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#1 of 34 Old 05-22-2010, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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edited. I posted too much info (and poorly worded) in my original post and did not get the answer to the query I wanted. So here is the question without too much information. How do you handle different parenting styles under one roof (or in separate locations if you live apart from your ex)? Please share your experiences with what has worked for you when your partner has a different parenting philosophy.

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#2 of 34 Old 05-22-2010, 04:14 PM
 
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It sounds like you've done all you can to directly influence x's parenting style. If I were you, I would set my sights on getting out of his house as fast as you can, WITH dd. Let him parent her his own way in his house.

He has you hiding with your baby in a bedroom- this can't be healthy. Just because it's his house, that doesn't mean he can do whatever he wants with your dd. And just because your dd says she wants to live with him, that doesn't mean it's the best situation for her. She may not want to risk hurting his feelings and ruining their relationship. She might think it means she won't get to see him. In that case, you are asking one question, and she's hearing and answering a different one. Or she might just want to live there because he gives her candy and lets her watch tv. Either way, you have a responsibility to protect her as much as you can from the manipulative, inconsistent parenting. I really think she needs to be with you.

I believe in consensual living too, but I've found that sometimes it takes digging to understand what is behind the "wants". For example, at my house, the kids like tv as much as anyone- but we can't afford cable, and I just think it's a waste of money to pay advertisers to blab at me. So our solution is to have netflix, where they can get all the shows on disc or instant streaming. It's not exactly the same, but it works for us. If your daughter wants to be rewarded for eating dinner, help her come up with a treat to stash away and "reward" herself with. If she wants candy, well I don't know how you would feel about this, but my kids each have a stash of candy that we keep full. It means candy is a part of their life, but it also takes the magic out of it, and they don't obsess about it.

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#3 of 34 Old 05-22-2010, 06:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by singin'intherain View Post
He has you hiding with your baby in a bedroom- this can't be healthy. Just because it's his house, that doesn't mean he can do whatever he wants with your dd.
It's his daughter too.

OP, I think it would be beneficial to you to get out of the house asap, simply because it seems to be causing so much stress for you, not because I feel you're child is any danger. I wonder if you're seeing your ex snap so much right now because he is stressed out with the current situation in his home.

ETA: She's six. She's supposed to be co-dependent. That's not a bad thing at this age!

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#4 of 34 Old 05-22-2010, 06:39 PM
 
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Honestly, I am not seeing anything horrible here. Nothing that will harm your child / HIS child. This man sounds like an amazing ex... how many of us have ex husbands that would allow us to live with them if we had no where else to go?
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#5 of 34 Old 05-22-2010, 06:49 PM
 
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Quite honestly, I think that what's going on here is that you have different core beliefs. Living with your ex seems to be causing a LOT of stress here. It sounds like you've done all you can to bring him around to your way of parenting. He's taken what works for him and left the rest behind. That doesn't make him wrong necessarily, it just makes it different. You admit that he's a good and loving father, but that the majority of the problems result from the fact that he does things differently than the way you would do them.

It sounds like you have REALLY high standards. And while I support your desire to eat a specific diet and parent in the way you feel is best, I don't think it's okay to expect your ex to adopt that same diet and parent the exact same way just because you want him to. He's not flaunting you by eating a cheese sandwich- he probably just wants to eat a cheese sandwich He tried parenting your way when you were together and your DD was young, but has since decided that a different method of parenting works better for him.

Do you have a legal custody arrangement? I think a PP's suggestion of moving out, and taking your DD with you (if it can be arranged) would be the best way of ensuring your DD is raised the way you want. That said, your ex is her father and he has just as much right to raise her the way he sees fit as you do. Is there any way you'd be willing to compromise some of your beliefs; perhaps just focus on a few parenting practices that you believe are most important? I think that when you're parenting with a partner, choosing your battles is important.

FWIW, I think a 6you SHOULD be dependent on her parents.

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#6 of 34 Old 05-22-2010, 07:49 PM
 
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Wait - your husband is an alcoholic, and you let your three year old live with him without you there? Or am I misinterpreting?

I'm wondering if your daughter is picking up on the hostility you're feeling toward your ex and is acting out as a result?

Honestly, and I say this gently, it sounds like maybe you're a bit jealous of the relationship your daughter and her father have. Just because she loves him and wants to live with and spend time with him doesn't mean she loves you any less.
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#7 of 34 Old 05-22-2010, 08:20 PM
 
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I think you're being too controlling. You're living in the man's house and trying to make all the rules. I would kick someone out who did that to me. Also, seeing your child as a manipulator is pretty much the opposite of the line of thinking of Alfie Kohn, et al.
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#8 of 34 Old 05-22-2010, 08:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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edited. see page 2

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#9 of 34 Old 05-22-2010, 08:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think you're being too controlling. You're living in the man's house and trying to make all the rules. I would kick someone out who did that to me. Also, seeing your child as a manipulator is pretty much the opposite of the line of thinking of Alfie Kohn, et al.
yes I am an alpha personality. I do make all the rules about the child in our relationship traditionally, so why would it have changed? He can't kick me out unless he wants me to move to NC with his child, which he does not want. I have nowhere else to go. I live here celibately. I do not go anywhere except the grocery store. I try to get dd1 to respect him, but he wants to stay in the rut. Children adapt to their surroundings. If they are taught about manipulation, they learn it. She is an old 6. She is 6 (7 in a month) going on 14. She knows a lot about how things work. She can carry on a conversation about all sorts of things. She is not like 6 yo I have known. If all age markers such as appearance and timbre of voice were removed, you would think she is at least 10. She is learning behavior models I would have rather kept from her. But like many of us agree, he is her father. I was looking for ways to make it work better for all of us, him included. I love him and he loves me. We made a commitment to take care of each other. If the roles were reversed, I would have taken him in too. He is 12 yrs older, so I imagine I will be caring for him when he is old also. gg baby needs me

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#10 of 34 Old 05-22-2010, 09:27 PM
 
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I don't mean to sound mean, but you sound really overbearing. Have you considered that you're stressing your daughter out? I feel stressed out just reading about your parenting practices.
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#11 of 34 Old 05-22-2010, 09:36 PM
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OK, I'm confused.

On the one hand, you note that you and your x love each other, and he is a sweet person (lets you live with him, purchased a computer for your and your child's use, treats your second dd like his own.) You say that you intend to take care of him when he is older.

On the other hand, you note that you disagree with his parenting and his diet, feel he is manipulating your older child and treating you with disrespect, your relationship is over, and you are planning to move out.

It sounds like you are trying to decide what your relationship to this person is. Are you together or apart? Are you staying or going? I think confusion about this might help explain why your 6yo produces explosive vibes when all three of you are together.

I think applying some of your empathy to your xh might be helpful here. Imagine your roles were reversed. If my dh left me, had a child with another woman, and then moved back into my house when that relationship went south so that he could continue to be near our child - well, I'd do a lot more than role my eyes if he criticized my parenting and my cheese sandwiches.
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#12 of 34 Old 05-22-2010, 09:46 PM
 
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I wonder if you're just not coming across well b/c your posts are v. hard to read (no paragraphs) but I agree with the PP that even reading it is stressing me out. I think you need to let her dad be a dad. If that involves TV and cheese... well that's what her relationship with her dad is! (sounds fabulous to me, but that's a different issue).

You are one of many influences in her life.

DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).

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#13 of 34 Old 05-22-2010, 10:42 PM
 
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OP, I think your parenting choices are so extremely specific and controlled that there is just no way on earth your ex could follow them the same way. And honestly, it's not going to get any easier the older your daughter gets; other influences will be everywhere.

I'm thinking that your daughter is reacting to two very different parenting practices in one household; it must be confusing for her.

As for your ex... well, I have certain things I hope my ex follows (for example, I'm a vegetarian and he is not, yet I request that he not give our son meat, etc.) but I can't make him do it. I can just model the example I want my son to grow up with. But really some of the tenets you follow are so very individual, if I were him I couldn't even remember them all. I am pretty stringent about some things, but if my ex tried to get me to follow all that stuff, I would really balk. It sounds like all things considered, he is being incredibly patient.
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#14 of 34 Old 05-22-2010, 11:01 PM
 
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Is it at all possible that you're hyper-focused on controlling everyone else because it's easier than looking at what lies within you? I say this as someone who has experience being an adult child of an alcoholic, an ex-spouse of an alcoholic, and a recovering codependent who finally ran out of people to point the finger at and had to look at myself for once.
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#15 of 34 Old 05-22-2010, 11:58 PM
 
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Just because OP's parenting style is radical, that doesn't make her neurotic. Most of what I hear her having a problem with is really reasonable. Inappropriate tv, and all day would be a problem for many coparents. So would using bribes and punishments to control behavior. I don't know- it would bother me. I personally cringe when I see someone argue with a whining child and then give in to get them to shut up. Or use treats as a bargaining chip. None of it is abusive, and he certainly shouldn't be separated from his dd, but honestly it sounds to me like he might not really have solid strategies for dealing with dd, and that can really be a mess. And even if it is HIS house, that doesn't make her a second class person in the house. He agreed to live together, and when parents live together, it's on both of them to arrive at some kind of common ground on these parenting issues. If he disagrees or agrees but can't remember- let him say so.

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#16 of 34 Old 05-23-2010, 12:02 AM
 
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It sounds like you are stressing them out by trying to control the situatuion and she is leaning on him and depending on him because he has been the stable person in her life for over two years. Even if he kicks you out you still can't move more than 200 miles away without risking him going to court to make you move back and there is a possibility that you will wind up with him getting full custody because you are homeless and your child has been living with him since she was 3.7 so technically he can go back to court anytime and ask for the custody arrangement to be changed because of that. You sound like a very precise person who wants things just so. I am like this also and stress brings this out more in me, is it possible that the stress of being homeless and not having control over much of anything is making you focus on trying to grasp control from everyone around you. I think you should continue to try to limit your contact with him and keep your contact with your daughter happy. You are in a fragile position right now and you should be careful not to let your stress push you into doing things that may get you kicked out.
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#17 of 34 Old 05-23-2010, 02:10 AM
 
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I'm afraid I'm also confused.

Consensual parenting means that she decides where she lives, and with which parent, but she shouldn't be able to decide whether or not she watches TV shows designed for children her age, or eats cheese.

You are the one who has "always" made all the decisions, but in fact she's been living with him for the past 3 years he's had primary physical custody.

You don't want him to tell her how much to eat because it might give her a "complex", but you tell her how many cookies she may have.

You got him to support you and your other child by threatening to take his daughter (who he had been raising for 3 years) 3,000 miles away (something the courts would not allow you to do) and you think he's teaching her to be manipulative.

It sounds like really complex situation, but not like a situation where one parent is wrong and one parent is right. All of you are going through periods of extreme transition and stress -- a new living arrangement, a new baby, a job loss, the threat of losing one's child. I think that establishing consistency and mutual respect for the sake of the children has to be more important for them than Kim Possible or a piece of cheese.

I'm sorry that this probably isn't what you wanted to hear.
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#18 of 34 Old 05-23-2010, 04:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you all for your perspectives. dd1 has some damage from the vaccines we got her before we knew better. Not eating cheese is part of the GFCFSF diet, not to be mean. Cow's milk proteins cause havoc on her emotions. If she has soy or cheese, she has crying jags over seemingly trivial things. When she does not have these things in her diet at all, she is more even keeled. It is also a personal belief that it is wrong to ingest milk because of how it is produced. The fact that babies are taken from their mothers at birth to produce that milk, which I do not agree with. I think I am too controlling and should back off. I think someone pegged it when they said I am stressed out. I am. I have always been in control of my situation and I am not anymore, due to having people dependent on me (I am not free like a bird and have to take others into all my decisions of course because I am a parent). She did live with him from 3.7 to 4.7, she was with me for days in the first half of that year, then wknds, then I moved to MT and she came for 3-5 days at a time. Then I moved back in here. I have a lot to process and I thank you all for giving me perspective. As for consensual living, I guess I do it with specifications. A child does not know about a thing until it sees it. So, if no one had ever shown her Kim Possible (which I do not feel is good for children, nor much of Disney stuff or other things that are supposedly made for children, it is all part of a brainwashing/ marketing/ separation tactic by corporations to me) she would not know about it. She is growing up and I do understand she will see more of the 'outside' world as she does. I had always hoped to raise my children on a commune in the woods yk... but it didn't work out that way. I have offered to look for work to ease his load, but he wants me to wait, he would rather be the one working and me to be with the children (we homeschool dd1). Things are very in the air. If he doesn't find work soon, we may have to move in with family, but not much chance of selling his home. Sorry if my posts are hard to read, I have been told I write in stream of consciousness. I feel weird about even having written now. I feel so bare and judged. I do not have anyone IRL to talk to, no friends or social outlets. It is impossible to adequately express our situation with this medium. But I do take from this a reality check that it will all be ok. He can parent how he wants and I can parent how I want, it is just hard when we are in the room together. Maybe I am the manipulative one, that is what I get from some posts. thanks for the feedback and opinions.

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#19 of 34 Old 05-23-2010, 10:22 AM
 
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You really need to stop trying to control how your ex parents the child. He's her father and absolutely has the right to parent as he sees fit. Even if you don't agree with it.
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#20 of 34 Old 05-23-2010, 10:24 AM
 
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It sounds like you've done all you can to directly influence x's parenting style. If I were you, I would set my sights on getting out of his house as fast as you can, WITH dd. Let him parent her his own way in his house.

May not be as easy as that. They are divorced, if the court order states that he has custody, then she can't leave with the child.
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#21 of 34 Old 05-23-2010, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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May not be as easy as that. They are divorced, if the court order states that he has custody, then she can't leave with the child.
I have custody. legal. custody in all areas. Someone stated I am homeless. I am, and I am not. My mother would take me back in NC in the 4 bdr home I got for her at anytime. I could take the girls and go to NC and he wouldn't be able to stop me since circumstances here prevent me from being able to work and have a home (although soon I should get housing and can make new plans and have new opportunities, I am thinking of finishing my degree now). I would not do that to him and he would not do it to me. Someone else asked why I would think of caring for him when he is older if we are divorced. Even if I was married again or had a partner, I would expect them to understand and help me care for this person that is important to me. I guess our relationship is too unique. I will always be there for him and he for me, even if we are not romantically involved, we are a family. We married after only 3 months of knowing each other because he said we had to be married to have a child and I was 32 with a ticking clock... then because of a few differences and one major one (I believe in polyamory and he believes in monogamy), we are not together romantically. But I don't like the turn this has taken. I am sorry I posted so much information. I appreciate the ones that took the time to read all of my posts and give the feedback I needed. I wish I could come across better in posts. 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...

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#22 of 34 Old 05-23-2010, 10:43 AM
 
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She has legal custody of their dd and the father has been the custodial parent without a court order. OP, I'm sure you realize that you cannot actually take your dd1 to live with your family and that if he was not allowing you to stay with him you would either have to figure out another living situation in that vicinity or leave her behind and go to your family. I don't agree with your arguments but you seem desperate and sad and I can understand why. I'm really sorry things have gone badly for you and I hope that your life will seem less up in the air soon so that you can relax a bit. Take care of yourself and ease up on everyone.
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#23 of 34 Old 05-23-2010, 10:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Honestly, I am not seeing anything horrible here. Nothing that will harm your child / HIS child. This man sounds like an amazing ex... how many of us have ex husbands that would allow us to live with them if we had no where else to go?
I agree nothing horrible! he is an amazing man!

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#24 of 34 Old 05-23-2010, 10:47 AM
 
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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...
To answer this...you both have to be willing to give and if neither of you are and you both have very specific and different ideas I don't think there is a solution. You are going to have to accept that no matter how well your way might work it will not be the parenting style of the house and you are both pulling your dd apart.
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#25 of 34 Old 05-23-2010, 10:49 AM
 
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My mother would take me back in NC in the 4 bdr home I got for her at anytime. I could take the girls and go to NC and he wouldn't be able to stop me since circumstances here prevent me from being able to work and have a home (although soon I should get housing and can make new plans and have new opportunities, I am thinking of finishing my degree now).
That is not true. You would need to go back to court and prove it was in the child's best interest (not yours) to move to your mothers. Considering she lived with her father for a year without you I don't see that happening. I wish you luck in making things work.
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#26 of 34 Old 05-23-2010, 11:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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To answer this...you both have to be willing to give and if neither of you are and you both have very specific and different ideas I don't think there is a solution. You are going to have to accept that no matter how well your way might work it will not be the parenting style of the house and you are both pulling your dd apart.
yes, this is it. for him to tell her it is ok to watch homeward bound and encourage her to do it, when I do not feel it is appropriate to pull on a child's heart strings this way (like Bambi, the mom dies right away, and Nemo, this is a very frightening thing for a child), she can tell we are the opposite. and he watches the news with her in the room, while I feel this is bad for any human to hear and see... but he also spends time with her and is a very good daddy. He has many good qualities, he is just not a believer in alternative parenting ideas. Well actually, he may be a believer, but the tapes in his head are so strong he can't step out of that box comfortably. He read how to talk so your kids will listen..... last year and used it in their interactions for a few weeks, till it faded for him, instead of putting them in his bag of tricks, yk? (I do same thing, I am not perfect) So you think it is best for dd1 if I just relax so she doesn't feel the stress of our parenting disagreements? Let him make his decisions and experience the consequences (just like I do, I don't think I am right all the time, in fact I easily admit when I am wrong)

To begin to save the world, we must first nurture the children. Read "The Continuum Concept: In Search of Happiness Lost"    saynovax.gifgoorganic.jpgintactlact.gifMe-hippie.gifreading.gifhelp.gif10.5 yo dd1- nut.gifreading.gifblahblah.gif ; 5 yo dd2- angel.gifhearts.gifbouncy.gif
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#27 of 34 Old 05-23-2010, 11:07 AM
 
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I know it's hard to not be able to protect your children the way you wish to. Although I parent much differently than you I have been in the situation of feeling like my children weren't being parented in a way that was good for them and it's extremely stressful. That old serenity prayer is helpful in this situation. You can help your dd1 to feel less stress by changing your reactions to things. Not ideal but that is what is in your power.
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#28 of 34 Old 05-23-2010, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by PoppyMama View Post
That is not true. You would need to go back to court and prove it was in the child's best interest (not yours) to move to your mothers. Considering she lived with her father for a year without you I don't see that happening. I wish you luck in making things work.
I don't wish this to be a debate about my life, but it keeps focusing on things like this in my thread.... we have no family here. neither of us has a job here. He has nothing holding him to this area. I do not own a car anymore. In NC there is a home for all of us. He is welcome to go there too. He was always included in a plan to go there (if he chooses). I have a huge family there, and resources. DD1 has only met my family once. It would be in her best interests to be with family and with her mother. I would have my mother who is retired to be able to watch my children... but none of this matters, because it is not happening. this is not what I had asked about. I am positive I could legally move out of this area, but I do not want to challenge him or embarrass him or cause him any stress, so I have not thought of leaving. We do think of moving to his family in CA if it gets worse here.

To begin to save the world, we must first nurture the children. Read "The Continuum Concept: In Search of Happiness Lost"    saynovax.gifgoorganic.jpgintactlact.gifMe-hippie.gifreading.gifhelp.gif10.5 yo dd1- nut.gifreading.gifblahblah.gif ; 5 yo dd2- angel.gifhearts.gifbouncy.gif
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#29 of 34 Old 05-23-2010, 11:28 AM
 
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Ok. We can just agree to disagree on the legal stuff (which was a big surprise to me once upon a time too).

I've thought about your situation for a while and this is the best I can come up with... It is in human nature (for most people) to push against someone trying to control their lives/behavior. I suspect that as long as you make these specific parenting methods an issue between you and your co-parent he will continue to push against everything you do (intentionally or subconsciously). All you can control is what you do and your reactions to what everyone else is doing so I would stop reacting to his parenting and only react to your dd1s response and sound non-judgmental while you do it. Almost like you don't have any idea why she's acting the way she is. Release them both from your opinions so that they can see the reactions to the choices they make. As long as you push your judgments into it they will only see your reactions not their own.
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#30 of 34 Old 05-23-2010, 01:33 PM
 
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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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