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professional_Alison
professional_Alison, Child Care
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 78
Experience:  Degree in early years,16 years experience in childcare
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Currently going through a very very nasty divorce and custody

Resolved Question:

Currently going through a very very nasty divorce and custody battle where the kids are deep in it. My older son and daughter has chosen sides with my wife. My son (13) recently told me he hates me and always hated me. Him and my daughter have no involvement with me and only look to me as an ATM. They treat my family the same way only calling them when they want gifts and money. My daughter is 15.

Just this weekend my son wanted an iPod and I had already purchased one for myself in May but I never used it, only my son used it and it was only 3 times. So when he asked for one in June for his July birthday I thought that would be perfect to give him the one I already brought that only he used.

Well he doesn't speak to me and when I would be
giving him that one he told me if its not fresh out of the box then he doesnt want it
He wasn't like this until the divorce proceedings started. And his sister has always had animosity for the last 2 years. It's like they are trying to break me.

My 8 yr old on the other hand makes comments to me like "daddy I don't want you to spend too much money on me because I don't want u to go bankrupt "

Obviously it appears my wife makes comments around the children to that effect.

I would like for my son to have the iPod because he is a good kid even though he's selfish.

What could u advise?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  lucy7368 replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

This question was moved to the legal category, but it sounds like you may be asking more about parenting/relationship issues with the children. Did you have a specific legal question about these facts?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes interested in parenting advice. Legal advice is already taken care of
Expert:  lucy7368 replied 2 years ago.
I apologize for the inconvenience. I'm going to opt out and get you to one of our parenting experts. Good luck.
Expert:  professional_Alison replied 2 years ago.
Hello there, may I help you? It sounds as if your children are being used as weapons here, it must be very disturbing for you. It is important that your children learn that they cannot just come to you for things they want you to buy them. You must emphasise that you love them very much and want to spend time with them. Your son and daughter are old enough to make their own choices, although it is likely this decision has been swayed by negative influences from their mother. If they choose not to see you, they cannot come when they wants an expensive item. Keep the contact going if you can with phone calls and emails and let them know you will be delighted to see them anytime they feel ready to see you. This way you are opening the door but allowing it to be their choice.With regard to your younger son, he is clearly worried about you but has limited understanding about what is going on. If his mother is talking to him inappropriately about what is going on he is likely to be feeling very worried and insecure. Don't discuss anything about what is happening between you and your wife but reassure him that you are fine and will always be there for him.If it is possible speak with your wife about your concerns putting your differences aside explain that you both want what is best for your children and they need a mother and a father in there lives. Hope that she can recognise that through trying to hurt you using them, she is hurting them and causing emotional damage.Please let me know your thoughts.
Expert:  professional_Alison replied 2 years ago.
Apologies I sent the answer as an info request. I hope I have helped answer your question.
professional_Alison, Child Care
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 78
Experience: Degree in early years,16 years experience in childcare
professional_Alison and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 2 years ago.
Hi. Welcome. I am a Licensed Master Social Worker with more than 20 years experience working with individuals and families.

I want to come in and offer some additional support here as I believe this issues is larger than a parenting one and is also a mental health one. Sadly, what you and your children are going through is a very common experience. Your children are teenagers and one is 8. Even without a difficult divorce those ages are quite tough and they can put any parent through the ringer. They are reeling from the change in the family dynamic and are feeling the effects of the loss of you...hence lashing out and possible blaming you for the divorce. I know your wife may be saying things to your children and I truly hope this isn't the case, but either way, the kids are having a reaction to the split and are screaming to be heard on the matter.

It will take some time and patience on your part not to engage in any negativity, but you need to be the strong and consistent Dad for them. I would also suggest some counseling for the kids as it is clear they have many pent up feelings. There is some difficulty with that suggestion as adolescents can be difficult to get to open up in that setting.

In terms of the ipod, sure there was nothing wrong with you giving him the one you had bought for yourself, but in the mind of a young teenager, their birthdays are so important and so are the gadgets, so I can understand on some level the desire to open up a brand new gift. I am not saying give so they like you...you can have a boundary, but a birthday gift can be looked at a bit differently as they are monumental for kids.

Remain consistent in your love with them, giving them reassurance and support. Try to keep the lines of communication open with them and allow them the room to express it all. They might be angry at you since you are not living with them anymore...that is a normal reaction and they don't have the skills to express it appropriately. That means use your wonderful skills as a great Dad to give them the gentle love and reassurance that they need. That does not mean though that you need to be an open piggy bank, but rather a consistent presence and one who does make a big deal over a birthday. Hope that makes sense.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts. I feel for you as you are in a tough spot. Keep being the loving Dad you have been. There is also a wonderful book on adolescent girls that could be very helpful for you. Your daughter's behavior is not so outside the norm. Here is the link to the book. http://www.amazon.com/Reviving-Ophelia-Saving-Selves-Adolescent/dp/1594481881/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1343669110&sr=8-1&keywords=reviving+ophelia

Please respond to CoachJenK at the beginning of your response so that I know you are desiring to speak with me as I know another expert has also given their view.

I look forward to providing you the support you need.

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