scared of his daddy

by Alexxa S.
(arlington, va )

I'm not sure where to begin. I feel so helpless but I'm wondering if I'm the only single mother out there with this problem? My 15 month old son is scared of his father. He is an extremely friendly child and loves to be around people to the point that it worries me that he will walk off with a stranger (a story for another day).

However, he is scared of his dad. He starts to cry the second he sees him. My son's father and I are just now beginning to work on a relationship, but we went through the whole custody battle when our son was an infant (2 months to be exact) and like many women in this situation, I took my lawyer's advice despite what my heart and my morals were telling me.

I stopped all visitation since we did not have a court agreement and I was not certain that I would get my son back at the end of the visit. My son's father did not see him for a good 2 months or so.

Once visitation started back up, whenever he would pick him up from my house, he would cry bloody murder and he was just a few months old. He has spent consecutive days at his father's house, and over a year later, he still has the same reaction.

I have seen them together and I have to say I don't see anything that his dad could be doing wrong. Granted, he is not as affectionate as I am, but he's a man. All I see is that he tries so hard to be a part of his life, to be his friend, to get our son to like him.

I'm afraid that his dad will give up and stop coming around him altogether. He feels like his presence stresses our son out. I'm not sure how to help my son get over the fear of his dad. His dad even spends the night in our house, in order for our son to see him on a regular basis--to wake up to him and to go to sleep with him.

I have even backed off and let his dad take care of everything when he is around i.e bath time, feedings, putting him to bed and nothing! Do I need professional help, or patience and lots of prayer?

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Apr 09, 2009
scared of his daddy
by: Anonymous

Aside from his father being the disciplinarian, and perhaps not being as loving and tender as I am, (when I'm around) I don't see him mistreating him. His father does annoy easily and I'm beginning to think my son can sense that he and I are just not working out, that there is tension between us.

If I'm around, my son only wants to be with me. I try so hard to involve him in everything I do with our son, but he feels left out when our son cries simply because he doesn't want his dad around.

I mean he cries at the sight of him, he could be walking by and he begins to cry. I don't know if they are both in a way trying to compete for my attention and my son sees him as a threat or he simply does not like him and no matter what we do we can't change it.

He has a good daddy, I see that he has a lot more patience than I do at times, but I can't get them to bond. You are right, sometimes we can learn a huge lesson from our children.

Your situation worries me a little because your son is able to articulate his feelings better and is still afraid of his father, and you have been through therapy and it hasn't helped, then maybe it's time to sit back, analyze the situation and pray about it.

There is something missing, and sometimes emotional abuse can be more harmful than physical abuse. Here is a great article that helped shed some light on the power we have over our children's mental stability when it comes to having a good relationship with your spouse. I hope it helps you, as it did me.

Apr 09, 2009
by: angel

Children are really clever and we don't always know the exact reason for their behaviour. My husband and I are going through marital problems, but we are not fighting in front of the children.

We have 2 kids, aged 4 and 6. Our son and I are very close and he avoids any contact with his dad. I cannot see why he would be so scared of his dad, but he is.

His dad tends to be very strict on him and will jump up and give him a smack when he misbehaves. Sometimes I feel it is totally unnecessary, but I try not to interfere unless I feel it is called for to say something. I will not tolerate abuse of any sort towards my children. The psychologist told me that our son is very afraid of his dad.

My family dislikes my husband entirely and they feel I don't see his mistakes etc., etc.
The point I am trying to get across is that children know and see what we as parents do not want to see. Take care.

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