Children refusing to see Dad
4 March 2021 at 8:04 am #50615
I have two children aged 11 and 9 who are now both refusing to see their dad.
Background story, split up 4 years ago, have both moved on. Ex refused to move out of the house when we split as it was ‘his’ (all paid for by joint funds) desperate to leave as i believed he was controlling and being emotionally abusive towards me. I moved out and started again. We are doing well and happy.
The children have been increasing not happy to go to his and it has now gotten to the point where they are refusing to go.
There are a number of reasons and have been going for a while and building up over time. Most recent ones though; I have moved around 20 mins away from him and she has just had her secondary school place accepted, it is out catchment one and was rated last year the best school in our county, she was really happy and was excitedly telling everyone. Her father told her that well done, she chose the school her friends aren’t going to and will get bullied.
He also makes constant jokes about her, the way she dresses, what she watches, about boys etc and this puts her down. She also stated that he calls her horrible names and sometimes swears at her if she doesn’t do what she is told. She has also stated he has been horrible to his dog and that upset her – but didn’t go into detail.
My son lately sufferes headaches around his and is quite frequently sick, this does not happen whilst with me. He also came back with a very short haircut this week, he has always gone to the barbers with his dad so cutting his hair is not an issue but my son told me that he told his dad he didn’t want him cutting his hair and cried when he was doing it as he was hurting him pushing the clippers down so hard. My daughter confirmed this by saying she could hear her brother downstairs crying. Their dad didn’t stop. It does upset me that my son wasn’t listened to when he said he was being hurt.
Both children also hear negative comments and name calling on my behalf constantly.
I went through a lengthy court case last year with cafcass involved, who identified concerns whist children in his care with the negative comments and issues and warned him to stop. I have also said numerous times to stop and pointing out how much it is affecting the children. He is not listening.
The court ordered me sole residency but for regular contact with their dad. Where do I stand if they are refusing to go? I always encourage but I don’t want to send my children to somewhere where quite frankly they don’t want to be.4 March 2021 at 8:54 am #50617
With them being only 9 and 11 if you stop contact it is likely their dad will enforce the court order.
You could email your ex though , about it being alleged that you are being spoken about in a negative way and run down and this isnt healthy for our children.
I appreciate we dont get on ,but we need to put our differences to one side . If you need to vent then you should go to your friends to do so and not where children can hear as this is emotional abuse.
You could also raise the alleged issue, that although it may seem funny and a joke, you may not realise , but our daughter is deeply hurt and upset by your comments and am trying to make you aware of this.4 March 2021 at 9:14 am #50619
Thank you so much for your message. I have messaged him a few times over the concerns, he just comes back and denies all of it and says the children are lying. Its so hard as I can see its affecting the childrens mental health now, especially my daughter.
I will try messaging him again 🙂4 March 2021 at 9:31 am #50621
If what your children are saying is only half the truth, their dad is a dangerous man. You wouldn’t send your children into someone else’s house if they would behave like that. If he doesn’t change then he can’t see his children. Don’t make them go and if he tries to enforce it via the courts he will struggle to find a judge to make this work, The children are still young but old enough to be heard.
I would not send our son to his mother over the weekend if she would behave like that. No matter what.4 March 2021 at 11:16 am #50630
you could try contact childrens services and raise concerns with them. if court hearings were going on, then their social workers (Cafcass) would make a big deal out of this.4 March 2021 at 11:27 am #50632
Thank you Steve for your reply. Cafcass were involved in the court hearing and raised concerns with his behaviour after speaking to myself, him and the children. The court order was passed in December with notes on that he was not to use negative language infront the children regarding myself and anything to do with living, schooling etc, among other specific notes regarding his conduct when the children are in his care. But it was only put as a note not an order.
I was thinking about trying to contact the cafcass officer who worked on our case. I have also had social services involved 28 months ago, regarding him hitting my daughter round the head. But social services ruled that the children were in no danger of harm and put it down to different parenting styles and I was not to stop contact.
I want my children to have a relationship with both parents, but their safety and happiness comes first.4 March 2021 at 11:55 am #50633
some cafcass workers are helpful. you can try contact same one even though case is closed. they may give you some advice, but will likely tell you to contact local childrens services for any issues.6 March 2021 at 3:30 pm #50788
If your court order had anything about the abusive behaviour in it then I would tell him they do not want to go, they are old enough to have their wishes listened to.
I would even go so far as to say he is breaching the order. I know it’s a pain to go back to court but I would call in child services.
he sounds like a nasty piece of work and I wouldn’t want my children around him
x13 March 2021 at 2:04 am #51176
Just ask a lawyer (solicitor) what you should do……but, if they don’t want to go, that means they are not happy being there, even if nothing drastic is happening…..kids know when things are messed up….can I say a few things? Tell your children that you love them every chance you get, show your emotions, apologize for your mistakes, and thank them every day for being your children….my daughter is now 12, and a while back she asked me how old she has to be to choose where she wants to live full time…I wept openly that she even had to ask that question, then I answered, “14 years old”…..she filed that away, and gave me a little hug….her mother is consistently inconsistent, and, well…..enough said…13 March 2021 at 7:20 am #51182
Sending thoughts your way. I had/have a similar problem with my daughter. It’s hard because I want to support their dad being part of their lives but I hate seeing her so upset about going there and calling me upset while she’s there. I sought advice and was told that because I have a similar court order to you (they live with me but spend every other weekend with him) I have to stick to it as he can enforce it if I don’t. I had to tell my daughter that she has to still spend time with her dad and that Daddy loves her etc etc but we’ve come up with ways to make her time with him more enjoyable (one of the problems he doesn’t really do anything with them, just plugs them into devices). For example I often buy her an activity book she likes to take with her to do while she’s there. She likes crafting and cooking so we talk about activities like that she can do there and sort any materials/ingrediants she’ll need for those activities. We also speak daily when she’s there and sometimes she does come back to me a night earlier than planned and than her brothers, but only when her dad consents to this.
It’s so hard knowing there in the presence of someone you feels isn’t good for them, but if you can fill their weekend with your love and support it might help make it more bearable for them.