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Nancy, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 746
Experience:  ABD for a PhD in Psychology, Psychotherapist for over 20 years
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I have recently reduced contact for my 6 year old and 9 year

Customer Question

I have recently reduced contact for my 6 year old and 9 year old from staying, This was because ther dad cyclically makesinappropriate decisions for the kids age eg allowingthem to watch bloody monkey, swamp devil,classed as low key horror movies-he has also told them i am a selfish cow, idont use my brain to think,I am jealous, its my fault we split up, if we'd stayed together he would have ripped me apart etc.He is a loving father but makes these errorsof judgement,which then creates negativeattitudes towards me from the kids on occasion. the kids are now wanting to go back to .every weekend with their dad.Is it better to remain as it is and them upset at not seing him every weekend, or would it be better for them to go every weekend?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Nancy replied 7 years ago.

Hi wonder,


If a parent makes good, sound judgement then they should be able to see their children on their schedule, but when they make poor decisions, visitation should be reduced.

The movies he is allowing them to watch are age-inapporopriate and are not good for the children.


You are doing the right thing!



Customer: replied 7 years ago.
The anser you gave me doesnt giveenough psycologically founded reasons for your answer,and you made no mention of the things he has said to the kids.this worries me.I am concerned that the anger the kids are left with at not seeing their dad every weekend will be more damaging to them - i find itdifficult to see things in black and white,because these things dont happen every week,but maybe everycouple of months.
Expert:  Nancy replied 7 years ago.

Bad parenting is bad parenting whether it happens once a month or once a year. The anger the kids feel can be assuaged by your explaining to them that what you are doing here, is best for them.


YOU are the parent, you have to decide what is best. If they don't get it, you can explain it to them - if they still insist on being angry then there are more problems than just the visitation schedule occuring.



Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I have said that no decision I take about them is ever done lightly, and explained that what I am doing is in their best interest. They still don't understand and come back from dad's furious with me after every visit with him. I have not explained that what I am doing is damage limitation,to reduce the risk of him showing them inappropriate movies and having inappropriate conversations with them, as I felt that may stop them from telling me what goes on at dads. Your answer doesn't therefore help. I also didnt understand whatyou meant at the end about if the anger continues etc.I look forward to hearing from you again.

Expert:  Nancy replied 7 years ago.

What I am sayingis that if they do not accept that your judgement is best, XXXXX XXXXX are more problems here than just visitation.


In other words - if they continue to question you and act out angrily, visitation is NOT the only issue- there are other problems you need to address. What those are, I don't know - but a child who cannot see that reason over this is angry about other things as well.



Customer: replied 7 years ago.

What other issues need to be addressed?what do you mean? I feel it is understandable that my children are upset and angry at having, visits reduced to fortnightly,especially as they have been used to staying every weekend with their dad for 6 years. they have had no reason behind this change explained to them,other than it is best for them and also I want to spend time with them far as they are concerned all they feel is the pain they are experiencing at only seeing him four days in the month.

Expert:  Nancy replied 7 years ago.

You said, "he has also told them i am a selfish cow, i dont use my brain to think, I am jealous, its my fault we split up, if we'd stayed together he would have ripped me apart etc."


When he told them this, do you think they just ignored it? That is abusive of him to speak about you that way.


And, if you have not sat them down and explained WHY you are doing this -- do so ASAP. They need to know that his bad judgement is not okay - that you will protect them from that type of bad parenting.



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