Ottawa Divorce .com Forums


User CP

New posts

Advertising

  Ottawa Divorce .com Forums > Main Category > Parenting Issues

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

Closed Thread
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 05-23-2012, 03:26 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 173
thefunone is on a distinguished road
Default What to do when....

My son - almost 9 - has lately had his run ins with his mother over some disobedience and attitude...I believe that while my ex is trying to provide structure/rules for him - she has very little patience when the two butt heads. This results in yelling matches, and loss of privileges which leads to verbal lash outs by my son saying he hates living there and wants to come live with me. This subsides after a day or two...but they are becoming more frequent. Given my current work schedule - there is no way he could live full time with me. I have told him so in the past.
I am trying to be supportive of some of the rules the ex is trying to enforce.
I believe the reason my son wants to live with me is because I have more patience and am willing to take the time to discuss actions...rather than react or overreact.
Last night when I called to say my goodnights...an episode had just taken place with him venting again that he hated living there and wanted to live with dad. I asked to speak with him and I was told that my son's phone privileges were revoked and he could not talk to me. Without freaking out over the phone I ended the conversation.
My questions are two-fold:
a) I love my son and would love him to live with me - how do I address that he can't?...or can I say to him "one day"? Would that be seen as driving a wedge between he and his mother?
b) Can the ex really prevent him from talking to me? ...as 'punishment' for his behaviour towards her?
Am trying very hard to be calm about this but find this grossly unfair.
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 05-23-2012, 07:35 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Kitchener Ontario
Posts: 5,242
standing on the sidelines is on a distinguished road
Default

it is unfair but i am thinking that everytime she asks him to do something and he doesnt want to he probably yells at her, " I want to go live with dad" she may be thinking that you are encouraging him ( even though you are not).

You need to sit down with him and tell him that his mother isnt being unreasonable with asking him to do chores and that if he was at your house he would have to do chores also. Also tell him that backtalk to his mother isnt acceptable. He does things like yell at his mother etc then loss of privilages is acceptable though not being allowed to talk to you is not a privilage it is a right.

he needs to know that no matter what parent he is with, there are rules etc he has to follow and those rules will be enforced. if you have hardly any structure or make him do simple chores then of course he wants to be with you. You and the ex need to sit down and discuss what is expected of him and enforce that at both places, could be making his bed, setting the table or whatever. Consistency between the two houses will make a big difference. Maybe have a rule that if he is asked more then a certain number of times to do something then he loses a privilage.
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 05-23-2012, 08:17 AM
Tayken's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 6,569
Tayken has a brilliant futureTayken has a brilliant futureTayken has a brilliant futureTayken has a brilliant futureTayken has a brilliant futureTayken has a brilliant futureTayken has a brilliant futureTayken has a brilliant futureTayken has a brilliant futureTayken has a brilliant futureTayken has a brilliant future
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefunone View Post
My son - almost 9 - has lately had his run ins with his mother over some disobedience and attitude...I believe that while my ex is trying to provide structure/rules for him - she has very little patience when the two butt heads. This results in yelling matches, and loss of privileges which leads to verbal lash outs by my son saying he hates living there and wants to come live with me. This subsides after a day or two...but they are becoming more frequent. Given my current work schedule - there is no way he could live full time with me. I have told him so in the past.
Maybe what you are not seeing is that your son is at an age where the presence of his father is important to him and you are not spending enough time with him. If your arrangement isn't 50-50 it may be time for you to put your job to the side and make some sacrifices and increase your access time with your son. This may be a desperate cry from a child who wants to spend equal time with both parents if this is not happening.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefunone View Post
I am trying to be supportive of some of the rules the ex is trying to enforce.
Children often live in homes with two sets of rules. They have new rules each time they have a new teacher, coach, etc... You don't have to adopt everything that is put in place at the other parent's home but, this is dependent on how much access time your son has with you.

Again, this may be a desperate call from your son to spend more time with you and not to abandon his mother. If you are not sharing access of your child on a 50-50 basis this could be the challenge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefunone View Post
I believe the reason my son wants to live with me is because I have more patience and am willing to take the time to discuss actions...rather than react or overreact.
And your parenting style may be more appropriate? If you only have EOW access this may also be that your son is asking for something... More time with you as a parent. Not because the other parent is bad but, because your child wants to spend more time with you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefunone View Post
Last night when I called to say my goodnights...an episode had just taken place with him venting again that he hated living there and wanted to live with dad. I asked to speak with him and I was told that my son's phone privileges were revoked and he could not talk to me. Without freaking out over the phone I ended the conversation.
Denying your child access to you by revoking his right to have access to a parent is unwise. Parents shouldn't punish children for having emotions. This is very abandoning to a child. You have equal responsibility to parent your child and access time should not be a punishment ever!

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefunone View Post
My questions are two-fold:

a) I love my son and would love him to live with me - how do I address that he can't?...or can I say to him "one day"? Would that be seen as driving a wedge between he and his mother?
Why can't your son spend more time with you? Is it that you are unwilling to make changes in your life to meet the needs of your son? There are millions of fathers who would love to spend more time with their children, even on an equal basis but, are unable to because of a court order preventing them this access.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefunone View Post
b) Can the ex really prevent him from talking to me? ...as 'punishment' for his behaviour towards her?
NO. The court would have a very strong opinion in the situation and if you pursed equal access to your child more than likely it would be granted. Your child is at the age where a mediator could meet with your child and get a good perspective of the situation and recommend a more balanced and equal access schedule for your child that would provide equal time with both parents.

You as a parent would have to be williing to INVEST this time with your son though. Many parents (especially fathers) are unwilling to which makes it difficult for all the other parents (a lot of fathers but, mothers too) to get equal and shared custody of their children. It is the propagation of the "I work to much" and the "I can't sacrifice time for my child's best interests" that damages the right of a child to be cared for equally by both parents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefunone View Post
Am trying very hard to be calm about this but find this grossly unfair.
It is grossly unfair to your son. He clearly wants to spend more time with you. Maybe you should listen to the "voice of the child" and really consider what he is asking of you as a parent.

Good Luck!
Tayken
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 05-23-2012, 10:31 AM
blinkandimgone's Avatar
Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Lucknow
Posts: 5,229
blinkandimgone has a spectacular aura aboutblinkandimgone has a spectacular aura aboutblinkandimgone has a spectacular aura about
Default

I didn't read all the responses so apologies if this is redundant, but here's my take:

Your son needs to learn to do what his mother tells him to, regardless of if he wants to or not. The yelling matches are a result of the power struggle between them and your son is unfairly (but understandable given his age) using the 'I want to live with Dad' against mom because really, it's all he has. He's trying to gain control over whatever he can and right now, this is pretty much the only thing he can.

Mom may need to have more patience and learn some strategies to deal with his outbursts, ideally before they become outbursts, and encourage compliance as well. That's where YOU can and should help.

Reinforce with him that he has to listen to mom at her place, just like he has to listen to dad at his place. Understand the reasons he says he wants to live with you. If he's truly unhappy about the situation and prefers to live with you then perhaps explore that possibility. Chances are though, at this age, he feels that what his mom is asking of him is unfair and thinks he can get out of it by being at your place instead.

Consider what you would do if you were all still living together. If they were having the power struggles would you allow him to decide he wanted to live elsewhere to get away from the rules and responsibilities? Or would you support his mother and back her up to promote a successfull relationship and happy family for all of you?

Not sure if this is a possibility for you, but perhaps the three of you could sit down together and explain to the kid that you're still a parenting team and what mom says dad supports and vice versa. There's also lots of great books and councillors out there to help with exactly these kinds of issues.

I don't think it's right that you weren't able to speak with him on the phone, however I do understand mom's intentions to be consistent, however misplaced in this instance.
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 05-23-2012, 12:43 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 6
B'sMa is on a distinguished road
Default

I have been having the same trouble with my son lately.....he thinks that if he doesn't like the rules at my house he can go to his dad's. As the more present parent, (my son’s dad worked out of town and wasn’t always able to spend that 50/50 time with him, not because he wasn’t around), I was the enforcer and it was ever frustrating for me because since his dad didn’t get to see him as often he didn’t want to be jerk dad who punishes him when he was only able to spend minute amounts of time with him. However over the years and with the help of his fianc├ę we have come to equal grounds on parenting. No matter how much the other disagrees we stand united and it makes all of our jobs so much easier.

Now it is very unfair of her to have revoked his telephone rights especially as it pertains to you….as much as my ex and I can disagree….it is his right to see and speak to his son as much as it is my son’s right to see and speak to his father. Not one parent is more important than the other and sometimes it is hard for the enforcer to swallow that.

Good luck though and I do hope she comes around!! But you do have to be supportive of her rules no matter how much you disagree because as you said she does have him the majority of the time. If you do disagree talk to her about it but away from him.

Last edited by B'sMa; 05-23-2012 at 01:32 PM. Reason: spelling mistake
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 05-23-2012, 03:19 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 173
thefunone is on a distinguished road
Default

Your replies are very much appreciated...and in fact - when these episodes have occurred in the past - the answers you suggest ARE in fact the ones I give...I am an EOW dad and do not want to be perceived as the push over...or as my handle is "the fun one"...we too have had our bouts...but I take the time to cool the situation down and then address the issue. In the end the matter gets resolved - he does what he is told - but without the meltdowns and without the stress.
B's Ma....if you instilled a behavioural condition....would you place it just on your time?...or include your ex's time as well?....example...for whatever reason you have decided that your child has to be in his room for 7pm at night for a week....would you expect your ex to honour/respect that if your child was with him for 3 of those days?....just curious
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 05-23-2012, 04:33 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 6
B'sMa is on a distinguished road
Default

Well that is a tough question. Yes I would expect that if my son was grounded that his dad would continue consistency in those particular situations however bedtime is different at both of our houses. He goes to bed later on the weekend at my house than he does at his dad's because he has a younger sibling there but if his dad asked that I have him go to bed at the same time as he does there I would comply.

I guess it depends on the situation....in the beginning of our break-up we had such a volatile relationship that our son paid for it and in turn acted out so much that we took him to see counselor who beat it into us that we had to be on the same page in the interest of our son and that consistency consistency consistency is the key.

I don't disagree with your thoughts and i fully sympathize with your situation...no one likes to feel like the bad guy especially when the other parent paints that picture....I am on that side to with my husband and his ex wife....so I can see it from both sides.

But short and simple....depending on the situation, Yes i would like for the rules to lay across the board for the most part.
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 05-23-2012, 04:57 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 504
frustratedwithex is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by blinkandimgone View Post
Mom may need to have more patience and learn some strategies to deal with his outbursts, ideally before they become outbursts, and encourage compliance as well. That's where YOU can and should help.

Reinforce with him that he has to listen to mom at her place, just like he has to listen to dad at his place. Understand the reasons he says he wants to live with you. If he's truly unhappy about the situation and prefers to live with you then perhaps explore that possibility. Chances are though, at this age, he feels that what his mom is asking of him is unfair and thinks he can get out of it by being at your place instead.
I agree, this is some very good advice. Reinforce that he has to listen to mom, however, mom needs to learn some different discipline strategies. I would find it very restrictive and controlling if ex laid down the law at his place for his conflict and expected me to enforce his punishment.

The punishment should fit the crime so to speak, so I would have a hard time enforcing exs. punishment.

If she grounds him at her place, why should you have to deal with this at your place? Maybe you can agree on what you are willing to carry through with.

Restrict the phone, or seeing his friends, maybe cancel plans that you and him were going to do, but this should be your choice.

I think you and the mom should have a conversation together first, then together with your child.
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 05-23-2012, 05:23 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Ontario
Posts: 3,049
Berner_Faith will become famous soon enough
Default

We see this same situation happen with the bf and his kids... their mom is unable to deal with them when they act up... however, Dad has made it clear the the children that they MUST listen to Mom when they are with her, or any punishment she gives them will carry over to our place.

I remember one incident where I dropped the kids off at the meeting location. When they got in Mom's van they were jumping all over the place. When Mom said to get in their car seats, S6 curled up on the floor and would not move... she pleaded with him for about 5 min, before Dad finally told him to get into his seat and stop disobeying Mom.

The problem Mom has in our case is that she tries way too hard to reason with the children. While it is great to talk things out, there needs to be rules in place and Mom needs to learn to be more assertive when dealing with the children. Over the past couple months, Mom has reported that the children have started to listen to her better (although not all the time). She has asked me in the past how we deal with them when they do this or that... we have a rule in our house that we will ask you ONCE, if you do not do what we ask you when we ask you, then it is time out for you. Dad has set the timeout time to 20min. Kids get VERY board after even 5 min of being on time out and it is rare that they are sent to time out... but both households have to work together and as much as you may want to side with your son, you need to tell him that he needs to listen and respect Mom... house jumping is not appropriate just because they don't like the rules in one house.

Best of luck!
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 05-23-2012, 11:50 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Vaughan
Posts: 2,369
billiechic is on a distinguished road
Default

I agree that the first step is to have a heart to heart with mom. Seems she is suffering from this power struggle too. As long as you approach it sympathetically, and focus on solving the problem (and , ahem..avoiding the blame game), you might be able to figure this out.

As a child of divorce I played the "I want to go live with dad" card on my mom too. Its the equivalent of "I wish I was never born" or "you love the youngest kid more" or whatever a child can say to hurt a parent. Sure, your son would love to live with you (and the suggestion it may be an outcry for more time with you is bang-on), but if it is not possible, you son already knows this.

What you need to establish is WHY this keeps happening, and how you can better support mom (maybe she needs a sounding board?). Yes, enforcing the "no phone" rule with dad is not fair, but she was probably frustrated and trying to be consistent. Hopefully next time she will tell you what is going on, and you can ask for an exception to talk to him for 2-5 mins, and then explain to him that you support her punishment (since you indicated that you understood).

There is a reason we need 2 parents to have a child..because no single person can raise a child through the teenage years and expect to come out alive if they have to do it all by themself!! We are meant to be a team, if not a family, at least a team that will work together as much as possible.

Good Luck!
Closed Thread


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:04 AM.