A Problem Shared: My Son Deserves A Better Dad


A Problem Shared Childcare Rights & Responsibilities | by | 17th Jun 2016

FP_APS_Dad Son Deserves a Better Dad

Dan from Merthyr Tydfil wonders if he should let his ex’s new boyfriend bring up his child in order to give him a better chance in life. He thinks his ‘son deserves a better dad’.

I’ve got a 2 year old boy, Matthew, who lives with my ex girlfriend and I get to have him every other weekend and once in the week.  I live with my Mam and he loves coming to stay. However, I’m still at college and don’t have much money. Now my ex has moved in with her boyfriend. He seems alright, he’s older than me and he’s got a car and a job and can probably be a much better Dad than me. I think my son deserves a better dad.

I feel I should stop seeing my son and let him think that Stacey’s boyfriend is his real Dad to give him a better chance in life. They seem happy together and he can give Matthew all the things that I can’t.  It breaks my heart to think of losing my son but cos I love him I think it’s the right thing to do now whilst he’s young enough.

I never had a Dad and I want him to have some stability.  It’s a really hard decision to make but I don’t want to mess up Matthew’s life, so please help.

Our FamilyPoint advice to Dan…

Hi there,

Thanks for getting in touch with us, it sounds like you’re really struggling to work out what is the best option for your son Matthew with regards to your role in his life. It is obvious that you want the best for your son.

You seem to have a strong bond with your son. You have given him love and stability by being in his life since he was born.  You mentioned that you didn’t have a dad, I imagine this might have been painful for you at times and when you had your son, perhaps you made a commitment to be there for him in a way your father wasn’t or couldn’t be.

It would be a shame to end a loving relationship with your son or no longer play a part in his life. If you were to stop contact with him, it would also mean he might lose contact with your mum, his grandmother. Children can never have too many people who love and care for them and it is important for them have good relationships with their families wherever that is possible.

If you did decide to stop contact with Matthew, he might spend his life wondering why his dad and grandmother disappeared.  If you make the decision to withdraw now but change your mind in the future this could be very difficult for Matthew to understand and accept.

I imagine it might be difficult to think of another man playing a parental role in your son’s life, though this may get easier over time.

You mentioned that he’s older, has a job and a car, and that you think he can probably be a better dad than you.  However, it isn’t material things that make a good dad, it’s consistent love and care-giving throughout a child’s life, all of which you seem to have given since Matthew was born.

You also need to consider that the relationship between your ex and her new partner might not last and he might not always be in Matthew’s life.  It is more important for Matthew to know that he has people who are there for him all the time, regardless of what else happens in their lives.

It is very common now for children to live apart from one of their parents and to grow up with a step-parent.  Research and work done with children in step-families suggests that continuing relationships and contact with the non-resident parent is very important.

Here are couple of sites you might find useful:

Coping With Life as a Separated Dad

Family Lives – Advice if you don’t live with your children

Families Need Fathers – Families Need Fathers is an organisation for parents and grand-parents who feel they are being pushed out of their child/ren’s lives. This does not seem to be the case with your situation, however, you may still find some of the content useful.

I hope our response is helpful. Please do come back to us if you need any further help.

The FamilyPoint Team

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