or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Blended and Step Family Parenting › SD's don't want to come anymore
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

SD's don't want to come anymore - Page 2

post #21 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mandib50 View Post
what does the children's father think about all of this?
We just got the email yesterday night. He was just feeling bad, that maybe he did something wrong, just feeling really confused because, as I said, there is no indication while they are with us that they don't want to be here. Pick up/drop off went well. Further than that, we haven't talked because he's been at work today.

I think that he feels that his spouse is being really gilb about how important the girls time here is. The email basically said " J and M told me that they don't want to come. So starting this weekend I'm going to let them decide. You can call me if you like."
post #22 of 53
Kids do hate going somewhere and "being bored" for hours or days on end. If DH is okay with visiting them at their home, taking them to the park or whatever, that would probably be the best thing to do.

My daughters are teenagers now and, during times they didn't want to visit their dad, the more he pushed, the less they wanted to be around him. It was only when he acted like an adult instead of a spoiled child who wanted to punish them for not wanting to come (not saying your DH is doing this - it definitely looks like he is not), that they gradually became more willing to visit.

X even used the courts to force the oldest to visit - just a year ago. But what does that say about you when your child wants to visit only b/c she was threatened to have to live with you permanently if she refused to visit. BTW, X is verbally, emotionally (everything but physically - except once) abusive so I'm sure this doesn't fit your situation (and the judge has bought into his "victim" lies hook, line, and sinker). Sorry for hijacking the thread.
post #23 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdm1024 View Post
We just got the email yesterday night. He was just feeling bad, that maybe he did something wrong, just feeling really confused because, as I said, there is no indication while they are with us that they don't want to be here. Pick up/drop off went well. Further than that, we haven't talked because he's been at work today.


that must be really difficult.
post #24 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by mandib50 View Post


that must be really difficult.
I second that.
I was once in your dsd positions, but I can't help but feel pretty sad for this daddy.
post #25 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdm1024 View Post
We just got the email yesterday night. He was just feeling bad, that maybe he did something wrong, just feeling really confused because, as I said, there is no indication while they are with us that they don't want to be here. Pick up/drop off went well. Further than that, we haven't talked because he's been at work today.

I think that he feels that his spouse is being really gilb about how important the girls time here is. The email basically said " J and M told me that they don't want to come. So starting this weekend I'm going to let them decide. You can call me if you like."
Ugh--I'd be hurt too if someone was so cavalier about something like that.

Your husband may want to remember that the law often doesn't let children that age choose, and he could end up in court for failing to exercise his visitation. (Yes, it's a catch-22...I'm wondering if Mom is setting this up. I'm usually not so suspicious of the ex-spouse--I generally assume most people are looking out for their kids' best interest--but something is setting off my ain't-quite-right detector.)

For that matter: Why does Mom get to decide this? Isn't Dad a parent too? If your husband told his ex-wife that the kids didn't want to go back to her, and he'd let them decide if or when they would return, he could be charged with interference with a custody order, or perhaps kidnapping.
post #26 of 53
I think that he feels that his spouse is being really gilb about how important the girls time here is. The email basically said " J and M told me that they don't want to come. So starting this weekend I'm going to let them decide. You can call me if you like."[/QUOTE]


Courts don't give children a choice at this age. I don't think you should either. If they are having trouble or are conflicted then while they are with you engage a child therapist to help them talk through with their dad what is really going on here. Do NOT let ex help them drop out of their life. I can't believe anyone would even contemplate that at these young and vulnerable ages. 7 and 9 year olds CAN be manipulated and parental alienation is real and common.
post #27 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtoLawyer View Post
For that matter: Why does Mom get to decide this? Isn't Dad a parent too? If your husband told his ex-wife that the kids didn't want to go back to her, and he'd let them decide if or when they would return, he could be charged with interference with a custody order, or perhaps kidnapping.
This.
When dsd is at our house and says she doesn't want to go back to her mom's, would it be okay to just e-mail her mom and say that dsd is choosing to stay here. Call me if you want.? I think not.

This must really hurt your dh's feelings, and yours.

Would it be possible to sit down with the kid's mom to discuss this? Or even with the kids? If they are having a good time with you, than it might just be a situation where they are saying "We don''t want to miss xyz's party this weekend, so we don't want to go", etc. or something to that effect and mom is running with it. Or, it might not, but at least you could get a clearer picture before changing something.

In any case, I am fairly certain that if you have a court ordered custody agreement, she cannot just decide to let the kids choose their visitation. Call domestic relations, but I believe that she can get in a lot of trouble for refusing your visitation.
post #28 of 53
lots of hugs.

We are going through this with my DSD as well. Last weekend actually went well, but the one prior to that she told DH twice that she did not want to visit anymore... I'd say majority of the weekend she is happy here and absolutely smitten with her new sister... but I think it's part of the whole transistions/changes are hard.

We are sticking by you can't choose your family and that 4.5 is just far too young to decide such a big decision such as wether or not to see your family.

I had posted my situation a couple weeks ago here and got all kinds of different answers as well. In the end you will need to make a choice of what feels right to you... but I really think BOTH parents are EQUALLY important in a child's life and they should not be able to dicatate to not see one or the other on child's whims. (Standard disclaimer that visits should stay as long as there is no abuse, etc.)

I agree with a PP who stated that at 7 she wanted to change her name to She-ra and eat chocolate and is thankful her parents didn't give into her. I wanted the same thing at that age. lol I fully agree that kids have parents for a reason. They are people too and need to be respected and listened too... but in the same breath, part of respect is giving them guidelines and values to grow to be an outstanding adult.
post #29 of 53
I feel strongly that children should not have a choice, because they can be very easily manipulated.
SDM1024, dont' be so sure that the ex is representing the children's feelings faithfully. She may be exaggerating, or outright lying. The children may be exaggerating too. They may well get a lot of sympathy from her / rewarded for criticizing Dad, etc. Her response sounds similar to my husband's ex. The children, to her, should be allowed to choose everything--but believe me, if they chose to live with their dad, she would be the first to backpedal on the idea of free choice. When they were given the choice whether or not they would go to a funeral on their dad's side, I was disgusted that they were given a choice, and that they did choose not to. I was brought up to have strong family obligations, and "getting out of" a funeral would be unheard of. It's just part of being a family.
When faced with a parent who is trying to alienate her children away from their father--something my husband's ex has been trying to do for years, with only occasional success--sticking to a schedule is very important. The kids are told that only their mom is important, and that dad is disposable. Sticking to a schedule helps cement the father's role, and can relieve children of the stress of having to make a choice--especially when it's very clear what choice Mom wants them to make.
Yoshua, I suggest that a steady schedule--that the father is eager to maintain--gives children that sense of security that is important to them.
I know that my stepdaughter, age 13, is currently in a "I don't want to be forced to be here" mode, which she refuses to talk over. But I know that a) she is swayed by mom, who is now going through a second divorce and is likely more clingy than usual; and b) she does have fun with us once she relaxes. She's going through a moody adolescent stage, and studies show that daughters of this age do need their fathers for their emotional development.
I also feel that the whole family deserves to know in advance what the schedule is, if only to make plans. Most important, my toddler daughter adores my SD, and she deserves to be able to count on when she's going to see her again. This bond will be important to both of them, and time spent together should not be "optional" and at the whim of a 13 yr old.
SMD1024, if you feel that your husband's ex is trying to alienate the kids from him, seek out a book by Richard WArshak called Divorce Poison. It is really very good. He will even respond to emails (after a time lag).
Catina
post #30 of 53
I brought this thread up to DH last night, and we had an interesting discussion about it. He mentioned something that I didn't even really think about.

Letting the children choose if they should see their father or not is putting a big responsibility on a child. It makes the child responsible for the the relationship instead of the parent. During the conversation, I realized that my mom and dad had done this exact thing with me - I chose to stop seeing my dad around the age of 13 or 14. He didn't push it, my mom was happy about the decision, and thus the relationship was up to me. Eventually I figured that he didn't really care about me, so I stopped trying. I even changed my last name to my stepdad's name.

When I was in my early 20s, it took a couple of years of seeing each other almost every day to repair the broken relationship with my dad. He missed almost 10 years of my life - smoething that he can never get back.
post #31 of 53
I would take things step by step. The ONLY way these girls are going to become alienated from their father is if their father ALLOWS it.

Basically, all that is known at this point is the girls don't want to come to him.

The first step seems like a 'family discussion' is in order. It is important to sit down and see if there is a 'reason' they don't want to come and perhaps that will give everyone enough information to change things, make it better, etc.

There is also the responsibility of the parent to step up and say, 'if they don't want to come to me, I can go to them'. It may not be ideal, but the dad absolutely has rights and can absolutely go spend his time with his children in a way that nurtures who they are.

I'm a bit surprised, on an AP site to find people so willing to dismiss children's feelings. So, when they're babies, we respond to their needs, but as they get older, we step in and say, "well, I'm the parent, so my needs trump yours now?"

I'm more of a consensual parent and I like to get to the bottom of things. If this has come out of the blue, there is some discussion, connection, information to be sought. I have no doubt the OP and her husband love these girls and want to continue to have a close relationship with them. I have no doubt the OP & her husband will do what it takes to keep connected with them. There is something amiss here and sitting down, having a discussion, allowing the girls to express themselves and have their feelings be honored is an important part of that, as it is for the parents.

I wish you all well.
post #32 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsChatsAlot View Post
Basically, all that is known at this point is the girls don't want to come to him.



I'm a bit surprised, on an AP site to find people so willing to dismiss children's feelings. So, when they're babies, we respond to their needs, but as they get older, we step in and say, "well, I'm the parent, so my needs trump yours now?"

I'm more of a consensual parent and I like to get to the bottom of things. If this has come out of the blue, there is some discussion, connection, information to be sought. I have no doubt the OP and her husband love these girls and want to continue to have a close relationship with them. I have no doubt the OP & her husband will do what it takes to keep connected with them. There is something amiss here and sitting down, having a discussion, allowing the girls to express themselves and have their feelings be honored is an important part of that, as it is for the parents.

I wish you all well.

I understand what you are saying, and respect the spirit of it, but...
When I was 14, I had a valid reason for wanting to avoid the visitation with my dad, it should have been honored then and it usually was. There is a world of difference between 14, and seven and nine. When I was eight, I wanted to stay at my mom's because That's Cat and Captain Caveman were television programs that we were able to view at my mom's but not at dad's. He simply didnt get the channels that those shows were on. I was pretty adament that I didnt want to go, I remember sitting in the backseat of my dad's car and sobbing. There is no way that my need to watch tv should have trumped my father's desire to see me. It was nothing more complicated than that and it was a problem that started out of the blue, and blew over just as quickly. Once I got there and could play with my baby sister, I was pretty happy! When I was 11, I didnt want to go because my dad made me wear a long skirt to synagogue, and I was going through a pants only phase. That was the dress code at his synagogue, he spoke to the Gabbai and Rabbi and an exception would not be made. Again, just something that I didnt want to do, for no deep seated reason, whatsoever. I was starting to become an adolecent and wanted to express my individuality. That's important, but again, should not trump a father's need to see his child.
AP doesnt mean catering to every whim a child has. Sometimes an adult still has to make a decision that the child will not be happy with. It is nice when all parties can be happy with the decision, but failing to please your child all the time, in no way equals failing to be a good AP parent. Sometimes a compromise cannot be reached.
Even though I fought going at times, they are fond memories for me now, for the most part. I would not allow this to just happen. I think that the idea of a family meeting is great and I think that the children's reasons, valid or not should be heard. I also think that they should continue to go to their father's house, regardless. They can work through this together and if there is a valid reason, they will learn a good lesson about sticking around and fixing a problem, and not just running away from it.
post #33 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsChatsAlot View Post
I would take things step by step. The ONLY way these girls are going to become alienated from their father is if their father ALLOWS it.

Basically, all that is known at this point is the girls don't want to come to him.

The first step seems like a 'family discussion' is in order. It is important to sit down and see if there is a 'reason' they don't want to come and perhaps that will give everyone enough information to change things, make it better, etc.

There is also the responsibility of the parent to step up and say, 'if they don't want to come to me, I can go to them'. It may not be ideal, but the dad absolutely has rights and can absolutely go spend his time with his children in a way that nurtures who they are.

I'm a bit surprised, on an AP site to find people so willing to dismiss children's feelings. So, when they're babies, we respond to their needs, but as they get older, we step in and say, "well, I'm the parent, so my needs trump yours now?"

I'm more of a consensual parent and I like to get to the bottom of things. If this has come out of the blue, there is some discussion, connection, information to be sought. I have no doubt the OP and her husband love these girls and want to continue to have a close relationship with them. I have no doubt the OP & her husband will do what it takes to keep connected with them. There is something amiss here and sitting down, having a discussion, allowing the girls to express themselves and have their feelings be honored is an important part of that, as it is for the parents.

I wish you all well.
:

to all of that. Make the effort to go the other way for 5 or 6 hours. Take them to a park and hang out, or ask them if they want to meet some of THEIR friends at the park.

this is a typical age to not want to be taken from what is 'normal' and 'comfortable', and it is one of the things as a parent to roll with the punches. They will eventually want to come back and do sleep overs, but if they are forced to do it they will resent it. I know I did and eventually my parents decided to stop forcing us and my dad came my way. I also, at the 9ish age, got to take my dad around my neighborhood and show him where I explored in the woods and brought him into MY world for about a year or so before I wanted to start goin back to his house.

I remember one time after taking my dad back to a pond he got me a hover craft remote control car for my birthday and we went back to the pond and i drove that thing all over the pond and sand all day. Great memories can be made anywhere if given the chance.
post #34 of 53
Has your husband spoken with his kids at all about this? I think the first step is to see what exactly is going on and work from there.

Personally, I never had any problem not going to my dad's house at that age, and in general wanted to see him. However, once I hit high school I started getting involved in activities that took up time on weekends, and it was either give up on somethign I really cared about (marching band or theatre), or miss my scheduled visit with my father. Had I been able to work something out between my parents there would have been no problem; I could have seen dad and done all my activities, but both my parents were far too stubborn and if I so much as asked my dad if I could do a play he wouldn't talk to me for months. And there went that relationship.

So keep the lines of communication open. If it's something as simple as they want to play with their friends, invite the friends over for a sleepover (something that was pretty common at my dad's house at that age). There are probably solutions here, but not until you know more info.
post #35 of 53
The ONLY way these girls are going to become alienated from their father is if their father ALLOWS it.

I'm a bit surprised, on an AP site to find people so willing to dismiss children's feelings. So, when they're babies, we respond to their needs, but as they get older, we step in and say, "well, I'm the parent, so my needs trump yours now?"


MsChatsalot, this is a common and hurtful misunderstanding about PAS (parental alienation syndrome). It is actually now listed as a mental illness, and fathers (and sometimes mothers, but it is almost always the custodial parent who exhibits this) who are the target have a lot of work on their hands to counter the manipulation their children are raised with. Some decide it's too difficult, or stressful on the children, and give up--and then of course total alienation occurs and those lost years start racking up.
I am a bit surprised to find so many who are cavalier about the father's role. Both parents are necessary to a child's--and adolescent's--life. Families are tough because you don't choose them, you have to work with what you have. If kids get the impression that one can just let go at a whim, whenever it's inconvenient for them, then how good will they be at forming familes themselves later?
They do need their dads, even if they cannot or do not admit it. Dads have to step up and make sure that need is met, esp. if they meet with opposition from their ex.
That said, time with Dad need not be grim or boring. My steps have never missed a single school function, party, sleepover, etc, and they are always urged to invite friends over, and one child takes full advantage of that. They certainly get to exercise their freedom of choice in other ways as well, in how they spend their time here. (How many movies have I watched that I had zip interest in? ) Dads who are being alienated have to "memorialize" the time they spend with their kids, underscoring the fun that is had (we have a lot of pictures on the wall, for one thing) so they are more likely to remember it.
Of course, it's true, we don't know if this is PAS or not in this instance, but seeing that the kids are happy when they are with their dad, it seems suspect and not like some of the other situations people are describing.
Best of luck,
Catina
post #36 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by catina View Post
MsChatsalot, this is a common and hurtful misunderstanding about PAS (parental alienation syndrome).
Please know my comments were in no way or shape related to something like PAS or a situation where I might even have reason to suspect PAS. I understand it and it's complexity and would not ever say it was happening because it was the father's fault. In my opinion, making the leap from 2 girls not wanting to go (which, coincidentally seems to be at an age/developmental stage where that might be 'normal') to PAS is too great for me to make. So please, read my comments in the context of THIS situation only.

Quote:
Originally Posted by catina View Post
I am a bit surprised to find so many who are cavalier about the father's role.
I don't think anyone here has been cavalier. I believe those of us who have said it's important to honor the children and their feelings have suggested the importance of the dad stepping in and finding another way to remain very involved in his children's lives while they work this out.

Quote:
Of course, it's true, we don't know if this is PAS or not in this instance, but seeing that the kids are happy when they are with their dad, it seems suspect and not like some of the other situations people are describing.
I stated in my first post that suddenly, my oldest (10 years) has stopped wanting to go to his dads. His dad claims our son is happy there and enjoys himself. When my ds comes home, he says he had a fun day. But, when it's time to go, there are tears and anxiety. Essentially, my story sounds very similar to the one in the OP. Based on what you wrote, are you telling me, you suspect me of alienating my son from his father?

It seems unfair and dangerous to make such leaps based on limited information.
post #37 of 53
Saw this on the main page and had to comment.

My brother and I went through this with my dad somewhere along the way and it didn't have anything to do with him. It was that at my mom's I had my friends, my room, my routine and it's hard to pack up every other weekend and go live by another set of rules. My dad usually did yardwork and my step mom cleaned the house on Saturdays, so we sat on the couch watching tv all day, or went along to watch the step siblings' activites (not participate). We had to go to church with them and the Sunday school classes were torture for me. There was also sports, sleepovers, and other things with our friends that we would miss out on at home.

We eventually started going more on specific weekends when they had something fun planned, like going camping on a long weekend. Even working on a school science project together was fun. Another idea is to let them bring a friend along. Do they have bikes? Can they join some kind of low commitment sport team or group?

I appreciated that my dad never forced us to come, and looking back I see how much they worked to make us WANT to come.
post #38 of 53
"Basically, all that is known at this point is the girls don't want to come to him."

No. All that is known is that their mother SAYS that the girls don't want to come to him. There is a reason that children aren't allowed to up and decide where they live at such a young age. Yes, children are people too, but their decision making skills are not 100% developed.

I also agree with the PPs who have mentioned the situation being reversed. If the girls were with you and didn't want to go back to their mother's, don't you think that she would be wanting to ask them herself, or find out the details? I am NOT recommending that you all sit down together and say "where do you want to live?" My only recommendation, as a child of divorce, is that you continue visitation as it has been, and get the children to a therapist who can find out what, if anything, is going on.

Also - the girls might have mentioned one little thing about not wanting to come back over, in a totally childish context. Something like "oh I don't want to go back over there because there are no cake and unicorns," and they'll forget why they haven't seen their father in ages. That could turn into them thinking he has abandoned them.

I'm really begging you, fight to keep the visitation as it is. If the girls really don't want to come over, you would know it.
post #39 of 53
I agree with PP that this is too young of an age for the girls to decide. And if i were your DH and this becomes a true problem i would exercise my parental rights. As long as they are happy and safe when they are with you they should continue to visit. if its because they are going to miss a party or outing then why not just drive them there yourself. We arent there yet but i would be devastated if DFs ex would prevent DSD from going to a performance or practice.

Good luck with her
post #40 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by pomplemoose View Post
if its because they are going to miss a party or outing then why not just drive them there yourself. We arent there yet but i would be devastated if DFs ex would prevent DSD from going to a performance or practice.


This is the thing that I don't get - just because the kids are at a different house does not mean that their lives have to stop. Even before we had 50/50 custody, if DSD had a birthday party or an activity, whoever had DSD that day would take her or some arrangement would be made. Activities are generally discussed with both houses before we sign her up. So whatever day that activity falls on, that house expects to bring her. The other house usually comes to watch as well.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Blended and Step Family Parenting › SD's don't want to come anymore