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Summer reading (longish rant) - Page 2

post #21 of 26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceinwen View Post
Perhaps. Maybe she thinks they're exaggerating? God knows I only believe half of what comes out of my ex's mouth, and our relationship isn't half as acrimonious...Again, she really truly may simply see this as you trying to control her time, with her child, as a means of keeping your hands on him while he's gone, etc.
To clarify...Initially, my husband just sent her the link to the page on the school's web site that describes the summer reading assignment. I think all he wrote in the message was a simple sentence to let her know what the link was about, so she wouldn't ignore it. He wanted to avoid seeming like he was telling her what to do - and, for God's sake, he wanted to avoid letting her think he was exaggerating about the requirements! He only brought it up again when DSS told him that, after 3 weeks with Mom, he was still at the same place in his reading that he was when he left home (almost done with the 1st book), which obviously means he's not on-track to finish all 3 books in the 4 weeks left of his visit, or the 5 weeks left before school starts.

Initially, my husband didn't even tell her how we were approaching the assignment at home, to avoid sounding like he wanted to "control" how she handled it. We made sure DSS had the outline he'd worked on, on his laptop, which he took to his Mom's. But if she approached things differently, fine - as long as it got done.

I'm sure she's not the only divorced parent with this type of attitude. But it's not defensible. The kids should be the first priority, not the pettiness.
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeannine View Post
I'm sure she's not the only divorced parent with this type of attitude. But it's not defensible. The kids should be the first priority, not the pettiness.
Agreed.

On our end, we don't get consulted about the school they attend (in fact, we have to find out from the kids when they switch schools!) or told much of anything. But, when we are sent homework to do with the kids, or reading assignments, you better believe we make sure the kids do them.
It's called "parenting time" for a reason.
post #23 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by violet_ View Post
...But, when we are sent homework to do with the kids, or reading assignments, you better believe we make sure the kids do them.
It's called "parenting time" for a reason.
Amen!
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeannine View Post
To clarify...Initially, my husband just sent her the link to the page on the school's web site that describes the summer reading assignment. I think all he wrote in the message was a simple sentence to let her know what the link was about, so she wouldn't ignore it. He wanted to avoid seeming like he was telling her what to do - and, for God's sake, he wanted to avoid letting her think he was exaggerating about the requirements!

I'm sure she's not the only divorced parent with this type of attitude. But it's not defensible. The kids should be the first priority, not the pettiness.
Well, that negates that idea then.

As far as the bolded quote goes, again - of course children should be the first priority, not pettiness, but when the co-parenting relationship is so bad... there's not a lot to work with. I can't even ask my ex to put sunscreen on our two kids (who come home sun burnt all.the.time) w/o him shrieking about me trying to control him - and we get along rather well when it comes to the kids.
post #25 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceinwen View Post
I can't even ask my ex to put sunscreen on our two kids (who come home sun burnt all.the.time) w/o him shrieking about me trying to control him - and we get along rather well when it comes to the kids.
It sounds like several moms on here have that problem with their exes. That stinks.
post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeannine View Post
I think you misunderstand a little. My husband has brought up the reading assignments to his ex once, half-way through her summer visit. He talks to his son almost daily and only asks him periodically if he's doing his reading. It's not constant nagging. There's no question: she does feel like he's trying to control their time together. But the rest of DSS' life, connections, associations and responsibilities don't cease to exist just because he visits his Mom. She can try to keep herself and DSS in an isolated little coccoon, by keeping him from talking to anyone but my husband, living across the country, and even by permitting him to ignore his school work. But my husband can't be expected to "respect" that as though it's reasonable and never ask about the school work.
All I can say to this is obviously this approach is NOT working otherwise you wouldn't be here posting about it. As a child of divorced parents' all I can tell you is that if the mom is telling him it's not a big deal, and your husband is asking about it (and asking about it more than once IS nagging to a child if he's not doing it), than dss is being put in a stressful situation. How would the situation improve if you guys put NO expectations on dss while he was with his mom? It may not be 'fair', but oh well, life's not fair.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeannine View Post
I really hope you're wrong, about alienating him. I see what you're saying. But the idea that at the young age of 11, the people closest to you, who are supposed to think you're the most important thing in the entire world, would just throw up their hands and say, "If he fails, he fails. Not my problem," just sounds so lonely and hopeless to me! How can he make a valid decision now that he doesn't want help learning better study habits - that would benefit him later - when he scarcely thinks past this week?
I didn't say that. I said give him the tools and the support to succeed.. You can't make someone succeed. And if he's fighting it? Forget it! I think you and your dh need to do some real soul searching and decide what kind of relationship you want with dss. I'm not talking about abandoning him, I'm talking about supporting what's important. From reading your other posts, the last thing this kid needs is stress about a reading log.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeannine View Post
I certainly don't want DSS to hate me. And I really don't think that's the road we're on. But if he's frustrated with me sometimes because I remind him that he should strive to do more than the minimum...well, aren't we supposed to resent our parents' high expectations from time to time, when we're kids? That doesn't kill the long-term relationship. I guess only time will tell...
Yes, I think parents' that have a strong relationship with their kids can push them and that relationship will be intact. But your dss obviously has a lot of issues he's dealing with. Maybe he doesn't need to focus on a more challenging school right now? I think if you focus more on building trust between you guys and less on him "living up to his potential" that the success will happen, even if it's not in the conventional way you want it to.
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