Dear David Coleman: 'My three children are becoming really aggressive to me since I separated from their dad'
Q. I have three boys, aged eight, seven and four. I left their dad because he was verbally aggressive and controlling. Since the separation, their dad encourages the boys to be difficult for me, to run away and not go to school.
He is successfully alienating them from me and they are verbally and physically aggressive to me and are out of control for me. Tusla was of no help.
David replies: Your situation sounds very serious. It's disappointing to hear that you feel you haven't been able to get the right kind of help and support from Tusla, the Child and Family Agency.
Tusla has a whole family support element to its services that is dedicated to preventative approaches to help families avoid their circumstances deteriorating to the point where child protection services may be required.
I would strongly suggest that you go back to Tusla.
Reiterate the nature and level of aggression that you experience with the boys and your inability to control them.
If you feel you are undermined by their dad and can't safely care for the boys, you need to ask again for support to help you cope.
The boys need a parent that can offer them the safety, security and structure they need to be able to grow and develop.
The choices may be stark, and it may be that their dad is the only other person who is in a position to provide care for them. Unpalatable as that may seem to you, you have to consider if their situation is any better with you, given how unable to manage you feel.
Health & Living