Moms are their childrens' first protectors. It’s natural to want to protect them from harm and see that they are in good hands. However, if you deny your ex time with your children or if you try to control their time with the kids without good reason, you may be a gatekeeper mom.
Now, a lot of moms don’t know that they’re gatekeepers. In fact, it can be pretty difficult to identify. This is because a mother’s protective instinct comes naturally and you may not necessarily know that you’re overdoing it. There are some pointers you can look out for though, which include:
Every time your ex calls to see the children, you always make up some excuse to keep him from seeing them. You refuse to give them the phone when he calls and even refuse to tell them that he called.
If your automatic response to every one of your ex’s requests to see the kids is NO, then you should look pretty deeply into yourself. You just might be a gatekeeper mom yourself.
This one’s pretty common with a lot of moms. You feel that you can better take care of the children than your ex. And this is often because you did not really approve of their lifestyle or their new spouse, not because of any legitimate reasons but because you just do not like them.
Children need to have the benefit of both parents. Florida family law is heavy on ensuring that children have the benefit of both parents’ attention. Even though you feel they are better off with you, they still need the love and care of their father.
Even when you finally concede to allowing the children to spend some time with their father, you still rigorously police the interaction. You are constantly checking the court orders to ensure that he does not spend a minute more than the judgment entitles him to and you may even cut the visits short on several occasions.
If you are always disparaging your ex in front of the kids, cursing him and telling the children what a bad person he is, you are a gatekeeper mom.
The danger here is that your actions can result in parental alienation. Your children begin to think negatively about their father, and this affects them deeply even if you don’t know. You may just be laying the groundwork for a future stew of psychological problems for your kids.
The dynamics between parents are extremely important to how a child grows up. It can be especially vital to how a child develops socially and mentally.
You can raise a beautiful, exceptional child all by yourself as a single mom. It is absolutely possible. But can you imagine how much farther the child would have gotten with both a mother and father contributing to their development?
Keeping your children from their father benefits no one but you, especially where the father is totally willing and capable of contributing to the childrens' lives. By refusing him, you would be doing your kids more harm than good and even find yourself on the wrong side of the law.