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Parenting Issues This forum is for discussing any of the parenting issues involved in your divorce, including parenting of step-children.

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Old 02-11-2014, 07:25 PM
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Default Skype as an effective relationship builder for a 2 year old

Background:
So Dad is making a big deal about Skyping son ( age 2) several times a week.
He expects Mom to pay for internet which she cannot afford nor requires at home for any other reason than to facilitate Skype. He Skypes once a week, when at my house, and we have been doing this for the past 2 months, regular as clockwork. Its hard to keep 2 year old focused and Dad tends to " talk " through son to let things " slip", thinking Mom will hear about it. I actually ignore the information and never pass anything on. I guess when son can relay the information he can do so!

Dad has made no arrangements to come and visit son since December, despite taking CS to cover any expenses. He prefers to Skype with his latest GF sitting next to him. She is the one having the conversation and entertaining the child. WhatEver, I guess thats his choice.

The question :
Should Mom have to pay for the skype access and set it up. She was thinking she would tell him if he wants to Skype more than the 1 time a week she has been able to setup then he should contact the local internet provider and have it installed and pay for it himself. But she would only Skype when it is convenient to her. Not when he demands, as she feels this would be an invasion into her life to be "on call" for him.

She does not want to set it up and ask him pay her back. His payment record is poor, As he is behind on every payment of section 7 daycare, CS and has twice not paid his portion for previously discussed and agreed upon expenses such as medicine and swimming lessons, travel to bring son down to visit. She feels if she set it up he would not send her the money to cover it.

Of course he is threatening to go to court over this, so wanted some opinions on how to approach this. What would you think the court would view this as? Note: when the agreement , 11 months ago, was signed he had the option to add a skype clause in but has never pursued it. When Mom and child lived with me I have internet and he Skyped when he felt like it, but child was only 16 months old. Sometimes he would Skype once in a week. Othertimes 2 times, some none. It was inconsistent and he always used the Skype to relay message through his son. Now Mom and son are living in own home, so they donot have internet, nor TV as these are luxuries they cannot afford at this time.

Anyway, opinions please?
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Old 02-11-2014, 07:59 PM
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How expensive is internet access? Is it really out of the question for mom to afford it? Have you checked with different providers? In this day and age, it's almost a necessity, and clearly she already has a computer to use. Skype itself is free.

The kid is getting older and so will be more and more interactive with his father. The more face to face time he has with his father, the better, in terms of building the relationship with Dad. This is in his best interests, as irritating as it may be to Mom to have to put up with Dad's calls. If it has to be by Skype rather than in person, so be it. Mom would be forward-looking by getting this routine up and running now.

It's reasonable for her to set some limits - e.g. no Skype early in the morning or after bedtime. Setting specific times for calls or requesting a certain amount of notice time would be useful. The calls themselves can be very short with a child that age and get longer as the child's attention span increases. The main thing is that the child have his father as a regular part of his life.

Overall, I think Skype is in the child's best interest and unless Mom is absolutely destitute, she should pay for internet access. Dad takes care of internet on his end, she takes care of it on hers. I have no idea what a court would make of this - I suspect a judge would think Mom is being petty and obstructive. I suggest you avoid going that route by working something out with Dad.
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:55 PM
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kinda sounds like dad just wants to rub new gf in moms face. How often does he make the effort to see the child in person?

Kids that age don't have the attention span to have a conversation of more then a couple of minutes using Skype or whatever. Once a week should be okay and that can change as the child gets older.

If dad would pay his obligations such as section 7 etc then maybe mom could afford to have internet. As it stands she should not be forced to get something that she cannot afford at this time. Shocking as it may be to some people, the internet is not a necessity and not all people can afford it.
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Old 02-11-2014, 09:22 PM
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He makes no effort. She has taken him down 4 times last year to see Dad. Last time was Christmas. He has made no attempt to come to visit, nor made any mention of making any plans in the near future.

The attention span is short, only 10 mins and that is only if he is made to sit and keep giving him snacks to keep him occupied. Quite often he just gets up and wanders off, of course he is only 2 , thats to be expected.

No laptop, so cannot, nor should have to, follow him around. Internet is expensive and Mom has access at work for her own needs and her iPhone for social needs. Lots of her friends do not get internet because they have Data plans.

I agree that eventually he will be able to use the computer himself and call up his Dad when he wants, but at this time Mom has to make the arrangements and then sit with him, while some strange GF is forced down her throat. I am not sure child is getting too much out of it. Dad does however use it to relay tidbits of his life. Ie. " daddy is going on a big trip with GF". Daddy has something important to tell son". Etc etc. Pathetic and annoying.
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Old 02-11-2014, 09:23 PM
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And she should have to pay for this?
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Old 02-11-2014, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachnana View Post
And she should have to pay for this?
to me she shouldn't have to. He isn't making an effort to see his child and Skype isn't parenting. He may have a hard time explaining why Skype is so important when he doesn't see the child unless mom makes the effort to take the child to him.

he is just using it as a way to try and piss her off. If he was really concerned about it then why does newest fling have to be part of it?
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Old 02-11-2014, 09:42 PM
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Why not do Skype only when your grandson is visiting you? Then your daughter doesn't have to get internet access from her home, and she doesn't have to be involved with the conversation at your house. The dad will soon tire of trying to show off his new girlfriend and talk through the son to get back at an ex who isn't in the room. In a few years, once the dad has gotten over his need to show off, and the child has gotten the hang of Skype better, maybe the mom can get it for her house.

At this age, the child will not respond well to Skype anyways, as you noted. After the initial hello, he'll get bored and wander off, not realizing that he's not visible on the camera any longer.

I'd be more worried about the father taking the reduction in CS for travel expenses and then not doing any travelling. That should be documented each month and then maybe make a motion to have the travel reduction removed after you can show a pattern of it not being needed. Then your daughter could afford the internet.
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Old 02-11-2014, 10:17 PM
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1. You can hotspot with an iphone (share internet),
2. You can skype via the iphone too

If I were you, I would note down all the tidbits he gives about what he is spending.

If the mom is so poor she can't afford internet and the dad is gloating about travelling + improperly reducing CS for travel expenses then it might be worthwhile in court eventually.

That being said, it won't be long before the skype calls are meaningful - I have an uncle/aunt and they skpe with their grandson and at 2 years old he will sing them songs and stuff, quite cute.

Why doesn't your daughter wear headphones/listen to music and sit out of camera view while the dad speaks? I actually hate speaking to my kids when they are in the presence of my Ex - I can actually hear them censor themselves and sometimes when they mention something that happens in my ex's house (which I pay for - bitter sorry ) she reproaches and they "take it back"

If he really doesnt give a crap about the kid then he'll get bored and stop.

Finally, December is just 1.5 months away - its not like YEARS....

You sound a bit bias.
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Old 02-11-2014, 10:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by standing on the sidelines View Post
kinda sounds like dad just wants to rub new gf in moms face. How often does he make the effort to see the child in person?

Kids that age don't have the attention span to have a conversation of more then a couple of minutes using Skype or whatever. Once a week should be okay and that can change as the child gets older.

If dad would pay his obligations such as section 7 etc then maybe mom could afford to have internet. As it stands she should not be forced to get something that she cannot afford at this time. Shocking as it may be to some people, the internet is not a necessity and not all people can afford it.
Exactly!

That would be the day when I let my ex into my home through Skype or any other camera/video process!

Creepy really. I guess I could understand it if a parent is living in another part of the country/world but even then I would think that dates and times for this most invasive Skype process should be pre-arranged.

A "Skype parent" - how absolutely absurd!
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Old 02-11-2014, 11:09 PM
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Skype kills her data plan. She only has a certain amount. She is not at poverty level, but I guess she feels its an expense she does not need to incur to facilitate his building a relationship with son via Skype rather than actually coming to visit and spend time.

I think the 1 time a week at my house works well. He just usually sits and makes comments which I guess he expects to get passed on. i do not pass them on.

Yes eventually child will be able to handle the Skype,himself and then Dad can set it up in his bedroom and have private chats with son and lay for it lol.

Sure I am biased I feel that Dad takes, takes and takes, but I let my daughter deal with him I just do some research and pass on the opinions and she makes her decisions.

I think 1 1/2 months is quite a long time to not physically visit your child. Soon will be 2 months and so on. He has open visitation but its not our place to arrange his visits. If he continues to not use the amount he skims off the CS she will eventually need to address the issue. Its not in the best interest of a child to never have physical contact for months and then suddenly Dad expects to take him.

We document everything. But honestly she wants to move on with her life and not have to deal daily with all the B/S.
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