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to say DD should be able to attend parties/activities during fathers contact time?

(137 Posts)
alisunshine29 Thu 07-Mar-13 21:25:50

DD is 5.5 years old, her father and I have been separated for over 3.5 years and he sees her once per fortnight only through his own choice. Up until now, if DD had a party to attend or dance show/gymnastics competition etc to take part in which fell on her dads contact weekend then I'd swap contact weekends so DD could attend/take part - he refuses to take her to any parties or activities but she also doesn't want him to. However, now DD is getting older I no longer attend parties with her like I used to so am missing out on time with her there. She's good at/enjoys dance, gymnastics and swimming and now she's older has competitions and shows to take part in. I have no problem in ferrying her to/from these if her dad won't but AIBU to say I will not replace contact missed due to parties/activities?
For example, next month it's her dance schools annual shows. One weekend there is a dress rehearsal (dads weekend so he'll expect me to replace the day though I won't see her all day) the next weekend (mine) there are 5 shows which I'll take her to/from but will barely see her. The following week there are 3 shows so he'll expect another day to be replaced thereby not leaving DD any weekend time with her sister and I for an entire month.

sherazade Mon 11-Mar-13 20:02:00

is she upset about being with him, or about being away from you?
Two very different things.

SelfconfessedSpoonyFucker Mon 11-Mar-13 19:37:09

Once again I think Alwayslate is right.

Is there a contact centre or something or a third party that can do the hand over so it is less distressing to your daughter?

longtallgirl Mon 11-Mar-13 14:49:39

YANBU. It seems that thhis 'father' is concerned only with his rights not his responsibilities. She is not a toy to pick up and play with at his convenience.

Shoesme Mon 11-Mar-13 13:59:53

So now because people are disagreeing with you, you drop in the fact that he sometimes has to carry her kicking and screaming to the car, sheesh.

alwayslateforwork Mon 11-Mar-13 01:03:33

Right, but if she was kicking and screaming and fighting about going to school, my bet is that you would be working with school wholeheartedly as a team so that you could remove the stress and unpleasantness, and get her to go willingly.

Not saying 'bollocks, it's up to school to fix it, not me. My only job is to get her there.'

You'd be having meetings with the teacher, the HT, the senco, the paediatrician, and if necessary, CAMHS.

You wouldn't be folding your arms and saying 'well, I've done my bit.' Particularly as, well, school would have to continue for many years yet, eh? You'd be wanting to remove the unpleasantness by making dd want to go to school. Easier all round, for you, for dd, and for the school.

However much she didn't want to go. (And sure, taking this to the logical conclusion, you could choose to home ed. but you'd still have to make sure you toed the legal line. Which would mean giving up work to be with her etc.)

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 11-Mar-13 00:15:13

Alis when one of my children was doing that every time going to contact cafcass wrote a report describing forcing him as abusive and the contact order was lifted he was almost 6 at the time,So yes it is considered abusive.

Also if it was happening on arrival at school regularly there are several steps that should be undertaken by the parents and school together to reduce anxiety for the child. Its not something that's normal it's not something that should be ignored.

Child contact it about the rights of the child not the adults and should only happen when it is not damaging to the child.

What does her dad do when she's screaming like that? I know when it happened with us my ex was distraught.

alisunshine29 Mon 11-Mar-13 00:05:16

She does want to go to parties etc.
I have had plenty of legal advice - I wouldn't be letting it. Continue if I didn't have to. So Longas DD is 'surviving satisfactorily' then contact will continue for many years yet.

Viviennemary Sun 10-Mar-13 23:48:26

I thinhk you are being unreasonable. Surely it's not for you to decide what activities your DD does during contact times with your ex. I think any contact time lost should be replaced. If she doesn't want to go to the parties and activities I can't see how he can be blamed for not taking her. It's a pity you can't both work this out amicably.

Enfyshedd Sun 10-Mar-13 23:38:42

ali, I think you should try to speak to someone from CAFCASS or possibly SS? Your DD having to be carried kicking & screaming to have contact with her father is concerning.

alisunshine29 Sun 10-Mar-13 23:13:34

I can't repair the relationship - it's for him to make an effort. I encourage and facilitate contact, never badmouth him and remain positive and optimistic. It isn't considered abuse. The general consensus by Judges is that contact is as necessary as school. Would it be abuse if I sent her to school kicking and screaming? No, we'd both have no choice as we have no choice in this situation.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 10-Mar-13 22:59:37

Actually a child being carried kicking and screaming into a car would be considered to be abusive and a valid sign of distress.

SelfconfessedSpoonyFucker Sun 10-Mar-13 16:20:24

alwayslate, I totally and utterly agree.

alwayslateforwork Sun 10-Mar-13 15:37:13

Wel, in all honesty, you both need to sit down like adults and work out how you can make things better for your child. The animosity you feel towards him and his actions are likely to be playing a large part in her negativity to going.

I see the fact she doesn't want to spend time with her father as a much bigger problem than any 5yo birthday party tbh (they might seem über important now, but really, in the grand scheme of things, children do survive without attending them, ever).

So, I think you need to faking it, losing the negativity, and bigging up the time she is spending with her dad with her, and the two of you adults need to sit down and discuss dance and gymnastics, and whether it is possible, with a joint custody situation, for her to attend them. At 5, this stuff is easy peasy - when she is 11, it's going to be a whole lot worse - way more training, and way more competitions, more travelling, and a lot more time spent. I would also add it is going to be impossible for her to continue with dance, gym and swimming at a comptetitive level. Completely impossible. All three eat time, and conflict with each other and other real life.

You both need to be on the same page with this. And you need to be on the same page from now. What did he say when you first discussed her weekend hobbies with him that would impact on his time with her? I only ask, because I have several friends in similar situations who made sure to discuss their daughters dance classes with the their ex prior to registration - one family now has a daughter in dance (and in fact, her father sends an additional monthly cheque to pay for it), and the other family do not have a daughter in dance, because the child spends two full weekends a month with her father - she is a little older, and the school attends five competitions a year, with additional practice every Sunday lunchtime from 12-5 in the four months leading up to comp season.

At 5, your priority really shouldn't be maintaining your daughter's schedule. It should be how you are going to rebuild her relationship with her father. Worry about the hobbies later, once this is fixed.

Sure, it may not be possible. She may already believe that dance and parties are more important. But you do need to try.

SelfconfessedSpoonyFucker Sun 10-Mar-13 15:09:49

I think YABU to not allow him extra contact time (even if he is an arse) if he wants it so long as he isn't going over a reasonable amount (50% or whatever).

alisunshine29 Sat 09-Mar-13 23:17:00

Contact with her father isn't considered 'non-essential' in Court. She and I have no say in the matter.

AThingInYourLife Sat 09-Mar-13 20:37:02

Jesus, is there anything that can't somehow be blamed on the woman?


alwayslateforwork Sat 09-Mar-13 18:11:26

Ya gotta love a drip feed.

To be concerned about missing gym or dance, and not the kicking and screaming is a tad odd, tbh. Priorities, and all that jazz.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 09-Mar-13 18:03:07

He carries her kicking and screaming to something that is none essential?

And you let him do that?

AThingInYourLife Sat 09-Mar-13 17:09:21

Jesus, that is fucking horrible sad

Poor kid.

livinginwonderland Sat 09-Mar-13 16:22:53

i don't think it's fair to make her go when she clearly doesn't want to, but i also don't know what else to suggest! she's only 5yo which obviously means she doesn't (legally) have much say :/ that's not helpful i know, but it must be so frustrating!

alisunshine29 Sat 09-Mar-13 16:20:04

She has done numerous times - he physically carries her kicking and screaming to his car.

livinginwonderland Sat 09-Mar-13 16:12:16

ah, that sucks, and it's really unfair on your DD. what would happen if he turned up and she refused to go?

alisunshine29 Sat 09-Mar-13 16:05:07

Yes he knows, hence why he arrives armed with his iPad an chocolate to bribe her. He promises her trips out etc then she returns and he's told her they didn't have time for whatever he promised and they'll do it next time. Next time never comes. He continues with contact to keep up appearances with his family and friends.

livinginwonderland Sat 09-Mar-13 15:57:37

does he know that she doesn't want to go? i know she's only young but could she maybe tell him how she feels? would he listen to her or just say "i want my time with my daughter i don't care"?

alisunshine29 Sat 09-Mar-13 15:54:43

No she doesn't want to go but contact would never be stopped because of this - children don't have a voice til they're at least 10/11.

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