More threads by heartbrokenmom

I've been separated for 8 months and have big problems with my 7yr old sons behaviour. I've got shared custody 50/50 with his dad and he's a terrible role model at times, even though I know he loves him with all his heart, he refuses to see what's in his best interest. He himself has absolutely no dicipline and is modelling this to my son in regards to bad language, lack of respect for people, late bedtime, lack of personal hygiene and more. Previous to separation dad consistantly put my son into the middle of vicious arguments and had teamed up with him against me. He has forced his view of our split, as it being "all mama's fault" and has reassured my son of this ever since. The most common phrase being "Mama destroyed the family". He has my son convinced that my family is not his "real family" and his very disfunctional one, who have never really been a part if his life, is all that matters. He has turned my son against all of my friends and their kids. He is my son's number one and in his mind can do no wrong. He even gets angry at me for something his dad does wrong. He's so confused, I confirmed by asking him.
Probably the most hurtful thing is that my son rarely shows any love to me when his dad is around, calls me horrible names, hits me and even spits on my house, car or me. Even if his dad tells him it's wrong he doesn't care. He is so angry at me. I've talked with him many times about this. I want him in counselling, but my ex refuses to give permission, so I guess I have to go through a judge.
On my days, he knows there's a little more routine. Swearing and name calling isn't allowed or else no tv or video games for the day. It's worked well, he's pretty well behaved, complains a little about some things. But he loves me and I can usually get a hug or a kiss anytime. Until the morning of the switch, then his attitude completely changes. He knows his days and is very anxious to get back to "freedom", and he gets rude and mean again.
He's had many problems at school and is on a special program monitoring his behavior. Fighting and swearing mostly. I know his dad is causing problems with his mouth and although he says he doesn't do it anymore, the harm is already done.
I know fighting for soul custody would be an expensive uphill battle especially since my son wants to live with dad permanently. Is there any way my ex can be forced to take classes on parenting and monitored. Any suggestions on keeping my sanity, legal procedures and counselling, soul custody and taking his dad away? Thanks

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
You probably can't force your ex to take any classes or go to counselling himself but you might be able to get your son into counselling by focusing on the problems he is having at home and at school and pointing out that if you do have to go to court to compel him to allow you to seek counselling for the boy, the court might perceive his refusal as a lack of concern for his son's welfare.

Just a thought....

But I will add a couple of comments on the distressing behavior you are seeing in your son. The poor boy is probably feeling very much caught in the middle and may well have come to the conclusion that he must choose sides and side with his dad or he will be rejected as forcefully as his dad is currently rejecting you. That would account for the fact that he can be affec tionate when his dad isn't around and changes so radically when his dad is around. I would also note that children may be confused for a while but they usually do figure things out in the end... My guess is that in time your son will be able to see the other side of this tug-of-war and recognize that what his dad is doing is unfair to you and to him.
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