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How do you help kids cope with non-participating parents?

Both my SD {8} and DD {5} have this problem and it tears them up and tears me up to see them so hurt by the lack of phone calls and visits...My DD has been so emotional and angry lately because she hasn't seen her dad since May and has only talked to him a couple of times since then. He tells her he doesn't have the money to come and get her (he lives about 300 mi. away) and it makes her feel like he doesn't love her enough to get the money. My SD has seen her mom 2 times in the last 4 years and she is just now starting to call more and it has SD up in emotion and confused feelings between her

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Asked by Anonymous at 11:25 PM on Aug. 5, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Answers (4)
  • The situation with you and your stepdaughter sounds very similar to me and my stepson. My stepson actually does see his mother regularly, but she hangs out in her room while he is there, leaving him to kind of do his own thing. He is 7. Just explain that while the other parent loves them too, people show love in different ways. Perhaps you can set up a time where your children can call the other parent and just let them talk, no one else hovering or anything. And explain that both the other parents have some things that they need to take care of before they can see the kids again. And remind your daughter that money doesn't equal love. Perhaps you can talk to you ex about him mailing a card once a week or something like that. Perhaps then she can have something physical to remind her that Daddy still thinks of her. I will checking back to this question to see other answers.

    Answer by Mom1Stepmom1 at 12:01 AM on Aug. 6, 2009

  • Well I have this problem as well, my daughters father has never seen her she is 9 years old she is used to it, but My son father goes in and comes back and goes in and comes back, it nuts. I just tell my kids that I am always here and I always do everything for them and thats all that counts!!! And if they have somewhere else to be let them be---- it's not worth stressing over, I have spent my whole adult life wondering why my family doesn't want me and let me tell you it is not worth it!!! Like I tell myself and my kids, if they want us we're are here, if they don't ----screw em we have eachother and thats all that counts!!!!

    Answer by blue_glass_mama at 12:14 AM on Aug. 6, 2009

  • My SD's mom has been a lot better about calling and stuff...I think that's making SD go through the guilt of "replacing mom" thing again....
    My DD's dad is a putz. I've tried to get him to pick her up extra and take her to ice cream or the park just the 2 of them since the day we split up (when he lived locally obviously) I've also tried explaining that even if he would CALL her semi-regularly it would help...but he never calls her and doesn't send her anything...then gets upset if I don't have her call him on his birthday...he has a wife and 2 other kids now so I personally think that he's just too busy to bother with it...he didn't even answer when I tried to call him for her to talk to him that far away his time with her is just going to become less when school starts this year because weekend visits aren't really an option and she can't be gone from school 1 week a month so I don't know how to work that

    Answer by mommyof035and6 at 12:18 AM on Aug. 6, 2009

  • I have a similar situations. My ex calls the boys when he feels like it, there is no consistency. My youngest son turned 3 on July 24th and my ex was to come by that Sunday----time and everything was set. Then he called me this week to say "You never called to tell me it was okay to come by." REALLY????? I never tell my children that their father is coming becuase I can't count on him to show up---and he only lives 60 miles away but stays with his sister the majority of the time (and she's 29 miles from us). My oldest is 7 and I know he misses his father and longs for a relationship with him but I have done my best to explain to him that I can't force his father to be there, I know my ex loves the boys and I think that's what hurts my oldest the most---he knows his Dad loves him too but doesn't understand why he isn't there, quite frankly I don't understand it either. The youngest doesn't understand whats going on

    Answer by lissa27504 at 8:18 AM on Aug. 7, 2009

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