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"my" child vs "our" child

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  • #1
    When they are bad, they are my children. When they are good, they are her children. When she needs me to do her a favour, they are our children.


    • #2
      Another vote here for "mine" when they're good and "yours" when they're bad, and least while we were together.

      I do my best now to always, always, always use "our" these days.

      What gets me going on the forum is not casual use of "my kids" -we all do that- but, rather, when someone (usually the CP) is overtly possessive along the lines of "(s)he has my kids for the weekend" as if to suggest that custodial status is a legal transfer of ownership. It also removes the other parents' status as parents and replaces it with a status akin to that of an annoying acquaintance with whom you are forced to share your toys.

      Kids are people, not possessions, and do not belong to anybody.




      • #3
        Originally posted by iceberg View Post
        Ever since I separated my ex says "my" child when she talks to me about our kid. Sounds very bad. Does your ex have any respect and says "our" instead of "my" child/ren?

        It is interesting you bring this up. I have been studying decisions that involve the "terminology" of seperation and divorce around "our children", "the children", and "my children".

        I would not advise anyone today to use the term "my children" in correspondence with the othe parent. Either use their names or "our". Judges as of 2009 from my extracts have started to use this as leverage point against the offending parent to dig deeper into the problems.

        Although many may see it as a simple mistake, the consistency is what the judges are picking on in their posted decisions. If a parent continually through the course of litigation and correspondence constantly uses "my/mine" it demonstrates a posessive pattern. Possessive patterns are often attributed to anxious/overanxious disorders and possibly more complex disorders of personality.

        There is a unique pattern and similarity between the decisions where different justices have made similar comments to what appears to be an evolving view in "custody and access disputes". Children are not posessions.

        This is contrary to the Canadian Criminal Code of Canada which identifies children as objects to be owned. (It needs an update.)

        My recommendation is to continue down the path of "our children" and keep a running log of how many times it happens, when it happens (is the other parent mad?) etc... Time and date stamp it all. You may see a pattern evolve. When something heats up where the other parent is "anxious" about the progress of the litigation it may be just anxiety. If it happens all the time and is in a rude tone you have a highly combative and self centred parent (high conflict) on your hands potentially.

        Good Luck!


        • #4
          Both the use of 'our' and 'my' are correct in plain language.

          I don't really think its an issue except for when you're in front of a judge.
          Use the term 'our' in your materials and speech in court.

          I can see why people take offense when one parent uses the term 'my' when speaking to the other parent - as it seems to exclude the other parent.

          But really this is a minor thing that seems to work people up. Is it really that big of a deal to anyone here? None of us are judges, although many here seem to be quick to pass judgment at times.

          In my opinion, it only really shows a level of respect to the other parent. Persoanlly, I don't have much respect for my ex. She's earned that lack of respect from me... But I still say 'our' child as much as I can.

          Actually, to be quite honest... I usually say 'the boy' when I'm talking about him. No one gets offended about that. At least not yet - I'm sure it won't be long until someone points out that in doing so I am objectifying the child. Meh... can't win...
          Last edited by wretchedotis; 08-26-2011, 11:25 AM.


          • #5
            I don't give it a lot of thought when I'm speaking to people however I do believe both the Ex and I say 'the kids' more often than 'my' or 'our'. It does bug me when other people are adament about 'MY' kids when they divorce, regardless of the situation.

            What bothers me more is terms like 'can i go after him for...' or 'can i take her for....'. And people wonder why, with language like that, they have highly volatile situatins.


            • #6
              Originally posted by Mess View Post
              When they are bad, they are my children. When they are good, they are her children. When she needs me to do her a favour, they are our children.
              Oh Mess, you have an absolutely lovely EX!!!


              • #7
                My ex used to be like this all the time. Generally when she is mad at me, D6 is "her daughter", otherwise, she refers to D6 by her name.


                • #8
                  I think that because of the emotion people get worked up over it in this forum. When I am at work, I refer to my daughter, when people wish their children Happy Birthday over the radio, they refer to my daughter, when people are at parent teacher meetings alone, they say "my daughter", iits only when parents are battling over a child that the "my" "our" becomes a battle ground. Seriously, if a stranger says to you "your child is beautiful' do you say "no OUR daughter is beautiful...its just a preposition.


                  • #9
                    In that context then yes, absolutely to each other it is disrespectful.


                    • #10
                      the mother refer's to them as 'hers' and the alberta courts had the exact same attitude.


                      • #11
                        Both of my boys joke often, and banter back "don't kiss the boy"...or "don't hug the boy" quite often I call them Boy1 and Boy2 to their delight !


                        • #12
                          I don't pay any attention to my ex's language or behaviour; at the end of the day, I am only accountable for my language and behaviour; this was not an easy place to get to but after 5 years of being a step-dad to a now 19 year-old and a divorced dad to a now 13 and 10 year-old, I have learned from our kids that they see the adult members of their blended families as individuals and hold each of us accountable separately for what we do and say.


                          • #13
                            wow that sounds familiar; after we separated (about 2 months) my ex calls me up at work one day and states that "she would have stuck it out with me". It was such a lovely proposal (ha ha) but I declined. I believe it was just her way of reacting to the stress of it all - easier to go back to what you know then to move forward with all the uncertainties; but it made me laugh; I stopped worrying about where her head was at after that and got my head on straight, fixed the things I knew had screwed me up and got on with my life; my ex is still where she was 5 years ago and I don't anticipate a "real" change anytime soon.


                            • #14
                              My ex uses "my babies" and "my kids" in emails to me when she is mad at me for something - she thinks she is the great protector of the kids, to make sure I stay in line and don't treat them like I treated her - she uses the "my" term as a badge of honour to help convince herself that she is the better parent, and to be mama bear protecting her kids (from me).

                              I just role my eyes a little inside when I hear it - if she were to admit I am a great dad, then maybe that would mean I'm a great guy, and that might mean that she has a few problems other than just me Its amazing what a little word like "my" can mean. I would never use that term in conversation with her - would not even occur to me.
                              Last edited by billm; 09-01-2011, 01:33 AM.


                              • #15
                                They are "his" children when he's pissed off at me or disagrees with how I'm raising them. They are "his" when they are doing things he's proud of. When he believes they are behaving badly, then they are "mine" (even though they are with him). They are "ours" only when we are in court.
                                They are our kids all the time in my mind.


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