I told my husband to leave about 7 weeks ago after some inconsistent living and not living w/ us. Once he left, he said he wouldn't do anything (pay child support or see his daughter) until a judge orders it. So I filed divorce papers. Now, our daughter hasn't seen him at all or spoke to him in 7 weeks. The initial two weeks were tough, but we got through them with some extra discipline. However, last week he finally asked me to have her call him. So of course, I called him and made sure he answered before telling our daughter anything (short and sweet convo, nothing serious). This was just as she was laying down to bed and the next two and a half days were absolute hell (it was a wed - the weekend we did a camping trip and swam all weekend so she was distracted and spoiled). Now a week later, after not asking about her again all week, he requested she call him daily. I ignored it like he didn't even ask. She doesn't ask about him (other than the occasional, "is daddy coming home", but that's the extent and it doesn't trigger any lengthy conversation or requests or anything). I tried telling him that consistency is key with a child, but he doesn't understand. He refuses to see that he actually effected her last week by talking to her. So now, if she does call every day and he doesn't answer, what am I suppossed to tell her? What effect will it have on her behavior? I can't let her hurt another kid at daycare after talking to him. Daycare knows what's going on and is trying to help, but there's only so much she can do. How do I get him to understand consistency or her to cope better with talking to him on an inconsistent basis? I don't want to deny his parenting rights, but looking out for her well being, without the consistency, I don't see how it's good for her to talk to him at all if she's doing great without.
I have to add that her father was not around much prior to divorce stuff starting. We were separated for a yr when our daughter was 2 and she saw him almost every other weekend, but it was always inconsistent and she has always been good with change. And even when we were living together he would go out with his friends or work late or whatnot very often so I was always the major parenting figure. He finally started being in her life more the past 6 months, but she still never got used to it. We did our first family vacation and we noticed that whenever she needed something, she didn't even realize he was there unless someone told her to ask him for something and even then sometimes she'd just give up asking for whatever instead of asking him.
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