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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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November 25, 2005, 6:56 pm CST

I need advice desperately, please help me

Hi everyone,  

I am in desperate need of advice here. It's the first time I have been on this site and I hope there are people out there who are either in my situation or have been and have been able to sort it out effectively.  My problem is I have 2 children, a daughter aged 3 (nearly 4) and a son who is 6 (nearly 7). The childrens father and I split about 2 years ago now, we still have a good friendship and are equally involved in the care of our children.  The kids spend one week with their father and one week with me.  Their father has a girlfriend whom he has been with for just over a year now.  There is no problem with his girlfriend and I, we get along really well and she loves my kids as if they were her own and they love her too. 

The problem I am having is recently my daughter was brought home by her father and his girlfriend to begin her week with me and when it was time to go, she became extremely upset (bordering on hysterical) and after they had left I brought her inside and sat down with her to settle her down and try and find out why she was so upset and was told by her that she doesnt love me, she doesnt like staying here and she wants to live with her dad and his partner. Of course she is only 3 and kids come out with some hurtful and nasty things when they dont get their way but this was different.  Knowing my daughter the way  I do, I could see in her face and her manner that she truly meant what she was saying and on talking with her father later that night I was gobsmacked to find out that it is not the first time she had said something like that and they are quite concerned about it too. 

Naturally this was extremely upsetting for me as I cant understand why she feels this way.  She is loved, taken care of and most certainly not in an abusive or unhappy environment at my house so I am at a loss to understand what has made her behave this way.  If anyone has any ideas or suggestions or even if anyone has a similar story to share I would be most appreciative.  I am trying to handle the situation in a mature and adult way but it so hard to not get visibly upset in front of her when she behaves this way to me and she wont open up to me and tell me why she feels that way, I dont even know if she understands herself.  PLEASE HELP ME!  I'm going insane trying to figure this out on my own. 

 
November 26, 2005, 3:14 pm CST

Who else do they see at your ex's?

Quote From: snarbear

Hi everyone,  

I am in desperate need of advice here. It's the first time I have been on this site and I hope there are people out there who are either in my situation or have been and have been able to sort it out effectively.  My problem is I have 2 children, a daughter aged 3 (nearly 4) and a son who is 6 (nearly 7). The childrens father and I split about 2 years ago now, we still have a good friendship and are equally involved in the care of our children.  The kids spend one week with their father and one week with me.  Their father has a girlfriend whom he has been with for just over a year now.  There is no problem with his girlfriend and I, we get along really well and she loves my kids as if they were her own and they love her too. 

The problem I am having is recently my daughter was brought home by her father and his girlfriend to begin her week with me and when it was time to go, she became extremely upset (bordering on hysterical) and after they had left I brought her inside and sat down with her to settle her down and try and find out why she was so upset and was told by her that she doesnt love me, she doesnt like staying here and she wants to live with her dad and his partner. Of course she is only 3 and kids come out with some hurtful and nasty things when they dont get their way but this was different.  Knowing my daughter the way  I do, I could see in her face and her manner that she truly meant what she was saying and on talking with her father later that night I was gobsmacked to find out that it is not the first time she had said something like that and they are quite concerned about it too. 

Naturally this was extremely upsetting for me as I cant understand why she feels this way.  She is loved, taken care of and most certainly not in an abusive or unhappy environment at my house so I am at a loss to understand what has made her behave this way.  If anyone has any ideas or suggestions or even if anyone has a similar story to share I would be most appreciative.  I am trying to handle the situation in a mature and adult way but it so hard to not get visibly upset in front of her when she behaves this way to me and she wont open up to me and tell me why she feels that way, I dont even know if she understands herself.  PLEASE HELP ME!  I'm going insane trying to figure this out on my own. 

Gently question your elder son as to who babysits when your ex and his girlfriend are at work/go out.  Ten to one it's your ex mother-in-law! 

 
November 27, 2005, 12:10 pm CST

He's the bad parent she is the good

My son has primary physical custody of my grandaughter who is 8.  He shares joint custody with my grandaughter's mother (they were never married).  When my granddaughter has visitation with her mother, she calls my son constantly asking him to talk to his daughter over the phone and make her behave.  She told him last night she was so upset with my granddaughter she was ready to relinquish her parental rights if she continues to misbehave.  When my granddaughter gets home, she thinks she doesn't have to behave at my house or my sons because in her words, "My mom lets me do whatever I want.".  When I ask her to do something, she looks at me and laughs.  She did the same thing to my son on Thanksgiving.  So my son becomes the bad (mean) parent brcause he trys to keep her on the straight and narrow (doing her homework, finishing her daily chores and general listening in school and home and respecting people she comes in contact with) and her mother is the kind person (telling her she can do what she wants and her daddy is mean) .  Suggestion as to how my son and my husband and myself should handle this?
 
November 27, 2005, 1:04 pm CST

Dead beat dad

Quote From: cmcdowell6

I too also had to collect a large amount of money from my ex-husband.  We were married for 10 years and had adopted a little girl.  He felt that if he no longer wanted to see her and since she was not her real father that he should not have to pay child support.  It took me two years to finally track him down.  

  

I live in Tulsa, OK where we have what is called the Rocket docket.  I feel every county/state should have this system.  (I tried going throught the state to collect my child support but they told me that if I was not receving any money from the state that I was not a priority.)  So, I hired an attorney and had the ex served with papers to show up in court.  He pled not guilty so it had to be set for trial.  Withing 30 days, we were back in front of the jude.  Of course I had all my documentaiotn and could prove that he did owe me back child support.  The judge haned down a 6 month defered sentence and sat him up on a payment plan to pay his child support.  This was done straight from his payroll check of the employer that he worked for.  Within 30 days, I was receiving checks from his place of work.  Every 3 months we have to go back before the judge.  If he is not making payments he would go to jail.  I was holding $500.00 in day care receipts and I showed up for court and not him.  (He thought that because his employer was submitting payment it was ok not to show.)  Since he did not show up and he was not paying the daycare and medical that was due, the Judge order a warrant for his arreast and fined him $500.00.  They picked him up at his place of employment and he had to sit in jail until the total amount of back child support was paid in full. 

  

  

Your topic is Dead Beat Dad.  Well how about a Dead Beat Mom.  I have had primary physical custody of my daughter since she was 3.  My ex signed the papers giving me the primary custody because she wanted to be with her boyfriend in Maryland.   We live in Indiana.  At that time she was suppose to start paying $65.00 per week child suppose.  She paid the first year, but when she returned from Maryland, she wanted our daughter back.  I told her no, so she took me to court.  The court ruled in my favor and he has done the other 3 times he has taken me to court.  She had not paid support since my daughter was 4.  Each time she takes me to court the judge asks her if she pays support she says no and nothing is done.  She is either on welfare or she quits her job when she knows I am going to push for support.   I pay all her school costs, clothing costs, in other words everything.  So I know what you are going through.  I am at the point, I have to go to the prosecutor and file papers. However, the last court appearance she had me at cost me $30,000 so right now I don't have the money to push it.  Hope it works out for you. 

  

 
November 28, 2005, 3:15 pm CST

All grandparents are interstate

Quote From: a_n_other

Gently question your elder son as to who babysits when your ex and his girlfriend are at work/go out.  Ten to one it's your ex mother-in-law! 

Thank you for your response, unfortunately it does not apply in this situation as all grandparents live in other states to us.  We have no family in the state we live in and they dont tend to make plans that cant involve the kids on the weeks they have them so I dont believe there is an outside source to this.  The only thing I can put it down to is that she feels she has more fun at dads house because they have a car and can go more places than I can take them and I also think that because I am doing it on my own it is alot harder for me because I still need to get things done as well and at their house there is the 2 of them so there is always one of them giving them attention.  I have voiced this concern to my ex and have decided that I am going to do as much as I can to spend more time with the kids however, he seems to be of the opinion that if she is distressed about being here perhaps they should spend a larger percentage of time at their place. While I dont want my daughter to be unhappy, I dont feel that this is a good option because I think that this is only going to antagonise things by making her feel that she lives with her dad and only visits with me.  I dont want that to be the case as I want her to feel that my home is her home too and I think that doing what he suggested will only serve to drive an even deeper wedge between her and I. ANy ideas or suggestions?????????????  

 
November 29, 2005, 6:21 am CST

Why not give it a try?

Quote From: snarbear

Thank you for your response, unfortunately it does not apply in this situation as all grandparents live in other states to us.  We have no family in the state we live in and they dont tend to make plans that cant involve the kids on the weeks they have them so I dont believe there is an outside source to this.  The only thing I can put it down to is that she feels she has more fun at dads house because they have a car and can go more places than I can take them and I also think that because I am doing it on my own it is alot harder for me because I still need to get things done as well and at their house there is the 2 of them so there is always one of them giving them attention.  I have voiced this concern to my ex and have decided that I am going to do as much as I can to spend more time with the kids however, he seems to be of the opinion that if she is distressed about being here perhaps they should spend a larger percentage of time at their place. While I dont want my daughter to be unhappy, I dont feel that this is a good option because I think that this is only going to antagonise things by making her feel that she lives with her dad and only visits with me.  I dont want that to be the case as I want her to feel that my home is her home too and I think that doing what he suggested will only serve to drive an even deeper wedge between her and I. ANy ideas or suggestions?????????????  

If she wants to spend more time with her father, and if you are confident that he and his girlfriend are capable of taking good care of her, which it sounds like they do, why not let your daughter have what she wants for a while? Maybe she's just going through a phase where she feels the need for more Daddy time. Letting her have it is, IMO, the greatest way to show her how much you love her, and how important her feelings are to you. It's not about you, or about your ex, it's about the children and what is best for them.
 
November 29, 2005, 7:08 am CST

Desperately in need of help

Hi,  

           This is my first time on the site and i'm hoping someone out there has a solution or can help me  deal with my problem. I am not a parent yet, but I have been dating someone who has a child. We have been together for three years. I guess I should let you know the background of my situattion.  

            We started dating when his daughter was about nine months. He and her mother had never dated,  basically they had a college fling.  She became pregnant and at her insistance they decided to keep the baby. When I came into the picture they were not in a relationship and were being  civil for their daughter's sake. Everything was going well between us until, the mother started making accusations that I was a bad influence on her daughter. She said that her daughter, who was now two was saying that she hated me and didn't want to go to her Daddy's house. Now I was concerned first of all because hate is such a strong word for a child and secondly because of the mixed messages I was seeing. For example his daughter would cry if I had to leave and go anywhere. I would have to sneak out or we would need to distract her because she would miss me. She was basically my shadow. She was always hugging and kissing me and I thought that we had such a great relationship.  

        One day his daughter's mother decided to confront him about the situation. They sat down with their daughter and she asked her if I was mean to her. She said no "I like her," well we thought that was the end of it. Until a few months later we were driving to see his family and out of the blue she said to us "Mommy put me on the couch and said that (my name here) was mean." Needless to say we were shocked. We asked her mother about it and she denied it saying that their daughter was lying about things. Well we dropped it. His daughter continued to mention things that her mom was telling her to say about me, and she would always finish her statements  with "but I like you." 

         Fast forward a couple of months she is four now and, whenever I try to discipline her she says "my mommy says your mean, and I don't have to listen to you." This now frustrates and hurts me, I know she is only saying this because she is mad and doesn't want to do what she is told. But it still hurts. Then there are times when out of the blue she will say "my mommy says your mean, but I tell her no I like you," and this breaks my heart and makes me angry. How could someone be so selfish. Recently, the mother has been telling their daughter that her father doesn't love her because he doesn't want to do anything with them. This is a horrible lie. Again I have to give some background on this. About a year into our relationship my boyfriend had gone to the photo studio and taken some holiday christmas pictures with his daughter and her mother. I felt very uneasy by this, because it made me feel like an outsider. Here is my boyfriend sending out christmas pictures of his family. Also there was an issue  because my boyfriend didn't want to go on outings to the circus or movie with her and their daughter. He wanted to take his daughter to these events himself and if the mother wanted to take her somewhere she could but they didn't have to do it together. And to my boyfriends credit he takes his daughter everywhere. In the summers we always go on vacation and on his weekends if were not going to somewhere special he spends most of the day at the park just playing. So to get back to the issue the mother feels that I tell him not to spend time with her and because of this she has started to tell their daughter he doesn't care. Now I want to know am I wrong for feeling that he doesn't need to pretend they are a perfect family and go on these "family" outings? (I use the word family because she has expressed to me that is what they are) Isn't it enough that he does all the same things with her and that she is never starved for his affection. Isn't it portraying a false image.  

             I guess I have reached my limit because in about two weeks his daughter has a Christmas show and she has asked me to come. Now I am worried that her mother will cause a scene. This is because she has said that I am not allowed at any of her daughters Birthday parties, and the reason that I believe she will cause a scene is because of an incident that happened at one party. A mutual friend of ours attended her 3rd Birthday Party and when she mentioned my name the mother got extremely upset left the room and had to be calmed down by her family. She told my boyfriend that my name should not be mentioned in her presence. I am extremely frustrated because I have never said anything bad about her even when her daughter tells me the thingsher mother says about me I respond that maybe mommy made a mistake and I ask her what she thinks of me. I leave it at that. One time I tried to talk to her about the accusations and she told her daughter that if she keep lying she would be in trouble. What do I do? How do I deal with it? Should I be banned from her life just because her mother wants the perfect family that never existed? I don't want to tell her a second year I can't come to your party, but I don't want her to feel the repercussions of my showing up. Please help! 

  

 
November 30, 2005, 9:35 am CST

Feeling taken for granted

I am new to the board, but have been trying to figure out where I can receive some advice on my role as a co-parent. My fiancé and I have a child that is 1 together and he has a son that is 7 from his last marriage that basically lives with us. The mother has taken a job on which she doesn't feel she can provide him transportation to school and has given us more custody in order to make things easier for her. The mother and I have never communicated and basically have never stood around eachother for any extended amount of time. She basically deals though the father as to what days she can/can't take her son for a while and she also does have him every other weekend, and supposed to be one day during the week til 8:00pm. Ever since the father and i have been together, which has been 2 years, he refuses to ask the mother first when scheduling business trips and other things that he has going on. He has claimed that he does not agree with her parenting because he saw her raise her 2 older kids first hand when they were married and does not trust her. I have never seen that she cannot raise a child, granted there has been normal teenage rebellion and other things. By the way these 2 children are not my fiancés but from 2 other men. The normal thing for him to do is wait til the last minute when scheduling things and when I ask if his son's mother is going to help out he says "no" even though he has not asked her. Now here's my problem…I feel that I work a full time job also and have taken our daughter to and from daycare and have basically taken a huge role in our daughters life because he is either too busy woth his son's or with his business. When times arise and he is out of town my hours of work are 7:30am and I don't want to be late for work either, I feel that it is the mothers and my fiancés responsibility to work out together. My finacé has relied on his mother in the past also and they both refuse to allow the mom to be a mom, and the mom doesn't seem to care all that much. I guess I am just looking for advice because I have started to put my foot down and refuse to watch his son for him when he wants to do his extra things in life, basically because I feel even with my one child I don't have time to do the things I want with my life, and he doesn't help me out with her. Also we argue about disciplining his son and I feel he lets him do whatever most days just so he can do whatever and not have to deal with him, because of this and my fiancé refusing to consistently discipline, i have taken a step back from the relationship. Please, if anyone has some similar thoughts, please share.
 
December 9, 2005, 3:00 pm CST

Raising a child with PDD & dating

I am a single mother with 3 great boys, 14, 13 & 10.  My 13 year old has PDD, he is attending a public middle school & doing far better in the main stream setting then I expected.  He of course has his struggles & it is a full time job keeping him out of harms way.  He is very impulsive & no matter how many consequences he gets somethings he just can't stop the compulsion.  I do my best to keep consistency & structure in his life but I am the first to admit I am not the most organized & I could use some help keeping the house in more order.  Dad lives out of state & participates with a weekly phone call.  

I have been dating a great guy for three years & I have no doubt that he truly loves & adores me, yes adores.  The problem only lies in his interactions to my son.  He was raised in a very protected environment, so much so that he struggles letting his 9 year old out of his sight & over reacts to most situations.  So for him to be around my son is hard to say the least.  His disciplinary style is more militant compared to mine.  He always assumes the worst first , reacts then gathers facts just sure there was a covert intention!  He fears my son getting up in the middle of the night & causing harm to himself or others, I also worry about these things just in that he has not been able to sleep & has gone down & gotten into food, set up forts to watch TV, etc. so he feels it is only right to lock him in his room at night.   I agree that as he gets older I will have to be more preventative to insure his well being too...   

Where I am looking for support is we are at the point of either breaking up or getting married but with my boyfriends anxiety I do not know if he can adapt to my sons disabilities.  Are there support groups out there, parenting classes etc???  

 
December 20, 2005, 9:44 am CST

Where do you stand?

Quote From: hope1208

Hi,  

           This is my first time on the site and i'm hoping someone out there has a solution or can help me  deal with my problem. I am not a parent yet, but I have been dating someone who has a child. We have been together for three years. I guess I should let you know the background of my situattion.  

            We started dating when his daughter was about nine months. He and her mother had never dated,  basically they had a college fling.  She became pregnant and at her insistance they decided to keep the baby. When I came into the picture they were not in a relationship and were being  civil for their daughter's sake. Everything was going well between us until, the mother started making accusations that I was a bad influence on her daughter. She said that her daughter, who was now two was saying that she hated me and didn't want to go to her Daddy's house. Now I was concerned first of all because hate is such a strong word for a child and secondly because of the mixed messages I was seeing. For example his daughter would cry if I had to leave and go anywhere. I would have to sneak out or we would need to distract her because she would miss me. She was basically my shadow. She was always hugging and kissing me and I thought that we had such a great relationship.  

        One day his daughter's mother decided to confront him about the situation. They sat down with their daughter and she asked her if I was mean to her. She said no "I like her," well we thought that was the end of it. Until a few months later we were driving to see his family and out of the blue she said to us "Mommy put me on the couch and said that (my name here) was mean." Needless to say we were shocked. We asked her mother about it and she denied it saying that their daughter was lying about things. Well we dropped it. His daughter continued to mention things that her mom was telling her to say about me, and she would always finish her statements  with "but I like you." 

         Fast forward a couple of months she is four now and, whenever I try to discipline her she says "my mommy says your mean, and I don't have to listen to you." This now frustrates and hurts me, I know she is only saying this because she is mad and doesn't want to do what she is told. But it still hurts. Then there are times when out of the blue she will say "my mommy says your mean, but I tell her no I like you," and this breaks my heart and makes me angry. How could someone be so selfish. Recently, the mother has been telling their daughter that her father doesn't love her because he doesn't want to do anything with them. This is a horrible lie. Again I have to give some background on this. About a year into our relationship my boyfriend had gone to the photo studio and taken some holiday christmas pictures with his daughter and her mother. I felt very uneasy by this, because it made me feel like an outsider. Here is my boyfriend sending out christmas pictures of his family. Also there was an issue  because my boyfriend didn't want to go on outings to the circus or movie with her and their daughter. He wanted to take his daughter to these events himself and if the mother wanted to take her somewhere she could but they didn't have to do it together. And to my boyfriends credit he takes his daughter everywhere. In the summers we always go on vacation and on his weekends if were not going to somewhere special he spends most of the day at the park just playing. So to get back to the issue the mother feels that I tell him not to spend time with her and because of this she has started to tell their daughter he doesn't care. Now I want to know am I wrong for feeling that he doesn't need to pretend they are a perfect family and go on these "family" outings? (I use the word family because she has expressed to me that is what they are) Isn't it enough that he does all the same things with her and that she is never starved for his affection. Isn't it portraying a false image.  

             I guess I have reached my limit because in about two weeks his daughter has a Christmas show and she has asked me to come. Now I am worried that her mother will cause a scene. This is because she has said that I am not allowed at any of her daughters Birthday parties, and the reason that I believe she will cause a scene is because of an incident that happened at one party. A mutual friend of ours attended her 3rd Birthday Party and when she mentioned my name the mother got extremely upset left the room and had to be calmed down by her family. She told my boyfriend that my name should not be mentioned in her presence. I am extremely frustrated because I have never said anything bad about her even when her daughter tells me the thingsher mother says about me I respond that maybe mommy made a mistake and I ask her what she thinks of me. I leave it at that. One time I tried to talk to her about the accusations and she told her daughter that if she keep lying she would be in trouble. What do I do? How do I deal with it? Should I be banned from her life just because her mother wants the perfect family that never existed? I don't want to tell her a second year I can't come to your party, but I don't want her to feel the repercussions of my showing up. Please help! 

  

I am new to this sight and just reading your story. I am saddenby this . I am a single parent of 2 children and have datedother single parents. I do know that if I am dating someone for as long as you I would be upset that I am not more a part of his life let alone his child's. This has been going on for too many years as it is. I would say you should go to the party and if there is a problem explain to the little girl that it isn't you , but the mom that doesn't want you there and then have her mother explain the reasoning. As for the faither , well I would dump him if he can't stand up for you and himself. You need to find someone who want a family picture with you to send to his family and if he has children include them. The little girl is going to be 5 and will understand. If you are unconfortable bring your best friend or sister with you. ( bring a very nice gift too) enjoy yourself. You never know you may feel better about yourself.
 
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