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Vacationing without SS

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 

My husband and I are taking my two children, our one child together, and his son (12) to Disney World in March.  His son (10) refuses to come to our house...parental alienation on his mother's part...

 

Long story short, he is violent and will punch, kick, bite....the whole 9 yards when DH goes to pick him up.  DH can't handle it anymore and told him that he doesn't have to come to our house and can stay with his mother if that's what he wants.

 

We are not including him in our Disney Vacation even though we are taking his brother (who comes with us faithfully and doesn't give us any problems).

 

How would you handle this situation?

 

Would you take the son that wants nothing to do with your DH any other time or would you leave him with his mother since that is where he wants to be?


Edited by blended chaos - 12/23/13 at 4:43pm
post #2 of 42

I think I would invite him, but not force him to go if he doesn't want to.  It isn't going to help anything if he feels like your dh doesn't want him along at all and/or care if he is there.  If he chooses not to go, I'd  bring him (small) souvenir and tell him you missed him. 

post #3 of 42

I'm sorry, now that I am rereading, is the issue more that he does want to go to Disney, but you and dh are feeling used because he doesn't want to come any other time? 

 

I feel like you should still let him come, but go easy on the bells and whistles-while you want him to feel included and loved, he might also start to think (or be encouraged to think, if alienation is an issue) that dad is trying to buy his love/visitation. 

post #4 of 42
Thread Starter 
Yes, we would definitely feel used. Another issue is we are not telling any of the kids we are going. it will be a surprise until we get there so we can't ask him if he wants to come with us to Disney world because it would ruin the surprise for the other children.

so in order to get him to even come with us it would be more kicking screaming and hitting which would definitely start the vacation off on a bad note. not to mention 12 hours stuck in a car with him crying and screaming and going on and on about how he doesn't want to be with us.
Edited by blended chaos - 12/23/13 at 4:57pm
post #5 of 42
What is he like once he is at your house? Is the kicking and screaming just at pick-up and then he settles down or does he really object to being with you the whole time? Do you think he would be happy and excited to be at Disney World or unhappy and missing his mum the whole time?

Would it be possible to secretly tell him but not the others and get him to keep it a secret or would he not be able to keep it to himself? How important is it to keep it a secret from all the kids? Would it be worth telling them a bit earlier in order to have Master 10 come with you?
post #6 of 42
Thread Starter 
he acts up the whole time at this point because we have rules...bed times....you will brush your teeth and bathe. his mom let's him do whatever he wants to so naturally he will want to stay with her.

We were doing 7 and 7 at one point. We started this in January of last year. it took us 8 months to get him somewhat straightened out. We ended up in the hospital from august to September with our newborn. When we got back home all that we had worked towards in the 8 months was gone. He was back to the disruptive violent child he started out as. In one month all the progress we made that took 8 was gone.

During the week that he was with us he would throw things, steal things. It was pretty bad. We were told by the psychiatrist that we were bringing him to to NEVER leave him around the baby because of his violent tendencies. Pretty much the last day we had him for the week he would calm down slightly but not much.

He has ODD so he basically thinks he is the boss. If you tell him not to do something....don't tell anyone we are going to Disney world....he will run screaming to tell everyone. That's just the kid that he is.
post #7 of 42
What a hard situation for everyone. It seems to me like there are two options

1. If you think the treat will prompt him to behave well and not ruin the trip for everyone, tell everyone beforehand and take him with you. Being prepared for some degree of poor behaviour and having plans in place to help him manage himself and your expectations.

2. Don't take him. If you think his behaviour will remain unchanged and he will spoil the trip for the other kids then not going is a consequence. A pretty tough one and a last resort IMO but the other kids have a right to peaceful enjoyment as well.

Does the psychiatrist have an opinion one way or the other and suggestions to handle whatever you decide?
post #8 of 42
Thread Starter 
His mother changed him to a new psychiatrist while we were in the hospital. She changes doctors like this when one tells her something she doesn't like or doesn't want to put him on a med she wants him on. DH has left the doctors up to her at this point because when we make him appointments she doesn't bring him and then DH is responsible for cancellation fees...$75 for him NOT to show up because his mother wouldn't bring him.

There is A LOT more to this story but basically BM was determined that there was nothing wrong with SS and sabotaged every effort we made to get help.

We live in Louisiana...which means a 12+ drive and 7 days away from home. If it were a one day thing, somewhere local my decision wouldn't be as hard but this is 12 or more hours in a car where he could turn violent if he doesn't get his way and 5 days at Disney where we could have a miserable time because of his tantrums.
post #9 of 42
Thread Starter 

Wwe have decided to give SS10 the opportunity to show that he wants to be part of our family and in turn have a place in the family vacation.

Here is what is planned. DH will mention to SS that we have something big planned for this coming year. Something that will make him very sad to miss out on. We are telling him that he will have the option on deciding if he will be included or not. The way for him to be included is to come and spend time with us. This doesn't mean he has to do 7 and 7 right now. If he wants to just come on the weekend, that is fine with us as a start to rebuilt the relationship and get things right again.

He will do 1 of two things. Tell us that he doesn't care what we are doing and he isn't coming over, or....

this will peak his interest and he will realize that it's not all rules and no fun at our house.

He will also be told that he has to be on his best behavior because throwing temper tantrums and screaming and being violent will result in him not being able to be included.

When we went to meet up with BM to give SS10 his Christmas gifts, SS was very calm, gave his dad a huge hug and told me hi. This made me realize that there is definitely still hope for him but we have to start off small.

I will be putting small ideas into DH's head so that he takes the initiative and makes the first moves. I suggested that he takes SS10 somewhere by himself....fast food lunch....somewhere that they can talk 1 on 1 so that he realizes that he is very important to his dad.

I know this is not my battle but the mother in me feels heartbroken over this situation.

Bottom line is, if SS10 can prove that he is willing to try to be part of our family, we will be including him in the trip.

post #10 of 42
Thread Starter 
DH explained to SS that we would be going on a family vacation soon and we want him to come with us but he needed to prove to us that he wanted to be part of our family and that means spending time with us. DH asked SS to just come on the weekend and spend time. SS straight out told DH that he didn't care where we were going that he didn't want to come on vacation. This means if we try to make him go it will be kicking and screaming all the way to Disney World. So once again SS will not be coming on vacation.
post #11 of 42
I like how you did it because later he will realize he had the chance to go. It might not make sense in his world short term but it might help later thinking back on it.
post #12 of 42
I would definitely say you should invite him and not force him to go. He's still a child and you are still the adults so you really have to cut him a lot of slack an ongoing basis until he's 18. I don't think it's fair for you to throw up your hands one day and say "that's enough, we aren't going to put any effort into the relationship anymore, you're out!"

As the adult child of a mother who tried (amd ultimately failed) to alienate me from my dad I have a soft spot for these poor kids. He's 12 but he's still a child. While my mom was doing this my dad would still come faithfully to pick me up every time and would wait for an hour parked outside, just sitting there, and I wouldn't go out. Now, as an adult I feel so incredibly lucky to have a father that stuck with me through that. I love my dad and a big part of the reason I hold him in such high esteem is becaue he conducted himself with such integrity during what must have been very difficult circumstances for him. I was around the same age when I started rejecting my dad.

As for this: "issue is we are not telling any of the kids we are going. it will be a surprise until we get there so we can't ask him if he wants to come with us..." No offense but this seems like total BS. You're constructing the vacation in a way that makes it easier for you to rationalize excluding him. This is so not cool.
If you need for it to be a surprise (which why do you, it's Disney for crissake) why not wrap the tickets, pamphlets or whatever and have them unwrap it. It's still a surprise and you can now include the other son in a way that doesn't totally disrespect him.

It seems from your post that you're fed up, and that's understandable. But, you still have to play the adult here and even though he's big and isn't a baby he's still a child. If you mess this up now, at a time when he needs you most, he may never forgive you. Imagine how that might make you feel in 20 years of he starts have grandchildren or in 10 years when he confronts you about it as an adult. If you don't invite him to Disney (?! surely you must know this isn't a smart move) he will remember that forever and you will deal with the fallout of being thatparent forever.

Keep trying to build the relationship, but don't force him. The long term perspective is key here. Also, Dr Markhams book Peaceful Parents has helped many.
post #13 of 42
Thread Starter 
We have invited him and he said no. I am not begging him to come on vacation. He was given the choice. He decided not to come.

As for cutting him out of everything, that isn't what we are doing. dh will still ask him to come over and in the future if we take vacations we will give him the same choice we did this time.

As for not telling the kids where we are going, I want to be able to turn around in my seat and take a picture of their faces when they realize where we are. As a mother, this is my right to be able to capture the faces of my own children to be able to look back on later. So to you it might be bs but to me this is an important part of our vacation memories.

We will be telling the kids we are taking a vacation, we have already told SS10 this and he doesn’t want to come, but we will not be telling them where it is to. Why should he be able to pick and choose which vacations he comes on? If we were to tell him we were going to the beach and he said no but we told him we are going to Disney and he said yes. How does that make it right????

We have NEVER disrespected SS10, if anything he is the disrespectful one. And I know he is a child but he is a child that was given a choice. He chooses not to go. When he is an adult he will remember that he was given the choice and he said no….
post #14 of 42
I would allow him to change his mind at any point between now and the trip.
post #15 of 42
Thread Starter 
He has two weeks to change his mind. Everything has to be finalized by Jan 15th.
post #16 of 42
When I said be disrespectful I meant by making him go for visits, which it sounds like you don't do.

"Why should he be able to pick and choose which vacations he comes on?". Because he is a child.

Some of what I hear you writing sounds like you want to treat him like a "mini adult" ( ex: "why should he get to choose..?", "if anything he is being disrespectful"). He gets to be treated in a special way and have his feelings and needs get special consideration because he is a child.

Re: hes said no to "all" vacations so that must include this super awesome one that any kid would give their xbox for. I still think you're playing a dangerous game here and that it could backfire big time, especially when he's
Older and is more able to reason through what happened.
post #17 of 42
Omg he's only 10????

Poor kid.
post #18 of 42
What details need to be finalized by January?
post #19 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viola P View Post

I would definitely say you should invite him and not force him to go. He's still a child and you are still the adults so you really have to cut him a lot of slack an ongoing basis until he's 18. I don't think it's fair for you to throw up your hands one day and say "that's enough, we aren't going to put any effort into the relationship anymore, you're out!"

As the adult child of a mother who tried (amd ultimately failed) to alienate me from my dad I have a soft spot for these poor kids. He's 12 but he's still a child. While my mom was doing this my dad would still come faithfully to pick me up every time and would wait for an hour parked outside, just sitting there, and I wouldn't go out. Now, as an adult I feel so incredibly lucky to have a father that stuck with me through that. I love my dad and a big part of the reason I hold him in such high esteem is becaue he conducted himself with such integrity during what must have been very difficult circumstances for him. I was around the same age when I started rejecting my dad.

As for this: "issue is we are not telling any of the kids we are going. it will be a surprise until we get there so we can't ask him if he wants to come with us..." No offense but this seems like total BS. You're constructing the vacation in a way that makes it easier for you to rationalize excluding him. This is so not cool.
If you need for it to be a surprise (which why do you, it's Disney for crissake) why not wrap the tickets, pamphlets or whatever and have them unwrap it. It's still a surprise and you can now include the other son in a way that doesn't totally disrespect him.

It seems from your post that you're fed up, and that's understandable. But, you still have to play the adult here and even though he's big and isn't a baby he's still a child. If you mess this up now, at a time when he needs you most, he may never forgive you. Imagine how that might make you feel in 20 years of he starts have grandchildren or in 10 years when he confronts you about it as an adult. If you don't invite him to Disney (?! surely you must know this isn't a smart move) he will remember that forever and you will deal with the fallout of being thatparent forever.

Keep trying to build the relationship, but don't force him. The long term perspective is key here. Also.[/quote
Agree! Especially about the to telling.
post #20 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viola P View Post

When I said be disrespectful I meant by making him go for visits, which it sounds like you don't do.

"Why should he be able to pick and choose which vacations he comes on?". Because he is a child.

Some of what I hear you writing sounds like you want to treat him like a "mini adult" ( ex: "why should he get to choose..?", "if anything he is being disrespectful"). He gets to be treated in a special way and have his feelings and needs get special consideration because he is a child.

Re: hes said no to "all" vacations so that must include this super awesome one that any kid would give their xbox for. I still think you're playing a dangerous game here and that it could backfire big time, especially when he's
Older and is more able to reason through what happened.

Yes, and your husband may be very angry with the way this turned out when he comes to his senses.
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