to think that organising access between parent and child is wrong?(4 Posts)
Long post... but please bear with me
Bit of background... XP (DCs father) has always been pretty supportive since we split, he's (until recently) had a fairly good relationship with DC. He had remarried and now has 3 other children.
Some disagreements about the amount of maintenance I received at the beginning of the year strained the relationship and we decided to arrange payments through CMS.
At this point DC had started expressing to me that she didn't like being at XPs with varying reasons why. I contacted XP about this and was ignored. When pressed by me to try and get to the bottom of DCs worries, I was contacted by him to say that I should not contact him again other than by email as he had been to see a solicitor about regular access and wouldn't be answering calls our texts from me again.
Anyway, the no contact thing
although annoying was what he wanted and I wasn't willing to get into a debate with him. He's a very condescending person who is never in the wrong
Fast forward a few months and after arranging childcare and school holiday activity clubs, DC decided she wanted to spend some time with him and his family. No problem with me, she had been visiting family in the area and it made sense.
My issue is that at no point has he spoken to me about school hol arrangements, what DC is doing and when, but having spent sometime with DC has no made arrangements for days out, trips etc. Without my knowledge and without confining with SIL who DC is currently staying with. Again, not a massive issue, up until the point when I read messages on DCs tablet (from XP to DC) berating her for not wanting to go on the days out and asking her
not very nicely who had made these plans behind his back.
DC is understandably upset, as she thinks she has let everyone down. I am PO at the way it's been handled as we had a similar problem a few weeks ago with a situation that involved a family wedding, at which point I broke the rules and contacted XP to say that to avoid clashes in future, arrangements for DC should be made between us.
I really want to have it out with him, the way he's being towards DC is only exacerbating the issues DC had in the first instance and to try and push him into regular access being sorted to avoid future situations.
I don't want to be the one to stop him seeing DC, but I think that their relationship is starting to sour to a point where it's no longer in the best interests of DC to be made to spend time there. AIBU?
It's difficult to say really without knowing exactly why he now only wants email contact with you.
It might be for a good reasons (ie, too many phone arguments/annoying texts etc) or it might be simply because he's being an arse.
Either way, can you not 'have it out' with him via email? It might actually be easier as you can take a deep breath before typing.
1. Keep copies of those emails. They will clearly show how little care he takes about upsetting your DC.
2. Keep your cool. He sounds as though he can wreck their relationship with no input from you
How old is DC? Is she old enough to make most of the decisions for herself? I ask as, if he pushes it too far and she just decides not to see him at all, would she be old enough to make that decision, in the eyes of a judge?
If I were you I would talk to her and let her know that whenever he wants to see her it is her who gets to make the final decision. Reassure her that you will help her get the best out of her summer holiday whatever she chooses. Then,
3. Email him, one more time. Tell him that you are somewhat bemused by the tone he has been taking with DC in his messages and that this has upset her. To avoid that happening again repeat that you would like to be informed so that you can help facilitate contact during her holidays. Then don't contact him again... he can reap what he sows, in or out of court.
I honestly think that the 'no contact' thing stemmed from my annoyance of DC not being included with her eldest sisters birthday plans. Admittedly, it was just a tea party at their house, but based on the fact that he hardly sees DC, it would have been nice for her to have been asked.
DC is 9. She's quite intelligent and as much as I've tried to keep my frustrations from her, she is aware that the situation has changed and therefore has her own opinions about it.
Lazy, your suggestion in 2 is exactly what we've done.I've let her know that it is completely her choice and regardless of how I feel about XP, if she wants to see him,I will not stop her doing that.
It's difficult for her because she wants to see her sisters and her dad, but she's started that when she's there she doesn't feel like party of their family. She feels different and in her eyes they treat her differently.
I want to wait until after the holidays and then make the suggestion to XP that he does get in touch with a solicitor to arrange access, so that it's regular and 'set in stone' to stop the double booking and to have a bit more structure.
I've really struggled to keep my cool with the way he speaks to her, but I'm then told that I can't tell him how to speak to her when she is in his care. I hate it, but understand why people would say that because if he was to try and tell me how to parent her, I wouldn't hold back!
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