or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Blended and Step Family Parenting › Vacationing without SS
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Vacationing without SS - Page 2

post #21 of 42
Thread Starter 
Yes he is 10. He also has ODD which means per psychiatrist orders, he has to be given options and has to be allowed to make his own decision on which option he chooses. So yes, he is treated like a "mini-adult". He was given the choice of coming or not coming on vacation. He said no


If we add one more child we have to switch from one room to two. This has to he done and paid for by January 15th.
post #22 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by blended chaos View Post

Yes he is 10. He also has ODD which means per psychiatrist orders, he has to be given options and has to be allowed to make his own decision on which option he chooses. So yes, he is treated like a "mini-adult". He was given the choice of coming or not coming on vacation. He said no


If we add one more child we have to switch from one room to two. This has to he done and paid for by January 15th.

I would tell him it's Disney and let him decide. Isn't having the entire family there more important than the photograph of only some of the kids in the car? You must have thought he might have wanted to go, or you wouldn't post here. Why not give him all the info? Unless you want a way out. I think it's crappy what you're planning to do.
post #23 of 42
Yeah I think you're doing everything right except not telling him that it's Disney. There's a very good chance that he has no idea what he's saying no to.

On the positive side, this can all be a real opportunity to mend bridges, especially of he decides to go.
post #24 of 42

You only need one room for seven people?  I would just plan on two rooms, and that way you are set no matter what.  It doesn't sound like you are flying. 

 

This is the kind of thing that stands out in most kids' minds.  "The time you all went to disney without me."  He is 10.  There is a part of me that thinks you should just take him no matter what.  What if he was your biological child?  Would you consider leaving him behind then?  He 'is' your husband's bio child.  Going without him but with five other kids is a very divisive act that can lead to nothing good.

post #25 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by swede View Post

You only need one room for seven people?  I would just plan on two rooms, and that way you are set no matter what.  It doesn't sound like you are flying. 

This is the kind of thing that stands out in most kids' minds.  "The time you all went to disney without me."  He is 10.  There is a part of me that thinks you should just take him no matter what.  What if he was your biological child?  Would you consider leaving him behind then?  He 'is' your husband's bio child.  Going without him but with five other kids is a very divisive act that can lead to nothing good.

I was thinking that too but my only hesitation is that the OP said he can be violent with the other kids. I don't know what the solution is but I can see the dilemma of needing to keep the other kids safe.

I do think that keeping it a secret is wrong if knowing would help. It's a shame about the photo if that's something you've been looking forward to but it's not a good enough reason to exclude a child from a family event.
post #26 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by katelove View Post


I was thinking that too but my only hesitation is that the OP said he can be violent with the other kids. I don't know what the solution is but I can see the dilemma of needing to keep the other kids safe.

I do think that keeping it a secret is wrong if knowing would help. It's a shame about the photo if that's something you've been looking forward to but it's not a good enough reason to exclude a child from a family event.

 

This.

 

Swede & ViolaP- It's not clear if you're acknowledging the tantruming issue or that this child is potentially a danger to the baby. If this were merely a case of a well-behaved kid refusing to go because his mother is poisoning him against his father- that's one thing. But there's also the very serious concern that this child with behavior problems will ruin the trip for everyone, hurt someone, make it a miserable experience, and taking him along may unduly punish the other children. As the OP said- if this were a day trip, something easy to leave and return home if the child kicks off badly, that'd be one thing. A 12 hour road trip is VERY stressful even for people who get along. If he turns violent or starts throwing things- he could cause a crash. Even if they get there without incident, it would be impossible to quickly get the OP's step son back to a place he feels safe and comfortable in the middle of the trip if this goes bad without causing even more stress. What happens if he doesn't want to leave?

 

This is a child with mental problems whose mother is trying to alienate him from his father. Even if he wants Disney World- can he handle it?

post #27 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by sillysapling View Post
 

 

This.

 

Swede & ViolaP- It's not clear if you're acknowledging the tantruming issue or that this child is potentially a danger to the baby. If this were merely a case of a well-behaved kid refusing to go because his mother is poisoning him against his father- that's one thing. But there's also the very serious concern that this child with behavior problems will ruin the trip for everyone, hurt someone, make it a miserable experience, and taking him along may unduly punish the other children. As the OP said- if this were a day trip, something easy to leave and return home if the child kicks off badly, that'd be one thing. A 12 hour road trip is VERY stressful even for people who get along- it would be impossible to quickly get the OP's step son back to a place he feels safe and comfortable in the middle of the trip if this goes bad without causing even more stress.

 

This is a child with mental problems whose mother is trying to alienate him from his father. Even if he wants Disney World- can he handle it?


what if her bio child had ODD?  What would she do then? W ould she make plans to leave the child with a grandparent or something?  Maybe he has ODD for a reason, like not feeling a strong attachment to dad?

post #28 of 42
Not inviting him because he's mentally ill goes to a question of severity. If that's the issue I would ask his doctor. If the doctor says its not a good idea then there's the answer.
post #29 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viola P View Post

Not inviting him because he's mentally ill goes to a question of severity. If that's the issue I would ask his doctor. If the doctor says its not a good idea then there's the answer.

I think this is a good idea. I mentioned it in a previous post but the OP said there was some issue with mum changing doctors.

I wonder if it would be possible to get an appointment with the original doctor though, to get some advice on how to handle the situation. Don't take DSS with you just you and his dad to see how the dr suggests handling it.
post #30 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by swede View Post
 


what if her bio child had ODD?  What would she do then? W ould she make plans to leave the child with a grandparent or something?  Maybe he has ODD for a reason, like not feeling a strong attachment to dad?

A better way to word it would be "like the mother's attempts at parental alienation from dad". It's possible that child abuse (which parental alienation and sabotaging mental health care is) is a cause for ODD. Simply not having an attachment to your parent is not- if the OP's husband had just never been in his son's life, and his mother took his emotional needs into consideration instead of constantly sabotaging him- it's likely that this child would be far better off. I agree that it is the father's job to do everything he can to help his son- but this isn't his fault. It's also possible that this child would have had ODD even with the perfect parents- but the perfect parents would get him the help he needs rather than sabotaging his care, and he would be in a far better place because of it.

 

Frankly- if a child has issues that make a specific trip/event inadvisable, the parents taking the child would be irresponsible. And, yes, sometimes parents DO make plans to leave the child who can't handle it with family/family friends if they feel it's unfair to deny the kids who CAN handle it the experience. You may not agree that Disney World is something like this-  but there are things that are worth it. If both children qualify for an out of state competition, but one can't handle the required travel- is it fair to say that the one child shouldn't be allowed to compete just because the other couldn't go as well? Again- you may say yes, other people would say no. As an adult- I have to face these limitations and decide for myself whether something I would like to do is worth the risk. I would have liked to go on a trip to NYC that my department was hosting- but I knew that, due to my fibromyalgia, I'd by physically unable to handle it and it could trigger panic attacks as well. Obviously, I didn't throw a tantrum and demand no one go just because I'm unable to. As a child, its the parents' job to make those judgement calls. Which, as a kid, meant missing out on things I wanted to do because I couldn't handle it- it's a part of life.

 

When there's more than one child- it gets complicated. Sometimes it's awful for the child/ren who can't handle it to be excluded, although sometimes kids that can't handle something PREFER not being included because they know it'd be a bad experience. But is it fair to deny the kids who can handle it from having the experience? It's a difficult question. It depends on the family, the circumstances, what the experience is, etc. Sometimes, yes, parents decide that the trip/experience/whatever is worth the benefit to the kids who can handle it, and sometimes they have a family friend/member take care of the child/ren that can't go. This isn't only with emotional problems- if someone has a physical disability or illness that makes it so they can't go, that's also a consideration.

 

They invited the son on a fun family vacation, telling him it was something he would be upset if he missed. They gave him the chance to prove he can go without causing problems. He refused. If they say Disney World and ruin the surprise and he still says "no" (because he may not want to go even there)- will that be enough?

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Viola P View Post

Not inviting him because he's mentally ill goes to a question of severity. If that's the issue I would ask his doctor. If the doctor says its not a good idea then there's the answer.

The problem is, according to some posters in this thread, that they didn't do it right. They invited him on the proviso that he agree to visit them and behave, show that he'll be able to handle the vacation and that it won't be guaranteed to be a miserable experience. (I imagine the OP and her husband would help him to do so- if they wouldn't, that'd be a problem) He didn't want to.

I do agree that the doctor should be approached about this. If not the new doctor- perhaps a previous one that has more experience with the child. If there's virtually no chance that, even if he wants to and tries, the trip will be a good experience for the step son and family if he goes- that effects the situation. Letting him come and having it be a bad experience could make things even worse.

post #31 of 42
Well, doesn't Dr. Laura Markham, renowned child psychologist, have her own Q&A page on this very site? Why not ask her?

My concern is that the illness isn't used as an excuse to exclude. If that's the real reason it should be bona fide. Also, inconvenience isn't a good enough reason IMO, I only agreed that it might be okay of it posed a danger to the other children.
post #32 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viola P View Post

Well, doesn't Dr. Laura Markham, renowned child psychologist, have her own Q&A page on this very site? Why not ask her?

My concern is that the illness isn't used as an excuse to exclude. If that's the real reason it should be bona fide. Also, inconvenience isn't a good enough reason IMO, I only agreed that it might be okay of it posed a danger to the other children.

If there's a psychologist that has a good amount of experience with this specific child (I know the mother keeps changing psychologists, so I'm not sure how many have enough experience to make a judgement), they would be a far better resource. Dr. Markham will only be getting the OP's perspective- not be able to speak to any of the children, and has no history with them. If Dr. Markham were able to take half a day to go, talk to the OP's husband, his ex, and all the kids involved, and also see the step son's records- I'd agree, but I don't know if a forum post will explain it well enough. Mental illnesses are not universal things, different people with the same illness have it at different degrees and different levels and manifest in different ways, and I don't think it's appropriate for the OP to post intimate details about her step-son's medical records on a public forum. It does look like she has experience with ODD, but she doesn't have experience with this child. If there is no other option, it's better than nothing- but I think it's better to try the son's personal psychologist first.

 

I agree that inconvenience isn't a good enough reason, but as we all know his psychologist has expressed concern that this boy could be a danger to the new baby due to his violent outbursts- so we're already well aware there is reason to be concerned that he could be a danger to the other children.

post #33 of 42
If OP felt she might get valuable insight from a bunch of strangers with no qualifications why wouldn't she think there might be some value to getting dr m's perspective?

I also disagree with the implication that dr m couldn't add anything of value without first meeting the child/family in question.

This 10 year old could be really negatively impacted by this in the long term. He's still a child and the fact that he's mentally ill points to a need to treat his feelings with even greater care, not stigmatize him and treat him like a dangerous leper.
post #34 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viola P View Post

If OP felt she might get valuable insight from a bunch of strangers with no qualifications why wouldn't she think there might be some value to getting dr m's perspective?

I also disagree with the implication that dr m couldn't add anything of value without first meeting the child/family in question.

This 10 year old could be really negatively impacted by this in the long term. He's still a child and the fact that he's mentally ill points to a need to treat his feelings with even greater care, not stigmatize him and treat him like a dangerous leper.


I didn't say she has nothing of value. I said that it would be better to get the input of a psychologist who has experience with this specific child. I question how much experience you actually have with psychology that you think all people with mental illnesses are so homogenous that a doctor can hear a second or third hand account and give the exact right advice for the person effected.

 

I explicitly said "If there is no other option[meaning if the OP's husband can't talk with a psychologist with enough experience with his son for whatever reason], it's better than nothing". So I'm really questioning whether you're actually reading my posts or just skimming for something to complain about, and I wonder if you're doing the same to the OP.

 

Actually, given the last line- I'm almost certain that you're ignoring what I'm saying in favor of what you want to think I'm saying in order to make baseless accusations.

post #35 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by blended chaos View Post
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.

 

I'm not parenting in a blended or step family, but this part of the thread caught my eye and I wanted to comment on it. I think whether or not someone enjoys being surprised on where one is going varies from person to person, but I think a lot of people (myself included) do not enjoy being surprised in this way. Even as a child, I preferred to know where I was going. So, if someone were to take me on a trip without telling me where we are going, I would frustrated and annoyed and anxious. And the photograph of my face that one would capture when I realized where I was would be face of exhaustion, frustration, and--at best--relief. For me, part of the joy of a vacation is looking forward to it (as well as being on vacation and remembering it later). So I really enjoy (and did as a kid) looking ahead to the vacation, thinking about what I was going to pack, packing, planning, etc. If someone were to take me to Disney, they would be able to capture photographs of my joy at picking out and packing the outfit I wanted to wear to the Magic Kingdom and more.

 

OP, I understand that being the one to surprise your kids is something that you want *for you*. It sounds like you are making this about what you want for yourself, not necessarily what's good for your children and what's going to give them the best memories.

 

I also understand that your children may or may not like being surprised about where they are going. However, if there's any chance that any of your children don't like being surprised in this way (and it might be hard for you to know, especially if they feel that you want them to enjoy being surprised), I urge you to reconsider making the trip a surprise.

post #36 of 42

@sillysapling

I guess i have a soft spot for these kids, especially the ones with mental illness.

 

You're right that i'm not a psychologist. I'm not sure if you are, i don't think it really matters. OP wanted opinions and input, and that's what this is.

 

IMO it's mean/harsh to exclude a boy of 10 from a Disney vacation unless there are bona fide reasons. I personally hate the"dead baby card" because i think it's mostly played as a way to stop conversations, emotionally manipulate people into accepting positions that aren't fair/ideal, and is definitely overplayed in our society. Is this boy really that much of a danger? Or, is his illness being used as an excuse? I don't know. OP would know the truth about that in her heart of hearts, and this is something that might require an expert's perspective. It's not something that should be thrown around lightly, the implications are too serious and far reaching, for the boy of course. I don't mean to sound harsh.

 

Again, this story pinched at my heartstrings because i remember what it felt like to be that boy's age and have a step mother who didn't seem to want me around. I'm not saying OP doesn't want this boy around, or that she's harsh with him, but reading the story brought back those memories for me. I feel more for the boy than i do for OP. Though of course i recognize blended family situations are often very difficult for everyone.

 

Still, imo, the boy is a child and op is the adult, the fact that the child has an illness means more sensitivity and caring should be given, not less. If danger is an issue this should be clearly explained, and why would OP even ask if this was the reason? Like i said, it shouldn't be used to buttress an otherwise weak rationale for excluding a child from the vacation of a lifetime.

post #37 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyHappyMommy View Post
 

 

I'm not parenting in a blended or step family, but this part of the thread caught my eye and I wanted to comment on it. I think whether or not someone enjoys being surprised on where one is going varies from person to person, but I think a lot of people (myself included) do not enjoy being surprised in this way. Even as a child, I preferred to know where I was going. So, if someone were to take me on a trip without telling me where we are going, I would frustrated and annoyed and anxious. And the photograph of my face that one would capture when I realized where I was would be face of exhaustion, frustration, and--at best--relief. For me, part of the joy of a vacation is looking forward to it (as well as being on vacation and remembering it later). So I really enjoy (and did as a kid) looking ahead to the vacation, thinking about what I was going to pack, packing, planning, etc. If someone were to take me to Disney, they would be able to capture photographs of my joy at picking out and packing the outfit I wanted to wear to the Magic Kingdom and more.

 

OP, I understand that being the one to surprise your kids is something that you want *for you*. It sounds like you are making this about what you want for yourself, not necessarily what's good for your children and what's going to give them the best memories.

 

I also understand that your children may or may not like being surprised about where they are going. However, if there's any chance that any of your children don't like being surprised in this way (and it might be hard for you to know, especially if they feel that you want them to enjoy being surprised), I urge you to reconsider making the trip a surprise.

I agree with this. I also think it's possible that the surprise could make this more difficult for the son. Even ignoring ODD, there are a lot of kids that can't handle surprises and need to be warned ahead of time to any major change. Even good changes can cause upset, they need time to mentally prepare themselves for what's coming. It's very common with young children- but it can apply even into adulthood. After the stress of a 12 hour trip, being surprised with something as big as Disney World could be overwhelming and cause a huge upset to many kids. A huge upset for kids who respond to upset with violent outbursts is a really bad idea.

 

If it were a day trip that involved half an hour of driving or so- it wouldn't' be as big a deal.

 

I'm assuming that the kids that will definitely be going like surprises. (at least, I hope so- if the OP's husband knows his elder son hates surprises and is still going along with this, there's a big problem that he's putting his new wife before his children!) But it's Disney World- kids who want to go are going to be just as excited to be there if they get a month to look forward to it as they will if they find out when they see the gates.

post #38 of 42
Quote:
~~Yeah I think you're doing everything right except not telling him that it's Disney. There's a very good chance that he has no idea what he's saying no to.

I agree. It sounds like he is saying no out of anger in the moment. If you tell him its Disney and he says no, that is his decision, but the way you describe it, it sounds like you are setting it up so he will  say no, so you don't have to deal with him on the trip. I think that cleary outweighs a picture of surprised faces. You could get the same "surprised face" picture a million and 1 different ways. Do a scavenger hunt, open a present, there probably a Disney themed website or message board called 101 ways to surprise your child with a trip to disney

post #39 of 42
Also, there is a very real possibility that the photo opportunity will be missed anyway. One of the kids is asleep when the others realise. They're in the middle of a big inter-sibling war. It's dark. The camera battery is flat. They surprise you by guessing early and you miss the moment. One of them guesses, another doesn't believe them and an argument errupts. etc etc etc

I'm sorry to rain on your parade but I've been thinking about this thread and, the more I think about it the more I think the surprise element is a really bad reason for excluding DSS. You could still do the photo when you tell them at home. I a happy think you have more chance of getting it there anyway :-)
post #40 of 42

So, I've been following this thread since it keeps popping up on "new posts", and it strikes me as odd that some posters seem to assume that all kids are obsessed with Disney.  Not all of them are.  But even if this particular kid is obsessed with Disney, wouldn't it be unfair to permanently link his first Disney experience with a 12 hour car-ride with people he doesn't want to be with?  I know that the reasons for his dislike are pretty bad, and I hope things can get sorted out, but the fact remains that a 12 hour car-ride is a long time to be stuck with other people, even if you like them, and he doesn't currently think he likes the people he'd be sharing it with, and that would be a big part of his memories of the trip.  Wouldn't it be kinder to promise to pay for him to go to Disney on his own when he's old enough?

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Blended and Step Family Parenting › Vacationing without SS