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Joined: 8/14/2008
Msg: 2
Kid calls up cryingPage 2 of 2    (1, 2)
If you feel your ex is being abusive you have to fight, Your little girl is the most important thing. I went through this four years ago, it"s not easy but you have to fjght.
Joined: 6/13/2007
Msg: 5
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Kid calls up crying
Posted: 1/19/2009 8:02:43 PM
Yea it is a tuff one!
The first thing is to show and tell her how much you love her, that's imortant to her because it builds trust between you both in times like this she would feel alone in the world. Advise dont get used to shopping to much when this happens I mean yea its pretty cool but in the future it could harm the relationship between you both (you cant buy love right) instead do something fun together like go to a movie and get her mind away from it, or take that oppertunity to talk it out let her vent out to you rather then the mother. Another thing little girls lie big time its a protective instinct they have I read it in a Science Journal, so remember she might not give you all the facts.

I dont know what kind of relationship you have with the ex but try white lies sometimes, if the kid wants to stay with you dont tell that to the mother. You lie to her tell her that your giving a really good talk about the situation so it doesnt happen again and tell the mother she was right (this is BS of course) then you tell her to take some time off for the day to relax she has a lot to do already and you'll deal with the child. NEVER TELL HER TO FU because after that she wont make your life easier with your daughter believe me.
Massage her ego to get what you want for your childs sake, and it was only breaksfast and some homework so its not like this was a murder.

Although you should know what your rights are as a father, it would be interesting to get some legal advise should this escalate further. Find out what your option are in case of emergency.
Joined: 5/24/2008
Msg: 6
Kid calls up crying
Posted: 1/19/2009 9:33:00 PM
At 11 years old, they're able to play that "he said" "She said" game. I can't speak for this particular instance, but let's face it - our parents all pissed us off at one point or another while growing up, and we all certainly would have looked for an out - it's a variation on the "mom says no, so I'll ask daddy" theme.

Assuming your ex isn't straight up bat-nuts crazy, you can assume there was some rationale behind it, and you can't go haring off everytime your baby cries and undermine her authority. Be very careful that your little darling isn't busy wrapping you around her finger because you're not there to see what led up to the screaming in the first place!

If your ex is nuts, well, all bets are off.

Make sure you're not jumping to her tune...
Joined: 9/7/2007
Msg: 9
Kid calls up crying
Posted: 1/20/2009 5:14:12 AM
Yea. My son is 9..and eveytime my mother asks him to do something he doesnt' want to do and he says no, she yells at him. He always calls me crying asking me to come get him. Before I do anything I investigate what went on. And if it's because he isn't listening to her or he won't do what is asked of him, then heck no i'm not comming to get him. If she is just being a pyshco, then yes I go get him and tell her that her behavoir is unacceptable of a grown adult. I would be very wary on what is actually going on before you call family services. 11 is basically a pre-teen. They know how to play mom against dad, especially if they know you will be there in 14 minutes flat. Did she not listen? Ignore her mother? Not answer? I'm sure she wouldn't tell you. Yelling at your child is not a crime and child services can't do anything about it unless the yelling is deemed mentally abusive. I wouldn't drag your kids through family services unless you think there is truly a problem there. Also you are the adult. Asking the child what she wanted to do, is like asking them to decide between mom and dad. It's not a fair position to put such a young child in. This is the reason courts don't ask them who they want to live with. You cannot ask a child to choose between mom and dad. they are going to say whatever the parent they are with wants to hear. Or what they think the parent they are with wants to hear. I think you should expect more frequent phone calls from your daughter wanting you to come get her for one reason or another. I'd make sure you know the situation before you remove her from it. She may just be trying to shirk her chores? (not saying she is, but it's not entirely unthinkable)
Joined: 2/4/2006
Msg: 11
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Kid calls up crying
Posted: 1/20/2009 5:58:08 AM
FYI, anything he says to the X is likely to cause a fuss because she is passive aggressive. There was no way to frame the kid is staying her for a while that would not have gotten her panties in a wad.

As much as you want to shield your daughter, what transpired would not be considered abuse. Reread your post, was she upset primarily because your X screamed in front of the fiance and the step-sister? These people are creating a blended family and they ARE your daughter's family unless things tank at some point.

She is used to being an only child, she now has a sibling, and what were once "private" family moments now make her feel vulnerable and awful. Growing up sucks no matter how you slice it. You can ask that your X to be a bit more aware of how her daughter is feeling but you already know you cannot control the woman.

This is an adjustment period for your daughter and it is going to be hard for both of you. She will complain about things but your job is to support how she feels and remind her about the things we need to do to get along with people that we don't necessarily like or that are difficult to deal with.

If things do not get better, quite a while from now you discuss whether she would prefer to live with you, something she has to be a certain age to even attempt because your X will fight you tooth and nail. This stuff is not easy. I had to watch from 150 miles away, my stepson failing school while his mother did nothing. Cried buckets and buckets of tears but we didn't have a chance at custody until he had failed multiple years of school.

It sounds to me like you handled things pretty well but you also need to make sure that your daughter gets that she cannot run away from her problems. Most kids hate their parents and want to live somewhere else during the teen years. Several of my kids' friends want to move into this nuthouse, but you need to make sure that the kid really has a situation they need to get out of instead of just hating wanting to be a grown-up when you live in an environment within which you are still considered a child.
Joined: 1/16/2006
Msg: 13
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Kid calls up crying
Posted: 1/20/2009 6:37:32 AM
You have a court order on visitation, follow it. If my ex violated the visitation order there would be a problem. Call child services because she was yelled at over homework or getting to the table please. The fact that your daughter called and you were there in 14 minutes with out first asking to talk to the custodial parent makes me go HMMMM. Sound like your daughter knows how to play you.
Joined: 2/4/2006
Msg: 14
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Kid calls up crying
Posted: 1/20/2009 7:13:42 AM

FYI, anything he says to the X is likely to cause a fuss because she is passive aggressive.

Innately passionate, in what way would this comment imply anything about your or your X? You are unfamiliar with the OP or his difficulties in dealing with HIS passive aggressive ex ergo while your advice would be great in a normal situation, this isn't one. People like this (I was married to this type of person for 14 years) are unreasonable and cannot be dealt with. He should have taken the high road in stating his point but my point was that with this ex, how or what he said would have made little difference.
Joined: 1/16/2006
Msg: 17
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Kid calls up crying
Posted: 1/20/2009 9:31:06 AM
"If you feel she will not attend then get a lawyer and have a hearing and have you r lawyer recommend that the 2 of you attend a certain amount of sessions."

WOW bad bad bad. Some people just can't let go of the courts and the lawyers. Even if you did this to force someone to the classes or what ever, people forced to them would get nothing out of it. I can't thing of a dumber plan then the one given here. This would just build hate.
Joined: 2/4/2006
Msg: 26
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Kid calls up crying
Posted: 1/20/2009 6:47:58 PM
Rustic and several others, Mel has been posting about his difficulties with his X for quite a while, it is not assumption and conjecture necessarily in the posts that you reference although I did not attribute her difficult demeanor to anything clinical, just plain old fashioned pain in the azz. The chick is passive aggressive, at least with him, and he has worked to get to a point that he can try to just be a dad without involvement in his x's drama. In some cases, you really must apply the knowledge that you can only control yourself and how you act and live by it.

From my perspective and where my advice comes from, I know what it is like to deal with a person who wants to be difficult just because they can. You pretty much need to take the other parent out of the equation, at least from the standpoint of the behaviors you choose. Co-parenting is out of the question because they don't want to do it and their primary concern is not the welfare of the child.

If he had called her to find out what went on she would have screamed at him and he would have had no additional information let alone information that would allow him to better help his daughter. You can give him a gazillion tips for dealing with the X but the only thing he can really use is advice in dealing with his daughter.
Joined: 2/4/2006
Msg: 28
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Kid calls up crying
Posted: 1/21/2009 1:33:00 PM
Rustic, my kids say yes and no sir/ma'am and they have never for a moment been taught NOT to think for themselves.

People can be taught to conform when appropriate and to go their own way when appropriate. I grew up up north, manners were never emphasized. I never used the words sir or ma'am until my first job. It would have been an asset to have made such pleasantries a habit before it was an integral component of earning a living.

People do have to conform in some situations. As students, as employees. My kids follow my example from the standpoint that they are polite and friendly. What they have learned is that it is beneficial for them to be both. People do things for me, tellers at the bank, teachers at school, that they do not do for other people, bending the rules, etc.

You get more bees with honey than vinegar so it is wrong to teach kids to use manners? I have never taught them to follow blindly, that they should call their mother if someone at school is asking them to do something they do not agree with and/or they will take a stand on their own. My daughter ratted herself and her peers out with her teacher when she was 8 and felt that the joking that occurred on a field trip was wrong because it ultimately turned racial. She did not continue participating when the other children started acting ugly and she spoke to her teacher, knowing her friends would be mad, without ever consulting me about what to do. And yet I get compliments all the time because she says sir and ma'am, please and thank you.
Joined: 11/13/2008
Msg: 30
Kid calls up crying
Posted: 1/21/2009 6:13:45 PM
The first thing to do is depersonalize.

If you are always pointing out what your ex is doing wrong, it just feeds the fire of resentment and anger...It is not your job to point out everything the other parent is doing wrong. That’s not your responsibility anymore. Your job is to create a supportive co-parenting environment, while trying to not to say anything negative about the other parent. You never know what "tiny ears" might be around the corner listening and that is when your children lose respect for the both of you. Why? Because they see that you don't respect each other.

You might not like what your ex does...but you still need to treat each other with respect.

1. Take care of this as soon as possible

First, accept what is, much as you may not want to. The event happened. You cannot make it unhappen.

Get helpful support, not sh1tty support. Helpful: someone who can see the other person’s issues, your issues, and not make either side completely wrong or right. (this includes advice you get from others on here. Choose wisely because it's not a matter of getting people to take your side either.)

Sh1tty: works you up into a frenzy that only makes you feel more victimized or upset —

2. Sort through what went wrong and identify the unacceptable parts of what happened

Boil it down to specifics so that it’s not just a big emotional blurr in your brain. Take note of your answers for step four.

3. Take responsibility for your own sh1t (and yes, you probablly have your own there!)

What did YOU do to contribute to this problem?
What errors in judgment did you possibly make?

4. Figure out what you want to do, then move forward

How can you deal with issues like this in a healthy way, in the future?
Any actions you need to take (refer to Step 2)?
Anything you need to tell (respectfully) your ex?

Take care not to dwell on the event.
Handle it and move on.
If you keep holding onto the negative stuff, you’re only contributing to the pain and injuring yourself twice.

Here's the tricky part.

You have options:

a) Inviting the ex and her soon to be spouse for dinner in a neutral place so you can collaborate together on the direction you'd like to see the joint-parenting go in. I'm assuming that you all want what's best for your children. Bounce off ideas off of each other about rules and consequences, school, homework, bedtime, etc. Commit to becoming more active in their lives. Make an effort to communicate with each other (even the stepfather) so noone is left out of the loop. This meeting is to let go of the past and capture an opportunity to start fresh.

Why should you do this? Because you are a fiduciary for your child. A fiduciary means that you put the child’s interests above your own. This feud between you and your ex is not helping your child grow up to feel secure. And what if this doesn't work...or if she refuses your invitation for some reason...then you can ask for additional support through mediation services.

Now, I suggest that you log everything with times and dates.

Why? It might help you to journal your immediate reactions so when you go back to read what you initially thought...perhaps it might inspire a new approach in how you handle dthe situation. Or maybe it worked this time and you might like to use this new tactic again...?? This tool could also be useful in case you need to go back and recall certain situations during mediation practice.

And this brings me to another useful skill that you can use while trying to resolve these issues.

According to Webster's Dictionary...empathy is "the projection of one's own personality into the personality of another in order to understand the person better." It also says that empathy is "the ability to share in another's emotions, thoughts, and feelings.

You might want to try this style of listening in which you will put aside your self-interests and work genuinly to understand how your ex feels. Empathy can set the stage for cooperation among people...even strangers. Not only does empathetic listening help people control their emotions, but it helps people gain a better understanding of the other person's situation, attitude and responses. Do not confuse empathetic listening to sympathetic listening. Sympathy is feeling sorry for them, empathy is being able "put yourself in the other person's shoes".

I don't know what you've said in other threads about how your ex behaves, but there are two sides to the story. In general, anyone on here can paint themselves up to be a pretty picture. My stance is purely from an objective point of view, which holds both of you accountable for your own.

I do appreciate you reaching out for support is a sad situation for everyone who is involved. However, I wish you all the best and I hope things get better for you and your child(ren).

Joined: 2/4/2006
Msg: 32
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Kid calls up crying
Posted: 1/22/2009 9:07:48 AM
Rustic, it was actually a bit odd for me as well. I had learned the sir/ma'am thing on the job because I was in positions that required customer or client contact but when I moved to Texas to attend college, I was surrounded by people my own age that used it in addressing professors, etc. We had friends that lived 30 miles or so from my school and one day were at their house and I responded to my mother's friend yes ma'am and I distinctly remember my mother dropping a 2-liter bottle of soda from the shock.

My kids use Mr. and Mrs. more than their friends but they are also allowed to address an adult by his/her first name if they request it or otherwise tell them they don't have to say Mr. or Mrs. With me, a ma'am is not required but it is also a way to remind them that I am their parent and deserve a modicum of respect. With the smart tone comes an excuse me from mom usually followed by a ma'am.

There is a lot of very good advice on these parenting threads but people also need to recognize that some people are dealing with personalities that make coparenting exceedingly difficult if not flat out impossible. Every parent is flying by the seat of their pants, the best they can do is compile as many tools as possible to sort through those that will be viable in their particular circumstances. The upside is that I think in most cases, with some time and space from the split, parents do learn to work together but there are times in the interim that there is no really good solution to the problems.
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