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1-2-1 time with BC

(35 Posts)
KaPe Tue 01-Sep-09 15:47:13

You might know my situation from my other thread.

I am heading for mediation with my ex (again) ... one (of many) issues with my ex is 1-2-1 time.

DD9 had some serious problems at school, and in the course of a meeting with the counsellor it turned out that they do not do any 1-2-1 time at ex's house. It obviously has resulted in a deterioration of the close father/daughter relationship they once had. Unfairly, he blames me for that.

In the meeting with the counsellor he specificially said that there was no 1-2-1 time between BCs and their parents at their house, and did the counsellor really consider this necessary. Counsellor said yes, as the relationship between a BC and his/her parent goes much further back then the relationship between a SC and a SP.

What's your approach at your homes? Do you have any 1-2-1 between bio parent and bio kids. If yes, how much? Also, how do you explain this to the stepkids?

I was thinking of suggesting handover one day earlier, so DD could have one evening with her dad, but would still spend the majority of time with her new extended family and the parents would still get 6 days out for 14 adult time with no kids around (instead of previously 7 out of 14). Also, the SC wouldn't have to be told to "bugger off" when it is father/daughter time and thus get hurt.

mrsjammi Tue 01-Sep-09 18:17:40

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Surfermum Tue 01-Sep-09 19:40:35

I know dsd loves to have time alone with her Dad. It's not always possible every weekend, but we do make sure it happens as often as we can. They go shopping together, they'll often sit and watch something together on TV, on holiday they surfed together, and on other holidays they've gone for walks together. If there were a film they both wanted to see they'd go to that. I suppose it just kind of happens in our house.

I think it's hard for dsd because dd gets to live with her dad all the time, whereas dsd doesn't so I don't think there's any reason why dsd and he can't have some time together alone when they do see each other - and that's how I have explained it to dd who doesn't seem to mind at all. She's grown up with it being like that.

I do agree with jammi though too about leaving them to their own relationship. What does your dd say about things? What does she say about the time she spends at her Dad's house?

KaPe Tue 01-Sep-09 19:42:49

I think 20mins is all daughter would really want. She will be meeting him next Sunday for a bike ride, which she has been missing out on for three years, so she is extremely excited.

As for him having three children and not one ... I am afraid that we have to disagree on this one. If he has enough love and money and affection for 10 children, then he is certainly free to share it as he sees fit. If he doesn't than he needs to prioritise.

Surfermum Tue 01-Sep-09 19:46:00

I certainly couldn't prioritise dd over dsd, just because she's my biological child and dsd isn't. When she's here I have 2 children and deal with that accordingly - just like any parent with 2 children does.

KaPe Tue 01-Sep-09 19:51:21

Surfermum, DD wants some 1-2-1 time with her dad. Not much, just going for a bike ride to the park. Her SS's don't know how to ride bikes, so therefore the bike rides stopped when they moved in together.

DD occasionally wants a cuddle at bedtime with her dad, or watch the footie together with him, or simply for him to collect her from school instead of her going on the coach.

Nothing special, certainly not full days and definitely no special trips to Disneyland Paries or Alton Towers just for her. Just a few minutes here and there.

Dad remains he doesn't have time for that given the size of his new family. So my suggestion would be to deliver DD one night earlier than before (assuming he wants to go back to 50/50) so he does have some time without having to brush the other two off!

pleasechange Tue 01-Sep-09 19:55:49

KaPe having read your other thread I'm pretty sure that no matter how much you argued your case, most people just didn't agree with you. Not sure why you think they're going to agree with you now in a new thread?

KaPe Tue 01-Sep-09 20:00:32

Surfermum, there is a difference between openly favouring one child (which is totally out of order, bio or not) or making time to spend a bit of 1-2-1 with the children. Doesn't mean 1-2-1 should only be spent between bio kids and parents.

DD has some serious emotional problems at the moment, problems which should be discussed. He has been made aware by the counsellor that this is the case, and family therapy was one of the options given to us. Personally I was of the opinion that this might send wrong messages to her, because it would obviously only have been the three of us.

Surfermum Tue 01-Sep-09 20:03:14

sad for your dd. That's pretty much what dh does with dsd. It isn't about having big treats is it, it isn't about spending lots of money or buying expensive presents, it's about the quality of the time spent together, even if it's not that much time.

For us dsd had an adjustment to make when dd came alone and we were actutely aware of that and made sure she didn't feel pushed out. It doesn't sound like your dh or his partner are really thinking about how she may be feeling sad.

But whether you can make them do anything, I'm not sure.

KaPe Tue 01-Sep-09 20:05:03

allnew, people don't have to agree with me, do they? I was asking a question as regards to how step families handle 1-2-1, and actually both Surfermum and Mrs Jammi have responded to this.

Surfermum Tue 01-Sep-09 20:14:57

I'm with you all the way on this one KaPe. DD gets 121 with me and with her dad, dsd gets 121 with me and with her dad.

If dsd ever starts being a bit difficult and we can't put it down to her being 13 grin then it's the first thing we think about and first solution we try.

When you have 121 time you can get to the bottom of all sorts of things that are troubling her (and she tends to talk to me more than her dad).

KaPe Tue 01-Sep-09 20:15:55

Surfermum, I think your DSD might have had the benefit of witnessing DD growing in your tummy ... she was part of this whole process (well, obviously the later stages wink).

A couple of weeks ago my ex sent DD a poem (or rather song lyrics he had re-written for her). In it, he actually made reference to their previous closeness: Remember doing this, that and the other together? Remember how close we were? DD got very angry, saying that it was his choice that these days were gone.

Surfermum Tue 01-Sep-09 20:18:35

Did she tell him how it made her feel?

mrsjammi Tue 01-Sep-09 20:21:12

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KaPe Tue 01-Sep-09 20:50:50

Mediation is all about compromising and suggesting, Mrs Jammi. That's why we are going there.

I have always been open to DD having a new family. DD has always brought souvenirs from her holidays with me for ALL her loved ones back home (including SM and SSs), during our last trip she got a guy to write the names of her entire family in Arabic on a post card (well, we had to get a second one to fit all the names on there ... he started off with very big writing).

I have no issues whatsover with another woman or children in DDs (or ex's) live ... however, I do get rather edgy when I am told that THEY have found the ideal way and expect my support in order to achieve this bliss. Especially when I know it is unrealistic, and especially when I am supposed to put resources into their dream that I simply don't have.

hayes Tue 01-Sep-09 20:59:20

we have a family of 5, difficult to spend 1 2 1 time but we do have a family night once a week where we all just have fun. I agree that step families need to be allowed to develop and grow naturally, its hard enough at the beginning without the other parents getting involved and putting their slant on things.

You love your dd, she loves you, she loves her dad...surely thats all that matters at the end of the day?

mrsjammi Tue 01-Sep-09 21:17:04

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KaPe Tue 01-Sep-09 21:55:38

Mrs Jammi, you have to understand one thing ... we come from two different sides of the spectrum. Just like you guys (or rather girls) hate the Cinderella-type stepmother picture, not all BMs are controlling and sad cows.

What I found very funny about your post is that - whilst acknowledging SM threatened me in court - you seem to condone this behaviour, you are trying to excuse it. How can you be certain that she doesn't throw a hissyfit in public?

Has it ever occured to you that we might be dealing with the exact mirror image of your view of a BM ... an extremely controlling SM? Personally, and this is the view of many friends we had in common prior to our separation, I believe that if anybody is trying to undermine both my parenting relationship with my ex AND the relationship between the ex and DD it is SM.

hayes Tue 01-Sep-09 22:11:03

are you my husband's ex?? smile sorry couldn't resist it.

As i said before you love your daughter she loves you she loves her dad. When you are with her enjoy her company ....she will enjoy her dads company when she is with him. I think if more parents really looked at what was best for their children there would be no bickering and blaming going on.

You and your ex's relationship has broken down for whatever reasons but your relationship with your child is always going to be there.....enjoy it

mrsjammi Tue 01-Sep-09 22:18:50

Message withdrawn

KaPe Tue 01-Sep-09 22:26:52

Hayes, we all have our limits ... and my limits are certainly reached.

I am doing most of the work, am running all of the errants, am carrying most of the financial burden, and in addition to that, I am abused as an emotional rubbish bin. Ex acknowledges that there are problems between SM and DD and the older SS and DD ... but either can't or won't step in.

You seem to be suggesting that I hate my ex more than I love my child? Has it occured to you that maybe he might be the aggressor?

mrsjammi Tue 01-Sep-09 22:50:52

Message withdrawn

2rebecca Tue 01-Sep-09 23:31:55

We do but then we don't have any children together or any children living with us all the time which makes it easier to see kids as principally mine or his. My stepkids rarely come here now as the eldest has his own place and the younger has exams and friends so stays with her mum most of the time coming here for odd weekends or holidays. If she is here she'll often go off and do stuff with her dad. He'll often go and spend the day with her. My kids spend time with me and their dad. We have hobbies together that my husband doesn't share so will often do that on a weekend together.
I'm not really into the pretending to be a big nuclear happy family thing when we obviously aren't. We often do things all together but I don't see doing things in seperate units as bad and think it does help the kids to feel really valued and that their parent enjoys spending time with them. My husband and I have plenty of time without kids when we can do stuff together.

2rebecca Tue 01-Sep-09 23:39:55

I meant my kids spent some time with me and some with their dad. I don't go off and do things with them and my ex. That would be strange. Their dad has a long distance relationship so usually sees them on his own, although they often go and visit her.

pleasechange Wed 02-Sep-09 07:28:53

Kape - I think mrsjammi has posted some excellent advice on here for you. You cannot change how your DH and his family operate, and to constantly worry about it will not only make you more frustrated and annoyed, but will also rub off onto your daughter

It is possible (and I only say possible because clearly we have limited info here) that she indeed has already picked up on your feelings about this. Given that you are worried about her mental health, I really think you should concentrate on being as positive about everything as you can - children really do pick up on tension and take it on themselves

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