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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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  #1  
Old 09-05-2018, 02:54 PM
c0ncernedM0M c0ncernedM0M is offline
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Exclamation Concerned Mom - Needs Advice

Married 4 years - together 9
DS - 9
DD - 6
Separated June 2017 (1Year)


OK....so I have been reading the forum and have gained some useful advice. I am looking for advice on my personal situation. Sorry it's a long post..............


Marriage ended based on ex husbands parenting style with our DS. Issues started when he was only 2. Iron fist, rude, screams, swears, grabs, chases, breaks things, etc. etc. Only to DS and has never parented in this style with DD. I begged for years for him to take parenting classes, read articles on the effects of his behaviour, sent him links to self-help, agreed to co-counselling...etc. etc. etc.


When enough was enough and I asked for a separation he agreed, but was demanding shared custody (week about). We co-habituated for the first six months with primary parent responsibilities. I coached, assisted, supported, guided in his parenting during this time as best I could. He acknowledged he needed to change. In Dec the co-habitation ended and we agreed to nesting (each of us moves in and out of home not yet sold but listed). My DS threatened taking his own life should he be forced to live with his father half of the time without me. Both children stayed with me through XMas. He engaged in counselling with DS (I was not invited to participate as the issues were between DS and ex). January started the actual nesting. There were a multitude of issues however I was always there to respond and counsel both DS and ex. Son was diagnosed with ADD in Feb (after a year wait list for a pediatrician in my area). Medication was agreed to by both myself and ex, and dosage was adjusted once. End term report shows amazing gains with a jump in grade in almost every subject. I, my family, school and pediatrician agree things are working well.


DS started independent counselling in early Spring. In May his counsellor called CAS based on a few built up events, as well as an incident the morning of counselling where there was swearing and chasing and grabbing once again. Although it was not my week, I retained both children in my care. EX called DSs counsellor and started independent counselling the same day. CAS closed the file because he made admittance and said he would do the work to change.


Issues continued to escalate with DS while in his care. DS was acting out in such a manner that was concerning to all - however not once acted (acts) in that manner with me.


Bottom of the barrel occurred in June and ex agreed to me having him full time with access visits to him until they could work through the issues. He however wanted me to take DS with me out of the matrimonial home so he could stay there during his time with DD. I rejected, and am of the opinion the kids should not be separated. Further, he has cried with our DD in front of me telling her she can't leave him too because she is all he has left. She at 6 years of age has taken over the role I once held in home as caretaker and often breaks up the fights, distracts, protects her brother, etc. etc. I hired a lawyer but had to let them go due to his inability to return calls or emails over three weeks.


His views switched 180 after their summer holiday which was drama free, DS was not on medication and both children and ex lived with his parents and he worked everyday took no actual holidays other than weekends. He was once again demanding 50/50. He has been threatening to me, and any time I said enough was enough I was coming back and he would have to leave he rejected and even went so far as telling me if I came back in he would not be leaving the bed again.


Both children returned to his care Monday of this week. By Monday evening I had the first panic phone call from my DS. Things were bad and he was unhappy however ex was following the right parenting paths and there was no danger to injury. I received a phone call from ex at 630 Tues (FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL) and he was screaming and disciplining DS for his outrageous behaviour. I arrived to the home and diffused the best I could. First day of school occurred DS was delivered to school through me as he refused to get into fathers vehicle.


Tues night was no better, I was there through dinner in order to hear about their days and this is a family tradition. things escalated but I created a plan with them and left feeling good they were once again on the right track. I then received yet another panic call from my DS. Another three calls from ex and I had to put DS to bed while speaking with him over the phone. Ex asked me to come and get him last night while DS was sitting in front of him. DS asked me why his dad hates him so much, asked me what did he ever do to make daddy treat him like this. I am heartbroken and lost.


Arrived to home at 530am today as agreed with ex. DS is now in my primary care, I am heading home to pack a bag for him and we will be staying with my folks 45 minutes away from home. Ex refused to leave the home and feels kicking DS out will teach him some sort of lesson. He is 9. DD wanted to stay with ex, however in the past this arrangement has only lasted 1 day before she too is calling to come back to me.


What are my options? I am at the end of my rope. I feel hopeless. When things started getting really bad between he and DS in June he pulled him from his ADD meds for a week and didn't tell me. Then proceeded to blame the medication for the behaviour. I scheduled another Dr. Apt and we all attended. Ex was asking for allergy testing, something is wrong with him, he is not right, maybe there is a larger mental issue. Both myself and the Dr (as well as DS) were furious. However, based on yesterday and today ex has now arranged for yet another Dr appointment with a new Dr for a new assessment which will occur in another city tomorrow...............my SON HAS HAD ENOUGH. I repeat the behaviours of my son are only while in the independent care of ex.


When I have told him we will have to go to court he just keeps telling me it is going to take months, threatening, and being a bully. I want to shelter my kids from a contentious divorce, but at the same time I need them to be happy and healthy. I even told him we could do a EOW with weeknight visits, or extended alternating, until xmas when we can reassess the relationships. I want him (all I have ever wanted) to be involved and a supporting figure ...... DS doesn't trust him and I believe the acting out is a test because he believes his dad won't actually change, as similar promises have been made in the past and never stick. The fact he (ex) refuses to take ownership for any of this behaviour makes me hate him. DS owns his behaviour and when asked why simply says he doesn't trust him, he hates him, he will never change, I never want to see him again.


ADVICE PLEASE SOME SOLID PARENTAL ADVICE!!!! He has a lawyer retained, I have a lawyer in the background but will self-represent until I can longer. I have read and have a ton of case law ready. The legalities are not my issue, the custody and how to make it happen legally and quickly is my issue. He wants verbal agreements.............
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  #2  
Old 09-05-2018, 11:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c0ncernedM0M View Post
DS - 9
DD - 6
Your kids are still young.

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Marriage ended based on ex husbands parenting style with our DS.
That often is the case.

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My DS threatened taking his own life should he be forced to live with his father half of the time without me.
Nine year olds generally do not threaten suicide. This is a major issue. This is not a problem with the father, but with the child.

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There were a multitude of issues however I was always there to respond and counsel both DS and ex.
You need to stop that. Stop being available to help them deal with their issues. Dad has to work things out with his son without your help. Son has to work things out with his Dad knowing that you are not about to step in and "save" the situation.

Extract yourself.

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He has been threatening to me, and any time I said enough was enough I was coming back and he would have to leave he rejected and even went so far as telling me if I came back in he would not be leaving the bed again.
So he said that he would not allow you to kick him out of the house? That's a fairly low level threat.

You guys should probably stop nesting, your relationship is nowhere close to where it needs to be to handle the emotional and financial complexities of that type of arrangement.

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I arrived to the home and diffused the best I could.
Not your job. Let the father parent. Let your son deal with his parent. Stop intervening.

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First day of school occurred DS was delivered to school through me as he refused to get into fathers vehicle.
Not your job. Let the father parent.

There was a judge who once hypothetically asked what a parent would do if her kid refused to go to school. I ask you the same question: What would you do if your son refused to go to school? He should receive a similar consequence for not getting into the father's vehicle to be brought to school.

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Tues night was no better, I was there through dinner in order to hear about their days and this is a family tradition
That tradition has to end. You have created a terrible dynamic. Stop intervening in the father-son relationship.

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. things escalated but I created a plan with them and left feeling good they were once again on the right track.
Why are you creating plans? Stop intervening. Let the father deal with his son. Let your son deal with his father.

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I then received yet another panic call from my DS. Another three calls from ex and I had to put DS to bed while speaking with him over the phone.
The kid is nine. I bet he would have eventually fallen asleep even if you had not called. Stop intervening. Let the father deal with his son. Let your son deal with his father.

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DS asked me why his dad hates him so much, asked me what did he ever do to make daddy treat him like this.
It is mostly his mother's fault. She likes to intervene. It causes confusion and makes the father unable to act like a parent. The father finds this upsetting, and withdraws from the relationship with his stun.

The mother should probably stop intervening.

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What are my options? I am at the end of my rope. I feel hopeless.
Don't intervene unless there is an emergency. I would loosely define an emergency as "hospitalization required". Anything less than that the father can handle.

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I repeat the behaviours of my son are only while in the independent care of ex.
I bet if the father usurped your role on a regular basis your DS would be dysfunctional at your house as well.

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I need them to be happy and healthy.
What you are doing to your son is incredibly unhealthy.

Quote:
ADVICE PLEASE SOME SOLID PARENTAL ADVICE!!!!
You need to be divorced, and act like you are divorced.

1. Stop nesting
2. Stop Tuesday night traditional whatevers
3. Stop answering non-emergency calls from son and ex
...and most of all
4. Stop intervening. Seriously. Nobody is going to die, your 9 year old son is not going to kill himself. This is almost entirely your fault, the entire thing.
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  #3  
Old 09-05-2018, 11:54 PM
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i agree with janus

You have to step away from involving yourself with your ex's parenting time.

Focus on your own life, what parenting for you with your children will entail... how can you make it better.

Separation/divorce is tough. I'd recommend spending time reading about new "family traditions" you and your children can have in future. Try something different for the holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, etc.). Don't worry about your past habits of always spending time with one relative or another. Look for new things to do and places to go.

Always good to take time for yourself through these difficult life challenges. Sounds like your life revolves around your children. You should try to look for ways to get healthy balance. You MUST schedule time for yourself and your own interests separate from your children. Having children doesn't mean you have to stop being you. Sounds as though you have somehow lost yourself here along the way. Relinquish control for a while? Be the "nice" mom but from a distance, in your own home. It's not that scary really.
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Old 09-06-2018, 11:37 AM
c0ncernedM0M c0ncernedM0M is offline
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Although I appreciate the comments, I am not entirely sure you picked up the major points of my concerns. I do not intervene in father's parenting. I do not show up or call. I talk with my son about making things better with his dad. I discipline and he is a well behaved and adjusted child in my care. Both of my children are. I cannot fix the issues he has with his father, nor do I assume for a second I am responsible to do that. The choice to co-parent our children is ours to make, and we have committed to putting their needs first. We are co-parents currently struggling to come to the same page on what is actually in their best interest right now.


If we share a meal once or twice a year in support of 'THEM' is that not a good thing? You are correct Janus, my children are young. I am, we are, doing our best to support them at every step of this life adjustment. My son has had a 9 year history of a horrible relationship with his father. I want them to have a good solid relationship. I do what I can as a mother to uplift and assist them with communication strategies, and I will not be made to feel guilty for that.


I do however have a lifetime commitment to support and encourage my children. Regardless of what parenting plan we are using, that will never change. I expect the parenting plans to change through the years based on the kids needs and we both acknowledge that the plan will need to be fluid in support of THEM.


My children would not tell me they were not going to school. However my son certainly has acted this way with his father. Which historically would have father man handle him, while screaming in his face swearing followed by breaking or destroying a prized possession of son's. Son simply doesn't trust the changes dad is trying to make in a new parenting style. Son continually cries about not trusting him because he has 'said he wouldn't do it anymore before, but he always does.' I support ex's changes, I have seen them and am very proud of the steps he has made to date. If I didn't I would not be as supportive of an end game 50/50 schedule.


My question to you as parents, co-parents, is simply this:
1. Is it normal to separate siblings in support of 1 child having a 50/50 and the other having weeknight visits and EOW? Specifically for their age group.
2. Is it unjust for me as a parent to not agree to having our child move out of his home every two weeks and have to endure a 45minute commute each way to and from school? (Note: Ex cannot afford to keep the house, I have offered multiple buy out solutions in light of the house not selling and he won't take them. He has put his feet in the sand on the issue and won't leave unit it sells.)
3. Is a four month (now through Christmas) not a fair offer to him? I have offered EOW/weeknight visits and have also suggested he use the time to have individual date nights with both children and on his schedule, I would enable. I have offered extended EOW the same opportunity for date nights. I have offered every third week. Again I am offering this as a temporary solution so that son and ex can dig deep in finding better resolutions to their day to day with an intent of having a 50/50 re-instated in Jan.
4. When is enough enough with regards to ex dragging him through (what I feel) are unnecessary medical appointments in search for a cause. Son found out about the appointment his dad made and now is more angry at him then he was previously.
5. If your child were to call you an hour past normal bedtime screaming, crying, swearing, "I hate him mom, he is such an a%%hole" and your ex was in the background screaming could you hang up the phone and have a restful sleep? Would you ignore the phone ringing when you have spent a year of your life receiving such calls?


The fact I am the mother and he is a father has no bearing, we are parents. If the roles were reversed and son was acting out in the same fashion only while with me, I would expect nothing less from my ex. He has agreed that if the roles were reversed he would pull son out of my care.


I do take time for myself, I have a wonderful career which also provides me with balance and escape. My life choices absolutely involve my children, but I maintain my individual self. Right now, through this transition, I am simply putting them first. I need structure, my children require structure (specifically son with ADD), and I have not been able to maintain that for months.......so yup I am a little tired, but what parent isn't?


Janus - I have to say that your response blaming me for everything was a little out to lunch. You ignored multiple comments in my original post that were showcasing the root of the issues and I can only assume you have had a history with an ex who intervened in your parenting. When a parent is abusing (both emotional and physical) a child and the other parent steps in to stop the abuse - is that intervening? CAS was involved, he admitted his wrong doing. And I was not the one who made the call. You also failed to comment at all regarding the medication, diagnosis issues. You either have never dealt with a child who has special requirements to 'thrive' or you didn't want to agree with me about anything at all. I respect you have no true history of us as people, however you should know that I am not that stereotypical mother who just wants to take my kids away from their father, nor am I up in their business. When Monday rolls around and it is transition day, I step up and out - it is the ex who has consistently drawn me back in to help with the issues he has. Would you hang up on him and wish them both the best knowing the history? Would you want your child feeling miserable every day? Would you allow any of this to occur if it was your ex and child in the same situation? I am not an overprotective mother, however I do want was is best for them LONG TERM. Our nesting arrangement is working and the so called financial and emotional complexities are well understood and agreed to by both parties. The house, is not the issue. I respect your opinion and also respect the fact your statements come likely from a place of negativity towards an ex, and you likely do not have the capacity to fill in some of the blanks I left in my original post. Thank you all the same.
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Old 09-06-2018, 12:15 PM
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The best way to weigh if an "offer" you are making is truly fair is to consider if it was something YOU would accept if made to you.

Just an observation, I would stop "suggesting" what he should/could be doing with the kids om his time and let him decide that on his own.
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Old 09-06-2018, 01:12 PM
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Your son is nine. If my kid called me to tell me his father was an asshole I would punish him for using that word and for whatever it was he did to create the situation. If you are empowering him to behave his way then you need to empower him to take responsibility. Your ex is not the big bad monster. Your son is misbehaving in his care and your son uses you as a way to avoid punishment. Your response to him is “you are with your father and you need to learn to work with him on what is going on including respecting his rules”.
Then you turn off your phone and let dad deal with it. As long as your son knows he can reach out to you, he will continue. You are simply setting him up to disregard all authority he disagrees with. What will happen when he dislikes a teacher, a boss, a spouse? Will he go running to mommy to fix it?

I agree with janus. And the reason I agree is the example of a friend who has shared custody and very difficult son who struggled with his dad from age 10-17. My friend, who supports her children no matter what, and does not agree with her ex’s parenting style, put her foot down with her son and reminded him that his father had rules and expectations in his home that she agreed with. Regardless of how she parented or what happened in her house, he had to live with what his fathers rules were while in his care. Shes also a social worker who deals with abused kids so she knows what is or isnt abuse.

Being divorced doesn’t change being a parent. He parents differently than you. Get over it and stop letting your child play you off each other.
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Old 09-06-2018, 01:48 PM
c0ncernedM0M c0ncernedM0M is offline
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Funny thing is I support the fathers rules, and have carried forward consequences given by him into my home, sometimes adding to them based on the infraction or behaviour. He is disciplined every time he swears with me - not the case with the father. I have disciplined him for his behaviour with his father. Maybe I am a horrible parent, certainly what the forum seems to think.


What I am hearing is a consensus I should drop him off with his dad and drive away. His dad doesn't want him there........his dad blames a mental problem, wants him on anti anger medication or more medication, thinks he acts this way because of an allergy to something, and has said these very things in front of our son..........however son has ONLY EVER done these types of things with him. Their relationship is a time bomb and unhealthy - both father and son agree to that. But I guess I shouldn't care or support, I should say screw it and good luck to you both. Call me only if someone is dying. Am I ever extremely glad I did not have to grow up and mature to be a successful human while dealing with so much at 9 years old.


Again - the issue I was looking for advice on is the 50/50 for one child and the other on EOW schedule with father (temp). This is what has been requested by their father. I do not agree.



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Old 09-06-2018, 06:59 PM
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You tell him no you don’t agree and that you will work on the behaviours that may be contributing to the problem. Including stopping the calls from kid and assisting in any way possible to make it work between them. That could also include paying for counseling for the two of them to work through their issues.

Maybe your son and your ex have an anger problem or a parenting or any other issue that needs intervention. Its no different than a kid needing meds for anxiety or depression. Just because you don’t think there is a problem doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem.
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Old 09-07-2018, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c0ncernedM0M View Post
Maybe I am a horrible parent, certainly what the forum seems to think.
I think you have misunderstood what we are saying. You are probably a better parent than the father. That's not the issue. We are just saying that when the kids are with the father, they should be with the father, and you should stop intervening, even if you would do a better job. Your interventions are sabotaging the father-son relationship.

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What I am hearing is a consensus I should drop him off with his dad and drive away.
Correct.

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But I guess I shouldn't care or support, I should say screw it and good luck to you both.
You are a dramatic one aren't you . Of course you should care, just be less involved during the father's time... a LOT less involved.

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Call me only if someone is dying.
Correct. Most non-fatal issues can be fixed and as such do not require your intervention.

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Again - the issue I was looking for advice on is the 50/50 for one child and the other on EOW schedule with father (temp). This is what has been requested by their father. I do not agree.
Honestly, I do not see the problem. The daughter is shared 50/50. The son either does 50/50 or does EOW. The daughter's schedule is not going to change, so the only decision is what is best for the son.

The forum mostly thinks that 50/50 would be best for the son as well. You seem to believe that EOW is better for the son. Either way, the daughter's schedule is unaffected, so what is the big quandary?

If you think that son should be EOW instead of 50/50, then go to court and change the custody schedule. I think you are wrong, and that 50/50 would be better, but at the end of the day I'm not a judge, so a judge will make that decision.
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Old 09-07-2018, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
If you think that son should be EOW instead of 50/50, then go to court and change the custody schedule. I think you are wrong, and that 50/50 would be better, but at the end of the day I'm not a judge, so a judge will make that decision.

The dad wants EOW and she doesn’t agree. Dad is struggling to deal with kid and wants to change it to EOW in the hope the relationship will improve. It won’t because kid is simply running to mom when he doesn’t like the rules or doesn’t want to behave. Mom needs to continue to assert to kid that hes with dad and thats how it is and then turn her phone off.

Kids who don’t like their parents rules in intact families simply ignore the parent or hide in their room. Children of divorce are able to play off each parent. Let this be a lesson to all divorced parents, co-parenting means parenting like you are still married and not letting your kids dictate to you how they want to be parented.
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