Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Pregnancy & ParentingParenting · 1 month ago

My bf refuses to contact his children. Should I be concerned? ?

I’m dating a man for a couple months now who says his last breakup was partly over conflicting parenting styles, she had no structure and it always set him up to be “the bad guy” for wanting to enforce rules. I’ve been witness to speakerphone calls with his kids where he asked if they were happier since he was no longer living with them and they said they were, and after he would go visit he would be depressed, saying that he would watch tv by himself because they wanted to play video games and didn’t really interact with him. His kids are 11 and 12 so I said it’s kids growing up and finding their parents aren’t the center of the universe anymore, and he should just be patient and try taking an interest in what they want to do. He began having his kids at home on weekends, and at first he did well but during the last visit he had a fight with his son and hit him in the face. He took them home early and called later to apologize but now they don’t want to see him. I know he’s sad but he’s also not doing anything to rectify the situation. He hasn’t called them in weeks, and blames their mom for the incident, saying she “set him up” since she knew he couldn’t handle having them on his own for days at a time. I suggest calling and he just says, no, they don’t want to talk to me. I think he’s their father and needs to fight for a place in their lives. They’re mad now, but they will remember him giving up when things got difficult and it’ll make it harder for them to trust him.

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  • 1 month ago

    The first thing he needs to do is take responsibility for hitting his son, it was no one's fault but his own and needs to be accountable for his own actions. It's reasonable for the kids to not want to talk to him after that happened, that's not discipline it's assault just like if he'd hit a guy in a bar during a fight. How is mom supposed to know what he can and cannot handle? If his style of parenting is to mope around and not take interest in his children until he cannot handle it anymore and hits one of them... then, maybe he doesn't need to be part of their lives. If he's ready to act like a man and apologize for hitting his child, take steps to make sure it doesn't happen again (anger management, domestic violence groups, counseling), and be accountable then absolutely he should be asking for regularly scheduled parenting time. Maybe that parenting time needs to be supervised for awhile so he can learn some skills, it would also provide structure to the meetings and he'd be able to ask that electronics are kept out of the visitation room. Maybe right now parenting needs to be an hour a couple times a week where they meet to play a board game or something? 

  • 1 month ago

    You are drawing a conclusion too early.  Some parents just don't know how to be a parent beyond providing discipline or "lectures".  They often have a slow learning curve of how to relate to their children at all and give up trying once they hit puberty, but can begin to relate to them when they too become adults.  It is very common amongst divorced Dad's who don't have custody.  Often the children hold grudges for that lack of a relationship in their formidable years (overlooking that it wasn't all of Dad's fault, but theirs too), but can actually develop the close relationships between parent and child in their longer continued adulthood.

    Should you be concerned about having children with this guy?  Yes.  He would likely benefit from a parenting class.  Speaking to and relating to children is a bit of an art, and some just don't know how but can be taught. 

  • helene
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    You need to stay out of it. 

    You haven't been around long enough to assume you know what is best. For all you know, it's best that he doesn't see them. 

    He hit his kid in the face. Why are you so sure he's a good guy?

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