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Posts by captain optimism

If you can't work out the expense of the neutral territory, maybe you can make it possible for him to see both sides of the family in succession, like a party for him with you and then a supper with them?  It will be so much easier, though. It's not nice for the kid if the family is not warm with each other. You can't control their behavior.    He might cry about it, because it's disappointing. You might cry too. That's OK. It's OK to have feelings and be disappointed....
I think you need to ask for parenting time in a way that makes sense for your relationship and your children, and to talk this over with a lawyer if you can afford one. People advocating that one should always ask for 80/20 or 60/40 may be saying that because they assume you are going to be bargaining for time with the kids, or because they want to maximize the amount of child support owed by the partner with a higher income. I don't know. You can share legal custody and...
Oh, yeah, well, he brought the kid on a trip and had her meet him there, and then told me about it after the fact. That didn't seem like the right way to do things! It also made me question whether he'd been having some kind of flirtation with her while we were married, but at the time I wasn't too sure that I cared one way or the other about that. 
My kid just turned 11 and his dad and I separated when he was 8. HIs dad felt like he had to share that he had a long-distance girlfriend before the divorce was final. (Which wasn't that crazy, because it took ages to get through a divorce with this guy.) That didn't seem right to me.      But I am dating people who are local. What if I want to introduce this new fellow to my adult friends? Or if we see him somewhere while we're out?    I'm just the kind of person who...
I've been on many first dates since my divorce. They've been fine, but I didn't hit it off with anyone. I liked two of the fellows enough for a second date, but no one made it to date three.    Now I think I met someone who could be... someone. I have scheduled a third date, and I'm really into this guy. OK, nothing may come of this at all, but it's bringing up for me the problem of not letting my kid meet people I'm dating, which is standard operating procedure for...
No, I don't mean do a reward instead of a punishment. That would be crazy! Just take a pre-emptive break when you think he needs one, or do cuddling regularly, not in response to good or bad behavior.  Rewards and punishments are terrible. They stop you from doing what the child needs when he needs it, because you'll mess up your system.  I'm sure you're doing OK, actually, and don't need people to give you advice--just to affirm that you're doing a good job. You did all...
I think there are alternatives to the candy: http://www.bhg.com/christmas/crafts/advent-calendars/#page=1 Again, not because I disapprove of candy. (I do disapprove of eating it all at once, though. Way to spoil the fun, kids.)  For years, I've been meaning to do the countdown between Passover and Shavuot, which is called counting the Omer. I have a super math-oriented kid. The whole ritual is counting--there's no special calendar or anything. I always forget, which means...
Of course, we don't celebrate Christmas at all, so this is kind of a no-brainer. Even from the viewpoint of an outsider, this seems to take some of the worst aspects of Santa even further. It's like the Panopticon. We first heard about this in a book my son was reading in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. As I recall, the absurdity of Elf on a Shelf was one of the things that made my son laugh. Then we actually met some (very lovely) children who had an Elf on the Shelf...
 Whaaaaat? They drew up the plans to remodel YOUR kitchen? Wait, are you tenants in their house? I'm just trying to understand. Were they trying to get an estimate on the work so that they could offer it to you as a gift? How does someone come up with an idea like this? I've definitely heard other stories about grandparents who cut children's hair without permission, fed foods that the parents were worried would harm the child, and so on. But the kitchen remodel is a new...
Of course the difficult marriage and the difficulties with parenting are connected. I'm sorry about the whole thing. You deserve better.    In the meantime, I don't think it makes sense to send your child to his room any time his father would. I think you can do the other kind of time outs--the kind where you actually take a cuddle break or just stop and chill out. It's OK for you, as the mom, to ask the kid for a time out for yourself. I used to do that when my kid was...
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