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My 3 children live with their Dad...

(12 Posts)
JackieBauer Wed 20-Jul-11 19:35:23

I could write a million words here but will try to keep it short.
After being with my ex for 18 years, we split and I left (I was doing sleep overs in a care home and he was the house husband and he loved it) I moved 2 streets away. To be honest me and my ex are friendly, although it's all about the kids and it has all worked out fine.
The problem is now that the oldest 2 (girls aged 16 and 18) are really taking the mick out of him, treating the house as a hotel, not helping with chores, being cheeky, he bought the eldest a car and paid £2,500 for her insurance, she's in college but shows no sign of trying to get a saturday job to help pay for it. She has £30 per week for going to college and spends it on nails, fake tan, clothes, make up and going out
I now work as a live in carer for a quadriplegic man, week on week off, am only home one week out of two, so if I try and tell them to help/argue with them/ tell them to helpm their dad they either don't listen or storm off home.
To be honest they are spoilt and the oldest is a little princess, i want to help him but don't know how. He loves them so much, keeps a good house but I'm afraid the stress is going to break him.

We have been apart for 5 years, he also has our 7 year old son who is adorable but still hard work.

Any advice would be welcome, ask any questions, the girls stay up until the early hour on the net and the get up at midday, they are really taking the piss, he find it hard to say no to them, probably because their mother left, but it's not doing them any good

We are both really at a loss x

Proudnscary Wed 20-Jul-11 20:36:03


Longtalljosie Wed 20-Jul-11 20:54:05

Have you tried talking to them together?

HeyYouJimmy Wed 20-Jul-11 21:21:15

Could you and your ex agree to sit down PDQ with your eldest DD and tell her that when her insurance is due for renewal, you and your ex WILL NOT be paying for her insurance, fuel, road tax, MOT. That way, she'll soon learn that if she wants a car on the road, she'll have to fund it herself, and that means getting one or more jobs PDQ and save to do that. It may give her the wake-up call she needs to stop taking advantage of her dad or you both.

To add to the misery, she may have to decide between keeping her car on the road and affording her 'must haves' like fake nails/fake tan/going out etc.

Do your DD's have a dongle to top up or is the broadband through a home hub? If it's through a home hub, can he switch it off after, say, 10pm and hide the adaptor until the next morning? If they use a dongle could he let the girls know that there will be a top up of £10 per week and if that is used before the week is out, THEY have to pay for whatever they use over that £10?

springydaffs Thu 21-Jul-11 02:03:03

don't know what the hmm was about.

Is your ex despairing about all this too? it sounds like it. Perhaps he needs to 'bottom out', like the rest of us, and get to the point where he won't take any more. It's a disaster to spoil your kids to make up for any kind of heartache (my kids' dad died suddenly and I made this fatal mistake sad) - if anything, the boundaries need to be tighter than ever as they flail around trying to come to terms with their loss. YOur kids won't enjoy being at the mercy of their own will, won't be proud of themselves, and need some boundaries.

If you feel guilty for leaving then don't - there's no point, it's done now. You've got to deal with what you're presented with right now, which is spoilt, out of control (ish) kids. Set to and get this addressed sooner rather than later. Get serious about it - first of all with your ex.

LittlePushka Thu 21-Jul-11 02:15:31

So what is it that you/he cannot just agree that they need to contribute to the household by some appropriate way in return for their luxuries? And then just stop paying out for them if they do not keep up their contribution - how can that be difficult. You are the ones supplying the goodies ....Am I missing the point?

springydaffs Thu 21-Jul-11 02:59:31

oh come on Pushka! good point but it's the easiest thing on the planet to lose our way with our kids! particularly teenage kids. Particularly when there's been a big upset - easy as falling off a log to get it wrong and go too far the wrong way.

JackieBauer Thu 21-Jul-11 09:26:01

Thanks everyone for you comments,yes my ex and I have both got it wrong, we had a long chat on the phone yesterday, that's why I posted, he seems to be really struggling with the girls. It's like they rule us and I know that's no good for them, sometimes I feel like more of a friend than a mother, they need more discipline,

It's so easy when I write it down, but so hard to put into practice, I want them to have all the things I never had and be happy, but I know we are going about it the wrong way, I feel like they would hate me if I lay down the law as I don't live with them

Thanks springydaffs, and I think littlepushka is right too, things need to change x

inatrance Thu 21-Jul-11 10:03:49

It sounds like you and you ex need to present a united front and sit down with you and your dd's to have a serious talk. Your girls need to have some clear boundaries and to know what is expected of them, with sanctions or withdrawal of privileges if they break the rules. You and he need to get clear what they are and be in agreement as to what happens if they break them. Consistency and staying calm will show them that you and ex can't be manipulated and that actions have consequences.

It is hard, and they will throw everything at you both to get you to cave but stand together and be persistent. Don't let them make you feel guilty, (you and your ex) and know that you are not doing them any favours by letting them get away with behaving like this.

barbiegrows Thu 21-Jul-11 10:04:42

You've had good advice so far, I'd go with springydaffs.

It sounds as though you both want to sort it out so there's a good starting point. Get together with him and make a plan and stick to it. It will probably be very hard, but very worthwhile.

Bringing up children is a process of loosening and tightening the reins - it's time to tighten them again.

Smum99 Thu 21-Jul-11 11:15:19

Parentline might be a useful support for your ex. The assumption that managing teens is easy but in reality it can be tougher than toddlers. Just start with one rule - maybe it's the bedtime, chores around the house or working. Think of a suitable sanction, removal of laptop or internet access is often a good deterrent! You and your ex don't have to feel guilty, especially if you are working together as parents, I guess you both had strong reasons to separate but if you are both amicable then you are giving the children the best possible chance of recovery.
Guess your ex has to realise that parenting does mean you have to have boundaries and just because a teen says, "it's so unfair" doesn't mean it is.

barbiegrows Thu 21-Jul-11 11:42:55

Oooh I'd forgotten about parentline - thanks Smum99
<<reaches for phone>>

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