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Topic : Co-Parenting

Number of Replies: 596
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Created on : Thursday, June 30, 2005, 12:44:44 pm
Author : dataimport
Are you sharing a child with someone who doesn't live with you? Share your story and your strategies for effective parenting.

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December 21, 2005, 4:47 pm CST

To Be or Not To Be (His Dad)?

Hi Everyone,I really hope this doesn't turn into a long confusing message cos it really is very long & confusing in reality. I will try my best to keep it short(ish) and sweet....Im 21 and Ive been with my boyfriend for nearly 3 years. Last February I gave birth to our Son. For the first 6months of his life the 3 of us lived together with my family. This was on condition that my bf got a job and started saving money so we could move into a place of our own. Sadly though, my bf didnt bother looking for a job hard enough so he had to move out. That was September. Can I just add here that my parents came to dislike my bf, since as far as they were concerned he was a lazy bum who just didnt give a s**t. By the time he moved out it wasn't exactly a pleasant atmosphere in the house, although, thank God, no actual slagging matches broke out. So, since then my bf has been alternately homeless, sleeping on friend's sofas ect. This moment though he is staying in a family home 10 mins down the road in a nice area, lovely family, things are looking better (though by no means stable compared to having his own money, flat ect) and bf is in a much brighter mood than he's been in a while. So, while all this was going on our Son, who needless to say is the centre of my world, has been with me in my families home. His Dad has always been there, as in we would meet and just do normal family things together during the day. Go to the park, go shopping, basicly spend time together. I would say that Father and Son have a close relationship. His Dad has been there for me (us) since the moment I told him I was pregnant, (he was delighted btw! He is 34 but this is his only child) through the birth, and consistently since then. As for our relationship (as in me and bf) we have our moments but I think we are a good couple. We are close, we can talk about anything and we trust each other. And nobodys perfect, right?! Im not saying Id say 'yes' if he asked me to marry him tomorrow, but I really do beleive we are a good couple....Anyways.....So, two nights ago, at my request, Dada took Baba back to his place for an hour to give Mama a break. When my Dad questioned the whereabouts of his Grandson was honest and told him he was with his Dad. Well ohmigod....I wish I had just said he was asleep in his cot or something cos my Dad flipped, saying " I thought we gave that fella his marching orders months ago, I thought we'd seen the last of him...I dont know how much more of this I can take, Hes a waste of space, He cant even look after himself let alone a child. This is all going to end in tears, stringing his along like this, why dont you just cut this off right now...." There was a lot more, but basicly that was the gist of it. According to my Dad, my bf is manipulative and he's got me wrapped around his little finger. Before this thing with my Dad happened I wasn't thinking too much about the situation. I figured if the Babies Daddy had cared enough not to leg it the moment I mentioned the word 'pregnant' to him, had been there, in his Son's life since the child took his first breath and virtually every day since, Im not going to stop him being a father to this baby who he clearly loves so much. I dont want to start issueing him with threats and ultimatums like " If you dont have a job you cant see your Son" In fact, I promised him, the day our Son was born that I would never ever stop him seeing the baby, regardless of how we felt about each other. Also, my Dad has never been and will never be in my situation before and so how can he tell me what to do? I feel he is being to black-and-white about the situation. So, I would love to hear from everyone thats out there, reading this. Particularly from a mans point of view. Thank You for reading this far!!! Happy Christmas everyone!! ( God, I just saw it on the preview, its pretty bloody long isn't it!!!)
 
December 27, 2005, 2:03 pm CST

Custody and access

I don't know what to do... My husband has a daughter from his previous marrage, but his ex-wife won't give him to see her sometimes. We think that his ex-wife is mentally ill, since she has so many moods. She can be friendly and everything would be fine, but she can be very bi*** and then everything is happening. For example, she didn't let her daugher to spend Christmas with us (we asked for either Christmas or New Year, and didn't get any). SO, this child spent Christams with her mom and now my husband gets tons of SMS and phone calls calling him, me and my son names and explaining what a bad farther he is. She told him that she won't let him to see his daughter at all. We used to pick his daughter up from the school EVERY days and she used to spend 3-5 evenings plus weekend day at our place. Now, his ex-wife accuses him that he never has time for his daughter and he doesn't care about her... It is worthless to explain anything to her, because the accusations just become worse. What can we do in this situation. I understand that the law is not on our side, but always on mother's side. HELP, PLEASE!!!
 
December 27, 2005, 2:50 pm CST

Co-Parenting

Quote From: malaikaa

Hi Everyone,I really hope this doesn't turn into a long confusing message cos it really is very long & confusing in reality. I will try my best to keep it short(ish) and sweet....Im 21 and Ive been with my boyfriend for nearly 3 years. Last February I gave birth to our Son. For the first 6months of his life the 3 of us lived together with my family. This was on condition that my bf got a job and started saving money so we could move into a place of our own. Sadly though, my bf didnt bother looking for a job hard enough so he had to move out. That was September. Can I just add here that my parents came to dislike my bf, since as far as they were concerned he was a lazy bum who just didnt give a s**t. By the time he moved out it wasn't exactly a pleasant atmosphere in the house, although, thank God, no actual slagging matches broke out. So, since then my bf has been alternately homeless, sleeping on friend's sofas ect. This moment though he is staying in a family home 10 mins down the road in a nice area, lovely family, things are looking better (though by no means stable compared to having his own money, flat ect) and bf is in a much brighter mood than he's been in a while. So, while all this was going on our Son, who needless to say is the centre of my world, has been with me in my families home. His Dad has always been there, as in we would meet and just do normal family things together during the day. Go to the park, go shopping, basicly spend time together. I would say that Father and Son have a close relationship. His Dad has been there for me (us) since the moment I told him I was pregnant, (he was delighted btw! He is 34 but this is his only child) through the birth, and consistently since then. As for our relationship (as in me and bf) we have our moments but I think we are a good couple. We are close, we can talk about anything and we trust each other. And nobodys perfect, right?! Im not saying Id say 'yes' if he asked me to marry him tomorrow, but I really do beleive we are a good couple....Anyways.....So, two nights ago, at my request, Dada took Baba back to his place for an hour to give Mama a break. When my Dad questioned the whereabouts of his Grandson was honest and told him he was with his Dad. Well ohmigod....I wish I had just said he was asleep in his cot or something cos my Dad flipped, saying " I thought we gave that fella his marching orders months ago, I thought we'd seen the last of him...I dont know how much more of this I can take, Hes a waste of space, He cant even look after himself let alone a child. This is all going to end in tears, stringing his along like this, why dont you just cut this off right now...." There was a lot more, but basicly that was the gist of it. According to my Dad, my bf is manipulative and he's got me wrapped around his little finger. Before this thing with my Dad happened I wasn't thinking too much about the situation. I figured if the Babies Daddy had cared enough not to leg it the moment I mentioned the word 'pregnant' to him, had been there, in his Son's life since the child took his first breath and virtually every day since, Im not going to stop him being a father to this baby who he clearly loves so much. I dont want to start issueing him with threats and ultimatums like " If you dont have a job you cant see your Son" In fact, I promised him, the day our Son was born that I would never ever stop him seeing the baby, regardless of how we felt about each other. Also, my Dad has never been and will never be in my situation before and so how can he tell me what to do? I feel he is being to black-and-white about the situation. So, I would love to hear from everyone thats out there, reading this. Particularly from a mans point of view. Thank You for reading this far!!! Happy Christmas everyone!! ( God, I just saw it on the preview, its pretty bloody long isn't it!!!)
as long as the babies' dad is able and willing to take care of the baby in any way, and you are not worried about  the baby being exposed to situations you don't approve of, there is no reason for you to not allow your bf to see his child, especially since you are still in an active relationship with him. i would be concerned that your bf doesn't seem to be willing to get a job to help support his child, but emotional support is very important also. if he want to be involved, don't take that from your child.
 
December 28, 2005, 10:58 am CST

I know how you feel.

Quote From: olgasc

I don't know what to do... My husband has a daughter from his previous marrage, but his ex-wife won't give him to see her sometimes. We think that his ex-wife is mentally ill, since she has so many moods. She can be friendly and everything would be fine, but she can be very bi*** and then everything is happening. For example, she didn't let her daugher to spend Christmas with us (we asked for either Christmas or New Year, and didn't get any). SO, this child spent Christams with her mom and now my husband gets tons of SMS and phone calls calling him, me and my son names and explaining what a bad farther he is. She told him that she won't let him to see his daughter at all. We used to pick his daughter up from the school EVERY days and she used to spend 3-5 evenings plus weekend day at our place. Now, his ex-wife accuses him that he never has time for his daughter and he doesn't care about her... It is worthless to explain anything to her, because the accusations just become worse. What can we do in this situation. I understand that the law is not on our side, but always on mother's side. HELP, PLEASE!!!

I have been with my boyfriend for about 3 years we plan on going married some day. He has two children by two diffrent mothers. His daughters mother, we have to fight to see her and we pay 50% child care expences, 300 children support and 100 for private school. avarage cost is 700.00 a month and we don't even get to see her but once a month only if she has plans with her off again on again boy friend. We are now working on getting a better parenting plan sent so she can't say we don't want her. In fact to day is her birthday and she is out of state. We will send her a card and it will probly be returned. but at least we tried, and when she asks us about it we will be able to tell her we tried but mom would not let us see you.  

I also had to deal with his son's mother, she was the worst though, she would tell my step-son to hit my daughter, bit me and cause as much trouble as he could and when he go home with give take him to the store and buy him presents for behaving badly. Evently and I know that it dosen't seem like it now but she will see what her mother has done to her and she will. My step son does, he knows that his mom is mad at his dad for what ever reason and understands that it is grownup problems and that he dose's need to be in the middle. Still to this day if he hears her (his Mother) talking about me or my boyfriend he would say mom not around me and leave the room, that for a while he was defending me and my boyfriend but it made him get into troble.  After going to court and getting as many people to see her for the person that she is, my boyfriend and I now have custody of his son.  

I do wonder if your state have a parenting plan or if in the divore decree if they made arravements for him to see his daughter. If he dose I would be documenting what is going on and what is being said. I have in the last 2 years collected 50 + pages on both of the children's mothers. And when it comes time to go to court take the paper work with you so the judge can see it from your side.  

  

 
December 28, 2005, 11:18 am CST

When Co-Parenting is NO-Parenting

I live in Florida, a state where the Family Courts employ what is called a "co-parenting" model for deciding custody. This model erroneously presumes equality in parenting ability, in "the best interest of the children." A model such as this may be fine on a case-by-case basis, but it is not fine for our family. Plainly put, my husband's ex is a lousy mother, and that's on her best day. I can't even blame any kind of mental illness, it's just that she can't be "bothered" with the "trivial parental things," such as having food in the house, doing the laundry frequently enough to have clean clothes for the kids, keeping the bathroom's clean and fungus-free so that showers can be taken an hair can be washed, encouraging dental hygiene and helping with homework. Ever the optimist, I tell myself every single week that she's going to "redeem" herself, and yet the kids always call, upset, as usual, and it's always the same: She's not home yet (after 9 pm), no dinner, or the 11 year told was told to heat up chicken noodle soup and he didn't do it, no clean clothes, no lunch made/no lunch money provided, etc.  

  

I could go on, but I think you all get it. What I feel needs to be put in place is an optional conference, between either a family court judge or children's advocate, and the children of an impending divorce. Candid questions should be asked relevant to the "co-parenting" model, so that any concerns are addressed immediately. A neighbor of my husband's ex, who is a mental health professional, told my husband that in her professional opinion, "the children should have as little contact with their biological mother as possible." She did not utter one incorrect word, and when visitation becomes a punishment rather than a privilege, it's the kids, as usual, who suffer. Ultimately, we may have to move out of state to rectify the matter, but it should not have to be that way at all..... 

 
December 28, 2005, 2:00 pm CST

Co-Parenting

 i am a divorced mother of a 8 year old son whose father has recently remarried to a woman who also has an 8 year old son. the 2 boys are in the same grade and go to the same school. my ex-husband recently attended thanksgiving lunch and the christmas party with his wife and her son while me, my son and his grandparents sat two tables over from him and the only time he spoke was on his way out. it only bothers me that it might be bothering him or will one day. his father never attends his ball games or takes him to a ball practice and only gets him every other weekend. my son's teachers and some of the other parents questioned me and  i worry for my son's mental welfare. can anyone offer any similar experiences or advice. should i questions my son who has yet to say anything or let it alone? i haven't raised my concerns with my ex because we don't see eye to eye alot
 
December 29, 2005, 10:20 am CST

Family in denial

I married a man that was divorced with one child.  The mother has sole physical custody, with us having joint  custody. We have been together for 11 years and I met him when his daughter was just 3 months old, his previous marriage fell apart before the child was born.  We have since married and have 2 children together.  His sister and I are at odds right now because his side of the family continues to acknowledge his daughter from the previous marriage and leaves out the other two children.  Example, for Christmas they shower the older daughter with gifts and then she comes over to our house and brags about it to the other daughters and they just really get their feelings hurt because they don't get much, or for Birthdays, the older daughter gets showered again with gifts and the other two get nothing.  We have brought this to their attention, we have expressed that if they can't make it even to not do it at all. Our daughters are very competitive , they are age 10 and 12 and then we have a little 2 year old . You don't line up six little kids at a playground give 5 of them ice cream and leave the sixth one out because you feel like it.  This has caused a family war...... 

Are we crazy for asking for respectful, equal treatment. We feel like they are grown adults and should know better.  I as a mother don't get just one of my kids Christmas presents and leave the rest out because I feel like it...that's insane.  Please help us.  

 
January 2, 2006, 2:13 pm CST

kids father won't provide address

Me and my husband separated in Sept 2002 we have two children our daughter now 8 and our son now 5 when we first separated he was seeing the children on a regular basis and we got along fine for the kids sake. Since around 2003 he has been dating a women that controls his house hold and I believe hates my kids. there has been weekends were he has called and stated he either had to bring the kids home or I would have to give him food for the kids cause he was living with her and my kids were not allowed to eat the food in the house cause she paid for it. there has been domestic fights with the police involved with the kids present she has slapped my daughter and the list goes on and he always stuck up for her and would fight with me about it. In Jan 2005 they broke up and she moved to another town and he got his own apartment everything went back to normal we got along fine he had regular visits with the kids then in April 2005 he moved to were ever she is and wont tell me a town an address or a phone number, I haven't let him see the kids since that time until he provides me with some sort of address I have fought with him, begged him and explained in the long term aspect of it all what he is doing to his children and nothing has changed. My son doesn't ever ask for him or about him but my daughter is in tears all the time cause she wants to see her daddy and it breaks my heart cause there is nothing I can do I don't even has his phone number I am in the process of taking him back to court but I don't even know what will happen there and weather he will be made to provide me with an address. I don't know what to do anymore regarding my daughter cause she is so emotionally upset all the time cause she misses her daddy.
 
January 8, 2006, 1:05 am CST

my own story and plea for advice

I have been divorced from my ex husband for 7 years, well will be 7 years in October 2006. We have 2 children, one is 12 and the other is 9. He is remarried now, in fact he married his current wife 1 month almost to the date that we got divorced.  His current wife and I do NOT get along, never have and I feel never will.  They have custody of my 2 children because when my ex and I split up I wasnt working as I never had when I was married to him so the children were better off with him financially, with the agreement that when I was on my feet they could come back to live with me, which has never happened but that is another entirely different story.  Anyways, the current wife and I do NOT see eye to eye on anything.  She thinks I'm a bad mother for leaving my kids and tells me that almost on a weekly basis.  She handles everything for my ex husband because he says that is her job and he prefers not to deal with me.  He knows that her and I do not get along and sees that we fight all the time and yet he still does nothing.  He is afraid of her and will not stand up to her on anything.  He says its easier to just let her do what she wants then to live in hell when she is upset with him.  I dont know how to get along with her.  She tries to control what goes on in my house and she makes plans that I dont agree with and expects me to follow her schedule.  She has involved my family(my mother,father) even after I have said no to something she wants to do then doesnt understand why I get upset.  I try no to let her have control but when she does these things and I dont comply she just takes it out on the children. She will be rude to them and make them suffer by doing chores or yelling at them for me not complying with what she wants.  I dont know what to do.  I stand up to her when I can but then I feel so badly for my children having to live with her.  What can I do? Anyone have any suggestions? My email is howln4da8n9@aol.com if anyone has any ideas.
 
January 10, 2006, 12:26 pm CST

completely lost

Well, I have to say, this is an avenue I have not pursued....but I am at my wits end about what the right thing is - so what the heck.  My children live with their father and step mother,  I have not seen them since June.  ( I have court ordered visitation - the standard - every other weekend)  

When I try and schedule time with them,  they always say they don't want to see me,  their dad says he will not force them if they don't want to spend time with me.   They are horrible to me when I speak to them,  their father and his wife have shown them the divorce papers, custody papers and all sorts of things that kids ( in my opinion) just should not see.   I have been married to a wonderful man since december 2004, they informed me that they do not trust him,  they met him once for 2 hours ( we had a great time) the summer before we got married,  so they do not know a thing about him to mistrust him.   I have sent a letter to my ex and the kids asking to spend an afternoon with them to celebrate the two younger ones ( they are twins) birthday,  my parents have not seen them for about a year ( this has crushed them)  because the kids are angry with them about an emotional incident that occurred in the fall of 2004.  My mother has apologized profusely, she has apologized for things she didn't do,  just to get past this    

The kids are seeing a counselor,  the 1st one they had - we were doing great with,  until their stepmother got upset that we were moving toward some peace and putting the past behind us.  So now they see a new one, that I have not met.  I am concerned that she is allowing them,  or not encouraging them to move forward and not a hold grudges.  But I am sure those were the instructions she was given by their dad and SM.  Anyway,  my dilemna is this - any day now,  I will get a bitter , rude phone call from my children who will tell me they do not want to see me or my parents to celebrate their birthday.  Do I make them,  do I threaten their dad with court ?  ( I tried that at X mas and was told by a 12 year old that he did not want to spend time with me because I threatened his dad. )  I am at a loss.   I just want some time with them,  I don't expect everything to fine,  I don't expect them to think I am the greatest mom ever,  I just want some with them for me and my parents.  Any suggestions ???  tewisecup@yahoo.com 

 
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