attempting to oust you out of their lives. But you do have rights and it will take strength. Our Separated Dads forum and the likes of Families Need Fathers will help give you support and the courage to build up your confidence again. Plus, they will give you valuable information regarding how you can regain the relationship with your children legally. If your ex is restricting access, you need to suggest mediation to your ex, please see link here . If she refuses to attend, then you may wish to think about applying to court. If to date, you have been a hands-on dad, then a court will award you more hours than four hours every other week. The fact your older child is 13, means he will be allowed to voice a preference regarding whether he wishes to see you. The main thing you need to find is the courage to know your kids love you and fight for the right to see them. As with any agreement deciding amicably between you is best, but if your ex refuses then you have the right to take the matter further.
SeparatedDads - 6-Feb-18 @ 12:20 PM
My wife recently left me I have two children 7 and 13 I miss them so much I speak with them twice a week and see them for 4 hours every other week. It's just not enough I miss them so much it hurts. I find myself being emotional and on the verge of crying when I see and speek with them I'm trying to be positive when I talk wth them but it breaks my heart being a part time father. My ex says they don't know what to talk about when I call and they get upset when I see them I'm a good farther I think and I love my children but she is doing all she can to ruin the brief time I have with them she even says they don't want to speak with me on the phone and get upset before I see them I have fun with them and they seem happy to see me. I have lost everything my home my wife but I don't want to lose my children they are all I have left I don't know how to live my life without them and I'm scared she is trying to turn them against me.
U.K Father - 5-Feb-18 @ 11:02 PM
Rickyt1 - Your Question:
I've tried to register with the site but it thinks I'm a spammer and to contact administrator I can't find the administrator! I'm newly going through a seperation and she's being nasty with it now, and need help

Our Response:
You can contact the forum administrator via the link here . I hope this helps.
SeparatedDads - 5-Feb-18 @ 1:46 PM
I've tried to register with the site but it thinks I'm a spammer and to contact administrator I can't find the administrator! I'm newly going through a seperation and she's being nasty with it now, and need help
Rickyt1 - 5-Feb-18 @ 12:39 AM
Nizmo24 - Your Question:
Hi I split with my ex when my son was 1 year old, I used to be able to see him every weekend for about 8months afterwards. She has recently moved on and is now pregnant with her new partner. Since moving on she hasn’t allowed me to have any contact with my son and has refused medication. I have recently spoken to a solicitor but I can’t afgord my bills aswell as solicitor fees to get access to him. Is there anything else you can suggest that is more affordable as she has already refused mediation

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. Yes, you can self-litigate, please see link here. If you are on a low income, you may be able to get a reduction in court fees, please see link here. If your ex cannot justify the reasons why she has stopped access, then access should be reinstated. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child in question. The court will always put the child’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order.
SeparatedDads - 30-Oct-17 @ 11:35 AM
Hi I split with my ex when my son was 1 year old, I used to be able to see him every weekend for about 8months afterwards. She has recently moved on and is now pregnant with her new partner. Since moving on she hasn’t allowed me to have any contact with my son and has refused medication. I have recently spoken to a solicitor but I can’t afgord my bills aswell as solicitor fees to get access to him. Is there anything else you can suggest that is more affordable as she has already refused mediation
Nizmo24 - 28-Oct-17 @ 4:27 PM
Ljhomer - Your Question:
I recently split from partner she will never stop me seeing my son but to being with home everyday to not is breaking my heart I feel like I'm letting him down I don't no how too cope !!!

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. It is never easy when you first break up with your partner. I can only suggest joining our Separated Dads forum, so you can get some help and support from other dads who have been through the same issues.
SeparatedDads - 3-Oct-17 @ 2:05 PM
I recently split from partner she will never stop me seeing my son but to being with home everyday to not is breaking my heart I feel like I'm letting him down I don't no how too cope !!!
Ljhomer - 29-Sep-17 @ 11:09 AM
James - Your Question:
Hello. I am going through court for access with my daughter. Her Mother is. It responding to any of my contact methods. I have sent off and paid for a C100 form but it has been returned staying that she has moved and I need to give them her new address. As contacted has completely stopped, how can I find her new address to get legal proceedings started.?Kindest regards

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. You can apply for a C4 form - which is an application for an order for disclosure of a child’s whereabouts. This will allow the courts to put a trace on your child so you can bring the matter to court. A tracing agency can also do this, you may wish to compare costs.
SeparatedDads - 26-Sep-17 @ 2:35 PM
Hello. I am going through court for access with my daughter. Her Mother is. It responding to any of my contact methods. I have sent off and paid for a C100 form but it has been returned staying that she has moved and I need to give them her new address. As contacted has completely stopped, how can I find her new address to get legal proceedings started..? Kindest regards
James - 23-Sep-17 @ 3:56 PM
bobby - Your Question:
Hi,, I split from my wife about 15yrs ago very amicably and my ex wife and I were good close friend. I had been paying her a good amount every week for my son,, since he was 3yrs old,, heis now 17. He lived with me most of time and was very close to my son, I found out lately my wife had done a real nasty thing behind my back and I was disappointed in her,, out of rage I stopped paying the amount for my son to her as I felt anger and betrayal,,, I was also informed that I didn't require to pay any amount s to her years ago as my son stayed with me mostly. Since I have stopped paying this money to her and my son now left school and at collage,, my son never comes round,, or if he does it's just to wash his new car I bought him then he disappears , I am guessing but got gut feeling she has told him not to stay with me anymore,, not to have a Facebook friendship with me anymore, My son and I were very close , but now I just feel like a stranger to him unless he needs something he appears. I notice when she calls and he is at my place he won't answer it or says he is somewhere else ,,My son has never stayed over at my place since I stopped payments so it's obvious she has told him to cut ties.I'm and distraught and miss my son and closeness so so so much.Will he come back?? What shall I do?

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. Much may be to do with the age of your son. Seventeen is a tricky age and an age where children are (in general) wanting to branch out from their parents and find their own way in life. Children at this age, regardless, can be very selfish, unemotional and uncaring. If you had still been in a family-based relationship, your son's distance may have been the same, but at least you would have been able to discuss this and the ways around it with his mother, as it is you are having to deal with it on your own. As in all situations where there has been a disagreement, it is best to talk. It's a shame you have fallen out with your ex where such an amicable relationship existed. However, was stopping your son's child maintenance the correct response? By law, you should pay child maintenance to your son regardless of the relationship you have with his mother. Of course, your son is the person who must have also been caught up in the middle of this dispute and perhaps cannot articulate how he feels. Trying to get your relationship back on track with your son is the most important thing - but you may have to wait until he has gone through whatever stage he is going through first. However, the foundations you have built towards making his life a happy one so far are unlikely to be affected long term. You just have to continue to be there for him when he needs. Until then, trying to take your own mind off it by making your life a busy one may help. At least for the time being it'll stop you analysing and worrying about it so much while you are trying to rebuild the bridges. Not blaming his mother will also help, as he's then bound to feel pushed into taking sides.
SeparatedDads - 19-Sep-17 @ 1:57 PM
Hi,, I split from my wife about 15yrs ago very amicably and my ex wife and I were good close friend. I had been paying her a good amount every week for my son,, since he was 3yrs old,, heis now 17. He lived with me most of time and was very close to my son, I found out lately my wife had done a real nasty thing behind my back and I was disappointed in her,, out of rage I stopped paying the amount for my son to her as I felt anger and betrayal,,, I was also informed that I didn't require to pay any amount s to her years ago as my son stayed with me mostly. Since I have stopped paying this money to her and my son now left school and at collage,, my son never comes round,, or if he does it's just to wash his new car I bought him then he disappears , I am guessing but got gut feeling she has told him not to stay with me anymore,, not to have a Facebook friendship with me anymore, My son and I were very close , but now I just feel like a stranger to him unless he needs something he appears. I notice when she calls and he is at my place he won't answer it or says he is somewhere else ,,My son has never stayed over at my place since I stopped payments so it's obvious she has told him to cut ties.I'm and distraught and miss my son and closeness so so so much.Will he come back?? What shall I do?
bobby - 17-Sep-17 @ 11:31 PM
Lazy- Your Question:
I'm looking for some advise I split up with my wife and she moved back to the UK and I stayed Spain. We split up very amicably and are friends. So we agreed that I'd visit the UK to see the kids and spend time with them whenever possible. The problem I'm having now is because my she lives with the kids the majority of the time even when I'm visiting she has plans with them and other times I'm involved if possible and others I miss out on seeing the kids cos she's taking them somewhere I don't want to go or not invited. Am I supposed to confront her and say that when I'm visiting to minimise the plans she makes so I can make plans to do what I want with the kids or since I don't have them the majority of the time I should just do what she wants and see them and go on with the plans she's made. I have also started seeing someone and the transition has been really hard because she also lives in the UK and I can only see her when I visit. So when I still go by the plans my kids mother has made all the time and I don't get to see my girlf she challenges me a lot on that and it's been causing a few problems between us because I can't make plans with her at all until I know what my "kids mother and kids" have told me their plans is she being misunderstanding and stubborn or is she right in saying I should try and stand up to my kids mother on the plans wise or leave it until she moves on and is seeing someone else and not trying to run my life like before? This is all very new and such a hard time I'm glad for forums like this were single dads can get help and advise. Thanks

Our Response:
Please see link: Mediation: What is it and is it For Me? here. If you can't agree between you, then you should seek mediation in order to try to resolve your issues via a third party. There are no right or wrong answers here - therefore, if you can come to some sort of agreement it will benefit all.
SeparatedDads - 1-Jun-17 @ 11:24 AM
I'm looking for some advise I split up with my wife and she moved back to the UK and I stayed Spain. We split up very amicably and are friends. So we agreed that I'd visit the UK to see the kids and spend time with them whenever possible.The problem I'm having now is because my she lives with the kids the majority of the time even when I'm visiting she has plans with them and other times I'm involved if possible and others I miss out on seeing the kids cos she's taking them somewhere I don't want to go or not invited. Am I supposed to confront her and say that when I'm visiting to minimise the plans she makes so I can make plans to do what I want with the kids or since I don't have them the majority of the time I should just do what she wants and see them and go on with the plans she's made. I have also started seeing someone and the transition has been really hard because she also lives in the UK and I can only see her when I visit. So when I still go by the plans my kids mother has made all the time and I don't get to see my girlfshe challenges me a lot on that and it's been causing a few problems between us because I can't make plans with her at all until I know what my "kids mother and kids" have told me their plans is she being misunderstanding and stubborn or is she right in saying I should try and stand up to my kids mother on the plans wise or leave it until she moves on and is seeing someone else and not trying to run my life like before? This is all very new and such a hard time I'm glad for forums like this were single dads can get help and advise. Thanks
Lazy - 31-May-17 @ 6:37 PM
Margie - Your Question:
HiWe have a very upsetting problem with our 5 and a half year old grandson. He is our son's son from a relationship that ended when the boy was just 6 months old. We are on good terms generally with the boys mother who had a daughter just 18 months after the split, but has since married the father of her after a stormy relationship. They seem very happy and settled now and her husband is a great step-dad to our grandson.Since the split, my son has regularly had his son (twice a week) and we have tried to keep the routine the same. He comes here with him as his own home is shared with other adults and my son works shifts so these sometimes clash with the routine. He has his own bedroom and loads of toys etc. here..it's his 2nd home as we call it! My son or myself pick him up from their house and if he has school the next day, we drop him there. At the weekends, he stays two nights one weekend and one night the next.Over the last 2 weeks our grandson has suddenly stopped wanting to come here to the point of screaming and lashing out if we try and make him (which we did once while mum waited outside in the car!) His mum and step dad have been brilliant in trying to persuade him to come.trying everything possible, so I am convinced the problem does not lie with them. At Easter my son took him away to his girlfriends family who he has met before and he was a model child. Three weeks ago, his grandad and me took him away in our campervan for the weekend and he had a fantastic time, playing with other children and becoming a bit feral!It's just so out of character, that we really don't know how to handle it as we hate seeing him upset and don't want his memories of this place to be bad ones. Do we just wait and hope it's a phase??Any advice would be appreciated as it is so upsetting for all of usHe says he does not want to stay here ever and it's really upsetting for all of us.especially my son.

Our Response:
Communication is the best way around this. It may just be that he misses him mum or is going through a stage of insecurity for some reason. The best thing is to ask his mother to try to find out the reasons why (he should be able to explain at age five) as then you can work with them. It can be something incredibly simple. On a personal note, as a kid I always loved staying overnight with my aunt and uncle until they mentioned that next time I came as a treat they would give me chocolate rice pudding for dessert, I never stayed again as I loathed rice pudding. They must have felt incredibly rejected as I don't think I ever explained the reasons why - but if you're a bit of a sensitive child, anything can tip the balance. We hope it gets back to normal soon.
SeparatedDads - 15-May-17 @ 11:39 AM
Hi We have a very upsetting problem with our 5 and a half year old grandson. He is our son's son from a relationship that ended when the boy was just 6 months old. We are on good terms generally with the boys mother who had a daughter just 18 months after the split, but has since married the father of her after a stormy relationship. They seem very happy and settled now and her husband is a great step-dad to our grandson. Since the split, my son has regularly had his son (twice a week) and we have tried to keep the routine the same. He comes here with him as his own home is shared with other adults and my son works shifts so these sometimes clash with the routine. He has his own bedroom and loads of toys etc. here..........it's his 2nd home as we call it! My son or myself pick him up from their house and if he has school the next day, we drop him there. At the weekends, he stays two nights one weekend and one night the next. Over the last 2 weeks our grandson has suddenly stopped wanting to come here to the point of screaming and lashing out if we try and make him (which we did once while mum waited outside in the car!) His mum and step dad have been brilliant in trying to persuade him to come .......trying everything possible, so I am convinced the problem does not lie with them. At Easter my son took him away to his girlfriends family who he has met before and he was a model child. Three weeks ago, his grandad and me took him away in our campervan for the weekend and he had a fantastic time, playing with other children and becoming a bit feral! It's just so out of character, that we really don't know how to handle it as we hate seeing him upset and don't want his memories of this place to be bad ones. Do we just wait and hope it's a phase?? Any advice would be appreciated as it is so upsetting for all of us He says he does not want to stay here ever and it's really upsetting for all of us..especially my son.
Margie - 14-May-17 @ 11:42 AM
@BC - hopefully in time they will come to realise. Kids can only be manipulated for so long - but as they mature they form their own opinions about the split. Happened to me with my two. Got in touch again when they were teenagers and we've taken in from there. It was a long wait - but worth it to see my ex's face when she could no longer control the way my kids thought.
Jem - 12-May-17 @ 12:42 PM
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