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 packagedealx3
Joined: 2/4/2006
Msg: 3
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Father wants to see child after 11 years of no contact........Page 4 of 5    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Would you let her make other decisions that she could possibly regret for the rest of her life? If it was my child, I would encourage her to meet him and probably not just once and then make a decision when she sees what he is like today. I would also tell my child to forgive him for not being her parent, not for him, but for herself because she doesn't need to be carrying that around forever.

It is only too late for things when someone has died. There may come a time, graduation, weddings, the births of her children, when she will really miss having a dad even if you wind up with someone in your life that becomes a father to her. Something else you should discuss is the necessity for access to him of some sort should she have any medical issues; she should know her medical history from his side of the family.

If she is totally against it now, I would ask her to keep an open mind and tell him how she feels. If he is sincere, he will wait as long as it takes for her to decide that she wants him in her life.
 no_1_bby
Joined: 5/3/2006
Msg: 5
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Father wants to see child after 11 years of no contact........
Posted: 6/7/2009 1:49:18 PM
Not sure about where you are.. but I think at the age of 12, here at least the children get to decide if they want to have visitation with the other parent or not. I'm about 2 months away from my oldest being in that position, and I suspect that he will NOT want to visit with his dad.

If she doesn't want to see him.. what are you going to do?? Force her? That's not very productive.

What about splitting the difference??? What about inviting him and his wife over for dinner or lunch one day so that everyone can meet face to face and it's on her home ground where she is comfortable and can retreat to her room or out to a friends if things get too wierd. Or on really neutral territory and meet at a restaurant somewhere, with the understanding that you can leave whenever she's had enough...
 lorelei540
Joined: 8/14/2008
Msg: 17
Father wants to see child after 11 years of no contact........
Posted: 6/7/2009 3:43:32 PM
I think packagedealx3 is right --- would you let her make other life-changing decisions on her own like this, or is it ok with you if she decides now about drinking/smoking/school/sex/religion etc. as well?

She is a child, she's scared, of course she doesn't want to see him. Maybe you could meet with him, share a meal or two, get to know him a little bit, see where he is emotionally etc. and then when you talk to her about meeting him it won't be some big mystery that you're sending her off to see, but rather her wayward father who you've met and talked to about her etc.

Because you've raised her on your own up to now, she's relying on you to guide her and keep her safe. So don't make this all about her having to spend time with this stranger. Be part of it so that she doesn't feel alone.

But yes, she should meet him. A lot of noncustodial parents lose contact with their kids out of shame over their poor choices. That doesn't excuse it, but (at least for my kids) it helps them understand that their father didn't disappear because of them, but because of his own demons. So now that he's indicated he wants to take what is probably a pretty scary step for him, and he wants to meet his daughter, he should. Because she has a right to know her father, even if he's not a great guy, and even if it's a scary prospect.
 packagedealx3
Joined: 2/4/2006
Msg: 26
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Father wants to see child after 11 years of no contact........
Posted: 6/8/2009 7:08:39 AM
Caz, does your daughter think she would have to meet him by herself? My ex was in a similar situaton, long story and not worth going into, but he didn't "meet" his other daughter until she was 10. Instead of having lunch with her mother, my ex and I or some other arrangement, they met at a restaurant just her dad and her. He isn't a big talker on a good day so that was one strike against the whole thing and they apparently made the girl paranoid, because her two godfathers were out in the parking lot, like what the hell did they think he was going to "do" in a restaurant?

My point is that perhaps she sees this as something she doesn't want to do because she thinks she will be doing it alone? After he has been out the year, if that hasn't happened already, do you think she would be so against it if you said, I know you don't really want to do it but would you for me, at least go with me and meet him for an ice cream. At worst, it is half hour or hour that you wish to never repeat. At best, you might find out that you would like to get to know him.

I have always found that nearly, lol, complete honesty is the best policy with my kids and it sounds like you are very open with your daughter. Let her know that you have thought about the downsides to this, that you are concerned about the negative impact this could have on her life, recidivism, etc. But you are also concernd about her personal downside, that she could some day regret this decision and while you hope that she could develop a relationship with her dad if she changes her mind at any time, she might find that she regrets these additional years she COULD have spent with him in her life but chose not to. As an adult, she could realistically experience quite a bit of guilt over this even if she tells herself she was a child and operating with a child's thoughts and feelings.

I would also if you haven't already, talk to her about the loyalty issues. She should know that truly, developing a relationship with her dad does not in any way hurt you and that you don't resent him for not being a dad to her all along. Part of that is making sure she knows you take responsibility for the choices you made in being with him in the first place. Youth played a part in that and that is one of the reasons you think she should at least investigate things because she is not capable of making the decisions about this that she might make if she were an adult.

I wish to hell I could wind back the clock and have insisted on being at that lunch to help smooth things over for both of them. My ex is a douche and decided that the child had an attitude, well duh. My point in sharing this is that while this child has had an excellent step-father from the time she was 5, at 18, she still has a huge hole where her dad should have been. She and her mother always insisted that she develop the relationship with her dad first, a huge mistake. If she had spent time around her half-siblings, the contact necessary to develop anything would have occurred and I think her life would be very different now.

Professionally, the only way this could be an issue for you would be your knowing that he was associating with ex-cons or otherwise violating the law and continuing contact with him. To your knowledge, he is now a straight arrow and you are probably already associating with people that did time years ago; I discovered more than one person who was like totally responsible, good parent, good neighbor did time when they were in their early twenties. This is also a unique situation because this is the father of your child.
 packagedealx3
Joined: 2/4/2006
Msg: 33
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Father wants to see child after 11 years of no contact........
Posted: 6/9/2009 6:00:26 AM

what i didnt want to happen was for her to resent me in the future, if whe has made the decision and all the options have been covered and she still doesnt want to see him then its her choice if its till a no no!

It is your prerogative to accept that she doesn't want to meet him but if you think this means she will not become an adult and not resent you for not encouraging her more in this direction you are sadly mistaken because as an adult, she may ask you why you allowed her so much control over a decision she was totally incapable of making at 12.

My perspective on this is seeing first hand what not having a father has done to children. In your situation I would ask for concrete reasons why she doesn't want to meet him and keep encouraging her and/or letting her know that she can change her mind at any time. Sometimes people don't want to admit that they were wrong, etc. and she could stick to the decision because she doesn't want to be a waffler.

My SIL as an adult at various times sought out her birth mother. She was interested in knowing about family but also motivated to discover her medical history from her biological parents. She hit a wall and blew it off but a couple of years ago, resumed her search. She did find the family but unfortunately, her birth mother died a few years before she found them and I believe the identity of her birth father died with the woman. She has a relationship with the half-siblings but I know she regrets her decisions and those decisions were made as an adult.

You may be right, your daughter may not resent you but she could heap guilt on herself for any number of reasons. Even if she met him in her twenties and was able to enjoy several decades, she may eternally regret not knowing him until she was 12 and then choosing to not know him from 12-20. My kids didn't see their grandmother for 3 years because my ex wouldn't take them to see her and he had convinced my daughter that the family hated me so every time I said I would take them, my daughter said no.

When he finally did take them the SIL who liked me the least asked her why I never brought them down anymore because I had taken them by myself numerous times before we split. She regretted all of it immediately and now unfortunately, that grandma, who she always wanted to go and spend a whole week with, has about two weeks to live, she will never have the opportunity to spend that time with her grandmother and my daughter will take that to the grave. We aren't a family that dwells on what cannot be changed and yet I know that all of this will be painful to her from time to time.

I can't help wondering if this were a different decision, if this was about continuing on with music lessons or deciding to be sexually active or to drink, it would not be okay for her to make a decision that she would regret potentially for the rest of her life. I went through a period after having played piano for years as well as the cello, I was sick of practicing and wanted to quit. My cello teacher bribed me with the summer off and I will be eternally grateful for that because had I not been "made" to continue playing, I would not have several very close friends that I met through music camp, would not have had numerous extraordinary experiences like playing Orchestra Hall in Chicago several times and securing scholarship money for college.

Logically speaking I would have been unaware of what I missed and you could be absoltely correct in this situation, knowing her father could potentially cause her to decide then that she doesn't want to have anything to do with him but it has been my experience that it is the what ifs that plague us even if this is only occasional. If she does meet him she could decide based on those encounters that he will add nothing positive to her life but I would surmise that would be easier to live with than making a decision with virtually no information.

Are you comfortable with the decision because you really think it is the right one to make or because it is easier for you, not having to deal with the emotional upheaval that establishing a relationship with her father could entail? My kids have made snap judgments about people after one meeting and I always tell them to give the person a chance because you don't know what is going on in their lives, or maybe they were acting stupid because of how odd it feels to be the new one in the group. They have found on several occasions that their first impression of someone was not correct.

There were times when my kids didn't want to spend time with their dad. If this was based on pettiness, I 'made' them go. If they had a legitimate reason for not spending time with him based on their experience with him then yes, they can make that decision without regard to their age. My life is difficult having their father in their lives but I would rather deal with the problems and them know their father and leave it their option to choose when they are really capable of making the choice that is right for them. They know who and what he is and choose to deal with his b.s. because they would rather have their dysfunctional bipolar father in their lives than have no father at all, despite the good men that are in their lives now.
 packagedealx3
Joined: 2/4/2006
Msg: 40
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Father wants to see child after 11 years of no contact........
Posted: 6/9/2009 8:19:45 AM
Thanks for the repost, and it sounds like you are making the decision for the right reasons because if she is so opposed, meeting him is kind of like pissing in the wind. Revisiting things periodically allows her to change her mind and you to let her know what you are aware of relative to his continuing on a healthy life path.

It is unfortunate that there are close ties that require his staying away from things. I had a falling out with an acquaintance who was friends with two of my friends. The situation was hard on them because they weren't free to invite us both to things
 wanderbaby
Joined: 9/4/2006
Msg: 47
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Father wants to see child after 11 years of no contact........
Posted: 6/9/2009 3:41:05 PM
op, when I was young, my parents divorced, i was a daddy's girl, always wanted to be with him and hear from him, when he rarely messages, i was disapointed, yet i was excited when i saw him at age 13, last time i saw him was age 8. While my sister who is 2 yrs older than me wanted nothing to do with him. perhaps due to the lack of communication of years, she decided to be indifferent to him since he didn't bother thru the years. perhaps that is what your daughter is going through, because it would hurt to care and to be disapointed. last time i saw my bio dad was when i was 13. Fastfoward 10 yrs later, i then lost interest in getting contact due to his lack of efforts, so i became indifferent. ironically, my sister then wanted to know him. He wanted to meet her kids but before that would happen, she wanted to see how consistent he was with communicating, which was slim, so didn't let him talk to my nephews because she didn't want an on/off grandfather.
 dd3va
Joined: 11/18/2008
Msg: 54
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Father wants to see child after 11 years of no contact........
Posted: 6/10/2009 9:22:49 PM
Having both her mother and her father in her life can only benefit your daughter. That being said, he must be responsible and not invloved with illegal activities. Try not to hold his past against him if he is trying in earnest to change and forge a relationship with your daughter. Don't force her to meet him in person though yet. Start with written correspondence and let her gradually get to know him at her pace. In time and with luck, she will forgive him. Best of luck to all of you.

Diana
 NotTheAverageChick
Joined: 7/9/2006
Msg: 56
Father wants to see child after 11 years of no contact........
Posted: 6/11/2009 9:46:14 PM
People assume continuing to have no contact with this man will harm this child and she'll have regrets or grow up to be a hard-hearted person. Consider that she has already learned some really hard life lessons about self-sufficiency and what family obligation means! Whether or not she fears re-abandonment or not - she doesn't want to meet him. Anything he could offer her - she's prepared to go without and that's FINE!
Forget his criminal past and the OTHER CHILD he abandoned, he had 365 days times 11 YEARS to try to contact his child. Every one of those days, he ACTIVELY chose not to! This is NOT a 'mistake' that should be easily forgiven. He, the grown-up, the guilty party, the father should have to do all the hard swallowing, write 10,100 apologetic letters, buy gifts, and lobby to be part of his child's life again - over an extended period of time! Put all those letters/stuff away in a room, visit it everyday without ceasing or complaining then wait and HOPE that she contacts him - then he'll really understand and empathize with the hurt his stupidity caused! People all want forgiveness but rarely does anyone want to work for it!

The single mother, who was there EVERYDAY raising a decent child should not do ANYTHING to assist him in this endeavor INCLUDING lobby on his behalf to the child.
 lisalouno1
Joined: 2/18/2009
Msg: 57
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Father wants to see child after 11 years of no contact........
Posted: 6/12/2009 6:42:28 AM
Been there...tell him to jog on!

lisax
 ohwhynot46
Joined: 6/28/2009
Msg: 80
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Father wants to see child after 11 years of no contact........
Posted: 10/5/2009 6:31:00 PM
Perhaps it depends on the judge (if court is involved), but I am fairly certain that the lids have some say in this at 11 yrs of age. True, a child's perception of who their parent is is colored by the parent who they know, nonetheless, the child does have a say in the matter. If you feel unsure, how abut letting them have contact via phone and/or mail? Then let her decide. I empathize, good luck.

Oops, now I have read the rest of the saga. Good for you, and for your daughter!
 ohwhynot46
Joined: 6/28/2009
Msg: 82
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Father wants to see child after 11 years of no contact........
Posted: 10/5/2009 7:14:00 PM
DNA does not a parent make. Why should only women remember this? It is, in this case, the man who chose not to be part of the child's life, then claimed "rights" after 11 years. Isn't the child the important one here?

Honestly, this seems to be a best case scenario, so why the bashing?
 CJ1978
Joined: 6/24/2009
Msg: 84
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Father wants to see child after 11 years of no contact........
Posted: 10/7/2009 1:43:17 PM
My daughter just turned 9 and her father hasn't had any contact since I was 3 months pregnant. I'm of the same opinoin that my daughter has the right to decide when and if she wants to meet him. I won't go out of my way to make it happen though. She's happy and healthy without him. Why would I make her miserable and force her to do something to appease his guilty conscience?

On other hand, my sister introduced her daughter to her father when they ran into each other in a store when my niece was about 5. It's been nothing but broken hearts and non-stop drama every since.
 zippity2
Joined: 5/30/2009
Msg: 89
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Father wants to see child after 11 years of no contact........
Posted: 10/10/2009 8:27:39 PM
Ok,

My advice??? You said you work in corrections, right? I'd say that getting involved with the guy is obviously out of the question - in your position, it's unethical to date a known felon. That being said, he is your daughter's father. Since you have been up front with her about him, and it was her decision to keep him out of her life, it's up to you too follow her wishes. You can always use the "corrections" gig as an excuse, to him, if you need to. On the other hand, it shouldn't surprise him to hear that his daughter wants nothing to do with him, under the circumstances. Be prepared, however, depending on how this guy really feels, he might seek some type of visitation arrangements. If he does, do everything in your power to refrain from talking trash about him to her, around her, or to people she spends time with. You don't want to make it worse for her, and you don't want to give her any reason to think badly of you, if she should actually meet him and like him. Good luck.

Jeanne
 linns34
Joined: 8/17/2007
Msg: 97
Father wants to see child after 11 years of no contact........
Posted: 12/5/2009 2:48:46 PM
Did he have a way to contact you after you moved? After all if he was in prison for the last 10 years you can't say he didn't have contact when he was not able to come see her. Did you know where he was? Did you take her there to visit him? I think you are putting alot of blame on the father when circumstances took his choice away from him. How could he see her in those 10 years if he was in prison? Also, alot of men after doing that kind of time realize they messed up and come out trying to make up for the lost time and want to try to stay on the right path. Maybe after 10 years he realized he did want a relationship with his daughter. If it were my child I would encourage her to get to know her father and give him a chance. She is still to young to make that kind of serious decision. Would you let her get a tattoo or something as serious and as lasting as that? Just my opinion.
 barefootkitten
Joined: 12/17/2009
Msg: 102
Father wants to see child after 11 years of no contact........
Posted: 1/5/2010 10:27:28 PM
I also have a child (9) whose father has had nothing to do with her for the last 9 years. We broke up because he had started hanging out with drug dealers and going out partying every night (and sometimes wouldn't come home until the next day). My rule then, as it is now, is that if he can't be a positive role model and influence in her life, he won't be part of it. I would never deny him access if he can provide stability, a safe place for her to be, and consistency (no coming in and out of her life as he sees fit).

The difference now that she's older though, is that of course she should get some say. If the child has no interest in meeting him, then you shouldn't force her to. Remember, it's not about what he wants, it's about what she needs. This man basically abandoned her for her entire life, and now that he's getting his life together he feels guilty for this and wants to just step right in as if nothing happened?! My daughter says that she does not have a father (he calls, maybe, once every one or two years, never pays child support, sends gifts for birthdays, christmas, etc...), but she does have a kick a$$ mother! I explained to her a few years ago that sometimes when people have babies, they just aren't ready to be parents, that this has nothing to do with the child, but that her father just wasn't ready for the responsibility of raising a child. She accepted this without question and seems to have a fairly healthy view of her father. She does not need to know the truth about what happened, because that would only cause her undue pain. I never badmouth him because ultimately, she is still his child, and does not need to hear someone bashing her father. If, when she is older she chooses to contact him, that will be her right. I know my daughter's father is now a single father of his new baby and has that child full time (my daughter does not know this, because I think it would crush her to know). I have information for her to contact him and his family when she's older, if and when she wants it, but don't feel it is my place, even as her mother, to force her to have a relationship with someone she does not want in her life. Regardless of whether or not he fathered her, you have to remember that, to her, he is a stranger, and a stranger, no less, that abandoned her. I ask you, if it were you, would you want to be forced to see him?
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