My feed

to access all these features

Use our Single Parent forum to speak to other parents raising a child alone.

Lone parents

should kids see their friends in dads contact time?

10 replies

treaclepudd · 17/05/2008 18:16

Sorry, bit of a moan from me and dont know what to do anymore-any advice appreciated?

Today, for the first time my ds wanted to see a friend of his [last weekend was no-go for me as we were busy and next weekend seemed too far into the future for my 7 yr old. so I arranged for him to see his friend this morning and for my ex to pick him up afterwards.

I thought seeing as though there are plenty of weekends when I have the children and they see thier friends why not do it during his dads contact time. So I thought it fair.

My ex lives 10 miles away [in london so can take an hour travelling time!?]and as he dosnt know the mum of the friend thought it best I take him. But ex kicked up a fuss about it saying it was his time to be with the kids [he took our daughter off on her own today] it was only for 2.5 hours, and said it wasnt right. what do you think? [i am having another one of my sons round to my house next weekend-wasnt on purpose etc].

so do i stop my son having any social life every other weekend because his dad dosnt like it [this was the first time its ever happened]?!

what do you think, what do you do? Ex sees them fortnightly sat-sun, I work f/t so I barley get to see the children either!

We are not friends, he's just moved in with new partner [we split 2 years ago as he went to work one day and never came back]who is not allowed to come near me due to abusive texts etc which leads me on to another point- when do you get used to and how do you get used to your ex's partner slobbering over your kids when they have nothing but make things 100 times worse and been an absolute ##### to you?? please someone help-how do I cope with this?? I just feel like upping sticks and moving far away to get rid of the stress of it all.

OP posts:
treaclepudd · 17/05/2008 18:24

by the way, my son wanted to see his friend today and was fully aware it was taaking up 2 and a half hours contact with his dad. he preffered to see his friend.

OP posts:
ANTagony · 17/05/2008 18:43

Your son comes first absolute. His welfare his interests and to an extent what he wants to do with his free time.

Needs careful handling though as you acknowledge. My XP also has a temper so I really get this.

I think your XP should be given the option to go on the collection/ or drop of the son to meet the friends parents another time so that he can do future collections from said friend and your DS gets to have a social life. Biological parents don't get parenting necessarily in the same way as those of us who live it. Can you write him a brief letter detailing your childrens wishes to see friends as they grow up and agreeing this access to friends will be split equally between your access days to make it clear you aren't shutting him out and are loosing some access as well but they are reaching an age they want their own time. You need to agree how this time will be scheduled and the notice you'll give him of play dates etc.

Re moving along way away I fantasize about that one all the time. Be really nice, somewhere warm, maybe by the sea where you don't need money and the kids play happily at the waters edge and there are four taps at the kitchen sink, one for hot one, for cold, one for white wine and one for red. Almost halfway throught the weekend now, then its a fourtnight, by the sounds, till you have to deal with him again!

tearinghairout · 17/05/2008 18:55

Can he see the dch and their friends together? I don't have any experience of your situation but I do know that sometimes it's easier to have a mate of the dch come along rather than the parent try to entertain the dch the whole time they're together.

treaclepudd · 17/05/2008 19:11

Thanks Antagony [your last part of your message has just made me cry...thats my wish!]b and tearinghairout. I gave my ex one whole weeks notice that my son would need to be collected at 1pm and did ask him last week if it was ok with him [quite nice of me and lots of notice]. he did say yes.

when he turned up at 10am for my daughter he said he couldnt pick up son until 5pm-so at moments notice he changed all the plans I and he made a week in I right to be a bit peeved? [I had plans for this afternoon without the children which were shelved at moments notice][think it was on purpose to spite me?] that means that at no point in 3 weeks do I get a 'break' as dd is only 2 and dosnt go to his for sleep overs.

Ex dosnt know any of sons friends or parents, not sure I'd like my son to go off with someones parent I didnt know?? Is that tight? Also, ex dosnt even phone the children from one week to the next. All he does is the alternate weekend-he has no other contact and thats his choice.

Also just paid a fortune for solicitors letter to set up contact arrangements which says any changes must be made at least 3 days in advance [he didnt do this today but what recourse do I have!? I cant afford another letter from them to him].

sorry, its just like banging my head against a brick wall for two years with some peaks of joy and strength but otherwise feeling no better, feeling haggered and worn out!

OP posts:
gillybean2 · 17/05/2008 19:13

Sorry but you probably won't like my opinion on this...

It's not for you to decide what your children do or don't do when they are meant to be with their dad. And it certainly isn't for you to arrange things in his time without even discussing it with your ex first. I'm sure you'd be furious yourself if he did that to you or made plans and informed your son of them and then expected you to carry them out without giving you any warning, choice, say, or taking into account any plans you might already have made or your travel arrangements.

If your son wanted to see his friend the weekend he would normally be with his dad you should have told him to speak to his dad about it and let them sort it out between them. Your ex is equally capable of sorting out arrangements and may have taken your son's friend with them or made arrangements with the friend's parents to accomodate this wish. He could also have arranged something to do with your other child/ren while ds was with the friend etc. But you did not give him the chance. You made the decision and then informed him of it making it practically impossible for him to refuse without coming across as the bad guy and upsetting your son and his friend.

If your children have an invite to a birthday party or other event how would you have handled this? Surely you would inform your ex and leave it for him to work out the arrangements? Surely your ex is able to talk to the children and discuss decisionsover such things with them. And i'm sure he is equally capable of taking them to such events himself. So why do you think he can not make arrangements for his son to see a friend during his parenting time too. Apart from not being told this was an issue and needing sorting out of course.

You feel your time with your son is limited, but in reality it is not as limited as the time he spends with his dad. You might not like that your limited time is the only one being eaten into by seeing friends, but you arrange this for your son as you know it is important. However your ex lives a significant distance away and has to travel to see the children which already eats into his limited time. Plus he doesn't get Friday evening or Sunday evening nor any week day time, which you might not regard as quality time but is still time you get to see and parent your child. He has significant travelling to do. And your children could well have friends at their dad's house to spend time with too.

Let his dad have the same choice you do on what your son does when he is with him, let him be a parent and deal with tricky issues like this, and let him work this out with your/his son.

Whether you feel it was a fair decision or not is beside the point, it is not up to you to decide what is fair and what your ex should be doing in his time with the children. Discuss it by all means, but do not dictate to him what he must do.

Think about how you would feel if the situation was reversed and then you might have some idea of why he was so annoyed by your actions. You'd be furious if he dictated what you did in your time with the children. Think about how your son, friend and friend's parents would have felt if your ex had turned around and said no. Don't put your child in a position where that might happen. Give his dad the information he needs and let him sort this out with your son, with his friend and with your other children.

Fair would be telling his dad of your son's wishes and giving him the opportunity to sort this out for himself.

Just my opinion, I'm sure other's will say you have every right to dictate what your ex can and can not do with your children. But I completely disagree. Being the parent that spends more time with the children does not mean you are the 'main' parent and thus your ex has to do whatever you say and you are the only one who can make choices and decisions like this.


treaclepudd · 17/05/2008 19:23

Thanks Gilly, thats fine-it's opinions I'm looking for hence my post-dont appologise! In the past my ex has taken ds to partys during his weekend time and I have always ok'ed it [asked ex] with him first as I did this time-well in advance.

OP posts:
Tinkerbel6 · 18/05/2008 13:17

I agree with gilly aswell.

Treacle I don't think your son needs a social life every week, he is only 7, is there any reason why he cant go to a friend's house after school or vice versa once a week, if your son only see's his dad once a fortnight then that is his and his dad's time to do things together

mistressmiggins · 18/05/2008 20:08

I dont agree.

I have spoken to my solicitor and HV about this. Contact is about the CHILD not the parent. If the child wants to do something like go to a friend's party, it is in the best interest (if possible) to allow them to do this.

Why should they miss out cos dad wants to do something else?

Experience (from a friend) shows that once the children reach an age where they can choose, they may choose their friends over their parents so surely its bettter to try to accomodate them?

Personally I try to get party invites b4 the children see them so I can then ask ex first. However DS is at the age where he KNOWS about the parties and wants to go. I then leave it up to ex to tell him he cant go.

Its difficult but at the end of the day, the children didnt ask to have their lives disrupted.

Tinkerbel6 · 19/05/2008 09:38

I don't think an occasional party on a dad's access day would be a problem as Im sure the dad will pick the child up from the party and take it from there, but if the PWC is going to arrange play dates on the NRP's time when that person only gets to see their son for 2 days out of 14 that leaves 12 other days for the PWC to arrange play dates in her time, it is also in the child's best interest to see their father (if he is decent and loving and in the child's best interest).

cornsilk · 19/05/2008 09:40

He should be allowed to see his friend.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.