Son doesn't want to go to his Dads
2 October 2019 at 12:57 pm #31034
Me and my partner separated earlier this year, me and my son moved out in April. Most of the time I have to battle with my 5 year old to go to his dads. I have tried dropping him off, his dad picking him up, but he gets really really upset and panicky, he doesn’t want to leave me. I thought this may have been due to separation issues with me, but he will go to my mum, sister, friends parents with no problems at all. The problem lies with his dad, I don’t think there is a safe guarding issue, I have made him go, literally kicking and screaming, yet it keeps happening, the panic, not wanting to go etc…. Me and my Ex had a very volatile relationship and argued a lot so maybe this has something to do with it? This has always been the same, since my son was young.
Has anyone had this and if so how did you deal with this? Any advice would be hugely appreciated.
Thank you2 October 2019 at 10:22 pm #31063
my situation is a bit different but my daughter’s also struggled with separation anxiety – it’s totally related to leaving me – but only in certain situations. Oh it’s the hardest thing to cope with as a mum/parent seeing your child sobbing / fighting not to leave you – I really feel for you. I often end up in tears once she’s gone off wherever she’s meant to go. Her school’s been amazingly supportive and I get calls to let me know she’s in class and happily settled, whilst I am feeling wrecked 🙂
I asked around for advice and had a few things that worked amazingly well as support: I write notes to put in her pocket and school bag saying how much I loved her and her brother, that I am thinking of her always and she/her brother are the most important things in my life. I have also asked her at points when I am leaving her what she needs from me and I have made sure I deliver at the time/place that we have agreed and I tell her afterwards that I did it to match our agreement e.g. when she goes to her dads, does she want to speak to me and if yes, when. So I try to call at those times and if no answer I text, explaining I’m calling as we’d agreed and will try again. All of this consistency from me seems to be finally working, but it’s three steps forwards and two back. We just had a week of easy good byes and then a horrible morning where I went into work late / she went into school late with lots of tears and upset.
It’s not just school but friends birthday parties that before me / her dad split, she would have bounded in the door on her own.but I have started to realise it’s completely irrational and seems to be an emotional response to what’s going on in her life. I have stopped trying to understand it but more try to put things in place to reduce it happening.
if you discover any other things that help you, I’d be very keen for you to share.
good luck 🙂2 October 2019 at 10:43 pm #31066
This is a fear I have…if the kids stop wanting to come to me for my weekends. I know it does happen and It will be hard. Good on you for trying to get him to go…as kids don’t want to do a lot of things but we make them do it…but I’m sure it’s tough on you and your son. I hope it gets easier. Good luck3 October 2019 at 12:26 pm #31081
I’m also experiencing this at the moment. My 6 year old girl is so unhappy and keeps saying that she doesn’t want to go to her Dads. My 4 year old doesn’t know any different and seems happy. My older daughter is so distressed though, she has to stay close to me and ends up sleeping with me – her behaviours are more pronounced around handover time. She will say things like ‘you can’t help me’….’I wish Daddy didn’t love me’… She’s happy going to school and when my family are looking after her, going to her Dads in the trigger. I am exhausted. Watching your child in distress is so hard. And I don’t have the answers. Like Pumpkin 62, I tell her how much I love her and I always think about her, even when we are not together. I also tell her that her and her sister are the most important things in my life. She seems to know all this, like its a given. But you can’t control what happens at the ‘other home’. It is her father who is responsible for his relationship with his children. There is definitely something in the fact that her father and I do not have a good relationship though. I would try to improve it, but I just don’t feel that it is within my gift. Thoughts warmly received.21 October 2019 at 11:38 am #31855
Thank you so much for your advice and kind words. We had the same problem again this weekend, which is so frustrating as just not getting better. I think I will try with the phoning him when he’s with his Dad, or Face-time and the little messages is a lovely idea. He stays with his dad three times a week, but only for one night at a time, I thought this would help my son as he’s never away from me for that long, but maybe this is also part of the problem, he’s not there long enough?
My mum dropped him off a few weeks ago and he went no problem at all.
Anyway, I will try the above and fingers crossed it will get better. Do keep in touch though on here with any updates or processes that help.
Take care x23 October 2019 at 6:25 am #31908
Can your mum help at all for a couple of weeks just to see if this makes a difference? Also perhaps try a couple of nights together? I tend to speak to my children on the way back from their dads to identify any issues they have had at the weekend to see if I can help communication issues between them-my sons both have learning difficulties, and I don’t think their father realises until I speak to him how intimidating and loud he is, and sometimes he needs the obvious pointing out to him-eg my son this last weekend says his dads house is too dark and he is too scared to go to the toilet at night-I made my ex aware who felt awful that our son couldn’t speak to him but now lights will be on at night 😊 does your son say it’s anything in particular?