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(11 Posts)
purpleroses Sun 25-Nov-12 09:41:27

Could work - my DP finds that asking his kids stepdad if he can drop them off on the odd ocassion (rather than DP doing all the driving) works much better than involving his ex in it. Very much depends on the stepdad really - if he's a decent bloke it could help as he might not be caught up in the emotions of being an ex-partner that your DP's ex is.

I guess the fear would be that the ex fuels her partner to have a go at your DP though.

The suggestion above of the PIE chart sounds good. But things are difficult you really don't need that much communication to get the basics in place (esp with a 12 year old who can communicate some things herself). It can be kept purely to the practicalities of who is having her when.

Simply don't accept any requests to vary the contact arrangements from DSD herself without checking it out with the other parent first.

onionlove Sat 24-Nov-12 22:51:58

i am shaking my head in disbelief as it has now been decided my dh will talk to dsd's stepdad re arrangements as dh and his ex refuse to talk, what message is this sending to her, this is crazy if i detach anymore ill have to move out altogether, roll on teenage years im taking my dcs to my mums and staying out of it :-) seriously though this cant work can it?

Xalla Sat 24-Nov-12 05:59:28

My DH and his ex barely communicate and only by email / text.

They started doing something called PIE charts (Parents Information Exchange). I can't remember where the idea came from but I think it was from a book about helping kids deal with separation. Basically it's a sheet of A4 divided into five sections (one for health, school, behaviour, changes to arrangements and 'other'). They now fill out a PIE chart before each handover and email it to the other parent. So when SD has been with us for 5 nights or whatever, DH will email one to his ex on the day she returns. Then he'll receive one the day she comes back to us.

It's a sad way of doing things I guess but it's also an effective way to get important information across especially about school (homework, assemblies etc) & changes to arrangements. The behaviour bit occasionally becomes a slanging match and DH doesn't write much in there anymore. The health bit's useful because we can say "X had a dose of Calpol at 10am" or "got a note home about headlice going around school so washed with treatment shampoo last night" which were things that got left unsaid before they started doing PIE charts.

It's also a way of communicating that SC can't control / see so I would imagine quite appropriate if your SD is being manipulative and playing her parents off against each other.

Yes, I think you should have a chat with SD too.

onionlove Fri 23-Nov-12 23:52:45

thanks foryour points guys i do agree but my dp's ex is difficult to deal with to say the least i have had to get the police to warn her not to threaten and harass me in the past dp and herself talk on a factual level about arrangements but nothing else or it alwzys ends in abuse from her, she has been fine for a while but i think it has caught them both by surprise that dsd has done this and so the blaming has started again its not about how he feels she is just impossible he is going there tomorrow but i thunk he's lezrned his lesson about making arrangements through dsd i have nothing to do with it, they need to parent her together i cant do it for him, i just wondered if its worth a chat with dsd as well or not

thanks again

purpleroses Fri 23-Nov-12 21:44:47

My DSD has on various ocassions tried playing one off against another - eg told DP that she is going to a friend's for the afternoon and will make her own way back to her mum's, but then told her mum that she's off at a sleepover and her dad said that was OK...

I'd have thought that kind of thing a bit less likely at 12, but if your DP and his ex refuse to communicate your DSD could quite easily end up with each of them thinking she's at the others, whilst she's off somewhere else entirely. You really can't look after a child properly if you don't communicate at at least the most basic level with the other person who's supposed to be caring for them.

NotaDisneyMum Fri 23-Nov-12 20:00:34

The last thing your DSD needs is being dragged even further into it.

She is behaving in a way that is perfectly normal and natural for a pre-teen who has an opportunity to play her parents off against each other and who has inconsistent and conflicting boundaries.

Unfortunately, step-parents can't step in and parent when no-one else is; but you can ask yourself whether you are happy in a relationship with a man who won't put his own feelings to one side for the sake of his DD.

You don't gave to be buddies in order to co-parent. My ex and I speak as little as necessary - and there have been occasions when I have refused face-to-face or phone contact (he's EA). Despite that, my DD has never had the chance to manipulate the situation between us - despite the difficulties I have maintained text/email contact and insisted on mediation when necessary in order to ensure we still parent. We even discussed, reached agreement and selected her new school without any face-to-face meetings and only one difficult phone call; everything else was done by email smile

onionlove Fri 23-Nov-12 17:06:32

thanks i do agree with your points it is ridiculous but wont change after 8 or so years i guess is there any point adking dsd why she did it or is it just par for the course?

Kaluki Fri 23-Nov-12 10:28:26

It drives me crazy that two people can have children together and end up unable to speak to each other about them!! WTF is that all about?
My DP is the same - him and his ex will not speak to each other. All communication is via text or email and through the kids which is IMO quite ridiculous as a) it gets the dc involved in things which are nothing to do with them and b) the dc can manipulate the situation to their advantage, which is what it sounds like your DSD is doing here.
Your DP needs to communicate with his ex wife as this will get worse as she hits the dreaded teens!

purpleroses Fri 23-Nov-12 09:58:29

Sounds to me as if it could be DSD who's manipulating everyone here - and the only way to find out is for your DH to communicate directly with his ex. Email is fine - but he needs to contact her whenever DSD tries to change the arrangements to check that she's aware of the changes, and OK about them. If DSD fancies staying at mum's on a Friday night, but mum has plans to go out, and DSD tells mum that "dad says he'll pick me up Saturday morning" her mum is put out and blames your DH. Meanwhile your DH is feeling upset that he's not seeing as much of his DD as he'd like, and busy blaming his ex....

NotaDisneyMum Fri 23-Nov-12 07:38:43

Why is your DP making arrangements directly with his DD?

Next time his DD asks to change things - he could say that he's happy to do so if her Mum agrees; if Mum doesn't email or get in touch then he should really pick her up as per the original arrangement.

onionlove Thu 22-Nov-12 23:01:26

dsd (12) is due to spend every other weekend with us we also have dcs two under 3. I would say out of the last six access weekends one has been cancelled and three of them dh has picked her up sat instead of fri at her request. dh dealswith her mum via email, they dont talk, today he received one saying how upset her mum is that arrangements keep changing um hello either dsd playing games or mum just having a go at dh but what can we do? Its a bit difficult when parents dont talk, i think she is manipulatng but dh and his ex think she can do no wrong and blame one another its a mess!

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