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Ms Chase
Ms Chase, #1 Just Answer Parenting Expert
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Im a single mother of a son who is just turning 5 years old.

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I'm a single mother of a son who is just turning 5 years old. I filed for divorce a couple of weeks after he turned 12 months. The divorce was active and in court the entire time, it lasted just over 3 years. Although it was nasty, I did everything I could to protect my son from seeing any hostility. I made his life as normal and positive as possible and he is a very happy and well adjusted child. His father has shown little interest in the child ever since my pregnancy began. It was a semi-planned pregnancy, being that we got pregnant a few months before we were going to try to get pregnant. He was aware that I could get pregnant when I did. He has visited with him off and on since the divorce started. At one time he said he would be willing to give up his parental rights so that a man in the future could adopt him.

He has gone for periods of not seeing him (by his choice). There have been times when I have had to do an emergency stop to his visitation or bring up my concerns for the child's physical safety during the divorce. The reasons surrounded drug use, putting a real gun in his hand when he was turning 3 years old, letting him ride motorcycles, dirt bikes, jet skis, and 4 wheelers, taking him to construction sites, etc. His father has seen this as a ploy for me to keep him from his son. Recently he has told me that he is not going to see our son for 6 years. Our son will be 11 then. I have recently asked him if he is willing to look into giving up his parental rights and if he loves his son, as it is very heartbreaking to me to suspect that he does not love him. He did not say that he loved him, even when I asked him to just tell me that he loves him. He asked me who it is that would be adopting him. I am not in that positin right now, as I am still unmarried, but I do not like the idea of him coming in and out of his life, I don't believe it's healthy for my son. This person does not act rationally, and I believe that him being gone completely would be best for the child, especially being that the child is still so young. I keep the focus with him on other things, and just stay neutral as far as his father is concerned. The occasional time he asks why his father doesn't come to get him I tell him that I don't know, that he will have to ask his father. On a side note, his father is self employed, and has not been consistant with paying child support and is now seeking a reduction in child support even though he just bought a $200,000 home and a $50,000 car. If he is to give up parental rights, I am fine with not receiving any child support from him for peace of mind that he is not damaging to my child. There is also concern of verbal and emotional abuse to the child, as this was the case toward me during the time of our marraige, as well as toward his mother.

I need to know what is truely best long term psycologically for my child. I want him to continue to be healthy and happy. I want him to have a father in the future who truely, deeply loves him, is responsible in making good parenting choices and financially willing to take care of him, all of these as he so deserves. My child is a well behaved, cute child, with a fun spirit and truely deserves the best. I am doing a wonderful job of raising him, I just don't know what is best with the father aspect.

-CA
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Ms Chase replied 5 years ago.
Hello Fofi,

Do you live close to your ex?

Did he say why he wasn't going to see him for 6 yrs?

Are you in a relationship or looking to be in one?

If so, are you considering possible adoption by the stepfather?

Chase
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

The father lives an hour away, divorce judge set it up so that he has to do all the driving. He said he wasn't going to see him for 6 years because he wants to wait until he gets old enough to understand what I have been doing to him (in keeping him from seeing his son). The man isn't really rational being that he puts the child in dangerous situations and I am a rational parent (not too overprotective, just want normal safety). I am looking to be in a relationship, met a guy not very long ago who seems very normal, nice, etc. I want a family, I want to have more children in the future, I just want a family, normal, etc. I would hope that the man I choose to be with will want to be a father figure to my son. That is a big quality I am looking for in a man, someone who wants to have a family and be a good father.

 

Thanks,

CA

Expert:  Ms Chase replied 5 years ago.
Hello CA

Thank you for the additional information. There are a lot of different things to look at in this situation. You son did not choose who his father is, that choice was made by you. Although you may feel differently about him now, he's still your sons father. He could give up his parental rights, he could never see his son a day in his life ever again, but he would still be his father. There's nothing that could ever be done to change that one simple fact. Regardless of any man that comes into you and his life, they will always be a stepfather, and his dad will always be his dad.

Of course your son is going to look at his dad and see a hero, even when his dad is screwing up. The fact that his dad does all of these 'exciting' things just makes matters worse. It's important that you don't bad-mouth his dad (at least not in front of him) and that you remain impartial when he talks about his dad. If he senses that you are against his dad, he'll feel like he needs to make a choice.

With that being said, I understand your need to want to have a normal safe family, its what most of us want and there's no reason at all why you shouldn't have it. If you do get married, there's no reason why the many you marry can't be a role model to your son, as long as he knows that he should never try to replace his dad, regardless of how bad his dad is messing up. Your son is the only person who can make the choice of who he's going to love, and who is going to be his role model, it's not something he can be pushed into or made to do.

Be the best mom you can be. You sound very loving, concerned and yes, rational :) and maybe the best thing right now is to simply minimize the contact as much as you can, since he is saying that he's willing to leave him alone for a few years...sometimes absence makes the heart grow fonder, while other times it's 'out of sight - out of mind'. Maybe he'll move on with his life with minimal contact...maybe he'll take the time away from his son to grow up and become a man, or maybe he'll cause more trouble and aggravation for you, there's no way to tell. However, whatever way he tries to play it, you remain calm cool and calculated and remember that you don't have to feed into anything he does, because your only interest is keeping your son safe and on an even keel.

I welcome your thoughts, let me know if you want to talk more.

Warmly

Chase
Ms Chase, #1 Just Answer Parenting Expert
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 2897
Experience: Just Answer Parenting Mentor, Emotional, Behavioral & Physical Issues. Babies to Teens.
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