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I feel like my son doesn't connect with his dad...

His dad and I were never married, and are not together now but we get along very well. We actually went swimming at his house today. He saw my brother throwing our son in the pool and asked if he could throw him too. My son freaked and screamed no! Then I realized why after he tried coming up behind him and doing it anyway. (One of the reasons were not together anymore is his immaturity). So first of all my son doesn't trust daddy. Then my son was calling his dad to show him how he jumps in the pool, dad was "too busy" to even glance at our son until I said something. And the last thing is that he never shows affection towards our son besides the hug hello or goodbye. I know I'm making him seem like he doesn't give a crap about our son but I know he does... he's just the type that doesn't really show it. SO now that I've blabbed enough, I need some advice on how to talk to him about this. Thanks in advance!

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 9:55 PM on Aug. 26, 2013 in General Parenting

Answers (6)
  • How old is your son? How much time does he spend w/ his dad? Do they spend time together just father & son? Not sure what to tell you til we know a bit more.

    Answer by mrsmom110 at 10:03 PM on Aug. 26, 2013

  • My son is 6. And he goes to dads every weekend.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 10:06 PM on Aug. 26, 2013

  • Does he act that way toward his dad all the time? Does he seem to look forward to their visits/time together? Could this have been an isolated incident? Maybe your son was tired. (Swimming can wear ya out) Maybe he was just having a better time w/ his uncle today.

    Answer by mrsmom110 at 10:12 PM on Aug. 26, 2013

  • No he's always like that towards dad. I've tried to get him to play tricks on daddy and he refuses. But he loves going there every weekend.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 10:20 PM on Aug. 26, 2013

  • Maybe he's just not the toss-in-the-air or tryck-playing kind. It's hard to say, without knowing the kid or the dad.

    But if it's not an isolated thing and you think the dad might possibly listen, try making positive suggestions about exactly what the dad can do--give hugs or tousle the kid's hair when you walk past, engage him in conversation about whatever it Is your son is interested in, really take the time to notice for one whole day when the kid is trying to get your attention or doing something he wants to show you. Don't say, "You never show your son any affection except a hug hello and goodbye." Say, "I think he'd like it if you hug him throughout the day, especially when he does something he wants you to be proud of." Taking the "you never" out of the equation will make defensiveness less likely to kick in.

    Answer by Ballad at 11:28 PM on Aug. 26, 2013

  • If your son loves going there every weekend, I would not assume they don't connect. I think that's a pretty solid indicator.

    I think the things you noticed in the pool are real and also significant, but they don't necessarily indicate what you think they do (about feelings, or about their relationship.) The fact that your son later on called to his dad and wanted him to see him jump in suggests that he IS healthily oriented to his dad and wants contact & attention. He also felt free to express his preferences & be clear about wanting things on his terms. That's actually pretty trusting, lol!

    It's important to me that my children's father is responsive to them & respectful of them...those wishes on your part are completely valid. It sounds like his dad tried to ignore or "work around" his son's limits. But I think that your son NOT wanting to be tossed by his dad, while later wanting to be seen by his dad, is pretty solid.

    Answer by girlwithC at 6:38 PM on Aug. 27, 2013

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