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Thread: Bad father vs. not knowing father?

  1. #1

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    Bad father vs. not knowing father?

    I am the single mother of a 13 month old son. His dad has only seen him three times and that was before he was even two months old. Then his dad disappeared and went to prison about 3 months after disappearing. For the first five months he was in prison he didn't make any contact with us. I sent him a letter, so as not to lose track of him when he got out. He is getting out this month and wants to see his son. My question is: Do I let him see my son knowing that he will probably be the kind of father who comes and goes as he pleases and who will probably be in and out of my son's life for the rest of his life (He has a past drug problem and I don't see him staying sober for more than a few months at a time), or do I not let him see our son at all. Is it worse to have a father who's not consistent or to not know your father at all? Thus far, my son has had a well rounded life with positive male role models i.e Grandpa and Uncles. Any advice or personal experiences are truly appreciated




     


  2. #2
    Platinum Member Dako's Avatar
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    That's a good question.

    I usually think a young man should know his father, but sometimes I wonder.

    When my brother's son was about 14, he wanted his father in his life quite badly. He tried to get me to help him arrange a visit since his father never showed an interest in his kids from day one.
    He'd developed an image of his father as a wonderful caring man who was kept away by a controlling evil wife, a fantasy that wasn't true at all.
    His need for a father was filled by an imaginary hero. When he finally met his father years later, he was quite disappointed.

    A good friend of mine adopted his wife's sons, who were fathered by an alcoholic felon and deadbeat. They were kept away from him and seem more attached to their stepdad.

    BTW, Welcome to the forum!
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    Gold Member glegend's Avatar
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    A child should always know who their father is. However I think you might be better off by not letting your kid know who his father is. I have a little cousin shes like 3 or 4 and she doesn't know who her dad is. Her dad came here on business started an affair with my aunt and got her pregnant, told her that he has a family back home, they went to get an abortion but in the end my aunt kept the kid. The kid is now 3 or 4 maybe 5. She doesn't know who her father is. There is so much love for that kid from everyone. But her dad wants nothing to do with her. All my cousin knows is her daddy doesn't love her mommy to be together and that is why her daddy lives in another country.
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  4. #4
    This is a very good topic, best one I've read in this area so far.

    I honestly believe your son would be better off without him. You will save him a lot of heartache in the future, I guarantee you. How would you feel if your mom or dad came in out of your life? It wouldn't feel so good. I think your best bet would be to stay strong for him and be there for him always. You can take care of him on your own, it's not like his father will be financially supportive anyway, and I doubt that he could ever be emotionally supportive because of the drugs. Follow your heart on this one, because there will be a lot of opinions on this topic, but do what you feel is best.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member avman's Avatar
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    Why not try a little supervised visitation to see what the father does? If he has perhaps learned a lesson in prison (some people do) then maybe he will try harder to be a decent father.

    If he hasn't, well you will find that out rather quickly and then you can make decisions about restricting visitation.

    Certainly I wouldn't let him be with the child unsupervised.
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  7. #6
    Silver Member Fisch's Avatar
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    Bringing a father like that into a child's life can cause the child to emulate the fathers behavior when they are older. Exposing your kid to healthy romantic relationships, and having his number 1 male role model as someone admirable is the best thing for his future. On the other hand, every kid deserves to know his father. Most cases where women pick "bad men" or guys cant commit to relationships have parents who are gone, are not exposed to healthy romantic relationships, or have parents who exhibit emotionally unhealthy behavior. *Note I am not a professional, but I am a short term counselor, and I know a lot of psych folk
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    Platinum Member flower99's Avatar
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    personally I believe a child should always know who is father is. Even if it is just occasional visits.(As long as he is not abusive.) Your child will ask one day about his dad. how can you say you wouldn't let his dad see him.
    Fathers aren't someone you can just wish away and hope your child will forget about them. And as long as you have positive male influences and raise your child well, your child will be okay.
    That's how i feel anyways....and my sons father is similar to yours. not a good influence or addict as well, in & out of his life.(I'm praying for him) but I believe my boy should know who he is. They have a 'friendship' type relationship. My son tries to teach him right from wrong at times (: it's cute. But for a father figure my son looks to my bf who has been around 2.5 years & grandpa & uncles because they are consitent.

    He's only 5 but he's a wonderful happy boy. It's not easy by any means to keep the dad involved...It's a hard, but I think it's the right thing. This child was a blessing to both of you. You are definitely the better influence, no question... but don't cut the dad out.
    my friend has 2 children 2 dads And she believes no father is better than bad father. From what I've seen from her & her children. I really don't recommend it.
    Last edited by flower99; 08-08-2007 at 02:04 AM.
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    Bronze Member lovelyc's Avatar
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    Personally, I think the father and child should be allowed to have a relationship. Although, he is not active within his life at the moment, he may be willing to make that effort once he is out of jail so it is only right for you to allow him to bond with his child. I say keep a positive outlook on it, especially if he wants to see his child, he has every right to do so UNLESS he is harming the child, which you haven't provided any evidence of other than him being absent during the beginning of the child's life. I understand that you feel that, he has enough male role models in his life, but if he changes his life once he is out of jail, that father-son bond is irreplaceable. Many mothers feel they have the right to restrict visitation but that is his child just as much as he is yours and if he is ready to make that step forward to see his child and be there for him (regardless of the past) then he deserves that.
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  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by lovelyc View Post
    Personally, I think the father and child should be allowed to have a relationship. Although, he is not active within his life at the moment, he may be willing to make that effort once he is out of jail so it is only right for you to allow him to bond with his child. I say keep a positive outlook on it, especially if he wants to see his child, he has every right to do so UNLESS he is harming the child, which you haven't provided any evidence of other than him being absent during the beginning of the child's life. I understand that you feel that, he has enough male role models in his life, but if he changes his life once he is out of jail, that father-son bond is irreplaceable. Many mothers feel they have the right to restrict visitation but that is his child just as much as he is yours and if he is ready to make that step forward to see his child and be there for him (regardless of the past) then he deserves that.
    That may be his son, but that doesn't give him the right to come in and out of his life when he pleases. He's either a "THERE" or "NOT". To me, there is no "OCCASIONAL MOM" or "DAD". If she feels he is capable of doing this, I think she should go with her heart, because she is more than likely right.

  11. #10

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    I do not know my father. It use to bother me. I know things about him and I have met one of my older brothers from his first marriage.
    The reason why I am now content to go the rest of my life not knowing my father is because I have a younger half brother. I had to watch him get torn up when his dad would go a year or two without being around, just to have him pop up and let him know things like....how good his life is with his new girlfriend and her kids (complete with picture of him and the two boys on his new motorcycle) or he'd come see him if my mother didn't expect him to pay "her" money. Every time, my brother would be upset. Then the guy came back into my brother's life when he was just starting art college on a scholarship. My mom lived an hour away from the school so my brother ended up living with his dad. He got my brother habitually smoking weed and when my brother's grades slipped and the money ran out, he moved away with one days notice leaving my brother homeless. Nice huh? He really needed to have that relationship with his dad!
    I now believe that a flaky parent is worse than no parent. I have a couple other friends who have flaky dads. In one case it is far worse than it was for my brother. My female friend lives in fear of her father's disapproval. When she does something he doesn't like, he stops talking to her for a stretch and she gets to feel abandoned all over again. If she tries to talk to him about how this makes her feel then and now, he tells her off AND refuses to let her visit at holidays. Some men are only good for sperm donation.

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