My reader asked specifically how to get her child’s father on a schedule without having the child feel bad if he doesn’t show up?
Kids love their parents no matter how inconsistent they are. I wouldn’t tell your child when he’s coming that way your child will not be hurt by his inability to show up. Nothing is worse than having a child hurt by their parent who doesn’t care about the pain their inconsistencies leave. Protect your child. I would take control and petition the court to have established time so that a schedule can be worked out. If you want to take a non court route I would sit down in a public space without the child and talk and make an agreement and get it in writing and even have it notarized.
If and when he doesn’t come through and wants to show up unannounced refer back to the agreement. I would keep the dialogue of “I want you in our child’s life-but kids need balance and dependability.” When he hits you with the you’re keeping my child from me let him know that he needs to work with you so your child gets the best of both of you. Co-parenting is not easy but for the sake of your child keep the lines of communication open. Always speak highly of him in front of your child and allow your child the ability to come to terms when he’s old enough! I hope that helps!