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How do you handle a difference in parenting approach between you and ex?

(9 Posts)
GreeneAndPleasant Fri 25-Apr-14 18:38:21

I am recently divorced and have 2 dc, age 14 and 9, both very sensible, mature children who get on well. We live in a safe area and have nice neighbours we know well and who are around during the day.

I left the DC alone together in the house for an hour one morning so I could go on an errand (tmi but didn't think they'd want to accompany me for my smear test!). Ex-H found out in conversation and was cross. Doesn't mind older one being left but "won't let" me leave the younger one at home with her sister. I wouldn't leave the younger one on her own anyway. I wouldn't leave the older one to babysit in the evenings yet either.

I think he's being overprotective, both girls have phones, common sense and said they are happy to be left. In fact the youngest thinks it most unfair that she can't be left, so both ended up coming out today on the dullest of errands, which no one enjoyed much.

This is the first time post separation we've really disagreed, and i don't know what to do - parent together or separately. He has help from his parents when dc are with him so this probably hasn't been a practical issue for him.

GreeneAndPleasant Fri 25-Apr-14 18:42:00

Sorry just realised I out this in step parenting, have reported in relationships. No step parents involved in above scenario. Though any thoughts would be great here too please!

Meow75 Fri 25-Apr-14 18:43:00

"Won't let" you leave DD2 supervised by DD1 for the time it takes to go to a dr's appt?!

And how does he propose to stop you? Carry on as before, and tell him what he does on his time is his business and he should afford you the same consideration.

Suggest that he is basically saying that you are deliberately putting one or both of your daughters in a dangerous situation. And then tell him how ridiculous he's being.

What a silly billy.

alita7 Fri 25-Apr-14 19:49:05

Well legally it's allowed, at 14 she Is allowed to baby sit.

I see no problem if the kids get on enough to not have arguments and cause chaos or if there's no medical problems and neither of them have any learning disabilities or a history or dangerous behaviours.

I think parenting differently can work as long as the kids know their boundaries with each parent. You would still have had this problem if you were together.
dp and I will parent dsd differently, he allows her to do things I don't 100% agree with for a 10 year child with moderate learning disabilities. He will leave her for 10 minutes while he goes to the shop across the rd, though he will be texting her the whole time and let's her walk the last tiny bit to school (he can see the gates from there) on her own, I will not do these things, even if she begs me, as I feel as a step parent if something happened to her and I was responsible it's not the same as if dp made the decision. I've told him I disagree he says he thinks it's fine but that I should do what I feel comfortable with.

Malificentmaud Sat 26-Apr-14 08:42:21

Just say you appreciate hearing his view point but that you will continue to parent your way in your home.

And yes he's being ridiculous, 14 year old quite old enough to be left. How does she get to and from school etc? they aren't minded at that age.

My dsd is 15 and has been at home alone, on trains, in to town, on buses etc. alone for a good year or two.

yoyo27 Sun 27-Apr-14 02:11:52

I don't agree that you should just brush his feelings aside and do it would you feel if he did that?

But I do agree that your 14 year old is old enough to be in charge for an hour. Can you sit down with him and work it through, come up with a compromise?

The reason I say that in the first paragraph is that I see it from the other DP has no say in what his ex lets the kids do. And never says anything for fear or her stopping him seeing them x

BigPigLittlePig Tue 29-Apr-14 22:15:00

I can imagine my dh feeling like this when his dd (my dsd) reaches a similar age. I know dh struggles to see that his dd is growing up, perhaps because he is not there every day, and doesn't necessarily see the ways in which she is maturing. As parents, we all cling to our "babies" - maybe if you are more removed from them, it is harder to let go of this.

Sorry if garbling, but could your xp perhaps be trying to impose this rule because he cannot see how mature and responsible your dd1 has become? Perhaps she doesn't get the opportunity to show him that when in his care?

louby44 Fri 02-May-14 22:25:17

I have a 14 and 11 year old and I leave them now for a few hours. Always local and I'm texting/phoning a few times. I wouldn't leave the 11 year old!

My 14 yr old babysits anyway!

thebluehen Sat 03-May-14 07:32:34

There is no legal age for a babysitter, that's an urban myth. In theory the parent could be prosecuted if anything happened to any child looked after by anyone under the age of 18.

The reality is that many people rely on babysitters under 18 and do just fine.

We often leave dsd4 in the care of dsd1 or 2.

I think your ex has no right to tell you what to do in this situation.

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