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'forcing' a parent to parent


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#1 IShallWearMidnight

Posted 22 May 2020 - 08:32 AM

Test

Why can't I post!!


Yay! See below

Edited by IShallWearMidnight, 22 May 2020 - 08:34 AM.


#2 IShallWearMidnight

Posted 22 May 2020 - 08:33 AM

My ex is not a good parent.

I need to regularly travel for work and medical reasons, to the city 5hrs away.

He currently tells me when he wants to see the kids and I organise everything around those times. The original agreement was 10am sat - 8pm sun but he has done that once.

I have to travel to the city next week and he is too busy to have the kids. That leave me organising babysitters and asking the aupair for extra hours and paying her extra.

He has also said that he won't have the kids when I travel for surgery, which has meant that I've already pushed it back once.

So now I'm kind of wanting to stop being flexible and tell him that if he can't commit to seeing the kids then it's not in their best interest to just slot into the few hours that he wants to see them.
The only con is that I really need some down time, but I can give that up so the kids are settled.

The outcome I want is for him to actually parent his children when I am unable to, and put them first for once in their lives. I don't think that 4 days, 4 times a year, and 1 over night a week is too big of an ask for a parent, considering he has had them for exactly 5 nights ever.
We have no Parenting plans yet, and I am holding off as I want to move away next year.

#3 Dirty Cat

Posted 22 May 2020 - 08:39 AM

Sounds like you're flogging a dead horse

#4 71Cath

Posted 22 May 2020 - 08:46 AM

In my experience, you can't force the other parent to parent, no matter how much you may want/need them to.

I hope you find a solution OP.

#5 Lunafreya

Posted 22 May 2020 - 08:58 AM

I had to in the end go see a solicitor to send him a letter and get a note from my surgeon that I’d be incapacitated.

Get everything in writing. Everything!

#6 Ozquoll

Posted 22 May 2020 - 09:22 AM

Ha! These bozos can't be forced to parent 😒. My ex-BIL is currently refusing to parent because he is annoyed that my sister keeps pressing him to handle an urgent legal/financial matter that is likely to bankrupt him and ruin his life if not tackled pro-actively. His head-in-the-sand approach extends to blocking my sister's phone calls so she can no longer expedite his nightly reading of bedtime stories to my six-year-old niece.

d***heads iz gunna be d***heads, you can't change them 🤷

#7 RexIsBest

Posted 22 May 2020 - 09:43 AM

View PostIShallWearMidnight, on 22 May 2020 - 08:33 AM, said:

The outcome I want is for him to actually parent his children when I am unable to, and put them first for once in their lives. I don't think that 4 days, 4 times a year, and 1 over night a week is too big of an ask for a parent, considering he has had them for exactly 5 nights ever.
We have no Parenting plans yet, and I am holding off as I want to move away next year.

Unfortunately you cannot force someone to be a parent. It is very frustrating and unfair but in the end you can’t change it.

Best thing is to build support networks that do not include him. I made that decision when ex refused to care for the kids when I was in emergency at hospital. It was the best thing in the end, I have sole care and no down time but don’t have the stress of him failing to stick to arrangements!

#8 ECsMum

Posted 22 May 2020 - 09:44 AM

Yep no forcing someone to parent.

I tried being flexible but it didn't work as I he expected me to drop everything when he felt like seeing DD.  

I came up with a timetable and he approved it but like your ex mine hardly ever stuck to it.   I would set the time aside just in case he stepped up but never made any concrete plans for those times because 9/10 he didn't follow through.

But the end we just got on with our lives and hehas little to no contact with DD - at the moment it is only via email.

#9 ipsee

Posted 22 May 2020 - 10:03 AM

If you are still planning to move away at some point it may not be a good idea to insist on a weekly firm arrangement as that could count against you moving away. It fired sound unlikely he would stick to it anyway :(

#10 Silverstreak

Posted 22 May 2020 - 10:19 AM

I'm sorry he is being such a monumental douche.

Don't know that there's really much you can do if he can't be bothered organising himself. Unfortunately it doesn't sound like you can rely on him at all for emergency back up, as he'll probably just cancel at the last moment.

Stick it out with outsourced help, if you can, until you move away and get settled.

#11 Prancer is coming

Posted 22 May 2020 - 10:41 AM

Seems clear he is not interested and you cannot force him to step up.  I agree to stop being so flexible.  Who initiates visits now?  If you, stop.  And make sure he does at least half the running around to organise it.

i really feel for people like you.  The literature is all about the importance of children having contact with both parents, which can leave parents in situations where they do everything to get a disinterested parent to see their child.  By all means do not bad mouth him in front of your kid or stop visits out of spite.  But don’t force them.  Just let him know to tell you when he wants to see the child next and you will see how you can accommodate it.  Then give him something that fits in with what you are doing.

Does he pay maintenance?  Make sure he is at least paying what he should to help cover the costs of when you need care.  Even though he sounds like he does not care, does he have family thst may be interested in having your child?  I know a few dads that only seem to have their children when they are with their parents.

it really isn’t fair at all on you or your child.

Edited by Prancer is coming, 22 May 2020 - 10:41 AM.


#12 Tokra

Posted 22 May 2020 - 11:05 AM

Sadly neither you, nor the courts or anyone else for that matter, can force a person to parent.

As others have said, if you plan to move away then start planning now.

Stop initiating contact. Leave it to him to make all arrangements and contact. Keep a diary of visitation. Keep all correspondence. Start logging text messages into word document. Word-for-word from both sides. Keep emotion out of it all.

I know it's hard, but you are just going to have to find a way to do it yourself. It shouldn't be that way, but it's reality.

I'm sorry you are going through this. It really sucks when the dad is a deadbeat.

#13 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 22 May 2020 - 11:15 AM

I think you're much better off not relying on him for anything, including being an active parent. He's made it completely apparent that he has no desire, so it can't come as a surprise that you have little luck forcing him to become a good parent.

View PostDirty Cat, on 22 May 2020 - 08:39 AM, said:

Sounds like you're flogging a dead horse
this pretty much sums it up.

I'd stop forcing it, particularly if it's not a lot of time anyway. Move on.

Make your plans to move, don't wait around for him.

(ETA: Make sure you have documented his complete ambivilence and lack of active parenting. If he arcs up about your move, you will be able to show he has made f*ck-all effort and everything he has done was done under protest and not with the kids' best interest in mind)

Edited by YodaTheWrinkledOne, 22 May 2020 - 11:18 AM.


#14 -Emissary-

Posted 22 May 2020 - 02:49 PM

You can’t force a parent to be a parent.

I gave up. I got sick of the fights. I got sick of the resentment and I got sick of him getting away with doing what the hell he wanted. So I decided enough was enough when he up and left for overseas for a few months. I stopped trying to facilitate a relationship and told him if he wanted to see DS again then go see a lawyer. We have no court orders.

It has been almost 5 years and I haven’t heard from him or a lawyer. It has actually been awesome not to deal with him. I stopped feeling resentful and p*ssed off eventually of the fact he didn’t live up to my expectation of him as a father.

I am fortunate though as I have family and close friends who stepped in to help me whenever I need anything.

Do you have family nearby who could help out occasionally?

Edited by -Emissary-, 22 May 2020 - 02:50 PM.


#15 1975ladybug

Posted 22 May 2020 - 02:56 PM

It’s one of those things that they will do or they won’t, my exdh is a great example, we got orders last October I can count on two hands the amount of times his followed them, I make no plans that involve him or require commitment from him. If it’s in his time I have a plan b.

DS has had it explained dad may not be the dad you want but he is the one you have.

8 more years to go.


#16 SkeptiHandsOnMum

Posted 22 May 2020 - 08:22 PM

You cannot force him to parent. But you can maybe force him to babysit.

#17 seayork2002

Posted 22 May 2020 - 08:44 PM

Unless there is orders you can't force a parent to do anything,
Work out what you want and apply for court orders

#18 -Emissary-

Posted 22 May 2020 - 08:45 PM

Court orders don’t really do much either when you need them to step up to whatever they agreed to.

#19 seayork2002

Posted 22 May 2020 - 08:47 PM

View Post-Emissary-, on 22 May 2020 - 08:45 PM, said:

Court orders don’t really do much either when you need them to step up to whatever they agreed to.

They can be enforced, yes maybe not worth the effort in some instances but legally possible

#20 bubskitkat

Posted 22 May 2020 - 08:47 PM

As others have said, you can’t make him parent but you can arrange your lives as to be support you and your kids.

I have lovely written court ordered parenting plan but it’s not worth it.

we now have a Saturday fortnighly activity in place for my son and the spare fortnightly Saturday is the ex’s. If he can’t do his weekend well tough luck chuck. You don’t get to pick or choose anymore.

its taken me years to get to this point but workout what is best for you and your kids and stick to it.

#21 SkeptiHandsOnMum

Posted 22 May 2020 - 09:28 PM

View Postseayork2002, on 22 May 2020 - 08:44 PM, said:

Unless there is orders you can't force a parent to do anything,
Work out what you want and apply for court orders
Court orders would not change the situation. If there are court orders and the other parent simply fails to show and take the kids, it is not like any authority picks up the kids, delivers them to the other parent and says "you must care for these children this week". Would you really want your children in the care of someone who does not want them anyway?

#22 1975ladybug

Posted 22 May 2020 - 10:43 PM

View Postseayork2002, on 22 May 2020 - 08:44 PM, said:

Unless there is orders you can't force a parent to do anything,
Work out what you want and apply for court orders


For me there will be when I take ds’s father back to court breach him for non compliance and go for sole parenting responsibility,

If a  child is in danger  or being withheld then yes authorities may get involved but failing to interact or parent they don’t.

Edited by 1975ladybug, 22 May 2020 - 11:17 PM.


#23 Mumsyto2

Posted 22 May 2020 - 10:57 PM

You can’t ‘force a parent to parent’. You need to come up with a plan B not involving him. Very sad but true.

Edited by Mumsyto2, 22 May 2020 - 11:17 PM.


#24 overlytired

Posted 22 May 2020 - 11:16 PM

As the child of two biological parents who didn't want to parent but were made to be part of my life (on their terms), your kids will be better off not being put in a position where they know they're not wanted. Yeah, they may end up spending time with their father, but they'll know it's not because he wants to be with them.

Edited to fix typos.

Edited by overlytired, 22 May 2020 - 11:16 PM.


#25 seayork2002

Posted 22 May 2020 - 11:19 PM

View PostSkeptiHandsOnMum, on 22 May 2020 - 09:28 PM, said:


Court orders would not change the situation. If there are court orders and the other parent simply fails to show and take the kids, it is not like any authority picks up the kids, delivers them to the other parent and says "you must care for these children this week". Would you really want your children in the care of someone who does not want them anyway?

No I wouldn't but the op wants too




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