The Friday before Thanksgiving, my son’s father was supposed to pick him up for the thanksgiving break (we are not together). Everything seemed fine except he was 2 hours late with no communication to let me know. On Sunday morning, I got a call at 5:30 am, telling me my son was with a police officer, and I needed to get him right away. I was told the dad went to the police station, leaving my ten years old alone at 3 or 4 am, and he told the police station he was having extreme suicidal thoughts and was a harm to himself/others. The dad was then transported to the hospital while an officer went to his house to sit with my son until I got there. I walked in, and the house was not in very good condition. There were small walkways and one spot on either couch to sit with piles of junk and things thrown all over the house. The toilet was brown, cups randomly on the floor; the sink was full of crusty dishes; you could hardly see the floor in my son’s room. I realize this is a sign of depression, and I am so glad he got help. I understand this because I’ve worked in behavioral health for a long time, so I am understanding. But my son even said he gets tired of it being that way with nowhere to play or walk and his dad had been talking about death to him… my question is, what is your opinion? I feel if dad is unstable, my son should not be alone/stay overnight with him. I do not want to keep him away from his dad and will meet him anywhere to see him or take him to his family’s house. I think dad should take time for himself to get his mind and his home in decent condition. I’ve spoken to the attorney general & I am honestly afraid for my son’s safety. He was left alone with no phone, no neighbors he knows, he was lucky the cops got there before he woke up, or he would have been so afraid. And apparently, his dad leaves him alone a lot. He doesn’t know where he’s going & no phone to contact anyone. I’ve talked to my son about it all, and he isn’t fond of his dad anyways because he is a wishy-washy, in and out of his life type of parent, but this incident has made him very scared. I feel in my heart I know what’s right to do, but I am curious about what other people think. Am I fair? How long would you wait until you let your son go back there? Dad gets very angry very quickly & I don’t want to out him. I just want him to get his mind and home better and feel until I have proof those things are stable, that he should not be alone with him. There are way too many tragic stories that occur due to things like this, and I don’t think I could handle it if something happened to my son. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
How is this even a question? Your job as a parent is to protect your child. If the father is living in scum why would you let your child stay there? If the father admitted he wants to kill himself or hurt others why would you put your child alone with him? Keep your son far away until he seeks help and proves he’s fit to be in your child’s life.
Take pictures if you can of them conditions. Also limit visitation to supervised visits and no overnights until you feel or the judge feels he is fit. Get your son a cell phone.
I’m so sorry.
My kids dad was on meth. I get this is different but kinda not. What I did was, 1, I never spoke against their dad to them. I made excuses such as, daddy doesn’t feel good, daddy isnt home etc. 2, I NEVER kept my kids from him. Instead I told him he had to come to my house to be supervised. Your son is your main concern. Period.
You’re right to be concerned and your son really shouldn’t be left alone with his father until he’s PROVED he has changed.
Your instincts are spot on. Right now your son’s dad needs time to get his life right and supervised visits with someone you are comfortable is completely reasonable. He has made the first step by seeking help but as I am sure you know it isn’t a simple fix. I don’t remember if you said how old your son is but if he is old enough allow him to be part of the decision as to how and when he sees his dad and get your custody arrangements updated to reflect the recent developments so he can’t take you to court later for not sticking to the agreement.
Honestly this is sad to hear and I’m so sorry. If that was my son, I wouldn’t let him go if I was scared for his safety. Mommas know best. Hope the dad gets the help he needs. And another thing, listen to your so too. He has as much an opinion and if he doesn’t want to go, he shouldn’t have to. Much love and best wishes.
Do not let him have your son unsupervised. He could hurt your son or do something stupid when your son is there.
First of all I think some counseling for your son would do him some good. Especially if dads been expressing his mental health issues to him.
Second, file for an emergency hearing. I agree if he isnt in the mental state to understand leaving a child alone in the middle of the night isnt okay then he doesnt need to have him unsupervised
Glad he got help. Maybe supervised visits once he gets on the mend and gets on meds and fixes his life up. And be supportive to your ex it will make all the difference
I think you’ve handled the situation very well. You’re correct, until he can prove he is mentally stable and has a clean house, then your son should not be alone with him. Gosh knows what can happen
Take it to court . If he was comited it should be able to prove the child should have supervised visit but not left alone… I’d call a court or DCFS… and get some advice
I also work in mental health .Specifically with children…you have to think what’s in the best interest of the child…his safety comes first…you cannot worry about hirting dads feelings…and truth be told…dad is probably in another state of mind that he probably wont give to much thought about anyone else…and thats ok…dad sought help he knew that your son should not be in his presence . You and dad are your sons voice…your older…you know better son doesnt and right now its on you…not that it should be…but dad cant do it right now…kiddos safety and well being come first…
Dad needs to get help and then you can re-evaluate custody. A judge would have no issue giving you sole custody after this incident.
I’m glad he got help but he also left your child unattended…he needs to prove he is going to be stable. Until then, try and get supervised visitation. Especially with him talking about death to your child.
My husband works in behavioral health as well & we both agree ,you’re spot on feeling uneasy, etc with it all.
He stated you should have documentation of everything (photos of living conditions, etc) and get it on paper- Dad needs to be in therapy/some sort of help, if its meds=he has to stay on them,supervised visits w/specific times and locations ((especially if you’re not the supervisor)).
If it continues going well, keep you son in the loop between you and him…ask him after X amount of time w/ the new parenting scenario if he feels more comfortable & go from there.
Keep your son safe with you until his dad gets this straightened out and there is proof he is stable. He needs to get his mind right and his house clean. No child should ever be put in that position.
Ask your son what he wants
Don’t let your son stay with him until he his healed. Suicide is such a dark place and so hard to overcome. Your ex is strong otherwise he would be gone.
I would take it back to court. Ask for sole custody. Then it’s up to you if you stop contact till your son is 16 years old or until you son is 18 years old.