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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 08-18-2014, 01:03 PM
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Default Conflict at pickup

Posting anonymously on behalf of someone else:

Quote:
Looking for some advice on how to deal with the ex creating conflict at pickup of the kids.

- We have an old outdated agreement that I am trying to get updated and she is refusing to agree to any changes, despite that our outdated agreement does not reflect the current arrangement.

- We share three kids 50-50, I pay full table CS (attempting to get this changed

- She insists on scheduling the kids into daycare Monday - Fridays despite me being off work Tues - Thursdays and our arrangement is (and has been for a number of years now) that I have the children on those days and am not working.

- She refuses to let me pick up the children the Monday evenings so I am forced to pick them up from the daycare provider in the morning, essentially intercepting the drop off to daycare.

- She is very vocal about me not being 'allowed' to pick up the children, or keep them out of daycare on those days because she chooses to schedule it and pay for it, despite knowing the kids are with me those days and I do not work during those days

- the last pick up where I had to intercept them before going into daycare she was absolutely argumentative, even in front of the children, offered to create a scene, and even spoke to the daycare people and told them I was not to remove the kids. I did take them with me, however by the time we got sorted out they were all in tears over the scene she made.

- the kids are now fearful that they will get in trouble and this is creating a lot of anxiety for them and are now saying they would rather stay at daycare

I am scheduled to pick them up tomorrow morning, the oldest was in tears at our last visit just before exchange when I reminded her I would be picking them up in the morning before daycare. I have tried not engaging with her, especially in front of the kids and the daycare workers and am very careful to record every exchange as her level of conflict-seeking is escalating. I try to engage only with the children during these times however she gets them very worked up and it is difficult to even speak with them with her there interfering with my attempts to engage them. She has made them feel that spending the time with me instead of "with friends at daycare" is a punishment and even apologizes to them that they are with me instead of there.

I just want to spend the time with my kids and they should not be in daycare when a parent is available - which she reminds me of frequently when she thinks I have other plans during my time with them or that perhaps my work schedule has changed (which it has not for many years).

How do I handle the exchange in the morning to minimize the conflict, and hopefully not have the children end up in tears again?
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Old 08-18-2014, 01:53 PM
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Why can't you just show up at the daycare a half hour after your ex leaves, and take them when she's already left and can't cause a scene? The daycare should be aware that you have joint custody, and they can't keep your kids from you. Use the daycare like an exchange point.

It looks like your ex's motivation is monetary. She doesn't want to give you more ammunition to prove your case for switching from full table CS to offset.

The poor kids are caught in the middle, and probably think they'll be punished by their mother if they leave with you. They may be upset when they see you. You should prepare something to deflect them with, such as reminders of the awesome things you are going to do together that day, and also rehearse ways to assure them that the parents are going to work this out together, and they do not have to worry about the situation.
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Old 08-18-2014, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rioe View Post
Why can't you just show up at the daycare a half hour after your ex leaves, and take them when she's already left and can't cause a scene? The daycare should be aware that you have joint custody, and they can't keep your kids from you. Use the daycare like an exchange point.

It looks like your ex's motivation is monetary. She doesn't want to give you more ammunition to prove your case for switching from full table CS to offset.

The poor kids are caught in the middle, and probably think they'll be punished by their mother if they leave with you. They may be upset when they see you. You should prepare something to deflect them with, such as reminders of the awesome things you are going to do together that day, and also rehearse ways to assure them that the parents are going to work this out together, and they do not have to worry about the situation.
OP Reply:

The ex's motivation is definitely financial, given the conversations she keeps trying to have with me about "my money". I have already cancelled the daycare for my days with the children as I do not require it, so they shouldn't even be there for 5 minutes, much less the whole day. I have tried to tell her this but she keeps rescheduling the kids into daycare.

I had considered picking them up after she had left, however my concern is if they get dropped off there then it is incurring a full day's worth of charges for the kids' attendance that she wants to pass off to me to pay ($90 per day) which limits me from actually being able TO do something with the kids when they are with me if I am stuck with the bill for it - she thinks.

The daycare has been very good, and I have apologized to them for the disturbances, they are very understanding and have not at all tried to interfere. They know me very well as I have been there both dropping off and picking up the kids since they all started school.

I have tried talking to the kids, to help them understand that daycare is only for hen mom and dad are BOTH working and one of us is not able to be with them, talked about fun things we will do together and reminded them that we both love them very much and cherish all the time we can get with them. They are indeed very afraid of mom being angry with them for going with dad, and god forbid WANTING to or having a good time.

She has them well trained with her guilt trips and emotional manipulation around things like they "only HAVE TO spend three nights with dad until they GET TO come back to mom" and how "she is not used to them being gone for so long and it is really hard for her to be away from them that much and she really misses them" when they were on vacation with me for 10 days.

Keep in mind, the kids are not infants, they are 5, 7 and 10, we have been separated since our youngest was a few months old so none of this is new to them.

There are a number of issues that need to be dealt with in our situation which I am actively trying to address against her wishes (control freak) but I was hoping there was some other suggestions for dealing with the morning pickups when she prefers them in daycare than with me.
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