What’s in the Best Interest of the Child?

Question by Liz: What’s in the best interest of the Child?
i’m conflicted, yet have been standing firm on my decision so far. My son’s (3yrs old) has two older brothers 9 & 7. Their father has had a history if introducing the other two children to new women and their kids (besides myself of 6 yrs). The other two boys have gotten attached to both the women and their kids and have heartbreak every time their father decides to take on a new woman and her kids. All while still with me and my son. recently i found out about another woman of whom he was attempting to “get” for the last year. every night eating dinner at her house and when i worked on the weekends, talking all three children over to eat and spend time. This included MY 3 yr old son. it’s been six months since i kicked him out. he’s since been seeing a recovering drug addict with 3 more kids and insists on having her and her kids around my son. I don’t want my son getting attached to both the woman and her kids, and then feel the heartbreak of them leaving his life for no known reason. My son’s older brother (9) has panic attacks and has been talking to the school counselor. He feels that daddy loves (Michelle) the new girl and her kids more than him. I do not want my son to feel the same way. Until i am sure he will be with her for a lengthy time and that she is stable (drug addiction) am I wrong for stipulating that my son is to NOT be around her and her kids. My son’s father refused to see ayden (my son) under my stipulations. i offered him to come down and see him at mcdonalds play land, he did not. oh yeah, he moved to vegas (sin city) after our split and his stint in detox and AA. So he never sees his son anymore after living with him for the first 2.5 yrs of my son’s life. Am I wrong? i’m not holding him away from his father, just making a stipulation. we were never married, so i have full custody and complete legal custody. Daddy was just home this weekend from Vegas (we live in metro east St.louis) and he didn’t once see our son, because he was too selfish and proud to comply with my stipulation of NO Michelle around my son. I’m trying to protect my son from long-term harm and heartbreak. He deserves one on one time with his daddy at his age. he doesn’t deserve to have to compete with another family for attention. I don’t want what has happened to his older brothers to happen to him. his father could have easily come down to mcdonalds to see his son but he refused saying he will see his son under HIS terms. Says he’s taking me to court too. I’m glad, i’d really like to know if i’m doing to the right thing. please, someone give me some advise. HELP!!!! i think about this day and night on whether i’m doing the right thing for my son.

Best answer:

Answer by GJ
First of all you are right to be concerned for your sons well being.
I think it is emotionally abusive when parents move from new women to new women (or new man to new man) and introduce all these people to their children before they are even sure they will be sticking around long term. It sounds like you are doing the right thing HOWEVER, it’s probably a good thing to try and do your best to talk with him about it in a way that helps you two come to a better understanding. If you don’t plan to cut him out of your sons life, and he ends up with some visitation, that it would be in your sons best interest that he is not feuding with you. I would make a big effort to work things out OUTside of court first. Find out if perhaps there is another reason why he could not meet your son where you had asked. Do whatever you can to make the visitations easy for him, but also in a way that does not introduce your son to all the new women. Try and let him know that you are not totally against your son knowing Michelle but that you want to wait till things are more long term first. Set a timeline for him. Tell him why you feel that way, but keep emotions and harsh language out of the discussion.
For example a BAD way to say it would be: “I’m tired of how you always put the women before your kids. You keep hooking up with crack heads who you don’t even stick with and you messed up your own two kids and I wont have you doing it with mine!”

You may say this in your head, but out loud don’t. You do not want to put him on the defensive and create a war with him because it will impact your son.

Instead say something more along the lines of: “We both care about our son, and I’m sad that we seem to be getting more hostile towards each other. I admit that perhaps I have not done the best at communicating with you where I am coming from. I think it is important that you have a relationship with your son, but I need you to understand some concerns I have first. Can we please start over and get together to talk about it.”

And when you do discuss the issue you want to use wording like: “I am not against Michelle or your relationship with her. I am glad you are happy. My main concern is that our son feels stable and being that we don’t live together we need to work hard at setting that up for him. I don’t want to forbid my son from seeing you and I’m not trying to make your life harder. If there is a location that works better for you or if there is a way I could make visits easier, let me know. My one condition is that our son not be introduced to your new girlfriend until you guys have been together X amount of time. Till then can you please be understanding about my concern that our son does not get attached to a person he may not know long term? I would like to come to an understanding with you outside of court.”

If this can’t be done with him, then court may be the best option, but whenever there is the chance to have it fixed without going to court it means you two will be on better terms which means your son wont have to sense that tension.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

 


 

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