to ask which side you are on - children sharing rooms?

(23 Posts)
mendimoo Tue 16-Aug-16 12:58:57

Background: parents of A (9) separated many years ago. They went to court two years ago because mum objected to dad not taking A to any parties or activities during his time and because he was letting her share a bed/bedroom with an unrelated boy who was 5 years older. Dad said it was his decision what to do during his weekends and that there was no problem with the children sharing a bed/room.

Court granted the contact dad was asking for but included in the order that what A wanted should be considered with regard to parties/activities and that he should make an effort to take her. The judge also said bed/room sharing with the boy was inappropriate and a safeguarding concern and that it should not continue. It was included in the order that dad acknowledged this.

Fast forward to now and in the past two years dad has taken A to one party only. Mum (during weekends and holidays) has taken A to 40+ things. A has now given up all bar one activities (she was doing 5) because she couldn't take part in shows and workshops because of her missing rehearsals during dads weekends. It has come to light that she has shared a bedroom with the boy again this weekend - he is now nearly 14 and she is 8.5. Mum has contacted dad who said it's his decision, he knows the boy and knows he's trustworthy and hasn't started puberty and that mum is just trying to cause trouble because she's jealous A had fun.

Who do you think is being unreasonable?

eyebrowsonfleek Tue 16-Aug-16 13:07:14

The dad.
I have a 15 year old and 9 year old and suspect that the older one would prefer privacy at night unless it's an unusual incident like staying overnight at grandparents. More importantly he made a legal agreement and should stick to that.

Does the dad live near the mum? If so, he's lazy not to facilitate parties and activities. They are very good for self esteem and friendships. If he doesn't live close, he should be rearranging contact to fit in with his child. Maybe mum drops off and dad picks up or a weekend swap. I understand that not all invites will come from close friends so it's fine to decline those invites but for close friends he must make an effort.

dickiedavisthunderthighs Tue 16-Aug-16 13:10:00

Wrt the bedroom sharing, it is a safeguarding issue and it needs to be reported to the court as he's clearly in breach of the court order. The courts may cancel overnight contact until there is proof that A has her own room or is sharing with someone age/gender-appropriate.

As for the parties/events, there's not much that can be done about that as it's up to A's dad what he does on his contact weekends. And to be fair I imagine he'd rather spend his limited time with A than ferry her from one thing to another. 40+ events sounds bonkers, as it counting them.

Arfarfanarf Tue 16-Aug-16 13:11:17

I think the dad is being hugely unreasonable. If he actually cared about his child he would care how she felt and what she wanted.

It isn't enough to have the child because it's your right to have the child and so you're going to have the child. You (general you not you you) should want to be part of their life not have them step out of it because you think they're your property and you're entitled. That means listening to what makes them unhappy such as sharing a bedroom with a teenage boy unrelated to them and facing having to go through puberty suffering the same. and it means being part of your child's life - their activities, their hobbies, their friends. Not sitting them in your house waiting out Your Time because by god they're MY CHILD AND I'M ENTITLED TO THEM

VioletBam Tue 16-Aug-16 13:11:55

The Dad and if it were my DD I would be stopping all contact overnight.

merrymouse Tue 16-Aug-16 13:15:50

Re: bedroom, it clearly isn't his decision, it is the court's decision.

Re: parties, it's a bit less cut and dried, but again not completely up to him, he needs to take into account his daughter's wishes.

hungryhippo90 Tue 16-Aug-16 13:18:20

I think Dad is well out of order, if Dad had been told it was a safeguarding issue by the judge in the family court, and he agreed, then went on and ignored it, I'm sorry but I would be inclined to take away "his weekends" as quite sadly for him, DDs safety and general happiness needs to be taken into account, far before what he wants.
He's a selfish, selfish!! Idiot of a man.
That poor boy probably feels very uncomfortable having had an 8 year old thrust into his personal space, and I can't imagine how awkward DD must feel.

I also don't agree with the whole, oh well she's with me. No rehearsals etc. Think it's all rather petty on his behalf. Kick him up the arse!

tinyterrors Tue 16-Aug-16 13:24:20

He is very unreasonable regarding the bedroom. Even a related boy of 14 shouldn't be regularly sharing a room (family rooms on holiday excepted) with a girl of almost 9. My dd is 8.5 and would hate having to share with a 14 year old boy.

Wrt the activities it's more up to him whether he takes her (especially if he had no say into whether the activities were taken up to begin with) although he should take her wishes into account. I'd imagine he wants to spend the little access time he has actually with his dd and not taxiing her about to this, that and the other activity/party all weekend.

NeedsAsockamnesty Tue 16-Aug-16 13:36:38

Dad has been told by a judge it is an issue he has been told he need to facilitate the bedroom sharing not happening.

He has ignored this. That is an issue. You do not ignore judges instructions and get to keep the high ground

davos Tue 16-Aug-16 13:47:23

The dad is out of order.

However is it just this one weekend They shared and was there a reason. Lots of families bunk up temporarily when visiting people or having their room decorated.

AHedgehogCanNeverBeBuggered Tue 16-Aug-16 13:51:32

davos that's irrelevant - the judge has said it's not acceptable. Plus this boy is not related to the child in question.

The mother should trust her instincts and go back to court if it can be afforded.

Witchend Tue 16-Aug-16 13:59:26

The taking to parties etc. isn't that bad. If the dad is further away too, then a party that takes an hour to get to takes a huge chunk out of his contact time.
And ti also depends on what is said. it is certainly possible for dad to say "do you want to go to this party or shall we go (eg) to the zoo here?" and dd to choose the zoo-and have a lovely time.
Then the dm to greet her with "did you go to that party? You know you really wanted to go?" and the child to burst into tears and say "dad wouldn't take me."
And both could be totally true at the time. She did rather go to the zoo at the time, then when mum brings it up, she feels guilty and says she wanted to go.
And it is possible to phrase things so they give the answer you want either out of love for their parents or by the way you put it.

I'm surprised that you can find 5 different activities for a 5-9 year old that all involve weekend rehearsals/performances. Why doesn't the mum choose activities that don't? My dc all do drama/dance classes and some of them do weekend rehearsals/performances and some don't. If she's really keen I'm certain mum can find some rather than just cutting them out.

The sharing a bedroom if it's happened once in four years I don't think you should worry about it. I suspect the 14yo finds it worse than she does.

Missgraeme Tue 16-Aug-16 14:05:59

I am a bit puzzled if there was a safe guarding issue that ss weren't involved. As for the activities the judge in my case told my ex to stop making plans for our 3 x ds in my time.

carefreeeee Tue 16-Aug-16 14:08:25

Sharing a bedroom with unrelated 14 year old boy is absolutely not on. I'd expect the dad to share with the boy so the girl can have her own room/share with female partner.

Possibly ok if it really only happened once and if both parties are happy but it sounds unlikely.

Not going to parties might be less of an issue - depends how much the child minds/whether she is left to her own devices or whether they are doing fun things at home etc

davos Tue 16-Aug-16 16:23:32

davos that's irrelevant - the judge has said it's not acceptable. Plus this boy is not* related to the child in question.*

I don't think it is. One weekend in 4 years with a perfectly valid reason may be accepted by the judge.

GobblersKnob Tue 16-Aug-16 16:37:04

Well if the court order says no then it's no isn't it?

However I shared with my brother until I left home at 18, was fine, their was no other room. When visiting friends we would often share with their kids, we were very close friends with a family who had 3 boys one slightly younger than me, one my age, one slightly older, we all shared a room, (inc my brother) through and past puberty, though would all have got undressed for bed in the bathroom.

My kids share a room and unless someone decides to give us a massive chunk of money will continue to do so, though we have laid out the room to give them their own private spaces.

Room sharing with the opposite sex is not intrinsically wrong and I don't know why it is seen that way.

Theoretician Tue 16-Aug-16 17:11:09

The parties/activities is the less important issue. It may or may not be a bit shit of him not to do them, depending on the details, but it is his choice, so kind of irrelevant what we or the mother think.

I'm a bit surprised at the idea of a boy of 14 being considered asexual. I remember having a strong sex drive when I was still in primary school, before I'd developed pubic hair.

AndNowItsSeven Tue 16-Aug-16 19:19:39

Really surprised at the court decision, when did two children in separate bed not naked become an issue?

dickiedavisthunderthighs Tue 16-Aug-16 21:03:57

There are no laws but the NSPCC recommends that children of the opposite sex where one is aged over ten do not share a room.
It's basic safeguarding.

AndNowItsSeven Tue 16-Aug-16 21:17:16

Not the case in the op but I don't think families need to " safeguard " their children from each other.
If you seriously believe one of your dc might sexual abuse their sibling you need to do more than have separate rooms!

snowy508601 Tue 16-Aug-16 21:32:11

Since when did children have to be 'safeguarded' from one another?

mirime Tue 16-Aug-16 21:46:55

snowy, since we knew child-on-child sexual abuse happens.

BuzzzyBeee Tue 16-Aug-16 22:01:12

It would be unusual for a boy not to have started puberty by that age.

The Dad is out of order.

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