Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

1 Bump

My son and his dad (my ex husband)

My 13 year old son doesn't want to spend time with his father. Previous to me getting remarried last summer, we split the custody 50/50 and it appeared to work because we have always gotten along. I moved to a different school district (with the blessing of my ex) and since then our son has developed new friends and rarely wants to spend time at his father's house 45 minutes away. My ex doesn't encourage TV or video games. I try to tell him that it is normal for kids to NOT want to spend time with their parents at this age, but he takes it very personally, thinking our son chooses me over him. He does say things that embarrasses our son (treats him like he's younger at times, in front of his friends) and while our son and I have asked him to stop, he refuses. I feel this is part of the reason he has pulled away from his dad. I am the sounding board for both my ex and my son and its causing a strain on my marriage.

Answer Question

Asked by kayfray at 1:29 PM on Mar. 23, 2011 in Teens (13-17)

Level 1 (3 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • unless you file for more custody he is kinda stuck...

    Answer by zoejains_momma at 1:32 PM on Mar. 23, 2011

  • I'm not trying to get more custody. I have to force my son to be with his father. What I'm looking for is help proving to my ex husband that it is NORMAL for a child our son's age to pull away from their parents. Because he refuses to listen to me.

    Comment by kayfray (original poster) at 1:43 PM on Mar. 23, 2011

  • Yes it is normal but it is still your ex husbands time with him. Just tell him he needs to step it up and make it more fun for you son to want to go and Dad is still cool. GL

    Answer by aheuszel at 1:55 PM on Mar. 23, 2011

  • I know it's hard to force a teenager to do anything but I would do what I could to keep their relationship and their time together intact. If the two of you were still married your son couldn't avoid being with his dad just because dad is not as fun. Part of being a teenager is pulling away from your parents and wanting to do your own thing more so your ex does need to realize this and give some more freedoms, but at the same time just because our teens want to pull away and be so independent doesn't mean it's right to let them do that all the time. It shouldn't be at the expense of time with his father. They have to work thru this time and maintain their father/son relationship so that there is not a distance that grows between them that ends up carrying over into adulthood. I think you need to stress to your ex and your son the importance of their relationship and the fact that they both need to make some concessions. GL

    Answer by MaryMW at 2:59 PM on Mar. 23, 2011

  • Thank you all. :) I have stressed to both of them the importance of their relationship, and have tried to ask my ex to try to not embarrass our son and to let him be a teenager with no luck.
    My ex is the poster child for "Helicopter Parent" - he is the reason they invented the term. If he calls our son and he doesn't answer the phone (or text), *I* get a phone call asking if everything is alright. If *I* don't answer he freaks out. This happens DAILY, multiple times a day. My ex did the same to me, and is now doing it to our son. He is, in fact, driving him away, and driving me insane at the same time. My husband is not thrilled with the multiple phone calls/texts from my ex, even if I don't answer them.
    I want and encourage my son to spend time with his dad, but he is sullen and miserable when he's with him. My ex takes it personally and then I don't hear the end of it. It always ends up being my fault.

    Comment by kayfray (original poster) at 3:08 PM on Mar. 23, 2011

  • At 13, your son will be given a choice in court as to if and when he would see his father. I think your son needs to tell his father that he doesn't want to see him because of the way he is being treated.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 10:21 PM on Mar. 23, 2011

  • Seeing that you have a relationship with his Dad perhaps you could do a few counseling sessions together to show the Dad you want to be supportive and to provide a constructive outlet for your son to directly tell your dad how he feels so you are not the go between.

    Answer by hotelmom123 at 3:05 PM on Mar. 24, 2011

  • Don't allow this to stress you. Your son has a voice now and he's clearly making it clear to everyone that he's tired of the things his dad is doing. Ignore it, stop allowing your ex to still control your life. Let him call multiple times when he doesn't get an answer the first time, infact write him a letter explaining your concern for his sanity when he does this....Don't let your ex's problem affect your life that you've built. Allow your son's voice to be heard!

    Answer by mom2mybabes at 5:31 PM on Mar. 25, 2011

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.