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Please, please pick through the details of this 'discussion' and tell me how it went wrong

(30 Posts)
SmugColditz Fri 05-Sep-08 18:46:09

I don't know why it hasn't gone in a constructive way. I know I tend to be confrontational and childdish when angry but, I wasn't angry.

me - "I need to talk about Ds1's behavior when he's with you. He's playing up to get your attention - "

exp - "He gets my attention!"

me - "Well, yes, but that's not -"

exp - "Anyway it's not like he gets any of your attention!"

me "yes he does, he's been with me all week, who else do you think is looking after him?"

exp "You're always on the computer when I come round. Don't make out I don't give him attention when you sit on the computer."

me "I'm sitting on the computer when you are here BECAUSE you are here. I dn't do that when you're not. And this is besides the point, this isn't about you, or the amount of attention each of us give Ds1, it's about Ds1's behavior when you are here"

exp "So why are you saying I don't give him enough attention if that's not what it's about"

me "I haven't said that"

exp "You were going to."

me "You don't know WHAT I was going to say, you didn't give me chance to tell you, now do you actually want me to carry on trying to involve you in his life or shall I carry on and do what I think best without trying to discuss it with you?"

exp - "you do anyway, what else is new?"

me "Well what am I doing now if I'm not involving you? For Christ's sake, you don't KNOW what I was going to say, you're just playing the victim all the time, this is not about YOU, it isn't about what YOU are doing. I don't CARE what you do, my concerns do not lie with YOU."

exp "So why are you even bothering asking me?"


What happened? I went in with the intention of asking him to completely ignore ds1 when he's being deliberatly disruptive, but I don't understand how that didn't happen. I was shouty near the end of the conversation, because I had had enough. He says it was just an excuse to have a go at him.

cargirl Fri 05-Sep-08 18:49:43

He felt under attack.

When he criticised you (him having just felt criticised by you) you retaliated just like he had - your 4th line was a retaliation, you "should" have done reflective listening "you feel like I don't give ds enough attention when he's with me"

undercovercat Fri 05-Sep-08 18:50:46

On about sentence 3 or 4 somehow it ended up about you and him, not ds at all.
I had this, to put an end to it XP HAD to stop coming here to see the kids.
Now we communicate by text, and I put the phone down on him/ do not rise to the bait if hes talking about anything other than the dds.
Can he not move somewhere safe where he can have the boys?

cargirl Fri 05-Sep-08 18:50:53

Conversation would have been better started off with

"we need to come up with a joint solution to ds disruptive behaviour, what do you think the problem is - what do you think we should do?"

IMHO

Mutt Fri 05-Sep-08 18:53:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LaDiDaDi Fri 05-Sep-08 18:53:41

Ok, sorry you are having a shit time of it.

I think (and I'm hardly a UN negotiator in my own house) that it might have been better to be really open/non-directive right from the start

"I think that we should talk about ds's behabiour." Long pause, until he talks back or 1 minute has passed.

or

"Have you noticed any iswsues with ds's behaviour recently? I have an I wanted your thoughts/opinions." Long pause, until he talks back or 1 minute has passed.

Your initial comment could have been perceived as a negative slight on your ex's parenting, he got his defences up and it all went downhill. Now clearly this isn't me saying it's all your fault it went badly because if your ex was being sensible he would have still wanted to discuss the issue even if he felt narked.

ChasingSquirrels Fri 05-Sep-08 18:56:15

show him your post - point him towards the last line where you explain what the issue was and go from there. Try and forget the previous conversations.

It happens because you have a history - end of really.

SmugColditz Fri 05-Sep-08 20:53:44

Ahhh no, no way am I showing him my posts here, I don't want him knowing he has pissed me off so much.

Clearly I need to take a less confrontational approach, but I hate to feel like I am crawley bumlicking round him just to stop him flying off the handle.

cargirl Fri 05-Sep-08 21:13:49

Colditz how would you feel if he said/implied that your dc only had behavioural problems around you.

I love my husband and we get on great but that first sentence would feel like a loaded statement, a critcism of my parenting and that he was having a go at me.

Sorry that is very blunt of me - these kind of discussions are very difficult between happily married couples let alone seperated parents.

ChasingSquirrels Fri 05-Sep-08 21:17:17

god I didn't mean show it him online, rather e-mail/print out that bit - he already knows you are pissed off. Maybe edit it a bit.

SmugColditz Fri 05-Sep-08 21:18:04

Well, my first response would be "Why?"

And then the discussion could happen

But I see your point.

The thing is, I was shocked at ds1. His behavior has been lovely all week, then as soon as I let ex in, ds1 was jumping, 'hooting', running, swinging off legs, talking over people, shouting, roughousing. Just being a PITA really, and preventing his dad spending proper time with him. So after he hurt his bro I sent him upstairs, and The Discussion happened.sad

Majeika Fri 05-Sep-08 21:18:18

mmmmmm.......

we have spoken many times colditz and I am glad you are now colditz and not the other name you had, but I am a namechanger.

I agree with the others that your starting point was a bit confrontational and maybe you should have gone with 'what do you think we could do.....'

and I am still amazed that such an intelligent funny woman could have 2 children with such a plonka!! wink

anorak Fri 05-Sep-08 21:19:32

It's not your fault he decided to take it the way he did but you could avoid all that (hopefully) with a little false flattery ie 'Can you give me your opinion about how we should handle X when he does X? I have ideas but I'd like to hear yours too.'

SmugColditz Fri 05-Sep-08 21:19:39

wink see the thread on arrangedf marriages...

SmugColditz Fri 05-Sep-08 21:22:10

the thing is (again)

It's the history, innit?

Historically I asked for his input, and would be met with a complete lack of interest, no eye contact and "I dunno". So I wouldn't get a response until I upped the ante a little and started poking the pig.

I think he is now slightly more responsive, and the pig doesn't need to be poked - but I'm still poking it!

SmugColditz Fri 05-Sep-08 21:22:45

Who were you majieka?

cargirl Fri 05-Sep-08 21:28:31

well hopefully being the intelligent woman you are (and you are!) you'll get the hang of the flattery bit and get the issues sorted.

Yes it is the history that is the big problem in the situation, just assume that ANYTHING you say will be taken as a criticism unless you word it carefully.

Even DS behaviour was wild, why do you think her reacts like that when you come here??? The lots of big pauses idea is a good one.

SmugColditz Fri 05-Sep-08 21:49:07

Ok. Big pauses.

Funny, our Relate person did say I need to give him chance to speak. He's naturally quiet and I tend to deliver a volley of words at people (precisely what I criticise ds1 for blush.

Also he has a cold and not in great mood anyway.

SmugColditz Fri 05-Sep-08 21:49:37

And thank you for demo of subtle flattery wink

cargirl Fri 05-Sep-08 22:40:05

grin

sound like your ex is like have another child even though he's now your ex!!

Is still living too really close to you or am I confusing you with someone else

LittleBella Fri 05-Sep-08 22:46:03

At the point where you said:

me "yes he does, he's been with me all week, who else do you think is looking after him?"

You allowed yourself to be deflected.

Will now read rest of thread.

LittleBella Fri 05-Sep-08 22:54:00

OK have just read rest of thread and gone back to the beginning after reading other posters' comments.

You framed it as a need you have. ("I need to talk about Ds1's behavior when he's with you.")

Firstly he doesn't care about your needs so that's not a good reason for him to engage with this conversation. Secondly "when he's with you" implies when he's with his Dad all the time, not just on that first 10 minutes of excitement when Dad comes round.

Why is he coming into your house btw? Could this manic behaviour be pre-empted by him going straight out wiht his dad? Let him be manic with him then it won't be your problem!

cargirl Fri 05-Sep-08 23:03:29

very good point LittleBella - let your ex deal with the behaviour outside of your house and your time!

VeniVidiVickiQV Fri 05-Sep-08 23:17:34

Hmm. I'm not sure just 'palming off' the problem to exp is an ideal thing to do though. I think it's important for parents - apart or together - to show a united parenting front.

Agree with everything else said. Opening gambit was "I need to talk to you" and indicating that the problem arises from your exp's presence. It's almost like a telling off, lol!

So saying "can we decide how to deal with DS's behaviour/acting up for you? It's important for us to sing from the same song sheet" or something would have been better.

SmugColditz Fri 05-Sep-08 23:18:09

ex always comes here, it is a long standing Issue.

Ds1's behavior was pretty bad for the duration.

I'm getting really sick of having to step in all the frigging time because ex doesn't. I AM critical, I seem to only say things like "Please can you not let them do x" "Please can you make sure you watch them, because ds2 just did Y" "Please can you not just sit and watch Nick Junior, play with them or something"

I have been doing it because I though it was best for the boys but tbh I think it might be better to gradually cut the access a bit.

yes, you are right, it was presented as my need, and therefore Not HIs Problem.

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