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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?

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.

saintlyjimjams Thu 19-Dec-13 22:49:02

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.

saintlyjimjams Thu 19-Dec-13 23:00:29

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]

saintlyjimjams Fri 20-Dec-13 07:00:38

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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