Visitation/Relationship with 16yo

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Latest post 08-20-2008 2:01 PM by MCHCF2. 15 replies.
  • 08-13-2008 2:31 PM

    • MCHCF2
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    Question [=?] Visitation/Relationship with 16yo

    Details:

    ~16yo had incredible relationship with NCP until 2007.

    -2006, 16yo requested CP to live with NCP & sibling. CP was enraged, 16yo dropped idea, and nothing ensued in court.

    -2007, 16yo requested to live with NCP again & refused to return during summer, citing alcoholism of other parent, serious threats from previous request to live with NCP, paranoia and extreme personal stress etc.

    -CP filed termination of out of state visitation papers against NCP day after telephone call from NCP to discuss possible change of custody & concerns raised by 16yo. 16yo stopped all communications with NCP immediately after.

    -2008, judge heard case, spoke to 16yo in chambers with attorneys and issued a 'work it out' timeframe.

    At status hearing, 16yo has yet to communicate with NCP & had not pursued summer visitation. 16yo is showing NO intention on continuing relationship with NCP, stepparent or sibling.

    QUESTIONS:

    1- Why is the 16yo acting this way?
    2- Should NCP continue to send letters, texts, voicemails and messages in the hopes that someday they will be reciprocated?
    3- Should the NCP request from the judge that 16yo undergo counseling or force the 16yo to speak up as to WHY this is happening?
    4- Should NCP stop all communication attempts and give the child their space?

    FYI- The CP will not discuss the matter with NCP because 18yo (who lives with NCP) refuses to speak with CP. NCP & 18yo feel the 16yo's lack of communication is solely fueled & encouraged by CP's resentment against 18yo.

    4- When your extended family has completely fallen apart this late in the game (teens), is there hope to fix it? (18yo is off to the military and won't be around. 16yo is clearly happy, doing well in school, lots of friends living with CP and shows NO desire to continue relationship with NCP or sibling. CP is smug and NCP is heartbroken. The step-parents are on the sidelines going..WTH? (but they don't communicate effectively either.) :(

    Trying not to give TOO many details because I can imagine the CP writing on a board like this too.
  • 08-13-2008 2:50 PM In reply to

    not legal questions

    1- Why is the 16yo acting this way?
    -- you don't really expect an answer from a bunch of strangers, do you?

    2- Should NCP continue to send letters, texts, voicemails and messages in the hopes that someday they will be reciprocated?
    -- again - personal matter, nothing to do with the law.

    3- Should the NCP request from the judge that 16yo undergo counseling or force the 16yo to speak up as to WHY this is happening?
    -- you could

    4- Should NCP stop all communication attempts and give the child their space?
    -- why would you do that?
  • 08-13-2008 4:50 PM In reply to

    • MCHCF2
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    re: not legal questions

    Actually, if I thought someone might have some insight or a similar situation, I'll take what I can get! As far as ceasing communications, of course it would not be our 1st choice, but we often wonder if maybe a little distance may make the 16yo snap out of whatever mood/phase they are in and realize their actions are hurtful. Thanks for the answers.

  • 08-14-2008 9:00 AM In reply to

    Feedback [*=*] re: not legal questions

    Frankly, most teenagers are pretty self-absorbed. Ceasing communications probably won't cause the kid to "snap out of it".

    Moreover, when there is a lot of conflict between parents especially on the issue of making choices, some kids just "withdraw" rather than deal with it. Not saying that is the case here. But, most teenagers don't have "conflict resolution skills". A lot of adults have trouble with this one as well. No reason to think an inexperienced kid is going to better at it than the adults around him.

    While I don't think ceasing communication with the kid is going to be helpful, maybe the type of communication going on needs to change. I realize that this one is a long shot, but maybe everyone involved should step back at least for a moment. The hardest thing most of us have trouble doing is seeing our actions in the light that they are seen by others. Sometimes counseling can help with that, but I am suggesting that the counseling involve the adults as well.
  • 08-14-2008 6:18 PM In reply to

    Agree [=|=] re: not legal questions

    I agree with Hearst completely, but also wanted to add that kids, especially teens, will interpret a cease in communication to mean that dad doesn't care what happens to me, he doesn't love me, or that the teen is not worth "fighting for". Even if it's a one way street where you are the only one communicating, it sends a message to your son that you care about him and want to be a part of his life. Eventually he'll come around.
  • 08-15-2008 9:29 AM In reply to

    Ok [+0+] OhioCP is right on!

    I can tell you from experience that OhioCP is right on with the comments listed. I am the NCP mother of (2) sons who have basically ceased all communication with me (and they live only 1/2 mile away!). I call them weekly on their cell phones and they have yet to return a phone call. This has been going on now for (9) months. Trust me, it isn't easy to stay upbeat and positive and go week after week without a return call. But, like OhioCP said, even though I am the only one communicating, I have no doubt my sons know I love and care about them and when they do eventually come around, my patience and persistance will pay off. By the way, lots and lots of prayer and support/encouragement from my current husband definitely help :-) Hang in there because trust me, it's worth it!!! I will keep you in my prayers.
  • 08-15-2008 3:15 PM In reply to

    • CJ
      Consumer
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    re: Visitation/Relationship with 16yo

    So the CP filed for termination of out of state visitation but was it grantid?

    Don't toss your parental rights aside here. Even if they were terminated that doesn't mean you can't march over to the CP's home and see your child. This is YOUR kid and allowing them to disrespect you like this is not acceptable.

    16 is a hard age for both the parent and the child. Hang in there and don't give up.
  • 08-15-2008 5:34 PM In reply to

    • MCHCF2
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    Feedback [*=*] re: Visitation/Relationship with 16yo

    NO...The CP filed the request to terminate when the 16yo was visiting for summer. The judge found the whole thing to be ridiculous but they had also filed a modification of visitation along WITH that request, so that's why the judge hadn't ruled on it because we're still trying to figure out what the 16yo's issue is and what to do about future visitation etc.

    If it makes a difference, the 16yo is a girl and lives out of state or he WOULD have marched over to the house! The 16yo has ALWAYS been daddy's little girl, always..it was only when she returned to the CP last summer (2007) that things came to a SCREECHING halt and ALL communications ceased. We still continue to send her the usual, I love you and miss you texts, messages, emails etc., and sometimes include a question to prompt a response, but still nothing. Summer came and went without a visit also.

    We agree that she's probably trying not to deal with the situation, but honestly, what is there to deal with?? She wanted to live with us, it didn't work out, nothing has changed other than her mother being REALLY REALLY angry with her and us....so why the silent treatment? At the hearing the 16yo spoke to the judge about the CP's alcoholism and other issues and all the reasons why she wanted to live with the NCP and the judge stated she was VERY mature for her age and was leaving any and all decisions in HER hands...which shocked both sides. And so far...she has not spoken to us since. Which the judge is NOT happy about and will address at the next hearing. We just can't figure out why the silent treatment...it's rude, highly disrespectful, hurtful and a multitude of other emotions, with no reason on WHY. Counseling is not a possibility since all parties live in different states. Thanks to EVERYONE who's responded!
  • 08-15-2008 5:49 PM In reply to

    re: Visitation/Relationship with 16yo

    Sorry for thinking your 16 yo was a "son". I must have had the posts mixed up. It's been my experience that teen girls can be even more moody than teen boys! Hang in there dad...hopefully this is just a phase she's going thru! Keep that olive branch of peace extended and eventually she'll grab it.
  • 08-15-2008 6:49 PM In reply to

    • CJ
      Consumer
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    • Joined on 08-02-1999
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    re: Visitation/Relationship with 16yo

    Dad needs to get on a plane and see his daughter. If all communication with his daughter stopped after she told the judge about mom's drinking then I would be worried.

    It could be that mom is making her daughter feel unsafe to speak to dad. She probably got introuble with mom. When my daughter was 16 she'd get moody but come on now. She cut dad out of her life completely! If she truly is a "daddy's girl" and now wont speak to him ... Red Flags are flying all over the place.

    Again, he needs to get on a plane and talk to her face to face. She needs to "see" that he cares enought to be worried.
  • 08-18-2008 10:15 AM In reply to

    • MCHCF2
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    Feedback [*=*] re: Visitation/Relationship with 16yo

    I agree, but that would never happen with the ex. Dad has seen her during the court dates luckily. For a few moments he'd go over and give her a hug, tell her how much he misses her and loves her more than she can imagine. She acts normal but it is for such a brief time, it might as well never have happened because it breaks his heart. But her lack of communication after the fact is abnormal. As far as the mother threatening, she's done it before so it wouldn't surprise me, but I can't imagine what she could have said to her to make her stop ALL communications! Especially having witnessed what she did with her mother's behavior last summer. On the outside, she's the typical teen girl, blogging on facebook and myspace, so that's the ONLY way we know ANYTHING...and she looks incredibily happy with all her friends, drama with boys etc. So...its a catch 22...ignore her and she thinks we don't care, show how happy we are and she feels we don't want her in it too. IFF she even cares. That's the part we don't know. Just very frustrating. Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers and advice. It DOES help.

  • 08-18-2008 2:26 PM In reply to

    re: Visitation/Relationship with 16yo

    "We agree that she's probably trying not to deal with the situation, but honestly, what is there to deal with??"

    Uh, an alcoholic mother who hates your guts and is trying to make her feel guilty for loving YOU?? And probably monitors her phone and text messgaes, etc? Alcoholic mom is probably turning daughter into the caregiver. You might want to look into al-anon to understand what a child living with an alcoholic parent goes thru and the resulting psych issues.


    I think you have to remember you're the adult here and can't expect a 16 year-old to have the tools to deal with what you describe as a very angry and controlling mother who wants her away from YOU. She's in the middle and has to live day-to-day with the angry mother. Wondering if she cares anymore under the circumstances is insecurity on your part; don't retaliate by cutting her off when you KNOW the problem is pressure from your ex!

    If you can't force the visitation issue thru the courts (and you should, so you can speak privately), remember it's 2 short years until she becomes an adult and can make her own decisions without Mom's continual pressure.

    If you play games ("we - WE?- often wonder if maybe a little distance may make the 16yo snap out of whatever mood/phase they are in and realize their actions are hurtful") instead of understanding what SHE is going thru (not a mood or phase... an angry alcoholic mother!), you will just distance yourself from her even more, perhaps forever and angry ex will have accomplished her goal! Don't fall for it.

    Insist on your rightful legal visitation and be loving and understanding as an unselfish mature parent who loves his child more than himself and she will be all yours in 2 short years. Although she's bound to come with baggage after what she's been thru.

    And if your patience fails, remember who inadvertently saddled her with this joy of a mother. You're obligated to help her thru this, not add to her parental issues. Good luck.
  • 08-20-2008 10:19 AM In reply to

    • MCHCF2
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    Sad [:(] re: CLOE

    Your post was VERY right on and I thank you for that. I agree with you on being the adult here. The strange thing is though, we aren't sure that the mother is STILL an alcoholic and/or if that is still an issue. At the first hearing the judge listened to her in chambers with the attorneys and came out saying she was a VERY VERY mature (14yo at the time) girl and that he was leaving ALL communication attempts up to her and that we were not allowed to ask her anything. That seemed VERY odd to EVERYONE involved, though we did notice a smirk on her mother's face. While I DO TRULY want to believe she is under the control and torment of her mother, I really don't think it can be ALL her mother. She is VERY strong willed and when she sets her mind to something, that's that. If it was her mother "keeping" her from us, she'd FIND a way to tell us she loved us. (She'd tell a friend on her myspace to pass us a message or something.) I think that something had to have been said or done to make the daughter cut off completely. I sent a text and a very loving email to her the day before last, reminding her of her father's birthday yesterday and how much we would love to hear from her and it doesn't matter how etc. And his Bday came and went with nothing. If you knew the relationship they (we all) had with her, you would know that there is a LOT of selfishness, and purposeful hurtfulness on the daughter's part right now. And THAT I guess is the part that makes it so disturbing. Not knowing. If she came out and said...I hate you guys because of THIS or THAT...then at least we can try and analyze it and understand. But knowing you've done nothing to deserve this and no one will tell you one way or another: "Keep trying I'm just not ready yet" or "leave me alone"...is just way hard to bare. You keep trying and she's NOT wanting you to, then THAT will anger her more than the distance would. It's catch 22 all the way around. I guess we'll see how it all plays out over the next few weeks/months until court. We are however going to give her the space for awhile. Card or something on birthdays and christmas or something, but other than that...we'll leave it up to her. The judge originally thought that she was mature enough to decide that, so...we'll just stick with that then. :(
  • 08-20-2008 12:36 PM In reply to

    re: CLOE

    No matter how mature she may be for her age, she is still a child with few life experiences except dealing with an alcoholic mother. And alcoholics don't suddenly become NOT alcoholics; even if she managed to quit drinking, alcoholism and it's reasons and resulting issues are still there.

    Unless you and/or Dad have said or done something you're not telling us, it just doesn't make sense that the cause of all this is anything but angry, alcoholic, smirking Mom. Where else could this sudden change have come from?

    She's dealing with a heck of alot at her age; you really can't have any idea...and many children of alcoholics become "mature" beyond their years as they "care-take" the alcoholic, often losing their own childhoods in the experience.

    I think you are wise to keep in touch with her and let her know you are there for her...then let her make a move when she is ready and feels safe about it. Someday she will tell you all that has gone on.

    Just don't retaliate with the same silent treatment you find hurtful; that would be just as childish and make Mom ecstatic!

    Hang in there, even if you can't press the legal issue; obviously there is more going on than you know. Good luck.

  • 08-20-2008 2:01 PM In reply to

    • MCHCF2
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    • Posts 9

    Agree [=|=] re: CLOE

    I truly appreciate your posts, What you say is oh so true and holds out the hope I need to keep a positive outlook on the communication attempts. Nope, everything I've told is all there is...relevant details, otherwise I could go on forever! Thanks again.
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