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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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