How to explain to child Mom wants nothing to do with him

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DavidH, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. DavidH

    DavidH Guest

    Hi all, had a meeting at Residential Treatment Center (RTC) yesterday with case manager and therapist and probation officer, everyone could not be more proud of Justin telling him to keep it up looks like he is taking the right road.

    He did tell me afterwards he is having more of a difficult time seeing me and me leaving each time and that he feels like he wants to shut down and give up... but quickly said I am not going to I just feel that way sometimes because it is so hard to stay on top of doing so good all the time here. I simply told him he needs to just keep on keeping on he is on the path to coming home once he completes the program.

    But the reason I am posting.. in the begining of Jan. he wrote his Mom. First time he had attempted to make contact with her in almost a year. (After her number was disco)

    She has not written back.. it has only been three weeks but he is still in the mind thought of she will not ignore me... ugg No one seems to know how to handle this one with him. Once he comes to see she is not going to write him back.

    I told him a couple of weeks ago during a family session, she maybe waiting until he is 18 since she does not like dealing with me in order to have contact with him. No clue I just wish I knew how to help him with this. Even the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is in new territory as it is not often you hear of a Mom refusing to have anything to do with her child. Even though she has never had anything to do with him. At 14 and 1/2 he still holds out hope she will be a part of his life.
    I have a feeling in a shorter time than even I may know he is going to come to the conclusion she is dead to him and he will hate her for being what she is.. and he may carry that his whole life due to her actions or lack of
  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I don't think you will ever be able to give an answer to this question that will satisfy the mind of a child.

    I wouldn't plant false ideas or hopes--give him the truth that for reasons you don't understand (cite personal problems/mental health/substance abuse problems if she has them) his mother has made this choice. Give him sympathy and understanding but you can't give him answers you don't have nad you can't change this for him.
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry. Sending hugs. Glad he is on the right path.

  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry too. You can't control what your son (in my opinion rightly) chooses to feel about his mother. She has probably already damaged her long-term relationship with him. He'll remember that she wasn't there. On the plus side, he'll remember how wonderful and caring YOU were. At least he has one devoted parent. He's very lucky.
  5. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    I'm sorry that your son's egg donor is such an..... well, you know. Some folks should not have children. Some folks don't realize what they say, or what the don't say, what they do, or what they don't do so greatly affects how a child thinks of themself.

    I had a really long discussion with easy child's boyfriend this weekend about just this very thing. His mother was a drug addict/prostitute who left him alone in the kitchen to buy and use drugs when he was only two. Dad came home from work and found his son alone. He started divorce proceedings immediately. This boy grew up not knowing his mother. She never made any attempt to see him. Then, a little over two years ago she appeared out of the blue wanted to have a relationship because she was dying of AIDS. This young man, 17 at the time, refused her attempt to reenter his life. His father trusted his son to make his own choice.

    His mother passed almost 18 months ago. This young man told me that he may regret it later, he may not, but it was the only choice he could made at the time. His father was both parents to him and he didn't need a mother of guilt. At this time in his life, he is sad he didn't have a mom, but he feels pride in what he has been able to accomplish with the drama his early life was. He knows what his dreams are and works very hard to realize them. He, like your son, has a strong and loving father who supports his choices and shares his dream.

    We talked about how so many children looked to themsevles as the burden that causes their parents to leave or stay away. We talked about how some people are just not equipped to deal with others on an interpersonal level.

    I don't believe that any explanation you give your son will satisfy his need to be wanted by his mother. He should be receiving therapy that directs his self image away from the yardstick of others. I don't believe it could possibly be understood as a child that you are not wanted. But want doesn't really enter into it does it? It is not that your son is not wanted, it is that he is not on her radar at all. How do you explain that to a child longing to have a relationship with his mom? I think this is a case for someone with professional training at this point. Raising our children to be self confident is a tough business - adding the difficult child issues to that makes it an even tougher job.

    Your son needs to know that he is loved by those that really know him. That he is accepted, with all his faults, and that he can acheive his dreams by working hard and "keeping his eye on the prize." Unconditional love goes a long way to raising a child who thinks they can accomplish much. That does not mean that you support all his choices and are not frustrated when he repeats those bad choices. It means that you love him regardless of those things. You can feel disapointment and saddness, but always love. Faith is another layer than I believe helps kids know that they are loved by someone who knew of them before they were even born.

    I wish you luck as you handle these issues with your son. Stay strong. Keep the love going strong. Speak to his docs at the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) about his mom so they can work on helping him through this need.

  6. happymomof2

    happymomof2 New Member

    (((DavidH & Son))), this is so sad, I am sorry you and your son are having to go through this.

    Glad he is doing well.
  7. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I think, that as others have said, you can only listen and sympathize. You cannot fix it. It must be very hard.
  8. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat


    I hope you will read what I have to say, because I have nothing but empathy for this situation.

    The father of my older daughter took off as soon as he learned that I was pregnant. Never saw her. When she was about 8, I found him. I called him, we met and talked. I learned that he had since married and had 2 more kids. I then met with him & his wife. Then the two of them came with me to meet with my daughter's therapist. We were planning on introducing her father into her life, but only if it was going to be beneficial to her. After 6 months (SIX MONTHS!) of planning, arranging, promises, etc, they met. She met her sister and her brother. She met her stepmom. She spent father's day with him. She had several summer outings with the family. Once school started, he became distant. When I called him to invite him to her Winter concert, he told me that he was too busy to be her father.

    And we never heard from him again.

    So, she spent much of the next 8 years in & out of therapy, clinging to guys, she ran away, she was a cutter for awhile, she did a couple stints in inpatient too. I don't know what more we could have done. When she needed to cry, we held her and let her cry. She wrote several letters to her father. Some she mailed, some she did not. Many were "I hate you" letters. She needed to get that out.

    Now she is 19 and he still has no desire to see her. I don't know how the man sleeps at night. But, she has come to forgive him. and she has gotten through it. By forgiving him, I don't mean that she decided that it was OK for him to do it. I mean she said it is not up to her to judge him for his reasons. She actually feels sorry for him. So do I, he missed out on one great kid.

    And so is Justin's mother. Shame on her. My heart goes out to him and you. There is nothing more painful in the entire world than seeing your child hurt at the hands of someone else, and know that there is nothing you can do about it. Just be there for him.

    I am very glad you came back to the forum.
  9. DavidH

    DavidH Guest

    I think you are all right, his is one thing I am not ever going to be able to fix for him.

    Boy would I like to take her behind tthe barn!!

    So sad, I can not even ge my mind around how any parent could be this way... how in the world can I expect him to ever understand her actions.

    makes it so much worse is he has this dream in his head about her.... but of course I am sure that is simply that... a dream - i know this is just starting and I am sure will get harder over next couple of months I will just try to do as suggested and be there for the hug when he needs it... good thing I can see when he needs it because he would not let me know...

    makes it worse .. he knows she jus had another baby 1.5 years ago... hewas SOOOO excited he was having a sister... and yep you guessed it... nothing

    thanks to each one of you.. i guess i knew there was no "answer" but as usual just hearing others that been there done that helps
  10. Jena

    Jena New Member


    it is so hard. i can sympathize with what you are going through. my oldest child is not from my marriage, she was my unexpected gift. her bio and i were friends and well one time hence her. i raised her alone until my ex and i married he is now her father. yet she carries hurt and we've tried to handle it and deal she has alot of people that love her. yet telling a young mind something like this is incredibly painful. i say this i love you and care about you in a way in which is unbreakable there are all sorts of different people in the world you will come to find. this person is not knowing you because of "you" it is due to their issues whatever they may be that they cannot handle it. it is not your fault and never will be, you are a completely beautiful person with an amazing heart and true gifts who will live life to it's fullest and know you always have a bond and an everlasting love with me.

    that's what i say she's almost 15 she has her moments but seems to quiet her internal hurt.

    good luck rough one i know

    lots of hugs
  11. Jena

    Jena New Member

    one more thing although the bio parent is obviously not a "good" person hence not know ing their kid. try to steer clear of saying bad things about htem. they associate that blood connection. my daugther's brought it up adn i say to her there's good and bad in everyone you took the good from him. which is amazing.

    hope that helped somewhat

  12. fosterparent

    fosterparent New Member

    Just back to this site after several years. Hope this doesn't show up twice. Not quite sure what happened to the first post but I didn't see it anywhere after typing it.

    D - I feel your pain. Imagine having 11 yo twin girls. Their biological "family" lives literally 5 minutes from us. Their mother has not seen or spoken to them since October. She only did then because I called and asked her to take them out in their costumes and she did. She brought them back and we have not seen or heard from her since.

    A little background: Girls came to us as foster children at two months old. Bio mom and dad were in rehab. Mother had tried to give the girls up for adoption while still in utero and had signed all the papers but the father would not go along with it so they came into foster care. When the girls turned two the courts gave legal custody back to the mom (she supposedly had stopped her drinking and drugging at the time and she had county services such as Section 8 housing, food stamps, medicaid, etc.). The girls stayed with mom and dad for approx. two months. Of course, we loved the girls and were missing them like crazy and as you can tell from this next part, our hearts took over when our heads should have been in control. Mom called and said the girls weren't thriving. They were withdrawn, crying all the time, not eating and so on. So us being us and loving them the way we did we worked out a compromise. I told her she could bring them back and we would make the transition smoother (of course their stipend stopped when the court gave custody back to the mom). I suggested that we take them to day care starting like on Mondays through Thursdays and she pick them up on Fridays and keep them all weekend and each week she could add another day until they were with her all the time. That worked about 3 weeks. Then one day the day care calls at 6:45 after closing at 6:30 to say the girls are still here, no one has picked them up and we are closed. Of course it was her day. She just didn't show up so of course I picked them up and they've been with me ever since.

    We are a little different because the girls have come to the point that they don't want anything to do with her. They don't want to call, and please don't suggest they visit. I constantly try to talk her up because I think they should have a relationship with their mother and their full sibling brother. (The mom has a total of seven children but only one is a full sibling to the girls.) They rarely get to see him. They want a relationship with him but without her.

    They are my G'sFG. One has ADHD/ODD and the other has ADD and they take Vyvanse and Adderal respectively. They see a therapist once a week. She is treating them for grief and loss because they didn't fit in any other category. Even though it is not exactly your same problem, just know you are not alone.
  13. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?


    Sending you and Justin many hugs. Such a hard road to walk.

    difficult child 1 came to me at about 3. He was my stepson. Initially, his mom was in jail, and she tried to maintain come kind of contact as long as she was locked up. When she was "out", she was always too busy for him. His dad and I divorced several years ago, and he hasn't seen his dad since, either. His mom lives 20 miles away. Dad is 2. Needless to say, dad was distant while difficult child was growing up.

    difficult child clung to the dream of a traditional nuclear family. In fact, he still wishes he had it. I think its kinda like the "welcome to holland" thing, except from a kid's perspective. He knows (sometimes) that he has a family and a home he'll always be a part of, and has even thanked me for sticking with him when I didn't have to, but he still longs for that dream that will never be.

    difficult child has come to terms with his mother. I never put her down, but I never sugar-coated anything for her, either. If she promised to call and didn't, I said "maybe something came up, or maybe she forgot". In time, he came to see the big picture, but it was always so hard for him to let it go - he wanted so bad to have what he perceived as a "real" family.

    He graduated from Marine Corps boot camp in November. We're not out of the woods with him, as he's been on suicide watch and had a couple other minor incidents, but my fingers are crossed. He needs something strict like the military, at least for a while. For some sick reason, his mother went to his graduation (she didn't even come to his high school graduation 10 miles away from her home (and she was invited - I did it, not difficult child) - had been no contact for years prior). difficult child was cordial, but he was not pleased. To my knowledge, he has not been in contact with her since.

    It was always hard, my own insecurities wanted to scream "No, he's MINE" at times, but I bit my tongue and figured whatever was meant to be, would be. I tried to help him attempt to make her a part of his life when he wanted - we sent greeting cards at times, on the occassional chance she'd call out of the blue and want to visit, I'd drive him up and hang around (he was never comfortable with me leaving him with her again), we invited her to his birthday parties until he quit wanting her to come. And while part of me wanted her to go away, the other part wanted them to come to some sort of positive relationship for his sake. There's still a big part of me that wants her to just go away, but for the most part, they have a relationship that isn't full of ugly feelings. She is what she is and he accepts it. Still wishes, at times, it were different, but doesn't generally dwell on it. And I think after the chill she felt at the Corps graduation, I think she's coming to realize what effects her actions had on her son. Its sad, and I do feel for her, but I watched him hurt for so many years. While I can feel for her, I will stand in his corner, for sure.
  14. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Absolutely! You're a very good father and I know that you want to ease his pain. Telling him that "maybe she's waiting until you're 18 because of me" puts the burden on you to make your relationship with her better so that she will want to see him. That's not realistic, and it's not fair to either of you.

    I would also be sure that he understands that for whatever reason she is doing this (drugs, alcohol, mental illness) it's something that she could try to work on and be better at, but so far she has chosen not to. That's totally on her. Just as his problems are things that he is working on and he will improve at with time and effort. Tell him that you know that he is a good person who is getting better at facing his troubles and overcoming them every day, and he doesn't have to grow up to be someone who can't face life.
  15. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Wow such heartache for so many of you.

    David you have received very good advice. Just be there for your son. You cannot take away the hole that he has in his heart but you can help fill it with love.

    My difficult child had a dream of her birthmoother too. We did finally have to tell her the truth so she could move on, but she will always have that hole and probably always hang onto that dream somewhat.

  16. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I had/have the same problem with KT's father. He moved about 3 hours away when she started kindergarten, but couldn't even find the time to pick up the phone and call her. She would ask me all sorts of questions, but all I ever told her is that I didn't know why her father did what he did, and I didn't understand either. He moved about three years ago, is now an hour away, but does he call? Does he make an effort? No, it's still KT trying, and I'm still telling her that I don't know why he does what he does, but I'm sorry he acts like that towards her. I also stress that whatever drives him has nothing to do with her, that it's HIS problem. GRRRRR! It makes me so mad that he hurts my kid like this!
  17. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Very difficult situation.

    I think this is one of those issues that you should likely consult with difficult child's psychologist and get a game plan together. Sometimes, initial discussions of this type is best coming from a third party, with difficult child knowing you will lend support and he can talk to you about it.
  18. Star*

    Star* call 911

    One bullet oughta do it.

    David -

    Is she not in his life because she is a bad person, mentally ill? What makes her stay away?

  19. DavidH

    DavidH Guest

    Wow.. it is so sad t know and hear so many parents can do this.. I mean I knew there are lots of dead beats out there but good nigt alive...

    why can they not see what they are dong to there own flesh and blood!!!! makes me sick

    Star. that is the million dollar question....

    here is a short background on her...

    She was in foster care around 10 to 11 years old(bio dad molested her, bio mom protected dad, they lost the two girls justin's bio mom and her sister)

    She was adopted at 13 - got pregnant at 16 adopted parents made her give up the child. Had another child at 18 and has this one still today a boy (Justin's half brother)

    Had Justin at 21 (she was on BC saposidly (sp))

    I got custody when Justin was 18 months she dropped him off from visit and said I am moving... never heard from her till I found her a Justin's request when he was 11 - she saw him two times... and now has disapeared again...

    I was told that her half brother is bi-polar, but I do not know...

    She is (was) a very sweet girl... until she is backed into a corner (her thinking she is being backed into a corner) then she can be the meanest person you ever met.. very vindictive.... but this was years ago.. now I have no clue.

    But no matter what I have never ever once said a negative word about her in front of Justin - I have just never been able to understand her actions...

    As I said above, this is not a new issue, he has always wanted his Mom, but he is just now starting to deal with it... and it is very clear it is really a big issue that I am sure has a lot of anger built up inside.

    I also know (from the Residential Treatment Center (RTC)) he blames me for her not keeping in contact after she met him in 2004 - because I messed up and did not want to lie, I told him the last time I talked to her I told her to either be some sort of Mom to this child or get out of hi life your ding more harm than good.

    I could go on and on on the problems caused by the contact with her

    (This was after over a year of promises of visits and I will do this I will do that, and nothing coming of her promises) (And her new baby's Daddy telling her that Justin was not allowed to there home with his issues -- And she told him (Justin) this. ... I could write forever ... if something does not make sense just ask..

    Maybe saying this to her was the wrong thing... but a the time my mind was in the... thought process of ... no matter what a parent will do what ever they can for their kid... I felt I was wanting to wake her up on what she was doing to him by not seeing him and some of the things she was saying to him, that was hurtful...
  20. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    in my humble opinion this isn't for you to explain to your son - you cannot speak for her & might make matters worse for your difficult child . Period. It's up to bio mom to explain.

    Is this sad? Darned right! No child should ever have to wonder about their mother; no child should be afraid of why their mother "let them go" or "if I was good enough". It's all wrong.

    My suggestion to you is to not take this on. It's simply not yours to explain. Let your difficult child know that you haven't a clue but it's sad that she's missed out on raising such a fine young man (or however you want to phrase it) & leave it at that.

    I learned this from 2 extremely well recognized adoption/attachment specialists here in my area. husband & I have stuck with that - simply because we don't know the true reasons to any of the "antics" that happened in bio home.