Just a question
6 January 2019 at 8:30 pm #19343
New member here, in fact new to forums too! (which also means i don’t get all the shorthand :-()
I don’t have any other single parent friends to ask so I’m hoping someone out there may be able to answer my question.
I’m nearly 4 years separated, I have a 7 1/2 year old daughter who sees her Dad twice during the week and has a long weekend at his the last weekend of every month.
Since September he has been away twice with his girlfriend and not taken our daughter. She has missed him terribly during these breaks.
She is now showing signs of separation anxiety with me and doesn’t want to be away fro me for too long.
After dropping her off at his house one Friday night she was upset as she didn’t want to leave me. He didn’t handle the situation well and before I was out of earshot of the house I heard him round on her and shout at her ‘Do you not want to come to this house anymore? Should I give all your clothes and toys to another little girl’. This stopped me in my tracks and to cut the story short he chose to send her back home with me.
She has come home this weekend for his and told me that this morning she woke up and told him she missed me and he shouted at her again asking the same thing, did she not want to come anymore.
My question is, is this behaviour emotional abuse?
It feels a very strong definition so I don’t want to get it wrong.
Thank you6 January 2019 at 9:02 pm #19344
Yep I would say so but ot sure what you can do about it. I left my children’s father as he shouted and swore at us. I don’t think he coped well having the girls there all the time but probably copes better just seeing them once twice a week. Terrible parenting6 January 2019 at 9:32 pm #19346
I don’t know how to broach it with him, he doesn’t do compromise or constructive criticism.
But I can’t bare my daughter being treated like that, she’s only just starting to recognise her own feelings so to me the fact that she’s able to communicate and label what she’s feeling needs to be encouraged not shouted at.6 January 2019 at 9:53 pm #19347
Hmmm. At that age, I do know of some children that have decided they don’t want to see the other parent so much. Like me. Believe me I’ve tried. You probably want them to have a relationship for your child’s sake. Don’t be surprised if she has more of an idea about what she wants, than you think. Have you asked her?7 January 2019 at 11:21 am #19374
Hey, welcome to the forum.
I can imagine it must break your heart to hear him speaking to her like that. I can absolutely guarantee you that she will grow up and she will be his judge if things don’t change. I have sympathy with him as he won’t see his error, and potentially won’t thank you for pointing it out I’m guessing. Unless you can have a genuine open conversation without hostility I wouldn’t try to resolve directly (talking). Though I’d potentially email him maybe suggesting temp switching the overnights to include more Day time visits to support consistent contact.
I completely get where you’re coming from being concerned, I’m guessing dad said these things due to him possibily feeling rejected by your daughter (that she was wanting to come home with you). I don’t think he will have thought how his words might make her feel ie more reluctant to come next time. Its their relationship that needs some positive experiences and your ex that needs to manage his own feelings to improve that10 January 2019 at 9:16 pm #19548
Thank you for answering.
I did ask her and she burst into tears. I then asked her if it was too much for her to decide and she said yes.
After thinking it through its right what you’re saying, that he actually isn’t emotional mature enough to realise that she’s becoming emotionally aware!
She says she misses Daddy with me sometimes, I hug her and say that its ok and that you’ll see Daddy on (whatever day).
This year she has lost a family member for the first time and she really now knows what its like to miss someone.
I do worry that she doesn’t get quality time with him, not through the lack of time she sees him, but what they do with that time. She goes to swimming on a Saturday morning with her Dad and the last 3 weeks she told me she’s not gone as she’s not got up early enough. (At home she’s up at 6.30am on the dot regardless of what day it is and she’s told me she has an alarm at Daddy’s for 7am which she’s not allowed to leave her room before it goes off.)
They have a full weekend together at the end of the month (that is of his choosing) and they used to go what he termed ‘family swimming’ (which I admit when I first heard it upset me as we rarely did ‘family’ anything when we were together). Family swimming being my daughter, my ex and his girlfriend. This also seems to have stopped.
I feel like he’s stopped making time for her and so she misses me when she’s with him as we have fun, we play, we do household jobs together, we walk, we talk, we read, we even bath together as it’s easier for me to manage to wash her hair instead of getting soaked! We do everything together and she is my absolute world. If I make plans, I make them to include her. The full weekend she’s at her Dad’s is when I plan for anything I want to do by myself (which truth be told is usually sleep!!!!).
I know he loves her he just doesn’t understand her, or seem to make the effort to try to.10 January 2019 at 9:39 pm #19549
I can relate to some of the things you say, whilst appreciating that no-ones circumstances are the same. Re the ‘I miss daddy’ on days when she’s with you, I had to make a chart for my 7 yo boy to help him track which days he would be where. It’s literally an office wall chart, we have blank days which he’s at school, then orange dot stickers when he’s with me and green dot stickers when dad is responsible. It’s been helpful for him to know where he will be when and rather than ‘missing dad’ now he looks forward to the days as they appear on the chart. It’s on his bedroom wall. You could also do a communications book which travels with your daughter between the 2 houses, the book belongs to her, she could write in it the things she’s done when with you and dad could help her write about things they did together. Again it might help dad to recognise that in order to write anything, they actually need to do something special together.14 January 2019 at 9:19 pm #19703
We do the chart during the holidays actually, to show where she is when.
We had another episode on Friday and in the end she chose to stay with me rather than go to her Dad’s and we spent a lot of time talking everything over. After which I asked my ex and his girlfriend to come over Saturday morning to discuss it all
My daughter was great and mature beyond her 7.5 years.
We spoke about how emotionally aware she is becoming and that we all need to listen to her when she’s talking about her feelings.
She gave her Dad a list of things she likes doing, walking, going to the beach, bike rides etc.
We agreed for a couple of more hours on a Saturday do they could something positive to build their relations ship again.
She has chosen not to go to his on Friday nights anymore but asked if she could go tonight (Monday) instead.
We’ll take it a step at a time and see how it goes.
At least she knows she can talk to me if her Dad doesn’t listen and I will help her.