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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 07-11-2011, 10:24 PM
inseperationhell inseperationhell is offline
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Need some advice on how to tread on the thin ice of seperation. Been sperated for 3 months (my decision). Have 3 kids together. He has been bitter and making life as difficult as possible. He has also been as unreasonable as possible. For example, I asked to go to mediation and when, he responded on his timeframe and terms which meant not now. All I want is to decide on some immediate issues regarding finances and the kids for the kids sake - i.e. living arrangements. Every few weeks, he demands to change the custody arrangements unilaterally on his terms in front of the children...just the tip of the iceberg. I have been berated for hiring a lawyer.
My two 7 year olds just informed me that Dad is no longer requiring them to use their booster seats when he has them. By law in Ontario, they must be in booster seats (they do not meet the age, height or weight requirements). I am worried about their safety when in the car with him. What is the best way to approach this situation? I feel like if I say anything (even to my lawyer), I will get the brunt of accusations etc once again, if I am silent, I know the kids are in danger if they are in an accident. I have also been told by the kids that Dad is going to let the little ones stay at home alone when they are 8. I believe that 2 eight year olds in a house alone (we live in the country, few neighbors) is not a good idea but can't find any laws or statutes in Ontario regarding what age a child can stay on their own.
If anyone has any hints on how to navigate an issue as this, would appreciate it.
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Old 07-12-2011, 01:38 AM
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Well, things have changed - instead of a two parents at the same time, they have one at a time. You are different people, different parents.

It helps to teach yourself that the relationship etc between the kids and their father is not overly your concern. It is not your place to judge him and intercede where you would do different, you've got to learn to recognize that that relationship is none of your business.

I am not talking extremes, or not communicating with him to be better together (including the concerns you mention here), but in the end - its not something that you can have ownership over - they are his kids to raise as he sees fit as much as they are yours.

Getting lawyers involved over booster seats is not a good idea - tell him directly, tell him in a manner that is the least offence to him (ie, tell him that it makes you worry, and that you can see that it is not something that he is concerned about, but you would appreciate that he considers your side and keeps using the seats until such and such a time. Also mention that you will strive to understand his needs/wants regarding things you do with the kids).

Moms and Dads are typically different - and having both of them raise you give you balance. Mom might say, 'don't climb too high in that tree', and Dad might say 'I'll bet you can make it to the top!!' - Neither is wrong, but balance needs to be found.

Also you are newly separated, just keep smiling and doing your best to be level with him, and over time he will probably calm down from the emotions of being left, and deal with you in a more open way.

Last edited by billm; 07-12-2011 at 01:42 AM.
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:15 AM
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^ True all that.
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Old 07-12-2011, 02:47 PM
canadamama canadamama is offline
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The Child & Family Services Act states that "No person having charge of a child less than 16 years of age shall leave the child without making provision for his or her supervision and care that is reasonable in the circumstances."

This is the generally accepted interpretation of that legislation:

Infant - 9 years
A child of this age should not be left unsupervised at any time of the day or night. A competent caregiver should be on the same premises as the children.

10 -12 years
Short periods of indirect supervision of 1-2 hours may be acceptable for this age range. These short periods of indirect supervision may be provided by an adult in the next house or apartment-- if the adult is aware of the parents' absence, and agrees to look in on the child during specified periods of time.

Please note that indirect supervision via telephone contact is generally unacceptable for this age range.

13 - 14 years
Longer periods of indirect supervision (2 - 5 hours) are acceptable for this age range. An adult/babysitter should be available by telephone to the children in case of an emergency, or if the child requires assistance.

15 -16 years
At this age, the child should be able to be left alone for a full day. The parent should be readily available by telephone to the child in case of an emergency.

These are guidelines only. Every child and situation is different, and should be assessed individually.

From Durham Children's Aid Society
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Old 07-12-2011, 03:22 PM
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Those are not laws or statues, you even quoted the part that says it is just a guideline.
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Old 07-12-2011, 03:31 PM
canadamama canadamama is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blinkandimgone View Post
Those are not laws or statues, you even quoted the part that says it is just a guideline.
That is correct.

They aren't, and I did.
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:25 AM
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Typically CAS takes a dim view of children < age 12 being left alone. At age 12 they can legally babysit smaller children given they can take the Red Cross? Babysitting course offered in most middle schools.

It's a safety concern...if you find out he's doing it, call CAS accordingly.
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Old 07-13-2011, 01:18 PM
canadamama canadamama is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NBDad View Post
Typically CAS takes a dim view of children < age 12 being left alone. At age 12 they can legally babysit smaller children given they can take the Red Cross? Babysitting course offered in most middle schools.

It's a safety concern...if you find out he's doing it, call CAS accordingly.
Exactly. The Act deliberately avoids specific ages, as every situation is unique (there are plenty of 12-year-olds who still require supervision), but the guidelines I quoted above are from the CAS in Durham region and are pretty standard. Eight-year-olds being left alone is not safe, and the CAS won't look kindly on it.
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Old 07-13-2011, 03:54 PM
HappyMomma HappyMomma is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canadamama View Post
Exactly. The Act deliberately avoids specific ages, as every situation is unique (there are plenty of 12-year-olds who still require supervision), but the guidelines I quoted above are from the CAS in Durham region and are pretty standard. Eight-year-olds being left alone is not safe, and the CAS won't look kindly on it.
How odd - I am currently going through a similar situation. My ex has been leaving our daughters (5 and 7) alone in the apartment.

After considering it for a long time I finally called CAS. Unfortunately, my ex and I are unable to communicate so it is impossible for me to mention this to him in any way that wouldn't result in complete fury from him.

In your situation I highly recommend you email him your concerns so you have a record and if things don't change, don't hesitate to contact CAS. They can educate him on what is appropriate. And ask exactly that - don' t be vindictive, just let them know that you are concerned and ask that they educate him.

The car seat issue is very serious. They are not just guidelines, they are law. He will receive a ticket if he gets pulled over and the children are not in car seats.

This is not an issue of 'daddy parents differently than mommy', this is completely a safety issue and you have a right to be concerned. Good luck. '

As a side note - be careful too - sometimes kids say things that aren't quite true. My daughter told my ex, for instance, that I was going to let her walk to school alone (when she was in kindergarten) and he flipped. It wasn't true - she was excited that there was a path to the nearby school and figured she was going to walk there. So maybe start your letter with, our son mentioned that...and I wanted to make sure that he misunderstood.....

Last edited by HappyMomma; 07-13-2011 at 03:58 PM.
  #10  
Old 07-13-2011, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSAngel View Post
This is not an issue of 'daddy parents differently than mommy', this is completely a safety issue and you have a right to be concerned.
Absolutely.
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