Single Parenting/Decisions

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Question
I am a mom of 3. Two boys ages 8 and 6 and a little girl age 2. I recently made a decision to keep my child's father out of their life. When we broke up he had different females around them and was immature and disrespectful. We have been broken up for 3 yrs and he hasn't seen his children in a 1yr. He was constantly coming in and out their lives and making promises only to break them. Our daughter doesn't even remember him. My boys don't ask or talk about him. I have always said my door is open of he chooses to see them. When he does contact me it is to bother me about my life. I have told him that if he wanted to work things out fine we could but if not than stop contacting me about me because it is of no concern to him if he is still playing games. I have had to make some difficult choices that leave me feeling broken and questioning if I am making the right decisions. Even with all this my kids are happy and don't concern themselves with him so did I make the right choices?

Answer
Hi, Samantha, thanks for your question.

"I recently made a decision to keep my child's father out of their life"
"I have always said my door is open"

I don't really understand these two questions together. They seem opposites.

Regardless, to the extent that you keep the kids' father out of their life, the greater they will end up resenting you. Kids generally do allright if they have one stable and loving person in their life. Neither you nor they can do anything about his failings. All you can do is allow and encourage him to give whatever he is willing or able to do.

What you want to avoid is the bitter recrimination of a teenager, lasting possibly for years, when they find out you either could have tried harder, or even actively turned him away from participating in their lives. They may blame you anyway, but at least you won't feel guilty on top of that...................

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Bruce Borkosky, Psy.D.

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Questions such as 'what are some options for dealing with this problem' are easiest to answer. It's difficult, if not impossible, to diagnose anyone over the internet.

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I'm a licensed psychologist, since 1994. I have raised several step-children.

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Psy.D., Miami Institute of Psychology, 1993

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