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Raising Children with Parents in Prison For the Parent left behind with children AND for the Children that have a parent inside. Discussion of unique challenges facing this group!

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Old 06-20-2017, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by nygirl17 View Post
IMO if he wants to see them then he should ve able to see them. When it's convenient for you. They are his children and they should know their father. Look at it through a childs eyes they deserve to know their dad and if he gets out and ruins what they have together then that's on him. You did all you can.

See my post #6 above - it can be a serious mistake to introduce a person into a child's life who is deeply inconsistent. I learned it the very hard way. The kind of man who deserts his kids is not the best to bring in. He needs to be out, for a while, stable and paying consistent attention before anyone can trust that he's not just going to cut and run again and leave the kids with big gaps in their self-belief.
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Old 06-30-2017, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by WesB View Post
My ex and I have two kids together. He left me while I was pregnant and I rarely heard from him for a year and a half until he went to jail. He was very inconsistent. I'm sure he just called to ask for bail money, commissary, and the like. The few times I've talked to him its all "jail talk" bs -- i.e. I want to be with you, when can I see the kids, I'm different now, blah blah blah.

I tell him I have no interest in bringing our kids to see him (they are two years old). Yes, I know how the "system works against us and breaks up families" but in this particular situation our "family" was broken up before it started and it was the fault of the father who walked out on me while I was pregnant.

I don't care about their fathers fake guilt. I answer his questions about how they are doing, what they like, but I don't speak to my kids about him. I talked to him yesterday and he got mad because I haven't been teaching them to say "happy father's day" to him! Like dude, you have not been a father to them at all and they don't even know you!!!

I will be more than happy to take them to visit him when their curiosity strikes them and they start asking questions (4-5 years old?). But as of right now, they don't even know what a dad is and I don't feel that I need to push them into bonding with a stranger who has an inconsistent past in their life.

They are bound to find out about him, they interact frequently with his side of the family so it's not like there is an extreme disconnect. If he were a free man, I would feel the same but I would base my decision off of if he's changed or still flighty.

So, what are your opinions for my particular situation? Am I wrong?

TL/DR: my two year old kids don't even know their father but he feels like I should bring them to visit him. I don't want to because he had a year and a half to spend time with his kids but he choose not too. I feel he only wants to see them because he's bored. Thoughts?
I would wait if I was you. I have two children as well, but I feel they are to young to go to a state prison. no I don't think you are wrong. If he ditched you when you were pregnant, then 2 years go by and suddenly he wants to be a daddy, think carefully. A 2 year old wouldn't know what is going on, and here in CA they have a place for the kids to go to while you visit him, which at age 2 years old, I think it would cause separation issues from you there mom. They don't know him. Prison imo is not a place for young kids unless they are ready and new there father before he screwed up. Both of mine won't see there father until I feel its the right time. It may never be the right time. But sharing your feelings with your children if they are old enough to understand and they ask to see their father, then that is a decision you have to decide. Best wishes.
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Old 07-01-2017, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by yourself View Post
If he walked out on them before they were born, and you really think this is jail talk/wanting a visitation to break up the boredom, I'd tell him to get a court order in place. He can start with a Petition for Paternity and work his way up to a Visitation and Support order. Then, should the visitation agreement allow, and it's not too onerous for you (doesn't make you miss work, etc), you'll bring them around. And in the interim, he can start showing that he cares for those kids by paying some support, putting a dent in the 2 + years that he's personally paid nothing.

The kids are 2 years old. They've never seen them in their lives. Give them a chance to grow up enough to understand what's going on. Not sure about anybody else here, but shoving a 2 year old into the arms of a strange man and telling that kid - kiss your daddy! just isn't a good thing, especially if you've been in the process of telling them never talk to strangers and all those child safety things that 2 year olds are beginning to understand. To them, Dad is a stranger and they don't get the distinction.

He needs to build an actual relationship with them. He's not doing this as illustrated by his letter.

And let's talk about a 2-3 year old when Dad disappears again as you know he will - 2-3 and even a lot older kids have a hard time understanding that Dad, who just appeared in their lives, disappeared because that's just Dad. They interpret it as they did something bad or were somehow defective. This is an unnecessary burden on those kids. Have Dad make efforts instead of you making all the effort if he wants that relationship.

^^ THIS ^^

There's a saying: "Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Daddy."

If he really wants to be their Dad, this is a great way to prove that he's serious about caring for "his children." Start showing some responsibility. Being a parent is more than just showing pix to your cellies. Way more.

My situation was slightly different from yours, but my son was 3yo [talking, walking, out of diapers] before his sperm donor showed any interest. If I had it to do over, I'd have done what yourself suggested. It was horrible. At 8yo, my son came home from his every other weekend and burst into tears. He pleaded with me to not make him go any more. [He never went again.] But a connection was still made and his father was in/out of his life. Each time son thought this is it! He'd finally have his DAD. Nope.

My son is 40yo now. When his father showed up 18 months ago asking for financial help, again, son finally let 37 years worth of emotions out on him and said he's DONE.

But he STILL has the pain he grew up with - of never having felt good enough to be loved by his father.

Seriously? I'D RATHER HAVE MY SON RESENT ME than see and hear the pain the once-in-a-blue-moon times we talk about his father.

Oh, and in 16.5 years, I got a whopping $500 in support.
I'd follow yourself's advice to the letter.

Last edited by fiat_nox; 07-01-2017 at 02:20 PM.. Reason: I live in fear of typos!
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Old 07-01-2017, 03:31 PM
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Fiat nox, that's the same result I got with the bozo who was my son's sperm donor. I honor what you tried to do while understanding the utter havoc that it's wrought emotionally. Doesn't bother the 'dad', just the kid. Bothers them like a broken, aching tooth, but there's no dentist that can repair this.
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Old 07-01-2017, 07:24 PM
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He can petition for the legal right to have visits. If he really wants them that badly force him to go through the courts. Otherwise don't take them. It sounds like he hasn't made an effort to even try to interact with them until now. Why give him something he isn't committed to?
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Old 07-08-2017, 06:42 AM
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I'm with you on not bringing them up. I would wait till he was out or till they start asking about him, and when that times comes when they start asking start off with phone calls first. You don't wanna corrupt their mind. Just makeep sure you kids are ready. A mother always knows best.
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