do you talk about the father? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 07-24-2014, 07:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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do you talk about the father?

My ex and I divorced in January, and he moved to another country the following month. We have a 3 year old daughter, of whom I have full custody. At first, he would call/video chat with dd almost daily, then every other day, then once a week, once month..

Now, I haven't heard from him in over a month, and my dd no longer talks about him since we moved closer to my family.

I don't talk about him, nor do I want to initiate contact, even though we parted amicably. I answer my dd's questions about him when she asks, but she hasn't done so in a couple of months. Her aunt (my sister) even claims she doesn't recognize him in photos anymore.

I'm not sure what would be in the best interest of my dd in regards to her father? Should I talk about him?

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#2 of 20 Old 07-24-2014, 07:11 PM
 
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Having been in a situation similar to this, I would just leave it up to her to bring the subject up. As long as you don't snarl when his name is mentioned, she will feel free to ask or request or bring up the subject as she likes. Pushing the topic on her makes it more obvious that he's being an absent parent, which is not something you want to bring up if it's not bothering her. Good luck, mama.

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#3 of 20 Old 07-24-2014, 08:40 PM
 
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I agree with pp...Let her do the talking...I have custody of my granddaughter who is six now...I let her bring it up...
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#4 of 20 Old 07-27-2014, 06:14 AM
 
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My ex and I have been divorced for over 10 years, and it's been about that long since he saw my kids.

I let them bring it up if they want. If they ask me questions, or if something comes up that requires mentioning him (a doctor asks if their father has ADHD like they do, for example), I will talk about him. But I do not bring him up to them, because I'm not going to shove him in their face. They know they can ask me anything, and they have asked me questions in the past.

I would let her bring him up when/if she wants. If she doesn't, she doesn't. Make sure that she knows she can talk to you about absolutely anything, but other than that, just leave it alone.
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#5 of 20 Old 07-27-2014, 08:19 PM
 
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If she brings it up, talk to her about it. If not, then let it go.

My 3 year old's father started out seeing him every two weeks, then it faded to once a month, once every couple of months, now it's down to it's been 5 months and he's recently asked to set up a visit with my son "sometime next month". My son never talks about his father at all, even when he was seeing him once a month. I don't push it. His father really has no bearing in his life at all, and on the rare occasions he does see him, my son tells me he doesn't want to go, he'd rather stay home and play. You can't force a relationship.

I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
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#6 of 20 Old 08-14-2014, 08:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My dd hasn't brought up her father in two months. Two days ago, out of the blue, she said she wanted to go back and bring him here. Yesterday, she was playing with a kitchen mitt and punching the sofa cushions, and said she wanted to punch her papa. I was quite startled at that, and didn't know how to respond. When I asked her about it, she didn't want to say any more.

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#7 of 20 Old 08-19-2014, 08:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by girlspn View Post
When I asked her about it, she didn't want to say any more.
I question the same thing about my 5yr old DS who hasn't seen nor heard from his father in nearly a year. He always plays "Daddy" in roles and brings up the human that is supposed to be a "Daddy", but if someone brings up HIS daddy, he doesn't want to talk about it. There is anger there, I'm sure, because something is keeping him silent, but he doesn't want to talk about it.
And I don't either! I don't want to bring up his dad and then land in a conversation about.. I'd like to talk to him, and then I have no answer.
I'd answer questions if they came up, but they don't. He knows he has a dad, has pictures of his dad. But overall, we ignore. It's very sad (to me).

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#8 of 20 Old 08-22-2014, 03:02 PM
 
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Agree with pp, let her bring it up. I am in a situation where its easier, my dd's bio-father hasn't seen her since she was 5 months old, nor ihave I spoken to him since then. She doensnt have a daddy and she's been okay with that. I figure when she gets a bit older (she's already 6!) She'll realize it takes a man and a woman to MAKE a baby, but I've always told her she chose me to be her mom, and she likes that..I think she'll accept that that man helped me create her, but she chose at the source that she just needed a mom and that's fine.
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#9 of 20 Old 08-23-2014, 07:28 PM
 
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I left my ex in May 2010 due to domestic violence. My eldest son was 2 years and five months old.. and I was three months pregnant. He was in jail for several months (DV that my son witnessed) and during that time, I moved out of state to be closer to family when I delivered. Due to these extreme circumstances, he didn't get visitations and started threatening me and my family. Anyway, he hasn't seen my boys since then (never saw the little one, who is nearly four now) and that, unfortunately, is for the best. I filed for divorce two years ago and he showed up in court and was given the opportunity for supervised visitations- he told the judge he moved here and had a job, etc- but because he wasn't given 50/50, he refused to see or talk to the kids.

I will bring up things (positive) about my ex and his family. I lived abroad with ex during the majority of our marriage, so a lot of the interesting life experiences I have involve him in some way- mostly his family who I was very close to during our time abroad, which was two years. So, he comes up maybe once a week in funny or interesting stories but I refer to him by his first name, not as "daddy"- my oldest son insisted he never, ever had a dad even though he had memories of us living with EX. I think this is because we didn't call his dad "dad" but rather Abu, which his dad in his fathers language and also because he did zero parenting, like not even wiping his child's face after a meal or playing with him.

My kids know that this man is their biological father, that I was married to him and he is the man who put the "baby seed" in mommy so they were born. At this point, they never bring him up except sometimes when they're playing together one might say "We don't have a dad" and the other will say "Yes we do! ----- is our dad!"

I think on some level my oldest son remembers the hard times we had when we left ex- including the divorce because at one point he was forced to speak to ex on the phone every two weeks and it was very hard on him.. and that keeps him from asking questions.

It makes me that we had zero contact with ex or his family- I have tried to reach out to his sisters who I was close to before the divorce but they don't respond. I hope my children don't feel a void in their life due to this loss of not only a father but a huge extended family and a beautiful culture and language that I am not able to expose them to in our locale.
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#10 of 20 Old 08-23-2014, 07:34 PM
 
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I did want to add that after the seperation and during the divorce, I did talk to the oldest son about what was happening. He wanted to know why we had to leave our home so suddenly, I explained that because ex hurt me (he witnessed it, so understood) and we weren't safe living with him. He seemed fine with it and was fine with the adjustment. Ex was extremely controling and abusive and once I left, my son started to bloom. I was able to buy him toys and take him on outtings, which he didn't really get with EX.. so I think he saw the benefit of us leaving.

During the divorce, I let him know what was happening in ways he could understand. When I found out that ex moved here (turned out to be a lie) I prepared him for the supervised visits, that ex never showed up to- and I explained that he was never to blame for ex not showing up for the visits! I was and am amazed at how unscathed my oldest son is by all of this and think of what he would be going through if we'd stayed with his father.
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#11 of 20 Old 09-22-2014, 11:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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sunshinerocket, my dd was about the same age when my ex and I divorced. How did you explain it to your son? Does he ask about his father or want to talk about him?

My ex suddenly contacted me after 3 months wanting to speak to dd. DD didn't want to talk to him during the conversation, she kept turning away or hiding her face. Afterwards, she kept asking about her papa-- what is he doing, can she go see him, etc., and seemed unhappy for the rest of the evening. She even cried a few times in her sleep. She was moody all day the next day. I told her that we are divorced and don't live together, he lives in another country, he's busy, and we can't go see him. This explanation doesn't seem to make her feel any better, she's fixated on the fact that she has a father and he is not here (vs all her classmates and cousins have both parents that show up regularly). I realize I don't quite know how to handle this..

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#12 of 20 Old 09-25-2014, 02:20 PM
 
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It sounds like your daughter was/is bonded to her father which is totally different from my situation.. My son had no attachment to his father.. His father literally did not spend time with him at all and was almost never home. There was also severe domestic violent that my son witnessed.. So to him his dad was just a scary figure who came around and hurt mommy. He is nearly seven and while he says he would like to have a dad someday, he is adamant that he does NOT have one.. Even when I explain that ---- (who we talk about) is his father, he just doesn't believe it.
Hopefully your daughter's father will try to maintain a connection with his child via phone calls, Skype, gifts, etc even though he is abroad..
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#13 of 20 Old 10-03-2014, 04:17 PM
 
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The book 'The Emotional Life of the Toddler' has a chapter dedicated to divorce. It might help checking it out. It does depend on each child and situation.

It's sad that her dad doesn't seem interested in keeping up contact with his own daughter, that must be very hard on her. Kids at that age tend to be very ego-centric, convinced that things like this are their fault, but it would be hard on a kid of any age.

I'm not surprised she doesn't find the answers satisfactory. I imagine she can't grasp a distance so far that it can't be crossed, and also doesn't understand that there are some things mommy and daddy can't do. Little kids tend to think their parents are all-powerful. The idea of their parents being unable to do something so important is non-sensical and scary.

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#14 of 20 Old 03-02-2015, 02:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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His father really has no bearing in his life at all, and on the rare occasions he does see him, my son tells me he doesn't want to go, he'd rather stay home and play. You can't force a relationship.
How do you handle the father? Does he know his son prefers not to see him?

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#15 of 20 Old 03-02-2015, 03:47 PM
 
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How do you handle the father? Does he know his son prefers not to see him?
I don't tell him what his son says. His father was an abusive, possessive piece of work, to put thinks delicately, and it's very likely that upon hearing that his kid doesn't want to see him, he'd either accuse me of parental alienation (hey, my 4 year old is old enough to know he doesn't like someone who forces hugs and kisses on him and calls him a girl because he has long hair!) or else he'd file for custody to "show my son who's boss", or both. It wouldn't concern him his child's feelings, it would just hurt his ego and want to lash out, so basically, I just suck it up, send my son, and pray it goes fast. I tell my son that his father wants to see him and the "nice judge" says to go, so just make the best of it when he's there, try to have fun, and remember that it's okay to say no to hugs and kisses if someone tries to give him too many.

I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
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#16 of 20 Old 03-17-2015, 12:03 AM
 
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I think the only 'rule' in this situation is not to bad mouth him in front of your dd but I do think you should find a way to figure out what's going on in her mind even it's just so that she can feel heard. It's not a good idea to let this type of pain to be ignored. Your ex sounds like a douchebag but I think you should try contact him if there is an even slight chance of getting him back into the fold, no matter how uncomfortable it is.

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#17 of 20 Old 03-17-2015, 07:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Now dd's father video calls a few times a month but dd never wants to talk to him. She will shake her head at the smartphone and push it away. She doesn't ever ask or bring him up anymore, even though she will mention 'daddy' in her play, like her friends do.

Now I'm also not sure how to handle my ex when he calls in regards to dd. He seems to think she should talk to him because he's her father and oftentimes these video chats are awkward. What can I do to improve the situation?

I've asked her why she doesn't want to talk to him and all she says is 'I don't want to'. She does bring up fears and uncomfortable feelings about other things randomly or before bed, but the topic of her father has never come up. She is much clinger than other kids her age though and especially has a fear that I might leave her or someone might take her.





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#18 of 20 Old 03-17-2015, 09:36 PM
 
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I don't envy your situation. I have always thought that any child needs a male role model, but if the dad is as you are describing, is the effort to make it less awkward worth the outcome of looking to him for possible guidance. Just a thought. Btw grandparents can make wonderful role models whether father is included or not.
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#19 of 20 Old 03-18-2015, 04:44 AM
 
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I would let her bring it up. This must be very hard on all of you. <3

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#20 of 20 Old 03-18-2015, 09:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't envy your situation. I have always thought that any child needs a male role model, but if the dad is as you are describing, is the effort to make it less awkward worth the outcome of looking to him for possible guidance. Just a thought. Btw grandparents can make wonderful role models whether father is included or not.

I have a large family and my dd is quite close to her uncles (my brother and BIL) and my father and sees them every weekend. I'm hoping this will help provide her with male role models.


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