Daughter doesn't want to be with her dad - FamilyEducation
Daughter doesn't want to be with her dad
04/29/2009 at 17:38 PM

I'm not sure if this is the right area for my problem but here it goes anyways.

I have been divorced for 1.5 years. I have three children ages 13(daughter)11(son) and 5(son). Last March, my ex and I came up with a schedule where the kids would stay with him on his days off. He works four on four off, so usually the kids are with him for 3 of those days. Anywho, my daughter hates, hates going there. My boys complain too, but not as much as my daughter. None of the kids have ever been close to their dad, which makes it hard, and he is a strict, strict discipliner. I mean, they get in shit for everything. I on the other hand, am a bit more lineant with the punishment, only because of habit and because they are constantly in trouble there. So, my daughter does not like her dad, or his fiance, in whom he cheated on me with. She complains about going there, and complains even more when she gets home. This last time, she stayed home with me while the boys went, after a huge blow-out with him and his bitc you know where im going. They yell lots. I got fed up and said the kids no longer have to go if they don't want to. The girlfriend comes to my house later that night, does a bit of spying and pretends like she has no clue what is happening. Then I get emails saying i am a bad parent, the kids need discipline, i let them eat junkfood and stay up all night, on computer all day..blah blah. First off, i have the odd cookie in my house, i don't buy much junkfood, second, kids have an hour on the computer a day, third, they start going to bed at 8:30 sometimes it takes longer. But for her to job by my house every night to make sure they are sleeping really upsets me. Or how my kids are supposed to thank them every day for a trip they went on or they are showing they are not appreciated. Gosh. and finding every fault or mistake my daughter has made. (by the way, the girlfriend is 22 no kids of her own)My question is....Do i make my 13 year old daughter go there if she does not want to? The boys don't mind going,so I am not too concerned about them. My daughter has also done alot of lying, just to get out of going. If i don't make her go, her attitude and lying may get better right? Or so i hope.

I would like you opinions.

I understand that there is an agreement between you and the father as to when the children will be in his care; is this an agreement that is signed by a judge? Your question about her attitude and lying getting better if she does not have to go to dads is hard to answer. It seems reasonable that she may stop, but it may also tell her that in order to get her way all she needs to do is lie and have a bad attitude. You may be creating a monster. What if she came home from school and said that she was having problems with a kid at school and did not want to go; would that be acceptable too?

Oh, my, your situation with your daughter is very much like what we went through when my daughter was the same age as yours. My ex is married to a woman 14 yrs younger than him. She has a daughter 2 yrs younger than my daughter of whom she did not have custody. (But, was, and is, the world's greatest parent, of course.) At 13, my daughter's attitude started before and after visitation, then she started pretending to be sick or have terrible cramps or a migraine right before visitation. After a few months, she finally told me she just no longer wanted to be required to go to her father's for visition. We discussed the pro's and con's of her decision and settled on asking her father if she could not go when she had a school, church, or social activity. He agreed, so we were not forced to go back to court, but would have done so if he had not. The lying and attitude did stop immediately. Ironically, after a few months of not "having" to go to her father's, my daughter did go more often. She later explained she needed a break, and then realized it was not so bad there after oll. Go figure! At 16, my daughter got a job and then seldom went anyway because of her work schedule.

The agreement is actually just between my ex and I. The one through court states that he is to have the kids till 8pm and on his days off that fall on weekends they are overnight. I myself do not mind when the kids go, because i would love for them to have a relationship with their father, but legally, I don't have to make them either. I just hate seeing them cry and then complain when they get home, which like i said is mostly my daughter. The boys actually just came home last night, and not one complaint, so that made me smile. I do agree with you Sngldad, that she will think she is getting away with it if I let the lying and attitude be the excuse to not send her, and I definitely would not let her stay home from school..haha, she's tried that one too. She is only 13 and i have tried talking to her about the pros and cons, but right now, i think she just needs a little break away. In a few months she will be wishing to go there, as we are blending families with my boyfriend, who has three children as well. It is going to be a busy house with 6 kids total. She also got a part time job which will give her time away as well. I guess i will just wait and see what happens. Thanks for the advice. Much appreciated.