My children’s father and his family have been absent in their lives for 11 months, since my daughter’s third birthday. Now, though, they have all suddenly popped up again, asking to see the kids.
My son is two and a half and, right from the word go, his dad has been absent for long periods, going for weeks and months without seeing the children. My son simply won’t know who he is.
Despite the way he’s behaved, I have given him plenty of opportunities over the past 11 months to make things right, but he’s still selfish and nasty towards me – the very reasons I got rid of him in the first place.
I don’t know what to do because my kids won’t be familiar with him or his family. I know we’ve just had the Christmas holidays and that makes people think of their loved ones, but shouldn’t a parent be there all the time, not just for special occasions or when the mood takes them?
I have been the one to do everything for my kids while he’s done nothing – he hasn’t even paid a penny towards looking after them since the day they were born. He thinks he can choose when to be a father. What do you think?
The exact same thing is happening to a good friend of mine – her child’s father wanted nothing to do with their child and didn’t pay a penny either, but popped up over Christmas with a present.
OK, here’s what I think and I gave my friend the same advice.
I totally understand the anger and resentment you feel for your ex because he doesn’t deserve to be a parent.
However, if you don’t allow him to see the kids and he goes to court to get access, the chances are he’ll get it because, ultimately, it’s in the interests of the children.
He might not go as far as that, but if you stop him seeing the kids, my fear is that they’ll grow up and demand to know what happened to their dad and want to meet him. And then he can say that he tried to see them, but you wouldn’t allow it.
It would be easy to hurt your ex through your children, but it’s not right to do it.
Obviously, don’t let him swan in whenever he feels like it or take the kids out on his own (yes, he’s a virtual stranger). Do it under your rules and set boundaries.
You’ll know you’ve done the right thing and, when they’re older, the kids will work out for themselves the rights and wrongs of the situation. Good luck.
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