Mother making child feel guilty


#1

I think you have a good grasp of what is going on. The daughter enjoys being around you and her father but feels guilty that she is in some way betraying her mother when she expresses this. Mother obviously feels competitive with you all and is also resentful. Here are my questions/suggestions:

  1. Do they have an official custody arrangement that spells out visitation/custody? If so, she should not be planning activities during her ex’s time.
  2. The pre-teen is old enough that her dad can speak to her about it being ok to enjoy time at both parents houses.
  3. Don’t put her on the spot when you call her at mom’s house and ask her if she enjoyed her weekend. She has a great deal of loyalty to mom (and dad) and doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.
  4. Consider counseling. It sounds as though she feels very conflicted about the divorce and how to relate to her parents.
  5. Is it worth pursuing more custody or modifying custody?
    Hopefully she will realize more when she gets older but it is important to communicate now. It is normal for daughters to side with mom but mom should not be attempting to alienate her from dad. This is very serious.

#2

The first step I would recommend is that you get some consistent visitation in place. It does not sound like there is a set custodial schedule. If you get the expectations in place then both parties may be less tempted to manipulate the children. You can do this by negotiating an agreement between them and putting it into writing. I would suggest you try this first. If they are unable to agree on a schedule, the next step would be to file a lawsuit for custody. During the litigation process they will each go to court ordered mediation and a parenting class if they cannot work it out. The parenting class may be a good tool to make the mother realize what type of damage her behavior may be doing to her daughter.

I also believe it is important that you let the daughter know that you will love her no matter what. This will help ease her guilt and make her day to day life much easier. I wish you the best of luck.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Voice: 704.307.4600
Main Fax: 704.943.0044

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax

ROSEN.COM

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


#3

[quote]Originally posted by mal
[br]I think you have a good grasp of what is going on. The daughter enjoys being around you and her father but feels guilty that she is in some way betraying her mother when she expresses this. Mother obviously feels competitive with you all and is also resentful. Here are my questions/suggestions:

  1. Do they have an official custody arrangement that spells out visitation/custody? If so, she should not be planning activities during her ex’s time.
  2. The pre-teen is old enough that her dad can speak to her about it being ok to enjoy time at both parents houses.
  3. Don’t put her on the spot when you call her at mom’s house and ask her if she enjoyed her weekend. She has a great deal of loyalty to mom (and dad) and doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.
  4. Consider counseling. It sounds as though she feels very conflicted about the divorce and how to relate to her parents.
  5. Is it worth pursuing more custody or modifying custody?
    Hopefully she will realize more when she gets older but it is important to communicate now. It is normal for daughters to side with mom but mom should not be attempting to alienate her from dad. This is very serious.

I do agree that this is very serious because she is trying to alienate her from her father. We are currently with an Atty but, nothing ever seems to go fast in this process. They went to mediation and that was a flop. The mother will not agree on anything at all. She does not want her to be with him. I truly think out of spite of things. And she was the one that had an affair with a minor and I mean that of a 20 year old that she is now engaged too. So, you would think that if she were happy she would be glad to share their child. Since she caused the mess that happened. We are now asking for the weekend and since there is nothing through the court yet she has now put her daughter up to calling us and saying she does not want to come. This is very upsetting to her father. I know that the minor child wants to be loyal to both parents but, she is confused and does not want to make her mother mad. Oh if we could just get something through the courts.


#4

If you have been to court ordered mediation and that has failed your next step would be to set a court date so you can have a Judge hear this issue. If you have not filed a lawsuit yet and you cannot agree on a schedule, I would recommend you file a lawsuit so you can get this situation resolved.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Voice: 704.307.4600
Main Fax: 704.943.0044

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax

ROSEN.COM

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


#5

I am having trouble now with my boyfriends daughter that when she is with us she has a great time. She laughs, plays, enjoys all that we have to offer. There are many times she does not want to go back because she is having fun. The problem happens when she goes back to her mother’s her whole demur changes. When she calls us she tells us she did not really have any fun while she was with us. Then she is snippy, and some what rude on the phone. This only seems to take place once she goes back to her mothers. It is as if she does not want her mother to know that she has a good time with us at all. She wants to please her mother and does not want to cross her in anyway. I know that she feels caught in the middle but the mother has not only done this at one time. This contiunes on and on. She plans things on our weekend so, the daughter does not want to go with us. She does not want her to spend time with her father. It is very upsetting to see a father that actually wants to spend time with his preteen daughter and can not even get too. Her mother dictates everything. And the daughter does not want to cross her. Help? How can we make this better for the child? We have gone so much to say to the child and the mother that when the daughter wants to really see her father then have her call. But, what else is there? If you make her then both of them get attitudes. I think that later in life the daughter will realize what damage this is causing but, it will be too late. Her mother has way too much control of her mind and feelings. We are not sure what to do to help.