The Fathering Advisor
Mother Restricts Father's Time Alone with Kids
I'm trying to find literature support for one-on-one time with my
kids. We're divorcing and have joint mutual custody, with my wife having the
kids most of the time. I was a very involved dad from the
very start and my kids miss me a lot and are stressed out the
whole time they're with me because the sibling rivalry is
They do so much better when I get
them one-on-one and have asked many times to have special time
with me, but my wife is loath to provide it because she fears
I will try to get them to live with me. We are in
co-parenting counseling now, and I want to be able to take
some literature in that deals with the way one-on-one time
reduces sibling rivalry at the noncustodial parent's home,
and that the kids are better adjusted when this is allowed.
I have been backing off further and further ever
since my daughter was born and I now realize that this was a fatal mistake
and was not in the best interest of my relationship with her or in the
children's best interest.
I think your wife and counselor must already know what you say is true, because the truth of it is so obvious. The real problem you have here is her fear, rather than convincing her that you are right.
The counseling is a good idea. You must convince the counselor that you really don't think it would be in your interest or the kids' interests to steal them away, either physically or emotionally.
It sounds like you already have the kids' hearts. This can be very threatening to the mother. Having time alone with each of the kids will be good for the kids, but it will also further strengthen your relationship with each child. It is this strengthening that your wife fears.
A good counselor will see this, and it presents him with a dilemma. He knows the kids need/want to be close to you. He also knows that this heightens the mother's fear, and could lead her to try to limit or even prevent your contact with the kids.
You must assess the risks and decide what you can attain. It may help give you one-on-one time if you have another adult present during the kids' visits. Keep in mind that your wife may provoke a crisis if she sees your relationship with the kids gaining strength. I don't mean to suggest that you should give up, or back off. (Your kids would probably feel emotionally abandoned by you if you did.) Just keep in mind that what really matters is what the kids will think 10 and 20 years from now, and devise a winning strategy that will serve that purpose.
The Fathering Advisor
Joint "Mutual" Custody?
Afraid of Intimacy
Mother Accuses Father of Child Abuse
Mother Refuses to Acknowledge Father on Birth Certificate
Six Year Old Boy's Foreskin Doesn't Retract
Mother Restricts Father's Time Alone With Kids
Copyright © 1996
a trademark of Fathering Enterprises, Inc.
All rights reserved.