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My ex husband and I broke up 4 years ago. Now my son (6) will not go to his fathers. He is angry when I mention the word dad. I am at a loss in helping him understand that he never did anything..we just didn’t work. The thing is my ex has had 2 wives since and my son is lost at who to call family.


Posted anonymously, 29th December 2014


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  • It’s not something you can force. Your son probably has valid reasons to not want to visit, he’s just not sharing them with you. 2 wives in 4 years could be part of the problem.


  • Wow, 2 wives in 4 years, sounds like your ex has issues! Maybe try some visits with the 3 of you, if he sees you’re ok with everything, he might accept dad again


  • No point forcing it, could end up making him angry with you. Sounds like time and patience is needed for this situation


  • I been there with my daughter, your is blaming him for leaving. It may help to meet at neutral grounds like a park or at your son’s place of interest for a few hour at a time.
    I understand there will be some tension but it worth a try. At times the hurt between the adults and tension affects the little ones. Try a relaxing non tension place where the father takes him but your there as his security in site.


  • Also; I would recommend child friendly books on the topic of families. Sometimes looking at pictures and reading about families and what they look like helps and is less confronting. All families are different and made up in different ways and that is ok. The most important thing is that he feels loved by everyone! Again; good luck!


  • All great answers here. I would like to suggest that you and your ex make peace between you all. Take him aside and ask him to try something different this year. Put aside all your anger and past. Make a pact (an agreement or treaty between two or more) Have days out together joining both families for the children’s sake. Go to the beach, the zoo, the local pool and picnic’s in small country towns park hunting. Adults need to show the bond they have with the kids and the adults… failing this method… You can get professional help at your local woman’s clinic (see a child psychologist) ask you doctor for a referral. The quicker the adults get on then the kids will be happier. Remember it’s hard for kids at school when making Father’s day cards when they have two and same goes for Mother’s Day. Explain to the teacher that your son needs two cards. Encourage your son to make these cards just because he love his Dad’s. Don’t wait until Father’s Day. Ask him to write Dad a letter and you can post it. Dad will love receiving a note a drawing or a story. Dad at home can have one too!


  • Having your son talk to the school psychologist would be beneficial as it would be difficult for you to remain impartial due to your involvement in the relationship. Talk with your ex husband about the current difficulties that you are having and explain the steps you are taking to try and assist your son.


  • Maybe he needs to speak to someone outside of the situation about how he feels; is there any other trusted person he could talk to? Good Luck.


  • This is such a difficult situation, and one I f fear facing with my two. My ex left when my boys were 6 months and 28 months (19 months ago). He has since had three different jobs and lived in four different places. He is unreliable, aggressive, uncooperative and spiteful. The boys are often upset at having to go with their father (the good old one day a week dad), but he will never put the boys’ needs before his own. I have sought advice from a specialist family counselor (who deals with infants and young children in separations), bought heaps of books on raising boys and what different families look like (which I read to the boys… My favourite find is “Mum and dad glue”). No matter what he does, I try to stay constant and encouraging as far as their father is concerned. But sometimes that doesn’t even help, there have been times at hand over that my eldest has gotten so upset that he vomits). I have insisted that my ex do a parenting course (run through Relationships Australia), which I’ve said I’ll do too, in the hope that it might make him realise that he needs to start putting the boys’ needs before his own. But you can’t really force someone to man-up and grow up, can you? There are lots of book recommendations for kids on the Relationships Australia website and the Raising Children website, and I’m sure I’ve found some others on the government website (can’t remember the name of it, but if you Google ‘Me, my ex, my kids’ you should find it). It’s so very hard to know what to do for the best, I hope your little man can find some peace of mind soon.


  • Maybe the Dad could take him on outings but not to his house. Perhaps you could ask you son in a very casual way if that is what he would like to do. I know of one lass who loves her Dad but dislikes her Step Mum and always has prior to the relationship becoming serious. In that particular case I would too. She even tried to buy and bribe the girl which made the situation even worse. They have plenty of money to buy her anything she asks for plus things they give her that she doesn’t even like and has no interest in. He runs his own business and started paying small amounts of child support before the Child Support Agency started. He often paid cash which she recorded but because he bought the girl things he is included it in the amount and she has no way of proving otherwise. It is her word against his even though she had witnesses. His then girlfriend convinced him to apply for full custody so he didn’t have to pay child support and wanted to claim support support off the Mum. She has medical problems, is unable to work and is on a Pension as the girl is only 16 or 17.


  • Thank you both for your kind words. Tene I completely understand where you are coming from. Long story short my ex cheated on my whole marriage. He has aldo come forward with another sibling for my son that are only months apart. My husband threatened all of my family and still does to this day. But when my son is concerned I dont tell him a thing. I tell him daddy loves him very much as do I. My now partner of 4 year’s loves my son and daughter dearly. They have a fantastic relationship and he is concerned about my sons health due to the up and down of the father figure that is now yet again back and forth. My son hasn’t seen his dad since his last birthday in which we both attend and then there were words as my ex is jealous of my now relationship. All I want is for my son to understand that we are all there for him. I will take
    your advice Tene and take my son on am outing just him and I and talk and see how and what he feels. Fingers crossed I can help him in a different motherly way. Thanks heaps


  • is there an underlying reason? is there something about “dads house” that he doesn’t like?
    When my daughter feels she cant tell me how she feels i get one of her stuffed toys and explain that the toy has the same feelings as her and then ask the toy the questions in a kind simple manor (getting my daughter to tell me the toys answer). then i ask my daughter on how we can help the toy feel better.


  • This is a very delicate situation for your little boy. He is most likely finding the changing of significant others in his dad’s like overwhelming. If you have a cordial relationship with his father you may be able to sort something out between you. Perhaps his dad can come and visit at your home a few hours and your little boy can feel secure in the family dynamics of both parents. You both may be able to go on special outings together as well. As he gets older, he may feel more comfortable in going on an outing with just his dad and gradually he may then feel secure to visit dad’s home and eventually stay over. It is really very so difficult for children to have a parent with another parent. It takes maturity for the partner to take second place when it comes to the children. Often there is just a clash of personality, sometimes the significant other does not try to accept the child or tries to hard and this comes off as fake and kids know it. Often times the child may like the significant other very much but feel a sense of disloyalty to the parent.
    I encouraged the one on one relationship of my husband and his children. I would do something special with one while he dis something special with the other. We had them for the fun times and their mother had all the tough parenting dad to day stuff. I worked really hard at ensuring the children knew they were important, loved and valued. We over came issues by open honest communication. I was from another country and there were language and cultural differences that sometimes annoyed them, we can laugh about it now! The parents were united in making the transitions as easy as possible. It took patience and at first I was excluded by their mother from school events etc but later the kids invited me and insisted I be present, they wanted me there. Over time, we often all went out to meals together, mum dad, step dad, step mum and the kids. We celebrated the kids birthdays together and we even had Christmas all together. Those kids are adults now and their dad has passed on but they will always be regarded by me as “my kids”. I love them dearly. Being a step parent is one of the hardest experiences to live through but it can be done with a lot of effort, respect, kindness, understanding and honesty. Jealousy and resentment will only result in hurt and the ones who hurt the most are the children. They always have to come first.


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