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Divorce/Separation Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: Parents-a question for you
chikastuff
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Member # 35288
Default  Posted: 1:43 PM, November 5th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My ex and I separated/divorced when my son was 2. He's now three. Recently he's started talking/complaining a lot about wanting to stay at daddy's house and not wanting to be at mommy's house and he sometimes gets really upset when he finds out he's not going to his dad's house for several days but is generally pretty down about it in general. He literally counts down the nights until he goes to see his father. Honestly it makes me feel shitty. If anything I encourage a good relationship between the two of them. I don't push for details about what they do, etc and I always tell DS that I hope he has a fun time when he goes to his dad's house. But inside I feel so rejected.

Is this just a side effect of Disney dad syndrome? How would I know if this is driven by the other side of the equation? It's a pretty recent development in my son, so I'm a bit concerned. What do I do/say that's age appropriate to explain why he can't go to daddy's all the time and reinforce that I love him and will always be there?


Me- 32
Happily engaged and moving on

Posts: 382 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: New England
sleepless34
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Member # 40274
Default  Posted: 1:52 PM, November 5th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

That is so hard! He is missing the other parent that he sees less, that is probably all it is. If he wasn't going to see you for a number of days, he would flip out. You are the constant, he doesn't need to long for you. It is "the leaver" that they want because it is a variable. I know it hurts like hell, but try not to be sad and see it for what it is! HARD!

My 8year old feels the same way, she says he hates that he doesn't live here anymore, and is angry with him about it, but she doesn't ever show him that and just takes any time she can get with him. She wishes it were more, and that hurt a little to hear that too. It isn't choosing though, it is taking what they can get. Especially for a little boy, he wants to have a Dad.


Me BW- 40ish, awesome
Cheating scusband 40ish
2 kids, elementary school age
Bomb dropped Aug 4 out of nowhere...

Posts: 443 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Hell
Nature_Girl
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Member # 32554
Default  Posted: 1:53 PM, November 5th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

It probably is a blowback from the Disney Dad. However, it is also normal & healthy for a boy to go through a couple of phases in which he's shitty to his mother. I don't remember the precise psychological term for it, but it involves the boy recognizing that he's not female, he's male, and mentally/emotionally severing that connection (not the right word!) so he identifies with his father/maleness.

It's normal. It's healthy. It hurts like a bitch.


Me = BS (Stay-at-home-mom)
Him = EX-d out (abusive troglodyte NPD SA)
3 tween-aged kids
Together 20 years
D-Day: Memorial Weekend 2011
2013 - I DIVORCED HIM, I'M FREE!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBOJpIwF47Y

Posts: 9646 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: USA
Jrazz
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Member # 31349
Default  Posted: 2:22 PM, November 5th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I don't have much experience with the effects of separation on my daughter (3.5 years old) but we still watch her ping pong between which parent is "preferred."

Last year, she only wanted daddy. She was very fussy with me. Since the beginning of the summer she has only wanted to play with me and has been keeping daddy at a distance. It goes on for months.

I'm sharing because it seems to me that this can be driven just by the nature of toddlerhood, and that he is not going to permanently prefer one parent over the other.

You are being amazingly loving and supportive. I strongly believe that he knows that. You are building a place of love and security and trust in his heart. He is going to act out a lot, especially now (ohhhh the terrible threes!) but he will know that you love him and will always be there for him. I think you're doing a perfect job by encouraging him to have a good relationship with his father. The compassion will register, and when the wind changes you will be the go-to again.

(((chika)))


I bow to those who keep their hearts open when it is most difficult, those who refuse to keep their armor on any longer than they have to, those who recognize the courage at the heart of vulnerability. - Jeff Brown

Posts: 17295 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
dindy
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Member # 38424
Default  Posted: 2:45 PM, November 5th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

There is a good book called "two homes" which is great for toddlers experiencing parental separation. You can get it on amazon I think.

I bought two copies of it, one for myself, and one for ex, to help our DS deal with what was happening.

It really helps him. Maybe you could try reading it to your son as it might help explain things so that he knows he will always live with mummy and daddy, but separately?

I wish I could offer more advice. With regards to my son nothing has really changed as ex was always too busy with his job during the week so my DS only really spent proper time with him at weekends.

Though I'm prepared for my son to miss his daddy at some point.

Sending you hugs, you're a fantastic parent and sadly it's always the stable parent who has to deal with these issues.


Posts: 459 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: uk
Undefinabl3
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Member # 36883
Default  Posted: 2:55 PM, November 5th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I was older when my parent's divorced, but I have to say that one of the biggest fear's of mine is to show my happiness at either my dad's weekends, or coming home to my mom's house when they were done.

Either way I felt like I was hurting the other parent because I was excited to get to both of them.

A lot of my choices where made with their feelings at the forefront and while I know that this was not their intention, I think there was an emotional rift that was made because I didn't want to make either of them feel bad.

This is a double edged sword because if he was always wanting to stay home, never wanting to go with his dad, and was acting out, then you would be worrying about what was going on at the house to make your son act this way.

It's hard to take yourself out of the equation, but the visitation is not for you - its for your child. So that your son gets meaningful time with both parents so that he can have a relationship with you both.

(((chikastuff)))


Me: 31 MH
Him: 37 MH
New online find 6/19/14 - shit

Posts: 1729 | Registered: Sep 2012
tesla
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Member # 34697
Default  Posted: 5:15 PM, November 5th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Rest assured, he probably talks about you like that when he is at his dad's. He loves both parents and craves a relationship with both of you. My Teslet needs to know when he is going to dad's. He wants to have a relationship with his dad. We have a calendar that shows when he is going to dad's. He asks why he can't stay at dad's longer. I tell him because we have rules about where he stays and how long. I also tell him that dad works a lot and mom only works when he is at school. These explanations are working for now.

It's hard to hear him want to be at his dad's. But I try to spin it as if we both get to do our own special things...so when Teslet comes back, he shares what he did on his weekend and then I share what I did on mine. I always tell him that I'm glad that he had a good time but I did miss him and I'm happy that we are back together as a family-team.

I don't know if any of that helps, but those are the things that have worked for me.


"Thou art the son and heir of a mongrel bitch." --King Lear

Posts: 4619 | Registered: Jan 2012 | From: Indiana
homewrecked2011
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Member # 34678
Default  Posted: 5:27 PM, November 5th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My son's "crave" time with their Dad, and for a short time I thought they might like to live with their Dad...but someone on this site set me straight. They said once their children went to live with their Dad, they started treating her the way the Dad and OW were treating her --- terribly.

Anyway, for the past year I have gone with the state guidelines on visitation and it working because it holds their Dad responsible for seeing them on his weekends, and he does see them at that time.

My youngest (now 13) really wants to be at his Dad's more,but he is so irritable after he comes home because of all the BS they are telling him about me.......

I sometimes think they want to be with their Dad so much is because they are with him NOT at our house, and it can kind of be like it always was when they would go and do things with him. Also, they have told me they feel "safe" with him -- as they did when he lived here -- it's a Dad thing. So, my counselor has me working on ways they can feel secure here -- at our house--- but I just think the huge "dad safety thing" is a Dad thing.

I LOVE Tesla's calendar idea!

[This message edited by homewrecked2011 at 5:30 PM, November 5th (Tuesday)]


me BS 52
him - 46
married 15 years DIVORCED 10 31 12
children - ds15 ds12
d-day 12-19-11
I gave a 24hour ultimatum then went to attorney next day
Divorce filed

Posts: 2112 | Registered: Jan 2012
nomistakeaboutit
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Member # 36857
Default  Posted: 6:28 PM, November 5th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

At the risk of oversimplifying, I think he misses his father. Why wouldn't he? He's three.

FaceTime or Skype might help.

[This message edited by nomistakeaboutit at 6:29 PM, November 5th (Tuesday)]


Me: BH 56.........Her: WW 43
DD: 6..........DS: 4
Married for six years.
DDay: 12-25-11 Divorced: 7-15-12
...................................
"It's like a nightmare within a nightmare, which in and of itself is a nightmare!"

Posts: 944 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: U.S.A.
breakingpoint
♀ Member
Member # 40963
Default  Posted: 6:55 PM, November 5th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

From everything I have read, younger kids do better with short intervals between seeing each parent, and adapt better to frequent transitions, while older kids do better with fewer transitions and larger chunks of time with each parent.

Could the time interval between Dad visits be too long? I know that little ones don't really understand time, so a five day week can seem like a life time.

If you think that could be the case, maybe dinner in the middle of the week or rearranging the schedule so that he can feel emotionally in contact with both parents.

Also, it could be that he feels secure in his relationship with you and therefore not worried about it. But maybe feeling more distant from his father so feeling an urge to reconnect.

My kids, even when we weren't separated, had a parent that they preferred and it changed every few months. It could be a very natural "ping pong" like Jrazz mentioned.

I think the best thing you can do is let your child feel safe to express whatever they are feeling. Don't react or badger to send a signal that any feeling is wrong. Be a safe place for them to turn to with processing the situation, and make the most of the time you have together.


Posts: 115 | Registered: Oct 2013
chikastuff
♀ Member
Member # 35288
Default  Posted: 12:27 PM, November 6th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thank you everyone for your feedback. It's so hard to be open minded and accepting in your parenting in regards to the person who destroyed your life. KWIM? I totally expect and accept that he's going to want his dad in his life and will miss him. That's not the problem here. It's the questions about why he can't be at daddy's house all the time, why he can't live there, why he can't sleep over on Tuesday nights. And he's three. Personally I think some of those questions are posed in a way that's developmentally inappropriate, so I question where they're coming from. This wouldn't be the first time that XH tried to manipulate him or set things up to take me back to court for more time and less CS.

Tesla, I love the calendar idea. DS is constantly trying to figure out how many more "sleeps" until he gets to see his dad.

Our schedule is EOW, Thursday night (overnight) and every other Tuesday until bed time following my weekend, so at most there's only a 4 night delay between DS and his dad seeing each other.

Looking into the book as well.

Thanks again


Me- 32
Happily engaged and moving on

Posts: 382 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: New England
Ashland13
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Member # 38378
Default  Posted: 12:54 PM, November 6th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

We're doing this too. It's very hard.

I think that in the case of my DD, she has several things going on.

1.) Feels her own sense of loss and rejection by her father at his abandonment and wants to please him in any way she can.

2.) She was genuinely very worried about him when she learned he was gone and is anxious to see him so that she can know for sure that he is ok.

3.) He is very glittery looking to her right now and it is still in the new stages and independent from "rules mom", as you suggested. I think that a little bit, too.

4.) Excitement at simply having a sleep over out of the house your child is used to. DD mentioned to me last year that this excited her greatly that he was gone, simply because she got an extra sleep over out of her house with "rules mom" as they call me.

Though she is excited to go, she also told a counselor that she does not trust him, when we were all in a session. So maybe your child has feelings like that for you that he cannot yet express, but I think it's not hard for us as BS to feel worried about how our kids feel towards us in the face of As.


Ashland 13

A person is a person, no matter how small. -Dr. Suess

Perserverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.

-George Washington


Posts: 2229 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: New England
7yrsflushed
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Member # 32258
Default  Posted: 1:42 PM, November 6th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Rest assured, he probably talks about you like that when he is at his dad's.
^^^This. I have an 8 and a 6 yr old. The 6 yr old starts the countdown the first time she doesn't get her way. The first time she did it upset me then I heard her on the phone at STBXW house doing the exact same thing a few weeks later. I was good after that.

This is so normal. At some point your little one is going to try to play you against each other and may even try to get you to compete with each other. Yes they try to manipulate BOTH of you and it's normal. Whether you EX falls for it or not you stick to your guns.

[This message edited by 7yrsflushed at 1:43 PM, November 6th (Wednesday)]


D-day 5/24/11
BH = Me
2 children
The first true sense of calm I felt in YEARS was when I filed for D...
Divorced 9/2/14 and loving life!

Posts: 1903 | Registered: May 2011 | From: VA
Topic Posts: 13

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