When kids feel rejected - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 06-10-2010, 08:21 AM - Thread Starter
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How do you help?

My son feels very hurt and rejected by his father and I don't know what do to help him. He's seeing a therapist, but it's not quite enough. He has become extra clingy in the past few weeks -- he's 11 and he won't leave my side for hardly anything.

His father had made a big deal about the custody arrangement set by the court (I have residential custody; he is allowed to visit with ample notice and is not allowed to take them out of the state -- the bad thing is he lives overseas and can't get a visa to the U.S.). He has threatened to sue me for kidnapping and swears he'll take this case to the U.N.

Anyway, after all this, in reality, he shows them very little attention.

He only wants to talk via Skype because it costs him nothing. He hasn't called in three weeks.

The last time he called he told our son he's getting remarried. This has set off many nights of crying on my son's part.

The time before that he told our son he was going to take a shower and would call right back. Half an hour goes by and he IMs my son to say he's going to the bakery (at 3:30 a.m. his time). Another hour goes by and he IMs to say his microphone doesn't work and he'll call the next day. After this, my son felt like everything else was more important to his dad than himself.

Two small but typical exchanges. My son will be angry during the day and tell me he feels like his father doesn't care about him at all, but then at night he gets weepy and scared and talks about how he misses his dad.

The youngest is 4 and he doesn't really display emotions about his dad yet in a way that I can tell "Oh, this is about dad."

How have you helped your kids through spots like this or through an ex's decision to get into a relationship/get remarried?
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#2 of 5 Old 06-10-2010, 02:13 PM
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Oh, mama. That's such a sad situation. I'm sorry.

I think - and as I'm sure you already know - that this is about much more than your son's dad just getting remarried. My daughter is five, and when I told her that her dad was getting remarried, she asked, "To who?" (I know, weird) and when I told her, she just gave a thumbs-up and that was about it. We also live in a different country than her dad, if that helps explain things.

But for your son... I just don't know. I really wish I had some good advice. He sounds so heartbroken, for good reason. And I don't really know how you can help, except loving him as always and being extra understanding, as it sounds you already are. You're his safety, his stability. At least you can give him that. And always be open to talk to him about it and answer his questions. I don't know if you do, but don't give into the impulse to talk badly about his dad. Just teach him that grown-ups don't always make good or loving decisions, and that it isn't your son's fault.

Again, I'm really sorry. I wish I had better advice for you. Good luck, mama.
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#3 of 5 Old 06-11-2010, 04:49 PM
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mama my dd 7 1/2 and i regularly hold greiving circles. i share mine, she shares hers. we are a talking family. your son might prefer something else. a gesture. more physical touch. maybe you guys doing more things together.

one of the biggest lessons i have learnt is that my dd doesnt want me to fix things. she doesnt want me to be the superwoman with the zap of my cape fix everything that is wrong with her world.

instead all she wants is to know that she is not alone. that no matter how bad things get , she always has me at her side. there are times she and i just sit and be. no need for words. sometimes she is sad and doesnt really want to share the 'story' of what exactly is wrong. i dont really care about the 'story' you know. i care about her emotions.

and those circles really, really help us. it can happen at any moment. we never sit and plan for it. it just happens. children are v. perceptive so i dont try to hide anything. when i am stressed i share with her what is wrong. i dont go into details but i tell her i am sometimes worried. that i know that everythign will be ok. that we will find a way. but that at that time i am scared. and that i would just like that feeling to pass.

she sits looking sad and i hold her and rub her back in silence for a long time. and suddenly she says ok mom i'm feeling better. and we do something, no matter how little to celebrate being able to sit with our sadness instead of brushing it away.

my dd's disappointment is that she has never ever seen her daddy and mommy together. she always has to choose to spend time with each one by themselves. and she would like us to do something together. even just dinner. somedays those emotions overwhelm her. she has even made her 50 year old teacher cry over this. he is very fond of her and felt really bad for her. but he was kind enough to call ex to a meeting and ask him to stop bad mouthing me in front of dd. if i or her dad remarried seh would be elated. she loves his girlfriends. so its different in someways but still the same as yours.

however she is discovering - life sucks. it is painful. but you have to decide how to live. accept it and do the best you can OR just drown in sorrow.

she is going thru a sad phase right now. so i am there for her as much as i can do it and we spend the time together.

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#4 of 5 Old 06-11-2010, 05:22 PM
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Welcome to puberty. This was the time frame my son had issues.

Your son is grieving and anger can be part of grief. Make emotions ok. Realize, accept, he might not talk about it but his actions might show more how he is feeling.

You cannot sooth him, make him feel better, You can just be there for him and love him.

It can help if he can find male mentors.
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#5 of 5 Old 06-11-2010, 06:28 PM
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I say things like "I'm so sorry your dad is making those choices." and then I hold them while they cry. Or just listen to them rant. It sucks-I'm sorry you're going through this

GOOD moms let their kids lick the beaters. GREAT moms turn off the mixer first!
Humanist Woman Wife , & Friend Plus Mama to 6 (3 mos, 2, 9, 13, 17, 20)
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