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gemima79
gemima79 asks:
Q:

My 3 Children are not allowed to talk about me when they go to their dads house.

When my children go to their dads house, they are not allowed to talk about me, ask about me or even call me! They tell me that they get upset by this, and their dad just gets angry and sends them to time out.  I feel this is wrong, but no matter how hard i try to talk to their dad about it, he just wont listen. The kids dont want to visit him anymore and i dont really want them around him if this is how he treats them.   I have suggested meditation, but he thinks there is nothing wrong, surely he can see that his behavior is what is affecting the children? I let them speak openly about the dad, and even encourage them to call him if they miss him, but he never answers or returns the call. I just feel so angry towards him (but dont let the kids know). There is such a long list of things that he does that would shock people (leaving the 7 year old home alone) Help what can i do to make him see that he need help?

In Topics: Blended families, Single parent families
> 60 days ago

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Expert

ShirleyCressDudley
Jul 2, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

I'm sorry you and your kids are experiencing this.  It's a tough situation.

You don't say how long you've been separated or divorced, but it's clear that their dad has not recovered yet, and is still grieving.

You can't force another adult to do something, but you can help your children cope with the situation.  You can explain to them that it's tough when parents separate and divorce and it makes people sad, even mommy and daddy.  Explain to them that their dad is sad and misses them, so he has a tough time when they visit, when they mention their mom.

Explain that it's OK to have different rules in different houses, so in this house- it's OK to talk about dad or call him. In dad's house- respect his wishes and don't mention mom- know that mom loves you and is waiting for you to return home.

If there are any issues that may harm the children (leaving a 7 year old at home) you can seek outside resources for help, such as social services- or renegotiate the visitation policy for safer settings.

Divorce is tough- and you can help you and your kids get through this tough time by helping them adapt to different situations.

I hope that helps.

Shirley Cress Dudley, MA LPC NCC
Director of The Blended and Step Family Resource Center
Single parent and Blended Family Expert

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Additional Answers (1)

bkkm3
bkkm3 writes:
It is not your responsiblity to "make him see he needs help".  You can not control him.  Yes, they are your children - they are also equally his.  How he lives, his rules, etc. are between him and his children.  You may not agree with him,... and he may not agree with you.  There will be many times in your life that will not agree with him and vise-versa.  Children dont like going between homes because they dont want to miss out on anything and they dont want to stop playing with what they are doing at the moment.  It is not easy having 2 sets of rules but that is the reality and they, like you, do have to live with it - It was your choice when you and your ex-husband chose to have children and then chose to divorce.  Remember - there are two sides.  You are only hearing one side of the story and Your ex does not owe you an explanation.  Your children most likely complain to their Dad about you as well.  Do you worry? Sure!  You always will.  Maybe you could give them each something special to take with them that is from you (teddy bear, bracelet etc) and can explain to them that if they miss you they can be close to you in spirit by holding/cuddling with etc. that item.  If your husband is leaving a 7 year old home alone - And you have valid proof - then you need to call DFS while your child is home alone.  Your children will see things how they are - expecially as they get older and can speak-up and act for themselves.  One day they will have their own cell phone etc. and can call you.  Until then - Dont speak negatively of your ex, dont talk about him to anyone, dont cry when your children leave with him, be happy for them and tell them you want them to go to thier other home and that you want them to have a good time and to be good.  Dont tell them about what you are going to do when they are gone (this makes kids feel left out, lonely, etc.) Remember - you are supporting your children not your ex.  Let your children see you support them when they are living with their Dad (they are his children and are not "visiting" - they live with you and they live with their Dad).  Most of all - Dont drill them when they get home - it is none of your business what they do at Dads house and it is not your childrens job to tattle on him, or feel like they have to.  Even asking the smallest and simplest of questions (what did you do? Did you have fun?) is considered an intrusion and makes kids feel like something is wrong.
> 60 days ago

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