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Opinions-should visits be out of the ordinary everytime? - Page 2

post #21 of 48
Ummm... regardless of whether you have a cleaning schedule or not, is it really a good idea entertaining the child the entire time? I know you may want to, because you don't see the child very often, but it's a good idea for the child to have some time to entertain themselves as well. My Hubby was a "Disneyland Dad" for three years before I came into the picture. My Hubby and my Father-in-Law would literally devote every waking second of every other weekend soley to be entertaining my stepdaughter and doing "fun stuff". I'm sure personality plays into it, but, to this day, she can't stand to be alone and to not have everyone's attention. When she can't have it, she doesn't know what to do with herself and just watches tv.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtoLawyer View Post
Eh, my stepdaughter loves to clean the toilet, so we let her. (She's also here about 40% of the time.) Go figure.
Pssst... ProtoLawyer... I live in Westchester NY and I have two bathrooms...
post #22 of 48
I know, in our case at least, it is not like we are trying to squeeze a whole week's worth of chores into one weekend. When we are all doing chores, dsd gets a chore to do too-i.e. I might ask her to go and empty the compost bucket while I do the dishes, her dad cleans the bathroom, and my dd cleans with a rag (she's only 19 months). I think it would be unfair if I was, say, telling her that since she wasn't here this week she needs to clean her room, feed the dog, mop the floor and take out the trash too since that's what the other members of the family did. (Obviously this is just a made-up example!). When my dd is older, I'm certainly not going to make dsd complete the same list of chores in the shorter time period that she is here, KWIM? But she is responsible for doing her part while she is here.
post #23 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by PoppyMama View Post
I think you are doing fine. As a custodial mom....I want my kids to have a good time and feel like everyone is happy to see them but at the same time it does get on my nerves when the other house is a vacation spot and mine is the land of toil. Balance is a good thing.
Yeah. Kids need to see the realities of life, not just some fantasy. It gets annoying to be the custodial parent and doing the vast majority of the work while the other house is all about fun.
post #24 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by harleyhalfmoon View Post
Ummm... regardless of whether you have a cleaning schedule or not, is it really a good idea entertaining the child the entire time? I know you may want to, because you don't see the child very often, but it's a good idea for the child to have some time to entertain themselves as well. My Hubby was a "Disneyland Dad" for three years before I came into the picture. My Hubby and my Father-in-Law would literally devote every waking second of every other weekend soley to be entertaining my stepdaughter and doing "fun stuff". I'm sure personality plays into it, but, to this day, she can't stand to be alone and to not have everyone's attention. When she can't have it, she doesn't know what to do with herself and just watches tv.

Bolding mine... this is how my DSD is. Her Mom does not have her take responsibility for anything at their house. She doesn't have to clean up her toys or anything, she is baby'ed a lot. She refuses to play by herself for even 10 minutes while I get together dinner, it can lead to meltdowns... she has gotten better with this though.

At her Mom's they live with her Grammy and Uncle, plus her Mom's boyfriend, so there is always an adult available to dote on her. It isn't realistic for our house to run in the same fashion, especially when baby gets here and we are trying to prepare her for when the world is not going to revolve around her anymore.

I think children need reality in their lives as much as we need to preserve their innocence...

DSD's major chores are helping to clean her room. She has her own room and she should be able to put away the toys she takes out and plays with, we shouldn't have to pick up after her just because she is only here EOW. Her other major chore is helping clean her hamster cage. My DH cleans it on weeks she isn't with us... but the weeks she is, she helps... it is her pet.
post #25 of 48
Are you talking this harshness about the 4 yr old in your siggy?


Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
Bolding mine... this is how my DSD is. Her Mom does not have her take responsibility for anything at their house. She doesn't have to clean up her toys or anything, she is baby'ed a lot. She refuses to play by herself for even 10 minutes while I get together dinner, it can lead to meltdowns... she has gotten better with this though.

At her Mom's they live with her Grammy and Uncle, plus her Mom's boyfriend, so there is always an adult available to dote on her. It isn't realistic for our house to run in the same fashion, especially when baby gets here and we are trying to prepare her for when the world is not going to revolve around her anymore.

I think children need reality in their lives as much as we need to preserve their innocence...

DSD's major chores are helping to clean her room. She has her own room and she should be able to put away the toys she takes out and plays with, we shouldn't have to pick up after her just because she is only here EOW. Her other major chore is helping clean her hamster cage. My DH cleans it on weeks she isn't with us... but the weeks she is, she helps... it is her pet.
post #26 of 48
Thread Starter 
How is it harsh?

She is expected to clean up at school... why not at home?
post #27 of 48
I'm sorry for your dsd that you can't see it. It not uncommon for four yr olds to have meltdowns, even when they are with people who adore them. The child is 4; when I was reading your post, I thought you were talking about a young teen.
post #28 of 48
Thread Starter 
I am fully aware it is not uncommon for 4 y/o's to have meltdowns.

However, to have one every single time she cannot get her way or just because seemed a bit much to us. And this isn't just my opinion, but my DH's, other Mom's I know with children this age and other family members with children this age and younger all have commented on it.

Not that all children develop the same... and she has had a rough year. I am not trying to be "harsh" or unrealistic.

I have noticed a significant decrease in the meltdowns over the last month.


We respect her feelings and talk to her about why she may be unable to do something at a given time or why we can't do something with her at a given time... but we can't let her call all the shots either. Or dinner would never get made, and I think it's important to feed children.
post #29 of 48
I just wanted to very nicely add that I think it is really, really important for the chores the EOW child has to do are in fair proportion to the amount of time they are in your household. I know PP have said this, but I can tell you that my DS, who is almost 11, makes some comment about how he had to clean up someone elses whole room or or do this or that while he was with his father. He gets very frustrated by it, he knows he has to do his part, because he does at home, but he doesn't like to go there and clean the bedroom he 'shares' (none of his stuff, not even a bed for him are in it) with 2 stepbrothers while they play. Yes they are told to clean (they are 9 and 5) but don't get in to trouble when they don't, but DS does get in trouble if he doesn't clean so he ends up cleaning the whole room. His comment to me is usually something about why should he clean up their mess, if he picks up what mess he made, should he have to pick up after them too?

Just something to think about.
post #30 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodmomma76 View Post
I just wanted to very nicely add that I think it is really, really important for the chores the EOW child has to do are in fair proportion to the amount of time they are in your household. I know PP have said this, but I can tell you that my DS, who is almost 11, makes some comment about how he had to clean up someone elses whole room or or do this or that while he was with his father. He gets very frustrated by it, he knows he has to do his part, because he does at home, but he doesn't like to go there and clean the bedroom he 'shares' (none of his stuff, not even a bed for him are in it) with 2 stepbrothers while they play. Yes they are told to clean (they are 9 and 5) but don't get in to trouble when they don't, but DS does get in trouble if he doesn't clean so he ends up cleaning the whole room. His comment to me is usually something about why should he clean up their mess, if he picks up what mess he made, should he have to pick up after them too?

Just something to think about.

I would never allow this sort of thing to happen in our house. I beleive in equality and fairnes. Everyone who makes the mess should help clean it up... I beleive in teamwork and responsibility for oneself.

DSD is never asked to clean up messes that are not her's. She does not share a room. No one even goes into her room when she is not here, except perhaps me to check on laundry and do it if her basket is full.

Once DD is old enough to play with DSD... they will be expected to work together to clean up any mess they make. I do not beleive in having different rules for different children. Obviously pending on ages, one may need more direction than the other. But we all work together as a family.
post #31 of 48
I've got no dog in this fight, and I get that you are pregnant.

Make sure you consider whether your expectations are appropriate (and your harshness that she buck up makes me think they are not but stay with me and try not to be angry at me).

Given the age of the child and the neediness of the child, given what she is having to deal with, you might need to step back. If you are tired and overwhlemed, consider the few resources that a small child (pretty much just turned 4) has. You can't have great expectations for a 4 year old to deal with life when adults have a hard enough time.

Consider too, how you might feel if your small child had to divide her time bewtween households, and how you would want her emotional needs met. This is sort of about chores-- and I am not saying children shouldn't or don't like to help-- this is about learning how to get a family working together when there are small children involved.

Parents are always having to evalute the importance of time with a child Vs time cleaning the house. All of us have to make meals with needy children at our heels. Your dsd seems extra demanding because she is not a regular part of your daily routine. You're used to doing things a certain way and in a certain time frame. That changes with small children. Simple things take much longer, and we have to become more creative.

Instead of thinking she is getting in the way, think about how to meet her needs while you prepare dinner.Tthat may be having her help (and you working closely with her-- not sending her off alone to set the table) or having her dad help you in the kitchen with her. This needs to get done the majority of the time without power struggles and anger.

It's not that she needs to get with the program and understand the world doesn't revolve around her. It's that your family needs to figure out how to work together with a needy child, and soon, two needy children.

Working towards this goal now is going to help you once the baby comes. Because whatever aggravates you about the child now, will be multipled 10fold when you have a new baby to care for.
post #32 of 48
Quote:
As a custodial mom....I want my kids to have a good time and feel like everyone is happy to see them but at the same time it does get on my nerves when the other house is a vacation spot and mine is the land of toil. Balance is a good thing.
I completely agree with this! My X was very uninvolved the first four years we were apart - to the point where he went six months without even seeing them and when he did see them it was here in my home, he never took them anywhere. Since February he has come back into their lives and it's been a hard adjustment for the kids and me.

And now he totally gets to be nothing but the fun parent. They always eat out with him. They go bowling. They go to the movies. The go to the arcade. He never has to make them do their homework. The handful of times they have stayed overnight with him they could stay up as late as they wanted. He never makes any of them take a bath/shower. He brings them home at 9:00 PM hungry because they "didn't want to eat". He's not being a parent - he's being some kind of fun uncle. And honestly it's really unfair to me.

OP, I'm glad your step-daughter is involved in chores and normal household activities. I don't think time with the NCP should be 100% fun-time. I think it should be family time, and part of being a family is working together.
post #33 of 48
family meetings with lists of what needs done and people cheerfully volunteering could make things more fun. Good Luck it is a touchy area in blended families.
post #34 of 48
Quote:
I use baking soda or vinegar or borax for most things.
Borax is far from non-toxic and natural - it's made from Boric Acid, the same thing used in rat poison and Botox
post #35 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa85 View Post
Borax is far from non-toxic and natural - it's made from Boric Acid, the same thing used in rat poison and Botox
There is no borax or boric acid in botox. Botox is made from the botulism toxin. And although you shouldn't eat it, borax is as natural as table salt.
post #36 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtoLawyer View Post
Cleaning and other mundane things are "quality time," and I firmly believe that children should see their parents doing it, and help their parents with it to the extent they are able, regardless of whether they "live with" or "visit" their parents.

I also think it's good for a child to see both Mom and Dad doing chores. My ex-husband never saw his dad do anything--not even mow the lawn. He grew up believing that he didn't have to do anything around the house.


You're doing fine.
I defintely agree with this poster. My ex-husband came from a house where the were did everything around the house and him, his older brother and dad did nothing to help. His mom and sister cooked dinner and served it and when the men were finished eating they went an sat in the living room atwching tv while the women cleaned up. And course he expected this in our house as well. I grew up watching my parents split the chores of cooking, cleaning, etc. That is exactly what kids need to see. Yes your DSD should have some "fun" time too when she's with you but she should be part of the household and that means whatever you're doing (housework, yardwork, board games, tv time, etc) she should be a part of.
post #37 of 48
I didn't read all of the replies, but I see absolutely nothing wrong with it. It's just part of life, I'd find it rather unhealthy to run around entertaining one person for two days. There should be fun times, there should be down time for everyone to relax and do nothing, and there should be time to take care of basic needs of the household. All of these are just parts of life, all are fine. :


We say this one a lot in our house:
It's not what you do, it's who you do it with.




.
post #38 of 48
It sounds like you have a really good mix of work and fun. I wouldn't change a thing.
post #39 of 48
just to add a slightly different perspective. my 2 oldest kids rarely see their father, i'd say 4-6 times a year. in the past(they were about 11 and 7 at the time or 12 and 8), they would spend a good portion of that time cleaning his house with him because often their visits fell on his "cleaning days". they would come home angry and hurt for cleaning a house that they did not live in, and just wanted their dad to spend time with them - say playing a game, or going for a walk. they wouldn't look forward to the next visit because they knew they would end up having to clean. all they wanted was their dad to show he cared for them by interacting with them ... and being expected to clean was not helping them connect, it was putting distance between them. frankly, i would have been happy for those visits if he would have done something fun with them!

just something to consider ...
post #40 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by mandib50 View Post
just to add a slightly different perspective. my 2 oldest kids rarely see their father, i'd say 4-6 times a year. in the past(they were about 11 and 7 at the time or 12 and 8), they would spend a good portion of that time cleaning his house with him because often their visits fell on his "cleaning days". they would come home angry and hurt for cleaning a house that they did not live in, and just wanted their dad to spend time with them - say playing a game, or going for a walk. they wouldn't look forward to the next visit because they knew they would end up having to clean. all they wanted was their dad to show he cared for them by interacting with them ... and being expected to clean was not helping them connect, it was putting distance between them. frankly, i would have been happy for those visits if he would have done something fun with them!

just something to consider ...
I think this is different than the OPs and many others situations where we see our stepkids EOW at the very least. Certainly if the kids were only seeing their dad a few times a year, than I can see how it would be inappropriate and unfair to not rearrange your cleaning day to spend time with the kids. I'm sorry your children have to put up with that!
In that case, the kids are more of a visitor to their dad's house, and therefore should be treated more like visitor. In my case, dsd lives here too. It is her house, she has her own room, her own things, etc. She is here frequently and considers herself to have 2 houses. Therefore, I don't feel like she should be treated like a visitor to our home.
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