Posted by: FIO | 2009/06/24

Seperation Anxiety

My ex and I weere never marfried, but have a son who turns 3 in August. I have been fighting for mty rights as an unmarried father since the beginning, and finally things seem to be coming together legally.

Since birth I have been a father tomy son and looked after him regularly. Ex managed to use a Protection Order to keep him away from me for 5 months, but the court eventually threw her case out. Have my son back now.

Ever since I can remember, my son has always had trouble going back to his mom from me. He cries, fights, begs not to go back etc, even in front of her, and she literally has to pull him off me to take him away.

Had parents evening at his school last night, and he was a different child. Even the teacher commented onhow active and cheerful he was, how different he was with dad being around. When we were going through his work, ex did her best to exclude me from participation, but when it was myturn to go through work, I included her as much as piossible, but she ignored it, and even got up and walked away, with my son not being able to share the things we were all sharing.

When it came time to leave, in front of teacher and school principal he clung to me and begged not to go with mommy. Again she had to pry him from me, and then left with him crying his lungs out.

Is this considered normal, or is there reason to suspect something else is causing this trauma? Even when I left him with my sister for the day so she could hand him over to mom, I hoped the resistance would not be there, but it was, he begged not to go back to mommy.

When does one draw the line between Seperation Anxiety and other more serious problems?

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Our expert says:
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Its hard to guess the significance of your son's reluctance to return to his mom. Maybe in some way you have indicated to him that you are reluctant for him to go ; maybe he is not happy with her. Your example showing he was just as eluctant when going back to mom from your sister, suggests this is more a reluctance to be with mom than a reluctance to leave you. Is it possible to gently talk with him, at a neutral time, and early in his time with you, about WHY he doesn't want to go back to mom ? Ask what he most likes about beijng with mom, and what he most dislikes. IF the problem continues to suggest the possibility of something unpleasant happening there, maybe arrange for him to see a child psychologist who has ways to explore these things with him, without alarming him.

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Our users say:
Posted by: FIO | 2009/06/24

Thank. I encourage him all the time to go to mom, I do tings with him, draw pictures thatinclude her, collect fruit from the garden for him to give to her, you name it.

So I cannot think of anything I do wrong that would encourage him not to go toher. I do not enjoy seeing my son cry and go through this trauma each time, I do not enjoy sitting in the car driving him back listening to him begging me not to take him there. And he is no fool, and I will not pretend he is not going back only to shock him with our arrival there. I speak straight and openly withhim, even though he is still so young.

But I will definitely try asking him why, see if I can get any real answer from him.

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