The Healthy Family Connections Podcast
Episode 240 · Duration: 00:19:15
In this episode Neil along with his co-host Robin, respond to a Mom confused about whether or not to require her 13-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son to visit or stay with their father. While it’s clear from Mom that neither child feels emotionally safe, supported, or even wanted by their father, she has felt compelled to go by the custody agreement. The discussion covers when and when not to require kids to go by a schedule and why women in particular, too often don’t trust their judgment.
Giselle in Canada writes:
I just read your post from 2019 about a 14 year old who didn’t want to go back to her father’s house. That is my situation right now (except she is 13).
I don’t know what to do.
She is as of yesterday living with me full time. I am distraught as I have encouraged her and even threatened to ground her if she didn’t go to her fathers. She asked him to go to counseling with her so she could express her feelings. She did it in a way that I was brought to tears. She told him her feelings so articulately. His response was Mmmk. He even went so far to ask if he was even picking up our 9 year old son on his day. Assuming that both children were making this decision. The counselor asked if she could go to Thanksgiving dinner this weekend (we are in Canada) with his family. His response was how is she going to get there? He automatically washed his hands of her refusing to pick her up (because I would be at work during this time period). Asking if my partner could drive her and making it clear that his family would not welcome her.
She has told me in her own way she is essentially having panic attacks before going there. She feels like she doesn’t belong. Have I erred in allowing her to stay here? There are so many moving parts to this situation it is incredible. My daughter loathes his partner. Not because he left me for her while I was at home caring for our infant son (she doesn’t even know that part) but just because she is a mentally unstable human being. Yes they financially provide for them… but the emotional component isn’t there.
I don’t know what to do. It is too far gone I feel and now my son is begging me to pick him up after school because he doesn’t want to be subjected to them without his sister.
Neil resolves the issue by addressing the mental health and emotional safety of the children, the deficiencies of the Dad's relationship to the children, and why Mom is intimidated by the situation.
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