The arrangements for DP's children are every Thursday and every other Thursday- Monday. He collects from school and drops them there Monday morning, their mum collects from school.
This has been the case for about three months. I know it's early days, but the children seem to be very happy and often don't want to leave, and DP has quality chunk of time, so feels part of their lives and them ours. I reallydo not feel there is any unhappiness with any of this.
DP's ex can be challeging at times, and despite having an affair herself and destroying DP in the process, she is not happy about them being with us for this long, and we often hesr from the kids that they have to say they dont like me, or wAnt to come etc. Now she has said that the children are crying today and don't want to come, both of them. They are happy to come tomorrow. When this last happened DP gently questioned them and they said they had not been upset at all, but of course could be telling porkies, or worried about upsetting their dad.
It's so difficult to know what is best, I feel it most likely that the ex is instigating any upset, but what's best for the kids? Dp misses them dearly and would love to keep arrangements as they are. No contact order etc, just between them at the mo.
I know with my dc i am quite firm that on their dads days they have to geo, even if they don't really feel like it at the time. Any advice?
We have had this issue and DH's exW always says that the dsd's should feel that they can say if they would rather be with one parent than the other.
I completely disagree - it is a form of emotional abuse to give the children the choice. it is too hard for them and that is why - as the adults - parents have to make an arrangement and stick to it. That's not to say that it can't be flexible for sepcial occassions etc, but the children should never be asked to choose between parents.
Also, DH doesn't often ring the girls when they are with their mum as he says it is unsettling for them and he is sure that when they are there they don't really miss him or think about him that much - kids are generally very "in the moment". Because his exW calles every day the girls are with us it can lead to her initiating a conversation about how they are missing their mum and may want to go back to her house. This is inspite of the fact that they were perfectly happy and settled before the conversation.
I think your DH should stick to his guns and not let her mess around with the arrangements. If she caries on I would try and get a court order in place to secure what you have.
How old are the dc? If they are old enough could you sit them down and ask them if they would prefer to maybe come on a Friday to Sunday or Monday instead? I think very young dc get unsettled and don't want to leave wherever they are if they know they will have to leave their mum or dad. The problem is whether or not your DP genuinely feels it would be best for them to make the contact periods shorter regardless of how he feels. Its hard but as you say it is early days and as long as their best interests are at the forefront of any decisions then you should be flexible with their contact times.
Thanks for replies, they are all primary aged, so very little really. It is so so hard, dh is desperate for quality time, and we feel theta the long weekend allows all ouf our children to live as of blended family and create shared memories and work out where everyone fits in. I hate to think that they really are upset and being made to come, but it certainly feels that his ex is causing trouble this time.
We have had the whole the kids are to upset and don't want to come in the past also, then my DH said fine they do not have to come but I will pop and see them so I know they are ok, then low and behold when he gets there they are fine and want to come.
I also worry that if kids are allowed not to come when they are "upset" then what happens when you have had to tell them they are wrong about something and then they think well I'm not going to come this weekend because you upset me, this is not a good situation for anyone least of all the kids