Message Boards

Topic : Co-Parenting

Number of Replies: 596
New Messages This Week: 0
Last Reply On:
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.

As of January, 2009, this message board will become "Read Only" and will be closed to further posting. Please join the NEW Dr. Phil Community to continue your discussions, personalize your message board experience, start a blog and meet new friends.

October 24, 2005, 2:52 pm CDT

Co-Parenting

Quote From: kpyukon

My husband and I have only been married 5 months and together for 18 months.  He has 2 girls ages 7 and 10 and I have 2 boys ages 12 and 15.  His ex hates that since we are married she cannot do anything about the visitation rights and the girls can spend the night with us.  She has gone so far as to tell the girls that the boys will molest them at night while they're sleeping.  The girls have seen otherwise and now love to be around the boys, like shadows.  But the ex is always doing something new to the extreme and making the girls afraid to do or say anything at our home.  One of the girls most favorite things to do at our house is ride their bikes in with other kids in the neighborhood.  Most recently, this past weekend the girls let is slip that they get in big trouble by their mom if they ride their bikes with the boys around our neighborhood.  Not only do they get in "big" trouble but they also get grounded.  They were specifically told by their mom not to tell their dad of this or they will be in even more trouble.  She also bribes them that if they don't ride their bikes all weekend they will get a "surprise".  The 10-year-old was horrified that her little sister has let this slip to me and begged me not to tell her dad.  She was crying and scared her mom would find out that she told.  No matter what I said they would not ride their bikes all weekend (not until they turn 12 and their mom says they can).  My husbands ex also hides when I go to events and uses her daughters as messengers if I am anywhere in sight.  The oldest girl is overweight for her age and neither get to play with other children.  What mother would keep her children from doing normal healthy activities and bribe them not to say anything???   They are scared!  What can I do????
I'm so sorry you're going thru this!  My husband has an ex from hell too!  It is so hard to stand by and watch the pain that a child's own mother can put them through.  The only suggestion I have is to love the girls when they are with you and realize that one day they will be old enough to see their mother for what she is.  If you stoop to her level, you will only cause more pain.  She may be a dope but she's their mom and they will love her no matter what she does.  It's seen all too often in cases of abuse.   If at all possible, you should try to talk to the mother and see if there is anything you can do to help ease her jealousy and anxiety about the girl's time spent at your house.   Good Luck!
 
October 25, 2005, 6:20 am CDT

Messy Situation

Hi, I'm a 34 yr old separated mother of 3( 14, 11, 8). I have been separated for 3 yrs and still battling the frustration of communication with my ex. We have week on/ week off joint custody of our three children and it has never worked smoothly from the beginning. My middle daughter who is 11 has been living with me through the school year since Oct 2003, approx. 6 months after we split up. This has caused major issues between my ex and myself. She feels more comfortable being in one place during school. I have discussed this with my daughter and her dad, and she has tried to discuss this herself with her dad, to no avail. He is determined that I am brainwashing our daughter into not going the full week with him. She visits her dad every other week from thursday to sunday. Its approx. 6 days longer that she stays here. He said he feels she will be closer to me if I have more time with her. She has wrote letters to her dad, explaining how much she loves him, but she wants a routine and consistency. I don't feel she is staying with me more for the wrong reasons, she just doesn't want to go from house to house. I have been with my bf for 2 1/2 yrs and his 2 sons live with us too. Her dad has a gf who has lived with them for the last year and she has a son that lives with them. Over the last 6 months my other two children have been refusing to visit their dad's house too. I have been trying to encourage them as much as possible and have never held them back or refused their dad access. My oldest daughter at 14 yrs is very close to her dad. They share alot of sports interests and he plays a big part in her life. They all seemed to like their dad's gf in the beginning but now I'm hearing they don't like her. They have said she calls them names and always blames them when something is wrong, never accusing her own son. Their dad is determined he wants that time and what they want isn't important. I have exhausted all options I feel. Lawyers, counsellors, mediation, etc. My ex keeps telling me I should never have left him if I cared about my kids. There is much more but can anyone give me some advice? 

Thanks in advance, 

Mom in Canada 

 
October 25, 2005, 8:40 am CDT

Update

Quote From: mommmy24

I am a divorced mother of four. My 15 yr. old daughter lives with her father and the other 3 live with me and my fiance. The past year we have had problems with our 15 yr. old shop lifting, smoking, getting uspended from school, sneaking out at night, low grades, and showing no respect for her parents, family, and siblings.  This past weekend was my weekend for her to be with me.  It started off pretty good, I even let her have a friend come spend the night. When I woke up at 6 am Sunday morning she had left with her friend in the middle of the night. I was hysterical, I called her father and we went looking for her. She was found late sunday night.  My ex-husband and I discussed what we had to do with her. I work for Child Protective Services in a different county, so I suggested we contact CPS in his county to let someone help us. He was all for it, now this morning he stated he is giving her another chance and does not want CPS or the courts involved. I cannot sit by and watch my child fall apart.  I wish I could send  her to a boot camp to or school that would help bring my daughter back.  HELP!!!!

My ex-husband called me at the end of my work day yesterday stating he had to work till 9pm.  I drove to his home to pick up my daughter so she could stay with me untill he got off work. I'm afraid to leave her at home alone. I contacted several agencies for help.  One was a court appointed case manager that would put my daughter on probation and make her accountable for her actions, behavior, and grades. If she failed any she would go in front of a judge and be placed in a schools school for a short period. My ex-husband does not deem it necessary, but I feel my daughter is out of control. I don't want to back down even if I have to take measures in my own hands. My only fear is that my ex-husband and I have not gotten along since our divorce 7 years ago untill recently.  Any suggestions from anyone!!  I am grasping at straws. 

 
October 25, 2005, 8:49 am CDT

Co-Parenting

Quote From: canadmom

Hi, I'm a 34 yr old separated mother of 3( 14, 11, 8). I have been separated for 3 yrs and still battling the frustration of communication with my ex. We have week on/ week off joint custody of our three children and it has never worked smoothly from the beginning. My middle daughter who is 11 has been living with me through the school year since Oct 2003, approx. 6 months after we split up. This has caused major issues between my ex and myself. She feels more comfortable being in one place during school. I have discussed this with my daughter and her dad, and she has tried to discuss this herself with her dad, to no avail. He is determined that I am brainwashing our daughter into not going the full week with him. She visits her dad every other week from thursday to sunday. Its approx. 6 days longer that she stays here. He said he feels she will be closer to me if I have more time with her. She has wrote letters to her dad, explaining how much she loves him, but she wants a routine and consistency. I don't feel she is staying with me more for the wrong reasons, she just doesn't want to go from house to house. I have been with my bf for 2 1/2 yrs and his 2 sons live with us too. Her dad has a gf who has lived with them for the last year and she has a son that lives with them. Over the last 6 months my other two children have been refusing to visit their dad's house too. I have been trying to encourage them as much as possible and have never held them back or refused their dad access. My oldest daughter at 14 yrs is very close to her dad. They share alot of sports interests and he plays a big part in her life. They all seemed to like their dad's gf in the beginning but now I'm hearing they don't like her. They have said she calls them names and always blames them when something is wrong, never accusing her own son. Their dad is determined he wants that time and what they want isn't important. I have exhausted all options I feel. Lawyers, counsellors, mediation, etc. My ex keeps telling me I should never have left him if I cared about my kids. There is much more but can anyone give me some advice? 

Thanks in advance, 

Mom in Canada 

Glad to hear I was not the only ex-spouse who is going through the same. I have 4 children ages 16-12. Three live with me and my boyfriend of 6 years and 1 with their father. We both have alternate weekend visits. He also has a girlfriend doing the same to my children.  When I have tried to discuss it with him, I get no where.  Anytime a problem arises with our children I get the same "If I cared about my kids I never would have left."  After years of questioning myself I realized, I left for a reason. Staying in a bad relationship is not only unhealthy for you but your children. I explained to my ex that although we are not together we still have to work as a team and if he loves his kids he would hear you and them. As far as his girlfriend goes ask your ex to sit down and talk to his kids about any problems they are having with her, 9 out of 10 times he is probably unaware of how they feel. Hang in there!!
 
October 25, 2005, 8:58 am CDT

Co-Parenting

Quote From: rrmaas

I think you need to go with your gut and get her the help she needs. It is selfish of her father to not want to give her the help she needs. He will feel bad if something hapens that could have been prevented! Good for you for looking outside the home for support. Too many people are ashamed to! Also, maybe getting your daughter some counseling from an outside source may help!
Thanks for writing. Sometimes you know what you need to do, but hearing someone tell you your right helps. God bless.
 
October 27, 2005, 8:01 am CDT

Co-Parenting

Quote From: mommmy24

Glad to hear I was not the only ex-spouse who is going through the same. I have 4 children ages 16-12. Three live with me and my boyfriend of 6 years and 1 with their father. We both have alternate weekend visits. He also has a girlfriend doing the same to my children.  When I have tried to discuss it with him, I get no where.  Anytime a problem arises with our children I get the same "If I cared about my kids I never would have left."  After years of questioning myself I realized, I left for a reason. Staying in a bad relationship is not only unhealthy for you but your children. I explained to my ex that although we are not together we still have to work as a team and if he loves his kids he would hear you and them. As far as his girlfriend goes ask your ex to sit down and talk to his kids about any problems they are having with her, 9 out of 10 times he is probably unaware of how they feel. Hang in there!!
Thanks for your response.....It seems like situations like this are never totally resolved, I guess. The hardest part of it all is the children are afraid to talk to their dad about their feelings. Which leaves him thinking i'm the reason they don't want to visit. I know when the kids get older they will look back and see the situation for what it is. It's just very hard to watch their childhood be destroyed by something that could be fixed. Every therapist I have talked to has said it would take at least 5-6 years before he overcomes the resentment he holds against me. I guess its best to hang in, and do what I can to make their life as best as possible.
 
October 31, 2005, 2:02 pm CST

non-custodial step parent???

Hi, I am a step mother to 3 beautiful daughters (9, 11, 12).  I have one child naturally, a son with a vision disability.  I have been with my husband for 8 years.  I have always tired to have a "communicative" relationship with my step children's mother.  Last year she told the girls bus driver that she and I could go shopping together. 

  

That all changed this past February.  With her permission I entered our middle daughter into cheer leading.  She came every Tuesday to our house and I took her to practice and her dad took her to school the following morning.  The youngest daughter came with her.  The oldest wanted some "alone" time with mom and stayed with her.  I am not sure what changed looking back, I just know that I received a blasting email and was told that I was no longer going to take the child to cheer leading that she would "handle" it.  Understand this is a 32 year old woman with 4 children who doesn't drive and lives about 35 miles from my house and probably 20 to her nearest relative.  The child missed her very last practice and almost her last game. 

  

To say the least, the "communicative" relationship isn't there anymore. 

  

Now I am having problems with my 9 year old.  She begins crying and doesn't want to return when the weekends with her dad are over.  We have questioned her trying not to bait her although trying to find out why she dislikes going home so much.  She has confided in us that she hates her step dad and that he yells at her all the time.  She has told us she doesn't feel loved or safe.  She says that she would be happy being with her dad and only visiting her mom. 

  

We have talked to our attorney and her being upset isn't enough to file for a change of custody.  (Since we don't really know what the underlying problem is).  I don't feel we (I) could talk or email with her mom without making her very defensive.  One other time this same situation was brought up to her and she instructed our daughter to NEVER mention not liking her step father or anything that goes on in her house to my husband or self ever again or she would be in trouble. 

  

If anyone has any suggestions please send them my way. 

  

Thank you for any help you may have. 

  

Lost in the backwoods of Georgia 

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

 
November 4, 2005, 7:32 am CST

frustrated stepdad

I am a frustrated stepdad 

I will first provide a little background when I started dating my wife she her son was 7yrs old and she always slept with him or he would throw a fit this lasted until with her pleading and lack of sleep I interveened and corrected this problem every time this child wants something all he has to do is pout,cry kick and scream.this child gets everything he wants without lifting a finger doing chores The other day my stepson took my bicycle to his friends house without my permission 

and it was stolen. I told him that since he was respondsible for the bike he should pay me back 

this could be done by doing chores and getting paid for the chores wich he agreed too but never done.A week later he wanted 150$ shoes so he lied,cryed kicked and screamed until he recieved the money from his grandad for the shoes. I told him he must pay his debts first then he could do chores to save up for the shoes.His mother intervened gave him the money for the shoes.And she got upset at me for making him pay for my stolen bike.I am at my wits end ! I love my wife and step son but this spoiled behavior and disrespect he shows towards her. How can I prove to my wife that giving in always to our sons demands is doing more harm than good I can't live with a spoiled brat how can I handle this? 

 
November 9, 2005, 2:01 pm CST

Far away dad...

Greetings all, I live about 4500 miles from where my son lives.  He is 6.  I travel back to see him every 7 weeks.  The ex is sometimes supportive and sometimes not.  Lately, I think she is peppering our son with things to say or points of view that are eroding what little contact I do have.  When I travel back I spend every waking moment with him.  When not in town, I call him twice a week, on a schedule, but it seems that this is even giving way to only weekly success.  Are there any other commuting parents out there?  What can I do to communicate to my son that I still love him and though I live far away, we can still have a good relaitionship?  Any advice or points of view would be welcome.   

  

Thanks 

 
November 24, 2005, 6:04 pm CST

Painful Custody Battle

In Jackson, TN where my parenting plan was drawn up restrictions were put on it for keeping my child in the same school district for 3 years in a row.  I  was living in a town in Blytheville, AR that didn't have many job opportunities and was in desparate need of a job.  Additionally, there were very few homes available to buy or rent in the Gosnell area where my child was required to be in school.  I had no choice but to move and advised my x husband of this with an explanation for why in writing.  As soon as I moved he served me with papers for custody of our 10 year old (soon 11) daughter.  My daughter has been living with me since she was 2.  I left her father because he was abusive verbally, emotoinally, and finally physically.  The judge in Madison County is very strict about breaking a rule of the parenting plan and my x husband has a pretty good chance of getting my daughter.  He has had visitation all of these years and I've always been cooperative about this.  This is the 2nd time in the last few years that he's tried to get custody of her.  He has not abused Jessie yet but I'm afraid if he gets custody  and full control, he will.  He has put her down and put enormous pressure on her to come live with him since a young age.  I found out at a recent mediation that he was adament to get custody of our daughter because she said she wanted to come live with him.  I asked her about this and it is true.  I'm devistated.  He has made her a lot of promises about how it will be and buys her a lot of material things.  Each year at Christmas he gives her $500 to go shopping at a mall in memphis for clothes that she's not allowed to bring home.  His gifts have strings attached.  My daughter can't see these things about him and I'm so deeply saddened at the thought of losing her to him.  PLease help with any advice possible.  Thanks.     

 
First | Prev | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | Next | Last