xdh not doing alternative parenting - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 34 Old 05-23-2010, 03:07 PM
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I just want to know how to handle having two different parenting styles under one roof and experiences with that. I initially posted in parenting partners but the first poster said I should post it here...
Hi Karika, I'm the one who suggested you post here, and I think you've gotten some good (if hard) advice and you have handled it very graciously. Kudos to you!

I get that you wanted to keep the question to just how to handle difference in parenting, but I do think your other circumstances are pertinent. Because if you two were married i.e. committed to share your lives together in one home as a family, there would be more of an onus on both of you to present a united front to the children in terms of childrearing practices. But you are not; you are dear friends who happen to share a child. To me, this means that you have the right to make suggestions to him regarding how he raises your daughter, but not to insist. If he shows by his actions that he does not accept your suggestions, you need to let it go. No matter how close you are as friends, the fact is that you are two separate family units at this point, and he has the right to call the shots in his home just as you would expect the right to call the shots in your home. Since you are an A type personality that likes to control everything, I can understand how this shift, letting go of control over your beloved daughter, is difficult. But truly, your insistence on trying to maintain control inappropriately will cause more damage than his mainstream parenting choices. Like the other poster said, practice the serenity prayer, focus on your ex's good qualities, and keep reminding yourself that your daughter will be just fine!
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#32 of 34 Old 05-23-2010, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by provocativa View Post
one of the things that keeps me from leaving my dh is that i would no longer control the girls lives, particularly vis a vis junk food colorings and gluten free. when they get contaminated life becomes a living hell, behaviorally and intestinally. hell like they are so crazy and violent that tying them to the chair or putting in a carseat is the only way to stay safe for them and me, intestinal symptoms like screaming at the top of her lungs for 30mins-2hours it hurts it hurts it hurts mommy make it stop. i know that he would both be careless and contaminate them, but also perhaps intentionally do it and send them back to me for the 3 days of hell (symptoms start the day after ingestion). also we don't have a tv, but he is a total crappy parent and will parent with it when i'm gone so they'll stay put while he drinks and smokes outside.

my blathering point- maybe pick your battles. start negotiating with self or him, give in on the tv time and keep things gfcfsf. it is taunting the kid to eat cheese in front of her. when she's ready she will be able to shrug her shoulders about it.
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#33 of 34 Old 05-23-2010, 05:31 PM
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A thought on the movie issue. When my DD was that age I started explaining plots to her. I told her that the adults who make movies for kids know that kids like to watch movies about kids doing things without too many adults in the story. One of the problems with making a movie about kids being off on an adventure without a grownup is explaining why they are alone. The simplest way to do this is for the story teller to have the parents be dead. It's just a plot device. It shouldn't be taken too seriously. I also explained to her that it's pretty uncommon, in actuality and that it wasn't something she really needed to worry about happening to her.
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#34 of 34 Old 05-23-2010, 10:52 PM
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I just think that parents have a responsibility to protect their kids. NOT control every morsel of food, but I don't hear anything in OP's posts to suggest she is hyper controlling. I would be very uncomfortable if someone were watching the news in the room with my small children. (They're older now, so it doesn't bother me anymore). I think it's totally reasonable to say something. OP is not out of her rights to say, "I really feel uncomfortable with x, because y and z." She's not a beggar off the street, she's the mother of his kids,who he INVITED to live in his house. He is insisting that he wants her to stay home to be the kids' primary caregiver. The idea that he would boot her out on the street and keep the kids, and yet be called an "amazing man" (among other similar things, not picking on you!) on this board is pretty frightening to me.

I say pick your battles, sure. You can't be all over every little detail. And there is a lot you can do to help make things more smooth for her. Like a pp said, talking about tv shows can work a lot better than banning them even.

My ex used to do a lot of the things you describe, and they are not petty little stuff when you have to live with it. The constant yelling conflicts are so hard to deal with. Especially when the adult is acting just like the child. When a perfectly peaceful child goes ballistic as soon as that parent walks into the room, it kinda seems like it could have something to do with the screaming fights he is participating in with the child. To me, saying so and asking for help to deal with it does not seem controlling at all.

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