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"I want to see mummy!" - Discipline as a Separated Dad
So as some of you know, I have been making videos for a while now, and have done over 50.

Occasionally I like to share one here and I think the one from yesterday is really interesting for separated dads.  It's about how disciplining the kids has become a bit of a minefield, and how I now need to tread carefully when exercising authority.

Being a Separated Dad

It also covers the duality of being a separated dad and how we kind of lead two lives now.  I'd be interested to see get peoples feedback and to see if anyone can relate?

Also, any advice on how to handle "problem" moments as shown in the video would be greatly appreciated.

It took over half an hour to get her to come around and cheer up in the end!!  And the video took 4 hours to edit, and only 9 people have watched it, so do me a favour!!  Big Grin 

Thanks, and enjoy the rest of your day.


I have watched it Smile and would want to congratulate you for breaking the first 50 video mark. Keep it up!

I have not yet experienced a situation like it with my own children since being a separated dad. This may be because I had such a restricted access to my children following our separation that at the moment we just seem to enjoy our time together full on. But I also know, that I personally try my best to avoid having any situation like you have experienced. In that I am perhaps allowing my children far more than I would have done if we were still living as a family. If that is always right, I am not so sure.

It really depends on the situation. For example in the old days I would not want my children to watch TV during dinner time. Something my ex always used to allow or not mind. Nowadays I don't mind that anymore at all.

In your situation you have done good and I think that I would have reacted to it as well.

The reaction of your child to me is absolutely natural and would maybe even be the same if you were still one family. You have done good giving her comfort and bringing her back. That I think is the hardest but also the most important thing to do. You don't want to have any unresolved issues with your child when contact is over.

Your child has learnt something from that situation. That is good and right and I don't think you have overreacted or should have let it slip.

Do not believe that your ex will never have any similar situations.

Hey Frisbos, thank you!

That has actually given me a clarity over the situation that I didn't have before.

She probably would have reacted like that if we were still a family you are right. The hard part is using the "I want to see mum!" as her trump card.

I think she knows deep down that she enjoys her time with me, and wouldn't actually want to go back and miss a day of fun.

So maybe its OK to just carry on "being Dad" and ignore it?
Its a tough one... keep strong ... its not personal and lets face it I guess your ex wouldn't let them eat sweets either just after they cleaned their teeth.

As Frisbos says, i think Im letting a lot more go now Im not with my ex - not sure why - maybe wanting to ensure I was supporting her in front of the kids made me keep them more in line - in some sort of bizarre way to gain approval from the ex.... " yes you are a good dad and are implementing all the standards i have set" (she was a bit controlling)

But now, if the kids are happy and safe then i go with the flow rather than continually manage them

I don't think she uses this a trump card and to hear something like it naturally does something with you. It's starts a cinema in your head and you get all those crap feelings along with it.

Of course she enjoys the time with you and she always will be because YOU ARE HER DAD and you're a great DAD. She has no other than YOU.

At the same time I feel it is of course OK for your child to say something natural like that. She got upset and initially she asked for her mummy to comfort her.

You need to allow some space for this and I would not ignore it. But at the same time I would also try not to let it questioning myself in what I am doing as a parent. You want to be consistent in your rules and not to be afraid to have a similar situation again.

For me the most important thing would be that there are no issues left open between you and your child when contact comes to an end.

You explained and managed to get her back on board that I believe is what parenting is about.

Well done!

Good video.

I'll start in the middle - when they leave. I have my daughter (just 10, separated 6 years) 2 weekdays after school and alternate weekends. Often when she goes after the weekend it's a very desolate aimless feeling. It doesn't go away but maybe it's good, maybe it's a reminder of why you put up with so much and who knows, maybe the kids feel the same way. The summer was the opposite - I had her alternate weeks but maybe 1-2 nights over. Often she'd be messaging me on hangouts 10 mins after she got home demanding attention - annoying as hell but awesome at the same time. 

Kids will always play you off against the other parent and it's hard. You also need to consider down the line it will be their choice to see you and even if things are going smooth with your ex you can't take that for granted forever. Mine takes after mum a bit and has massive tantrums occasionally (especially when she was younger) and the whole mummy thing gets thrown at you. Fighting them will get you nowhere long term so I used to just ignore mine and let her burn herself out, but I guess they are all different. You then need to play your trump card "I can take you home to mummy but we won't be able to go to Sainsburys" - reinforce the positive sides of what you do. Don't over egg it but remind her of the fun times.
I get that occasionally too, however i am the resident parent so its kind of easier for me plus i would argue i have a little more of a duty to ensure my little girl is "kept in line".
Mikayp makes a good point with regards to reinforcing the positives, ive done similar in the past and over time she seems to ask for her mummy less and generally seems to understand and relate different things/situations etc to the parent she is spending time with - e.g. talks about her friends with me but never really any mention of her friends where mummy lives (200+ miles away).
She is only 4 now, nearly 3 when we first split so its meant she has got used to the situation quite easily which is good.

But overall totally agree, its not easy to hear at the end of the day and you want to ensure that your children are eager to come see and spend time with you so you almost feel bad for disciplining!

Enjoyed the vid too.

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