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?

Writerwannabe83 Tue 17-Dec-13 20:58:11

The dad is BU for making his daughter give up an activity she really enjoys doing just because it takes up too much of his morning. It sounds a bit selfish in my opinion.

MincedMuffPies Tue 17-Dec-13 21:01:00

Sounds selfish of the dad, he can compromise and put his daughter first. I take my dc to their clubs even when I'm tired, busy and can't be arsed as they are my dc and their club commitment is important to them.

The dad could make Saturday afternoon about doing what the other dc really like doing to make it fair.

fuzzywuzzy Tue 17-Dec-13 21:01:44

What's the activity?

She's six, surely missing the activity once a month is less important than the DD having a meaningful relationship with her father?

Backtobedlam Tue 17-Dec-13 21:01:59

Could they find another club where dc could still do the activity but nearer to where dc's father lives so cut down the travelling?

RandomMess Tue 17-Dec-13 21:03:51

Hmmm perhaps there could be further compromise he could take her every other Saturday that he has her so she would miss one Saturday in 8? Perhaps on the weekend she does go he could pick her up after the activity but yes to one long full weekend per month - could probably coincide with half term and other school holidays when the activity isn't on?

uselessinformation Tue 17-Dec-13 21:03:54

For years I paid a full month's fees for an activity that ds could only go to every other Saturday because of contactwith his dad. These things just have to be done..

IneedAwittierNickname Tue 17-Dec-13 21:06:10

When I was a child, I did an activity more than once a week.
My dad lived an hour-hour and a half away. On the weeks I was at his, he dropped me off and picked me up. If he hadnt then it would have cost money in missed lessons (they were paid for termly and if you missed a lesson there were no refunds) and I would have missed whatever we were learning that week.

Imo the dad is b u.

TeenAndTween Tue 17-Dec-13 21:06:50

my compromise would be to have contact every other w/e from Sat lunchtime to Sun pm.

flummoxedbanana Tue 17-Dec-13 21:08:24

Father is willing to cover fees of missed weeks and enrol in activity closer to him. Mother doesn't see the problem in three other children travelling two hours andwwaiting around for one and doesn't think enrolling close to father is acceptable as she thinks it'll hinder dcs progress in the activity if there isn't continuity.

flummoxedbanana Tue 17-Dec-13 21:10:45

Ineeda - do you still use the skills learned at that activity? Father argues that few children continue in the same hobbies once older and so having a relationship with him is more important. Dc also does five other activities per week.

Well, we can see which team you're on wink

The other children could easily be entertained for an hour by the father. Mother may be correct that progress will be hindered depending on the activity.

flummoxedbanana Tue 17-Dec-13 21:12:53

Teenandtween - that contact pattern isn't possible here. But even so, father would argue he still never gets a full uninterrupted day with dc to have a day out, visit family etc. Mother says neither does she but dcs wishes are more important.

WooWooOwl Tue 17-Dec-13 21:12:59

I think the mother should compromise if the father is willing to pay associated costs and if the child is keen to continue the activity closer to his home then there's no reason why that couldn't happen.

Who are the other children?

Ultimately I think contact with a father is more important than an activity.

basgetti Tue 17-Dec-13 21:14:50

Is your DP Dad? The one who hasn't seen his children for 2 years? He can't suddenly come in demanding they give up activities to suit him. Apologies if you are a different poster but your circumstances are very recognisable and you post about this lots under different names.

gobbynorthernbird Tue 17-Dec-13 21:15:13

Contact is way more important.

Monetbyhimself Tue 17-Dec-13 21:17:20

The child has a life. Your partner fits in around that life. That includes birthday party invites etc.

TeenAndTween Tue 17-Dec-13 21:17:46

I think its a bit much for the other children to have the extra travel and waiting time. Basically they spend the whole of Sat morning hanging around for their sibling.
So either:
miss session (could be hard depending on activity)
change contact to start after activity
drop activity (or do during week)

Most activities would be difficult to do at 2 separate locations. eg ballet/swimming would be concentrating on different things, or teachers would want slightly different styles etc. Similarly regularly missing sessions could be awkward.

flummoxedbanana Tue 17-Dec-13 21:18:06

The other children are also theirs Woowoo. No basgetti.The ffather here has regular contact but would like a full weekend which the mother disagrees with. Father is friend of dps, mother is friend of mine.

waterrat Tue 17-Dec-13 21:19:00

Contact is more important if all other things are equal

Am surprised at responses here.

Dad doesn't have to followed mums suggestions on what to do with his contact time - and taking up families while morning every single weekend is not something a normal parent would choose

Monetbyhimself Tue 17-Dec-13 21:20:34

Am confused. Who are these three other children ?

waterrat Tue 17-Dec-13 21:21:04

Just re read - he only wants this once a month !! The mother is being deeply unreasonable

The child needs to have space to develop proper relationship with father on his fathers territory ie spending time with family Etc

It's once a month the mum needs to back down

basgetti Tue 17-Dec-13 21:21:10

Okay, so how is contact currently happening? Is Dad taking her to the activity?

RandomMess Tue 17-Dec-13 21:21:46

I think that the contact is more important tbh - I'd be horrified if she won't even consider a compromise like I suggested.

5 activities is way too many IMHO!

Why does he only want it once a month? Why not pick up Saturday after the activity but do it twice a month so he's getting the same amount of time but spread out differently?

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.

ChestnutsroastingintheFireligh Tue 17-Dec-13 22:31:54

At 6 my dd only did it once a week. She began with 3 hours in a Saturday. She never missed a single week & would have hugely resented anyone who made her.

RenterNomad Tue 17-Dec-13 22:32:29

Oh, cross- posted. So it's the mother insisting on the activity. I don't really understand her motivation, TBH. Is she happy separating her DD from her siblings in some way, or from her father? Or is that just thinking the worst of her? Evrn if it's not intentional, that dort of alienation (from siblings/ father) could happen.

jigsawlady Tue 17-Dec-13 22:33:05

Forget about what the parents want, they should be doing whats best for all of the kids. Not just this one dd who has the sat morninf activity.

I would have hugely resented my parents if I had to waste a large portion on the weekend traipsing round after my brother while he did activities.

Dad should decide whats best for the family to do as a whole on his time with them.

If this kid does 5 other activities in the week its not such a hardshio to cut down on this once a month.

Chocovore Tue 17-Dec-13 22:35:10

Dad should enrol child into a regular activity near his abode and tell mum she has to stick to the regular activity he has booked when she has care. I wonder how that would go down?

Xmasbaby11 Tue 17-Dec-13 22:38:04

I think contact is more important and that is a long time for other children to be sitting around - not really fair on them.

flummoxedbanana Tue 17-Dec-13 22:40:14

Buy chestnuts, on weekend they trialled him taking her she said she wasn't bothered and then ended up resenting him for taking her! Jigsaw, I agree it should be the parent whose time it is that decides what's best for all children and deals with any subsequent fallout.

basgetti Tue 17-Dec-13 22:40:39

Why do all the other children have to go? Are they all children of his ex or are some of them with his new partner in which case why would they need to be dragged along?

flummoxedbanana Tue 17-Dec-13 22:46:40

All children are with his ex. He has no one else to care for them.

flummoxedbanana Tue 17-Dec-13 22:47:56

He also has one child with his new partner who would have to be dragged along as his partner often works the weekends he's off

haveyourselfashandy Tue 17-Dec-13 22:48:56

I think its reasonable for him NOT to take her.If he has to trail the other kids to this activity its not fair.why shouldn't he get to do what he chooses with his children.It's all well and good the mum saying he has to take her but she doesn't even take her ffs.

Depends on the activity. But I think most activities should be either done or not done, not have the child miss out on loads of classes.

Ideally contact would be structured around the activity - so that the other kids didn't have to tag along as well.

Not surprised to find myself agreeing with chesnuts.

BakeOLiteGirl Tue 17-Dec-13 22:51:50

I don't get the drama. The child has an activity that takes place every weekend that she goes to every weekend. Dad has to make it work. If doesn't matter what other activities the child does the rest of the week. Plenty of families don't get a fun activity Saturday and chill out Sunday. Except in little utopian fantasies.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Tue 17-Dec-13 22:54:17

Hmm. My ds had to give up football because his dad wasnt taking him to the saturday morning training sessions (even though he agreed to) missing training meant tht ds was never chosen for the matches and missed a lot of the information letters that had changes to training times for following weeks and match times and locations etc. it mightnt seem thay important and i am under no illusions that ds is an undiscovered ronaldo but for him playing a match and getting to be in the pics with his team was the holy grail and he got so upset each time he missed a session or a match that for his own emotional well being i decided he should leave the team altogether. He does miss it but knows his dad just wouldnt take him even if promised. I didnt much enjoy spending saturdays standing out in the cold watching 6 year olds trying to kick a ball but its what ds wanted to do and i dont think it was an unreasonable or impractical hobby for a child so i would expect a parent to accomodate it.

WilsonFrickett Tue 17-Dec-13 22:56:26

I think the fact three other siblings also have a quarter of their contact time taken up with facilitating the one DD's activity is a bit off actually. What if a other child wanted to do an other activity at the same time? This isn't about the father necessarily, it's about the whole family. Can't dd drop one of her 5 (5!) other activities and do her Saturday activity at another time? It doesn't seem fair on her siblings that her activity dominates the weekend.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Tue 17-Dec-13 22:57:25

Although if the child has said she would prefer not to go then she should be listened to.

flummoxedbanana Tue 17-Dec-13 22:59:28

She's only missing a maximum of 12 classes per year though, it's not the same as if he was having eow contact. He said he will do his best to ensure his weekends are mostly in holidays when activity isn't on but dcs mother says she must not miss any.

flummoxedbanana Tue 17-Dec-13 23:00:53

No, none of the other activities can be substituted either apparently confused

NaturalBaby Tue 17-Dec-13 23:04:32

The child is 6. What kind of extra curricular activity at this age is that important?!? Doesn't she ever miss a session due to illness?
If the child is a gifted and talented world champion in the making then that's one thing but I avoid all weekend extra curricular activities because of the impact it has on the rest of the family, particularly the other dc's.

worridmum Tue 17-Dec-13 23:04:42

so the one activity for the 1 six year old takes prioty to 3 other older children I can certernly see resentment building up with family dynamics.

It happened in our family me and my 2 brothers had to go to an actitivy and just watch our younger sister dance around for 2 hours because it wasnt an activity you could drop off and leave and dad worked weekends let me just say she was greatly resented as it basically ruined our weekends for her. Their has to be negoatition on what suits the whole family not just 1 of them and the rest should fit in around it

BakeOLiteGirl Tue 17-Dec-13 23:04:53

12 classes a year equals a term.

basgetti Tue 17-Dec-13 23:05:30

Has she been doing the activity a long time? Why has it suddenly become an issue?

I think that the activities need to go into priority order and if this is the most important one then a different slot should be found for it during the week and another one dropped.

Your friend sounds like she is being intentionally difficult. Is she normally like that?

And I don't think you can really base much on a 6 year old saying that she wants to do something professionally. Otherwise we would be a nation of ballerinas and train drivers.

WilsonFrickett Tue 17-Dec-13 23:09:16

I agree worrid I only have one DC but my friends with more than two (cos with two it does usually even out) tend to not allow regular weekend activities. Because either the other DCs resent it, or the family ends up splitting into various taxi services, etc etc. Just doesn't work.

jacks365 Tue 17-Dec-13 23:12:45

I've just done a quick work out and if he can ensure that any weekends are in a holiday where possible then that only leaves 3 sessions a year where there is an issue. In which case it does sound like being awkward for the sake of being awkward for both parents.

basgetti Tue 17-Dec-13 23:20:23

The Dad is the OP's partner. She posted a thread about this a few weeks ago under a different name and it didn't end well. The fact is that he hadn't bothered to see his older children for a long time and so can't come in making demands to accomodate the new family he created. The other children are the OP's child and a joint one.

flummoxedbanana Tue 17-Dec-13 23:25:13

Bake - if some are in holidays it's only 6/8 missed lessons per year.

Basgetti - I repeat. You are mistaken. This has only recently become an issue because the dc in question trialled dad taking her to activity and wasn't bothered by it so dad wants to change contact arrangement

zipzap Tue 17-Dec-13 23:57:11

What would happen if the dad took them for the full weekend but then if the mum wanted the one dd to do the lesson, she could come and pick her up, take her to the lesson and then drop her back off again...

Not quite ideal but at least the other kids wouldn't be suffering on the saturday morning, hanging around and lots of travelling for the for the one dd.

Sure that the mum wouldn't like it though! But maybe she should have been thinking about that when she signed up the dd for time that her dad has her for.

Maybe her dad should sign her up for something every sunday near him and demand that the mum brings her when she isn't with him. Bet she wouldn't like that either.

basgetti Wed 18-Dec-13 00:01:04

The Dad wasn't seeing the DCs when she signed her up for the activity. The OP is being disingenuous.

MoominsYonisAreScary Wed 18-Dec-13 00:18:31

Seeing the father is more important and if he's willing to take her ttoa class cloae ti where he lives I cant see the problem

MoominsYonisAreScary Wed 18-Dec-13 00:19:49

Class close to where he lives , blinking phone

BlackeyedShepherdswatchsheep Wed 18-Dec-13 00:30:45

it sounds like the arrangement is not good for all the children. is the dd involved the youngest? are the others boys?

MummySantaHoHoHo Wed 18-Dec-13 00:45:57

#the mother is being ridiculous, and the cost of petrol for an hours drive each way is also probhibitive

MummySantaHoHoHo Wed 18-Dec-13 00:47:10

it doesnt matter what the history is - if he is having contact now - with the mothers agreement, then the suggestion is ridiculous

greenfolder Wed 18-Dec-13 06:37:57

I think the child having one full weekend a month with her dad far outweighs activity. But then I let dd3 do dancing on a saturday on the explicit understanding that if we want a weekend away or a day out in the summer that takes precedence. I mean she is never going to join the royal ballet. As a parent I think I would be devastated at the thought that an actitivity was more important than seeing my child properly.

summermovedon Wed 18-Dec-13 07:28:06

I believe continuity is most important for the child, so birthday parties with school friends/activities should be accommodated. Dad is still going to spend time with the child, just putting the focus on the child and their life not his. I believe the law suggests this too. Every parent makes sacrifices for their child ferrying to and from things, and it is on thrilling but it is good for the child and makes them happy, particularly in a broken home situation where continuity and stability is not evident. If he doesn't like it, contact could be arranged to fit around it, like others have posted - he could have the child every fortnight for half a day less. Where is the presumed other parent of the half siblings in all of this?

SuperiorCat Wed 18-Dec-13 07:30:06

I'd say its down to the child and in this case she has shown that she didn't want to do it the time she was with her Dad.

Re the other DCs, surely mine can't be alone in often bring dragged to the others activities? It's just what happens in a family if there's only one parent around.

NicknameIncomplete Wed 18-Dec-13 07:31:59

Two of my siblings used to do an activity every weekend. My db and i used to go along aswell. Thats what happens when you have more than one child. Its not a big deal.

I cant understand parents who put their needs before their childrens. I would never make my child miss an activity or a birthday party because i didnt want to go.

PrimalLass Wed 18-Dec-13 07:32:18

The Dad is the OP's partner. She posted a thread about this a few weeks ago under a different name and it didn't end well. The fact is that he hadn't bothered to see his older children for a long time and so can't come in making demands to accomodate the new family he created. The other children are the OP's child and a joint one.

I agree. Either that or an identical situation...

SuperiorCat Wed 18-Dec-13 07:36:12

Just to add, if child really is committed and wanted to do it then they should be allowed to. "Quality time" is about doing stuff that enriches the child's life surely?

DS' friends parents live an hour apart and he does an activity in a town in the middle of the two. Mum fetches and carries three times a week but the Dad won't do it when it's "his" Saturday as he has a new baby with his new wife. DS' friend now no longer goes to see his Dad as he feels sidelined and at 14 is old enough to make his own decisions re contact.

mummytime Wed 18-Dec-13 08:09:35

I find it very sad how many children have to refuse birthday party invitations if it is on "their Dad's contact weekend". It is a fact of life when organising a party for my DC, but it does indicate that to a lot not all Dads, contact is about whats best for them not the children.

Flummoxedbanana - my son does an activity where he is only allowed to miss two sessions in a year. If he misses more he's out. That includes all illnesses etc. Two missed Saturdays and you're out. So I don't really see it as 'only 6 or 8' sessions missed - that's a lot!

Another activity runs all year & you're allowed to miss two sessions for free - after that you pay for missed sessions. I hope your partner will be picking up the tab for missed sessions.

As I said earlier I believe you either do activities properly or you don't bother. It's not fair on the kids to keep missing weeks.

I should add though if other posters are correct and the dad has just reappeared in this child's life, then messing around with an established activity seems rather unwise not to mention unfair. If dad has just swanned back in after years of absence then he needs to fit in with his daughters life.

flummoxedbanana Wed 18-Dec-13 09:34:26

He offered that mum collect dc, take her to activity and return her but mum claimed that isn't fair on the dc shes had since they split confused

LumpySpacePrincessOhMyGlob Wed 18-Dec-13 09:43:30

What does the child want to do?

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 18-Dec-13 09:43:51

grin at the idea tht this dad should arrange an activity on saturdays to see how the mum likes it! This 'guy cant even be arsed to take his child once a month to the activity she already goes to, he's hardly going to arrange and pay for a second activity that will mean he has to get up off his ass and do more than the bare minimum.

As for 'only missing 12 sessions' hmm

flummoxedbanana Wed 18-Dec-13 09:48:43

It's not the activity he objects to. It's the fact that it means the children probably get less than twenty full days with him in a year because term times are so taken up by activities and the fact that ferrying his dc to the activity is detrimental to the other children, as well as the most important fact - that his dd voices that she doesn't want to.go rather than spending time with him.

Enb76 Wed 18-Dec-13 09:52:49

Contact is far more important than an extra-curricular. I have a similar arrangement and although it's more annoying for me to make sure extra-curricular stuff is during the week, I do it so that her father can have full weekends with her. There are things you can't do if you only have limited time on the full weekend, like visiting family etc…

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 18-Dec-13 10:00:52

According to what this dad wants the child will be unable to have activities on two midweek evenings, plus friday, saturday or sunday. So he's really limiting her choices when it comes to continuing her activity all to suit him.

Why wont he have her every other weekend? Or is one saturday a month as much as he can sacrifice for her? Or why cant he have her saturday afternoon til monday morning that way he will get a 'full' day which he seems so obsessed with.

JoinYourPlayfellows Wed 18-Dec-13 10:06:01

I think if the father is prepared to enrol the child in the same activity near him so that she can attend every week then there isn't really any argument.

"She wants to be a professional" is laughable - she's 6.

Weekend activities are very tying and it sounds shite for the other kids to spend hours in the car just so one child can do a hobby.

flummoxedbanana Wed 18-Dec-13 10:13:00

On the weeknights he has contact her activities start at 6/6.30 so he collects from.school at 3 and then later drops her at her activity

I'd be interested in the questioning that led to her proclaiming she'd rather see him than do the activity.

"Look dd you can either see me or do your activity which do you want?"

How would you expect a child to respond if they haven't seen their father in years? (Do correct me if indeed this man has been a stable and continual presence in his daughter's life).

I'm sorry asides from it not being on to mess around with activities - you either do them or you don't, if her father has just reappeared I think it would be very off to suddenly making her start missing activities just because he's decided to show up for a bit

ChestnutsroastingintheFireligh Wed 18-Dec-13 10:46:15

My dd at age 6 knew she wanted to be professional if she could - some kids just do.

Well I was thinking chesnuts that ds2 was doing an activity at 6 that he was doing professionally by 9, so it doesn't have to be far fetched.

I do think it depends very much what the activity is. My younger two both do a range of activities. Some they would (and have) give up easily, others they wouldn't have ever wanted to give up. Eventually over the years you whittle down to doing more of the ones that are important to you, but tbh right from the beginning they've known which they've enjoyed the most and which have been more of having a go.

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Wed 18-Dec-13 11:03:07

How old are all the children?

How recent is the split?

Trigglesx Wed 18-Dec-13 11:28:39

I hate it when the OP is not clear on their relationship in the situation. Seems a bit misguiding IMO. Why couldn't you just post it clearly who you are? hmm

Anyway, while contact is important, sometimes you have to make compromises as well.

The mum could compromise and allow DD to miss one lesson a month as instructor (according to the OP, but then we don't know how accurate this actually is) states it's not a huge issue.

The dad could compromise and allow the DD to go to her activity and just pick her up on Saturday after the activity, in order to provide continuity to DD and reassure her that her wishes are being taken into account as well.

I guess it all depends on which parent is going to start thinking of the child first. It sounds like they're both too busy thinking of themselves and arguing instead of simply trying to compromise and come to an agreement that makes everyone reasonably happy.

EmmelineGoulden Wed 18-Dec-13 14:17:50

I think contact is important, but more than that stability and continuity are crucial. So if the dad has been having weekends for years and the mother signed the daughter up recently despite this, then I think the activity needs to be dropped or changed. But if the father hasn't been on the scene much, or hasn't bothered with weekends up until now, then the activity should come first and the father should work around it, at least for a couple of years or until there is a natural break.

TBH it sounds a bit as though the dad wants to be a Disney dad once a month (wearing the kids out on a Saturday with all sorts of exciting things that apparently can't possibly be done on a Sunday because they would be too much before school hmm). I tend to think doing the drudge work of accomodating activities and friendships is quality parenting, if not the glamorous bit of it, and parents should be striving to accomodate their children's interests, not compete with them. But others have different styles, so that's not necessarily U if it is part of giving them a rich childhood rather than simply indulging.

At the same time, four hours of travel (especially if it involves schlepping other kids about too) is a lot for an activity at age 6. So I can see why it's a big issue. But the father could be a bit more resourceful - the girl's mother manages to get a relative to do the drop off and pick up - hasn't the father been developing his network so he has others he can rely on/ask for favours from too? This is an important part of providing for DCs. Parents who don't have a child-friendly/-helpful network are often doing their kids a disservice. What about paying a college student to take her while dad has quality time with other DCs then picking her up and driving on to an activity?

moldingsunbeams Wed 18-Dec-13 14:31:01

"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? "

Is it wrong that I do think that? Parties are really important to small children and part of parental care is shuttling them to parties and such. I remember one weekend where I picked up dd from one thing and shuttled her on to the next and hardly saw her all weekend.

I think if his dd REALLY wants to go he should take her. I see no issue with the other children having to wait, presume thats what they have to do with Mum.

CranberrySaucyJack Wed 18-Dec-13 14:52:15

I think the father is being unreasonable. I firmly believe that NRPs should take as much responsibility as the RP when it comes to facilitating the child's normal family life, and own individual interests and needs.

It isn't about the father, or what he wants, or how much of a great time he can have with the kids.

This is quite an interesting article on the damage caused by Disney dads who refuse to take any real interest or responsibility in their child's upbringing beyond turning up and playing Daddy of the Year when it suits them or spoiling the child rotten on access visits.

RenterNomad Wed 18-Dec-13 14:53:50

I'm sorry, but HOW can weeknight activities for a six year old start at 6/6:30?!

SlowlorisIncognito Wed 18-Dec-13 14:57:47

I am in my early twenties now, and still do an activity I started when I was 9. I have never done it professionally as such, although I have gained some part-time/holiday jobs through the activity. However, more importantly it helped me through stressful periods as a teenager and was a great way to relax when I was studying very hard.

I haven't kept it up continuously all that time, as I gave it up for a while to get a weekend job. However, I would say I still use some of the skills I learnt as a child, and doing the activity from an early age means I have a more instinctive feel for it than someone who has taken it up as an adult.

I do think at six, her saying she wants to do it professionally doesn't hold that much weight, but equally you shouldn't give her the feeling you won't support her to achieve her dreams. There are often lots of ways to make money out of leisure activities, not all of which mean you have to be especially tallented.

I think it should be her choice, what she wants to do more, see her dad for a bit longer, or do the activity. I think both parents should also make it clear that she can change her answer at any time.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 18-Dec-13 14:57:50

Beaver scouts starts at 7pm for my ds and he started age 6. Football was also at 6pm on wednesday evenings and started at age 6. He also attends a drama club that starts at 7pm 1/2 nights a week. Closer to the performance rehersals will be more often and also at weekends and i'm insisting my exp take him to them. Failing that ds will just be staying here those weekends because he is very much looking forward to being in the show.

moldingsunbeams Wed 18-Dec-13 14:58:51

Loads do round her Nomad,
Dance is 6pm
Rainbows doesn't finish until 8pm
Judo is 5.30pm. - 6.30.

moldingsunbeams Wed 18-Dec-13 15:02:29

"I think the father is being unreasonable. I firmly believe that NRPs should take as much responsibility as the RP when it comes to facilitating the child's normal family life, and own individual interests and needs.

It isn't about the father, or what he wants, or how much of a great time he can have with the kids."

This. Access should be a continuation of normal care not just an opportunity to do special days out and activities.

Its incredibly wearing as a RP when you are doing all the telling off and discipline and homework and daily grime and the NRP turns up at the weekend and does the magical disney days out.

RenterNomad Wed 18-Dec-13 15:12:19

Thanks, moldingsunbeams; I stand corrected, but still think that's very late for a 6yo on a weeknight. smile

antimatter Wed 18-Dec-13 15:16:47

he should drop her for activity on Saturday. BEing together in the car and talking part is a chance to talk about it etc.

Soon she may have most of Saturday busy if she chooses so. Then perhaps he would be seeing her every other weekend for Saturday not only one in 4 or 5.

moldingsunbeams Wed 18-Dec-13 15:18:14

I agree with you, we limit stuff during the week because they are exhausted otherwise.

jigsawlady Wed 18-Dec-13 15:48:26

The kid is 6 so it's not like a teenager who should have more independence to make their own decisions. Dad, assuming he doesn't want to do anything dangerous he should be free to decide what to do during their time together. If he sees family time more important than activities when he's with her thats his choice as her parent.

I think if this was the dad telling the mum what to do during her contact time people would say it non of his business and very controlling.

I know people may say it's about the child's wishes but she's not starved of extra curricular activities and he's planning to have a nice family day instead not something horrible.

Except dad's so keen on family time he's been absent for years. Allegedly.

moldingsunbeams Wed 18-Dec-13 15:59:02

If this was me there no way I would want my child to miss out on something she loved, I would take her and either watch if you can or do something nearby with the other children. I certainly would not expect the dc to miss birthday parties they really wanted to go to for me.

Because that is what parents do.

HorsePetal Wed 18-Dec-13 16:00:04

I think that contact with Dad is way more important than an extra curricular activity. In fact I can't believe this would even be in dispute. If it could be worked around without having to drag other siblings along too (when Dad's contact time is so limited anyway) then great but I don't think that the mum is being reasonable here at all.

The child is 6 for gods sake - maintaining a loving relationship with her dad is incredibly important.

Or are we saying that Ballet/Swimming/Mandarin lessons etc come before fathers?

jigsawlady Wed 18-Dec-13 16:01:38

Yeah if he's been absent (not been on mn long enough to know about this other thread thread people have mentioned) then dad has to earn his way back into the kids life sticking with the routine the mum has put in place. However once he's been given a chance if he proves he is a reliable parent he should be able to parent the way he sees fit (within reason) on his own time with them.

moldingsunbeams Wed 18-Dec-13 16:04:16

Sorry just read the fact dd resents missing time with him when she does go, is this because he uses the Saturday for fun days out and she is missing them? Because you said he uses Saturday for fun days out.

Well I'd put good parenting as taking children to activities (or not signing them up for them if you can't be bothered to take them - missing weeks is problematic for the child for the majority of activities).

If, as seems to be accepted on this thread this father has been absent for years, then swanning back in & altering the established routine doesn't seem particularly super dad parenting (albeit it might be Disney Dad). If he was around at the time the activity was arranged then he should have made his objections clear then - not once it's been established.

moldingsunbeams Wed 18-Dec-13 16:09:22

Actually I cannot reply objectively on this thread, my friend does the slop of day in day out care and cannot afford to take the kids anywhere proper on a day out, her exp pays min possible csa and works cash in hard and then turns up once a month and takes them to Alton Towers, Lego Land etc.

Of course the children want to live with Dad because he is fun and does not shout.

Its clouding my ability to post on this thread.

Timetoask Wed 18-Dec-13 16:12:51

It doesn't matter what the history is. Dad now has contact with his DC and that's fantastic.
Mother is being unreasonable. The child is 6!!! I would understand if child was 16 competing at regional level or whatever.
Mother is doing the child is disservice by not allowing her uninterrupted time with dad to develop their relationship.

HoneyStepMummy Wed 18-Dec-13 16:13:50

Visitation takes priority. Prior to DH getting custody of DS he went to court with his ex, who wanted to take away visitation based on an activity. It was denied. That being said, we have always been very keen to work with mum as far as accomodating any activities, hobbies, parties etc as much possible. Is it not possible to do the activity another day?

sounds about right moldingsunbeams

What's the deal with the child being 6? DS2 was doing an activity aged 6 that he started doing professionally age 9, he wants to stay in the area and make it his career. He knew at 6 that he loved it. I think taking him away from the activity to play with Disney Dad for as long as dad hangs around would not have been in his interests.

As Dad wasn't there when the activity was set up the fair thing to do would be to suck it up until the time of the activity or contact can be changed.

ChestnutsroastingintheFireligh Wed 18-Dec-13 16:22:18

Same with
My dd. she started an activit at age 4- did her first professional show at 7 & at 11 left her academic school to train full time.

moldingsunbeams Wed 18-Dec-13 16:24:04

Its hard to judge as dd is older but if she had been doing an activity each Saturday and her dad had not been in contact and then he suddenly swanned back in her life and demanded she stop on his day or change clubs (which would mean new teacher and new children and maybe a different learning style) I can imagine dd would be resentful.

moldingsunbeams Wed 18-Dec-13 16:29:46

I used to work in musical theatre Saintly and chestnut and by 9/10 the good ones were in the west end in child leads.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 18-Dec-13 16:30:13

Umm its not a case of the child either seeing her dad OR going to activity. She's not being made to choose, she can got to the activity and still have friday through sunday with him with exception of 1 hour in a saturday morning! Perspective needed here for all those saying 'contact way more important'. it's not either or.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 18-Dec-13 16:35:05

And the fact that she isnt 16 or at a compettitve level is a bit silly. How can she ever get to a competetive leel if she's having to miss every 4th training session? She may not be a professional dancer (or whatever the activity is) at 6 but you can sure as hell bet she'll never get there is she isnt allowed to attend her training. But i suppose when it gets to that stage and she doesnt make the teams and drops out then her dad will just be able to say 'i told you so' and feel justified in saying she was never going to be a professional.

Yes exactly molding - and if the child in question does start doing that sort of thing it does take a lot of juggling from all parents. You can't just sit days out because dad wants contact. Now at 6 I didn't know my son was going to be doing it professionally a few years later (didn't think about it at all tbh), but I knew he loved it & so we made sure he made all the sessions he'd signed up for & encouraged that.

RenterNomad Wed 18-Dec-13 19:57:58

The OP didn't say the father has only just come back into the children's lives; s/he only said that the mother (the OP's friend) had moved away.

No, but other posters recognised the OP from previous threads (allegedly she is the fathers new partner). - I have suggested she correct us if the assumption that the father has just reappeared is incorrect or if indeed the other assumptions made about her being this particular poster are incorrect.

MummySantaHoHoHo Wed 18-Dec-13 20:17:02

I dont see how anyone recognises the poster and comes to that conculsion, Idid an advanced search to see what everyone was on about and there is nothing like that, plus thread cossing is bad form.

Oh well she hasn't denied it.

If the father has been on the scene continually then he should have objected prior to the activity being set up, not expected his dd to start missing it after it had been established.

TeacupDrama Wed 18-Dec-13 20:38:40

there are 3 other siblings here, why does their saturday morning every single week have to revolve round one child

TBH I would think this was a problem if the parents were still together under 1 roof that never ever on a saturday can you have a day out because 1 child out of 4 has to do activity without fail, that is 3 children sitting around for 3-4 hours while child A does activity fair enough if others also sit around while each child does an activity but this seems to be that child A's activity trumps child b,c,d time with dad and even if he takes her she then moans at him spending time with b,c ,d while she does activity

unless I misread all 4 children have same parents

coppertop Wed 18-Dec-13 20:40:21

Waiting around for a sibling to do activities is just a part of normal life. Over the years, all of mine have had to come along to do drop-offs and pick-ups. It tends to even out eventually as they each want to try out new things.

My ds started an activity at 7yrs old that he still does at the age of 13yrs. It's not something he would ever want to do professionally but it's been extremely useful to him over the years.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 18-Dec-13 20:47:29

I dont think all four children have the same parents, why do the other 3 have to come with? Why cant they stay with OP while her partner takes other child to activity? Why cant OP take other children out somewhere? Why cant other children join activity too or do another one? Why cant dad collect child after activity and keep til monday morning? It is absoloutely ridiculous that the adults involved cant work something out so that this child can continue the activity and see her dad. As parents thats what we do, we juggle things around, re- arrange things, ask for favours from other parents, our own parents, our child's other parents so that our scs can do the things they enjoy.

Well later posts suggest that the children are step and half siblings. But who knows.

Agree with coppertop (:wavessmile that waiting around and running around is part of having siblings. Anyway if there's two (or three) parents then they can be split.

Our Saturdays consist of ds1 being taken either to respite or an activity with me or for a drive with dh, ds3 being dropped out to his hour long activity either by a parent or grandparent and that person waiting with him (and either with ds2 in tow or he is left at home) then ds2 being taken to his activity. And on Sundays currently ds2 often has an activity that a parent needs to accompany him to so we have to juggle the other two and whatever they have on. It all evens out and they all get to do what they want to do.

coppertop Wed 18-Dec-13 20:50:30

(waves back at Jimjams grin )

I always slightly excited and nostalgic when I come across you on a thread coppertop grin

Hulababy Wed 18-Dec-13 21:09:36

As for parties - well, you'd do what everyone else does. You look at the invite details and decide whether they fit into everyone's plans and if they are available at that time. If it is an important friend, you try to make time for it. And where possible you try to ensure children can go. But if something else is planned, then you have to decline invites. But that is what everyone does with every invite isnt it?

moldingsunbeams Wed 18-Dec-13 21:34:48

Yep Hula.
Do the dc want to go?
Have we already got plans?
Is it a close friend?

RenterNomad Wed 18-Dec-13 21:58:30

The OP actually said, "The other children are also theirs," indicating full siblings

I think I read the thread people are jumping on, but seem to remember that the father had a new child, not the mother. It could be a "gender switch" AIBU, but again, it might not. Human nature is various, but common themes do exist (sadly, some cases!)

dozeydoris Wed 18-Dec-13 22:22:40

The DM's mother takes the DD to the activity (so OP says somewhere back in the thread). As she is presumably happy doing this the rest of the time surely she could take the DD on Dad's wkend then Dad would only have to collect.

flummoxedbanana Wed 18-Dec-13 23:12:27

Again I repeat, this is not about my partner. The father is question has been constant in the childrens lives, the activity was local until his ex moved.

Dozey, they live an hour apart. The nan taking her would be impossible. It isn't that he wants to drop in and have theme park days out, he wants to be able to visit family which the mum moved the children away from and just generally have a day with the children where nothing is dictated by their mum and he can have some input and time with them. It would be different if his dc was desperate to do the activity as her mum claims she is, but when it came to him taking her she cried and said she'd rather stay with him and her siblings.

MeMySonAndI Wed 18-Dec-13 23:27:51

I went to ballet, swimming, gymnastic, music lessons and the girl guides as a child, none of these activities ever contributed to my life in the way the presence of my dad did.

I'm with the dad, he should also have some freedom to plan his time with his children. It is not fair on the other children either. This activity is compromising the enjoyment of a full day together as a family with their dad.

My child wants a lot of things, but we decide what he can do or not against the wants and needs of the rest of the family. The fact that the parents are not together doesn't mean the child always gets to decide, everybody has a right to be at the front of the queue from time to time.

Yes but that decision should have been made before the child was signed up for the activity.

How long has the activity been going on for, why didn't he object at the time, how is the 'activity or be with me' being phrased?

My kids have given up activities (which I would suggest - missing 12 in a year is equivalent to missing a term for most activities - there's no 'only' about it) but for reasons to do with them rather than someone else in the family (either sibling or parents - that gets worked around).

flummoxedbanana Wed 18-Dec-13 23:52:06

Saintly when she was signed up it was local to both of them and dad didn't mind taking her as it was only an hour out of their day. Ex moved and now it takes them past lunchtime, a lot of travelling for other kids, expensive fuel, lack of quality time etc for dc to be able to do the activity so now he objects

MeMySonAndI Wed 18-Dec-13 23:59:18

I would agree with you if we were talking of a single household where both parents saw the children everyday.

But, when we are talking about the changes being required due to change to circumstances, where there are two households, long distances and dad only sees the children for a very limited time once a week, it is simply not fair to use the same rule.

I have seen a good few legal battles over extracurricular activities, the benefits provided by the activity in most cases do not compensate the immense emotional damage caused by the constant arguments between the parents over the activities.

TheDoctrineOfSanta Thu 19-Dec-13 00:07:09

When mum has all four kids (plus their half sibling) gran takes the 6 year old to the weekend activity,

When dad has all four kids, he has to take the other three to watch the weekend activity.

Which is unfair on the other three kids.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Thu 19-Dec-13 00:11:10

Op

Why cant the dad collect the girl from the activity and begin contact at that point (her mother having dropped her off) and keep her til monday at school drop off?

And why must all the children come with him? Couldnt tjose that want to, stay with his partner who could do something with them or not as she chooses?

Also, visiting family can be done on the sunday.

TheDoctrineOfSanta Thu 19-Dec-13 00:20:50

Partner sometimes works at the weekends.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Thu 19-Dec-13 00:24:02

Ok so sometimes the dcs will all have to go and dad will spend 30 seconds coming up with something to do with them all while dd is at activity. No hardship. Seriously, this is once a m

YoureBeingASillyBilly Thu 19-Dec-13 00:25:13

Onth and only sometimes will he have to bring other dcs? Bit of imagination and he could make it a family outing. Positive mental attitude and all that.

TheDoctrineOfSanta Thu 19-Dec-13 00:31:53

Makes more sense for partner to take DC to activity then and dad to have more contact time with other three DC.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Thu 19-Dec-13 00:36:43

Thats an option! Except when she's working.

TheDoctrineOfSanta Thu 19-Dec-13 00:37:10

I dunno, I think if the post was:

DH and I have four DCs. DH takes DD to dance every Saturday but once a month he has to work. Dance teacher says it's ok to miss one class a month. AIBU to get DD to miss it or should I take all the kids along?

Then it'd mostly be votes for missing the class.

TheDoctrineOfSanta Thu 19-Dec-13 00:39:37

...especially if the class was an hour's drive each way.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Thu 19-Dec-13 00:41:31

Well i'm from the 'you either do it or you dont' school of thought and think you shouldnt sign your child up for something knowing they'll miss every 4th class. And even in your scenario, its not even a case of not being able to take her, its a case of not wanting to because you'd have to amuse your other dcs.

TheDoctrineOfSanta Thu 19-Dec-13 00:43:33

Yeah, it can be done, but is it fair on the other kids to drive for an hour, sit about for 45 mins (or however long) and drive for another hour?

There'd be no question if it was one DC but if feels unfair on the four.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Thu 19-Dec-13 00:59:13

I think once a month (or less often depending on partners work) then it's fine for the other 3 to tag along. As i said the dad can have a think about what he can do to entertain them for 45 mins or however long. Go for ice cream/cake, kick a ball about, feed ducks, walk in the woods, softplay, museum, library. There is so much he could do with them to pass that time.

When ds1 did football ds2 was 2/3 years old and we would blow bubbles, look for birds, kick a small ball away from the playing field. When it was wet we read in the car, coloured in, turned the radio up and wailed some songs, breathed on the windows and drew funny faces in the condensation. Even now there have been quite a few weeks where we havent been able to use the baby pool while ds1 has a lesson so we do activity books, take a walk, play games on my phone, practise songs for nativity.

moldingsunbeams Thu 19-Dec-13 01:11:55

A lot of classes won't let them miss once a month, dd is in a class which is oversubscribed, if she missed once a month she would lose her place.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Thu 19-Dec-13 01:27:43

Having just worked it out, ds' football was on a wednesday evening and saturday morning. He spent EOW with his dad so i was responsible for getting him to 3 out of 4 sessions, which i did. His dad, despite promising, didnt ever take him to the saturday session on his weekend so ds was missing every 4th session and as a result didnt get chosen for any matches and missed a lot of the letters and information given out at the sessions. I made sure coaches had my number for the text service and i joined their FB page and urged exp to so he knew the fixtures aswell but he was still not taking him so ds was missing out massively and would often break down in tears when he got home from school on mondays because some of his classmates had been full of conversation about their matches and who scored what etc, never mind the questions of 'why werent you there?' It was awful to know he was being set up for that disappointment every fortnight so i talked him into giving it up. I had even offered to come and collect him from exps and take him to football but exp said no he would take him then never did.

Isetan Thu 19-Dec-13 04:00:29

I don't know about the other threads that some have suggested but from your postings it sounds like you aren't a friend of the mother at all and you definitely think that the father is being more than reasonable (on the verge of sainthood). Not sure why you posted tbh.

In my opinion it sounds like the dad wants the fun part and none of the drudge, his reasoning that Saturday is the only day that visiting family etc can take place is ridiculous. His daughter participated in an activity that inconveniences him and that is his primary objection. Oh and WTF! flummoxedbanana Wed 18-Dec-13 09:34:26
"He offered that mum collect dc, take her to activity and return her but mum claimed that isn't fair on the dc shes had since they split'. Wow very big of him, volunteering that the parent who already does the lions share of the parenting take on some of his part-time parenting duties.

I think you have misrepresented yourself and the situation, which is pointless and begs the question, why? sad

antimatter Thu 19-Dec-13 06:28:46

where nothing is dictated by their mum and he can have some input and time with them

somehow him dictating what is to happen on that one Saturday a month is acceptable

you are saying that dc would miss 8 sessions a year so all this sisagreement is about 3x8=24 hours of direct contact a year!

why can't he see it that way and carry on as before?

Saintly when she was signed up it was local to both of them and dad didn't mind taking her as it was only an hour out of their day. Ex moved and now it takes them past lunchtime, a lot of travelling for other kids, expensive fuel, lack of quality time etc for dc to be able to do the activity so now he objects

If it's the ex that moved why is it no longer near him? Does that mean she already did the activity near him and this set up is new?

Anyway I'm also of the do it or don't bother school of thought. It's really unfair on the child to miss every 4th lesson. If he doesn't want to take her once a month then it should be cancelled (although for many activities some notice is required so he may have to pay for that or take her during the notice period). I'm not quite understanding why family visits can't be on Sundays, or why it can't be juggled so everyone's happy - especially if the partner is sometimes not working so there'll only be some weeks where everyone has to go- but I'm clearly missing something in the level of difficulty here. But then we sometime have to drive ds1 for over an hour on a Saturday to get a burger while juggling ds2 & ds3's activities. If I had to take other kids with me for a short class I'd whisk them off to a cafe then go on somewhere after the class. If the class was a long one (ds2 does over 5 hours on an activity on Saturday) then I'd drop the child & head back later.

Ime the number of activities increases as the kids get older so this situation may well arise with any of the kids again in the future. Especially because a lot of activities take place on Saturdays. If he's not willing to do drop offs etc because they're an hour away then that needs to be clear before any children are signed up for anything else.

That's very sad sillybilly sad

The doctrine - if a child misses every fourth dance class they won't have anything other than a tiny bit in the show ( however good they are) and they won't do as well as they could in exams, or they'll miss parent showbacks (which ime kids love - whatever the activity). It 's really not fair on the child to miss every 4th class. As I said 12 sessions in a year is the equivalent to missing an entire term for many activities (many of the ones my kids do have 12 week terms).

Yes silly -exactly. Ds3 used to horse ride - when he did I sometimes had to take ds2. If I did we would check out the horses, go for a walk, have a biscuit & a drink & a chat in the on site cafe. It wasn't 't that hard (and was a bit of a drive away). Ds2 also used to have to go along & watch ds3 swimming every week for a while because I was taking ds2 surfing. He used to quite enjoy it, if he didn't I would have told him to take a book. Sometimes ds3 used to ask to come & watch ds2's swimming lesson even though the timing meant he could always stay at home.

We just juggle our way through each week. Some weeks are harder to organise than others - but it's just what you do.

Sorry ds1 was surfing. So ds2 was given the choice 'you can come surfing/to the beach with me and ds1 or you can go & watch ds3 at his swimming lesson'. He invariably chose to watch the swimming lesson.

TheDoctrineOfSanta Thu 19-Dec-13 07:09:16

I understand that saintly, but the other three DCs are also missing out on stuff they'd ideally like to do.

Again, if it was only the DD, I think it would be fair enough for her dad to take her but the needs and wants of all the DCs should be balanced and I think the DD herself has said she doesn't mind missing some classes.

NicknameIncomplete Thu 19-Dec-13 07:09:41

I work most saturday mornings so our weekend doesnt start until lunchtime. Dd & i are still able to do lots of things on the weekend.

I think the dad is just being awkward and lazy.

TheDoctrineOfSanta Thu 19-Dec-13 07:42:44

Gran takes the DD on the mum's weekends.

If gran was sick one week and couldn't do it, would the mum be awkward and lazy if she didn't take all the kids along?

EmmelineGoulden Thu 19-Dec-13 07:45:52

If the activity has been in place for a while then I'd say in general changes, such as new contact arrangements, should be made to accommodate the pre-arranged activity. At the age of 6 I don't think the girl's opinion should be taken too strongly (though it shouldn't be ignored completely). My kids have a weekend activity they love, though given the opportunity to stay home they always say they'd rather do that and complain about having to get there. They aren't as happy after two hours at home as after two hours at the activity though and their sense of accomplishment when they get through another level is vast - they wouldn't get that if I didn't make them go each week.

I do see the difficulties with all the travel involved, especially with other children. I think they all need to be a bit more creative to find a better solution though. The dad's proposal makes serious commitment to anything that happens at weekends almost impossible, which cuts out a lot of opportunity, especially as they get older. Also for visiting family, can't the dad take them more in the holidays or have family visit him on contact weekends? My kids don't get to see my family outside of holiday time - it's just too far if we're going to have any kind of life here. Isn't that pretty typical when people move a distance?

When two parents have different ideas on what's important for children there's always likely to be tension. A mediator could be useful for them to help them talk about what values they want to instill and how so they start working from the same page. They both sound a bit entrenched from your descriptions.

Yes doctrine the mother would be lazy of she didn't ensure her dd got there because she cba

Tbh surfing - which ds1 does regularly is just under an hour's drive away (an hour in summer) & ds3's golf which he does every week is half an hour so I'm not really seeing the problem. As I said my kids sometimes have to accompany their siblings (maybe more than once a month on occasion). Heck the who family drove for two days to take ds2 to one thing he was doing (combined it with a holiday when we got there).

If the siblings are younger they're likely to find their own activities they want to do when they're older - so this sort of juggling is likely to increase unless the father is going to refuse to do any activities at all.

MeMySonAndI Thu 19-Dec-13 08:20:22

Relationship break ups change thing, contact with one parent is often difficult, limited and fragile.

I think the mother has not realised that she shouldn't be calling the shots over this anymore, he needs some freedom to decide how to spend a full day with his children.

Yeah, the child may not get any main roles if he miss one class a month but insisting in the fill half of the day been spent protecting an activity when the parent only see the children once a month it is very shortsighted.

I guess that many here are looking at this from the point of view of the industrictible relationship between parents and their children, which as many of us know, it is not really so after taking all the knows down that come with a divorce.

If the relationship between the children and their dad is not allowed space and time to flourish it would get more fragile overtime. It is protecting that relationship that needs to take priority, as it would have more weight than any activity in the longer term.

sashh Thu 19-Dec-13 08:23:01

Saintly when she was signed up it was local to both of them and dad didn't mind taking her as it was only an hour out of their day. Ex moved and now it takes them past lunchtime, a lot of travelling for other kids, expensive fuel, lack of quality time etc for dc to be able to do the activity so now he objects

That doesn't make sense. If it was local to dad and he hasn't moved then it is still local to dad.

I'm not sure making a child give up an activity they enjoy is protecting a parent-child relationship.

And I know he'll say that he's not making her give it up - he's just asking her to miss once session a month, so if she gives up that will be blamed on the mother... But see sillybilly's posts. The reality is there aren't that many big class/group activities that can be realistically sustained/continued if 12 sessions a year are missed.

flummoxedbanana Thu 19-Dec-13 08:39:50

Sashh - yes, the activity is still on near dad but dc is enrolled in it the other three weeks near mum and mum says she must attend that one, not his local one.

I'm torn tbh. My dd cannot do activities or parties at the weekend because she has contact with her father eow and I think it's massively unfair on her but mainly because he usually doesn't do anything with her anddrops her off at his parents while he carries on with his plans. In this case, where the dad would actually spend quality time with the children and others are being dragged along for the sake of one child I don't think it's fair. Yes, siblings watch activities as part of family life - my 18 month old comes along and watcheseach aactivity dd does. But then, I see them themmajority of the rest of the time. If I only had the potential of one whole day per month I wouldn't want to do it and think 6 yr olds are capable of understanding some things are more important.

flummoxedbanana Thu 19-Dec-13 08:41:40

Saintly - my dd, who's also 6, sustained the same activity while missing eow due to contact. It had to be paid for to keep her place but it can be done.

Well it's hard to know without knowing what the activity is, but if it's a team sport or competitive or performing arts I would say while you can go along whenever a miss lessons the child is going to miss out hugely from missing so much. Even if you tell yourself they're not missing out. Even a martial arts would mean the child would get behind on grading etc

Ds3 can miss the odd golf lesson as he's being taught skills, he's not playing it nor being assessed- if he ever gets competitive with it he could not.

flummoxedbanana Thu 19-Dec-13 09:05:51

I agree with some activities it'd be missing a lot but the one in question is tap dancing. My dd, when missing eow, still managed to learn the routine and be in the show. If friends dd is so super talented that she's destined to be a professional, surely she could manage this too?

YoureBeingASillyBilly Thu 19-Dec-13 09:07:03

memysonandi the dad isnt only seeing her once a month- he is seeing her two mid week nights, one weekend a month friday-sunday and every other sunday. So he is seeing her 3 times a week even without the full weekend.

dozeydoris Thu 19-Dec-13 09:07:45

Well, this is not cast in stone.

Rather than have an all out row with her DM the Dad should find some really fun things for himself and the rest of he family to do whilst she is at activity, in a short while she will ask to join them and not be in interest activity. What about swimming or walks/adventures in the woods/ ice skating? He just needs to try harder, there has to be something, even cinema? Even if he is stuck in the car are there some funny games, great talking books?

The chances of any child following the activity into stardom is prob several million to one (if you think of the pop of the UK and how many famous female artistes you can reel off) so at 6 I feel sorry for the kids with their time filled with this formal teaching, better having happy fun with her family.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Thu 19-Dec-13 09:10:30

I thought it was just the dd's dream to be professional, i dont remember reading that she claimed to be 'so talented and destined to be a professional'.

flummoxedbanana Thu 19-Dec-13 09:10:44

Dozey she already asks to join them. The activity is only an hour and parents have to stay in case their dc needs escorting to the toilet because it's in a leisure centre, sooother dcs have to watch and wait too

flummoxedbanana Thu 19-Dec-13 09:12:03

SillyBilly - mum agrees that she will be a professional one day confused

If she misses 12 sessions she won't be a big part in the show. That tends to help with confidence building etc and the move towards being professional.

Performing arts is HUGELY competitive - she won't get anywhere missing that much (she won't be allowed to as she gets older - even for amateur stuff).

If she is doing it to while away a few hours on a Saturday for a few years & she isn't bothered about getting anywhere then it's fine to miss 12 sessions a year. There's nothing wrong with doing an activity in that way - that's how ds2 approached horse riding, but if she is serious about it & very into it then I'm afraid tap dancing is something she really does need to do it properly from the beginning. Or she won't get anywhere - and I don't mean professionally - I just mean she will be left behind in terms of everyone else in the class.

Moreisnnogedag Thu 19-Dec-13 09:12:23

I'm really confused as to your involvement in all this. If, as you say, you're a friend of the mother then (a) you're not a really good friend and (b) you are besotted with the dad. Why do you know the ins and outs of the dad's decision making process and why are so hell bent on painting him as the good guy?

Leaving that aside, I think he needs to suck it up. Why is contact only once a month if he's always been in their lives? Why should the mother bend over backwards to facilitate happy fun times constantly when she doesn't get that? The child shouldn't miss a quarter of lessons and you can't swap classes from one area to another - it just doesn't work like that.

flummoxedbanana Thu 19-Dec-13 09:14:46

Saintly their dance shows are group dances where everyone has the same routine, there are no 'big parts.' Dc hasn't even begun on any of the grades yet, to say she's going to be professional is the mum being a bit over enthusiastic I think

flummoxedbanana Thu 19-Dec-13 09:16:56

More - dad is dps best friend. Mum is school run and coffee friend, not best friend or anything. Mum happily lets dc miss activity if she has something planned with her.

dozeydoris Thu 19-Dec-13 09:19:42

Ok, DF can arrange childminder to stay, maybe pay a 16 year old to watch her for the few hours. Perhaps ask leisure centre for ideas.

There might even be a system in place for helping DCs on their own, ask the tutor.

There is no point in me or anyone else saying that the DM is unreasonable - the prob is still not solved. DF needs to try harder.

flummoxedbanana Thu 19-Dec-13 09:23:23

Mum is not agreeable to any but dad looking after the children

2rebecca Thu 19-Dec-13 09:33:29

When our kids were young then neither adult arranged for regular activities for the children on weekends as it was felt that was too restricting. The children only started doing weekend activities when at secondary school when they started having school sports fixtures etc on a weekend and the child was old enough to ask to do it and get the agreement of both parents. Now they are older teenagers we work around them as most teenagers don't spend much time on a weekend with their parents and they spend time with whichever parent they fancy, we just both make sure we see them regularly.
Age 6 neither of them would have been going to this and it would never have been arranged on a Saturday.

Actually I disagree - performing arts is an area where children have an opportunity (with some talent) to actually do professional work - until they reach the magic height of 5 foot anyway. For some children this can be hugely enriching & encouraging and can set up their future career.

That's certainly been the case for one of my sons. Performing arts is very competitive - his early professional experiences have given him the confidence to think that he can make this a career. It's not about fame - if anything seeing close up how the general public treat the famous has put him off - it's about loving the activity & now having the confidence to go for it. I doubt very much that he would have had the confidence to go for it without those early experiences. One tends to lead on to another. It doesn't matter if he does end up doing something else (he has plenty of plan B's) but he's seen a whole bunch of different things he could do.

And he's still quite a few inches under 5 foot smile

If it's in a leisure centre why can't the other kids do something else as well? Or is there not a cafe on site? My kids would go anywhere with the promise of a biscuit. And if the partner is only working some weekends surely the other kids only need to tag along once every other month or something.

I'm confused about the issues tbh. Other than if she loves the activity then ideally she will be supported, if she is talented she could be using the skills professionally in a few years - or less. If dad doesn't want to take her she could give up but the whole family will need to come to some agreement about classes or this will happen more often as all the children get older & starting & being forced to quit does no-one any favours. If she is the eldest this same question will come up with the others.

2rebecca Thu 19-Dec-13 09:43:33

Maybe it can be enriching, but I still think that it should only be going ahead if both parents want it to happen. I don't see why the mother gets more of a say in this than the dad and if the dad disagrees then it doesn't happen.
The mother sounds rather controlling here because I have never tried to tell my ex who can and can't look after the kids when they are with him. He's a parent just like me. I don't tell him what to do when the kids are with him (unless I heard they were doing something dangerous or he was being negligent) and he doesn't tell me what to do.
If the father doesn't agree to this weekend activity then he doesn't take his daughter. If the father wants to have someone else looking after his kids for a couple of hours to avoid a long car journey then he does so.
I don't see why the 6 year old is considered so much more imortant than her siblings though. She gets to spend 2 hours in a car on a Sat am and dance for an hour, her sibs get to spend 2 hours in a car and watch her dance for an hour.
Sounds crap for all involved.

Tbh I really do think activities should be driven by the children. If she wants to do the activity ( when asked properly / or on an assessment of how happy she is on leaving the class- rather than on some loaded question from dad) then she should be supported as it's been started.

If she loses interest then she gets made to continue going until she's completed the block that has been paid for then gives up.

The problem here is partly that the parents seem to have completely differing views on how important this activity is to the child in question. And so value the activity differently.

Well I don't think it should be about either parent having more say - it's about what is right for the child. As she spends 3 weekends out of 4 with her mother of course the activity will be based near her main home. And contact should be arranged to allow her stability.

MeMySonAndI Thu 19-Dec-13 11:50:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Er did you mean to include all that bit about slippers - you might want to report your post as it includes names!

It's sad for the kids in cases such as SillyBilly's though isn't it? She saw the upset her ex's refusal to engage in her son's activity caused. IMO it depends on how important the activity is to the child. And in this case it seems the mum says 'very' and the dad says 'not at all'. So who knows?

ChestnutsroastingintheFireligh Thu 19-Dec-13 12:06:56

My dd did tsp dancing. She was in thevfrintvtiw during her last show in all the formations

Any teachercwirthbtheir salt will start choreographing show routines using patterns and rotations. If a child is constantly missing they will be stuck at the back not taking part in these formations

One year dd missed a lot of lessons due to bring in two months of panto. She had to delay her exams as a result and progress slowed. Others moved ahead of her.

flummoxedbanana Thu 19-Dec-13 13:10:18

T

flummoxedbanana Thu 19-Dec-13 13:16:25

The

flummoxedbanana Thu 19-Dec-13 13:18:35

The parent has to watch in viewing gallery so can't take kids to cafe. He considered tying it in with swimming after dancing but 6 yr old refuses to go swimming despite her siblings wanting to and mum says she must be listened to confused

Well I would just do the swimming. How's mum going to stop it? Or explain to the 6 year old that if she wants to continue then swimming is part of the deal. Are you SURE mum said that, or is that being used as justification - because it doesn't sound like something that someone would insist on assuming the other children are hers as well.

flummoxedbanana Thu 19-Dec-13 13:25:14

Saintly - without dragging his new child around too, going back and forth to accommodate dancing, parties etc means he'll never spend any weekends with his new child and that they'd struggle to build a sibling relationship which is also an important consideration, surely?

flummoxedbanana Thu 19-Dec-13 13:27:44

She said he can't go against her express wishes not to swim. He said it's against the other kids wishes to take her dancing and she said they'll just have to get over it confused

ElenorRigby Thu 19-Dec-13 13:39:05

The father needs to take this to court and then smile when the judge rips a new one for the mother.

flummoxedbanana Thu 19-Dec-13 13:43:07

Elenor - a lot of people seem to think she'd win though and he'd have to comply with taking her dancing.

flummoxedbanana Thu 19-Dec-13 13:44:27

Elenor a lot of people here seem to think the mum is being reasonable in her demands though and that he should indeed work around his dcs commitments

You seem to know rather a lot of detail? And it all sounds rather father sympathetic. As you sure that even the bonkers sounding bits are accurate & the father isn't just concocting a narrative because he cba

Tbh I'm not sure I buy all this special time to establish sibling relationships. Surely sibling relationships develop in the nitty gritty of daily life not during Disney days out. Who knows when she's older perhaps she'll take her younger sibling to an activity or to even watch her tap dance, who knows.

I stick by what I said earlier - now this activity is established whether it continues or not should depend on the child (the time to object is before an activity starts). Not much hope of agreement there as the parents can't seem to agree whether this doesn't matter at all or is hugely important. It would be best if they could put their own differences aside, observe the child & come to some agreement on that.

She may do it professionally, but even if she doesn't does that matter (she certainly won't do it professionally if she gives up now). I started horse riding at 5. I've never worked in a yard but find myself still horse riding every week nearly 40 years later. It brings me great enjoyment & is in my life because I did it as a child. Luckily I didn't have a parent objecting to the effort involved.

flummoxedbanana Thu 19-Dec-13 13:50:08

Saintly he is dps best friend so he hears a lot from him. I am the ex wife's friend so I hear from her. There will be no nitty gritty of daily life between the siblings as the distance means either carting the new sibling over there all the time or not seeing their siblings except for a few days in the summer holiday

AvonCallingBarksdale Thu 19-Dec-13 13:51:29

You seem to have invested a huge amount of time in your friends' arrangements confused

flummoxedbanana Thu 19-Dec-13 13:53:53

I think them getting to see their dad is important. He was very hands on when they were married and now he's being more and more marginalised which I don't think is fair on the children

YoureBeingASillyBilly Thu 19-Dec-13 14:24:02

They are getting to see him confused

Two midweek evenings
Every other sunday
And one weekend each month friday to sunday.

Thats 3 times a week where one session also involves two overnights, breakfast, lunch, dinner and all time in between plus travelling to and from their mother's.

As i said up thread this is NOT a case of daddy or dancing. This is just 1 hour (or less depending in length of class) a month during which daddy has to watch her from a seat at the side of the room. Or only one hour that daddy 'gets' to see her dancing depending on daddy's attitude. I know my younger ds likes me to stay and watch his dance class- maybe having her dad there to see her is a real treat for this girl.

2rebecca Thu 19-Dec-13 15:03:44

It isn't 1 hour a month though, it's 3 hours a month as it's an hour there and back, that's the real problem. It means the father can never do any day trips with his daughter on a Saturday or go away for the weekend. It seems extremely intrusive to me.
Why does the 6 year old take priority over the other kids? I'd be just refusing to take her. it seems very unfair on everyone else in the family.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Thu 19-Dec-13 15:45:14

Most of the classes that run year round take time off so it wont be every saturday- he will be able to plan trips or weekends away. This is really just a massive lack of imagination or even willingness to see how it goes. He can get a copy of her dance class calender and (like families up and down the country) plan accordingly. Of course missing one session to go on holiday with her dad would be fine. Regularly missing every fourth session is a completely different issue. I'm assuming this man will also be using some annual leave during summer/easter/christmas holidays to spend time with his dcs and share the childcare with his ex wife so there will be many opportunities for day trips.

TheDoctrineOfSanta Thu 19-Dec-13 18:13:28

Saintly but thus activity was established and then ex moved away so the activity got established at her new home.

That would have been a good time for a discussion about whether to continue with the Saturday activity.

The 6 year old preventing her siblings swimming sounds unfair.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Thu 19-Dec-13 18:18:30

I wouldnt allow the 6 year old to have the say on whether everyone else goes swimming. If she refused she could sit in the viewing gallery and watch while they swam.

RenterNomad Thu 19-Dec-13 20:01:49

He considered tying it in with swimming after dancing but 6 yr old refuses to go swimming despite her siblings wanting to and mum says she must be listened to.

Oh, FFS.

Maybe the 6yo is the only one of the kids who is still, unequivocably "Mummy's", so she's pandering as much as possible.

I can't think of another reason to pander to a 6yo and punish other children. sad

YoureBeingASillyBilly Thu 19-Dec-13 20:42:34

Lets be honest here. The mother hasnt said the 'six year old must be listened to' . even to her own ears that would sound ridiculous and she wouldnt have been able to keep a straight face whilst saying that. The OP's bias is very obvious and we arent getting the truth of what has been said at all. That much is very clear.

NicknameIncomplete Thu 19-Dec-13 21:20:35

From the OPs posts it doesnt sound like she is friends with the mum in question. She is very biased towards the father.

My dsis & i are extremely close, we speak many times a day but i would not know half as much detail about a situation like this as the OP does.

Cityofgold Thu 19-Dec-13 21:30:30

No point attempting to second guess the OP's real connection to the issue.

It strikes me that the father is a parent as much as the mother, during the weekends he has contact it is up to him what he does. It is not up to the mother to dictate to the father what he can or can not do. I agree with all posters who suggest six year years old is too young to dictate terms, if the little one was at home with both parents they would come to an adult/parental agreement. Same must apply now they are separated.

Fathers are too often vilified or marginalised. Here is a man who is trying to parent four children in less than ideal circumstances. Good luck.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Thu 19-Dec-13 21:50:40

I Think there is a point because its very clear OP has put her own spin on what has gone between the two parents, not even just the fathers version (a she is clearly biased towards) but her own spin on top of that. Which really means what we're being told by OP is being told in a way thy will lead us to the make the responses she wants to hear. None of us can really comment on the actual situation as we havent been told the actual situation.

The 6 year old preventing the others swimming sounds untrue. Unless the mother is completely insane (& why would the father even need to discuss it with the mother?) which is clearly what the OP wants us to believe. Either that or she's accepting what sounds likes real story from the father without any questioning.

Real story? Not sure who it's autocorrected but didn't mean that - spin story maybe

IThinkThat Thu 19-Dec-13 23:07:19

The mum is unreasonable.

flummoxedbanana Thu 19-Dec-13 23:19:30

Saintly, it isn't untrue. The mum tells the dd she can do and say what she likes and she will back her up. So if she doesn't want to swim, she throws an almighty paddy and refuses to get changed etc. She tells her dad that if he doesn't listen to her she'll stop seeing him and the next contact session she'll be elsewhere because her mum backs her up. I was school run friends with the mum when she lived here and they were still married, now I only really see what she puts on facebook and probably chat once every couple of months. She actually posted saying her ex is a disgracefor refusing to feed the dc one Sunday. It transpired he'd refused their dds demand to go to McDonald's and so she'd refused to eat the lunch his mum cooked and was 'so woozy she almost passed out' according to her mum [sceptical]

What sillybilly said in her last post. Sorry OP but you seem to know an enormous amount about a school run friend & your partners mate & seen to be lapping up everything the dad says without question.

As I have said a million times before - both parents should be putting their children first - above themselves. In the case of activities it really depends how important they are to the child. If she loves tap dancing I do think the father should juggle to get her out there (we have to juggle other kids including a severely disabled one for ours to go their activities- something can usually be sorted that doesn't involve other sibings having to always tag along if they hate it - although it might be necessary occasionally). If she's meh about it then I'm sure she won't mind giving up. Expecting her to miss a 1/4 of lessons is not on.

But as I said as this set of parents can't even agree whether this kid likes tap dancing there's not much hope really. Presumably he'll refuse to take her so either the mother will save her money & make her give up or she'll just not progress at the same rate as her friends, will get bored of being stuck at the back & give up.

I would suggest the parents come to some agreement about activities on contact days because assuming the other kids are younger this issue will quite possibly arise repeatedlt with all of them as they get older. Unless dad is lucky enough to have a child that doesn't have any intetest in activities. If dad is going to refuse to ferry individual children to activities on contact days he needs to make that clear before any are signed up for.

EmmelineGoulden Fri 20-Dec-13 09:03:13

If she hates swimming so much it probably isn't the activity to be doing with all of them. Having said that, he needs to stand up to that sort of emotional blackmail from his DD or the visits will be damaging for everyone. You said the DD says she would rather spend time with him than at the dance class, so she propbably doesn't mean it anyway.

The mum does sound controlling from what you post, but that doesn't mean insisting on contact arrangements taking account of the DCs regular activities is unreasonable - by itself it isn't.

coppertop Fri 20-Dec-13 10:05:09

If you only speak to the mother every few months, then how on earth do you know what she has been saying to her dd about these lessons?

From the way you speak about her, it's fairly clear that she's not a close friend, so are you relying on what the father tells you?

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