Reasonable contact..

myfampgJune 19, 2011

We've had these discussions in the past and I wanted to pass on some information that I came across and then discussed with my therapist.

What is 'reasonable' regarding contact with your child while they are visiting or at the other parents?

I'm not quoting exactly, I'm remembering what I read and then the discussion I had with therapist.

However many years a child has been alive, is how many days they can go without contact to their parent, either parent, doesn't matter.

So dd is 10 and it should be reasonable to expect her to go 10 days without contacting me while at her dad's. Now my therapist agreed but has a few additional thoughts. In our situation with it being new and she hasnt been spending more than a few days away at a time, it would be reasonable to expect that she might want to call me sooner than 10 days, maybe 3 or 4 days. Also, to allow her to go several days without me contacting her, and to allow her to make the first call when she is ready will help to insure her growing into an independent adult.

That's when I scream, well what about me!?!! Lol

It's not that I 'have' to hear from her or talk to her every day, I just miss her like crazy. I'm trying to just stay busy and it had helped to literally shut off my brain from thinking, is she ok, is she happy, is she sleeping well, is she actually with BD or is he working long hours, is she minding her manner, is she being respectful, is she taking a bath every day, is she eating her vegetables, is she brushing her teeth at night, is she taking her medicine... And the list goes on and on and on. But I actually have had moments in the last few days where a thought wonders into my mind, and I just push it out. I just stop and say 'enough, get busy with something'.

So anyway-- I just wanted to share that information since it's come up a few times in threads. I think it's reasonable for the skids who have BMs calling several times a day, to only talk to their kids once every few days UNLESS they ask to call. If they bring it up on day 2, if it were me, I would absolutely hand the phone and say OK but if parent is calling 12 times a day and kiddo is not 'asking' to talk to mom, in my BM opinion... They should be able to handle 10 days if they are 10 yrs old, 7 if they are 7 ect.

I think I have come to realize that contact with DD is MY want or need and that DD is sort of an out of sight out of mind kid still... So as long as she is 'fine' I need to be fine.

Although, it would be nice to hear from her soon.. We were ordered to provide her with a cell phone, well we agreed to it but she has not called and I have not made an attempt to call either. I don't want to annoy BD and SM. I want to prove to them that things have changed and that I'm not 'crazy' as they seem to think I am. Also, dd is not 6 anymore, she is 10 and she handles things differently now than she did 4 years ago and I know that she is ok. I hope she is ok.

Happy Father's Day to all the dad's, stepdad's, granddad's etc.

'Flesh and Blood does not make a father, what is in the heart is what makes a DAD!'

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You are so wise and such a great mom!

"I think I have come to realize that contact with DD is MY want or need and that DD is sort of an out of sight out of mind kid still... So as long as she is 'fine' I need to be fine."

that's a huge step and kudos to you for realizing it. I also have no doubt that, despite your understandable and natural want to talk to your DD often, you haven't placed an unfair burden on her.

My SS's BM expects contact anytime SHE chooses.

DH had a big issue just this morning.

BM got SS a cell phone last week and told him he would be bringing it to our house so she can call him anytime and he can call her.

Well, at 9 yrs old, of course he wants a cell phone. He thinks it's the coolest thing ever.

DH told him no last week.

This AM he picked SS up at BM's and she handed SS his phone and said "Keep your phone on so I can call you anytime."

DH said he didn't even say anything, just pulled on out of the drive, and immediately took the phone from SS. And told him they had already discussed it and DH had said no, and that BM can allow SS the phone at her house, those are her rules, but at our house, the answer is no. No cell phone.

we have a home phone that is strictly for SS/BM. Anytime it rings, SS knows it's his mom and he can choose to answer or not answer. And he can call her anytime he wants, as well.

A cell phone is jst another means on BM's end to have constant contact to SS---to infrige upon DH's time, and make sure SS isn't having *too much fun* without her. It's really sick.

Anyway, DH said SS cried for about 5 mins but he's been at our house all morning, we're getting ready to head to the pool and a family bbq, and he's perfectly fine.

I'm sure BM will blow up once she realizes the cell is turned off and will not be allowed----but whatever. She can blow up all she wants.

Sorry to ramble on.

I think reasonable contact is vague and I for one wish the courts would define it more clearly for hostile situations like ours.

BM thinks reasonable is multiple calls a day.

I do think the child's age thing makes sense.

I don't know. When I took SS on vacation two yrs ago, he was 7 and his mom asked that I have him call once in the AM and once in the PM. I had no probllem with that b/c we were out of the country and I knew she was worried/anxious. But I did have to practically force SS to make the calls some days. He just wasn't think about his mom that often, in the same way MY DD doesn't think about me when she's sleeping at a friend's house or a grandparents' house, etc. In the same way SS doesn't really think about his dad much when he's with BM.

If it were totally up to SS, I think he'd call his mom every couple days if he could choose.

You are a GREAT mom, myfampg, and I hope your DD calls you soon. I have no doubt she loves and adores you and it is THAT foundaiton of love that enables her to withstand the times apart. Honestly, I'd be more concerned if she were calling you ten times a day!


    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 1:50PM
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Myfam I wish you were my BM!!! Great post!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 3:22PM
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Thank you Ladies -- made my day!!

Jens, I'd take you as an SM! I honestly wish I got along with the woman... But she's to insecure to acknowledge im a nice person, a good mom and not still in love with her husband. I would be naive to think that all my anger and resentment towards him doesn't come from some deep down 'love' but I'm not 'in' love with him nor would I want to rekindle our relationship. When she becomes his ex wife, she'll understand more.

Anyway -- the cell phone thing -- eehhh I wasn't excited to buy dd a phone but it was at her therapist request because BD and SM refuse her access to a phone to call when she wants. But I'm beginning to think they are refusing her access to her cell phone too since she hasn't called. My dd calls me when she is at my parents. She calls me all day for whatever reason. Now she is all in to texting. Lol only me of course. So it is kind of strange that she hasnt had the 'urge' to use her new cell phone to call me. But I'm hoping she is having too much fun to stop and call!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 4:01PM
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I think 10 or even 7 days is waaayyy too much, It would be too much for me and DD is 23, in fact she would worry if something happened to me. But daily phone calls might be excessive, they have to build bonds with other other parents. it is hard to find balance specially if the other parent does not cooperate.

Love's SS's BM is nuts with all her phone calls. Honestly I think 9 or 10 is too early for the phone, we were just talking about it last night at my dad's party. My niece is 9 and my brother has no plans to get her a phone any time soon. We got DD a cell phone when she was 14 and started high school, until then she used home phone or my phone when with me and dad's cell and home phone when with him. But then again we cooperated...Must be very hard with non-cooperative exes.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 4:37PM
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Right ... And I was court ordered to. It literally is in it's own paragraph. Custodial parent is to purchase phone, is responsible for monthly charges and any extra charges for cell phone.

I understand about you and your DD. I talk to my parents daily and I am a grown adult. I could not go long without talking to my MOM!!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 7:13PM
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My DD is older, but if not excessive or annoying, her dad can call her every day if he wants, as long as not after bedtime, or during dinner. She talks to friends, why cant she talk to her dad. I usually dont call her at his unless soemthing requires it (like your coach called, practice delayed)

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 10:37PM
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Yes kkny, I encourage her dad to call but since he doesn't want me calling his house when he has her, he won't call me. Dd really enjoys getting phone calls and would love to hear from her dad and I would be OK with it. Like I said, I talk to my parents daily sometimes multiple times -- ok.. Honest truth, I rarely go without talking to them multiple times daily lol
We are very close.
I have just had to come to terms with how it is going to be. That way I can be happy or else I will feel out of control and angry that 'they aren't letting me talk to her'. It's not something I can control so I have been doing some research to help me get to a place where I feel comfortable about the situation.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 12:44AM
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was just thinking ... rent a billboard on her daily route so she might see it ..

Love Mom talk to you soon

wouldn't it be wonderful if there was one outside her bedroom window!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 1:13AM
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That would be a great idea!! Lol

Still nothing today -- I don't even know if they are on town. They might be on vacation.

A lady at work made me a banana creme pie. I had not even told her anything as we are not close but she runs in DHs circle (we work together) they are upper management lol I'm not. Anyway she said she heard you were going through some stuff so I wanted to make you something to let you know I'm thinking about you. You come to work every day and I've never heard you complain, you always have a smile on your face even though you probably don't have much to smile about.
Wow! Made my day! Reminds me to keep my head up because people are watching... And notice. Awww

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 2:22PM
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how nice of her!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 3:24PM
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