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I'VE LOST MY KIDS!!
July 31, 2007
5:41 pm
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santino
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MY KIDS DONT WANT TO BE WITH ME ANYMORE! THEY CRY WHEN I PICK THEM UP AND CRY THE WHOLE TIME THEY'RE WITH ME TO GO HOME.I TRY SO HARD TO DO FUN THINGS WITH THEM AND TO KEEP THEM OCCUPIED WITH FUN THINGS TO DO, NOTHING WORKS. AND NOW MY EX WIFE IS TELLING ME I CAN'T SEE THEM ANYMORE.

WHAT AM I SUPPOSE TO DO??!!

I HAVE SO MUCH PAIN IN ME RIGHT NOW I CANT SEE STRAIGHT. I MISS THEM SO MUCH, AND THEY HATE ME!

help...

July 31, 2007
6:09 pm
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_anonymous
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Do you have court ordered visitation? If so then she is in contempt of court if she violates the agreement. You must follow the agreement and if she refuses to follow it call the police show them a certified copy of the court order and see if they cant help you. You can also file Contempt of court charges. She could go to jail for this. It is natural for kids especially young ones to be attached to their mom and cry when they have to leave. Especially if she stays home all day with them. Find out what the kids want to do. It sounds like your wife may be guilty of Parental Alienation. You can also file for a modification of custody to get the order changed.

July 31, 2007
6:27 pm
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free
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How old are they Santino?

Take a deep breath. They don't hate you. They're confused. It's gonna be rough for a little bit but it's gonna be okay kuz you're gonna do all the right things.

So first, how old are they?

free

July 31, 2007
6:32 pm
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santino
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My daughters 7, my son is 3.

July 31, 2007
6:39 pm
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santino
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destinystar: I do have a court order. The order states that during my vaction, which I'm on, the kids are to be with me. I took them home early a few days ago, with the understanding that I would be seeing them on wednesday. Now she tells me the kids don't want to come and shes not gonna make em.

I know my kids are home sick when they're with me, and I hate to keep them away from their mother but I miss and want to see them. They don't feel that way about me. My heart is broken.

You see when my kids are with my ex, they run amok. They have no structure, they act like wild animals. They never clean up after themselves, they stay up late, they eat junk food etc. etc. When they're with me, none of the above is aloud. I make them eat good foods, I make them clean up after themseleves etc. Every time I make them do something like that they cry and want to go home. I can't compete with that.

July 31, 2007
6:50 pm
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fantas
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Santino,

At 7 & 3 They don't get to make these decisions for themselves. The divorce is hard and they are confused and this is something you the parents have to help them with. It's unfortunate that your ex isn't helping them deal with this reality better especially because she spends more time with them.

I think the worst thing you could do is not get them. Then they will learn that coming to stay with you is optional which it isn't. While I understand you are hurt by their reaction right now, I think you need to realize how hard this must be for them and not take it so personally. Not trying to be judgemental here, but the adults in their lives have put them in this situation where they are now needing to choose favorites.

Toughen up, go get your kids and begin talking to them about how they are dealing with this reality they find themselves in, talk about their fears, let them understand than you love them just as much as you did when you all lived together. This will take a while and even longer when you start introducing other spouses, and step children into the mix.

Hang in there. Keep posting.

July 31, 2007
6:56 pm
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booger
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Santino
I hear you being discuoraged and at the end of a rope but please do not give up. They are young but they know how to push your buttons. The rules are going to be diferrent at your house than at your ex's. That is not going to change but your kids with time and some patience will get used to the different rules. There is a great book called "Moms House Dads house." I recomend that you at least glance at it. Things will get easier but there are always challanges. Trust your gut on the next indicated step and take it. Your kids love you but are confused.

July 31, 2007
6:57 pm
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Okay- you're not gonna lose visitation. They have to be young teen or pre-teen. Judge will not deny visitation this young unless there is clear and provable evidence of abuse.

I don't know your ex, but what you MUST NEVER DO is give her reason to call police and file a restraining order against you. Santino, you MUST NEVER lose your temper with her, on the phone or in person, anywhere, EVER.

They're gonna cry when leaving home until they get used to this. How long has this been going on? It took my kids a few months to get used to going back and forth- the one who cried the most was 5. It ripped my heart out, but she got used to it and after awhile was fine.

Santino, young children cry. Home is "home base" and it's comfortable. Say to them "I know it can be kinda upsetting to leave home, but look at this way-you get to go spend the night- most kids have to wait till their older, like in 4th or 5th grade so you guys are lucky!" Give it that kind of twist.

do you have a friend that can pick them up from her house? I had my ex do this and it worked great- they're not gonna nearly as big a fit when somebody else goes and gets them- there's something about kids playing parents against each other here- they will do that, almost unconsciously. My ex and I DO NOT get along, so if you guys don't, this can still help.

If she IS alienating you, she can only do it if you play into it.

Don't bad mouth her in front of the kids, EVER. I do mean EVER Santino. Take the high road, and your kids will begin to feel how stable you are. Kids naturally gravitate to stability because they crave a stable base from which to go out into the world from. Right now, they see that stable base as home and theyr'e being required to venture from it NOT at their own discretion.

Maintain visitation. It's not just fun things at 3 and 7- it's routine. When they come to your house, have both of them fix dinner with you- ask them what they want. they're gonna make a mess- no worries. Prop the three year old in a high chair (for safety0 in the kitchen to mash the potatoes, stir the macaroni and cheese, etc. This activity is huge kuz you'll bond and they are included in the decision process when they come with you.

Reading time Santino: it's a must. sit on the couch with them for half an hour- set a time- 7 to 7:30 for example, and that is reading time EVERY SINGLE TIME they are with you. Dr. Seuss books- they will love them, and the Magic Schoolbus. You read to the and be animated and goofy. In a very short time, your voice will become a soothing voice to them, a fun voice, a longed for voice.

Okay- I gotta run- filing papers against my ex lol.

It's gonna be okay Santino, you're gonna just have to find a way to believe that.

free

July 31, 2007
6:58 pm
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taj64
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Hello. Im limited on what I can say here. But I know cases like this. It sounds as if you need to be the parent, the kids need to be with you though you cannot make them if they don't want to. Your kids don't hate you but they are at an age where they need discipline and healthy habits but they don't necessarily understand that. When they get older they will appreciate it but yet maybe not show it. But you are the father here and therefore you must understand that is nothing to compete with, not with a mother nor anyone else. Only you can be their father. Maybe a week vacation is a just bit long for a 3 year old as they probably prefer the mom. But maybe take your 7 year old. You know deep down they love you. As a father you have to discipline them and their crying is part of disagreeing. If you give in, then you are showing them that they can have their way in any situation and when they get to the real world they will be in for a rude awakening. You have not lost them, this is just a temporary situation, that can be easily remedied. Talk to your ex and try to compromise and be willing to listen to each other. This can work for both of you. Tell her the situation. This is not the way it is always going to be. Please keep focusing on them and yourself and don't give up, never give up. Once you do that, you truly do lose them. The kids will love you for it, to see you keep at it, keep trying, and not lose hope. You are showing them you are a fighter, not a quitter. Love you, Santino. Well I said more than I thought i would. but when it comes to you, words come easily. Words come easily to friends you feel are true, that you trust. So trust in yourself. You can do this Santino, believe in you. take care my friend.

July 31, 2007
7:06 pm
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How bout this: will your ex let you take them to maybe the Simpson's movie on Wednesday?

They probably don't get that they got to come home early- drop it with them. They don't need to hear it.

Can you talk to them on the phone? If so tell them- hey I wanted to take you guys to the Simpsons movie Wednesday ya wanna go? Then I'll drop ya off at home after.

If this works- then when ya drop them off at home after, tell them you will be seeing them next weekend (or whenever the next scheduled time is for you to see them) and give them a big hug.

free

July 31, 2007
7:26 pm
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santino
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Thanks everyone for responding. Your advise and encouragement goes a long way. Thanks.

July 31, 2007
8:31 pm
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I know the pain your going through. I was 13 when I married and had my daughter, I was 16 when I had my son. My husband was abusive and my daughter had CF, I thought I was loosing my mind for a while. The point too me telling you all of this is so that you will understand why I had to leave without my children. I was homeless for a while and had no way to care for myself or them.I should also say that he was never abusive to our children, but he and I were like oil and water together.

Later when I got on my feet I tried to regain custody but the courts would not take them from him. I had to stick to the visitation rules and did so. I never missed my "every other weekend and Holidays" with them, but even so they were being told ridiculous tales about me. As they grew they were told that I was a whore, drug addict, liar, the list goes on and on. During this time I was careful to never put their father or grandmother down and just reassured them that those things were not true. As they grew they could also see for themselves how I lived my life.

I knew when they were grown that they would make their own choices about me and they did. because of the way I handled the tall tales and never putting down the other family that they loved so much, is the reason that I actually get along with their father today. My daughter passed when she was 13, but she passed knowing that I loved her and that I was none of the things that she had been told I was. Today my son is my best friend. Stick to your guns about your rules, I think they will thank you some day for the structure in their lives.

I know It's hard to be patient when all of this is unfolding in your life and I'm so sorry that you are having to go through this. Just don't give up hope, it sounds to me like you are doing everything you can to be a good and loving father. I wish you luck and hope you can be strong through this.

July 31, 2007
10:21 pm
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santino
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vegas66: Thanks for sharing your story. I'm happy you were able to clear all the missfortunes with your children.

After the anger has settled, I looked at myself as a person and questioned myself. At times I could be a little hard on my kids, especially my son. I do get on em pretty hard when they do things they aren't supposed to do. I do raise my voice at times. I recognize that I'm not the best father. But I know I'm not the worst! They're was a time when my daughter and son loved being with me. I have lost that. I have to get it back. I hae to work on myself, I'm a mess.

August 1, 2007
12:05 am
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Hi santino

Boy I wish my ex husband would look at himself and question himself like you have.

It's been statistically shown time and time again, that kids who have a positive relationship with both parents have it easier and tend to be more successful in young adulthood. I don't know ofhand where these stats are- I'm a teacher and amongst educators I just stated the obvious- we help kids with this kind of thing kuz they do better in school when things are working out for the parents.

Your kids need you. They don't need you to be perfect, but they need you to be willing to do what you said you did in your last post.

Santino, kids make the same mistakes over, and over, and over, again. I tried to tell my own kids father this, but to no avail. My husband, their stepfather, is listening thank God and their relationship has improved dramatically. You have to TELL them to brush their teeth, clear the table, pick your clothes up, make your bed, throw your trash away, flush the toilet, wash your hands, etc etc etc ALL THE TIME.

It's frustrating I know. I teach high school- everyday is the same routine and everyday I have to tell them at the beginning of class "get on your warm up there's no talking during the warmup" AND I have to walk around the classroom otherwise they'll sit there and text their friends quietly instead of doing the warm-up. Every day for 183 days I have to do that.

Think they EVER come into the classroom and automatically get on the warm up?

NO! I'd have a heart attack if they did I'd be so shocked.

BUT! After awhile, when I start talking and walking around the classroom, everybody gets on it right way.

In time, some things with your kids will become habit. They'll automatically take their dishes to the sink from the table, for example. But sometimes, they'll just get up and walk away and you'll have to remind them.

Try not to lose your temper with kids. It's scary for them. Not necessarily because they're afraid of you, but when you lose your temper it tells them you're not in control and that's frightening for small kids especially.

Yeah, dad's are tougher than moms. Seems it's always been that way for the most part. That's okay.

How were things when they used to love to come see you? How's it different from now?

Get it back Santino. Not just for you, but for them.

They need you to.

free

August 1, 2007
2:14 am
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santino
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Free: I have been thinking of that very question. What have I done diffrent?

After my wife and I seperated I got into a relationship with a girl pretty quick. Allthough I never introduced them to her, she still occupied alot of my time with Cell phone calls, putting my kids to sleep earlier so I could go out with her. Dropping them off earlier so she can come over. It was a stressfull time. When we broke up, It hit me hard. REAL HARD.(read some of my previous posts, its all there) I'd be so depressed I would be very short tempered with them. Only up until a few weeks ago I have been doing better. My exgirlfriend is gone and is never coming back. But when I see my kids, and how they want to leave as soon as they see me, I feel guilty. I know they hold my past behavior against me, and they should. I was a poor excuse of a father. But I'm trying, and thats what keeps me going.

August 2, 2007
11:52 am
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wasabi
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Santino*
Keep trying do not give up! Pour yourself into them they are so little
So many men could give a S#%! about there kids !
You care & you want to be with them!
That is awsome!
The few times I spent with my Father during & after my folks split up are so dear to me! Esp. now that he is past! Do not ever give up on them!
I know this may be real hard but talk to your x maybe you can spend quality time with them at there home!
Just for awhile off & on so they get use to you again... And chill! There little don't sweat the small stuff work on bonding not do as I say crap!
Maybe the odler one can decorate there room how they want A special place at Dad's pad! Special stuff that stay's only at Dad's...
Work on planning stuff together in the future so they have you & that special day to look forward too!
And never make them wait or blow them off for something or someone else! I have 3 children ....they are all late teens one is in his 20's they all wish there Dad would take time with them.... We are still together 2 of them are still at home, & he never takes time with is kids! They all want a Dad to play with them or just be there.
Keep being there for them never give up! They will come around you'll see... We all long for Daddy every once in a while. It will be OK You'll see! Go to the library & get some single Dad books & books on parenting within the break up educate yourself it's not easy but you'll do fine!
They one thing that is true you care!
And your kids will see that(one day)!
Take care
Wasabi

August 2, 2007
1:15 pm
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It is not up to your wife to decide when you can and cannot see your children. You are a father good bad or indifferent and the only biological father your children will ever have. I am glad that you learned from your mistakes and it has given you the inspiration to improve your situation. Please take the remote control out of your X-wifes hands, take your court order and pick up your children.

August 2, 2007
1:19 pm
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santino
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Wasabi: Thanks Wasabi, I appreciate your reassurance. Isn't everyone here wounderful?! It's been a little over a year since I discovered this site for myself.

I do love my kids, these last few days I have been thinking about ways I can change to show them I love them. When I heard my daughter say she didn't want to talk to me it broke my heart. I don't want to EVER feel like that way again.

Next Monday is my day off, and they WILL be with me. 🙂

August 2, 2007
1:31 pm
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santino
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Destinystar: I know what you mean, I hate feeling helpless when I don't need to be. I already told my kids I wasn't going to pick them up, I think if I forced my way to pick them up they might see me as a liar. I'm gonna let this one go. If, my ex tries this again then I will take this to the next level.

August 2, 2007
3:17 pm
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fantas
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(((Santino))) All the best to you. I really appreciate you sharing your experience from the male perspective. You are definitely a great dad and your kids are very blessed. The beauty of kids is the love their parents unconditionally. When things settle for them, and you set your standards with them, they will forget this.
Hang in there...

August 3, 2007
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glittered when he walked
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Santino,

as a fellow man in a similar situation...stay the course my good man...stay the course...it will pay off.

Like you, i was the one who provided most of the structure. She got play time, hug time, fun time...where it seemed like I was the one seeing to it that they ate right, helped with homework, bath and bed. seemed like I was always the "heavy." after a time i made a concerted effort to make sure I did more fun things with them...listened to them...played more.

so i maintained a good relationship with them. Do you know what my oldest daughter said to me the other when i asked how she is doing now that i don't live there anymore...how she and mom are doing? she said "she's always yelling and she's always playing the victim." i could have died..i ahd to bite my tongue as i marveled at what a 12 year old figured out in a few months what it took me years to realize. That my ex plays the victim.

I listened to her and was careful not to "run mommy down" but I didn't want to invalidate her feelings either. i explained that "mom is under a lot more stress now that i'm not there to help as much and she could use your help. yes, sometimes your mom does do that victim thing...many in her family do. Every family has their own issues..i think that one thing you might do is to do one thing extra each day..like run the sweeper without being told, maybe do one load of laundry the next day. and your mom will be so appreciative and less worried about housecleaning that she might yell less.

but it was very good for me to hear...not because my daughter is annoyed with her mom, but because she is beginning to realize the stability provided and is beginning to appreciate the stability and rroutine i provided.

Kids need and want routine. oh, they may balk at first, i mean who wants to clean when you can play, but in time they'll take to it like ducks to water. Just be sure to throw in enough love, attention, and spontaneous playtime and they'll come to treasure being with you. It will happen..stay the course.

August 3, 2007
8:36 pm
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Long time no see, Santino. I've been here less because I am sharing in the care of our son's baby now.

The situation is pretty weird. He and this gf were having this casual relationship (he's divorced, no children before, over 30, rather well off with his own home and own business), which obviously involved sex without protection. After a couple of months they broke up. Then she discovered she was pregnant. She was a bartender. That's where he met her. She is 24 and has two other children by two different fathers.

He has tried to do the right thing throughout her pregnancy, just short of marriage. They tried living together for seven months, but she finally moved into her own apartment because they just could not get along. Her oldest child was diagnosed with ADHD or ADD and was advised to begin some medication for it but her mother doesn't want to medicate her, so the child's behavior is getting more and more outrageous -- she was so jealous of the babysitter's child holding her baby sister that she flew into a rage, pulled out a handful of the sitter's hair, slapped the baby and kicked the other child.

I've watched these two twice. Both times they began to do deliberately naughty, provoking things. It is obvious that the oldest one is an angry little girl. Last weekend they joined us in an extended family vacation at the lake. Her behavior was a nightmare. We had to do time-outs, separations, etc. till everyone was worn out. She even has this ear-splitting squeal she uses like a weapon. When you speak to her, she will often ignore you, or just stare at you blankly, or maybe call you a name or just walk away.

Often, the mother just lets other people mind the children.

I will watch the baby every chance I get now, just to have her out of that toxic environment. But we are only the grandparents. I think our son would love to be able to have full custody, but the mother is kind of unpredictable, so he has to take care to maintain a decent relationship with her. I am pretty sure she thought our son would marry her and that her financial worries would be over. As we are getting to know her, I can see how angry she feels about that.

I really can identify with how you felt when your children wanted to go home. It's not you......it's that "other atmosphere" that did not require any responsibility from them. It's the little girl/mother who all but stomps her feet and slams the door and blames everything on the guy. Victim mentality?

These children never get told no, they have no schedules, they get dropped off all the time at their fathers' places or any other available caretaker. They disrespect everyone. When they are especially unruly, their mum will go get them a juice box and they all settle down in front of a kid's DVD.

Glittered says "Stay the course". So many responders here....and all good advice. You're a good person, Santino. Try not to make too many rules, that is, keep them simple. But it sounds like you're doing all the right stuff.

This 5-yr-old told me she hated me, that I was mean, that I was not her Nana. Ouch. I've never had a child be so nasty to me! I told her I wasn't trying to be her grandma, but I thought we could be friends. I think she seems to respond to me when I say things along those lines...."I really like you/love you, but I do not like what you are doing/saying right now."

For what this long story is worth to you, now I've gotten it out.

I've been searching the net for information on how an unmarried father could be given full custody by the court system. It looks nearly impossible.

I know we have to teach children respect by giving them respect. Get down on your haunches sometimes and talk eye to eye with your 3 yr old. Get them to repeat what you just said that you expect them to mind. I always taught adults, so it's been a while since I've been with kids. There is NO WAY I'm going to cater to those constant demands for attention and to be entertained.

My house. My rules.

When our son watches all three children, he takes them outside and lets them help him "work" in the yard. They love it. I think the trick is to keep them active, so they drop into bed at night. Too busy to argue and fuss. Swimming is great for wearing them out. Send them on errands that involve running up and down alot of stairs.

And when they get to 4 and 8, you can start reading Jack London

August 3, 2007
8:36 pm
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Long time no see, Santino. I've been here less because I am sharing in the care of our son's baby now.

The situation is pretty weird. He and this gf were having this casual relationship (he's divorced, no children before, over 30, rather well off with his own home and own business), which obviously involved sex without protection. After a couple of months they broke up. Then she discovered she was pregnant. She was a bartender. That's where he met her. She is 24 and has two other children by two different fathers.

He has tried to do the right thing throughout her pregnancy, just short of marriage. They tried living together for seven months, but she finally moved into her own apartment because they just could not get along. Her oldest child was diagnosed with ADHD or ADD and was advised to begin some medication for it but her mother doesn't want to medicate her, so the child's behavior is getting more and more outrageous -- she was so jealous of the babysitter's child holding her baby sister that she flew into a rage, pulled out a handful of the sitter's hair, slapped the baby and kicked the other child.

I've watched these two twice. Both times they began to do deliberately naughty, provoking things. It is obvious that the oldest one is an angry little girl. Last weekend they joined us in an extended family vacation at the lake. Her behavior was a nightmare. We had to do time-outs, separations, etc. till everyone was worn out. She even has this ear-splitting squeal she uses like a weapon. When you speak to her, she will often ignore you, or just stare at you blankly, or maybe call you a name or just walk away.

Often, the mother just lets other people mind the children.

I will watch the baby every chance I get now, just to have her out of that toxic environment. But we are only the grandparents. I think our son would love to be able to have full custody, but the mother is kind of unpredictable, so he has to take care to maintain a decent relationship with her. I am pretty sure she thought our son would marry her and that her financial worries would be over. As we are getting to know her, I can see how angry she feels about that.

I really can identify with how you felt when your children wanted to go home. It's not you......it's that "other atmosphere" that did not require any responsibility from them. It's the little girl/mother who all but stomps her feet and slams the door and blames everything on the guy. Victim mentality?

These children never get told no, they have no schedules, they get dropped off all the time at their fathers' places or any other available caretaker. They disrespect everyone. When they are especially unruly, their mum will go get them a juice box and they all settle down in front of a kid's DVD.

Glittered says "Stay the course". So many responders here....and all good advice. You're a good person, Santino. Try not to make too many rules, that is, keep them simple. But it sounds like you're doing all the right stuff.

This 5-yr-old told me she hated me, that I was mean, that I was not her Nana. Ouch. I've never had a child be so nasty to me! I told her I wasn't trying to be her grandma, but I thought we could be friends. I think she seems to respond to me when I say things along those lines...."I really like you/love you, but I do not like what you are doing/saying right now."

For what this long story is worth to you, now I've gotten it out.

I've been searching the net for information on how an unmarried father could be given full custody by the court system. It looks nearly impossible.

I know we have to teach children respect by giving them respect. Get down on your haunches sometimes and talk eye to eye with your 3 yr old. Get them to repeat what you just said that you expect them to mind. I always taught adults, so it's been a while since I've been with kids. There is NO WAY I'm going to cater to those constant demands for attention and to be entertained.

My house. My rules.

When our son watches all three children, he takes them outside and lets them help him "work" in the yard. They love it. I think the trick is to keep them active, so they drop into bed at night. Too busy to argue and fuss. Swimming is great for wearing them out. Send them on errands that involve running up and down alot of stairs.

And when they get to 4 and 8, you can start reading Jack London

August 3, 2007
8:42 pm
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whoops I sent it off. I wrote too long. Sorry. Just wanted to share and put a lever under your confidence. Those kids love you. You're their Dad.

August 3, 2007
10:16 pm
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Worried_Dad
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Santino,

You haven't lost them.

What is happening is a form of custodial/visitation interference.

And maybe parental alienation.

Your wife has a legal obligation to obey the order of the court.

Be very patient and calm, and do not lose your temper. Very calmly, and with a sweet tone of voice, remind your wife that she has been commanded by the court to facilitate your relationship AS A PARENT with your children, and that if she refuses she is breaking the law and also harming your children.

Keep a visitation diary. You need to keep detailed records of how your wife does or does not comply with court orders. It will come in handy one day.

May I ask: what state do you and your wife live in?

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