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My 5 year old son is currently having a hard time with the separation/divorce. Yesterday he called his dad and told him he wanted to move back home and go to school at his old school. His dad told him that they would talk about it later. After he got off the phone with his dad he looked at me and said, "Families need to be together." I tried to talk to my son about what he is feeling and he almost started crying. Actually, he did start to tear up but told me that he had something in his eye and they were just watering, it was just a cover.

Last night before bed my son talked to his dad again the topic of moving back never came up between them. When he got off the phone he remembered about it and called his dad back and brought it up. When they were done that time, my son said that his dad said we could all move back. I asked my husband about it but of course he blew me off. My son repeatedly told me after that, that he misses his dad all the time, and he misses his home :( All of this is breaking my heart. I would like some advice as to dealing with this, for myself but mostly for my son.
 

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"Helping Kids Cope with Divorce the Sandcastles Way". I don't have it with me right now and can't remember the author. I found it online used for just a few bucks. I have used several of the things in the book with my kids - 8, 9, and 11.

Make sure he knows the separation/divorce is not his fault. My kids want me to stay on my nights away and cry when their mother leaves for her nights away. It is painful to see them cry. The book helps work through some of that, but it still hurts to see their pain.
 

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my son is 4.5. I am realizing that on most nights when he is with his mom I think about him and want to be with him, but havent felt compulsion to talk to him on the phone. For one, I know he has very little attention span on the phone and the only way to engage him is by playing silly games like tickle fights but that requires particpation by the XW. When he is with me she sometimes calls, but I realize its only on nights when she's not partying it up in her new life. I also hate having to try engaging my son on the phone, he usually just runs around from the kitchen to the living room and back so I either have to chase after him with the phone or else try to hold him and he just fights it. He has no desire to hold onto the phone himself.

So I am unsure why I don't feel the need to talk to him, I guess part of it feels like I'm "180'ing" on him when he is there and I can't decide if its fair to him or not. I think in the long run he has to adjust to this new life anyway why prolong the confusion. I miss him a lot when he is not with me but I also appreciate the time to myself for once... but the feeling of being alone without him around is starting to get old. And I think phoning just makes him and I more sad that we can't be together every day.
 

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My son waits all day to talk to his dad on the phone. And now that he can dial his dad's number on his own he will call him more often. He would actually talk to his dad for a long time if we let him. He has so much to say to him even when he just talked him a few hours earlier. Is it a bad idea to have him call his dad every night to talk and say good night? To me, it's an important thing to say I love you and good night when the kids are with their dad, so I try and make it a point for them to talk to their dad before bed.
 

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I talk to mine each night I am away. I also tell them yes anytime they ask to call their mother when I am with them. She never keeps her phone on, but they leave her messages. I think it is good for the kids to be able to talk to either parent whenever they want. Mine are a little older, though.
 

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I think in the long run he has to adjust to this new life anyway why prolong the confusion.

I think phoning just makes him and I more sad that we can't be together every day.
Im just going to give you my opinion.

That's crap.

Above all and regardless of the pain you feel, you need to talk with him. In this time of uncertainty and emotional development for a child, you need to know you are there for him and that while you are not with him, you are thinking about him. This interaction supports a feeling of security and can effect his emotional health in future relationships. Hard deep lessons are being learned by him right now, and you have direct control over what lesson he is learning.

You say you miss him? He misses you and needs you now more than you could ever know. You are his life, its all a child knows. He can not be allowed to feel 'abandoned' by you when he is not with you. Everything you do is effecting the development of this child one way or another.

Call him. Talk to him and interact with him as much as possible.

I feel very strongly about this. It's your responsibilty regardless of how much pain it makes you feel. Unwavering, unconditional support. Give it. 24/7/365.
 

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Pit, who is the author of that book you recommended? I keep meaning to look, but I get wrapped up with the kids when I'm home. I need to start bringing it with me on my nights away. That would be more productive than hitting the bars to drink and dance my woes away.

LON, I believe it would be good for you also. It is a good book for showing the kids point of view. It is very painful to read, but it gives a lot of insight as to what they are feeling and thinking.
 

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Im just going to give you my opinion.

That's crap.

Above all and regardless of the pain you feel, you need to talk with him. In this time of uncertainty and emotional development for a child, you need to know you are there for him and that while you are not with him, you are thinking about him. This interaction supports a feeling of security and can effect his emotional health in future relationships. Hard deep lessons are being learned by him right now, and you have direct control over what lesson he is learning.

You say you miss him? He misses you and needs you now more than you could ever know. You are his life, its all a child knows. He can not be allowed to feel 'abandoned' by you when he is not with you. Everything you do is effecting the development of this child one way or another.

Call him. Talk to him and interact with him as much as possible.

I feel very strongly about this. It's your responsibilty regardless of how much pain it makes you feel. Unwavering, unconditional support. Give it. 24/7/365.
:iagree: YES!!!! My exact reaction to a T, especially at such a young age! This woulod not be the time to 'toughen up' the child. Their world has been torn apart and there are only two people who control that world.

Even if the interactions are not fully satisfying to YOU, they matter and mean something to the child (and will mean even more as time goes on as well). It also is setting a precedent and a pattern now. So when the child is a little older and better able to communicate on the phone to your 'satisfaction', the pattern will have been set. or you can continue to a"ppreciate the time alone" as it grows more and more over time while you "180 on him" (sorry, but he didn't do anything to deserve your 180)...
 

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Pit, who is the author of that book you recommended?
M Gary Nuemann

Here...The book I recommended to you is on sale on overstock.com ($12)

About:

Author Gary Neuman never patronizes or preaches, and although he is technically a child advocate, he proves himself to be an advocate of every member of the divorcing family. Neuman takes a hands-on approach and believes that children need not be permanently scarred by divorce--that with work and time, divorce can actually become a positive force for change.

Review:

Kids tend to blame themselves when parents divorce. The Sandcastles workshop--now mandatory in over a dozen counties throughout the United States--is a half-day group session for children of divorce between the ages of 6 and 17. This intensive workshop helps kids open up and deal with their feelings through drawings, games, poetry, role playing, and other activities. Helping Your Kids Cope with Divorce details many of the workshop exercises, all designed to increase communication, understanding, and togetherness between parents and kids. The book is also packed full of suggestions on everything from the best way to break the divorce news to a child (it differs according to age group) to facing the holidays, visitation, custody arrangements, anger, discipline, co-parenting, single parenting, overcompensation, sorrow, custody fights, and much more.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
What about dealing with him not wanting to go with his dad? He was in tears tonite and didn't want to go and I'm not sure how to respond to all of it. He was talking about going with his dad all week and couldn't wait and the minute is was time to leave he fell apart. Not sure if I should make go him or not. After his dad left, he asked me why his dad doesn't like him.
 

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What about dealing with him not wanting to go with his dad? He was in tears tonite and didn't want to go and I'm not sure how to respond to all of it. He was talking about going with his dad all week and couldn't wait and the minute is was time to leave he fell apart. Not sure if I should make go him or not. After his dad left, he asked me why his dad doesn't like him.
Get the book please.

His response is not unusual. He's torn up.

you and your husband need to set aside the selfish bulls*t and your own drama and work together (even if seperately) you need to be on the same page. You don't ever get another chance to do this.

Please listen to me. He needs you.

There is no excuse, the information is out there. If you cant afford the book, google everything you can until your eyes bleed and your fingers cramp..

Help him.
 

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My son is almost 8 years old and his dad left when he was only 2 months. He's never had a chance to get to know his father well, he hardly ever visits (and hasn't at all in the past year). Even despite hardly knowing him, it bothers him that his father and I are split and that his father apparently wants nothing to do with him. He thinks HE did something wrong even though he was only a baby when his father left! How sad is that? But what I'm trying to say here is, let them communicate as much as possible. And try to stay in open, amicable conversations with your ex if only to make sure your child isn't hurt even more by this situation than he already is. I only wish my H wanted to be involved in our son's life but this past year has made it pretty clear that he doesn't care.
 

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One part of the book that helped when we talked to the kids was a story about a dog. We have a dog, so I used her as an example. Basically, I said it was my turn to feed the dog. Let's role play and I asked my son to feed the dog because I didn't feel like it. We argued about it a few minutes about who was supposed to feed the dog.

Then, I said, Is it the dog's fault we are arguing? They all said no. Did the dog do anything wrong? No. That's just like your mother and I not getting along. You kids did nothing to cause it nor was there anything you should have done differently to prevent it. They understood.

The book is full of stuff like this. They do think it is their fault, somehow. My kids gave me reasons they thought it was their fault. The dog story helped them understand it wasn't.
 
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