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Help !
#1
Good Morning,
 
Please see the below – I’m looking for advice on if there is anything I can do in my current situation.
 
Since the introduction to social media in our lives you will often see many single mums speak up about their children’s father, how he shows zero interest in supporting them and how they are pretty much left to bring up their kids by themselves. I sympathise with these mums;
Bringing up as child is the most difficult thing I have ever had to do, and when my children were very young I struggled even more as a dad, Me and their mother split up in august 2007 and since that time I have always had my children on a regular basis each weekend.
I can’t sit here and say I was the best dad in the world around that time but I certainly wasn’t the worst, but I was going through the motions more than anything and doing ‘’ what I needed too’’ in regards being a dad. I was in and out of work and living at home again with my parents getting in trouble with money and, going out and drinking myself into oblivion, I was obsessed with football to the detriment of work and personal relationships with my family.
However, around the time I hit 30 I realised that this wouldn’t do, my kids especially my eldest son was about to join secondary school I had a 3rd child and was single with 3 kids 2 different mums and I felt it was time to sort my life out. It didn’t take much, I just needed to find a better life balance. I guess you could say I had finally grew up.
 
The first thing I done was I changed the circle of friends I mixed with and surrounded myself with more positive people, I got myself a good job which now gives me a good standard of living and I met Carla (my girlfriend) who makes me the happiest I have ever been.
The only thing missing now is the relationship I have with my two older children, I have to take some responsibility on the way things have gone, it would be silly not too, but it’s a difficult job being a part time dad with zero support from their mum. A mum which has always let them do what they like and behave how they like, say what they want and hurt whoever they want without any punishment or discipline.
 
I find myself being the only person in their lives who is willing to say ‘no’ to them, who is trying to shape their lives in a way that they can enjoy there 20’s and not make the same mistakes I did. Hypocrite? Maybe! but don’t all parents want better for their kids?
My son is now in year 10 and is struggling in every aspect of his school work. I implemented that he stays at my house on Tuesday and Thursday nights to study, it’s been hard work as he likes to hide homework away, say he hasn’t got any so he can stay home with his mum. The point in the visits are so I can help him with his, presentation and quality as his mum never knows what homework he has, what and when anything is due, anything he does show her is passed as good enough regardless of the standard of quality and presentation. 
Last Thursday we had an argument. I argued that his coursework that was due the next day was more important than viewing the xmas lights switch on in town. His mother said I was being harsh. I haven’t seen him since. Last night I attended his parents evening alone! All his teachers said that he has improved since his visits to my house during the week have got more regular and since I have got him being more open about how much homework he has, His presentation and effort in class has also improved and all his teachers thanked me for the support I have shown, one even said that they wished more parents were like me. I took this as a massive compliment as I myself know that I have come a long way as a parent since the days in my 20’s. However, its of total irrelevance if the mum of your child does not support the systems and procedures you are putting in place, support you when you say ‘no’ because you know it’s in the best interests of your child. It’s like banging your head against a brick wall. To top it off now my 10-year-old daughter doesn’t want to see me and is being allowed to follow this path by her mum.
 
As I said they can do what they like, without me they have no guidance or discipline to shape them into decent people when they are older. Their mum lives her life between their house in st judes and town where she works. She doesn’t drive has never made trips abroad has no ambition, no get up and go and desire to better herself in any shape or form. That’s her choice and shes well within her right to live her own life how she wants, but I’m afraid this is how my children will turn out and that is surely my business?
As I said I’m the only one in my children’s lives that is willing to be a parent. The only one trying to shape their lives to prepare them for what is a savage world that will chew them up and spit them out if they are not ready.
Their mother is happy to allow them to float along, she thinks that cooking their tea each night is the extent of her job, and it’s not fair that these kids are not going to have a chance in life. I’m seen as the bad guy because she allows them to do what they want so she can have an easy life.
I feel like I owe them as their dad to not give up, I feel like I owe them because I wasn’t good enough in the early days,
 
I take them on holiday and their mum can’t pack their suitcase’s. When they were younger their weekend bag would come with them but without underwear and clothes would have holes in etc. While I accept that I wasn’t perfect I know that in the last 5/6 years I have vastly improved as a parent but she is going backwards and getting worse, I’m afraid that now we are talking about small somewhat trivial things, the future will bring more life threatening scenarios like drinking even drugs, who knows because they are left to do what they want.
 
Is there anything I can do?
 
Kind Regards
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#2
Yeah... don't give up

If saying 'no' to a 10 year old is the sign of a bad father then that a bloomin' big group you're joining

You don't have to be perfect to be a great dad... in fact its probably better that you aren't perfect... you need to know what it feels like to learn from mistakes in order to understand how someone is feeling when they make mistakes

Make sure you praise him for the improvement he's made at school .... being honest ... its no good the teachers thanking you, you're only facilitating it (which is important) but it is him that is making the improvement so reward him and get teachers to do the same

It will come good
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#3
My golden rule is if you are honest, fair, attentive and supportive, the rest will take care of itself.

It's still early days for me. My two girls are 5, and nearly 2. But it is working so far.

Live by the standard that you want to be as a father, and if you achieve that, you have done a fantastic job.

You can't control everything.
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