We have had terrible ongoing issues with telephone contact. My husband (and his x) have court ordered telephone contact. My husband never stops or interferes with contact coming from his x, she calls on the appointed day and chats freely to the child for however long she or the child wants (usually anywhere between 5 and 15 minutes). However; this is not reciprocated and my husband, who also has appointed days to call, is often met with no reply. We have learnt to live with this. What has angered me is that this year mum decided to go abroad in our contact time with the child (absolutely no problem with that whatsoever) but she refused to call the child from abroad or answer her phone when the child called her. Now over the last three years this child has been conditioned to expect a call from mum on an appointed day (even down to the time). Except this year the child is told by mum that she won''t call as the child "will be be having fun with daddy". So here is the problem the young child then feels that they have caused mum not to call by having fun and spent several evenings in tears feeling guilty about having fun and naturally upset at not being able to speak to mum. Dad and I got a very frustrated and confused child on many days of our holiday (we only get one week a year) and I personally felt mum should have been honest with the child (not dealing with a naive child at all here) and said its very expensive to call from abroad which I feel the child would have handled far better and not upset the child as much. I guess my rant is mum constantly deflects the responsibility and consequences of her actions to either my husband or the child. How can we change this pattern now or is it too late and we just have to sit back and let it be.
How old is the child? and could you not have explained the reality as it was..
Sometimes it is hard to change set patterns especially as you have let it be for so long. You say the child has been conditioned to expect a call .. is this because the child needed the reassurance that mum was still there?
Child is 9 (almost 10) but has been exposed to lots of things that were meant for adults so is more mature in some aspects but still very much a child in other aspects. Child was initially quite indifferent to speaking to mum during our contact but at mums insistence and possibly her need to keep in contact with the child there is now court ordered telephone contact which she has never missed calling the child, ever. So therefore the child has been conditioned to expect these calls and you can''t just stop because you think it''s too expensive and bearing in mind that since this child was 6 the contact with mum was every other day by phone and to go from every other day to 12 days without anything is just too much for a child.
You are not going to win this one. You have allowed the habit to form and now it will be the norm. You can only support the little fella and try and make him feel more secure every time he is with you. Don''t you just hate telephone contact when it''s abused. I had the same thing with my ex, she took kids to Spain and wouldn''t allow me to call them and she wouldn''t allow them to call me. Too expensive she said.... Two 10 minute calls over a 10 day period I said... oh no she said.. not on my phone.. she said.... I will give them a mobile I said... oh no you won''t she said... but it wont cost you then .. I said.. it''s my holiday too she said... just switch it on on this day and that day I said... I wont remember she said... I''ll be having fun she said... and I will be missing the kids and they will be missing me I said... oh well she said... that''s how it goes sometimes... she said... and that''s how it went!!
From what age can it really be expected that telephone contact can be established. I''m desperate to increase my contact and there are stretches in between contact when I have no communication. My boys are 4 and 5 years old - is that too early? I know they can speak on the phone and hold very nice conversations when they are with me telephoning their grandparents - any guidance on this?