Annette Nay, PhD

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The Undermining of a Parent
Annette Nay, Ph.D.
Copyright 2008

Dear Annette,

I have been divorced for one year. My children really are handling it beautifully. I have a live in boyfriend that has really assumed the roll of provider and father. He is wonderful with them, teaching them things and such. My ex-husband does not pay child support, says bad things to the children about me and my boyfriend. He continues to try and cause problems with us. My boyfriend feels like he has no right to be a father due to his mental abuse, and inability to provide for his children. My children enjoy their time with him (my ex). Now my boyfriend feels like he needs to take a step back. He feels like these kids are his and they are being hurt by their dad. How do I resolve this. Do I take the kids away from their dad until he grows up? Will that end up blowing up in my face?



Dear Ticked,

I believe that the least amount of force is best. Attack the problem in steps. If the first does not work then take the next step.

Reason - Try to reason with your ex. Ask him to stop the bad-mouthing for the good of the children, as he is undermining your authority in which your children believe that they do not have to keep the house rules or listen to you. (Leave the boyfriend out of the situation as it will only serve to fuel your ex's desire for revenge. This is between him and you!) Go on to say that children need rules and boundaries to be safe and to grow up to be good people/citizens. For that reason, you both need to work together to provide a solid parental front.

Negotiate - Tell your ex that since he has refused to support you as a parent in the eyes of your children, that he has forced you to take steps to remove him from the picture. You should have no trouble in getting full custody and sever his parental rights to the children because of his behavior of demeaning you as a parent and for not providing support for them. You will take action if his behavior does not stop. Tell him if you find out that his behavior is still occurring, you will immediately start court proceedings against him. Tell him it is up to him, what will happens.

Take court action - Go to child and family court and plead your case!

The 2 biggest rules in dealing with anyone, especially your ex or your children:

  1. Setting Boundaries - Don't say thing that you are not willing to do.
  2. Be consistent! - Once you say it do not procrastinate. Follow through!

You cannot have your ex devalue you in the eyes of your children. If this happens the children do not feel they have to follow you and they will eventually run right over the top of you and they will reign in chaos.

See my article Taking Control of Your Family.

There will be repercussions from cutting off their father, but those problems will be nothing to the problems you will have if you cannot parent your children.

How To Get Your Child To Do What You Ask How To Get Your Child To Do What You Ask
by Annette Nay, PhD

Dr Nay's eBook is an informative parenting tool every parent should have to make the job of parenting easier and more effective.
Click the image for more information.


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