Social Question

fedupwitcaddys's avatar

Would I be wrong to keep my 6 yr old daughters dad out of her life for good?

Asked by fedupwitcaddys (417points) June 30th, 2011

My daughter really loves and thinks highly of her father. He treats her like an angel. The problem is he’s 30 yrs old, has a drinking problem and he’s not very active in her life. He visits but as far as support….there is none. Everytime he comes around he has a drink (bottle of vodka) in his hand. He drinks all day even while driving also and then wants to come pick her up. I refuse to let her ride with him while he’s under the influence so I have to take her to his home and sit there while he goes through his alcoholic stages and I’m tired. I believed a visit here and there is better than no contact at all because I still fault and kinda hate my dad for not being there, but I shouldn’t have to put up with his bull in the process aside of the fact that he can’t stay outta jail. My older childrens dad really doesn’t interact with her so she wonders why he doesn’t do all the things that he does with his kids with her. So I’m very confused because I don’t wanna be the cause of her not having a father in her life. I’ve asked him to get himself together for years now and he won’t do it. She even asked me if I could find her a daddy and I’ve run outta things to tell her. And if you say something negative about him shes gonna cry. So I’ve just about had it with him. Its even gotten to the point where I don’t wanna let him know where I live now. I just wanna do what’s right for the child

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9 Answers

athenasgriffin's avatar

Your first responsibility is to protect your child. It is more important than her feelings. Whatever decisions you have to make to do that are justifiable. However, if you have a custody agreement, than you can get into legal trouble if you do not abide by it. At the same time, you might want to temporarily not allow him to see her because he is not responsible.. Don’t decide now that you are never going to allow them to be together again.

I’m so sorry that you have to deal with this awful situation. It must be so hard on you. I remember my mother going through things like this when I was a child, and always admire her for holding things together on her own. You can get through this. It will get easier.

Carly's avatar

My dad wasn’t that bad, but he made a lot of dumb choices that my mother saw inappropriate. There were actually times when he was drunk and driving me around at night, and even as a child of 8 or 9 I knew it was wrong and I felt unsafe. Every time he did stupid and/or illegal things like that I just wanted to be somewhere safe – I always ended up calling my mom and she would pick me up early from his house.

But compared to your daughter, I eventually didn’t like my dad. I think at age 6 you’ll love anyone who doesn’t set rules for you, which he probably doesn’t because he doesn’t seem to be a rule follower himself. I think if you’re going to discontinue his presence in her life, do it temporarily. It might be for more than a year, but the more time away from his daughter, the more he might be willing to clean up—at least that’s what did it for my dad. But also, I’d tell her why you’re doing this, mainly, (and I would hope) it would be in fear of her safety. If you tell her you’re just tired of his BS, she probably wont like that, because she still likes him. But if you tell her that his drinking is dangerous, and that’s the reason she can’t see him, then she’ll probably understand and accept that more. I only say this because that argument would have worked better for me as a kid.

tedd's avatar

Its wrong to take her out of his life.

But it isn’t wrong to tell him he’s not seeing her until he cleans his act up. If you are the one in control or tasked with looking out for her well-being, its your decision if someone is a bad influence, and it sounds as though he is one at the moment.

He wants to be in her life, be thankful for that. But make it abundantly clear to him that you will not allow him to see her if he continues to be an alcoholic and fails to seek help for or mend his ways. Be as caring, but as blunt as you can. You don’t hate him, you’re worried about him, and more importantly about the effect his behavior will have on your daughter. Sometimes a kick of reality to the face is what people like that need.

(if you do it, make sure you follow through).

fedupwitcaddys's avatar

Thank you all…...very well understandable. I just hopes he’s willing to give it a try.

SpatzieLover's avatar

No you’re not wrong for controlling the influences around your daughter while you are raising her. You should be keeping a calendar/notes of his behavior so that it can be reported to the Courts if it comes to that.

wundayatta's avatar

It’s important to be in your child’s life. If you abandon your child, they will suffer from that for the rest of their lives. So if you keep him away, either she’ll feel abandoned by him and not understand, or she’ll blame you for it, and then take out her anger on you, or she could do both.

It’s also important to keep your daughter safe. She should not be driving in a drunk person’s car. She should not be in an unstructured environment.

I think you are doing as well as you can. You do have to drive her over and kind of supervise the visits. You may have to get a court order saying so. Also, don’t say anything negative about him. It’s better to encourage her to love him. He is her dad even if he doesn’t act like it. If you talk him down, it’ll backfire on you. She will learn, on her own, exactly what her father is like. You can take that to the bank.

It’s really tough, but sometimes bringing up a child requires us to do a lot of things we didn’t sign up for. And if you can encourage him to try to get off the sauce, maybe he’ll even try. Just don’t nag him. That’ll backfire, too.

marinelife's avatar

Look, you must control her exposure to him. If he is an alcoholic, he should not be allowed to see her unless he is sober.

I think that you will end up harming your relationship with her if you keep her from him.

She will see when she is older that he is not reliable and responsible. let her learn it through her own experiences. Don’t badmouth him.

YARNLADY's avatar

Petition the court to order supervised visits, so they can assign someone to deal with it, and you won’t have to.

Ron_C's avatar

You are between a rock and hard place. The only way to get an alcoholic to change his ways is for him to want to change them. You can, as others have suggested, demand that he clean up his act before you allow visits. Or, you can continue to enable his responsible behavior by acting your child’s driver and bodyguard. If you ask me, being a mother is enough work, you don’t need two more jobs.

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