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A friend had a relationship that gave her 2 wonderful kids. Unfortunately, the kids had no relationship with the father since he left shortly after my friend gave birth with her second and the other one was nearly 2 years old.
The kids who are already 12 and 10 respectively are very keen on meeting their dad. Now, my friend who is very open to co-parenting does not really want to reach out to the dad first, afraid that he might respond negatively. I just told her to go ahead and try it out, who knows, the father might also want to spend time with his kids.
I am just thinking about the boys who really want to meet their dad regardless of what happened in the past. Am I giving my friend sound advice that she should try reaching out first for the sake of the boys?
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I think that it is wonderful that you friend is giving consideration to the wishes of her children who are old enough to make decisions about many things - including whether or not they would like to get to know their dad.
My advice would be for your friend to approach him without telling the kids to see when he would be open to meeting the kids and being more involved in their lives. To make sure that there are realistic expectations, she should get some idea of how he feels and how he sees his role as a father. Your friend should also maybe consult with a family law specialist so that if the dad decides that he wants to be involved, she will be in a position to ensure that a proper parenting plan can be put in place. This will ensure that the best interests of the children are considered at all times.
You don't say whether the father of the children shoulders any of the financial responsibility, but if not, he may think that your friend is approaching him for maintenance. She should make sure to address this right away so that there is not any suspicion about her intentions.
I wish your friend the best of luck. If the children's father decides not to be a part of his kid's lives, your friend will at least know that she has done her best to give him this chance. In this way, she will be able to tell her kids that no matter the outcome, she did not prevent her kids from getting to know their dad.
I also think that it would be a good idea for the adults to reach out. You don't even necessarily have to tell the kids about reaching out, in the event it's not the outcome that you hope for.
It's also important to remember that they are dealing with older kids and not babies anymore. The children will be more interactive and have an emotional response to the situation. Who knows, maybe the father has his own family now, but he should know that he's dealing with older kids. If he's not ready, then it might be best to hold off.
This is so great to hear that your friend is considering a reunification with the father of her children, for the kids. I imagine this must be very hard for her considering the history. I think your advice is sound in that a relationship for the children with their dad is so important. I also agree that the conversation best be had without the childrens' knowledge first and foremost to confirm that their dad is willing to step forward to reconnect.
It would be wonderful if the dad was in the boys' lives.
I am always open to extending the first invitation for forgiveness or friendship. Some people just won't do that for various reasons.
Your friend is an adult and can handle the disappointment. However, the kids will be scarred if things go awry. Thus, your friend should reach out to the dad without the children's knowledge. Also, she would have to make sure that the dad is really on board and won't disappoint his boys once he is back in their lives.
So some thought and background work would need to be done before anything concrete takes place between the dad and kids. But it could lead to something extraordinary.
I would say "nothing ventured, nothing gained" is appropriate in this case.