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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 04-30-2020, 01:45 PM
iona6656 iona6656 is offline
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Default Do you guys say "good night" to your kids when at other parent's home?

Simple question:

When your kid(s) is at the other parent's home, do you always call to say good night? Never? Sometimes?

D3.5 is going to start overnights soon. She does't really want to- but then again- she didn't want to potty train either, but dems the breaks. What works best with toddlers? older kids? Ship 'em off and kiss goodbye- and then radio silence? Quick check in?

Technically, per our agreement, I'm allowed a phone call, as is D3's dad daily. He doesn't exercise this. But I do call when she wants to speak to him.

Any insights?
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Old 04-30-2020, 03:49 PM
tilt tilt is offline
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My co-parent rarely sees his kids, maybe once every two or three weeks. Takes them for an overnight maybe once every couple of months. We, however, have an extremely amicable relationship - mostly because I know that if I do not keep him engaged he will just drift out of their lives (this was the same during our marriage and he has few social or family relationships either). I am constantly sending him photos of the kids, keeping him informed of any events or new interests so he can carry on a decent conversation with them. I invite him to dinner and outings like museum trips (back when we could leave the house...)

We have been in active litigation for several years and he tends to drop communication when a court date is coming up. So that is the context in which to place my answer.

My co-parent reaches out to the younger kids almost every night to say good night. It is usually texting, sometimes FaceTiming. When he has the kids I do not reach out to them (I don't want to take their attention away from him if something positive is going on) but they are usually texting/facetiming me every couple of hours, including to say goodnight, often because they have been left alone while he goes out and "parties" or is sleeping off the night before.

If things are sensitive (like he has been found in contempt of court, lol), I do not prolong any contact with the children when he is with them. I know that it would just stir up negative emotions from him to hear my name on their lips and he would take them out on the children.

So, it is a LOT of emotional labour and walking on eggshells, but I feel I have to do it to protect my children from adult conflict as much as possible.

So, in your case, would a phone call be something he would welcome, "lets tell mummy what a great time we are having!" or would everything be twisted around like you are a bitch eating crackers? "Are you calling because you are checking to make sure she is still alive because you think I can't parent????"

Probably, the answer will change; the best answer would be to take your lead from your daughter and what she wants, but once she is in the other parent's control you are kind of at their mercy.
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Old 04-30-2020, 05:42 PM
Abba435 Abba435 is offline
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Our agreement allows for the children to contact either parent when they wish. Either parent can have reasonable contact with the children daily. My approach is pretty much to let them be when they are not with me so I don't call or text daily or to say goodnight. They (3 kids) call or text me pretty regularly. Every "family" is unique and I go with what I think is best for them. I make it a rule not interfere, intervene or engage in discussions about what is happening when they do not reside with me. This is not the case the other way and can be problematic. The perfect divorce is rare. Do what you feel they need as a parent while listening to their needs not yours.
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Old 04-30-2020, 06:17 PM
Selfrepmom Selfrepmom is offline
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I dont. I think when we first separated I would call on the second night usually, but I havent done that in ages.
For reference, she is with her dad EOW for 2 nights and is 5 going on 6.

I honestly believe that if it is only for a night or two it wouldnt make a difference to the kid whether or not you called. Maybe the first sleepover, but they adapt real quick. I think it is more for the comfort of the parent who is not with them.
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Old 04-30-2020, 06:58 PM
rockscan rockscan is offline
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It will probably be hard on your ex as kid is not used to being with daddy and she will struggle if you call. I would say no in this case just to make it easier on dad during his time. Especially if the call is more your peace of mind. Once the transitions are easier and kid is comfortable then you could probably call to say good night.
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Old 05-01-2020, 11:09 AM
HammerDad HammerDad is offline
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No. My ex and I have never done this. IMO the chances of it creating more stress for the kid(s) than any benefit it would give them. This is more for the parent than anything.
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Old 05-01-2020, 02:01 PM
LovingDad1234 LovingDad1234 is offline
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I would suggest not to do this. Not for simple overnights in the routine parenting time/schedule.

It will only cause confusion and/or stress where D3.5 is asking where the other parent is, and how come the other parent is on the phone and not present in person. At that age, kids live in the now. As long as your ex is keeping D3.5 busy and entertaining her, she should be fine. Kids that age are quite resilient and will sleep when tired at bedtime. If D3.5 asks where you are, your ex can simply say that she is sleeping over and will see you tomorrow.

If I recall correctly you are working towards 50/50. Everyone involved is acclimatizing to transitioning to a 2 household regime and making that as seamless as possible. As it is not a big deal for D3.5 to stay overnight at your place, the same applies for your ex's home. He will contact you in event of any emergency.

However, having phone calls during times of extended vacations is perfectly acceptable and worked into most separation agreements due to the extended period of time not seeing the other parent.
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Old 05-01-2020, 05:54 PM
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Janus Janus is offline
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Every interaction is a potential trigger for a conflict with the ex. In addition, I find that such phone calls are often done more with the interests of the calling parent in mind rather than the child.

Conflict between separated parents is extremely detrimental to children.

Also, think of it from a child's perspective. They have settled in at mom's place, and then right before they go to bed they get a call from dad, reminding them that:
1) Their parents are divorced
2) They miss their dad

There is almost no way that the call helps the child more than the risks the call entails in terms of increased conflict between the separated parents.

Seriously, parents need to get over themselves. Your kid is not going to die if he doesn't say goodnight to you.
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Old 05-02-2020, 04:00 PM
HardWorkingDad HardWorkingDad is offline
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Every night I call my S7 and D3. Ex calls them when they are here. It's in our SA. Quick, 5min call. It goes a long way both ways and it's something I look forward to doing every day I dont have them. Only time it caused issues was when my kids would ask to speak to their blended family when I called. But 9/10 times it's a very positive experience.
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Old 05-04-2020, 05:57 PM
iona6656 iona6656 is offline
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thanks for the perspective everyone. She's a happy go-lucky kid. She takes a bit of time to adjust to new routines- like most toddlers. I've been saying in a matter of fact way that she's going to be sleeping over at her dads. She protests- but then I remind her of how much fun she has when she goes there.

LD1234- no, we're not working up to 50/50. We're working up to EOW and Wed overnight. For now, we reassess when she's 6. But I've always maintained that I will do what's best for her. If that's 50/50- then it's 50/50. We have a co-parent therapist. But her dad doesn't seem terribly keen on the idea of it tbh.
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