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2Gr8Kdz84
newbie


Reged: 02/23/08
Posts: 37
"Forcing" daughter to see mother.
      #369001 - 03/02/08 04:41 PM

When all this began, i thought i knew what i was doing. a thousand posts later, i'm second guessing myself. Following is my situation - comments are appreciated:

STBX has alcohol / Rx (nothing "illegal" / anger issues. Kids 19 and 15 (both girls and EXTREMELY close - in some senses older sister has been surrogate mom for past 10 years) have grown up with it and i have been very involved in their lives since day one. I have temp custody of 15 y.o. (19 away at college) and we're in the house (stbx at family out of state).

15 yo is reluctant to see mother. I feel i know her well and she just needs time. I truly want her to have a full and healthy relationship with her mother. I am consciously doing what i can to avoid anything that might foster PAS. I know i'm the parent and i'm not blind to the 15 yo "calling the shots". she is an "A" student, involved in sports and extracurriculars, still has her same (good kid) friends, does not drink, smoke, drug, pursue inappropriate relationships (i know what you're thinking, she can't be that good, but she is - Today she cleaned her room, bathroom, sister's room, and guest room in preparation of her sister and sister's boyfriend coming home from college next week to visit; she helped me with laudry, finished school work, read (reads at least an hour everyday); took a walk with me, all without being asked). Bottom line, she's happy and healthy. If i "force" her to see mother too soon, i'm afraid of the consequences; if i don't the judge and posts i've read here suggest i'm not doing the right thing as a parent.

I have no intention of using my children as pawns - all i want to do is what is in their best interest now and in the long run.

Should i push the "you really should see mom" issue or let her set the time table? I think i've done a pretty good job as a dad these past 15 years, but suddenly now that i'm in court in a divorce everyone seems to have an opinion on how i should be acting.

BTW, my beautiful 15 yo was born without an ear. We struggled for years on whether we should have surgery so she would have "normal" features. We decided to wait (revisiting the matter every six months as medical options advanced). We got to the point (her teen years) where we felt it was now her decision. She is totally comfortable with how she looks. We took her last year to the pre-eminant doctor for the surgery and she left saying "Dad - thanks for bringing me, but i'm ok with how things are." Made me happy. What's my point here" I think a beautiful (star cheerleader) teenage girl who is comfortable with her body image given her situation might just have had some good parenting. I went with my gut then - shouldn't i now?

Thanks


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GrammaLatte
enthusiast
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Reged: 02/14/08
Posts: 307
Re: "Forcing" daughter to see mother. [Re: 2Gr8Kdz84]
      #369082 - 03/03/08 09:58 AM

Yes, you should push her to see her mom. More than that, you should make it mandatory. You have a good kid, there. But she is still a KID. This is her MOM. If, (God forbid) something should happen to her mom and your daughter had been avoiding her, she would never forgive herself.

I went through this with one of my kids. I had the X who was worse than horrible. I truly hated him, couldn't stand to listen to anything about him. But when my son came to me complaining about his father for the very things I hated about my X and stating he was not going to see him anymore, I took the attitude I recommended to you above. He went, reluctantly and with some anger toward me, but he went...

It's now well over 25 years later. My son still doesn't much LIKE his father, but has maintained a relationship with him. And he's glad he did. And his stated respect for me kind of blows him away because he knew how I felt about his Dad, yet I still stood my ground in terms of what was best for him.

It was a win win.

--------------------
Been there, done that, don't wanna do it again


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PhoenixRising
Carpal \'Tunnel
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Reged: 01/05/07
Posts: 3681
Loc: New York
Re: "Forcing" daughter to see mother. [Re: 2Gr8Kdz84]
      #369114 - 03/03/08 11:48 AM

Sooner or later, visitation is going to be "forced"..

I would recommend that you take her to see a counselor to help her deal w/ her issues.

--------------------
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. --Plato


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beetlebug
member


Reged: 12/18/07
Posts: 114
Re: "Forcing" daughter to see mother. [Re: PhoenixRising]
      #369125 - 03/03/08 12:17 PM

I sent you a private message - I am in the exact same situation...

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2Gr8Kdz84
newbie


Reged: 02/23/08
Posts: 37
Re: "Forcing" daughter to see mother. [Re: beetlebug]
      #369391 - 03/03/08 08:11 PM

Thanks for your posts and pm's - i guess my real question is "when"? I know you can't know that, but i feel as though everyone simply wants it on their terms, not my daughter's. Now that i think about it, this is not unlike (though much more important) another post i have about the whole divorce proceeding being on auto pilot. In any event, i am taking her to counseling tomorrow. She's not thrilled, but, understands. Hopefully, we'll get some clarity. (FYI - i called dozens, and i mean dozens, of psychs, psycos, CSW's, therapists, etc and struggled to find any who would take the case for the following reasons: 1) meds are typically not prescribable to minors so the psychs feel a potential "conflict"; 2) they have more patients than they can handle already; 3) they don't want to be involve in the courts. Perhaps it's just my state (RI) and i hope anyone out there has better luck.)

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PhoenixRising
Carpal \'Tunnel
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Reged: 01/05/07
Posts: 3681
Loc: New York
Re: "Forcing" daughter to see mother. [Re: 2Gr8Kdz84]
      #369423 - 03/03/08 10:09 PM

I have a good relationship w/ the counselors at school..

I got my recommendation for a counselor from them.

They are in the "know" of who is taking patients; who shies away from court cases; etc.. It saved me some of the legwork...

Also they already know my children and know what type of personality and therapy will probably be a "good fit".

--------------------
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. --Plato


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CiCi
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Reged: 03/28/07
Posts: 493
Re: "Forcing" daughter to see mother. [Re: PhoenixRising]
      #369536 - 03/04/08 10:11 AM

I'm on the fence - partly because what you write resonates so much with me and my daughter. I want her (have always wanted her) to have a good relationship with her dad....who moved out of state about a year ago. He's only seen her once and broken her heart recently by cancelling a trip here to see her.

While I don't want to force my daughter either, I believe that kids just aren't equipped (even at age 15) to be able to make sound decisions for themselves. They definitely can have opinions which deserve to be listened to and taken into consideration, but they just don't always know what might be best for their futures.

I know what you mean about giving your daughter time. How does she feel about going to see her mom? Does she talk to you about that? I don't however, believe that the courts would FORCE the girl to go see her mom - especially at age 15. I could be wrong, but I thought that at a certain age, a child's say gets a little more weight with the judge.

Is your STBX dangerous - with regards to when she's drinking and taking rx's? I would want to make as certain as possible that your daughter is going to be well cared for while visiting her mom before I let her out the door.

You sound like a great dad who genuinely cares about your daughter and what is in her best interest. Remember, it's only a visit - you'll get her back and will mop up any of the pieces that need moping. She knows that you are a constant in her life and that you are here for her. She'll see whatever she sees in her mom and come home to her safe haven.

Your story about her ear is heartwarming! She sounds like a lovely young lady!

Hugs,
CiCi

--------------------
Remember: A clean house is the sign of a wasted life.


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2Gr8Kdz84
newbie


Reged: 02/23/08
Posts: 37
Re: "Forcing" daughter to see mother. [Re: CiCi]
      #369887 - 03/04/08 04:17 PM

Thanks for your post, CiCi (and the hugs :) ). Well today we went to see a psychologist (me, stbx and daughter). well, we get there only to be told "perhaps there was some miscommunication - my secretary is new. I don't do court cases". I almost had a heart attack. So i began pleading with her - finally, she agreed she would see us and daughter and would write something for the court. stbx and i spoke with her a while and stbx agreed to EOW, one night a week for a dinner and submit to screening before any visits to assure sobriety. Dr spoke with daughter who agreed as well (wife is at her sister's (a "sry" house and people i do trust) so i think daughter feels good about seeing her there. Sounds like that is going to be the recommendation Dr will submit to the court which i'm happy with. STBX told Dr she wants daughter to finish HS in our town and is fine with her living with me (a "good father" per stbx). I really think this is a good result. Daughter seems very relieved and even willing to go back to Dr next week for a full session. Dr told us we have a wonderful daughter who really has her head screwed on straight. I'm happy that she agreed with me in that regard, but admit, in hindsight perhaps i should have pushed the visit earlier. Regardless, everyone appears content at this point and, most importantly, daughter is happy. Dr did tell stbx that quitting drinking is the easy part; tough part is embracing sobriety. I'm a little concerned she thinks it will be easy (she has a history of stopping for times, but, not unlike many, relapsing. I cringed when she said "i have no desire to drink" - words she has said many times befoe.) Hopefully, this is the wake up she needed and she will stay sober - for her daughters and for herself. I really appreciate the feedback and education i got from this sight. I know we're a long way from over, but today was a good day for all involved.

Best of luck to you and your daughter CiCi. I can't imagine her dad not wanting to see her and, particularly, cancelling on her. I wish her well. Sounds like you are her rock, however, and i'm confident she end up in a very good place due to your efforts.


2G


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yregna
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Reged: 07/25/06
Posts: 1265
Loc: Oregon
Re: "Forcing" daughter to see mother. [Re: GrammaLatte]
      #370302 - 03/05/08 12:48 PM

No way,
This is the Mom's punishment. Let her die without ever seeing her daughter.

--------------------
"Anything free is worth what you pay for it..."
"Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get"


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092895
enthusiast


Reged: 04/03/08
Posts: 226
Re: "Forcing" daughter to see mother. [Re: yregna]
      #384947 - 04/03/08 01:48 PM

I have the same dilema. Do I force my son to spend time with his Father, who has a wife that truly dislikes my son. They argue constantly and the relationship is abusive between the Father and step-mom. I left his Dad for the same reason. I didn't grow up in that environment and I certainly don't want him in it now.

I want him to have a realtionship with his Father and know it is important, but should I "force" him to call him/see him. He knows he can call or see him anytime he wants. I wouldn't force him into anything else that I viewed as harmful or hurtful, so my question is "Do I force him into calling his Father". I have actually dialed the number before and made him return a phone call, but how far do I need to push.

I might also add that his father is a severe diabetic and I fear he will not be around to see our son graduate highschool. This breaks my heart and it woudl be be devasting to my son if something happened to his father and he had not spoken to him.


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