How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC Your Own ...

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5419
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

a 3 year olds father countinues to come in and out of his

Resolved Question:

a 3 year old's father countinues to come in and out of his life. This behavior has been going on since the child was about 5 months. He comes and lives with the child for months sees him everyday and is plays the role of a father. Then he leaves and does not see the child for months at a time. He does not speak to the child. And even recently the child has seen his father on the street and the father will turn his head and ignore the child. The last time this happened the child became really depressed. He would sit and cry at times because he said he wanted his father. He even started to wet his pants and bed again after months of being potty trained. He now ask to call his father and I allow him to so that I do not look like the bad guy but his father does not answer. He leaves a message but his father refuses to call him back. My questions are, at what point if any should I stop allowing the child to call his father? When should I stop him from shooting out to his father when he sees him in the street? What point should I stop the father from coming back into the child life knowing that as soon as the child is comfortable with him he will leave again? And what long term effects can this have on my child?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

 

The effects of fathers in a child's life are numerous. Recent studies have shown that children who have fathers in the home do better in school, have a better sense of self worth and self esteem, and do better over all in life. When a child is abandoned over and over by their father, this can not only create a sense of instability, but it can take the child's feelings of safety and security away. They learn they cannot depend on those they love and that when someone cares for them, they will go away. Trusting others becomes a big issue.

 

It sounds like your son's father is taking out his problems on his son. If he is outright rejecting him after playing an active role in his life, he could possibly have a mental health problem.

 

If you have not already, try talking with your son about his father. Don't say anything bad about him. Just tell you son that Daddy has a lot of problems and that it is not your son's fault. Allow him to share his feelings about what is happening. Also, if he asks questions, answer them as honestly as you can but keep it appropriate for his age. Open communication helps tremendously.

 

It is also important that your son see a therapist. He needs a chance to work out his feelings, even at his age. The therapist could also guide you on how to work with your son so he understands what is going on, at his level, and help you if you decide to stop allowing contact between your son and his father. Talk to your son's doctor about a referral or search on line at http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/.

 

If you do not already have sole custody of your son, you may want to consider filing for it. Talk with your attorney. You need to have control over how much exposure your son has to his father and vice versa. This is a hurtful relationship and you want to be in charge of how it affects your son.

 

It is always a balance to determine whether or not a a child should be prevented from seeing a parent. But given that your ex is putting his own needs ahead of your son and he is continually hurting him, it may be a good idea to prevent contact. Anytime a parent purposely hurts a child, it is usually better for that child to be removed from that parent. You may want to wait until you have your son see a therapist to start cutting contact. That way, the therapist can work with your son and you to ease the loss and help your son cope.

 

Here are some resources to help you:

 

Single Moms Raising Sons: Preparing Boys to Be Men When There's No Man Around by Dana S. Chisholm

 

The Single Mother's Guide to Raising Remarkable Boys by Gina Panettieri and Philip S. Hall

 

Longing for Dad: Father Loss and Its Impact by Beth M. Erickson

 

You can find these books on Amazon.com or your local library may have them for you.

 

I hope this helps you,

Kate

 

 

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5419
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/Dr.Keane/2013-8-20_204325_drkeane.64x64.jpg Dr. Keane's Avatar

    Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5024
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC's Avatar

    Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    3733
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrAkiraOlsen/2012-2-20_746_AkiraADpicmain.64x64.jpg Dr. Olsen's Avatar

    Dr. Olsen

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2336
    PsyD Psychologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/norriem/2009-5-27_134249_nm.jpg Norman M.'s Avatar

    Norman M.

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2193
    UK trained in hypnotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy and have been in private practice. ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), UKCP Registered and ECP.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PsychologyProf/2010-07-15_171248_logos060400409.jpg Dr. Michael's Avatar

    Dr. Michael

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2177
    Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KURTEMMERLING/2010-07-23_215531_just_ask_picture1.jpg Steven Olsen's Avatar

    Steven Olsen

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1727
    More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education