Teenagers and useless dads

(16 Posts)
theredhen Sun 30-Dec-12 02:31:07

I think I have been a bit of a doormat for the last ten years and have basically allowed ex to treat me and ds poorly just so ex didn't abandon ds as that was my greatest fear.

So am I being unreasonable to want to change the following;

Expecting ex to provide for his son in a proper manner by contacting the CSA after 8 yrs of no maintenance and 2 yrs of £20 per week.

To expect ex to provide pjs, toothbrush, deodrant, change of clothes and gaming console or access to PC instead of me providing all these things and ds having to pack them all up for every visit. Also expecting ex to do any washing rather than bring the dirty washing home to me.

To expect ex to provide ds with some personal space in his home, either his own bedroom (he has a spare room) or to share a room with his partners son who is away at university. Currently ds sleeps on the sofa and dp sits up til at least 2am watching films so ds can't get to sleep until ex has finished. Ds comes home exhausted.

To expect ex to provide access to a PC and printer for homework rather than ds having to do all homework at mine before a visit to dad?

Ds is 14.

NatashaBee Sun 30-Dec-12 02:36:57

YANBU about anything except expecting him to provide access to a gaming console... That's not a necessity!

theredhen Sun 30-Dec-12 02:40:14

Yes, I didn't really word that well. Currently he packs up an x box, leads, controllers and games and I just don't know why he should have to do this, however ex provides nothing else for him to do, so I can see why this has happened.

I suppose what I meant is that ex should provide ds with something to entertain him whether that be board games, books, computers etc etc

NatashaBee Sun 30-Dec-12 02:43:54

Then YANBU smile

MerryChristMoose Sun 30-Dec-12 02:53:38

Does your son want to go? Honestly, at 14, if he doesn't want to go you don't have to make him go if there isn't a court order. It doesn't sound much fun.

theredhen Sun 30-Dec-12 02:57:39

Strangely enough after years of my encouraging and him not really wanting to go, he suddenly does! And he's being very loyal to dad all of a sudden which I suppose, is what's upsetting me.

MagicLlama Sun 30-Dec-12 07:19:37

YANBU at all. However I wonder how much of the suddenly wanting to go and stay and visit with his dad is to do with the change in situation with your DSD?

Otherwise he might just be at that stroppy teenage years and wanting to go to the house with the least boundaries.

I dont think its unreasonable of him to take his xbox with him to be honest, if everything comes back, and he takes good care of it.

wrt toiletries, and the PC I think its a fair request, but ive also discovered unreasonable people dont always agree. If you ask his dad to provide own stuff / allow access to the PC what will happen?

VBisme Sun 30-Dec-12 07:25:06

Once he starts paying maintenance at the proper rates then I think it's reasonable for you to provide toiletries and some clothes.
His dad should be sorting out entertainment and a PC for schoolwork.

theredhen Sun 30-Dec-12 07:47:24

Of course, I wonder if ds and I were still on our own, if he would be feeling like this. My gut feeling is yes and it's hormones. Family who hadn't seen him for five months yesterday commented on how much he's changed physically.

We provide absolutely everything for dsc when they're here, including all clothes, toiletries, and toys whilst also paying CSA rates.

Dsc think its very odd when they see ds packing a bag as they've never done it themselves.

There is a good chance if I go to the CSA, I'll get nothing as ex is self employed and takes great pride and pleasure in fiddling the system.

If I say to ex I want him to start acting like a parent and suggest he starts providing he will probably accuse me of being completely unreasonable and that I've now made it impossible for him to see his son and he hopes I'm happy with that. He's done this with his children and grandchildren from his first marriage. Ds will be upset and no doubt blame me too but if I don't start putting my foot down then maybe I am teaching ds to be disrespectful to me?

Either way I'm pretty stuffed as far as I see it. hmm

NotaDisneyMum Sun 30-Dec-12 08:28:09

Not unreasonable at all, but on the flip side - my DSC mum insisted on sending the DCs with a suitcase, refused to allow their clothes to be washed here, prevented them doing homework at our house and discouraged them from entertaining themselves while here!

MagicLlama Sun 30-Dec-12 08:40:10

Ahh hes one of those is he?

Then youve got a problem either way. Sometimes people are just so unreasonable they would rather cut their nose off to spite their face (my ex is one so I know how tough it is)

I think that if the stuff all comes back and there is no problems, then Id just keep on doing it (but im a doormat and am well aware of that fact) as if you dont, and XP doesnt step up its DS thats going to smell / not clean his teeth etc. Although if you can live with that for a weekend, then leave them to it.

The personal space is totally reasonable but again you can ask him, but you cant dictate to him how he arranges the bedrooms in his house, and it sounds like the last thing you want to do is stop contact, you just want your XP to be reasonable about it.

Unfortunately you cans make him you can only put in place strategies to deal with his unreasonableness and protect it from impacting you too much.

CabbageLeaves Sun 30-Dec-12 08:59:08

Reasonable: go to the CSA and expect maintenance
Unreasonable: think this will magically produce any maintenance!

Clothes etc- depends how long he is there for. My DD takes her clothes but she does only see her dad for 24 hrs twice a month He does provide a toothbrush.

Printer, PC and bedroom space... Not everyone has the ability to do this but I agree that ex needs to do what he can which includes having an earlier bedtime for the few nights he has his son.

From your post I think I'd say that your son is capable of asking his dad for these things and his renewed loyalty means he is ok with it all.... Which suggests that it's only going to be you fighting for this? In which case tbh I wouldn't (other than maintenance). You risk making your son defend his dad and alienating yourself.

MatureUniStudent Sun 30-Dec-12 14:06:24

I'd be concerned (but admit I am jaded by my own DC's experiences when they saw their DF) that he sleeps on a sofa and his dad stays up till 2pm. What on earth are they both watching and is it suitable for a 14 yr old? I know you can't control what he does at his fathers houses but perhaps that is why DS is suddenly so keen to be at his dads.

theredhen Sun 30-Dec-12 19:00:45

If ex had a one bedroom flat, then it's more acceptable that ds sleeps on the sofa. But there is a spare room which they have now made into a bedroom for their baby (ds has never slept in there) and there is another boy/man in the house who has a room he rarely uses as he's at Uni. Why can't ds have some space of his own in his dads house? It's a 4/5 bedroom house.

Ex watches 18 films and has done for years whilst ds is there. hmm

I just think he's taking the mickey telling me the other night that he's a "reliable" parent!

I've calmed down a bit now and ds has been pleasant today. I think the way forward is to turn a blind eye to two or three nights a month at his dads , let ds take more responsibility for organising and if ex wants more contact (which he won't for long anyway) I will ask him to provide a proper space and time for homework.

I think I'm also going to give some consideration to using the CSA, my big fear is that they are so incompetent, I will get nothing and ex will delight in that I'm sure! hmm

NotaDisneyMum Sun 30-Dec-12 19:14:04

I'm also going to give some consideration to using the CSA, my big fear is that they are so incompetent, I will get nothing and ex will delight in that I'm sure!

It's true that the system can be fiddled to avoid CSA payments, but in order to avoid it, your ex may well have to make some significant changes to the way he trades - if he is currently self-employed then the only way of avoiding CSA liability on his profit is to establish a company with himself as a director - which isn't a easy or cheap task!
He'll definitely be faced with inconvenience, so I doubt he'll be delighting in it.

theredhen Mon 31-Dec-12 06:52:56

You make a good point there NADM.

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