Blogs


Notices

OT: Teenage Son Wants to Live With His Dad

Old 07-13-2014, 01:30 PM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Florence's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Midwest, USA
Posts: 2,899
OT: Teenage Son Wants to Live With His Dad

My DS14 is the child of a relationship when I was in my late teens. He has lived with me since he was a baby, sharing joint custody and visitation with his dad. His dad and I have always had a tense and distant relationship from the beginning, though it has eased up over the last few years as I have grown with counseling and focusing on my own healing. I strongly suspect my ex has some personality disorder. I call him NPD just as a shorthand for all of his selfishness and the crazy hijinks he expects others to live with for enjoying his company. He drug me through the mud when we went through our custody hearing when DS was a toddler, and in the past he has stalked me, lied to and about me, and generally been manipulative and acted in bad faith.

My son loves him, however. He likes to go to his house on the weekends, stay up late, work out with his dad, and play video games until the wee hours of morning. His dad is very unserious about whether my son gets eight hours of sleep, for example, or if he's doing well in school. He's safe over there, but they are so loosey goosey with rules and expectations, usually at the whim of whatever crap his dad is up to.

This arrangement worked out well until my XAH, who my son loved and said was his real dad, plummeted into full alcoholism and I had to divorce him. By this time, my ex had remarried and had another son and stepson. They live nearby in another school system. Last year they had serious drama and were threatening to divorce, all while I was getting one myself. They sold their house, he got an apartment and a girlfriend. My son was torn up over this, just so disappointed in all of is adults for screwing up. They ended up reconciling and for all I know are doing fine now. But DS really focused his ire on me, and despite really focusing on repairing myself and our relationship, I know he merely tolerates me and my family activities. He thinks that the chores he does for me, for which he earns a healthy allowance, are slavery. He thinks limits on internet time and expectations around his grades are grossly unfair.

Once I split with XAH, he started a new chorus. I want to live with my dad. I have been able to put this off for two years, but it continues to come up every few months now. I know his dad is in his ear telling him how great it will be, but I'm afraid of what it will do to DS when it's inevitably less glamorous over there than he thinks.

My biggest practical concern:

DS is currently in the best public school system in the state, small class sizes, fast track to good colleges, due to living with me in this school system. If he moves with his dad, he will live in a bigger county school system with a lot of crime and lower scholastic results. This breaks my heart. I've made a lot of personal sacrifices to live where we do for this reason.

Smaller concerns: loose rules at his dad's around daily expectations. His dad doesn't know or care if he showers or does his homework or brushes his teeth. He doesn't buy him clothes until it's dire. His dad is hopelessly devoted to video games. I like to game sometimes, but his time is excessive and he likes DS to stay up until all hours of night to play with him. This is problematic for a lot of reasons, primarily school.

Also: Are they as emotionally stable as they appear to be right now? What if it doesn't work out?

Emotionally, this really hurts that I haven't been able to fix what's wrong between us. Part of me thinks he should have this experience, good and bad, but I worry that it will mean our little family is more fractured and our relationship more strained as a result.

His dad emailed me this weekend asking to talk about it again and I said I would meet with him and his wife to talk it over. I'm nervous and a little afraid of how this will change everything.

You guys have always given me solid things to think about, so please don't fail me now! What so you think? What should I be considering?
Florence is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Florence For This Useful Post:
ladyscribbler (07-14-2014), pacificsunrise (07-14-2014), readerbaby71 (07-14-2014), Thumper (07-14-2014)
Old 07-13-2014, 02:02 PM
  # 2 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,452
Florence, from what you've said, I can see lots of negatives for your son to live with his dad, but not many positives aside from the fact that your son wants it because it will be easier, less disciplined, and more "fun".

What is your legal custody situation? Are you required to offer this, or is the arrangement now following the court guidelines?

From my experience raising two kids of my own and three step-kids, teenagers want what they want when they want it, just because. It's not a time where parents who are effective parents can necessarily be good friends with their kids.

When my daughter was 14 going on 27, she had a great crush on the newly arrived juvenile delinquent in her classroom. She announced at 10 PM one evening that she was going to meet "JD" at the park right then in the dark. I said no. She said yes. I said no, then absolutely no, then h*ll no, then over my dead body. It was quite a performance on her part - she had just had the lead Maria in Sound of Music and really had quite a flair for the dramatic.

It was like playing tug of war with a rope, each of us pulling as hard as we could in opposite directions.

All of a sudden she said "OK." I fell flat on the floor, metaphorically, having girded my loins and suited up in my spikiest armor and prepared for terminal battle.

In bemusement, I said: "What happened that you changed your mind?"

She said "Oh I never really wanted to go, I just wanted to see if you would stop me."

Kids expect limits; they expect their parents to have good judgement and require them to do what they should be doing. They see their job as demanding exactly what they want, and then settling for what they get. It, I think, is a part of the self-definition process a young adolescent is going through where they need to cry out for their independence, yet inside they know they aren't quite ready. And they get their grand tantrum, which pleases them, they get to storm and lightning. They get to try out their wildest dreams but they know they are safe because you are their safety net.

Later, they internalize those limits that you are providing and can make these decisions with internal dialogue within themselves. But young adolescents can't quite get there.

So, if it were me, unless there are court requirements that demand custody changes, I would say no. Your ex husband does not have much to offer his son - poor schools, criminal element in the neighborhood, unstable relationship, and poor history of parenting.

What you might do is set some conditions that have to be met - by both your son and your ex husband - for more extended visits during school vacation time. Take it one little step at a time.

This is a good time to start discussions with your son about short term pleasure versus long term achievement. The ability to defer immediate gratification and invest the energy and motivation in a longer term success is something that kids this age are ready to learn. You can point out the difference between kids who go to college and kids who don't. The difference between kids who do well in high school and can earn a scholarship and those who can't go because they can't afford it.

The deal is the more reasonable judgment and pattern of achievement the teenager shows, the more they get to participate in the decisions about what happens to them. They do not have custody of their parents; the buck stops with the parent to make good choices.

You may not be popular for a while, but that is ultimately often the badge of honor for a parent who has lived through their child's adolescence.

ShootingStar1
ShootingStar1 is offline  
The Following 13 Users Say Thank You to ShootingStar1 For This Useful Post:
changeneeded (07-14-2014), CodeJob (07-17-2014), FireSprite (07-13-2014), Florence (07-13-2014), hopeful4 (07-13-2014), ladyscribbler (07-13-2014), marie1960 (07-13-2014), pacificsunrise (07-14-2014), peaceofpi (07-13-2014), redatlanta (07-13-2014), Rosiepetal (07-13-2014), Stung (07-13-2014), theuncertainty (07-13-2014)
Old 07-13-2014, 02:28 PM
  # 3 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 494
I know he merely tolerates me and my family activities. He thinks that the chores he does for me, for which he earns a healthy allowance, are slavery. He thinks limits on internet time and expectations around his grades are grossly unfair.
I doubt it....this is a "thing" that all teenagers try on. It's a rite of passage. I don't think your relationship is fractured, or not as much as you feel it is. Kids like rules, but they must try to convince adults otherwise. Life without rules and structure is actually extremely stressful to teenagers.

Right now his father's house seems like a vacation. Sure that has its attractions. I agree with the suggestion above...unless the court documents allow your son to change his living situation as he desires, set up some structure where he can spend extended time at his father's house and get his fill of it, but not move there and not change schools.
Santa is offline  
The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to Santa For This Useful Post:
FireSprite (07-13-2014), Florence (07-13-2014), hopeful4 (07-13-2014), ladyscribbler (07-13-2014), marie1960 (07-13-2014), pacificsunrise (07-14-2014), readerbaby71 (07-14-2014), Rosiepetal (07-13-2014)
Old 07-13-2014, 04:29 PM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Bunnies!
 
NWGRITS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,907
He's 14? Well shoot, he's just warming up on the teenage angst thing where everything is unfair and you're so un-cool. Do you live in a state where he has the right to request which parent he lives with? Unless the court has proof that your ex is a totally unfit parent, you may not have a choice but to let your son go. Depends on the location. It's a hard decision to make, I'm sure. I dread the day that my kids say they want to go live with the exhole. He doesn't sound a lot different from yours.
NWGRITS is offline  
The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to NWGRITS For This Useful Post:
Florence (07-13-2014), kudzujean (07-14-2014), ladyscribbler (07-14-2014), marie1960 (07-13-2014), pacificsunrise (07-14-2014), readerbaby71 (07-14-2014), Rosiepetal (07-13-2014), Santa (07-13-2014)
Old 07-13-2014, 05:29 PM
  # 5 (permalink)  
Member
 
Rosiepetal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,423
What does your custody order state?
In my country the order is in place until the age of 16.
16 would be a much better age of maturity to let your child decide.
Can you explain to your child that when he is 16 he can then decide who he lives with?

I would definitely have concerns over the very loose rules in the other family.
Schooling should also take a top priority & sounds like you're right on the ball with that.

I am so sorry you are having to go through this.

I am reading a book at the moment on how to co-parent with a toxic ex & it addresses children caught in loyalty conflicts & I can't help but wonder if this could be your son. Is your XH feeding him the will to move in with him?
Have you noticed changes in behaviour & negativity towards yourself?
Rosiepetal is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Rosiepetal For This Useful Post:
Florence (07-14-2014), ladyscribbler (07-14-2014), pacificsunrise (07-14-2014), readerbaby71 (07-14-2014)
Old 07-13-2014, 05:45 PM
  # 6 (permalink)  
Member
 
OnlyOneProblem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 121
My son went to live with his father when he was 12 years old. He had just gotten caught shoplifting. At the time I thought it would be good for him. XH (not alcoholic but smokes marijuana) was remarried and I thought my boy needed a father figure on a daily basis. He moved in with Dad and it wasn't long before XH and wife got divorced and they moved out. At age 16 my son decided he wanted to quit school and XH said it was OK. It was NOT ok with me. He quit school. At 18 years old got his GED only because I made that happen. He is 29 years old and has a felony record and struggles with drug addiction. I have suffered greatly for many years over my decision to let him go live with his father. He has told me that I am not responsible - that he made the choices himself.

I want to believe that if XH and wife had stayed married things might have been different. Who knows.

If I had to do it all over again I would not do it. Perhaps your son can have an extra day or 2 at his dad's. I feel like I lost any influence over him when he went to live with his dad. 14 is a tough age. Thank goodness for Al-Anon. I am able to live in the present and trust my HP to take care of that which I have no control over. I wish I knew about Al-Anon when my kids were young.
OnlyOneProblem is offline  
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to OnlyOneProblem For This Useful Post:
chicory (07-13-2014), Florence (07-13-2014), hopeful4 (07-14-2014), ladyscribbler (07-14-2014), pacificsunrise (07-14-2014), readerbaby71 (07-14-2014)
Old 07-13-2014, 06:04 PM
  # 7 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Florence's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Midwest, USA
Posts: 2,899
Thanks guys. I appreciate all of the feedback. I responded that this wasn't on the table for me, thanks, and left it. He is trying to pressure and threaten me with lawsuits, which is fine, whatever. Nothing new there.

In my state there is no age rule. They can have some say-so, but they don't decide. There is no compelling reason for him to move, and a lot of reasons why not. We just renegotiated a new custody agreement at the end of winter, it is working, no compelling reason to change it.

Yes, ex has been in my son's ear since he was little telling him how great his life would be if he lived with him. His requests started a couple of years ago when my XAH and I split up. It rears it's head now whenever DS in trouble or has to do something he doesn't want to do. Of course my ex plays into it exponentially. My son is grounded from the internet this summer because of some shady things he did online at the end of the school year. The grounding was his dad's decision, but son blames me because I found him out. He's about to finish up his half of the summer with his dad and come back to my house, thus it begins again.

He's mostly a good kid, but socially awkward and emotionally immature. He wants all the spoils without doing any of the work. This is, IMO, another fantasy of a quick fix.

I've been using my Al-Anon tools to help me cope with all the yucky feelings around this.
Florence is offline  
The Following 9 Users Say Thank You to Florence For This Useful Post:
CodeJob (07-17-2014), FireSprite (07-14-2014), hopeful4 (07-14-2014), ladyscribbler (07-14-2014), OnlyOneProblem (07-13-2014), pacificsunrise (07-14-2014), readerbaby71 (07-14-2014), ShootingStar1 (07-13-2014), Stung (07-13-2014)
Old 07-13-2014, 10:24 PM
  # 8 (permalink)  
Member
 
Rosiepetal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,423
Yeah keep him with you, you are a good mum & kids need rules & stability in their life whether they like it or not.
Rosiepetal is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Rosiepetal For This Useful Post:
Florence (07-14-2014), hopeful4 (07-14-2014), ladyscribbler (07-14-2014), pacificsunrise (07-14-2014)
Old 07-14-2014, 07:04 AM
  # 9 (permalink)  
Member
 
Thumper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 3,444
No advice. My kids leave in two weeks to go spend two weeks with their dad. One of my worst fears is that they won't want to come home.

My ex would never keep the little ones. The two older one's though - he might. They are easy kids to live with. It is the only thing that has kept me from going after the thousands and thousands of dollars in child support that he owes me - or all the money he owes for his share of the medical bills this year. Once again I find myself trying to manipulate the present to manipulate the future out of fear. If he convinced the older two that they should live with him - it would be hell to keep them with me. I might win the battle in court but I don't think I'd win the battle with them. I don't even know if there is an age here but they are 13 and 15 so close to it if there is. They love him and all the things he does with them. If they lived with him, and the two younger ones with me - I'd owe him child support.

They deserve all the things he does with him. They deserve a dad. He lives on the other side of the state though and he moved away from us - not the other way around. I could not be involved like I would need to be. He is NOT equipped to manage and coordinate their health and educational needs. He seems to get overwhelmed managing his own needs.

I'm sorry I got off on my own tangent. I share your concerns and am watching the thread. I wish I had some advice.
Thumper is offline  
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Thumper For This Useful Post:
CodeJob (07-17-2014), Florence (07-14-2014), hopeful4 (07-14-2014), ladyscribbler (07-14-2014), pacificsunrise (07-14-2014), Rosiepetal (07-14-2014)
Old 07-14-2014, 07:19 AM
  # 10 (permalink)  
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: over there
Posts: 253
My boys are 15 now and xah is moving out and I have told both boys they cannot live with him until they have finished school and college. End of. I 'm adamant about it cos he is also loose and free and won't make them do things they need to do ( they are home schooled and he just won't do it. He never got involved here and he won't if he has them living with him) Also the drinking will still be ongoing and he can't look after himself. I want them away from seeing him drinking. It's partly why we are divorcing. What I'd do if they insisted I've no idea cos in UK the custody laws finish at 16.
Tansy is offline  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Tansy For This Useful Post:
Florence (07-14-2014), hopeful4 (07-14-2014), ladyscribbler (07-14-2014), pacificsunrise (07-14-2014), Rosiepetal (07-14-2014)
Old 07-14-2014, 07:47 AM
  # 11 (permalink)  
Member
 
readerbaby71's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 1,778
Sorry you're going through this, Florence. Your son is 14. From ages 12-18 I wanted to do whatever the hell I wanted when I wanted. His behavior is not indicative of a broken relationship with you. He's a teenager and will try to take the easiest way out because that's what they do.

I think you've made the right decision. Down the road he will thank you for the good education and structure you've provided. There's no doubt in my mind that he knows you love him. Deep down that's what matters. Hang in there! xo
readerbaby71 is offline  
The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to readerbaby71 For This Useful Post:
changeneeded (07-14-2014), CodeJob (07-17-2014), FireSprite (07-14-2014), Florence (07-14-2014), hopeful4 (07-14-2014), ladyscribbler (07-14-2014), pacificsunrise (07-14-2014), Rosiepetal (07-14-2014)
Old 07-14-2014, 07:59 AM
  # 12 (permalink)  
Community Greeter
 
hopeful4's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 13,566
Blog Entries: 10
I understand. I have a 14 year old daughter, it's a slippery slope. You want to start giving them some freedom, but they have no clue what is best for them, although they think they do. As RB said above, they want to do what they want to do.

I have told my DD if she wants a little freedom she has to show me she is mature enough to handle it and mature enough to realize a little freedom does not mean doing what she wants all the time. Luckily she has a good head on her shoulders (so far). She can trip my trigger really quickly that is for sure!

Being a parent is really hard. You are doing great. Stick to your resolve and he will appreciate it in the long run. I've learned not to take anything too personal.

Tight Hugs.
hopeful4 is offline  
The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to hopeful4 For This Useful Post:
changeneeded (07-14-2014), FireSprite (07-14-2014), Florence (07-14-2014), ladyscribbler (07-14-2014), pacificsunrise (07-14-2014), readerbaby71 (07-14-2014), Rosiepetal (07-14-2014)
Old 07-14-2014, 08:00 AM
  # 13 (permalink)  
Member
 
FireSprite's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 6,784
Blog Entries: 1
I have zero experience here but I know I would have a hard time giving over full time custody under the circumstances that you describe. I'm glad you are in a position to just deny the request & move on.

The only time I've ever seen this dynamic IRL is with one of my BFF's sons.... She & his dad split when he was about 6 months & dad & his new wife went on to become champion beer-drinking alcoholics with very loose rules for her 2 kids & BFF's son when he would visit with them. At about 12yo, son decided living with dad would be awesome because it was just. so. much. fun! ... until the reality of living with 2 other unsupervised step-siblings set in & his struggles in school got to be more than he could handle without a parent holding him to some responsibilities. He asked to move back with BFF & she fought for him but by then dad was used to drinking away the amount he wasn't spending in child support due to the new arrangement & dug in & fought back hard. It went on & on back & forth & then he was 13, 14, 15..... and he never quite got back on the right path again & has continued to struggle now into his 20's. It's so sad to me, he was such a bright, talented child & he ended up SO angry & lashing out at everyone & everything around him.

I think you're right to want to keep him close, he loves you even when he's angry or has a hard time understanding & expressing it. It may be a few more years before he really "gets it" but for me I have no doubt he WILL eventually get there in his mind as he matures & sees the amazing role model you've been for him all this time. ((((hugs))))
FireSprite is offline  
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to FireSprite For This Useful Post:
Florence (07-14-2014), ladyscribbler (07-14-2014), pacificsunrise (07-14-2014), readerbaby71 (07-14-2014), Rosiepetal (07-14-2014), SabrinaQ (10-07-2014)
Old 07-14-2014, 08:51 AM
  # 14 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Florence's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Midwest, USA
Posts: 2,899
The reality is that for years I have been fighting with his dad about providing the bare minimum of reasonable care for DS. To his credit, he never missed a visitation, and he's always paid child support. Other than that? He's a total wild card that shunts the needs and desires of his partners and kids aside if they conflict with his own.

It really hurts to see him being free and open with his dad, and emotionally distant with me, and also talking about wanting to live with his dad and how great they are. I've never had the money to throw around that they do, and that's always been a problem. I have made peace with it, but they can do vacations and gift extravaganzas that I can not.

And I feel tremendous guilt at bringing XAH into DS's life, just to have them bond and then for XAH to disappear into alcoholism and drop out of DS's life forever. That was the real blow. I made him move out, and XAH and his family never made a move to contact or say anything to DS ever again. Just like that. That's what he's really mad about. He understands that this separation and divorce was a practical need for safety and stability for everyone involved, but it still hurts him deeply. I can't blame him.

That was a real mistake on my part. I can't take it back, can't fix it.
Florence is offline  
The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to Florence For This Useful Post:
FireSprite (07-14-2014), hopeful4 (07-14-2014), ladyscribbler (07-14-2014), pacificsunrise (07-14-2014), readerbaby71 (07-14-2014), Rosiepetal (07-14-2014), SabrinaQ (10-07-2014), Thumper (07-14-2014)
Old 07-14-2014, 11:45 AM
  # 15 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 213
You have some great advice here. I don't know yet and I'm sorry if you have said what the custody arrangements are, are you primary?

My SD lived with her mom for the first 13 years and she could do darn near whatever she wanted. We somehow convinced her to live with us and it was good for 2 years. We had the normal teen aged parent struggles. As she got worse, we got stricter and it was not working for her. Blah blah blah she got into trouble we said no she could not go to her JR. prom, and trust me, there was good reason!!!

Her mom ended up promising her freedom and greener pastures on the other side if she left us and went to her. She did, and we didn't hear from her for about 15 years. She got very heavily into drugs, had 2 children and lost them. We had no idea how to get in touch with her, well she wouldn't let us get in touch with her.

Those years passed and when she did allow us into her life again she said, and I quote: " WTH was my mom thinking? Why couldn't she just have told me stay there and shape up?" how sad is that. But I asked: "do you wish we would have fought harder?" and she said "yes".

If you feel in your heart your child needs to be with you, fight hard!! At least you will know that you tried your darndest.

(((hugs)))
changeneeded is offline  
The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to changeneeded For This Useful Post:
CodeJob (07-17-2014), Florence (07-14-2014), ladyscribbler (07-14-2014), pacificsunrise (07-14-2014), readerbaby71 (07-14-2014), Rosiepetal (07-14-2014), SabrinaQ (10-07-2014)
Old 07-14-2014, 11:47 AM
  # 16 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 213
Originally Posted by readerbaby71 View Post
Sorry you're going through this, Florence. Your son is 14. From ages 12-18 I wanted to do whatever the hell I wanted when I wanted. His behavior is not indicative of a broken relationship with you. He's a teenager and will try to take the easiest way out because that's what they do.

I think you've made the right decision. Down the road he will thank you for the good education and structure you've provided. There's no doubt in my mind that he knows you love him. Deep down that's what matters. Hang in there! xo
And this couldn't be any better said!!
changeneeded is offline  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to changeneeded For This Useful Post:
CodeJob (07-17-2014), Florence (07-14-2014), ladyscribbler (07-14-2014), pacificsunrise (07-14-2014), Rosiepetal (07-14-2014)
Old 07-14-2014, 11:52 AM
  # 17 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Florence's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Midwest, USA
Posts: 2,899
Yes, I'm primary caregiver and have had the primary home for 15 years. We have presumptive joint custody where I live, so we have joint custody on paper, with the traditional 1/2 summer and every other weekend visitation agreement at his dad's house. Holidays are split.

Those years passed and when she did allow us into her life again she said, and I quote: " WTH was my mom thinking? Why couldn't she just have told me stay there and shape up?" how sad is that. But I asked: "do you wish we would have fought harder?" and she said "yes".
I know a lot of kids I grew up with said the same. I just know that whatever green pastures his dad has promised over there aren't real, and at risk are the really important long-term things like his quality of education and basic health needs.
Florence is offline  
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Florence For This Useful Post:
changeneeded (07-17-2014), CodeJob (07-17-2014), ladyscribbler (07-14-2014), pacificsunrise (07-14-2014), readerbaby71 (07-14-2014), Rosiepetal (07-14-2014)
Old 07-14-2014, 12:57 PM
  # 18 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Florence's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Midwest, USA
Posts: 2,899
My kids leave in two weeks to go spend two weeks with their dad. One of my worst fears is that they won't want to come home.

My ex would never keep the little ones. The two older one's though - he might. They are easy kids to live with. It is the only thing that has kept me from going after the thousands and thousands of dollars in child support that he owes me - or all the money he owes for his share of the medical bills this year. Once again I find myself trying to manipulate the present to manipulate the future out of fear. If he convinced the older two that they should live with him - it would be hell to keep them with me. I might win the battle in court but I don't think I'd win the battle with them. I don't even know if there is an age here but they are 13 and 15 so close to it if there is. They love him and all the things he does with them. If they lived with him, and the two younger ones with me - I'd owe him child support.

They deserve all the things he does with him. They deserve a dad. He lives on the other side of the state though and he moved away from us - not the other way around. I could not be involved like I would need to be. He is NOT equipped to manage and coordinate their health and educational needs. He seems to get overwhelmed managing his own needs.
My experience, and what I always forget when it's me in the situation, is that anyone can demand/say/threaten whatever they want, but with high conflict people it's usually a bluff. With my ex, he's all talk, no follow-through, and he's shown me this enough times that I should be able to brush him off.

My son is probably concerned about coming home after being in trouble, and whether or not I'm going to be hard on him, and getting weird and anxious about it with his dad before the big switch. His dad, instead of telling DS to be accountable, is using this as an opportunity to stir the pot right before my half of the summer begins. DS gets a sympathetic ear, and ex gets to needle me. Win/win, ha.

I've been thinking about this over the last day and based on some of your suggestions and considerations I think maybe I'm trying to have my cake and eat it too with my son. I'm trying to be the enforcer AND his buddy, and maybe those things aren't compatible. His dad, who really has no interest in things like rules or consistency for his kids, gets to just be the buddy, and I should accept that this is the way it is and not have so much anxiety about it.
Florence is offline  
The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to Florence For This Useful Post:
CodeJob (07-17-2014), desertgirl (07-14-2014), FireSprite (07-14-2014), hopeful4 (07-14-2014), ladyscribbler (07-14-2014), readerbaby71 (07-17-2014), Rosiepetal (07-14-2014), Thumper (07-14-2014)
Old 07-14-2014, 01:12 PM
  # 19 (permalink)  
Community Greeter
 
hopeful4's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 13,566
Blog Entries: 10
One of the first things the counselor told me AND MY 14 YR OLD DD in counseling is that I am not her friend. That I am her mother and it is my job to be her mom, protect her, and guide her. That I will be her friend when she turns 25 LOL.

My DD completely got it, but it was coming from a third party she trusts.

It's really hard when you just want them to be happy and healthy and make something of themselves. It is such a slippery slope.

Use your intuition, it won't fail you.

XXX
hopeful4 is offline  
The Following 9 Users Say Thank You to hopeful4 For This Useful Post:
changeneeded (07-17-2014), desertgirl (07-14-2014), FireSprite (07-14-2014), Florence (07-14-2014), ladyscribbler (07-14-2014), readerbaby71 (07-17-2014), Rosiepetal (07-14-2014), SabrinaQ (10-07-2014), Thumper (07-14-2014)
Old 07-14-2014, 01:15 PM
  # 20 (permalink)  
Bunnies!
 
NWGRITS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,907
I think this has been mentioned, but could he do a tria period over there? Not vacation, but with dad having to do real dad things like buying school clothes, making sure he's attending, helping with homework, buying and preparing food? My exhole talks a lot about having the kids and I know they would go, but the reality is he has no desire for real responsibility. He prefers vacation time. And shoot, his mother is the one caring for them most of that time, anyway.

Edited to follow up: he would be trying to send them back once reality sunk in and the kids started cramping his style.

Last edited by NWGRITS; 07-14-2014 at 01:17 PM. Reason: any typos are courtesy of my smartphone, not my smartbrain.
NWGRITS is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to NWGRITS For This Useful Post:
Florence (07-14-2014), ladyscribbler (07-14-2014), Thumper (07-14-2014)

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:54 PM.