Activities on ex's weekend

(189 Posts)
smuggler Sun 19-Jan-14 09:46:10

Was just wondering if anyone has any experience of their child wanting to do a weekend activity/go to parties on their dad's weekend but him refusing to take them?

My seven year olds father has eow contact and has always refused to allow her to do an activity she's really wanted to do for almost four years or attend birthday parties if they fall on his weekend. In the past I've negotiated swaps for best friends parties but it always comes with a load of grief from him. I'm fed up with being the one to run dd around to parties etc on my weekend while he gets eow uninterrupted with her but doesn't actually do anything with her. Dd is upset that she can't do the activity or go to parties like her friends.

We don't have a contact order in place. The activity is from 10-12 on Saturday mornings. He recently started collecting her from school on Fri. He lives half hour away. I want dd to be able to go to the most important parties and her activity and for him to facilitate that on his weekends. Previously he's said that if dd wants to go to a party on his weekend I have to drive to collect her from his, get her dressed for the party, supply the present, take her to and supervise her at the party, then collect and return her to his. All with my toddler in tow. It's impossible and ultimately ends with me getting the blame for her missing the party.

I'm thinking of saying that he needs to respect dds wish to do the activity and either collect her Fri and return to our town on Sat for it or collect her after the activity and return her to school on Monday instead of Sunday at 2 p.m. as usual. I also want him to listen to dd if there's a party she wants to go to and take her himself. Are these unreasonable requests? If he took me to court, does anyone have any experience of what the outcome might be?

Dd is a strong swimmer and gymnast and wants to train and compete in these as she gets older. Her dad's refusal to support any activities on his weekends means that'd be impossible which I don't think is fair on dd.

Theoldhag Sun 19-Jan-14 09:58:44

It is not unreasonable for your dd to wish to go to her friends parties and other activities however when she is with her dad on his contact weekends it is up to him as to what activities they do, or not. As annoying as it is there is nothing you can do about it. So for your own peace I would just not factor these events in unless she is with you.

I do empathise with your feelings about this issue.

clam Sun 19-Jan-14 10:03:55

Tough though it would be to implement in the short-term, I would leave it up to him, but perhaps point out that it won't be long before she decides she doesn't want to go to his at weekends if it means she's missing out on stuff at home.

SharpLily Sun 19-Jan-14 10:09:56

Exactly, clam. If this goes on she'll be the one kicking up a fuss, so point out to him that it's in his own best interests to play along if he wants to continue seeing her.

smuggler Sun 19-Jan-14 10:10:16

Surely it's being a parent though to have to work round your child and their interests and commitments rather than have them work around you? By the time she's old enough to have a say in not going to his it'll be too late to begin training for anything she's interested in. In the meantime, it'll be me who continues to get the blame for not going to get her from his and ferrying her back and forth. Seems so unfair that he can just opt out and ignore what she wants to the detriment of her.

Bonkerz Sun 19-Jan-14 10:18:45

It's difficult one. We have Dsd every weekend and have done since she was 18months old. She is now 12! She has missed out on parties etc but it hasn't 'damaged' her in any way. She has grown up accepting that her time with us is special and she sees her friends all the time. If it's a special friend she has stayed home but it's been very rare. She lives in a different county an hour away though so we could never have honoured invites or activities anyway. TBH as the step parent and absent parent (DH) we would have been very annoyed if her mother had tried to dictate how we should spend our time with DSD! We would never to that to DSDs mother!

How would you feel if the father dictated what YOU did when you had DD?????

Monetbyhimself Sun 19-Jan-14 10:42:18

It is deeply unfair that your childs life is being dictated in this way by an NRP.

With the Saturday activity, if he continues to be a selfish man, then I would suggest mediation to try and rearrange contact to facilitate this if possible. You may be able to come to a solution but if not, in a few years time Dd will be able to vote with her feet anyway. DD plays a seasonal sport and when she is selected for the team she doesn't go to contact. This is approved in the contact order.

With birthday parties etc, ex is required, again as part of the order, to make reasonable efforts to facilitate the children attending. Again my eldest is old enough to make her own decisions. The younger ones know that they might not be allowed to go, but they also know that it's based onvwhat their father says and it DOES have an impact on their relationship with him. Contact weekends do not generally go well when they are forced to miss a party in favour of sitting in their rooms bored stiff and avoiding Ex and OW arguing hmm

It is si frustrating that your Ex is playing this game. But in reality, without a contact order, there is not a massive amount that you can do until DD can make her own choices.

Daddyofone Sun 19-Jan-14 10:53:28

Here's my view as an NRP

There will always be birthdays, events and activities that don't fit into the eow schedule.

Personally I wouldn't want my daughter to miss out just because her mum and I split, I'm generally pretty amenable , though it can't be every single birthday, so there has to be some sort of decision over which are important enough to be flexible over. Best friends etc.

And it can, I'm not suggesting with you, but it can be a form of control. I've taken my daughter to b'day parties, at the behest of XP, where dd's told me she doesn't know anyone which prompts a kind of internal groan as it completely disrupts my w/e with my daughter and it gives me the impression my XP uses it as a form of control. Not every time thankfully.

But if there's a lack of trust between mum and dad it may prompt , rightly or wrongly, suspicion and a lack of co-operation. Or sheer bloody mindedness. All at the child's expense of course.

But if a best friends b'day falls on his w/e it's a bit callous that he won't take her and leaves it to you. I insist on taking mine if it's on my w/e as I love seeing her at parties and it gives me a chance to meet the other mums, and for dd to have me around and for her friends to see she has a nice dad.

But I can see some men might find it intimidating. Especially if you had a messy break up.

As for activities, with distance it can make it impossible to do an activity every w/e. 30 minutes doesn't sound that far to me, and I think he's being unreasonable if he won't facilitate it. If hypothetically the activity was close to him, do you think he'd still refuse ?

I don't think you are being unreasonable. But the bottom line is it's his weekend with your / his daughter and you can't tell him what to do, any more than he can you.

My dd does a few activities but my XP structures it outside of the weekends unless there is a competition. Where by we negotiate and be flexible.

I also organise an activity for dd mid week.

I think the trick is to try and arrange things outside of the w/e. But I appreciate it's not always possible.

Good luck.

MeMySonAndI Sun 19-Jan-14 11:47:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MeMySonAndI Sun 19-Jan-14 11:50:45

Ok thet's strange... My stupid phone hasansged to copy snd post a podt from another thread, that wasn't mine and I didn't copy. Should remember not to use the damn phone for mumsnet or while half asleep.... Off to ask for post deletion.

Monetbyhimself Sun 19-Jan-14 11:59:09

I think the biggest issue us rhat NRPs believe that contact is 'their' right when in fact parents have no rights and the children are the ones who have a right to have a meaningful relationship with a parent. I know Dd would love her dad to be the ine standing on the side lines cheering her on and it's so bloody sad for her that his desire to control our lives means that he won't do that for her.

Daddyofone Sun 19-Jan-14 12:17:02

Some NRPs Monet. Please don't tar us all with the same brush.

Monetbyhimself Sun 19-Jan-14 12:25:49

It's an issue for NRPS who believe their rights are the priority.

Daddyofone Sun 19-Jan-14 12:35:54

I'm sure it is, but we're not all like that.

Serobin Sun 19-Jan-14 12:39:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bonkerz Sun 19-Jan-14 12:42:32

DH is the nonresident parent but NOT BY ChOiCE it was the woman who took the children and left Dh for another man so I think the comment about NRP is unfair. For 12 years now we have had DSD EVERY weekend and half of all holidays and we alternate birthdays and Christmas and new year. There is some negotiation needed BUT at no point should EITHER parent dictate what the child does on the other persons time especially when it's only EOW! That time is precious even if they do nothing but spend time together!!!!!!! As resident parent you have every week night to arrange extra curricular activities and I'm sure DD will learn to understand (as my DSD has) that parties on daddies time unfortunately will be missed!

Monetbyhimself Sun 19-Jan-14 12:52:47

Thankfully not Daddyofone. I can only dream grin

Daddyofone Sun 19-Jan-14 12:53:46

smile

Monetbyhimself Sun 19-Jan-14 13:00:47

Lol Bonkerz. You prove my point beautifully. In amongst all your !!!!!!!!!!!! you fail to acknowledge that the Ops daughter is the one who would like to attend this specific activity. It is clear that your husbands child is resigned to doing what she's told during contact time. I would be concerned about the long term implications of that. Very often in separated families, children bend to the will of the adults in order to avoid any more acrimony. As children grow and develope they become capable on independent thinking and you can't control them for ever. They also carry the knowledge that they missed out in special occasions with their friends for no other reason than daddy/mummy won't be told what to do hmm

Serobin Sun 19-Jan-14 13:08:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Daddyofone Sun 19-Jan-14 13:24:00

I think that's a valid point from Serobin. I certainly feel my time with dd is very precious given it's eow.

It's about getting the right balance, or trying to, in a far from ideal situation.

I think in the OPs case though she's being perfectly reasonable. She's not wanting to organise activities that reduce time with dad, she just wants him to get involved and take her himself. Which he seems reluctant to do.

Monetbyhimself Sun 19-Jan-14 13:25:36

Ansolutely Serobin. I think missing out on somd stuff is par for the course. Mine have had to miss some activities on non contact weekends because of family weddings etc. What is potentially damaging is the NRP who refuses to facilitate ANYTHING because they see contact as THEIR time.

Serobin Sun 19-Jan-14 13:38:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MummyAbroad Sun 19-Jan-14 13:47:38

my ex happily takes DS to parties he has been invited to on his weekends if its is possible (i,e, they haven't made other plans) and of course sometimes its not convenient so they don't go, the same as happens sometimes on my weekends. If one parent is consistently refusing to take them, that is unfair to the child, as its not putting their wishes first.

A therapist once advised me not to make excuses for ex's behaviour if it wasnt up to scratch. ie. when he is always late, dont blame the traffic, when he is shouting, dont says he is stressed etc. She said to let the children find out who their parents really are for themselves. smuggler I think your daughter will work out for herself that what is happening is not fair, and you will have to comfort her in her disappointment (she is lucky she has a great mum who DOES care about her interests) but ultimately you cant force your ex to be a better dad. You reap what you sow, his relationship with here will eventually be affected, but that is his problem, not yours.

Bonkerz Sun 19-Jan-14 13:53:28

Just to add that DSD does swimming lessons here and Also does a amateur dramatics class here. She can't actually do the show she will be rehearsing for as it's fallen on a weeknight when she is with her mother. That's just how it is. She also misses out on parties if friends she has here! Especially in the summer when we don't see her for 3 weeks :0(

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