Question: Dear Luise: My ex-husband and I have been divorced almost 7 years. He has a history of promising our daughter special items, shopping trips and money if she would go along with the custody agreement. Over the years she has learned that its all lies. For months now she refuses to go to her dads. She is now 17 years old. We also have an 11 year son. Just recently my ex was arrested for domestic abuse. Our son witnessed the whole event. He became quiet and withdrawn after the incident. He expressed to me that he did not want to go to his dads anymore that he would be uncomfortable. My ex and his girlfriend ( the victim) are still living in the same house. I emailed my ex to explain to him that our son isn’t comfortable going to his house and that he should respect his wishes. The same day, my ex called our son and promised him new snowboard and snowmobile equipment if he comes over. How do I handle this buying the kids affection crap? C.
Answer: Dear C.: I think all you can do it to tell it to your son the way you see it. It’s going to be really hard for him to turn down the bribe but his sister learned how to do it. This is a kind of psychological abuse that often follows children into adulthood. Let him know that you love him and if he chooses the bribe you will still love him. I can’t think of anything more cruel and your children deserve so much better. Blessings, Luise