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coping with a change in circumstances

(14 Posts)
Neverenuff Fri 13-Nov-15 21:05:44

After our recent altercation with dps ex he has gone from seeing kids 50/50 to every other weekend. There is no other option.

This has obviously been extremely difficult for dp and I'm doing my best to support him.

What is really grating on me now though is dp just allowing kids to be on ipads and phones constantly - even though we know this makes dss(9) grumpy when it is taken from him.

When it was 50/50 I felt dp was more in control and had strict rules about the use of these now it's like he has gone Disney dad on me. It's not just the ipads it's everything. From the clearing up to letting kids away with pretty much anything.

Has anyone else experienced changes in circumstances and how did you cope with the change in your dp as a result?

I'm not here for a bun fight it's just a genuine question and looking for ways of dealing with this.

Wdigin2this Sat 14-Nov-15 13:59:33

Haven't really got any advice, other than trying to have a calm, non-accusatory discussion with DP, about how this is affecting the whole family!
He probably is letting them get away with so much because, they are with him for a shorter time, and he doesn't want any upsets or bad feeling...but it's not proper parenting and will become a habit hard to break, even if his time with them is extended!

JellyTotBean Sun 15-Nov-15 19:05:10

Could you subtly suggest to your DP that he do something with them during the weekend? Understandably nothing that's going to cost a fortune but maybe going for a bike ride, play a board game or even cooking the evening meal together?

That way, he gets to spend some quality time with them as well as keeping their Ipad usage down.

They come to spend time with dad - which obviously isn't happening if they're glued to their gadgets.

JellyTotBean Sun 15-Nov-15 19:08:11

With relation to the cleaning, I think he needs to get them to at least clean up after themselves - otherwise he's creating a rod for his own back. At the end of the day, he's their dad and above all else wants them to feel like a member of the family - which includes the boring chores as well as the good stuff. If he doesn't get them to chip in then they're going to see themselves as guests rather than a unit.

PrettyBrightFireflies Sun 15-Nov-15 19:19:02

If he doesn't get them to chip in then they're going to see themselves as guests rather than a unit.

Which may be the only way for contact to continue and be of positive value to the DC's.

If a hostile ex is against the DC's being "part of the family" then the DC's having the status of guests is better than either continued conflict between households, or no contact at all.

WSM123 Sun 15-Nov-15 19:26:56

wow, he's gonna be a grumpy shit if he's anything like my partner and you will get the brunt off it.
My partner went from every Sunday and couple of evenings during the week (after work) to every second weekend and he doesn't like it and doesn't cope.
He also went through the let them do anything or spend too much money on things stage.
What I did was research free child friendly activities in the area for the weekend and suggest them to my partner on the Monday prior to his weekend and most of the time we will end up doing that thing so save money and get out and do stuff (educational or sporty etc)
Its been a few months and he still hates it but has got into a routine so is mostly reasonable/responsible (until the ex tries he latest trick and he takes it out on me)
sorry to rant,

JellyTotBean Sun 15-Nov-15 20:57:27

Pretty: I semi understand what your saying but even if I pop to friends houses for a cuppa where I am a guest I don't expect them to wait on me hand or foot or leave a mess for them to clear up - it's called manners. Equally I expect my children to do the same. I doesn't take much to take your rubbish to a bin or plate in the sink - and they are as basic as you can get.

Also, if dad had originally treated them as a unit and they had chores, even though circumstances have changed I'd want to keep to what they already know so not to make them think things are different.

Again, if there are other siblings in the household who do their chores and basic clean up it's hardly fair that their brothers/sisters don't do the same. That causes other problems.

It's a minefield and that's from past experience of hostility from my partner's ex.

PrettyBrightFireflies Sun 15-Nov-15 22:00:11

I semi understand what your saying but even if I pop to friends houses for a cuppa where I am a guest I don't expect them to wait on me hand or foot or leave a mess for them to clear up - it's called manners.

jelly I don't disagree, but using your analogy, what if, every time you got back from your friends house, your DP asked you if your friend had expected you to clear up? What if your DP had called your friend names because she didn't wait on you hand and foot. What if your DP said that you should leave a mess, because your friend should have to clear up after you?

How would you feel? Torn between your DP and your friend? Would it begin to affect the way you felt when you visited her, or even mentioned her name in front of your DP?

I'm not saying it's right, but DCs can't change the behaviour of their parents, love them both, and are totally dependent on them. The conflict they feel when one parent wants them to comply with something the other is adamantly opposed to must be indescribably difficult. If one parent can avoid that happening, then I can understand why they do, even if it is at the expense of other DCs and their DP.

JellyTotBean Sun 15-Nov-15 22:26:06

It is hard and yes they can feel torn but I think the last thing the OP's DH can do is change how he is with them. He has to be the same with them as he was before the change. I think that would be more beneficial for them because it's consistent. A change in a parent's behaviour and parenting can also cause insecurities - even if they feel they're doing it for the right reasons.

If it were my DP calling my friend all sorts of names I'd put him straight believe me and tell him I'm not a lazy sod lol but the analogy between my DH and a child's response is different, I agree. With hostility they can't speak up, they're trapped between what they want and what they're told to do/ for an easier life.

But with other siblings in a household it's unfair on them to be treated differently to the parent's other children when one child who lives with dad is told to clean and do this and that while the other who is also dad's child is waited on hand and foot and can do as they please because of the situation. Neither child has asked for the situation and it's certainly not right. Having two different types of parenting between children who live with you and those that don't - especially when the pair are biologically both dad's can cause sibling resentment and a whole host of other problems.

MeridianB Mon 16-Nov-15 10:19:15

But surely DSCs shouldn't dodge basic manners or fail to help out in the other home just because their mum doesn't like it?

More generally, I thought we all agreed that parents shouldn't dictate what happens in the other home and children are used to different rules in different places.

If a mum is harrassing her children about anything like this after visits then of course it's terrible but isn't it something DH should tackle rather than reinforcing the dysfuntional message?

PrettyBrightFireflies Mon 16-Nov-15 11:08:46

If a mum is harrassing her children about anything like this after visits then of course it's terrible but isn't it something DH should tackle rather than reinforcing the dysfuntional message?

Tackle how, though? Shared care has been removed and replaced with EOW on the say-so of the DCs Mum. If the DCs decide that they are better off appeasing their Mum, then even court action won't be an effective solution (assuming the OP is in the UK) - at 9 years old, DC's will be asked what they want.

The ex clearly holds all the cards here - and sometimes, the only option for the NRP is to go along with what the RP is comfortable with in order to maintain at least some contact for as long as possible.

I agree, it's incredibly unfair on the other DC's in the family - but a family decision has to be made - create more upset and conflict for the NonResidentDC's or an unequal and unfair environment for the ResidentDC's. Their needs are in conflict - and which to prioritise is a tough decision for any parent.

MeridianB Mon 16-Nov-15 11:23:38

I know what you are saying, Pretty, but where does an NRP draw the line on this kind of behaviour by an ex? If she says DScs must have a Mars bar every two hours then does he agree to that? If she tells DSCs not to have baths or showers in his house does he let that happen?

Ultimately, if its distressing for the DSC and is causing their time with Dad to be affected then he can speak up? But as you say, if shared care has gone to EOW then the Dad needs to decide if he's willing to go to court.

PrettyBrightFireflies Mon 16-Nov-15 11:35:32

meridian It depends what the ex is prepared to do when the NRP doesn't comply.

There are some exs who are just so extreme (and I'm assuming that the OPs DSC mum is one of them given the sudden change in care arrangements with little, if any, consideration for the impact on the DC's) that the DC's need protecting from her behaviour, and one way of doing that is for the NRP to compromise how they "parent" their DC's in order to keep the RP happy and not create more conflict for the DC's.

Its certainly not ideal and I would suggest it is incompatible with the NRP having a family life as it creates inequalities between DC's - but the alternative is that the non-resident DC's may lost contact with their Dad completely.

MeridianB Mon 16-Nov-15 12:19:37

I understand, and believe me, I'm in no way minimising how hard this must be. I have seen a mild version of it with my own DSD and that was bad enough.

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