Daughter not happy seeing her Dad

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  • #16110 Report


    My husband and myself have been separated for almost 5 years now. We have an 11 year old son and an 8 year old daughter. We split due to him being emotionally abusive towards me and having a terrible temper, lots of shouting but never got physical.

    He has the children 3 nights a week. My daughter has been becoming increasingly tearful when she goes, saying she cannot sleep there and that he shouts a lot at her when she can’t. She has come home today saying she does not want to stay there again as he was shouting a lot at both of them, calling our son a “little shit” and generally being horrible. She’s said  all she wants it’s to “have a nice dad” and that all her friends have nice dads and that she is unlucky to have him as her dad. My son denies all of it, saying that their dad was just upset. He has also complained to them that I am taking all of his money in his minimal child maintenance payment each month which I had to fight for.

    Unfortunately it has gotten to a point where I can barely communicate with their dad and he has stopped responding to my texts re parents evenings etc.

    I feel like just taking them away from there as it sounds like he is getting abusive to them but I know my son would never forgive me. I can’t have them in this situation though and I don’t know where to turn.

    #16168 Report



    I’m not sure that I can give much advice but didn’t want to just read it and run.

    I am in a roughly similar situation with an 8 year old daughter who has recently started saying she doesn’t want to go to her dads. My solicitor has said that while you do have a duty to help your maintain a relationship with their father, you also have a duty to protect them from emotional harm. It’s difficult as your son tells a different story of what is happening but he may feel that he has to defend his dad against whatever your daughter is saying. Is it worth having a chat with your daughter’s school as they may have noticed a change in behaviour?

    #16170 Report


    Thank you so much for your reply, I didn’t think anybody was going to!

    I do think my son is defending his Dad. Unfortunately my daughter has started at a new school so the teachers are still getting to know her.

    My plan is this: I am going to text him this week to say she does not want to go but wants to see him during the day, hopefully he will respond. It is then up to my son what he wants to do as I think he is old enough to make that decision and will hopefully come to his own conclusion eventually. Although, their Dad did say he would not have them both separately.

    I am then going to follow this up with an email detailing everything my daughter has told me and asking him if he still wants to see the kids. If his answer is no then I will ask him to tell them that himself so I am not forever blamed for not letting them see him.

    Im hoping then that I’ve covered all bases and that I’ll have done everything I can for them to maintain a relationship with their Dad.

    What do you think? Be as honest as you like!!

    #16241 Report



    i think that sounds like a good plan. Do everything in writing so you can evidence that you have raised issues with him and just go from there. You’ll have given him the chance to address the problems and how he responds will inform what you do next.

    If he doesn’t want to see the children separately then it’s his loss, isn’t it? In my opinion it would probably be good for your son to have time with his dad by himself. None of this needs to be a permanent solution – either of your children could change their minds and what suits one of them in terms of access to their dad won’t necessarily suit both of them.

    #16260 Report


    Hi there Tombliboo,

    Thanks for your post and welcome to our amazing community of single parents.

    This sounds like a difficult situation and it’s really important you look after yourself and put you and your kids first – you’re doing the right thing reaching out for advice. We’ve dropped you a quick email with some contacts that may help. In the meantime, I’m sure parents on here can offer you the right support and useful tips to help you through.

    Take care of yourself,

    Poppy at Gingerbread

    #16264 Report


    Personally I would listen to your daughter’s wishes and keep her well away from him. It’s very damaging for children to be around emotionally explosive people. Follow your instincts, don’t worry about what your ex wants, he’s behaving very badly .

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