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Kids behaviour post-supervised contact- totally fed up!

(28 Posts)
HaventGotAStitchToWear Mon 29-Apr-13 18:42:50

My kids are 3 and 6 and started recently seeing their father in an unsupervised contact setting. This is no doubt a period of change but the change in behaviour has been drastic.

Cheekiness, talking back to me, imitating my voice, tantrums, uncooperativeness, slamming doors, anger, hitting... all at a raised level for this last period since their father has been taking them for unsupervised mornings/afternoons. I will mention it to my solicitor but this thread is mainly to do with handling this negative behaviour in a way that doesn't just add to the stress for me.

Basically it's parenting advice I'd like here. Got things coming at me from all angles at the moment and am losing my cool! (And possibly forgetting the basics of parenting)

Piemother Mon 29-Apr-13 18:59:37

Routine routine routine is probably all you can do plus try not to get too cross for a while.
Is their dad spoiling them when he has them?

HaventGotAStitchToWear Mon 29-Apr-13 20:12:56

You're probably right about routine and it's been knocked off course recently as I'm busy with work.

He is spoiling them utterly!

New toys, sweets, trips. It's a real high point of the week for them and they come back really worn out and difficult. I've been trying to be the solid 'rock' but I feel that he's been manipulating/ indoctrinating them too...
The bad behaviour has been pushing my buttons. It's hard to set boundaries!!!!

betterthanever Mon 29-Apr-13 21:37:03

Hi havent if you make an issue of any of this with the DC or your ex I think it will get worse. How would you deal with bad behaviour if it was say a grandparent who had taken them out and bought them things and spoilt them? I would imagine say how lucky they were and revert to normal with the usual boundaries.
I'd play it all down as much as possible - make at fuss of them for the first 10 mins and back as you were. Good luck, I know it's hard, it will pass, kids do get fed up of treats if they happen all the time they are not as special. They are just babies and need their mum to be a mum. And just think how much stricter a teacher is for example than a mum and they always love their teachers.
I know it very unfair he gets to play Mr Great but they will know who really met their real needs, promise.

HaventGotAStitchToWear Tue 30-Apr-13 21:17:44

Thanks better than ever.

I know both of you are right. It's all about routine, being solid and not letting ALL the niggling things get to me. Being calm and in control right?

betterthanever Tue 30-Apr-13 22:05:11

I know it will not be easy but you will do, you are a great Mum. And one more thing go out and enjoy yourself while he has them - you can all be giddy together when they get back - that will freak him out lol grin

Piemother Tue 30-Apr-13 22:28:48

I do empathise as I have had this problem with dd1 and exh. Once I collected her after contact and took her to meet a little friend. She was beastly to her friend all day for no reason and that was the last straw, I confronted exh who likes to boast about what a delight dd is and I told him she wouldn't be much longer if he carried on over indulging her. The spoiling couples with the fact that her cannot fucking well put her to bed at a reasonable hour for a pre schooler does not make her delightful at all!
Now I can reflect I realise its not so much about presents its about letting the kids call the shots all the time. They love it at the time but in the long term it makes them confused and anxious.
Lately I have felt like I'm always the bad guy that says no but I asked dd if she thought I was a nice mummy and she replied 'yes and a beautiful mummy and a clever mummy'. Which just killed me but goes to show kids want to know where they are with you more than anything else.

HaventGotAStitchToWear Tue 30-Apr-13 23:04:37

You have her well trained! ;-)

No seriously, you're really right. My ex and his family just let the kids do whatever! I think you've really hit the nail on the head- their boundaries are all over the place with them!

Piemother Tue 30-Apr-13 23:21:09

Exh smirked at me recently and said 'you're intolerant - I let dd do whatever she wants' - as if imposing bed time and other normal boundaries is intolerant ffs.
Meanwhile he was a bit shocked when I told him the consequence of his spoilathon with dd and it did make him think.......for about 3 seconds but hey wink

Piemother Tue 30-Apr-13 23:25:43

Also....I think with my dd the acting is is her trying to make sense of feeling very unsettled. When she's unsettle she wants to stay at home and potter and watch telly. Because she's been away from me I'm always desperate to go some enriching activity but I am learning to rein myself in and let her just chill out for a day or so and have an early night them she's a bit calmer.

HaventGotAStitchToWear Wed 01-May-13 10:53:10

Yes my kids come back from their Daddy's EXHAUSTED mentally & physically, tearful and fighting. They're happy to have seen him & got spoilt but are wrecked and just need to wind down.

lostdad Wed 01-May-13 12:57:06

Maybe it's because they miss him?

HaventGotAStitchToWear Wed 01-May-13 22:31:49

Hi Lostdad
Not sure if you read my posts but just to be clear, my kids do see their father for a good proportion of every weekend and their bad behaviour is after contact rather than before contact, when it might be thought that they had been missing him during the week.

Maybe you're referring to the general upheaval of separation. That's an ongoing thing yes but we have been separated now 2 years.

lostdad Thu 02-May-13 10:54:04

HaventGotAStitchToWear - I'm aware of that.

Children sometimes pickup on any tension between parents at handover and find the change from one house to another unsettling. My ex said the same sort of thing you do. My son was the same after just coming to me too before settling down.

cestlavielife Thu 02-May-13 11:28:02

i read lostdad as saying that because they have just seen him and are coming home and know they wont see him for however many days - that is why they feeling the "loss" if you like. that is why it makes sense to "miss" him just after contact.

or they feeling the impact of the separation whatever because they've just made the transition back etc.

i think you just have to ride it out and give them time after coming back,

ignore bad behaviour but reward the good;

make sure they have access to say trampoline or to run around a bit or whatever they need to do.

keep calmly repeating "in this house we do xxxxx"

and be happy they do enjoy and look forward to being with him even if it is over indulgent

- trust me - the opposite of having child come back from dad's saying he ignored her and was disinterested is far worse...

(tho how long your ex will keep this up will remain to be seen...)

Fleecyslippers Thu 02-May-13 16:49:26

I feel your pain. Ignore the hyper activity, turn a blind eye to the cheekiness (within reason) and try and have an established routine for them to slip into as soon as they get home. Mine are always hyped up on E numbers and fizzy drinks as he takes them to McDs for the 'home cooked dinner' he fought in court to be allowed extra time to provide hmm

So as soon as they come in, they have a semi healthy snack at the kitchen table, then bath and bedtime.

As they get older, they'll learn to recognise the overt spoiling that is going on and will be able to cope better with the transistion to 'normal' life.

Keep breathing and smiling wink

HaventGotAStitchToWear Fri 03-May-13 12:06:19

One child sick today. Not sure if I should let contact go ahead for one or both children. Anybody got any advice? Tomorrow too.

cestlavielife Fri 03-May-13 14:24:18

let him take thm and look after them both. see i he can manage "real" parenting

lostdad Fri 03-May-13 14:45:26

cestlavielife sums it up perfectly.

It's his job to care for his children - sick or otherwise - just like it's yours.

Dadthelion Fri 03-May-13 16:15:58

Do you have to stop contact for both children?
Even the one who is well?

HaventGotAStitchToWear Fri 03-May-13 20:04:42

There should be a joke that goes like this...

What do you give your child for dinner if she has acute tonsillitis and you're a NRP who only thinks about himself?

lostdad Fri 03-May-13 20:51:18


You're stopping your DD spending time with her dad when she has a sore throat because he gives her pizza...???

HaventGotAStitchToWear Fri 03-May-13 21:00:00

Sorry LostDad you seem to have foregone conclusions about the sort of person I am.

I am not your ex.

HaventGotAStitchToWear Fri 03-May-13 21:03:19

When I asked him what he had in mind he suggested an action packed day- visitors, in and out of cars and shops and strenuous outdoor activities.

Would you let your child 'spend time with' someone who has so little clue about what a sick child requires???

Piemother Fri 03-May-13 21:31:14

Lostdad - the joking nature of the pizza post was clearly stated. Dear me.

I am with havent - I despair that an adult man makes such thoughtless parenting choices. I have these issues too and before I get accused of anything my dc do nigh on 50:50 contact. Exh is quite selfish but my problems are more about him being quite thick and also being obsessed with defying me, to our dc ddetriment. I have plenty of examples.

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