I know this post will probably be shot down by everyone and I''m sorry if I offend anyone, but I have to say that I disagree that kids having contact with both parents is always the best thing for them, at least in my personal circumstances. My daughter is almost 5, stbx and I have been seperated for 3 years. He had no relationship with her (one of the main reasons we seperated) and even after 3 years of regular contact, he still doesn''t have a good relationship with her. He sees her alternate weekends - no midweeks or holidays by his choice and to be honest, all it does is upset and disrupt her life. I can''t tell her she''s going to see her father until the day of it, otherwise she''s upset and it spoils whatever else we''re doing. This morning, she came running into my room armed with ten books as we usually have stories in bed on a Saturday morning only to be told that actually, she''s seeing her father today. She insists that she doesn''t want to see him, I encourage her. He comes to collect her and tells her about HIS holiday that he''s just been on (for my benefit, I''m sure), doesn''t ask how she is or how her camping trips have been and tells how he''s broke from his holiday so they''ll be having a ''film weekend.'' I''m visiting my partners family later with my other daughter, she has other children there she''d love to be playing with but instead she''ll be stuck in a bedroom all weekend on her own watching films. He asked what he should get her for her birthday and I suggested a trampoline as she spends hours each day on ours at home. He says he''s going to get her an Ipad....! In other words, he''s going to buy himself an Ipad (or probably be given one by work) and wrap it up and say it''s for her then leave her to watch films on that all weekend.
I appreciate this is probably quite ranty but really, her life is not enriched by contact with her father at all. I never say anything negative about him to or in front of her and I am very positive about contact, because at the end of the day I know she has to go. But it''s sad to say that the only time she mentions her father is to ask at what age she can choose not to see him anymore; this comes from him telling her she can choose to live with him and not see me anymore when she''s ten (!?) I feel sure he has contact with our daughter just to keep up appearances with his friends and family, plus to keep tabs on me and I know for sure that if he went to work abroad or something for 6 months then she wouldn''t miss him or even mention him again.
My personal opinion is that any kind of contact is better than no contact. Even if they go shopping for suit and tie. No contact would mean that your daughter will grow up with no father figure in her life (even the one that buys iPads) which will make her ability to form relationships with men difficult. In addition, she would try to find the father figure in other men that will be around you which in itself is a problem since they would not be her father.
I have a friend that her daughter does not have her father in her life and you do not want to know the complications of this.
As for the iPad for a bday present I asked my son who is six and he agreed. "iPad is beter than the trampoilne." And what would a five year old do with the iPad my son?" "I don''t know. I don''t have one." "Then maybe it is better with the trampoline?" "Nope. iPad is better since it has Angry Birds." "Do you want an iPad?" "No. I do not like Angry Birds." My point is, let him do it nomatter how you feel about it. We learn only by trial and error.
What really got to me is that he is telling her that she can come and live with him when she is ten. We don''t do this to our children. We don''t bring them into our issues and ask them to choose a parent. I consider this mental abuse. It is no wonder that your daughter does not want to see him as she feels guilty she go and live with him when she is ten and leave you alone. This is how children think. They take things that are said for granted inside them and feel responsible and guilty for their parents'' feelings.
Of course you could play him in his own game and since you have Saturday reading mornings, chose a couple of books and when he comes to pick her up you hand them to him saying: "Since she will come to live with you when she is ten, it is better you start doing things together that she really likes. Here are the books she loves to read."
She does have a father figure though, she has my partner who has been in her life since she was 2 and always will be in her life. He''s been the one with her on a daily basis - spending hours playing with her, caring for her when she''s ill etc. He knows her a thousand times better than her father does which to me is very sad but her father is intent on only doing the opposite to what I do.
Your partner is not her father. No matter how well she has known her and what kind of bond they have. They can be best buddies but never will they be father and daughter. It is wrong to ask her to see him like a dad and also to put him into this position.
I strongly believe that children should have a relationship, any kind of relationship however flawed with their biological parents. Abusive relationships excluded. If my ex was in jail for whatever reason I would bring my son to visit him in all visits. But I am told I am a strange creature.
Remember that once you were together with that person and that you decided to have a child with him (unless you were drunk during the whole relationship). This is his daughter and is trying his best (his best based on his capacity). I would give him some credit only for trying.
Today I have been cleaning the whole house, two bathrooms kitchen and three bedrooms because my partner is coming tomorrow with the kids. My son has been having a forced film day. I feelt guilty, so when his dad called to see if I needed something from a store I asked him if he could take him for a couple of hours so that he can visit his friend that lives next door to his dad. My ex agreed but when I asked my son if he would rather go with dad and visit his friend he refused. When asked if it was boring for him to stay here while I am cleaning and he is watching movies and playing with his Lego he answered that yes, it is a bit boring but this is our weekend and he likes it nomatter what.
I read a book on the effect of Parental Alienation on children who had grown into adulthood. They tend to swing to the extremes. As soon as they realise they were robbed of a parent they can turn on the alienator. Its a very dangerous game.
One of my friends has his children wanting to move in with him at 12 and 14... After witnessing it first-hand, I would definitely not want to be on the recieving end of a fuming adolescent.
On the flip side, I have cousins who detest a controling and manipulative uncle.
What I am trying to say is let them make up their own mind.
Bottom line is blood is thicker than water. This partner is not the father. He never will be. Such relationships only last as long as your partner has a relationship with you. Blood relations are for life.