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TOPIC: Preparing for first contact after a year

Preparing for first contact after a year 2 months 1 week ago #99307

Met with lovely people at NYAS, who are observing a series of 2 hour contact sessions with me and the kids over the next few weeks. Have not seen them in almost a year due to mum making false allegations which has delayed process, but Section 7 identified alienation and ordered supervised contact to take place before a final report is given to the court.

Was delighted to hear that the contact is not restricted to a centre, so we are hopefully going to the local Starbucks to get things going again. I am worried though that the kids will be quiet and still concerned about how mum might feel if they were to enjoy themselves. Prior to contact stopping, our relationship was great. I was told not to use the session as a chance to ask them loads of questions, just to simply enjoy the time with them. Has anybody experienced this and could give any advice on what might encourage them to open up? I am just hoping after the initial awkwardness things will return close to normal

So excited to see them!

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Preparing for first contact after a year 2 months 1 week ago #99322

hi chris,

am happy for you. just remember how things used to be. just ask general questions like how is school going, what they have been up to. how old are your kids btw? my kids are age 5 and below, and they just try to joke around and wind me up, without me having to start any conversations.

try and relax and over the coming weeks your relationships will improve and the awkwardness will fade away.
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Preparing for first contact after a year 2 months 1 week ago #99324

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That’s really encouraging news!

Can you remind me how old the children are? Why Starbucks? I would have thought somewhere with more for them to do might have helped break the ice, sitting around a table might be limiting for them and you don’t want any awkward silences!

Try not to worry about the stuff you have no control over, allow them to set the pace and tone. Talk about things that are easy, a favourite shared sport or cool things that you’ve done... if you have a pet you can talk about that, about school... just nothing about their mum or their home life. They will open up when they’re ready, when they feel safe to do so, just be happy to see them, but don’t expect too much at first.

As worried as you feel, they will also be worried, they may be looking for signs that you blame them... that’s why it’s important to steer clear of the past, this is the future, see it as a new beginning for all of you.

Best of luck and please come back and let us know how you got on.
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DadTalk Moderator... I'm not legally trained and my responses are my own views based on my experiences of the family court. I have plenty of common sense and can offer you emotional support and guide you to answers.

Preparing for first contact after a year 2 months 1 week ago #99337

They are just turned 11 and 9. I have suggested Starbucks because it is somewhere they always enjoyed going, both with me and their mum. I may take the ipad with me and I can show them photos of their new baby cousin. They were encouraged by mum to say some things about me that were untrue and I think they may feel some guilt. I will take your advice and keep the conversation fun, focusing on things that I know they enjoy such as Pokémon etc (will have to do my research on that one)

Thanks guys

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Preparing for first contact after a year 2 months 1 week ago #99340

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It’s a good idea to take the iPad, maybe a couple of Pokemon comics too. My grandson is mad about Pokemon, there’s so many of them, research may take some time!

All the best
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DadTalk Moderator... I'm not legally trained and my responses are my own views based on my experiences of the family court. I have plenty of common sense and can offer you emotional support and guide you to answers.

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