Sunday, September 12, 2010

Denying Your Child Of A Relationship With Their Father

Most of what I write about on this blog comes from my experiences, both personal or professional. (That is, unless someone in Hollywood does something that irks me makes no sense.)  Today's post comes from a troublesome conversation I had with a student.

She, along with two other girls, came to me one morning because they were arguing about silly girl stuff (ie. she was looking at me; she made fun of my hair; she thinks she's cute....sigh).  After sorting through all the accusations, I gave them each a pass back to class.  When one of the girls started crying I asked her to stay for a one-on-one conversation.  That is when she began sharing with me how stressed she is all the time because of what she is going through at home.  See, money is tight and her mother has been very irritable.  This is something I have heard a lot in the past two years.  But what she shared next simply broke my heart...

I asked her what 3 things she would wish for if she could.  The tears flowed down her beautiful mocha skin, and she uttered (while hyperventilating) that she would do anything to have her parents back together.  She went on to say that she had not seen her father in months even though he lives just a few miles away.  The reason being....since he has not paid child support, her mother has banned him from seeing his kids.  Her almond shaped eyes were swollen with sadness as she told me that her mother puts her father down all the time, and won't even let her call him.

So, you already know that g is ticked off!  I strongly believe that the noncustodial parent should pay child support.  PUH-leeze don't misunderstand my point!  However, that is very much a legal issue.  Meaning, if a parent lapses on their payments...take them to court (DUH)!  Child support and visitation are separate issues.  Sometimes custodial parents feel as if this is an effective way of getting the other parent to pay. It can definitely feel unfair to watch the other parent get to be the fun parent in your child's eyes while he or she continues to avoid financial responsibilities. However, depriving them of a relationship with their child will only hurt the child. 

I wish that I could have videotaped my session with my student to show every mother (or father)who has used their child as a pawn against the other parent.  It's bad enough when fathers shun their children...but it's equally shameful when the other parent puts up road blocks due to child support.  Because the truth of the matter is, 15 years from now my student won't remember that her father didn't pay $498.  Instead, she will remember the horrible things her mother said about the father that she loves so very much.  AND she will remember how her mother laughed and said "That mutha #uck@ needs to pay!" when she asked if she could call her father on his birthday.  SMH....

Happy Parenting,

An open and honest blog about what matters most...children and families!!!


  1. This story breaks my heart.I too know women like this and most of them don't realize the lasting effect it has on their child,ESPECIALLY their daughters. They will grow up thinking ALL men are no good and can't be trusted,making it virtually impossible for them to be in a healthy relationship.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hi Mod! Great point about how this issue affects future relationships! I wish that the moms who do this could see how hard this little girl cried in my office because she misses her father...maybe then they would change their approach. As always, thanks so much for reading & sharing your thoughts.


  3. You're more than welcome. If I may add another 2 cents in here. This girl will be the prime candidate for someone who will stay in a marriage "for the kids".Unfortunately many women who do that,put up with abuse,infidelity and other foolishness because they THINK having mom and dad in the same house will make their children happy. But if mom and dad are always fighting or either parent is always coming in late and really don't want to be there,are they REALLY helping the children?
    I hate she was wishing her parents would get back together instead of wishing she could have a relationship with her dad. To me,that sounds like what she hear her mom say.

  4. Again, more great points Mod! It is so very easy for kids to begin mimicking what they hear from us grown folks. I pray that this young girl has enough positive role models in her life that she will see that not all relationships have to be like her parent's. I also pray that she does not internalize all the negative comments towards men. And lastly, I hope that she does not seek a replacement father figure in someone that is not deserving.