How can I make sure my son grows up as unaffected as possible?
I've been a single mom for a bit over a year now. I'm a great mother (so everyone tells me) but my ex largely ignores our son and I know that he's got a short temper and isn't as patient as he should be with a toddler. My son freaks out when I tell him that daddy is going to pick him up. He tells me that daddy doesn't take him anywhere or do anything. Anf he tells me that daddy gets mad a lot and yells.
Do I just keep being the best mom I can be and try to make up the difference or do I talk with my ex?
If your child is afraid or upset by visiting his dad, then yes you should address the situation with the ex. You don't have to be mean about it, but as his mother it is your job to protect him. I know all about growing up with a dad who screams and yells constantly and it isn't fun. Your ex may get defensive, but he should be made aware of what his actions are doing to his son. Hopefully he will see the light and take some anger management lessons or learn how to better understand and communicate with his young child. Chances are high he grew up being yelled at too. Ask him how he felt if/when that happened to him and then point out that his son is feeling the same way. Maybe that will help him see that he needs to make some changes. If he's a good dad other than that, give him some opportunity to address the situation, but if he's neglecting him or is potentially dangerous, you may need to look into a different custodial arrangement with supervised visitations or take all rights. It's a tough place to be in.
Thanks. I will have a talk with him. I'm not all that sure that he's a good dad. At least he wasn't all that great for the first 2 years of my son's life.
Agree with Christin, but one other point. The conversation with dad needs to be about how your son feels, NOT how you feel. Your feelings are irrelevant since he likely is bitter with you. Make it all about your son and avoid phrases like "I think"
Explain to you ex that however he's feeling or whatever's going on in his personal life, none of it is his son's fault at all & he's an innocent party..Ask him how he would feel if he we're in his son's position fearing his own dad, & if he's not going to treat him right he has no right to even see him..Whatever happens emotionally to your son will affect him as he grows up & may stay with him, unless he realises his dad has emotional problems which he's taking out on him..This is what keeps the chain of un-dealt with negative emotions in the family chain, that gets passed down the generations un-dealt with & so passed on again..So either your ex should grow up & be an example to his son, or in my opinion he shouldn't be allowed to see him until he does..I would advise you to talk with your ex, & if he gets emotional or loses his temper etc walk away..If you do talk to him you have to try to keep your temper no matter what, & be an example to him of someone in control of their emotions & feelings, & it may rub off on him. :-)
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