How to handle this?

lovehadleyJune 10, 2009

SS has (always) had this way of pushing his mom's buttons and getting reactions from her.

Last night, we took the kids to this circus we go to every year. We all love it---including SS, despite what he may tell his mom.

I think it boils down to a jealousy thing with his mom--she has issues w/us having our *family* and doing family things, always has. So last week, SS told us that his mom said the circus we go to is "stupid."

Lovely. Whatever. DH played it cool and ignored him until SS said that he thinks the clown in the circus is a "moron." Again, just lovely, because I am sure that came from his mom's mouth. So DH had a stern talk with him about using kind words, that moron is not an appropriate word for a child to use, etc.

So we go to the circus last night, and had a great time. During the 2nd half of the show, DD dropped her snowcone, and some of it splattered on SS's (new) shirt from his mom. He was so mad! He seriously sat there and sobbed and ranted for the last 15 mins of the show. (Honestly--I think BM must have drilled it into his head to not mess up his new shirt, which is sad in itself. :( If it was THAT important to not stain it, she shouldn't have had him wear it! I kept assuring him that I would throw it in the wash as soon as we got home, it would be fine, etc. (and it is fine this AM, thanks to Shout!)

Well, he was just so angry, kept crying, telling DD that she was stupid for doing that, his mom was going to be so angry at her, etc. Finally, DH moved SS to a seat on the other side of him and told him to knock it off.

So--we are all in the car driving home, and SS calls BM to say goodnight. The first thing he does is tell her how DD spilled her snowcone and ruined his shirt, and he had a terrible time at the circus, blah blah. DD is sitting right next to him in the backseat and just starts sobbing. I felt terrible for her. I WAS SO PISSED. I seriously wanted DH to yank the phone away from SS.

WHY does he do this?????? And what can we do about it? 9 times out of 10, when we go do something as a family, SS b*tches about it to his mom. And DH has threatened in the past---he has said, "if you are going to complain to your mom every time, then we are not going to take you to do fun things anymore." EVERYTIME he does this, it causes a fight with BM and DH and it ends up ruining the fun for everyone. I cannot tell you how many times this scenario has been played out already.

So then BM must have tld SS it was ok, but then she said something to him about being angry at his dad. Because we heard SS say "why are you mad at my dad? Why are you crabby?"

He finishes his conversation up with BM and then SS hangs up and tells DH "my mom is mad at you because it's 10 and you didn't call her all night."

Ok, aside from the fact that we were at the freaking circus all evening WHY DOES BM FEEL IT'S NECESSARY TO DUMP THAT INFORMATION ON A CHILD? Talk about putting SS in the middle.

UGH. So we got home, put the kids to bed, and then of course, like clockwork, BM calls again to b*tch at DH.

He ends up hanging up on her, and then her MOM calls and starts apologizing to DH, "oh, BM is just irritable tonight, and stressed, her life is so hard, blah blah, she was so worried about her son b/c you didn't call all night, yada yada."


DH bears some responsibility in this b/c he should NOT have taken BM's 11 pm phone call, nor should he have taken Grandma's even later phone call.

I am beginnning to HATE MY LIFE in this family. I feel like my DD is being raised around craziness and that thought alone breaks my heart.

I thought I might feel better posting this, but I just feel worse. I think DH and I have got to get back into counseling ASAP.

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love - this situation sounds like a nightmare... I can't imagine even trying to have a "normal" relationship with either your DH or SS when BM's right in the middle of everything. It is a mess for you, your DD, and the rest of the family. I would have went through the roof if BM would've inadvertantly made my child cry because of a silly ACCIDENT. DH should've ended SS's phone call right then and there and DH should have never answered the 11 p.m. phone call.

You seriously need to go back to counseling with DH. This is not a healthy situation for anyone involved. DH cannot be BM's go-to person. They have a child together, but that's all. Seek help, fast!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 11:34AM
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Oh, Love...
I don't have any good solutions to offer right now, but I just want to say that this sucks for you!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 11:37AM
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Wow! Counseling is the first step. It really is something you and your DH need to work on becoming a team.... getting on the same page and seeing it from one perspective. That doesn't necessarily mean he needs to see yours or you need to see his, but you both need to come together. He's really stuck in the middle, between you and his son (including his ex) and it sounds like he's got conflicting loyalties.

One of the things brought up in a step family parenting class as a major problem in blended families is having unrealistic expectations. I completely understand your POV on wanting to protect your DD from the crazy BM brings to your life, but before you married DH, you knew she was off. It is unrealistic to expect to be able to raise your child in stability when the BM you have to deal with is unstable and brings that into your life... and it has to overflow into your life unless you disconnect completely from being around SS.. as he is the link to his BM. Honestly, I understand how you feel. I have my moments where I long for the peace in my life I had before I met my DH... but we can't allow a crazy ex to destroy our life, our peace, our family. My DH used to sound so much like yours... wants to keep peace with his ex, give her what she wants and she'll leave us alone, etc. but it didn't work out that way... she just got worse and worse. The more he gives, the more she wants and it wasn't until DH opened his eyes to what it was doing to OUR life and his daughter, that he set clear boundaries. (and he will not take a call from BM after 10pm unless he knows what it's about... an emergency only) In fact, he does almost all of his communication via text or email.

What your SS is doing is manipulating his parents and they both need to realize what he's doing. When he told mom the circus was stupid, then dad should have said "then I guess you don't have to go, you can stay at mom's or with a sitter." and not try to convince him he's gonna have fun. He may also feel guilty doing 'family' things with you and DH and your DD. He's leaving his mom home and maybe he worries that she's lonely, she doesn't have a 'family' life like yours, etc. (and she might say things to him that leave him feeling guilty if he has fun with you guys 'as a family') My SD spent all of last 4th of July, upset that her mom was taking BF & his kids to the fireworks show in their town and she wasn't there... she was at a fireworks show with us, but couldn't or wouldn't enjoy it because her mind was somewhere else.

Maybe he made a big deal over his shirt because he wants attention and he didn't get a big reaction from dad or you so he went to mom... some of it may be he wants attention, some may be jealousy/sibling rivalry. Your DD has two parents all the time... she doesn't go back & forth... she isn't dealing with an alcoholic mother... her life is more stable and maybe SS is jealous of that. Maybe he feels like it's his situation is his fault (cuz kids tend to blame themselves for everything) and he wants to get your DD in trouble for messing up his shirt so she isn't the 'good' one and he's the 'bad' one... I'm not saying that's true, I'm just throwing out some possibilities because every kid is different and do things for different reasons.

Nobody can change what BM is doing, except BM.. if she sees how it's hurting her child and decides to stop. I don't see that happening so the only thing you guys can do is go to counseling and maybe get your DH into a parenting class to learn ways of dealing with his son's manipulation and trying to take advantage of guilty parents. As for protecting your DD from all the drama, there's not a whole lot you can do except treat it as a learning experience for her. It might help to explain that not all kids have equal parents, some kids are in a tougher situation and have a hard time dealing with it. If she can empathize with SS's situation, his outbursts to her may not upset her so much. He isn't doing it because she did anything wrong, it has more to do with HIM and how he feels about his life than anything to do with your DD. I'm not sure if 7 is old enough to grasp that concept but I would try to encourage DD to be understanding and empathetic to SS's plight. (and at the same time, SS needs to be told that it's okay for him to talk about his situation and feelings about it, etc. but it is not acceptable to take it out on others, including your DD) It really is a family problem that is affecting the whole family and it needs to be dealt with by the whole family, including your DD.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 11:42AM
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I agre with all the above.

Hugs Hugs Hugs

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 12:09PM
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Part of this is your SS trying to keep his mom happy. Kind of like my SO's DD telling her mom that she wasn't having any fun with me getting pedicures when she's the one that asked me to take her. They feel like if they bad-mouth you then the other parent feels better. Honestly, I'm not sure if that will go away, but it will become less intense and less in-your-face.

The thing about the shirt is a total overreaction. But with his learning problems and stuff, it's understandable. My SO's DD said the other day that she had to get her sister something from this particular place or else her mom would be mad at her. Pretty sad, huh? I bet that's how your SS feels. Like if everything isn't perfect, mom will be mad.

Sadly, this is totally a symptom of having an alchohlic parent.

You know what might help both you and DH? Sit in on a couple Al-Anon meetings. A lady I know started going there well into her adult years after her alcoholic parents had passed. She realized that she had so many of the bahaviors consistent with having alchoholic parents. She's been able to be more decisive and less willing to please people that don't deserve it.

I don't think you have to pay anything, but maybe it would help you and DH understand better angles and tactics to help SS.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 12:31PM
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I feel like I was delusional before we got married. We went to counseling, talked these sorts of issues over, and I thought it could all be tied up with a nice pretty bow. I especially thought the court case would end at some point and things would be fine.

Not the case.

If I am being brutally honest, I feel like the only thing keeping me in my marriage is my DD. I worry so much about how she would react, because DH is her "dad." I feel like I made a huge mistake but I don't know how to unravel anything without hurting her? :(

I was talking to my mom and she was encouraging me to go to counseling on my own before bringing DH in, to see how I feel myself.

I am so embarrassed to even type this, that I am 28, married not even a year, and already thinking at the back of my mind of bolting.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 2:47PM
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"I feel like my DD is being raised around craziness and that thought alone breaks my heart."

I can relate to how you feel on this. Part of the reason BM finally got cut off is because of the incident when she brought her BF to the apartment while J was working.

He started in on me immediatly and when J just happened to come home for a few minutes (by the grace of god I think) the BF acted like he wanted to fight J in the living room WITH LAYLA IN THERE!!!!

It was the final straw. BM will never have our address and if she shows up we are calling the cops. It's bad enough she is screwing the girls up but she is NOT going to screw Layla up as well. That is MY call as a mother.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 3:56PM
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Love, i think its time for your dh to put the money where his mouth is so to speak. Arrange soem family fun time without dear SS. Drop him off at grandma's and when he asks, you tell him his previous negative behaviour is not going to be tolerated anymore. Do that a few times until he thoroughly gets it.
BM- your husband is married to YOU! he has absolutely NO obligation to phone his exwife at night. Plus when bm calls, the minute she begins to b*tch, he should hang up. My dh's ex would do this, call and bleep around...he just would hang up and then silence the phone. SHe would call well over 22 times..i know..the phone registers this. It took a few months but she finally got it....he will not take her calls when she behaves like that.
His kids, if they act up , he basically cut off all activities until they showed some positive behaviour and appreciated him when we did take them out. Took a few years of that for them to learn as well.
I think you and your husband have to form a game plan and then execute it and stick to it.
Your daughter didn't deserve to be hurt like that. I would have demanded an apology from ss to his stepsister for one. Then the phone....would not be used in the car ever again. He could have waited to use the land line to phone his mother out of ear shot fromyour daughter. Did you daughter tell him she was sorry for dropping the icecream and that it was an accident???? I'm sure she did...but the line has to be drawn for his behaviour. He needs to understand that negativity does not bring any joy for anyone and does more harm than good.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 4:01PM
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So sorry to hear about all of this, Love. I totally agree with organic and the others. This is getting to a point where something needs to happen and counseling sounds like the way to go. DH needs to get some help with his parenting.

And I wonder about all this phoning, it sounds like there's way too much contact. I don't see why BM needs to ring every night, or be rung by DH before 10 otherwise he's in trouble? BM is not with DH anymore and needs to back off, and the only way to make that happen is for DH to change his ways. BM will keep at him as long as he allows her. It's not healthy. I can't imagine my FDH ringing BM just to check in, what on earth for?? Good suggestion from Organic to have SS not phone her in the car anymore with an audience, but in the privacy of his own room.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 9:20PM
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Next time you have an outing tell him your are going to hire a sitter for him. When he asks why tell him "you never seem to have fun and you spoil the fun for us". I am sure he will change his tune, if he still causes problems, next time leave him with a sitter and when you get home talk about how much fun you had.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 9:38PM
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Something I thought of right away was what the heck is he doing on the phone, to his BM, in the car right after YOUR outing? I wouldn't allow the phone to be carried around willie nillie by this young child. The cell phone should be left at home with rules attached, such as when, where and who he calls and the same with incoming calls.
Sounds as if his BM is teaching him to be not just informative but becoming an unbecoming tattle tale.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 12:35AM
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Have you expressed the extent of your unhappiness to your husband? If he knew exactly what you were thinking, do you think it would be a "wake up call" for him??

There is no need to feel embarrassed. If we were all honest, I'm sure many MANY of us would admit that we've had the "bolting" thoughts a time or two...or three...or four!! You can only take so much - you know your breaking point and no one will think badly of you. But if you decide there is something worth fighting for - then fight like hell. And I think your first step in the battle should be to communicate your feelings to your husband.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 12:49AM
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I have to disagree with deborah on the cell phone monitoring. Why should the child not be allowed to take his phone with him at all times and speak to his mother when he chooses? There are other issues going on here, but I would not set such rules where the cell phone or any phone use is concerned, with the exception of past bedtime.

Despite the fact that I keep a landline for the sole reason of allowing DD to call her dad whenever and how often she chooses, my ex did not return the courtesy and tried that nonsense when I gave my dd a cell phone to take with her when she went there for visits because they were monitoring her phone calls and he tried to set such rules, took it away on some occasions, and read our text messages. The cell phone was not for tattle telling. When she is at home, she calls me multiple times a day to share things, good and bad, and should be able to do the same when she is visiting with the ex and his family. Let's just say, we no longer have problems with him being so controlling.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 9:12AM
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The toughest thing in any situation is to determine someone else's motives. Some parents, like you, encourage healthy contact & relationship. Some parents, like your ex, don't. Some kids want to share what they did with parents, some kids want to pit the parents against each other or have other motives for wanting to call the other parent.

When SD came to live with us, she was encouraged to call her mom daily. Her mom rarely answered or called her, but if SD is doling out juicy details.. BM will call several times in a day. SD rarely calls her dad when she's at her moms... DH doesn't inquire why, maybe she's busy having fun or maybe her mom won't let her. He doesn't press it because he figures she's at her mom's, he doesn't want to interrupt 'their' time. When he calls her, he gets the voice mail. Sometimes he gets a call back, usually not. But, one thing I noticed was SD asking to call her mom every time she got in trouble for doing something wrong. Our rule is she may not call her mom immediately after getting in trouble. She may call her mom when something good happens or if she's done with her homework, but with her... there has to be a rule about phone use. If not, she calls her mom to get answers for homework.. and mom gives her the answers. She calls her mom when she gets in trouble.. and mom undermines dad, telling her he is mean, she wouldn't punish her for that, etc. It would be nice if SD could call her mom when she gets in trouble and mom would support dad by saying "his house, his rules" or "you shouldn't have done that" but that isn't the way it is and so I have to disagree that a child should be allowed to take a phone with them at ALL times and be allowed to call the other parent when they choose. When the child is manipulating and abusing the privilege, there has to be boundaries & consequences.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 11:11AM
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I agree with you about motives being hard to determine, but what I've noticed in my practice and from this website is the completely different perspectives from step-parents when talking about rules for their own children and for their bio-children, i.e., bio-parents speaking about their own children. For example, ima, you claim SD is manipulating and abusing the privilege, which is always going to be the subjective case. For that reason, I am always skeptical of when either a non-custodial parent or step-parent claims that the other parent is manipulating the child or that the child is being manipulative. Its just a very easy excuse, and oftentimes, not the truth. The truth is usually somewhere in between what both sides say. Furthermore, if there is truly manipulation going on, there is a way to resolve that without putting unreasonable restrictions on the child's ability to speak with the other parent, by working with the other parent to nip the manipulation in the bud. For example, instead of saying "it would be nice if SD could call her mom when she gets in trouble and mom would support dad by saying 'his house, his rules'" why not have your DH talk to BM about supporting each other, for example by trying to agree on common rules and expectations. Trying to prevent the child from every saying anything negative about what goes on in the home will almost always backfire, which I think is usually the reason for restricting phone use.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 12:06PM
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Oh goodness!! This does sound like a bit much to deal with!!

First of all dh needs to disconnect a bit from his ex. He takes her phonecalls at all hours, takes calls from ex's mom after???, thinks of allowing bm into your home after restraining order, etc. It seems like he is more worried about upsetting his ex than he is about upsetting you.

I know he gives you the "its for my son" stuff. But really??

First of all I do not think ss needs to call his mom when your all out. It is dh's time with ss and he does not need to call his ex and check in all day long! Let ss call bm at bedtime each night and thats it!! Let ex's calls go to voicemail sometimes...especially if they are late night calls when ss is with you.

And I understand your instict to run. I had it in the beginning of my engagement with my dh. His ex was really trying to get him back at that time (even though she was with someone else). She called him crying about her problems...called to wish him a happy anniversary (even though they were divorced), called him on Valentine's Day, asked him if she could move in with us because her bf was abusing her, said mean things about me to the kids, and even had the nerve to ask him to make car payments for her because she could not afford the $200 a month (though she was working full-time, not paying cs, and claiming that working so much overtime was keeping her from seeing the kids). She would blow off seeing the kids and dh stayed silent. She took the kids a few times and then did not return them at the agreed upon time and did not bother to call. Just showed up hours late. Again he would say nothing. She would take the kids nice clothes and keep them and send them back in clothes that were stained and too small on them. The list goes on of all the stuff she did without a word from dh.

I broke down finally and told dh I wanted to move back into my own place and just let him have his ex back. He was kind of shocked! He was trying to avoid conflict with his ex and did not see how it was affecting me. And he did not think about how he would feel if the situation were me and my ex instead of him and his.

Maybe your dh needs a reality check? Maybe he does not understand how this is all affecting your "family".

If he refuses to change or go to counseling I would say you really need to rethink if this is the life you want.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 3:33PM
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"Furthermore, if there is truly manipulation going on, there is a way to resolve that without putting unreasonable restrictions on the child's ability to speak with the other parent, by working with the other parent to nip the manipulation in the bud. For example, instead of saying "it would be nice if SD could call her mom when she gets in trouble and mom would support dad by saying 'his house, his rules'" why not have your DH talk to BM about supporting each other, for example by trying to agree on common rules and expectations."

We have tried that, if you've followed my postings.. last year I posted about BM telling DH that we all need to get together & talk.. be on the same page. We all thought it was a great idea, although I was skeptical. BM is a pathological liar. We arranged a date, time & place. On the day in question, BM sends DH a text message saying she is stuck in traffic in another county four hours away and she is not going to be back until late so can we 'reschedule'. Well, I have been in communication with BM's BF's exW and she lives down the road from them & her kids were with BM & her BF that day, so I called her & asked if she heard anything since her kids were due back to her that day. She says her exH told her he was bringing the kids home early but didn't say why (I presume it was so they could meet with us on time) and she happened to be driving into town when I called her... she drove by the house on her way into town & saw BM sitting on her porch... at the very time she just told DH she was stuck in traffic four hours away! We eventually all got together and she gave great lip service of how we all need to work as a team and present a united front and as she was talking, I noticed SD's reaction. SHE didn't have one. She knew mom was BSing us.

We are not trying to prevent SD from saying negative things by having our rules, but we are trying to prevent BM from interfering when SD is being disciplined. Our situation may be extreme but SD's mom has given DH hell over not giving SD soda with dinner (we are horrible for only giving her milk or juice), giving her oatmeal (saying her DD hates oatmeal, when nobody told DH or me), putting peanut butter in her lunch (saying she hates peanut butter but again, not telling us), making her play outside (saying her DD is scared to play outside but we make her), not letting her play outside (saying we make her stay in her room until DH gets home from work), etc. etc. When SD got caught lying about turning in a major project for school, she was grounded. BM got on the phone with DH and they agreed on 'consequences' when SD was at BM's house over Christmas break and instead, BM took her to play in the snow and never followed through with the consequence (which we knew she would do, but it was BM's 'idea' to carry over the consequence to make it look like she's on the parent team) and I could go on & on. BM is not going to support anything we do, she changes her position to be against us (as in the playing outside issue). But, I do agree that parents should first try to come to agreements when possible, just recognize that it's not always possible.

I totally agree that kids should have lots of free contact with both parents, however I resent it a little if it's being implied that I have a different opinion because it's my step daughter and not my bio. If my son were to call his dad every time he got grounded or in trouble and his dad were to side with our son and make my job of disciplining him harder, you bet I would not let him call his dad when he's in trouble. Parents need to be a team and when that's not possible, then it falls on the custodial parent to make decisions that are in the child's best interest.. and if that means you can't call during a discipline... he can call after the time is up and complain all he wants. Whether that's right or wrong, as a custodial parent it makes my life easier to not deal with the additional stress of the other parent b*tching me out for trying to discipline the child.. I'll take that call later when I'm not in the midst of dealing with an upset child.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 4:54PM
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so sorry. it is awful. your DD deserves peace and quiet. she is not getting it wiht this nonsense. if SS doesn't have fun, stop taking him to fun places. see how he likes to stay home wiht a sitter while we all have fun. unbelivable. your DH needs to end it all ASAP, all these phone calls and enabling. BTW SS is too young to use cell phone whenever he wants to.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 5:10PM
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ima, no need to get defensive. Now that you have narrowed the telephone use restriction, I don't really have a problem with it. In fact,I really don't think we disagree.

Deborah said: "Something I thought of right away was what the heck is he doing on the phone, to his BM, in the car right after YOUR outing? I wouldn't allow the phone to be carried around willie nillie by this young child. The cell phone should be left at home with rules attached, such as when, where and who he calls and the same with incoming calls." That sounds like trying to restrict the child's contact with the other parent to prevent negative comments in my opinion and experience and I do not agree with that at all. Not permitting the child to call while being disciplined is reasonable.

For a long time, my ex would only permit DD to talk to me when he was around so that he could monitor what she said and listen to the conversation. He thought that would prevent DD from telling me about the things she was not happy about when she was there, but DD's memory is excellent and she would remember everything when she got back. I got her a cell phone and then he put restrictions on when she could call me and for how long, usually when he or his live-in gf are around to again monitor the calls. I see that type of thing all the time. And it has to do with control and not with what's best for the child (i.e., preventing manipulation or anything similar). Personally, I think its best to allow virtually unlimited telephone/electronic contact (in fact, I always advised my clients to make that explicit in the parenting plan). Trying to control the child's communications with the other parent will only lead to resentment and exacerbating any problems with the other parent.

Its difficult to speak in harsh generalities when most people's circumstances on this board are not typical at all. While I can understand most people's positions given their circumstances, such statements like deborah's will always rankle me as will any opinion in agreement. :-)

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 5:22PM
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I totally understand that sometimes these phone calls are untimely and disruptive, but I would not tell my DD to not call her dad(unless it is 2AM), and I would be very upset if my X would prevent DD from calling me any time she wanted.

On the other hand adults should be reasonable and limit their phone calls to their child while they are at the other parents house. It could be disruptive. But if a child feels a need to talk to mom or dad (especially young child)then i cannot imagine saying "no". But i am talking about calling within reason. If the whole family is out together but kid is nonstop calls the other parent, then it is too disruptive.

and unless there is true abuse and neglect I don't understand why children complain about the other parent's household. Don't kids know that if parents are divorced they have no control over other parents household or activities. In absence of abuse what could the other parent do? I think even young children could figure out that parents are not a couple anymore.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 7:53PM
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I didn't think I was being defensive, just sharing a different perspective. There is no 'one size fits all' in any case but I do think we agree on it. I just get visuals from pseudo's situation where her SD was given carte blanche in calling her mom and literally spent hours on the phone, wreaking havoc in their home and nearly driving poor pseudo insane... along with what I think were some serious mental issues with her SD, caused by the mother encouraging that sort of behavior. Again, I know that's an extreme case but that's just where I am coming from.

My position with my son and now SD, is I don't care what you tell the other parent, this is our house, our rules and we aren't going to change it because you tell the other parent. I don't know if my son ever complained to his father about my rules, but he occasionally would complain to me that he had to clean his room before he got to play or had a chore he didn't want to do or that he got in trouble. Of course, my first question to him was "what did you do wrong?" or to tell him he does need to clean his room before playing or take care of chores first. I always tell my kids.. work before play. So, he got no reaction from me. If he ever complained about my rules to his dad, I never heard about it. We didn't like each other and we didn't communicate enough to 'co-parent' but we also didn't call each other up and try to run each other's homes. That was one plus in my situation. To me, that's a bigger issue than allowing a kid unlimited calls... if the parents don't create the problem, it won't exist. Unfortunately, parents don't always see it that way.. or see past their own nose.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 9:07PM
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Sometimes things can get taken out of conference. Today I was yelling at my daughter to put down her cell phone when her dad called. The reason? SHE WAS DRIVING.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 9:17PM
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I think that if all the child is doing is calling his bm to complain while your out then its fine to cut out the calls while your out. He can call her when you get home.

Tell him your battery on the cell is almost dead. Tell him your out of minutes on your phone. Tell him whatever....just make him wait till you get home to call his bm so he does not ruin everyones night! And after he talks to bm if she begins calling to complain let it go to voicemail!! She is being given too much control over your lives and it is unhealthy.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 11:01PM
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You are so right! That happened once when I was having a serious conversation with DS in the car. In the middle of it he picked up his phone to make a phone call. I was instantly angry and I told him to tell whomever he called he couldn't talk right now and hang up. He started bawling and when the person answered, he was in complete hysterics.

Guess who he had called? Yep......X's GF. UGH! So she called X and this whole stupid thing happened. All because DS was being rebellious.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 11:14AM
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mom2emall, nice example to set for the child by lying to get him off the phone.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 11:16AM
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Ashley -- dad was calling DD -- no prblem - how could he know she was driving. What annoyed me is she tells him mom is yelling at me to get off phone (and yes I was yelling) -- but couldnt she tell him BECCUASE I AM DRIVING -- arggg - teens

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 12:46PM
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Mom2emall, also remember never to tell SS or SD you re too busy to come to the the phone when that pesky Direct TV phone solicitor keeps calling...You would most likely scar them for life with your lies, and they will remember this 10 years from now , and never trust, or respect you again.....

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 1:15PM
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dotz, your sarcasm is unbecoming. kids learn from the example we set as adults, including how to lie. there are better ways to address the phone solicitor problem than to tell them to lie. sorry that you find teaching a child that lying is ok funny. different parenting philosphies, I guess.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 1:26PM
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Sorry Marie, Cant get into this right now, I m packing the kids up to take them out and show them how to boost some leather jackets...Back Monday(if we dont get arrested)

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 1:44PM
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LOL Dotz!

Marie, I think mom2emall meant to TELL SS that the battery is would SS know if it's not? Sure, it's a little white lie, but how would he know the difference?

Wow, what a debate this started.

I should clarify that SS does not have his own cell phone, he uses DH's. I should also clarify that SS NEVER asks to call his mom. His MOM calls HIM. And she will call and call and call until DH has him call back. What's annoying is DH gives her liberal access. Ifhe is available, and it's not an inconvenience, he will always hand SS his phone.

But I just think it's funny b/c SS could care less. Last night, DH was so mad and really did not want SS talking to his mom before CPS came out, so he didn't take her call to say goodnight. BM called 11 times and finally gave up. SS went to bed without A WORD about calling mommy to say goodnight. It is ALL HER. He really doesn't seem to feel the need to call her b/c most of the time he is preoccupied and busy being a kid at our house.

DH is sticking by the parenting plan BY THE BOOK from now on though. In it, it says BM is allowed 1 phone call per 24 hr period. So that is gonna be it! DH is NOT taking her calls, and he is giving SS the phone ONE TIME (probably bedtime) when she calls. Of course, if SS asks to call her, then he would let him! But these multiple conversations BM HAS to have with SS throughout DH's time are going to stop. She has far too much access to our life and it is affecting our family in horrible ways.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 7:28PM
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