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Divorce Support This forum is for discussing the emotional aspects of divorce: stress, anger, betrayal of trust and more.

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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 09-06-2014, 01:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Stacy'sMom View Post
Children do NOT have to "put in effort" to meet any of our adult wants or needs. We do however have to put in the work, effort, suffering and sacrifice to meet all of their needs; most especially those they don't even realize they truly do need for their own wellbeing.
Is it truly in the best interests of a child (14?) to be uncaring and selfish? I'm sorry to disagree with you again Stacy (and I have no formal training in psychology). I'm of a generation that feels children should have respect for their parents and clearly this parent is deserving of that respect - that includes empathy.

You have your opinion, I have mine - the OP has asked for our suggestions. No need for us to claim we are experts in the matter as clearly, neither of us are.
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Old 09-06-2014, 02:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janibel View Post
Is it truly in the best interests of a child (14?) to be uncaring and selfish? I'm sorry to disagree with you again Stacy (and I have no formal training in psychology). I'm of a generation that feels children should have respect for their parents and clearly this parent is deserving of that respect - that includes empathy.

You have your opinion, I have mine - the OP has asked for our suggestions. No need for us to claim we are experts in the matter as clearly, neither of us are.
I did give my opinion.
I stated what I thought was in the best interest of the child.
I additionally expressed concerns which I had about something which I saw as having a potential damaging effect on the child the child if it where to be in fact acted on in this situation.

Yes, I am not an expert and my opinion was only given as a mother to a child who is of similar age to the child in question (my son will be 14 in January), and additionally based on the limited amount of knowledge I personally have which includes;
  • 3 years of studies in the area of general psychology,
  • 3 years of in depth studies in psychoanalytic theory,
  • 3 years of research in to countless clinical studies related to developmental psychology,
  • not yet a full year of advanced studies in criminal psychology and behaviour,
  • 2 years additional studies in various areas of therapies related to the treatment of DSMV Axis (ii) Cluster C and other disorders of personality
I am NOT an expert, and through my statement which clearly said that I only have some background in the area of developmental psychology, I had never claimed to be one; but if credentials are what's needed in order to give merit to my previous assertions that "pulling away" from the child, or that requiring a child to "put in the effort" to have a relationship with either of their parents is not only inadvisable but also potentially damaging than I do hope that what I've given holds some weight because what you have suggested is absolutely NOT a good idea!
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Old 09-06-2014, 08:16 AM
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I really wish people would stop tooting their "my advice is the best" horn. There are many merits to what every poster has posted here - specifically because none of us know ALL the details to make any grounded and sound advice.

To Stacy's mom, you can agree to disagree all you want with whomever. Most respectfully, a formal education in this areas would also dictate that you cannot make an assessment with only partial facts and without having even met the person for formal assessments. This is why Janibel's posts do have merits - because the OP will craft together everyone's advice and hold it up to all the context that was not provided and see how it applies to her situation. The OP will do the same with your advice. My guess is that you each have wealth to assist her in overcoming her personal hurdles.

I can attest that when we are so oppositional that our ways are the right/only, we lose traction on being helpful, cooperative and caring.
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Old 09-06-2014, 12:26 PM
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Never at any time did I give an assessment on this child or on the family dynamics at play in this situation because you're absolutely right I have none of the history, I've met none of the family, along with several other factors which would make any kind of credible and accurate assessment over an online forum not only unethical but also virtually impossible.


Advice was given. Another bit of advise was advised against; followed with some comprehensible explanation as to why to avoid the mentioned practice at hand.

When the matter of "expertise" was raised, I had given my own history in areas of study which bare relevance to developmental psychology; specifically stating (twice) that I am by no means an expert.


No one has to agree with me.

I see many things posted here which I do not agree with, and I usually just pass it by, keeping my thoughts to myself; but if I do see someone publicly advising of something which could potentially cause harm to child, I will speak up and attempt to relate to people reading these forum posts why this is a bad idea so that they can make informed decisions on what they chose as their own course of action.


This:
Quote:
Originally Posted by janible
I'll step down from my soap-box now ....
Quote:
Originally Posted by me
"Yes, please do...."
I should not have said and janible has my sincere, public apology for being so crass with her last night in that sentiment.



Quote:
Originally Posted by serene
I can attest that when we are so oppositional that our ways are the right/only, we lose traction on being helpful, cooperative and caring.
I agree with you completely, and there many methods which can be used in reaching the same end result.


The desired result in this situation is that the child want to spend time with the father, which he more then likely already does, but which at 14 years old, the child's other priorities in life or other issues of which we may be unaware, seem to keep impeding. In any case, the result can be reached through positive encouragement and reinforcement in a healthy way which would not have the potential to cause any emotional damage to the child, and that was my point.

My advise to get there was this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by me
Children need boundaries, expectations and guidance at this age. If your partner is having a hard time getting the child to spend time with him, try inspiring the child to want to spent time with dad by doing something completely focused on the child and/or something newly unique.

What are this kids passions?
Who are his friends?
What does he like to do both alone and with friends?
Can you incorporate his passions and/or friends into some of the time that dad gets to spend with junior?

Remember that at 14 you're not only being challenged by the divorce, you are also fighting against the teen need (which is valid) to be social with others in his peer group and experience his passions and interests to the fullest! Use these things to cater the time with him to him.

It doesn't have to cost a lot of money, or any money all the time; but you do have to work with the child's personal needs and interests in order to encourage the desire to spend time with dad because believe me he wants to!!!
but there many other ways to get here which do not include a parent withdrawing from a child, or placing onus of father/son relationship in the child's hands by waiting until he "put in the effort" both of which have the propensity to cause negative affect upon the child, and which may in turn not have the desired effect which is sought here by the father; but I digress.


Why don't we get off the matter of discrepancy, and back to the topic at hand by discussing additional ways to help this father/son relationship as it seems to be in distress at the moment.
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 09-06-2014, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stacy'sMom View Post

This:

I should not have said and janible has my sincere, public apology for being so crass with her last night in that sentiment.

No need to apologize as no offense was taken


Why don't we get off the matter of discrepancy, and back to the topic at hand by discussing additional ways to help this father/son relationship as it seems to be in distress at the moment.
Now there's something that we can agree on. The OP is clearly upset over this situation. I have raised a son (now 25) and there were times in his teens when I had to scratch my head and ask myself what planet he came from? I understand how sensitive/insecure they can be at that stage of life. Divorce just compounds the problems.

Perhaps the Dad in this case could write a heartfelt letter to his kid/kids explaining how he feels - no guilt or pressure, just expressing how he would love to spend more time enjoying juniors' company.

Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best?

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Old 09-06-2014, 02:36 PM
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I appreciate everyones input. And no one solution works for every kid or family. Dad knows it would be difficult to manage this relationship from several hours away and hes been doing what he can. They have a set schedule in the agreement for every other month one would travel to the other. Holidays are back and forth. From the beginning it was a hassle. They were always busy doing stuff with mom and he couldnt hammer down visits. Then they didnt like traveling. Then the older one got a job and he was told the younger one didnt like traveling alone. (I'll ignore that this argument always came from mom not kids.) In January, after a major hassle over christmas scheduling that stemmed from three screwed up visits during 2013, dad decided to ask mom for a set schedule of back and forth adhering to the agreement so everyone could make arrangements. She refused saying she cant make schedules for teenagers who have their own lives. Mom had the oldest back her up and she went after dad for bullying mom and being mean and not respecting they had lives. Then there was another screwed up visit where his lost $200 on non refundable bus tickets. And when he tries to get tough with mom, she pulls the "the kids are old enough to decide, you have to work with them". But the problem is, she doesnt encourage them to spend time with dad and actually interferes when hes with them (constant phone calls even when he has asked to turn the phones off).

He has also done the "do things they are passionate about". He takes them shopping, to craft stores, to movies, etc. thats pretty much how they spend their time with him.

His therapist also suggested he leave them to it. That he cant force them. That he has to keep the lines open and let them decide. But when he got the money request he implored his 14 yo to spend time with him. He was actually quite forceful reminding her she hadnt spent any time with him and hes her father. That was when she agreed to see him sunday (with moms approval) and then saturday too.

Clearly I think whats going on is influence from mom. She keeps them busy, she controls the schedule, she constantly calls them to make sure theyre not having a good time. Sundays fiasco was completely moms fault. The kids were giving dad info they had from mom. He has a good day with his kids, they reconnect, he lavishes attention on them and suddenly the schedule she previously agreed to changes? And kid is at the mercy of mom because shes driving (the had to drop off his other daughter at school).

Im just frustrated that this happens for every visit. He cant spend any quality time with them without this interference. And when he calls her on it, she plays the "theyre teenagers, i cant control them" bs and his kids dont want to upset mom. She has taught them to have no respect for him. Its been a learned behaviour since she doesnt respect have respect for him. He thought he could get through to his kids but even they dont care. His therapist and his lawyer said that this is what happens--parents use the kids against the other in divorce. He just has to wait it out until the can see it for themselves.
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 09-06-2014, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockscan View Post
Clearly I think whats going on is influence from mom. She keeps them busy, she controls the schedule, she constantly calls them to make sure theyre not having a good time. Sundays fiasco was completely moms fault. The kids were giving dad info they had from mom. He has a good day with his kids, they reconnect, he lavishes attention on them and suddenly the schedule she previously agreed to changes? And kid is at the mercy of mom because shes driving (the had to drop off his other daughter at school).
This is exactly why I don't advise leaving things in the hands of the child because it is the child who is being forced into distress by the mother's actions (meaning in short that it's not his fault) and by having the father withdraw from the situation by not insisting they spend time together (insisting to the mother; not the child) the child is all the more so forced into the middle where he has to choose sides. Potentially loosing his relationship with one parent in order pacify his cohabitation with the other...
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 09-06-2014, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janibel View Post
Now there's something that we can agree on. The OP is clearly upset over this situation. I have raised a son (now 25) and there were times in his teens when I had to scratch my head and ask myself what planet he came from? I understand how sensitive/insecure they can be at that stage of life. Divorce just compounds the problems.

Perhaps the Dad in this case could write a heartfelt letter to his kid/kids explaining how he feels - no guilt or pressure, just expressing how he would love to spend more time enjoying juniors' company.

Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best?

I was going to give my thoughts on this, and I did like where you were going in trying to have the child empathize with the father's situation; I'd have done it a little bit differently to ensure there was no possible way for the child to feel guilt (not because the father would attempt to make him feel guilt but the self inflicted guilt which the child could bring onto himself due to his perception that his actions are the cause of the father's feelings), rather I would instead suggest a way for the child to feel the feelings as if he were in same/similar shoes as the father, in a more positive way, but yes your principal is right- when a child is being "difficult" empathy can be a great way to bring about change.

However, the child does not to seem to be the problem, as he does want/try to spend time with his father. It appears that this may be more so an act of parental alienation on the part of the mother, and that is something entirely different.
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Old 09-09-2014, 04:40 PM
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Oh man. He poked the dragon. Partner hasnt spoken to his youngest in a week and a half since he reprimanded her for giving him false information that screwed up his dinner plans with him. Remember the visit came out of her asking him for money and he demanded a visit with the kids so she agreed and got moms permission. We still arent sure if mom knows about the money request or not but he wouldnt sell out his kid when defending his right to see her to mom.

He emailed the ex basically reminding her of her obligation to provide access to communication so he can speak with his daughter. The ex has emailed back telling him that his choices are the reason why they have this problem.

So does he ignore it as one of her bs games or does he call her on it. And by "it" i mean sharing details of communications with the oldest, telling the kids lies about him and allowing her family to slander him (all of that is actually a violation of their agreement), refusing to cooperate to schedule visits, denying access, monopolizing all vacation time preventing him from taking advantage of long weekends/school breaks, cutting off text plans/not replacing the computer for skype/not taking messages when he calls, interfering in visits through repeated phone calls that end up upsetting the kids etc. and also reminding her that as the custodial parent she has an obligation to encourage a healthy relationship?

Im really sick of this woman and how she twists things to her advantage. Shes a gatekeeper and a control freak and manipulates the truth to her own advantage. The crap that has come out of these kids that we know she and her family have said breaks my heart.

Now ill go try some of that frustration reducing stuff.
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Old 09-09-2014, 04:42 PM
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I should also note hes got emails of her refusal to work together and took notes of convos with his kids when they said stuff to him that mom/family members said.
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