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Question

15 Aug 2007

Single Mom.
My sister is a single mom to 3 girls aged 10, 8 and 6. She left her husband 4 years ago as he was physically and mentally abusing her. He is still extremely abusive to her on the phone and it is impossible to try and talk to him without him screaming and swearing at her.

She has got custody of the girls but allows the father to see them whenever he wants to. He only ever takes them when it suites him and the girls could go for 3-4 months without seeing him or even hearing from him.

When he does take them they always have a good time and he does a lot with them. However, when they return from a weekend away with him they always come back telling my sister what a bad mother she is and that she never does anything with them. He constantly bad mouths her to the kids and always tells them that he still loves their Mom. She does not do the same at all. The girls always blame her for not seeing their father even though she explains to them that she has called or smsed him to ask him if they can go there for a weekend (which he rarely replies to the calls or smses).

She is always doing something with the girls - a lot more than their father does with them infact, but yet they don't seem to see this.

How do we get them to see that their father is not the only one that does things with them? How do I get her girls to stop breaking her heart each time they come back from their father? How do we get them to see that their Mom is not as bad as their father makes her out to be?
Answer 348 views
Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Sounds like she has an unofficial, informal, arrangement with her ex about access to the kids, and by being vague, this makes it easier for him to harrass her if he wants to. It would be better, I suspect, if a court decided on specific times of access, as then everyone including the girls, would know when daddy was supposed to be hosting them and when not, and it would be very clear to them when he doesn't bother to do so, and prevent them from blaming their mom when he doesn't pitch up. The court might also warn the father not to bad-mouth the mother ; and maybe a couple of sessions with a counsellor would help to explain the situation to the kids through a neutral person
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