Are kids in danger from ex?

QUESTION: Masters, I have been thinking about my ex-husband. Is he good for our children? All these 17 years he has promised a lot but doesn’t do what he promises. My children are so disappointed in him. I have been in contact with him because of our children. It is quite hard. Do he and our two kids have contracts which remain to be done? I think he makes more bad than good to our kids. Do we have to go through something? I’ve done a lot to insure he and the kids have interaction. I think that I let him to do what he likes to do/ or do not? I feel I support this relationship maybe too much. He is alcoholic and has other troubles with his head. The kids are coming the second. So sad, I think ~SV, Finland

ANSWER: Your ex never matured. His world is all about himself and what he wants. He feels no obligations to anyone else. He maintains contact only if he feels he can get something in return. Your children chose to have him as a father so they could observe one way of treating others and to make choices based on that experience for their own learning.

Your children are learning the ineffectiveness of expectations and relying on others who have only their own interests in mind. Let the children decide how much contact they wish to have with their father – do not push the interaction. They need to have some discretion in their lives.

There are no right or wrong answers to this situation, only variables to be explored. Let him and the children find their own balance of participation. Forcing the issue empowers your ex to think he is important in his children’s lives, and he is not –  except to let them see what they could become if they followed the type of existence he has chosen.

Teach your children that they are responsible for their future by the choices they make. They have no obligation to anyone but themselves. They have freedom of choice in every aspect of life. They can choose their friends and their contacts, even with parents. They are old enough now to appreciate their choices.