As I sit here listening to the sounds of my son and daughter starting off their weekend by laughing, playing and chasing each other, I know that pretty soon it will be a lot quieter. Pretty soon there will be a knock on the door and just as soon my daughter's laugh will turn into disappointed cries. This is the routine every other weekend, the weekend when my son goes to spend time with his father's side of the family.
It can be extremely hard to allow your child or children to go see a parent who is not completely active in their life...even financially inactive. You may even begin to think of it as unfair; you are the one providing for this child, you have to be both parents, you have to be the good guy and the bad guy and when your child comes back they come with nothing more than you sent him with or nothing more than toys. So what about the clothes, the shoes...the actual needs? Your child's other parent never asks if the child is in need, what they need or anything of the sort. At this point, you may feel like the situation is everything but fair. You may even begin to consider not letting your child visit. A word of advice: LET HIM GO.
It may be hard especially when you are the custodial parent and, for the most part, sole provider. Think about it like this though; your child deserves not only to know but to spend time with their family as well. It can sting when your child comes back possibly talking about all the fun things he got to do or places he got to go and in your mind you can't figure out why his other parent doesn't financially support him when he's not around. It can bother you maybe because your money is too tight from taking care of the necessities to have any left over for the special treats and super fun things. Either way, look at it like this. Your child is standing in front of you beaming. He is happy. And you want him happy.
While thinking about your child's happiness, also think about what keeping him away from his family can do in the long run. There is so much he won't know about himself...so much history he'll miss out on. Most of all, you don't want him to resent you. He may not understand why you're keeping him away and in time, he may absolutely despise you for it. All he knows is he wants to see his family and you are not allowing him to do so. He will figure out everything as he gets older. He will figure out that his other parent has not been providing (without you bad mouthing, insulting or being mean), he will figure out that you were the reason he was not able to see his family and there is always the possibility that he hold that against you. He will feel like you caused him to miss out on a part of not just him, but his life as well. If his family is not asking to see him, he will figure that out as well. My point is, in due time, everything will come to the light. And when it does, you want to make sure that your child knows that you have done everything you can to provide him with a happy life.