MENZ Issues: news and discussion about New Zealand men, fathers, family law, divorce, courts, protests, gender politics, and male health.

Encouraging fathers to stay in touch

Filed under: General — JohnPotter @ 10:03 am Tue 30th January 2007


Is there any support out there for women, like myself, who have no success in encouraging the father of a child to stay in touch with the child?

The father of my daughter has literally manifested this lie that I refuse to let him see her. He ignores his own daughters messages to call her and to stay in touch.

He believes that if she wants to visit him then she will call, yet he is the adult! He usually contacts her for her birthday and Christmas, which I know is more than some children receive, but there’s the part missing in the middle that he takes no responsibility for.

I wholeheartedly support those fathers who struggle with access to their children and feel that the system fails them immensely. I feel that our situation is, to a degree, equally frustrating.

Kind regards

Hello F. You ask:

Is there any support out there for women, like myself, who have no success in encouraging the father of a child to stay in touch

As far as I know, there is no support for the situation you describe. In New Zealand, the majority of interventions into families are aimed at removing fathers, not encouraging them!

The fact that some men do refuse to accept responsibility for their child is often raised by feminist activists in response to men demanding equal shared parenting, and while the implied connection is is completely illogical, it is a legitimate grievance in my opinion, and could benefit from some kind of social intervention.

In an ideal world, perhaps there might be a network of men’s support groups (funded on similar levels to Woman’s Refuge), who could run programs to help fathers where relationship disconnections have happened.

The father of my daughter has literally manifested this lie that I refuse to let him see her.

You sound like you’re pretty angry with him, so I would imagine he is feeling rather angry/hurt towards you as well, and will no doubt have his own story about you which paints you somewhat less than saintly! When their world falls apart, many men need to withdraw into their emotional cave for a while until the wounds heal somewhat, and if they feel under continued pressure this can be prolonged.

In some cases I have known, the level of emotional aggro around parenting is just so high that it becomes damaging to the child, and one parent withdrawing seems to be the only sensible option. I find that pretty sad though.

Regardless of who did what to who during the relationship or since, both of you need to learn to put those feelings aside when your daughter’s interests are concerned. You could consider hiring a professional mediator with a view to working out a detailed parenting plan – but I’m afraid the only one I can recommend works from Sydney.

there’s the part missing in the middle that he takes no responsibility for.

If only he knew, he is missing out on what for me personally has been my most rewarding life experience. Felicity and I have just returned from tramping Stewart Island’s NW circuit track with our 12-year-old daughter Judith, a challenging but deeply satisfying achievement for all of us. I’ve been the primary caregiver in Judith’s life since Felicity began to return to work when she was a six weeks old. When you spend large amounts of time with a child (the “part in the middle” you refer to) – you get to know them inside out, and you develop a powerful bond. Sharing the development of a unique human being on ongoing basis is just awe-inspiring, as all of us hands-on-fathers discover.

If your daughter’s father ever reads this, I genuinely wish that he can get through the pain he is feeling about the relationship break-up and seize the opportunity to enjoy a relationship with her. And I hope you can do the same, and that the two of you can eventually develop a workable parenting relationship.


  1. Dear F.
    I empathise with your anguish. You are doing the right thing. Has he no male friends who could possibly sit down with wim and explain the hurt he is causing to the one he loves, and who loves him. Maybe these friends could invite him over one afternoon, and let him find his daughter there? The first time I met my son post separation I was terrified, but it settled into an arrangement where I had custody. It can be done, please keep trying

    Comment by Alastair — Tue 30th January 2007 @ 10:23 am

  2. F – I can pass you onto two mumswho have had to deal with this. They may be able to offer some support.

    Email me [email protected] for further details.

    Comment by Jim Nicolle — Tue 30th January 2007 @ 10:54 am

  3. Thank you for your feedback. I can honestly say that I’m not angry. It is merely frustrating and this has been going on for over 4 years now. Unfortunately, the father decided to stay with another woman. The hurt has been worked through and I consciously worked at my situation without any of the bitter battles that children are so often caught up in.

    Our daughter spent a weekend with her daddy in January, March and October 2006. Two visits were initiated by her, the October visit being in response to a Fathers Day card. She hadn’t heard from her daddy for 8 months, part of which time he was on holiday overseas and we knew nothing about it.

    It would help if my ex husband’s partner showed respect towards my daughter and myself, as comments are made that are somewhat inconsiderate.

    What else is there to be done in order to encourage the father? The irony is that the father may now been seeking full or part-time custody.

    I homeschool and I am a Christian. This combination has created many myths about my mental health and the wellbeing of our daughter and has included phone calls to some of my friends and family who for some time were uncertain of me.

    I can give thanks for the strength and confidence I have gained and the fantastic relationship I have with our daughter.

    Thank you for ‘listening’ 🙂

    Comment by F — Tue 30th January 2007 @ 12:04 pm

  4. F,

    I promote and live the value of **Equal** Parenting limited only by NZ Law and Social Policy.

    I like to hear BOTH sides of the story before making any moves to advise iether of the way ahead – Kids as well if poss

    If you be an aucklander come join us at **Bacon Sandwiches** some time – You will find the detail on my website under resources – Not that I promote Committee type guidence but you will meet someone who you can choose to help you – Have a look at the **NZ-FATHERS-Coalition** part of my website under **McKenzie Coalition** for others who may help you – Or simply send me an E-mail and contact details for BOTH of you.

    More than happy to get any Kid **Equal** Parenting if you are for real

    Your X – your Childs DAD would be far from the first MUM/DAD that I have encourged into their value to their Kids as **Equal** Parents

    Onward – Jim

    Comment by Jim Bailey — Tue 30th January 2007 @ 12:33 pm

  5. Thanks Jim.

    Yes, I am for real. I believe that your input would be welcomed by my daughter’s dad, but perhaps as another avenue to tear me down.

    I have been open and honest. We suffered because of his affair and
    my daughter’s dad has not bothered as he should, it’s that simple. You don’t know me, and I understand your need to hear both sides. What a time waster I would be however, to tell you just what I want you to hear. I’d be lying to myself (and indeed you) instead of experiencing the peace that I know.

    If it comes down to the Family Court then they can decide whether our daughter is in a position to be uprooted from the stability that she has known these past four years. Hopefully, her dad will do what is best for our daughter.

    I don’t live in Auckland, but thank you for the invitation.

    Kind regards.

    Comment by F — Tue 30th January 2007 @ 2:32 pm

  6. My kids too are aching to have a decent relationship with their Dad. Unfortunately he has an abusive and controlling new partner who is intent on “pussy whipping” not only him but me and our kids. She needs to be in total control of us all and obviously when that comes to abusing me and our kids I have to protect them. He is so weak he won’t. So the kids and I carry on and suffer the indignities she (with his permission) heaps upon us. Don’t have any faith in the Family Court to sort it they are so biased to males and us as just silly slaves they will not assist in any way once again leaving us in the desert of poverty, iondignity, lack of respect and factual inaccuracy… not to mention such delays that it is all inconsequential. All we can do is raise our sons to be better men.

    Comment by k.lauderdale — Wed 31st January 2007 @ 12:54 am

  7. Goodonya Jim for not taking sides. For I’m sure these Dads who’re being painted as bad guys also have their side of the story to tell. Then you get a much more complete picture of the real situation instead of shameful rushing to rescue women claiming victimhood, of which you and I have more than ample evidence exist in many quarters.

    Comment by Stephen — Wed 31st January 2007 @ 2:02 am

  8. Stephen et Al,

    Great articles **Re-Victimhood** in Glenn Sacks latest E-NewsLetter up on my E-Group

    Onward – Jim

    Comment by Jim Bailey — Wed 31st January 2007 @ 5:04 am

  9. Janet-L,

    Your pain is blinding you to the fact that Kids need **Equal** doses of Mum and DAD from conception – A Solo attempt at parenting all to often leads to maladjusted adults – This may not show for many years and may well be hidden by attractive smiles and charming responces but don’t kid yourself our Jails – CYFS – FC and other bureacratic edifices are full of Solo Parented adults who grow the damage to our nation – Women becoming destructive Femi-Fascists the men becoming pink tinged endorses of Femi-Fascism and the not so charming becoming blatant crimes

    Come talk – Onward – Jim

    Comment by Jim Bailey — Wed 31st January 2007 @ 5:17 am

  10. F and k.lauderdale,

    I am glad you are commenting.

    If the men’s movement had of been able to get shared parenting in Governement policy and law years ago
    shared parenting

    we would all be in a better position because they would be educating both men and women to work together as parents. They would be helping families and not destroying them. They would be helping us and not hindering us to raise our children well.

    F, you neeed to something and fast as the father makes the daughter feminine in the first 7 years of her life. If he is not around you most likely will have a tom boy. Daddies fuss over their little princesses and they feel secure and the list goes on. Maybe if you bought a book or hired one from the library on this and just sent it to him with a note saying, “I never knew how important you were” or something of that effect and offerd to just listen to him because he is that important and promise not to put your say in his “ways” something might change. I am just guessing here. But he may feel powerless over the situation with both women in his life.
    The same may go for you k.lauderdale. I believe men will fix things if they can but they can’t with the laws being biased and they can’t with feminism giving uneven power to women and they won’t if they don’t trust you.

    Have either of you even written to a politition?

    Comment by julie — Wed 31st January 2007 @ 9:27 am

  11. Okay, I ‘hear’ all of you. I hear some speculation and some doing your best to help.

    I also ‘hear’ bitterness assuming me as one of those women typical of all the pain that men have gone through with regards to trying to gain access to their children.

    Please hear, that I have for the past 4 years, without force and without success, tried my level best to encourage the father of our daughter to keep in touch.

    I understand that you have seen and experienced much, but it is not fair that through the comments received, I appear to be regarded as possibly one of those who has systematically destroyed your own reason to trust. That would be like me announcing that all men are likely to have affairs and you are are not to be trusted. A ridiculous statement considering I know nothing about you at all!

    It is not helpful to any one of our situations while one side assumes the position against the other. I feel for all of us, whatever we have gone through. Our children are the focus and I don’t agree with any action that deliberately avoids or interrupts the relationship between parents and children.

    You men have had it exceptionally rough. It is also disheartening when some mothers and fathers choose not to stay in touch. Please understand this is the reality for some.

    I initially wrote out of concern for my daughter and what her dad is missing out on. I have not put her dad down and I have not laid blame. None of you (although I thank you for your suggestions) have any idea of my experience and how I have tried to encourage the father to stay in touch.

    As for the comments regarding ‘victimhood’, pity is not what seek. I really feel for you Stephen and the pain that you still appear to have as a victim yourself.

    Regarding the comment that I will most likely have a ‘tom boy’, that is not the nearly 10 year old that I know!! No disrespect Julie, but it is way off base when I think of my daughter. I wish you could meet her and see for yourself 🙂

    A feminist? Oh my, I am not! A single parent, I am, but not through thoughtless want or desire. Our daughter is bright, happy, creative, enthusiastic and positively surrounded. I cannot and will not express anything negative about her dad. The opposite would be disastrous, no matter what I’ve been through, it would be self-seeking and fruitless. Nothing to be gained there!

    I will leave it at that and won’t be visiting this site again. Unfortunately, reaching out for some support was not what I hoped it would be. I wasn’t after an ex-husband bashing session. I was however expecting that I would be taken at face value.

    Comment by F — Wed 31st January 2007 @ 1:33 pm

  12. F, (whatever that stands for. Fantasy female? Feminist trolling a Men’s site? Flaming fairy? add your own favorite F words here folks)
    You expect to be taken at face value, without so much as identifying yourself.
    Let alone presenting a face.
    Just words on a page without so much as a full name identifying who you really are!
    Foolish begins with F too.
    So does Failed to convince.
    So does False.

    Comment by Stephen — Wed 31st January 2007 @ 2:22 pm

  13. Back off!
    F has found herself in a position “regardless of cause” where her daughter requests and requires paternal participation in her life.
    She has come to this website to find possible guidance and solution.
    Regardless of what transpired in the past, today is a different day and the Focus should be Daddy / Daughter relationship building and vice versa.
    Not a critical analysis or assumption of how this situation developed.

    Kindest Regards

    Comment by Paul Catton — Wed 31st January 2007 @ 4:46 pm

  14. Paul I hear you.

    Dear F, I am not wanting to put you down or take a side here. I am trying to help you manipulate (not a good term to use) so that you get what you want.

    The truth is that you and me and everyone else in the world (except polititions and the elite) only have power and control of one person being OURSELVES. You have only that power and control and no other. If you want this you have to PLAY.

    You cannot force a male nor female to do what you want. That is false power if you get to do so. It will always backfire if the other person has rights and wakes up to the fact. Don’t under estimate the power you have as a woman. (not with feminism just as you) This man does not forget you, he knows you exist or that a child exists no matter what goes down.

    No-one here is saying you are wrong. We can’t do that because we are not perfect. Maybe I can put this another way. What do you think we can do to help you? We have no power over anyone else either. We can only help you help yourself.

    If it is sympathy that you want…then I feel sorry for you. But I won’t do that because I have walked the talk. I know what you think and feel as I have done that myself. I was half the problem. Yes, this difference between the genders is 50/50. What part do you play in this? That is all you can control. Here is an article on my site to help.

    Is your partner dating before you

    Please don’t be a chicken. We will get to the bottom of this if you give us the chance. Where else can you turn to get reality?

    Comment by julie — Wed 31st January 2007 @ 6:05 pm

  15. Paul writes –

    Back off!
    F has found herself in a position “regardless of cause” where her daughter requests and requires paternal participation in her life.
    She has come to this website to find possible guidance and solution.
    Regardless of what transpired in the past, today is a different day and the Focus should be Daddy / Daughter relationship building and vice versa.
    Not a critical analysis or assumption of how this situation developed.

    Back off. No way bro. This person won’t even identify themselves yet expects us to swallow hook, line and sinker their version of events.
    And judging from some of the responses some folks gullibly do. And all the guff about ‘through no reason’.
    Oh, no, no, no let’s not analyse the situation for one moment eh? We might uncover some uncomfortable facts which reveal there’s another side to this story.
    Chivalry is a bitch.

    Comment by Stephen — Fri 2nd February 2007 @ 3:34 pm

  16. Dear Stephen,
    I concur with most of what you pen, regrettably, in this instance our viewpoints are widely different.
    F has identified herself.
    Some practical advice has been proffered.
    I have not and neither will dwell on how the situatuion occurred, and further, if F is self modelled on a Mother Theresa or Lucretia Borgia type.
    Daughter/Daddy relationship building is my input.

    Kind Regards

    Comment by Paul Catton — Fri 2nd February 2007 @ 6:05 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Please note that comments which do not conform with the rules of this site are likely to be removed. They should be on-topic for the page they are on. Discussions about moderation are specifically forbidden. All spam will be deleted within a few hours and blacklisted on the stopforumspam database.

This site is cached. Comments will not appear immediately unless you are logged in. Please do not make multiple attempts.

Skip to toolbar