How far do your DC go to avoid visitation? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 11-17-2007, 04:27 PM - Thread Starter
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My DS is 3 (will be 4 in about two weeks) and I just can not figure out what is going on with him.

He sees his dad very frequently. But he never, EVER wants to go over there.

It has really escalated and today was the worst. I told him this morning that his dad would be picking him up soon. I do my best to make it sound like a fun and positive thing to do. But there then followed three hours or so of off and on crying and various things being said, such as... "Let's move far away so we will never see daddy again", or "Let's lock the doors so daddy can't get in", or "I'm going to kill daddy". He repeated all of these things several times like they were ideas which were really going to work, getting more and more specific each time on moving really far away so we would never see daddy again.

He is 3 and he obviously doesn't understand the impact of saying he is going to "kill" someone. But these are incredibly disturbing things to say.

Are these just huge red flags that something bad is happening over there? I do not not have a CLUE what to do.

Has anyone else gone through this and if so what did you do? I am just sitting here in tears because when ex sent his wife to pick DS up, DS just cried and screamed and pulled at me and it was just HORRIBLE. Just horrible. I feel terrible. I don't know what to do. :
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#2 of 9 Old 11-17-2007, 07:13 PM
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This seems very unusual. Would dad be willing to suspend visiting at his place and just come to you and visit in your home and play with ds with his toys for a few months? He is very young to be away from primary caretaker a lot for long periods. That or a very good child therapist who might be able to draw out WHY he is so reluctant.
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#3 of 9 Old 11-17-2007, 07:19 PM
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Wow, I'm sorry your ds (and you) are going through this. Ds's father does not visit so I don't deal with this, but I know several single parents whose children have visitation with the NCP and this just does not sound normal or typical.

Do you have any reason to think there may be something bad or not right going on at his house? Have you talked to his father about this? I don't think I would be able to let my ds go again until you know what is going on. I would get him into therapy as soon as possible.

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#4 of 9 Old 11-18-2007, 12:20 PM
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Yes, this really could be a red flag!

: That must be like having someone tear your heart out! It feels awful to hold up this "I know what's good for you, dear" front while inside you're scared that you're sending your own child into a situation that merits his reaction.

I don't think any of us, including you, can make a decent judgment about what's happening at his dad's house or why your ds is doing this. It could be that he's just little, right? But you're his mom, and it's your job to make sure your kid is safe, and that what's going on is appropriate to his development. So whatever it is that's causing this, you have the right and responsibility to find out.

I'm just saying all that because it seems like you might be hesitating to make any moves to disrupt the visits. But this situation is definitely unusual. Most kids love their daddy, no matter what. A lot of kids that age do favor one parent over the other for a while, but that's when both parents are available. And this is escalating. So refusing to let him go over again by himself until this is cleared up would be very reasonable to me.

If it were me, I would call an agency that deals with social services. Is there a mental health center? I would start by calling the food stamp office to find a place that offers councelling to families as a social service. If there isn't anything in your area, I would call cps. Not to send the dogs on them, but to have your concerns voiced within the "system". That gives you support if you need to go to court, and it means that there will be some faster action if your son is actually in danger.

let us know what happens!

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#5 of 9 Old 11-18-2007, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the posts, everyone. I was desperate and I did manage to get hold of a therapist who works with preschoolers on Saturday. He said that this was definitely abnormal and he wants to start meeting with DS in a play therapy kind of environment so that DS will hopefully open up.

As for keeping him from visits, I will have to call my attorney on Monday to see what she thinks. That could be a really bad move if it looked wrong to the court. We're in the middle of a visitation dispute right now. I will have to make sure I tread very, very carefully.
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#6 of 9 Old 11-18-2007, 06:59 PM
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I say red flag too! That is exactly how my niece acts when she goes to her visits with her dad. My sister has my niece going to a thearapist, but she wont say why she doesnt like to go with her dad other then he is mean to her, which she wont specify. My niece did however tell the thearapist that her step-mom abuses her step-sister. (The step-mom, duct tapes her own daughters mouth and locks her in the closet when she cries too long.) My niece wouldnt say if the step-mom did it to her or not. We do suspect there is some sort of abuse going on in the house, just dont have the proof yet. I would say take him to a thearapist and see if the thearapist can get him to talk about why he doesnt like to go to his dad's.

Brandy; Mother to Aspen (7/1996) and Ky (5/2006) and partner to Ryan

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#7 of 9 Old 11-18-2007, 07:32 PM
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red flag! Even if there is no abuse going on and everything is *fine* at dad's-there are some huge feelings in your dc that should be looked into as they are there for a reason...good luck!

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#8 of 9 Old 11-18-2007, 08:13 PM
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My ds does this sort of thing too. He is 6.5, and sees his dad nearly everyday for a short time (dad picks him up and brings him home from school) and spends part of the day with him usually twice a week. Things are okay unless he has to spend the night there, and then he totally flips out! (He doesn't like to sleep alone). Because of this he only stays the night 2 or 3 times a month now. This last week the night before he was to stay there he was saying all sorts of stuff similar to what your ds was saying - about how he wants us to move far away, and he never wants to see dads face again.. he was really upset, I know how hard it is to deal with. He also hides sometimes when his dad comes to pick him up. He has even called me a few times from there sobbing because he wanted to come home, but I don't drive and his dad wasn't going to bring him home, that was really hard.

In our situation it has pretty much everything to do with the sleeping arrangement and perhaps that his dad is not as sensitive to his feelings - we have different parenting ideas.. (I am sure of this because he usually goes to dads with no problems as long as he knows he is not spending the night.)

My stbx and I split up almost 2 years ago and have not lived together for a little over a year now. I broke up with him because we just aren't compatible really, I wasn't happy. He is a good person, and was always a good dad so that is another reason I am not worried about possible abuse going on. Also, my ds is an emotionally intense child so things seem really BIG sometimes, kwim? Is your ds "spirited"/intense too?

I hope you find out what is going on with your ds and that things get easier for him (and you!). I sincerely hope that he just doesn't want to go because he is so attached to you. I know how hard it is to to send them to dads when they don't want to go.

sending good thoughts your way...
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#9 of 9 Old 11-18-2007, 08:55 PM
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Wow, I am really sorry to hear your ds is so upset. I have to agree that it doesn't sound normal. My kids have never been like that with my ex. Once in a while they don't want to go but it's not anything dramatic--they just would rather stay home for whatever reason. I would be really worried if they were saying things like that. I hope you get it figured out.
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