to not want ex trying to control what DS does at my house

(33 Posts)
calvinandhobbesfan Sat 22-Jun-13 22:29:29

Been separated for several years. We still get on well but we do have differing attitudes towards parenting. Ex still tries to control certain issues.

Such as "He's been on his DS for 20 minutes this morning so no more DS today. Or computer"

Or "Don't let him watch too much TV" - even though it's perfectly ok for ex to let him watch a long film.

Or "make sure he gets some fresh air today." When she rings up to check ask what we're doing.

Or "make sure he has a healthy lunch / tea"

Don't get me wrong - I do not let him sit for hours watching TV or playing on the computer. And we do get outside and do stuff.

But I do get pissed off with all her demands and need to control what DS does in my house. I'm just not sure how to handle this as it's exactly the same as when we lived together - her opinion was the only one that counted and my opinion mattered for fuck all. I don't want to get into an argument but how can I get her to see that's it "my house, my rules" when DS is with me?

exoticfruits Sat 22-Jun-13 22:33:53

Smile, nod, ignore. If on the phone say 'right', 'OK' or similar and ignore.

calvinandhobbesfan Sat 22-Jun-13 22:35:24

She checks with DS and then gives me hassle on the phone.

Shakirasma Sat 22-Jun-13 22:38:55

Not sure if YABU or not. Yes, I do think 'your house your rules', however children do need consistency. That is essential to make them feel secure.

None of the examples you have given are particularly unreasonable requests either.

Hassled Sat 22-Jun-13 22:39:43

Have you tried just talking to her about it? Sweeten it first - you think she's a great parent, DS is a credit to her etc BUT while you don't criticise her parenting, you really wish that she wouldn't criticise yours. It makes you feel like she doesn't trust you, and you're sure that's not what she means, etc.

It's worth a shot - more than possible she doesn't really realise she's doing it, that it's just a bad habit.

edam Sat 22-Jun-13 22:40:30

Assuming you don't just stick him in front of the wii and TV all day, tell her to stop. None of her darn business.

WorraLiberty Sat 22-Jun-13 22:42:19

Just smile and nod

Or failing that, tell her you're not a complete idiot and you know how to look after your own child.

calvinandhobbesfan Sat 22-Jun-13 22:45:36

She's not criticising - she's telling me what to do / not to do with our DS. I never tell her what to do - we do discuss issues with DS and I agree about consistency.

But personally I have no issue with some of the stuff ex does. Compared to a lot of his friends, he hardly spends anytime watching TV or on the computer. I'm just a bit more generous than she is.

I don't want to come across as the "fun" parent with DS. I know how much work ex has to do which comes with being a parent that I miss out on as we are separated. I'm also able to do more stuff with DS as I have time to do all the household stuff when DS is not there. I get how hard that is for her.

But I do get annoyed at her telling me what to do.

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Sat 22-Jun-13 22:50:12


she has no right to tell you what to do just as you have no right to do the same when he is with her

I would try having a calm discussion about this and reminding her she is not 'in charge' and asking her how she would feel if you dictated how she should behave when he is with her. If that fails then just ignore her, she can kick off all she likes but if your ds is loved and cared for there is nothing she can do

AndiPandi Sat 22-Jun-13 22:51:49

Can you agree ina daily amount of 'screen' time and also agree that if DS is to have part of a day with each parent they should get half that daily allowance with each parent. So if you agree to half hour per day, then ex should only let him have 15 mins in morning if he is coming to you later that day.or firmly tell her that whilst you are happy to back her on more important issues you feel more than capable of setting your own limits and activities whilst he is with you

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 22-Jun-13 22:54:04

Different houses often have different rules its no big deal.

The only time either of you get to interfere is if its a welfare issue such as lack of supervision neglect or something likely to cause harm or a significant risk of harm.

If you took my child to hang out with drug users or to houses where drunks were or people likely to engage in DV or child abuse lived I would have a issue, if you left him unattended where it was not appropriate to do so or didnt meet his needs or if you are a smacker then yep I would have a problem.

But different styles of parenting where no risk is likely than blah its harmless and neither get to interfere.

WorraLiberty Sat 22-Jun-13 23:05:06

You could always ring her everyday and do the same thing grin


ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Sat 22-Jun-13 23:10:07

She sounds like a right pain in the arse.

Hassled has the best solution - try that first, if that doesn't work tell her to sod off and that it's none of her business.

WafflyVersatile Sat 22-Jun-13 23:49:05


when you hand him back say 'he's had his weekly quota of tv, games, sweets and fizzy drinks so don't let him have any more of them' then he'll hate her and love you mwa ha ha.

Children can cope perfectly well with different rules for mum's dad's school, church, scouts etc.

I agree, try and actually talk to her about it first then what Andi says about being confident in setting your own limits etc.

crumblepie Sat 22-Jun-13 23:52:04

i agree with worral not joking though .

She might just be in the habit. DH and I have agreed times for DD watching screens so if she has watched TV in the day with me very rarely she can't watch as much with him. All very sensible and boring parenting. She might just not have adjusted her mindset to the new reality.

RikeBider Sun 23-Jun-13 00:33:30

This would drive me mad. I don't tell DP what to do with the DC and we still live together - I would not be happy if he told me what to do with the day if he was going out.

I'd have a stock phrase to say broken record style every time she tells you to do something - "different house, different rules" or similar. If she calls to hassle you later then tell her you don't want to discuss it.

Vijac Sun 23-Jun-13 00:39:16

I think it's a bit harsh to say that you can't try to influence your child's life if you are divorced, unless they are at serious risk. I would recommend that you ask her for a chat to lay down ground rules (as it is so important to her and also because consistency is good). In that meeting push for your viewpoint, then agree to stick to the result and stop nagging each other.

I'm with worra here, but not joking to. start handing your son back with a list of demands like hers. 'he's watched 30m of telly so no more tonight' etc etc. if she says anything you can always say you thought that's how you were communicating now by her lead wink

exoticfruits Sun 23-Jun-13 07:16:15

There is nothing to do except smile, nod and ignore. When she checks with him and hassles you on the phone just let it wash over you and stick to OK, Right, and then ignore. In the end she will get the message that it is pointless. The main thing is not to get drawn into any comments.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 23-Jun-13 07:43:26


Why's it harsh?

A nrp who is active meets the child's needs does not put him at risk and is able to put the child's needs above their own wants and is not harming he child is and should be totally in charge of the rules whilst that child is in their care just as the pwc when they have the child.

Rootatoot Sun 23-Jun-13 07:44:27

My take on this as a mum who probably does this with dh to some degree, is to say that she sounds like a worrier. Telling her 'my house my rules' and no discussion will probably just cause stress and friction.

You sound a reasonable guy so could you try and just talk to her about it? Explain how it makes you feel and try and find out why she is doing it? Sounds like she is worrying about something so best answer to me would be to reassure her that there's no need.

exoticfruits Sun 23-Jun-13 07:49:12

If she has been doing it since the DC was born I can't see that OP explaining how he feels will help. He can try - and then go back to , smile, nod, ignore if it doesn't work.

Jinty64 Sun 23-Jun-13 08:04:14

I think you should speak to her acknowledging all the things you said in your last post. Let her know that you understand how hard she works in bringing your ds up in the way you both want. Let her know that you support her ideas but that you have to have free reign to do as you wish with ds when you have him.

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