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Looking for advice re ex turning up

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Hi

I will try to keep this short, I have a son (T) who turns 8 soon and since he was born his "dad" floated in and out of his life for the first few years, I tried my best at that time to maintain regular contact between them, driving T to see him and collecting him again, swapping shifts at work to accommodate him but it was difficult, he promised he would buy T a bike for his 3rd birthday but didn't show up or even call to say he wouldn't be there, T was left on his birthday with no main present, as I had bought clothes and much needed essentials.

Fast forward to November 2014 and after over 4 years of absolutely no contact and no contribution from him (only the CSA payment of £5per week which was sporadic at best) he has decided to get involved again.

Ex called and I agreed to let him visit my home to spend time with T who barely acknowledges he is there, he is almost bribing T to go places with him promising all sorts of fun things but when T gets back he says they just went to nanas or aunties houses, T has told me on more than one occasion he does not want to go with him and cries when he gets here to collect him, I've tried explaining to ex that he does not want to go but he flies off the handle and shouts and makes a scene, he says I've turned the child against him, but T prefers to spend his Saturday's with his friends, I can't change his mind.

I just don't know how to proceed from here, do I continue forcing the child to spend days with ex against his wishes or do I just tell him enough is enough?

Thanks

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  • Guest101
    Guest101 Posts: 15,764 Forumite
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    catroe wrote: »
    Hi

    I will try to keep this short, I have a son (T) who turns 8 soon and since he was born his "dad" floated in and out of his life for the first few years, I tried my best at that time to maintain regular contact between them, driving T to see him and collecting him again, swapping shifts at work to accommodate him but it was difficult, he promised he would buy T a bike for his 3rd birthday but didn't show up or even call to say he wouldn't be there, T was left on his birthday with no main present, as I had bought clothes and much needed essentials.

    Fast forward to November 2014 and after over 4 years of absolutely no contact and no contribution from him (only the CSA payment of £5per week which was sporadic at best) he has decided to get involved again.

    Ex called and I agreed to let him visit my home to spend time with T who barely acknowledges he is there, he is almost bribing T to go places with him promising all sorts of fun things but when T gets back he says they just went to nanas or aunties houses, T has told me on more than one occasion he does not want to go with him and cries when he gets here to collect him, I've tried explaining to ex that he does not want to go but he flies off the handle and shouts and makes a scene, he says I've turned the child against him, but T prefers to spend his Saturday's with his friends, I can't change his mind.

    I just don't know how to proceed from here, do I continue forcing the child to spend days with ex against his wishes or do I just tell him enough is enough?

    Thanks

    Would joint days out be agreeable?

    He's 8, and if your ex went to court CAFCASS would listen to your son. They won't necessarily agree, but their job is to represent him. Not you or your ex, but his best interests.
  • catroe
    catroe Posts: 35 Forumite
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    Thanks for the reply Guest101, joint days out haven't worked in the past, so unfortunately I don't think they are an option, I try to explain to T that it's only for a few hours and I spend the time that he is away worrying if he is ok as he usually leaves our home in tears or on the verge of tears. T is afraid to tell him he doesn't want to go with him as he has a short temper, if he did involve the authorities I'm glad to hear that they will listen to T
  • Guest101
    Guest101 Posts: 15,764 Forumite
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    catroe wrote: »
    Thanks for the reply Guest101, joint days out haven't worked in the past, so unfortunately I don't think they are an option, I try to explain to T that it's only for a few hours and I spend the time that he is away worrying if he is ok as he usually leaves our home in tears or on the verge of tears. T is afraid to tell him he doesn't want to go with him as he has a short temper, if he did involve the authorities I'm glad to hear that they will listen to T

    Would starting at your house be totally out of the question (usually this is a no-no) but if there's a relationship to mend between your ex and your son, familiar settings could help.
  • barbiedoll
    barbiedoll Posts: 5,326 Forumite
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    Why has ex suddenly decided that he wants to be a father to his son? Do you have any contact with his family (his mum and sister?), and if not, would it be worthwhile having a chat with them? It could be that his mother has put pressure on him, or he may be trying to impress a new girlfriend.

    It's not good for your son to be taken out by your ex if he doesn't want to go, especially if he is afraid of your ex's "short temper". I know that the general consensus is that children need both of their parents but this man is essentially a stranger to your son, I'm not surprised that he doesn't want to spend time with him.

    If your son doesn't want to go out with his father, then that's just tough luck. Your ex will have to try a bit harder to get to know his son, which means no more tantrums when he doesn't get his own way and no more empty promises of "fun" days out which don't materialise.

    Hopefully, he'll man up, start working with you towards a solution that is best for your son (and not him), and your son will have the benefit of both parents in his life.

    But don't hold your breath.
    "I may be many things but not being indiscreet isn't one of them"
  • Lunar_Eclipse
    Lunar_Eclipse Posts: 3,060 Forumite
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    Whilst I wholeheartedly believe that children should have relationships with both parents where possible, I wouldn't force a child of 8 to see a parent against their wishes. Your duty of care lies with your son; you don't 'owe' your ex anything.

    Could you have a conversation with your son explaining your predicament and see if he suggests something that could work? Tell him your primary objective is to keep him safe and happy, but that most children benefit in knowing both parents.

    You are stuck between a rock and a hard place, but your son just needs to know you will act in his best interests and put him first (but won't be manipulated or pulled into power games by either side.) He might surprise you with a solution that works for everyone (supervised visits somewhere he feels comfortable? Is there a grandparent that could help?) You then need to keep communications open with your ex and explain things simply and calmly. Him flying off the handle in front of your son won't work in his favour.
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