I have a baby with a man I barley new. We are not married and have no intention
of being in a relationship. He wants time with the baby and I don't want him to.
I want to raise my wonderful baby on my own without him. How can I get him to go
What an agonizing situation for your little one. It sounds like your child may
be subject to a lifetime of parental strife if the issues between you and the
father aren't addressed soon.
Please note, from a legal perspective, both biological parents have a right to a
meaningful relationship with their children. From the wellbeing of the child's
perspective, those children who do have a meaningful, appropriate relationship
with both parents tend to do far better than those children who do not. So,
regardless of your feelings about the matter, if the father wants a relationship
with his child too, it will in all likelihood happen. Please note, a meaningful
relationship is not measured in how much time the child is in each parent's
care, but by how parents meet their children's needs by allowing time with each
other and then by directly meeting the child's needs for safety, security, love
belonging and care.
The issue then becomes, how will it happen and how will it work for the child.
In circumstances such as this it becomes vital for both parents to be involved
in counselling. Counselling would be aimed at facilitating a structure between
the parents to enable each to form a meaningful relationship with the child.
Schedules and routines need to be sorted out with a particular sensitivity to
the sleep and feeding needs of your baby as well as your baby's need to form a
strong and secure attachment at least first with one parent and then the other
by increasing time in the other parent's care. Most typically, the mother forms
the first attachment figure, supported by the father whose place more directly
in the child's life increases over time.
If there were any concerns for issues originating with the parents that might
undermine the appropriate care of the child, then those must be brought up in
the counselling so that those issues are dealt with.
Assuming both parents want what is best for the baby, the parents can be taught
about how to best plan for mutual meaningful and healthy relationships. Trying
to cancel one or other out of the life of he child typically only escalates the
negativity to which the child would grow up in.
Notwithstanding the above, there are circumstances where the care of a parent
may be withheld until the untoward conditions are improved. Those circumstances
include issues of abuse, neglect and domestic violence.
Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
Gary Direnfeld is a social worker in private practice. Courts in Ontario,
Canada, consider Gary an expert on child development, parent-child
relations, marital and family therapy, custody and access recommendations,
social work and an expert for the purpose of giving a critique on a
Section 112 (social work) report.
Gary for your next conference and for expert opinion on family matters.
Services include counselling, mediation, assessment, assessment critiques
information on Direnfeld's book, Raising Kids Without Raising Cane,
you the parent of new teen driver? Check
out this teen safe driving program: www.ipromiseprogram.com