My 11 year is unhappy about my new relationship

Q: I’m the father of an 11-year-old girl. My wife died almost two years ago. I have recently started a new relationship with someone familar to my daughter (she has taken her shopping, babysat for her and so on before the relationship started), and my daughter is fond of her but since the start of … Continue reading My 11 year is unhappy about my new relationship

My violent ex-husband is seeking contact with our son

Q: I left a very unhappy marriage just under a year ago. My husband is a drinker and he can be aggressive and violent. I left with my son, who is now five, after an episode of violence that my son witnessed, and went to live with my mother. His father has not been in touch much … Continue reading My violent ex-husband is seeking contact with our son

My ex-wife is aggressive and I’m worried about my daughter

Q: I split up with my wife just over a year ago. Despite having lasted 10 years, it had been a very unhappy marriage. My wife constantly belittled me, and could be very aggressive and volatile towards me. Things went badly wrong after my daughter, who is now six, was born. My wife found parenting hard, and … Continue reading My ex-wife is aggressive and I’m worried about my daughter

How can I rebuild bonds with my 14 month old?

Q: I separated from my wife two years ago when my daughter was 14 months old. It was a difficult time, with a lot of conflict with my wife, and I did not see my daughter for a few months. About four months ago I got back into regular contact with my daughter through the courts, … Continue reading How can I rebuild bonds with my 14 month old?

I want to see more of my baby. What are my legal rights?

QUESTION I am a separated father and my daughter is 10 months old. My relationship with my ex-girlfriend ended, and then she discovered she was pregnant. Since my daughter was born, things have been difficult with my ex and she allows me to see my daughter for only one or two hours each week. I … Continue reading I want to see more of my baby. What are my legal rights?

My daughter resents my new partner

Q: I have been separated for just over three years and I have a nine-year-old daughter. She sees her dad about twice a week and the arrangement seems to work okay for everyone. I’ve recently started seeing someone new, and I’m worried that my daughter is not adapting well to the new situation. My new … Continue reading My daughter resents my new partner

My nine-year-old still sleeps in my bed.

Q. My nine-year-old son is still sleeping in my bed with me. He is an only child and his father left when he was three years old and, though he initially kept some contact, he has not seen his father now for a few years. Since that time he has more or less slept in the bed with me. I have tried many times to move him into his own bed, but he complains of being scared and always comes back in during the night.

I’m dreading my first Christmas as a separated dad

Q. My wife and myself separated last February. We had not been getting on for several years and I finally moved out and now live with my father. I thought things might improve with us living apart, but in fact they seem to have got worse and it has been very hard the past year for me to see my two boys (four and six). Through the court, I have been granted weekend access and once during the week.

Helping my child build a relationship with her absent father

Q. Could you provide guidance as to how to help my daughter, who is three and a half years old, deal with her dad re-entering her life after an absence of one year or so? We split up shortly after she was born and he had some contact limited to odd visits after that, before he moved away for a year or so for work.

Single Parenting my 3 year old

Q. I’m a single mum to a three-year-old boy. I’m also a mature student in college and lately I have noticed my son’s behaviour has changed and I’m wondering what the problem may be and what I can do to try to alleviate it. He is very outgoing and socially able but lately he is acting like a teenager and gets very cross and upset if he doesn’t get his own way. While I’m sure this is normal to some degree and he is only asserting himself, I feel his behaviour goes beyond this and I’m wondering is this something he is learning from me.

My daughter wants contact with her father whom she has never met

Q. I’m a single mum of a 13-year-old girl. I have always been very close to her until recently when she has become very moody and secretive. Myself and my mother, who has been very involved in bringing her up, put it down to “hormones” and being a teenager, but recently she has been asking a lot about her father, whom she has never met. To give you the background, I had a brief relationship with her father, who lives in the UK. He was married at the time I got pregnant and never wanted anything to do with me since.

How to explain their father’s alcoholism to teenagers?

Q. My ex-husband had and still has a strong dependence on alcohol. We live separately and generally have a good working relationship. But occasionally the children’s father phones and may be under the influence of drink and says out-of-hand things. How do I help the children (aged 15 and 13) deal with this as the incident may not be acknowledged again yet can upset them, particularly my 15-year-old son, who is striving to have a relationship with his dad?

Introducing my child to a new partner

Q. I read your answer recently about the right way and time to introduce a new partner into a child’s life, (Read it here) and it has led to renewed discussion about this issue with friends of mine who are also single mothers.

My boyfriend wants me to meet his daughter, Is it too soon?

Q. My boyfriend of eight months has a five-year-old daughter from a previous relationship. He separated from his ex 18 months ago and sees his daughter a few times a week. Our relationship is going well and the question has come up about meeting his daughter. He has her for a full six days at the end of the month and he was wondering if we could all go away somewhere together for part of this. I feel a bit nervous about meeting her and am wondering if there is any advice or tips you can give to make it go well.

My daughter is behaving badly since our separation

Q. I have recently separated from my husband after 10 years of marriage. We have an eight-year-old daughter who lives with me but sees her father every other day for an hour or so and she stays over one night a week with him. In the past couple of weeks, she has been really acting up and won’t do anything I tell her. I seem to be shouting at her all the time and it’s really upsetting. I feel like a bad mother that I can’t even control my own child. She seems to behave for everyone else and her father does not seem to be having the same problems.

My 13 year old daughter won’t accept discipline from my new partner

Q: I was a single mother for many years and then met a new partner four years ago. I have a 13-year-old daughter who was nine when she first met my partner. My partner has always been wonderful to my daughter and they get on great as a rule. However, she does not accept discipline from him and this causes lots of conflict particularly since she became a teen.

My son doesn’t want to see his dad

Q. I am recently separated from my husband and have been in the family law court five times trying to sort out access arrangements for our six-year-old son. The court granted an interim protection order against his father due to excessive alcohol consumption mixed with antidepressants, and his behaviour was very distressing to both our son and myself. Following a psychologist’s report, he was granted day access with supervised handover and return.

We’ve separated, How can I make their second house homely?

Q. My wife and I separated recently. There was no one else involved. We have two children (girls) aged eight and six. Both girls are happy where they live with an extensive network of friends. For practical reasons it was decided that I would move out of the family home. I have established myself in a new location about 10 minutes’ drive from the family home. My ex and I have decided that the children should stay with me on Wednesday and Saturday nights.

16 year old is very withdrawn and aggressive towards his mum

Q. I am writing to you because I am very concerned about my 16-year-old nephew who seems to have completely withdrawn from the world. His mother is a single parent and is really struggling with him. He spends the whole day in his room playing video games and does not go out or seem to have any friends. He sleeps funny hours and can be up most of the night in his room or watching TV downstairs and then sleeps for hours during the day. In the last school term he missed loads of days at school and seems to have effectively dropped out.