Son questioning ethics of father


#1

This is a tough one. Not knowing of course the situation that led to your divorce here’s what I say. Your 13 yr old young man, going through adolesence and thinking about dating sees dad “dating” as well. This must be weird and awkward for him. His comment about his father not being around is more about your son’s feelings of abandonment than the fact that he left you for someone else.
While it is tempting to be critical of your ex and his behavior; this may come back to haunt you as well. If your ex is divorced why can’t he have more than one girl friend? Weren’t there times in your life when you dated more than one person at a time? I guess it all depends on what was involved with the “dating”. I am not suggesting you lie to your son or ignore his questions but it is important not to use this situation to turn him against his father. Since your ex’s dating life is his business perhaps it would be best to encourage your son to talk to his father and ask him these questions.


#2

I think this might be a question that is better answered by a mental health professional. I appreciate the difficult situation that you are in, because this situation does not have any great answers. From a legal perspective, I believe it is fine to respond to questions that your children ask in as neutral a way as possible, and in a way that shows that you do not agree with the behavior, but that is not accusatory of their father.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

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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

mal,

This child is no one’s fool. He also indicated that the “out in the open” girlfriend knows nothing of the “secret” girlfriend!! His father has told this child that he “has sex” with the overt girlfriend and not to worry, because the father has been “fixed”! And no. Even as a teenager,I did not “date” more than one at a time! Dating as an adult certainly is not the same category as a teenagers. Thanks.


#4

This comment/question is probably best listed in the parental issues forum instead of the legal one. I can understand your frustration with the situation. It is a delicate balance to instill your values into a child when the other parent is not living as you would. My advice is to be honest with any question he has, but stop short of critisizing the father because it will only make you look vindictive. If there are any questions that you cannot answer factually without putting the father in a bad light, tell your son that his father is a grown man and can make his own choices and although you don’t agree with them, you cannot “make” him behave as you would want him to. By handling it this way, you put responsibility back on the father. Live your life as a good example and although sometimes the high road is rocky and lonely at times, it will make things easier for your child. Remember your child is 1/2 his father. In my situation, my ex has done many things that has made me loose respect for him not only as a father but as a person in general, but my son (who is also 13) doesn’t need to be in the middle so I keep my opinions on his daddy’s behavior to myself unless he asks me directly about my opinion. Your son has asked for facts(“How many girlfriends did dad have…”). The best way to answer that would be to say, “Son, I don’t really know. That is something you’ll have to ask your father” Just keep neutral and be honest. Your son can form his own opinion. Which in his conclusion about why his father wasn’t “here” shows. From your previous posts I believe communication between yourself and your ex are strained, so mentioning to him that you feel it is detrimental to your son to talk of promiscuity would not help. Your ex may even be feeding this information to your son in hopes that it would get back to you. Right now, you can best teach by example.


#5

DO you and the ex get alone if so why don’t you the ex and son have a little sit down so your sons can ask their father this question in your presence, that way you can express how you feel about people being wiht more than one person and the ex can to and more than likley the ex will explain to his boys that its wrong and if hes exposing your children to several women thats something that might needs to addressed in court and needs to stop.


#6
quote:
[i]Originally posted by trbotina[/i] [br]This comment/question is probably best listed in the parental issues forum instead of the legal one. I can understand your frustration with the situation. It is a delicate balance to instill your values into a child when the other parent is not living as you would. My advice is to be honest with any question he has, but stop short of critisizing the father because it will only make you look vindictive. If there are any questions that you cannot answer factually without putting the father in a bad light, tell your son that his father is a grown man and can make his own choices and although you don't agree with them, you cannot "make" him behave as you would want him to. By handling it this way, you put responsibility back on the father. Live your life as a good example and although sometimes the high road is rocky and lonely at times, it will make things easier for your child. Remember your child is 1/2 his father. In my situation, my ex has done many things that has made me loose respect for him not only as a father but as a person in general, but my son (who is also 13) doesn't need to be in the middle so I keep my opinions on his daddy's behavior to myself unless he asks me directly about my opinion. Your son has asked for facts("How many girlfriends did dad have..."). The best way to answer that would be to say, "Son, I don't really know. That is something you'll have to ask your father" Just keep neutral and be honest. Your son can form his own opinion. Which in his conclusion about why his father wasn't "here" shows. From your previous posts I believe communication between yourself and your ex are strained, so mentioning to him that you feel it is detrimental to your son to talk of promiscuity would not help. Your ex may even be feeding this information to your son in hopes that it would get back to you. Right now, you can best teach by example.

I completely agree with this approach.


#7

My 13 year old son has been asking me some very tough questions. He has recently found out his father is seeing two women…his current girlfriend as well as the girlfriend who caused the breakdown of the marriage. He has asked such questions as “how many girlfriends did dad have while you were married”? He has also made the statement that the reason his father wasn’t “here” (in my house) is his father’s own fault. I have responded that I want my sons to grow up to be good men…that having girlfriends (plural), married or unmarried, is not the right way to go. I don’t know what else to say when this child’s moral values are being shaped at this time. Am I doing the right thing? I honestly cannot condone his father’s behavior…not when two sons are involved! Any advice would be greatly appreciated.