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Allowing the children to pick where to spend X-mas?

(24 Posts)
WoeBetidings Mon 07-Dec-15 10:04:23

My Ex-H is demanding that my kids see his mother on xmas day but they really don't want to.

They've both asked to spend x-mas eve and x-mas day with me, although have agreed to see him at his for a couple of hours on x-mas morning, to open their presents and have breakfast with him.

To make this easier for him I've invited him to watch a movie on x-mas eve with us and told him I will call him as soon as the kids get up and he can come straight round and watch them open their presents at mine before taking them to his. I even invited him to join my family on the afternoon for as long or as little as he likes. All of this was thrown back in my face.

He's now started putting pressure on me to force them into going to one of his family friend's house to see his ailing mother on the afternoon. He is telling me it is likely to be her last Christmas and I do understand that she is very ill but my kids do not want to be there.

When I tried telling them they had to go dd cried and ds stormed off upstairs and locked himself in his room and told me he didn't want to have xmas anymore.

I've convinced them to spend all day and night boxing day with him, during which they've agreed to see his mum. I've offered to go and pick his mum up and drive her to his for the couple of hours of x-mas morning they'll be there.

I'm really not sure what else I can do besides force my kids to spend x-mas somewhere they really do not want to be sad

My family are very close and always have been. The kids have cousins who will be there who are as close to them as siblings, aunties and gp's who are like 2nd and 3rd sets of parents to them, they know we all be together, which is rare,even though we see each other often, it usually in small groups, rather than everyone in one place, they want to be involved in this. They don't see his family much and didn't even before they split. They've met this family friend only a handful of times in their whole lives. He is asking them to spend x-mas day with strangers.

Am I being unfair to him by refusing to make the kids go?

LemonBreeland Mon 07-Dec-15 10:08:01

It depends on what usually happens at Christmas and also what age they are.

Are they meant to be spending Christmas with their Dad? Or do they usually spend it with you?

Why do they not want to see their DGM?

KeepOnMoving1 Mon 07-Dec-15 10:10:07

How old are they op?

Andro Mon 07-Dec-15 10:10:36

How old are they and how do you normally manage Christmas arrangements?

OurBlanche Mon 07-Dec-15 10:10:41

How old are they? If they are 10 ish then their opinions should be listened to.

Oh, and stop making all sorts of rods for your own back. I can see why, if you are usually on good terms, you would invite him for a few hours, but why on earth would you offer to drive his mum anywhere?

If he stamps his feet and makes his kids do something they are really opposed to he will reap what he sows in a couple of years anyway.

PinotAndPlaydough Mon 07-Dec-15 10:12:53

How old are they? If they are old enough I would let them decide.
To be honest it sounds like you've tried everything to compromise on this and I would be inclined to go with what my children want.
Do you have anything in place contact wise for the children with regards to alternating Christmases, birthdays etc? This might help avoid similar problems in the future

MascaraAndConverse89 Mon 07-Dec-15 10:15:00

Yanbu. They don't want to go to their grandma's. It's their Christmas too and they shouldn't be forced to go where they don't want to go!

WoeBetidings Mon 07-Dec-15 10:16:47

This is only the 2nd x-mas we've been apart.

They spent last x-mas eve and x-mas morning up until 1:30pm with him. It was his mums 'last christmas' last year too hmm so he refused to bring them back at 11am as arranged and I ended up missing my x-mas dinner because he kept telling me he'd be 15 minutes from 11:30am on wards, so I waited home for them, if he'd told me he was at his mothers and would drop off at my parents I could've gone out as I'd planned. We don't have anything official in place, we agreed last year to let the kids pick.

DS is 10, dd is 14.

They just don't really know his mum very well and would rather be with people they know. They also don't want to see him. They said he spent all of last x-mas eve calling me names and shouting at them when they refused to agree that I was a terrible person. He denies this. He admits he shouted because they were over excited but denies calling me names.

Seeyounearertime Mon 07-Dec-15 10:20:53

Why are you telling them what he wants to do with them?
Let him tell them, let him force them, let him suffer their reaction.

I'm not aiming this at you particularly OP but I've found that when parents split and the NRP has bad news or is going to let the children down in some way they always tell the RP and expect the RP to tell the children.
Nuts to that, let the NRP tell the children and face any reaction they might get. smile

Andro Mon 07-Dec-15 10:22:39

We don't have anything official in place, we agreed last year to let the kids pick.

He should honour that decision then.

LemonBreeland Mon 07-Dec-15 10:27:04

Given the further information, have Christmas at home, don't even allow them to his for 2 hours on Christmas morning or they probably won't come back by the sounds of it. They can go to him on Boxing Day. One day won't make much difference to his mother.

TheOnlyColditz Mon 07-Dec-15 10:27:23

they are ten and fourteen, you might be about to force the ten year old but if the fourteen year old is anything like I was, he/she will walk out.

Poor little sods, I bet they felt awful last tear, not being brought home hen they wanted.

Say no to him. You both agreed to let the kids choose - they have chosen.

wannaBe Mon 07-Dec-15 10:31:49

It's very simple. If they spent last Christmas eve and morning with him then this year they spend Christmas eve and morning with you. And whatever xh has in his plans for his time with them is for him to talk to them about.

At fourteen your dd is definitely old enough to make her own decisions, but tbh I would say that at ten your ds still needs guidance. He is still too young to realise the implications of the decisions he makes.

But I wouldn't be guiding his decisions, I would be saying to him that he is at his dad's during x time, and it's for him to talk to his dad about what he doesn't want to do.

If you are the one delivering the message there is the risk that your xh won't pay attention as he'll see it as your opinion not the dcs' actual view. iyswim. Whereas if they tell him themselves he will have to pay attention.

Also, at fourteen your dd is old enough to make her own decisions, but she is also old enough to own those decisions. So if she's decided she doesn't want to see her dad at Christmas then she should be the one to tell him that.

coconutpie Mon 07-Dec-15 10:33:24

After last year, he doesn't get them at all on Christmas Day. Your poor kids being forced to stay when they were supposed to be home 3 hours prior sad

ohtheholidays Mon 07-Dec-15 10:44:44

For me it honestly wouldn't matter how old they are they are they're own people and they should get to have the last say on where they spend Christmas day.

At 10 and 14 they know where they'll be happy and they're wishes in these circumstances have to come first.

Please don't let you ex bully you into forcing your poor children to do something that they don't want to do at Christmas of all times.

WoeBetidings Mon 07-Dec-15 10:46:50

Coldizt, dd has said if she's made to go to the family friends she's just walking straight back out and bringing DS with her. I'm not sure how anyone could make either of them go, tbh, they're too big to be carried there against their will.

I do feel awful because it could very well be his mum's last christmas, but she's never had any christmas with them until last year, so I don't see what difference this one will make. She has maternal grandchildren who will be with her. She's not going to be alone.

PhoenixReisling Mon 07-Dec-15 10:53:23

Tell EX-H that the arrangements that were made still stand. He had them last year and ruined your day by keeping them longer than arranged so now it is your turn!

He can demand all he likes. You don't need to listen and you don't need to justify anything to him!

OurBlanche Mon 07-Dec-15 11:08:34

Just tell him no, the kids do not want to. That should be the very end of it.

They are both old enough to have an opinion and to be heard. They have chosen, he will just have to deal with it.

Blarblarblar Mon 07-Dec-15 11:10:32

You have been more than reasonable. He messed up your day last year, the kids don't want to go so let him discuss it with them.

girlywhirly Mon 07-Dec-15 11:48:56

From what you have posted, it is NBU for your DC to choose where they spend Christmas day. It is hard enough to split a day so that both parents can see the DC, but it is very bad to not stick to the schedule agreed (unless an emergency)

I agree with the poster who says the DC are old enough to voice their needs, and that they should tell their father themselves. He can't make them come to his and it works in your favour that there is no formal agreement in place. They don't have to give a reason why, but they could just say we want to spend the day with our cousins. If pushed, they could bluntly say that they were unhappy last year and didn't enjoy it with him. Do you think that they would be brave enough to tell him directly?

It sounds to me as tough he has no idea how to make Christmas nice for them. You've made a lot of concessions to let him see them, so he wants to be careful throwing it back at you. He could end up not seeing them at all in the future, the DC won't put up with having their mum rubbished.

EponasWildDaughter Mon 07-Dec-15 12:08:04

They said he spent all of last x-mas eve calling me names and shouting at them when they refused to agree that I was a terrible person.

shock

If my DCs told me this was how they'd had to spend any time with my X, let alone xmas eve, i'd be standing by them to defend any wish not to go back!

At 10 and 14 they are old enough (by law i believe) to decide where they want to be. Kids have the right to access to their parents, but parents don't have rights to inflict themselves on DCs who don't want to see them.

reni2 Mon 07-Dec-15 12:49:34

Listen to the kids. Tell your ExH they don't want to go. It is tough for him and his mum, but if they haven't built a bond over 14 years with her they are unlikely to start under duress. They are old enough that a judge would listen to their opinions, too if it came to that.

LaLyra Mon 07-Dec-15 12:58:04

I think you need to listen to your kids. They are not toddlers, they've made it very clear they don't want to go.

Also are you 100% sure you can trust him to only keep them for 'a couple of hours' on Christmas morning? He won't do the same thing again? Or trick them into seeing his mother at that point?

Notimefortossers Mon 07-Dec-15 13:04:24

OP. You sound like a much nicer person than me so my advice will probably be useless to you . . . but I'd be telling him to go fuck himself

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