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This room is dedicated to those who are facing the challenge of raising children without the support of a spouse. This is a place to share ideas and lend mutual support.

Saint Rita is known to be a patroness for abused wives and mourning women.
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When do you give in

Apr 29th 2013 new

My ex-husband and I have a very odd situation (in a good way) in that we are able (and willing) to spend time together with our son and have it be pleasant and sometimes even fun. We usually limit the time we spend "as a family" to going to eat after baseball or other practice, or going to a ball game or other event because we feel it's important that he see that we can do things together like his friend's families. My son loves his dad, however I feel that his dad takes an out of sight out of mind attitude in that he rarely calls during his non-custodial time. Our court order allows each of us to call up to twice per day on our non-custodial time and allows our son to call the other parent whenever he wants.


He spent the weekend with his dad and came home at bedtime last night. This morning, my son woke up crying wanting his dad. He called and talked to his dad for a little bit, but dad had to go back to work. He wanted to go get Starbucks near where his dad worked, but we didn't have enough time before school. This lead to more crying that he wanted his dad and wanted to be able to see his dad after school. I don't usually let my son spend time with his dad during my custodial time unless we are already getting together for sports or something else.


Does anyone have experience with little guys (4-5yo) wanting to see the other parent and do you find it is beneficial or does more harm than good letting them see their other parent when they want. Part of me want's to stick to the schedule and help him learn to adapt, but the other part of me know's this is a little guy with a lot of issues that just wants to see his dad.

Apr 29th 2013 new

These situations are really tough
My 9 yo cried several times in the beginning and I used it as time to talk about how much divorce hurts.


I think you need to do your best to stick to the plan, follow your heart.

Apr 29th 2013 new

(Quote) Kate-806727 said: My ex-husband and I have a very odd situation (in a good way) in that we are able (and willing) to...
(Quote) Kate-806727 said:

My ex-husband and I have a very odd situation (in a good way) in that we are able (and willing) to spend time together with our son and have it be pleasant and sometimes even fun. We usually limit the time we spend "as a family" to going to eat after baseball or other practice, or going to a ball game or other event because we feel it's important that he see that we can do things together like his friend's families. My son loves his dad, however I feel that his dad takes an out of sight out of mind attitude in that he rarely calls during his non-custodial time. Our court order allows each of us to call up to twice per day on our non-custodial time and allows our son to call the other parent whenever he wants.


He spent the weekend with his dad and came home at bedtime last night. This morning, my son woke up crying wanting his dad. He called and talked to his dad for a little bit, but dad had to go back to work. He wanted to go get Starbucks near where his dad worked, but we didn't have enough time before school. This lead to more crying that he wanted his dad and wanted to be able to see his dad after school. I don't usually let my son spend time with his dad during my custodial time unless we are already getting together for sports or something else.


Does anyone have experience with little guys (4-5yo) wanting to see the other parent and do you find it is beneficial or does more harm than good letting them see their other parent when they want. Part of me want's to stick to the schedule and help him learn to adapt, but the other part of me know's this is a little guy with a lot of issues that just wants to see his dad.

--hide--
My son did that at about that age, Kate. It was hard on me in a couple of ways--hard to see my boy hurting, and embarassed jealous of that feeling because of my still-present anger at my ex. I would try to find positive things to say to my boy: encouraging him with how few days were left till he went to Dad's; offering him to call Dad on the phone (or I'd make the call and have Dad call back, asking for son); simply saying 'Yes, son, I know how it hurts when you can't have what you want' or 'I know it hurts when you miss someone' or something; reminding him that this was his time with me; and use distraction. Soon after that, because my ex remarried, custody went to a week here/week there arrangement. This helped but didn't help, as my son said he'd be missing the parent he wasn't with at the time. The ex's household did family counseling for a time, so everyone could get help with the individual feelings. Things were never perfect. My son is 16 1/2 now and they're still imperfect. But in general, we have tried to do the best we could, and my son's a fine young man. However, I wonder what lasting effects he harbors over being from a split family, then a blended family...but I turn him over to God each night, because I can't do everything, and I work at trusting He'll make him what He wants him to ultimately be.

Apr 30th 2013 new

I think the phone call is good but maybe getting a note book in which he could write in when ever he is upset. Then when he sees his father he could share the note book with him. I think maybe a call at the same time every night when possible could help both you and your son to you or to his father. This would make is consistant for him and also having the same style putting to bed and about the same time could help also. Just a few ideas... help this helps.

Apr 30th 2013 new
Would a calendar help where its marked which days he will be with his dad... he knows he will see him on say Thursday, but sometimes it helps to see how soon that is.
Apr 30th 2013 new

Maybe I should have given a little background. We have been separated for 2 1/2 years. For the first 6 months dad did not make an effort to see our son resulting in lots of anger and frustration. After I filed for divorce, he started making an effort. As our first court date came closer, he started to get regular with his visits. Ever since there was a court order, he has rarely missed his visitation.


November 2011, Dad had overnights 2 weekends a month and 2 weekdays a month along with a weekday dinner visit. (Court Order)

September 2012 Dad lost most of his visitation. No overnights, 2 weekday dinner visit and all day Sunday

March 2013 Dad got his weekends back (2nd & 4th) and 2 weekday dinner visits

Since we did a custody evaluation, I have had full legal & full physical custody so without bad-mouthing my ex, I am sure that most of you know that is not a common thing these days for one parent to have full custody when the other is still in the picture. Because of dad's inconsistency, my son had a lot of anger and aggression issues. He got kicked out of Preschool at the age of 3. He was in therapy, but dad couldn't be bothered to take him while he watched him since he wasn't in school. We did a custody evaluator who acknowledged his aggressive behavior and also said that there were traits of Oppositional Defiance Disorder. This is a little guy with big issues.

We have a calendar showing the weekend schedule and other events. He is just so starved for his dad's attention that he wants to be with him all the time. When he is really upset, I have notebooks (in the car, at home, at school) and colored pencils so that he can draw. His pictures are usually quite telling. He often draws "Angry eyes" and tears in the pictures of him. When he draws his "Family", Dad is usually the smallest one in the picture (from what I have been told, this is how my son sees his dad). I offer him the opportunity to call his dad almost every morning on the way to school. Dad is not very good about bringing out conversation in him, so I try to prompt conversation when I can. As with most divorces, he blames me for him not being able to spend more time with his dad. I feel I'm doing everything "right", but I just feel that there is something I could do just a little bit different to help this not hurt so bad.


My gut tells me seeing him is putting a band-aid on the problem and I just need to tough out the regular schedule.

Apr 30th 2013 new

(Quote) Bernadette-363720 said: I think the phone call is good but maybe getting a note book in which he could write in when...
(Quote) Bernadette-363720 said:

I think the phone call is good but maybe getting a note book in which he could write in when ever he is upset. Then when he sees his father he could share the note book with him. I think maybe a call at the same time every night when possible could help both you and your son to you or to his father. This would make is consistent for him and also having the same style putting to bed and about the same time could help also. Just a few ideas... help this helps.

--hide--


Thanks Bernadette, His bedtime routine at my house is fairly consistent. We tried calling dad in the evening, but more times than not, he doesn't answer and if he calls back it's usually after I've put our son to bed. He does have a notebook for drawing (he's 4) and that helps, but his dad doesn't really "look" at the pictures. He acknowledges them, but I had to point out to him that the one yesterday had 2 people and one was in tears. It was a picture of him with his dad and he was the one in tears. I don't think that he even totally got it after I pointed that out either.


We've started drinking a cup of tea before bed. (a great treat to be able to go to the store and pick out a new tea from the bulk section!) We will either read a story or snuggle on the couch before bed which helps with bedtime, but it's the mornings that I really have the issue with.

Apr 30th 2013 new

(Quote) Mary-943298 said: These situations are really toughMy 9 yo cried several times in the beginning and I used it as...
(Quote) Mary-943298 said:

These situations are really tough
My 9 yo cried several times in the beginning and I used it as time to talk about how much divorce hurts.


I think you need to do your best to stick to the plan, follow your heart.

--hide--


Thanks for your suggestion Mary. The problem I'm having is that we haven't been together in almost 2 1/2 years, so this isn't really "at the beginning" for us. It's been this way 1/2 his life. I feel that his dad is playing head games with him (whether it's intentional or not, I'm not sure). My son told me that his dad wanted to spend more time with him, but they would put him in jail for breaking the rules. I just wonder if Dad is making himself out to be the victim and being that my son is a very sympathetic/empathetic person is just angry with me over all of this.

Apr 30th 2013 new

While it's great to be civil and be able to be around each other, it might be confusing to your son. I know my son gets very emotional any time we attend something as a "family" like school events or sports. His First Communion last year made him cry for two days. Lots of tears after those events and he says it's hard because it reminds him of what he doesn't have any more and makes having to go between two parents even harder. It's a lot for kids to handle in the best of situations and none of us are perfect. Are there any positive male role models that he could hang out with? Follow your instincts and hang in there. Praying for you Praying

Apr 30th 2013 new

While it's great to be civil and be able to be around each other, it might be confusing to your son. I know my son gets very emotional any time we attend something as a "family" like school events or sports. His First Communion last year made him cry for two days. Lots of tears after those events and he says it's hard because it reminds him of what he doesn't have any more and makes having to go between two parents even harder. It's a lot for kids to handle in the best of situations and none of us are perfect. Are there any positive male role models that he could hang out with? Follow your instincts and hang in there. Praying for you Praying

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