to wonder what's more important for dc - contact or extra-curricular activity?

(237 Posts)
flummoxedbanana Tue 17-Dec-13 20:56:10

Dc in question is 6. Her father wants one full weekend Friday from school until Sunday evening in contact per month, as well as every other Sunday and one or two midweek contacts each week. Her mother says no to the full weekend on the basis that the dc has an extra-curricular on the Saturday morning which she doesn't want to give up. Her father thinks contact, and a whole day of it uninterrupted, is more important. Her mother thinks the father should work around the child. The mother says she'll compromise by letting the father collect from school on Fridays as long as he takes dc to her activity on sat morning. The activity is just over an hour from where the father lives and involves the other children having to travel alongtoo, ttaking them up to 1pm on a sat before they're back home which the father objects to as he says it's taking up too much of their time.

Who do you think is BU?

worridmum Tue 17-Dec-13 21:25:19

what would the respone be on here if the dad demanded the mother used her "fun" time on a childs activity so in effect telling her what she can and cannot do in her time

My bet would be to tell him to be first letter would be f and the last word would be off

flummoxedbanana Tue 17-Dec-13 21:25:28

Father has spoken to a teacher of the activity who says they regularly have students who cannot attend all sessions because of contact and they just work round it. Mother says dc adores it and wants to be a professional.

Monet - so, say between the four of them each child has a party invitation for fathers contact weekend you believe he should spend his weekend shuttling them the hour each way journey back and forth to accommodate this and have no quality time with them? Genuine question. I have one dc with exH who won't take her to any parties or activities which is frustrating for dd and I but I do see his point about quality time while at the same time thinking I sacrifice my quality time to do these things for her so so should he.

Monetbyhimself Tue 17-Dec-13 21:27:10

Watterat so all the kids who attend football/athletics/swimming etc on Saturdays mornings come from famolies which aren't 'normal' ?

Easy solution. Instead of 2 nights one weekend, split in into one night 2 weekends a month. So he picks her up after her activity. It does seem unreasonable for someone who actually sees do little of his child to expect things to be done as he demands.

basgetti Tue 17-Dec-13 21:28:06

Why say it is your friends? It is your DP and you post about it all the time! Your DP hadn't seen his children for years, apparently couldn't commit to regular contact due to his job and his ex has welcomed him back to establish a relationship with his children but with the proviso that current activities that are important to the DCs aren't interrupted. Seems perfectly fair in these circumstances.

Backtobedlam Tue 17-Dec-13 21:28:20

It sounds like Dad has been willing to compromise so is doing his bit. I have to admit I've stopped all set weekend activities with our dc's as they seem to enjoy down time, and also chance to just get up and say 'what shall we do today?' At 6 school is still very tiring, plus 5 weekday activities-I'd say requesting one weekend a month off from structure is more than reasonable.

flummoxedbanana Tue 17-Dec-13 21:29:24

Until now he has been allowed to collect the other 3 on Friday but not dd until sat lunchtime. Dd is then resentful she's missed out and other dcs are resentful they've wasted time going to and fro and feel dd gets special treatment. Mother insists dd would be heartbroken if she had to miss the activity once per month and it'd hold her back and disrupt her friendships there

worridmum Tue 17-Dec-13 21:29:32

but flummoxed you would have her for most of the week s compared to a NRP that at most has 1 over night during week and 1 weekend every other week so in effect he is sracfice a huge chunk of his time to do this activity the equivilty would be the child spending 3 afternoons after school completly away from mother ? would that be fair as its equivility

ballstoit Tue 17-Dec-13 21:30:52

Could Dad drop the DC to school/their Mums on a Monday once a month, so he would have the full day on Sunday?

RenterNomad Tue 17-Dec-13 21:31:17

Five other activities? Are you sure the child is really committed to this contentious weekend one, to the point of "wanting to be a professional"? hmm

flummoxedbanana Tue 17-Dec-13 21:31:56

Basgetti I'm not talking about my dp. Monet he sees them less than he'd like to because my friend moved away.

ChestnutsroastingintheFireligh Tue 17-Dec-13 21:34:12

Dad should work round the activity - it's what parents do & despite what the teacher says (who probably dirsntvwantvto risk losing the child) it is very disruptive to muss regularly & impacts on a child's confidence as they run the danger if not keeping up especially if it is an activity that involves performing or exsms.

My dd would have resented either of us if we had been in the situation where she had to miss her dancing. We realise how important it is to her & though we are not in that situation would sacrifice our own wishes for her.

As it is I hardly see my dd as she travels to dance school an hour away 6 days a week leaving at 6.15am & getting back at 7.45pm. It's just what caring parents do.

IneedAwittierNickname Tue 17-Dec-13 21:35:23

I did use the activity up until I had dc. It was dance,.and I was training at a semi pro level when I fell pregnant.
Lack if money and time has prevented me returning to it, but if I had my time over again, I'd choose to have my dad take me to the activity.

flummoxedbanana Tue 17-Dec-13 21:35:41

Ballstoit - dad doesn't think a full Sunday is the same as a full Saturday. He feels Saturday that can enjoy a fun day out/seeing family and chill out on Sunday. However he'd struggle to have as much of a busy day with them on Sunday as he'd be conscious that they'd be too tired for school. Plus mother doesn't agree to that option as it'd mean leaving for school at 7am which is when they usually get up.

basgetti Tue 17-Dec-13 21:44:25

Why do all of the other children have to go too?

flummoxedbanana Tue 17-Dec-13 21:50:28

He has nobody else to look after the other children plus wants to see them; dds activity plus travelling time would take up a quarter of their day

Bluebirdonmyshoulder Tue 17-Dec-13 21:59:10

Has anyone thought to ask the child in question what she wants?

FudgefaceMcZ Tue 17-Dec-13 22:03:19

The father should take the child to the activity. There is not a choice or a conflict involved here, he's her father and it's his responsibility to support his child's interests (unless he genuinely can't afford it in which case maybe the mother would pay some of the costs? I would).

FudgefaceMcZ Tue 17-Dec-13 22:08:00

Also: "so, say between the four of them each child has a party invitation for fathers contact weekend you believe he should spend his weekend shuttling them the hour each way journey back and forth to accommodate this and have no quality time with them?"

Yes, he should, what do you think those of us who are lone parents the rest of the time do on weekends? Why should he get to sit on his arse for all of the few weekends he is a parent? 'Quality time' wtf even is that? Something that the rest of us don't get any time for, that's for sure.

justtoomessy Tue 17-Dec-13 22:10:07

I agree with bluebird how about asking the child in question as contact is for the childs sake and not want the parent necessarily wants to do. The mum also has her weekends taken up with getting DD to activities so why can't the father.

Oh yes that's right because by taking his child to an activity that would be considered parenting and lets face it an awful lot of NRP only want to do the fun stuff!

basgetti Tue 17-Dec-13 22:10:24

How has the arrangement been working so far?

kinkychristmas Tue 17-Dec-13 22:20:50

So he wants the child to give up an activity she loves because he can't be arsed taking her to it?
Yeah, my ex-husband is much the same.

By the way, the kids chose the activity.

flummoxedbanana Tue 17-Dec-13 22:22:57

Dc says she wants to go but then is resentful of other children getting more time with father. They trialled him taking her and when it came to it she said she'd rather spend time with him but he had to make her go as mum said she had to. Mum usually has her mum to the activity, she doesn't take her herself. Fudge I think that's different as it wouldn't involve carting all children back and forth for hours of travelling for the others parties.

flummoxedbanana Tue 17-Dec-13 22:24:23

But kinky, I don't think kids should be made to choose. It isn't fair in my opinion. The agreement should be made between the adults.

RenterNomad Tue 17-Dec-13 22:26:19

Do any of the other DC get someone fighting for their activity, or is this child the Special One? If the activity is her "evidence" of her status in the family, she's very likely to insist she wants to do it, if asked! Also, as Chesnuts indicates, dedication means doing one activity a number of times a week, not six, one of which inconveniences a lot of other people. Being allowed to inconvenience everyone must be immensely valuable and heady for the girl, but she shouldn't be allowed to insist on that activity, without upping her overall commitment, to prove it's wirth more to her than just ego points (sorry that sounds harsh - her parents have split, after all - but it's a hidden trap your posts don't seem to have tajen account of).

Sorry if the other DC are similarly busy - you haven't mentioned their weekday schedules.

flummoxedbanana Tue 17-Dec-13 22:29:59

The other children do have activities but this dc is the most favoured, for sure. She only does it once per week.

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