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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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Old 07-12-2010, 12:09 AM
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Default When does the court make decision based on child's preference?

My child is less than 3 1/2. My ex lives 30 minutes away. She wanted to put him in preschool with his cousin in her area (a free preschool), without my knowledge, but the child was just a few days too young to be eligible.

Now I wanna put him in preschool in September and I will pay the fees, but it will be in my area. She says no way. I think the child should go to school to learn English and other stuff. She said the child is better off with his cousin than with Canadian kids . (Wonder if judge would care about that statement).

Anyway, even though the child is happy here, plays with me, my family and daily goes out to play, he prefers it at his mom's because of his cousin, we believe. Here he has no friends and when I call him (or my mom) he refuses to talk by saying "I don't wanna go there". When they bring him, he often cries and takes 2 minutes until he calms down. When here he is sometimes saying he doesn't wanna go to mommy but does talk on the phone to her.

I don't know if there is any parental alienation involved. But this is my question. Once I do put him in preschool, I fear he might want to come here less, either because of school or my ex and her family telling him bad about me, out of anger that I put him to school.

In that case I would get a psychiatrist/therapist/CPS involved. If they don't find any parental alienation, if they find that the child simply likes it more there than here (Again, besides playing with his cousin I think he is better off here as he spends roughly 2/3 of the time here) and when they see he refuses to come here and refuses phone talk, could that be a reason to change custody agreement?

If we take a look at history, it was me who did most of the things that are in BIC, and I think enrolling him in preschool is also in child's best interest (correct me if I am wrong), but am afraid a judge may issue an order to change our shared custody agreement due to the fact that the child avoids coming here and talking to us on the phone. If therapist or CPS finds child is fine here but loves it more there, can that be a reason to grant full custody to the mother.

Or, When does the court make decision based on child's preference?
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Old 07-12-2010, 09:46 AM
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Normally the court will take into consideration the childs preference on matters like who they reside with at around 12. This will vary also due to the maturity of the child. As for a 3y/o making a decision, I can't see it happening.

I think it would be a matter of who can provide the best argument that this is in the best interests of the child.
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Old 07-13-2010, 02:03 PM
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why can't you put him in preschool somewhere halfway betwen your homes? His preschool should not be associated with 1 parent only, unless the other parent is able to provide full time care on thier time.

Your child seems to be having a hard time with change, but that is VERY normal. My daughter is also 3 and has the same problems. If he is only crying for a few minutes and will talk to her on the phone then he is probably doing fine.

At 3 years old the child's wishes have no bearing on what the court would decide. I'm sure you son would love ice cream for dinner, but you wouldn't let him have that though. The court will order what they think is best for him.

If you are worried that he likes his mom's more because he has a cousin to play with, then find some way he can interact with other kids at your house. Go to the park, join a team or group, go to the library for storytime. There are so many options.
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Old 07-13-2010, 07:25 PM
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I may be way off here but if your kid is almost 3.5 now, will he be 4 before year's end? If he is then junior kindergarten should be what you're looking at for him come September, not preschool or daycare.
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Old 07-13-2010, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blinkandimgone View Post
I may be way off here but if your kid is almost 3.5 now, will he be 4 before year's end? If he is then junior kindergarten should be what you're looking at for him come September, not preschool or daycare.
Good point. I don't know when the KG starts for him nor do I know if KG is a mandatory, but either way we will put him in KG, I have to find out when he will be eligible but he will be 4 next year in April. So I am pretty sure he has 1 year of preschool.
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:31 PM
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Junior Kindergarten is not mandatory but if he isn't 4 until next April then he wouldn't start until the following September anyways. (Assuming you're in Ontario)

Preschool is a great way for kids to prepare for school, it gets them used to the social atmosphere and following instructions in a group. I'm a big believer in it, personally.
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billiechic View Post
why can't you put him in preschool somewhere halfway betwen your homes? His preschool should not be associated with 1 parent only, unless the other parent is able to provide full time care on thier time.
I suggested half way and this was the answer from my MIL as she is the boss in the other house, I'll even quote it" The child can either go to school in your or our area, and spend weekends with the other parent, we will not pick him up/drop off from a a school that is half
way from us".
So when I talked to my ex, her reply is as usual, "we will talk about it". The talk never happens. So I told her I am putting him in pre-school. She said no. I said preschool is very important and half way school is still an option. She said no, next year he will go to preschool in her area. As providing full time care, they couldn't do it in the past, they would be having hard time now too. Also, during her week, she is allowed to keep him with her, to keep him out of preschool, if she wishes so. But what is 9 hours a week?


Quote:
Originally Posted by billiechic View Post
Your child seems to be having a hard time with change, but that is VERY normal. My daughter is also 3 and has the same problems. If he is only crying for a few minutes and will talk to her on the phone then he is probably doing fine.
He doesn't always cry but sometimes simply doesn't want to stay and cries for roughly 1 minute the most and then 2 minutes is mad at everyone. For the rest of the time he enjoys it here but I can see he needs other kids to play with. I bought him a basketball net and ball perfect for his size and he loves it and I play with him but he would enjoy it better if there was a kid or 2 to play. My mom tells me when I was about his age, we had a neighbor with 2 kids and they didn't speak to my mom but despite all that I spent more time in their house and even overnights than in our own.

Quote:
Originally Posted by billiechic View Post
At 3 years old the child's wishes have no bearing on what the court would decide. I'm sure you son would love ice cream for dinner, but you wouldn't let him have that though. The court will order what they think is best for him.
My main fear is parental alienation if the child end up going to school in my area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by billiechic View Post
If you are worried that he likes his mom's more because he has a cousin to play with, then find some way he can interact with other kids at your house. Go to the park, join a team or group, go to the library for storytime. There are so many options.
Well I like him playing with his cousin and I often but toys and things to both of them. But when he is here, I tried to find him a friend, with no success. I'd like someone to come in here and play and go to their house to play. He would be much happier that way. If you have any other ideas how to find him a friend let me know because parks, library etc is good and I take him many places but that's just it. I like to find him full time friends.
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blinkandimgone View Post
Junior Kindergarten is not mandatory but if he isn't 4 until next April then he wouldn't start until the following September anyways. (Assuming you're in Ontario)

Preschool is a great way for kids to prepare for school, it gets them used to the social atmosphere and following instructions in a group. I'm a big believer in it, personally.
I am teaching my son Alphabet. He already knows to count to 30 which I thought him. His English improved. But that's not nearly enough, he needs to develop other important skills. So yes, I too believe in preschool.

I'm not in Ont., I'm in Alta.
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Old 07-13-2010, 09:20 PM
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Not sure what the rules are in Alberta. Good for you for teaching him - isnt it fun??!

I'll bet there are groups in your area for others in your situation as well. There are typically playgroups and programs put on by city or government services.

I'm not sure what part of Alberta you're in but the Parent Link sites seem to have alot of programs in abunch of different areas. PM me and let me know what area you're in and I can send you some links from a friend who works for the government out there if you like.
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