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Jen Helant
Jen Helant, Child Care
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1146
Experience:  I have my bachelors degree in psychology. I worked with children. Since then I have raised and still raising 3 wonderful boys.
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I am separated, signed agreement gives me full custody and

Customer Question

I am separated, signed agreement gives me full custody and financial responsibility for both 13yr old daughter and 7 yr old son, but their father is disputing the agreement and whilst waiting for court process our son is living with his father. When with me, my son cries a lot as he is concerned his father is lonely and alone at home (he's not, he's with his girlfriend), and blames me for leaving (escorted by family violence police) as the cause of parental arguments. And rails against all discipline (bathing, mealtimes, tv time etc). Our daughter returned from a visit yesterday, shock as our son spouted lots of criticism and made constant derogatory comments about me to other guests. Today i asked him calmly why he said those things and he said he was just trying to fit in. Afterwards he said that he no longer wishes to visit me as his dad is more fun. I've been fighting for him for months and need help with how to deal with this. I am so tired and despondent, would love to tell him the whole truth but know its not right. Do I just give up on him?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Jen Helant replied 1 year ago.

jenhelant :

Hi

jenhelant :

I am so sorry what you have been going through

jenhelant :

This is a very difficult situation

jenhelant :

The situation is having an affect on him and he may feel he is in the middle between both of you.

jenhelant :

Also, sometimes children of separated parents play on both sides to get what they want. For example he may say his dad is more fun in order for you to do what it is he wants when he wants.

jenhelant :

I would not play into this behavior.

jenhelant :

I would continue to do your part and not give up on him

jenhelant :

Even though it may seem as if nothing is working or will work it is perseverance that will overcome this battle. The fact you want your ex to stop using the children as pawns is very good on your part.

jenhelant :

However, it is unfortunate, but you do not have control over your ex. Fortunately you can do your part and what you said you have been doing is very good

jenhelant :

You may not see results overnight and there may be this rough phase for a while before it gets better, but it can

jenhelant :

I understand why you would feel hopeless and tires, but I want to encourage you to not give up

jenhelant :

It is good you have an appt with the child psychologist and would continue with that.

jenhelant :

In the meantime keep doing what you have been. Don't allow guilt trips to confuse your parenting. The rules are the rules and there should be proper punishment if the rules are broken. Sometimes parents allow the child to do as they please on situations as such in order to be the " good parent" I would encourage you not to do this as it can make things worse.

jenhelant :

Do spend time with him and try to get on his level. Do something he enjoys that you approve of and have quality time together taking a break out of the daily routine.

Customer: The problem for me is that if I don't see him, as he's requested, then he's influenced by his fathers attitude towards me. And my ex constantly very nasty verbally. He doesn't do daily routine so was happy to sign over custody - now it's just an assets/maintenance game for him. But am worried that by the time the court decides, the child will dislike me so much that he will not want to live with me and will hate me for forcing the issue.
jenhelant :

I do understand this and is a difficult situation.

jenhelant :

He maybe upset for you fighting for custody now, but if you don't he can resent you later in life so even though you have a logical concern it is best that you still do your part.

jenhelant :

There may be difficulty by the time the court decides and will not be easy, but I would not worry prematurely. It would be best to

jenhelant :

Not worry and deal with each situation that happens. There is a lot involved here and each day may bring new ideas or problems, so deal with them as they come accordingly.

jenhelant :

You can not do anything about your ex, but hopefully he can come to terms with you in order to do what is best for the children.

jenhelant :

In your current situation it may not be what you show to your son on a daily basis , but rather what you show him over the long haul that will influence him. Him seeing in the future that you never gave up on him.

Customer: Thanks for the advice. Will just keep phoning him and will see if I can see hime
jenhelant :

Children at this age may be blinded by certain things, but as they grow the truth comes clear and he will have a new appreciation for you

jenhelant :

That is a good plan and what you can do now. It is my pleasure to help. Anytime.

Customer: him at school as the house is not safe for me, I will be persistent, just hard to keep fighting every day, and facing rejection..
Customer: from a small child who is just so confused. Thanks v much. Xx
Jen Helant, Child Care
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1146
Experience: I have my bachelors degree in psychology. I worked with children. Since then I have raised and still raising 3 wonderful boys.
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Jen Helant
Jen Helant
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I have my bachelors degree in psychology. I worked with children. Since then I have raised and still raising 3 wonderful boys.