OMG enough with the dress!

mom_of_2.5October 8, 2009

I never could have guessed it would be such a hot topic!

Please don't fight with each other over it anymore.

"The question you posed was "How do I encourage her to stand up for herself?" My answer is: Dont rescue her. Tell her that she needs to communicate her likes and dislikes, and if she isnÂt happy with something to speak up. A wise person once said, you may get disappointed, but if you never ask a girl to dance, youÂll never get to dance. Basically, if you donÂt say "I donÂt prefer that, can we keep looking" you will go to the dance in a dress you donÂt prefer. I will not rescue you. I love you, and I want you to be pretty, but being able to communicate effectively is more important in the long run. Going to the dance in a pretty dress may make her feel pretty, but will not help her being "socially stunted" issue in the future. Learning to communicate clearly with those who love her best is a good way to enable social ease and confidence."

Thank you, very well said, and I'm satisfied with this as a solution.

*just to clarify* by socially stunted, I meant because she has always preferred to have her nose in a book than to go outside and play or be with friends. She just loves to read.

I understand this is a public forum and I do value the different points of view. I also accept it is difficult to gain a lot on a situation unless OP writes a novel of background or posts here often. I've just gotta say I am a little taken back by the jump to call lawyers...Our divorce happened 10 years ago, and we've been (for the most part) sucessfully coparenting the entire time. I can't imagine involving a lawyer over petty disputes, heck, I even handled our last child support modification myself w/o a lawyer. Does this really happen?

I am both a BM and a SM so it's hard for me to jump on the bash the SM wagon. Yes, my particular SM has done some things I haven't appreciated, and she's not someone I would chose as a friend of mine, BUT my EX chose her as his wife and as a SM for our daughter....let me say I know it could be so much worse! I knew when DD was 3 years old I'd have to share her, and have always considered her lucky to have so many people who love her.

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Good luck for D with the Dance.

Also, please start planning for college -- it will be here before you think, and it sounds like your daughter is deserving of college.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 8:50AM
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Good Morning Mom_0f_2.5,

You sound like such a classy lady and someone that alot of us on here would have as a friend "in real life". You're very sensible and your DD and other kids are lucky to have you for a Mom and SM!! :D

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 8:55AM
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Well said Mom_of_2.5! And I agree with Shannon -- You DO sound like a classy and sensible lady, and your daughter is lucky to have you. (Your Ex and his wife are too, whether they know it or not...)

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 8:59AM
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What I meant about lawyer is too pay for college. Which is not a trifling matter. If you can handle the CS paperwork by yourself, good for you.

If you'll read this board you'll see that most of the SMs here think that kids should be on their own for college expenses. I dont agree with that.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 9:00AM
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Hi Momof2.5,
Glad to know you aren't SM-biased. Most of us here agree with you, (that while we don't want to be BFF's with the Bio/SM we think the dad could have done worse and can't really complain too much) with the exception of those with really really destructive SM's and BM's. I'm glad my advice worked for you and thank you for explaining what you meant by socially stunted. Best wishes for you and your daughter's first dance!!

"most of the SMs here think that kids should be on their own for college expenses."

ROTFLMAO! Is this the same polling system you used before KKNY?

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 9:43AM
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Mom2.5, I do admire the sensibility you've displayed. I think the lessons of communication can be a hard one for us all at times, and situations like THE DRESS FIASCO 2009 will hopefully serve as a reminder to all of you, and all of us, how crucial good communication is.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 10:33AM
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    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 10:46AM
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Heres a selection of the discussion at the Tuition Thread.

I dont see anywhere here that people think they shouldnt have to pay for Skids tuition. More manipulation of the facts.

Posted by imamommy (My Page) on Wed, Aug 27, 08 at 20:55
"College costs SHOULD be covered in CS agreements if it's agreed on at the time of divorce. However, if you divorce when the child is 7 or 8, ten years later, you may not be in the financial position to fund college that you were in at the time of divorce. Likewise, a parent that was not in the position to agree to pay for college at the time of divorce may do well later on and become able to fund college when the kids reach that age."

Posted by finedreams (My Page) on Thu, Aug 28, 08 at 8:37
"I think when dads or moms or both pay or help to pay for education it is nothing to do with divorce, CS, etc it is somehting to do with wanting to help your children to have proper education because it is important. Who cares CP or NCP SM or no SM. Also when parents pay or help to pay for education they do not do it for their exspouses but do it for their children. And putting your children first espcailly in such important value like education is somehting parents should be doing. "

Posted by dogdogcrazy (My Page) on Thu, Aug 28, 08 at 12:25
"You make assumptions here, that a person has the option of having someone else to pay for their education. I could choose to give them money, but instead, I selfishly use it to pay for chemo & radiation treatments that aren't covered by my insurance. Should I neglect the medical treatments that are hopefully saving my life, so that YDD doesn't have to break a sweat to get an education? Should she lay down & die because no one is paying her educational expenses? "

Posted by serenity_now_2007 (My Page) on Thu, Aug 28, 08 at 13:15
"If I became a parent (step or bio) I would absolutely insist that my kids work for much of what they want and learn the value of a dollar and the value of 'breaking a sweat', all of that which you mentioned. Because yeah, I may or may not even HAVE much money to even give them on a silver platter in the first place... But I wouldn't be instilling the above values in order to set up a pattern of the kids feeling like it was an unpardonable sin to EVER need help, or like they damn well better not ask or expect anything from me ever again. (Not saying that's your attitude, but just making what I feel is an all-important distinction on this subject.) If I was able to I would be like my parents: more likely to give them more to *reward* their hard work and independent spirit. A balance, based on the idea of "the harder you work, the more you earn" or "the parent helps those who help themselves". If they don't want to work, then they shouldn't expect. However if they ARE willing to work, then they deserve to be helped when needed. "

Posted by imamommy (My Page) on Thu, Aug 28, 08 at 15:13
"When it comes to my step daughter, I will feel the exact same way. If she isn't working and contributing to her own education, why should we? Now, I don't expect her to get a job if she can get good enough grades to get scholarships because that would be contributing through her own hard work. My point is, it should not be a free ride. That goes for my kids as well as my step..."

You may "remember" other threads KKNY, but I see no evidence whatsoever in that thread to support your claim that most steps on this board think they shouldn't have to pay for college.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 11:14AM
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I am at work on lunch time so I don't have time to look for evidence.

but many people did say that parents should not be held responsible helping with children's education (in cases when they could help). if people cannot afford it then it is a different story, but we were talking about those who could, just wouldn't find it important.

i also remember someone complaining that DH has to pay SM's kids college as oppose to helping his own daughter wiht purchasing a home. I believe that people shoudl first help their own children, then stepchildren. unfortunatelly it is not always the case. m

any people don't find postsecondary education important and brought examples of their adult children who did just fine working fast food chains and eventually becoming managers. even though it could be the case, most professions require college education nowadays.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 11:30AM
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Wow Silver, you are a good "finder"!! And it's interesting to see what others thought, nice to see most are pretty consistent... :)

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 11:32AM
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I think it is pretty "selective" at finding. And I dont think all she pulled are SMs.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 11:33AM
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Agreed Finedreams, that many said they should not be held responsible for helping with children's education. Not specifically skid's education, but the education of their children in general.

I agree with you that people should first be responsible for their bio children, but all things being equal are also responsible for the education of their own child. When people re-marry, it is the children who stand to gain or lose the most. When a person marries a person who is a parent, it should be with the understanding that they will care for that child to the best of their ability, and as fairly as possible. JMO.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 11:35AM
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hell - I feel no more obligated to pay for my bio sons college education then I do my SD's. I will assist if not completly fund as their effort, dedication and desire dictate, but I will not provide a 4 year party. I don't care who popped the kid out, college is not a God given right. You want something - earn it.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 11:48AM
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Cheers JNM. I agree wholeheartedly.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 11:49AM
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JNM, you crack me up...I agree with you completely, but you are too funny,the way you say things!! :D

One thing that I did notice, and no "flame throwing" at all at anyone, but kkny and Finedreams, there is one slight yet significant difference here. Many Moms and SM's on here have more than one child (step and bio). Both of you have one DD each, and according to older posts(correct me if I'm wrong, I could be!), but both of you have ex's who pay the full shot for each of your DD's college. There is nothing wrong with that at all, but respectfully, I find that it makes it that you are both coming from a slightly different place than some of the other Moms/Sm's here. ie.It's alot easier to say that parents should pay for college if your ex is paying for it and you have only one child/step-child to pay for. Just my 2 cents.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 12:28PM
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".It's alot easier to say that parents should pay for college if your ex is paying for it and you have only one child/step-child to pay for."

Exactly. Everyone has different circumstances, so to lump everyone together is ridiculous.

KKNY "I think it is pretty "selective" at finding. And I dont think all she pulled are SMs."

Yes, I tried to pull ones who actually discuss who should pay. I don't remember who is a sm, who is a bio, who is sm/bio here. I can't keep track.

But you do have the option of finding corroborating evidence to your statement,if you possibly can. I couldn't find any, let alone enough to support a "most" statement. I'm curious to see which of the follow-up postings to that thread you believe to support your opinion about sms.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 12:41PM
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SS, I'm certain you just glossed over the ones, including the ones FD alluded to. Also of interest, from the NYTimes

The children of divorce are less likely to attend college than children from intact families. A 1992 study by the Federal Department of Education showed that 71 percent of the offspring of intact families went to college, as opposed to 54 percent of those whose parents were divorced. Money was a major obstacle for the children of divorce; their family incomes were consistently lower than those of intact families, and only 6 percent of the custodial parents said they expected their former spouses to help pay college bills.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 12:47PM
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1992? Is there not anything more recent than 1992? that's weird...That's over 17 years old, there must be something more recent than that...

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 1:02PM
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Shannon there are many studies out there and many recent. A lot are difficult to post a link to on this board because you must be a member to view them.

But yes, even recent ones note the significant disadvantages children of divorce have with attaining education.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 1:06PM
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Sorry KKNY, I scanned through the whole thing. You being "certain" doesn't hold water. Either provide something of substance or admit that you were slandering "most sms" on this board when you said we thought "skids should be on their own for college".

From my observations "most" of the sms on this board are dedicated parents and treat their skids as they do their bio kids. Most of us love and care for these children and would fight for them to the death.

It makes me very upset that you are acting as if the women on this board are somehow prejudiced, greedy people that don't want their skids to have good lives. I would be proud to have my daughter call "most" of the women on the Stepfamilies Board her Stepmother.

As for the article, I'd have to agree that divorce does not benefit the children. I think I am not being presumptive in saying that most of us who have been remarried would have liked to be married to one man for the rest of our lives and not have all this added drama. But for most of us, yourself included, for some reason the marriage did not work out, and here we are. Most of us on this board remarried. You did not. That's fine, and to each his/her own. I'm happy I remarried, and I'll take my licks. I do the best I can for my children, and not everyone is cut out for college.

I personally think the US should be more like Japan in that not everyone gets the chance to go to college. A person has to be really dedicated, and educated, to pass the exams to go. There is a great need for people to do what is considered "beneath" many people, we need plumbers and dishwashers and grape-pickers and cooks. What we don't need are a bunch of mid-level college educated idiots going around thinking being a housekeeper is somehow menial. There is pride, and merit to working hard and having a good work ethic, to having personal pride and happiness. Our job as parents is to help our children become good adults and have the resources available to help them achieve their goals. If that means preparing for college, taking them to the library, or finding them an apprenticeship, or learning how to be the best housewife ever. It doesn't mean financially, it means resourcefully. To the best of our ability, and as the situation merits.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 1:10PM
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And that is why I'm glad I living the good ole USA lol.

There are valid reasons why children of divorce have issues with schooling, it doesn't just start at college. At the time of the divorce issues start. Many people take a break from work while going through a divorce, children don't get that luxury and often have more problems than they know what to do with. Of course it affects school. Going to that mentality, children of divorce would be the crap workers of the world. I cant imagine if we went to that system, I'd probably be cleaning toilets right now with the grades I had back then....rather than pursuing my dream. Thank you the United States...

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 1:18PM
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Divorce Statistics as of 2008

* In the United States, 49% of marriages end in divorce.
* Although 82% of all married couples will reach their fifth wedding anniversary, only 52% will celebrate 15 years of marriage.
* The median duration of first marriages that end in divorce is slightly less than eight years.
* Most people will wait about three years after a divorce to remarry.
* Most divorce proceedings will take approximately one year to complete.

World Divorce Statistics

In case you were wondering, divorce rates do vary substantially in different countries. Check out these world divorce statistics:

* In Sweden, 64% of marriages end in divorce.
* In Canada, 45% of marriages end in divorce
* In France, 43% of marriages end in divorce.
* In Israel, 26% of marriages end in divorce.
* In Greece, 18% of marriages end in divorce.
* In Italy, 12% of marriages end in divorce.

The Economic Impact of Divorce

If you review current divorce statistics, some of the most shocking facts relate to the economic impact of divorce. While its not uncommon for a fathers standard of living to rise after a divorce, the end of marriage often leaves women and children in poverty. Consider the following divorce statistics:

* Divorced women with children are four times more likely than married women to have an income that is under the poverty line.
* A single mom is nine times more likely than a married woman to have an income that is less than half the official poverty line.
* Although 10% of families in the U.S. are headed by a woman, 40% of poor families have a female head of household.

Of course, divorce also results in a higher cost to society as a whole. According to one study, a single divorce can cost state and federal governments more than $30,000 in court fees, increased bankruptcies, food stamps, and public housing benefits.

The effects of divorce on children have been widely studied. Consider the following divorce statistics:

* The number of children living with both parents decreased from 85% to 68% between 1970 and 1996.
* About half of all children will witness the breakup of a parent's marriage. Of these kids, nearly half will also witness a parent's second divorce.
* Children who are raised in single-parent homes are less likely to marry and more likely to divorce.
* Teen girls from single parent homes are twice as likely to drop out of high school or give birth to an out-of-wedlock child.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 1:20PM
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I'm a SM, I went to college myself and I'm hoping my skids will go one day. BM is not interested in that at all and I'm pretty confident she wouldn't contribute. Now that she's got another 1 yr old and a baby on the way I'd doubt if she could contribute even if she wanted to.

FDH and I know that we'll probably be the only ones to help them out, and so be it. I don't think BM is obliged to pay nor should it be included in child support. All I hope is that the skids will have some desire to get a further education.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 9:03PM
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Poor mom_of_2.5..... in your effort to kill the ridiculous "Dress Thread", you've unwittingly started a soon to be ridiculous "Who Pays For College" thread ;)

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 9:26PM
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Nope, KKNY started that with the ridiculous statement:

...If you'll read this board you'll see that most of the SMs here think that kids should be on their own for college expenses. I dont agree with that." * Posted by kkny (My Page) on Thu, Oct 8, 09 at 9:00

She's said stuff like that before, and I'm a bit tired of the constant slam on SM's. MOST of us here want the best for our Skids and treat them well.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2009 at 9:54AM
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Nivea said "Many people take a break from work while going through a divorce"

With all due respect, who are the "many" people you speak of? I don't know one single person who took a break from working while going through a divorce. Most of my friends have been through divorce and none of them got to take a break from working.

I know I didn't. My X didn't either, at least voluntarily. He did get fired from his job while we were divorcing, but he found another one before the divorce was final. He got a minimum wage job which meant that I made more money than he did and I got all the bills, in addition to the child and the dog. I HAD to work to pay off the credit cards and cell phone bills he racked up and to buy a car since he vandalized mine and then took it from the shop

When I was divorcing, I had 1 thing that was stable and that I could count on to always be there every day and that was my job. Heck, even my own family wasn't stable for me. They kept urging me to go back because I wouldn't tell them about the violence (none of their business).

I'm not saying I emersed myself in work, but I had no other choice but to work.

Nivea - I totally respect you and listen very closely to what you have to say because you have a multi-faceted perspective on step families. But on this point, I have to disagree. I

    Bookmark   October 9, 2009 at 11:15AM
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my husband and I didn't take breaks from work while divorcing either.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2009 at 11:23AM
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I'm not certain many people take a break from work VOLUNTARILY becuase of divorce. Some people are forced to move, some are depressed, some are stressed out. Some may miss time becuase of court appearance fights over custody. Other bury themselves in work, take on extra work for bills.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2009 at 11:24AM
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...still waiting for the proof that most sms on this board think skids should pay for their own college...

    Bookmark   October 9, 2009 at 11:47AM
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Well, I am not going to back to count all previous responses, but just let me get this straight,

You dont work outside the home, you go to college - is dad paying your tuition, but not his own kids?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2009 at 11:54AM
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I am divorced. Prior to being divorced I went back to school and finished my degree. Now I am remarried. I work full time. I work staggered hours from my DH so that someone takes the kid to school and the other picks her up. I pay my own student loans from my salary. My DH pays his student loans from his salary. NONE of my kids are old enough to go to college.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2009 at 12:00PM
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Hey Ashley, I really like hearing your takes on situations too. You would be one of my top picks to be my stepmom ;)

I realize I didnt make that sentence very clear. Many people I have known have either taken breaks from work, quit, took some time off to regroup etc. I've known many people who have used different ways of dealing with stress from divorce and have taken it out on work, mainly because divorce was so popular in my family lol. Also, I've seen just from observation (my field deals with a lot of people and travel, so I think I have a fairly balanced place to observe) where adults take mental "breaks" from work, can't function very well, get fired etc.

There is usually something that "gives" when a couple divorces. A messier house, credit card ran up, lose your job. There are natural consequences of divorce on adults, my only point was that there are going to be natural consequences for children. If one or both divorced spouses have a hard time finding their footing after separate, chances are they aren't going to be quite that rock for their children. The chances are high than the child is not going to be able to function as well as before if this is the case. It is only natural that school will be something that could "give" in the childs life. It is one of the only things they can actually control. They can control how little or much effort they put forth and how much room they allow school into their head. If their head is too clouded with what is going on in their personal life, not much room for school. Just like parents and work.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2009 at 7:25PM
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Just to clarify that if parents cannot afford helping with college then it is understandable, then they help in a different way by maybe children living wiht them while in college and so forth.

I see the issue when parents CAN help, just won't either because they believe that education is not important or because their new spouses oppose to it. i think this is unacceptable. not being able to help much is understandable. but most people can help with something.

and yes some people on this forum said that college education is not that important that's why no need to help.

and i don't understand how is it OK for spouses to pay their wife's tutiion and life expenses but not OK for parents to help their children? Don't get it.

I remember someone said (not a regular here) that her 18-year-old daughter moved in with BF who works and pays bills and she goes to school. and OP was very proud that she didn't pay her DD's college, DD is on her won. well that's not being on your own.

someone complained how SD doesn't work-not even adult SD-17 year old, yet she herself doesn't work either (no little babies at home, kids are at school). I just don't see how is it fair?

    Bookmark   October 10, 2009 at 1:49PM
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"It's alot easier to say that parents should pay for college if your ex is paying for it and you have only one child/step-child to pay for. Just my 2 cents."

i agree it is harder to support more than one child and if parents cannot afford it i totally understand.

i don't have an issue with people not being able to pay, i have issue wiht people not wanting to help. i also have issue with people not planning properly and ending with more children than they can afford.

also there are plenty of people here who have one child. I and KKNY aren't the only ones.

aslo i do help DD even though i do not pay tuition. i believe education is important and so does X.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2009 at 2:00PM
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I am a sm and bm. I paid my way through college and university. I agree with jnm, kids can pay for it, its not a god given gift , earn it!!!
I expect my son to pay! for it. I have funds on the side to help him but i wont foot the entire bill. My dh doesn't have funds to put aside for any of his kids, ours or the two others from his first marriage. CS is high and if BM squanders it on drugs and cigarettes , its sad but not my problem.
Not all BM are good mothers, just because you have this title.
Title means jack Sh**, if you are not a good decent person, then you are not a good person period.
Education is important but not everyone has the financial means to help. We all do the best we can. My father didn't believe in my education. He footed the bill for both my brothers but thought i should be barefoot and preggos and to not think of an education. ANd due to that mentality i save cash for my son on the side. I sacrifice the little good things in life for him to have something, not everything in the futur.
my dh cannot afford the education for our son or his two other kids. And that is a fact. Thats doesnt mean he is a bad father and that bm is an Angel.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2009 at 2:25PM
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