co-parenting with a difficult ex (throwing toys away) - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 5 Old 12-02-2013, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
simplemama32's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Southern US
Posts: 400
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Would really appreciate advice on this situation...

 

DS (5 yo) came back from spending Thanksgiving at his dad's house last night.  One of the first things I heard about when he got home was that his dad had thrown more of his toys away. (Ex thinks this is an effective discipline method...and btw, it is not in any way connected to how DS might be playing with the toy.)  What I know so far is that DS supposedly said something/had an attitude Ex didn't like, so he threw away one of his toys.  This has happened at least once before, when Ex pretended to flush a couple of DS's toys down the toilet (what is up with that??!) in a similar situation...i.e. Ex didn't like what DS was saying, and DS didn't immediately obey when told to stop.

 

I am so mad at Ex, I honestly can barely think rationally right now.  That type of "discipline", to me,  is horrible at best and abusive at worst.  To make it worse, I have no idea how to handle this.  I feel like I have the right, as DS's mother, to address this with his dad, though I try to stay out of his parenting as much as possible.  I need a script or something to talk to him about this, but even if we manage to have a constructive conversation about it, it's not like I can prevent it from happening again.  So I know I need to give DS the tools to deal with his dad in the future.  I think that's what I'm asking here :)...advice for how to help DS deal with his dad every other weekend.

 

I should also mention that, from bits and pieces I hear from both DS and the ex, DS is different with him than he is with me...and not in a good way.  That is probably a combination of Ex being such a different parent than I am (also not in a good way, at least IMO), and the fact that Ex can be very condescending and spiteful toward me and my family when talking to DS.  I can only imagine this would make DS confused, angry, and upset to hear his loved ones talked about that way, even if he isn't quite old enough to put a label on his emotions yet.  So this is what I think of when Ex describes one of the sweetest, happiest people I have ever known as being an "angry child."  :(


Mama to DS (5)

simplemama32 is offline  
#2 of 5 Old 12-02-2013, 01:44 PM
 
autumngrey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 332
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)

On the front of your DS being different with his dad than with you, or being an "angry child" according to Ex, is him reaping the seeds he sows. Your DS is surely frustrated with Dad and isn't receiving the help and compassion he needs if he's turning "angry." It could also be somewhat that Ex's expectations of an always-happy and perfectly obedient child are unrealistic, so normal 5yo behavior equates to "angry child" in his mind. Parents don't even have to be separated for this phenomenon to be observed--my DD is a totally different child when she's with me than when she's with DH, even when we're both in the room together to witness first hand. DH accuses her of being a "bad baby" when really he's just being impatient and unrealistic of the things she "should know" or of her phases (like teething) affecting her mood or ability to sleep. As it's quite possible such a difference of expectations is the root of the problem, it might be helpful to attend some family counseling together where a counselor can listen to the "behavior problems" and suggest solutions (that will probably be a nurtured parenting approach, i.e. "your way" but you don't have to point that out). If he wouldn't be open to attending counseling even under the ruse that it's to help DS's behavior and not to help Ex parent, I don't have any good advice. I imagine someone will, though!

 

I don't personally consider throwing toys away as abuse, but it is a crappy--probably ineffective--form of discipline, even if misuse of the toys had been the actual behavior "problem." Is Ex throwing away toys that should be following DS between houses? If that is the case I'd be more mad about his throwing away toys that you will have to replace than if it were ones that will make Ex's house more boring now (he'd be shooting himself in the foot if this is the case). I know it shouldn't make a difference, because either way they're DS's toys, but I think it does to the overall situation and what you might do about it because if they're toys from you, a solution may be to not send the toys with DS to Dad's house. If I were in your shoes, I might tell Ex that DS reports his toys being thrown away and that I don't care what his reasons are because it's his household to run, but that it's not in my budget to replace thrown-away toys, so I won't be sending any toys for visits unless he can agree not to throw away toys anymore.

 

I'm sorry I don't have any good advice, but I empathize with your frustration. My DSD reports her mom throwing away her entire Easter basket, Christmas toys (or spending her birthday/Christmas gift cards on herself!), etc. when she brings them back to her mom's house after celebrating a holiday with us. It makes me so disappointed that Mom would do that to DSD because I think it's just plain mean--and what kind of message that must convey to DSD about her Dad--but I haven't thought of anything we could actually DO about it yet, except to suggest DSD leave things at our house with no mention of why other than "then you can play with it next time you're here." I think my situation has more to do with DSD's mom not wanting to see something from Dad in her house than it has to do with punishment, but still it's a child's possessions being thrown away for the wrong reason (is there any reason other than being broken beyond repair? Surely another child would love to have that toy if taking the toy away is the right action).


fairy.gif (DSD 10yo) angel2.gif (29wks - 2/2012) babygirl.gifrainbow1284.gif (1/2013)

autumngrey is offline  
#3 of 5 Old 12-08-2013, 05:27 PM
 
crittersmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: half mad and behind the palms
Posts: 1,700
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I parallel parent. When my Critters come back to my home with stories about how the mistress pays them for doing chores ( like cleaning her yard) with pokemon cards, I cringe inside and then remind them that at my house we do chores because we live together and not so that we can get things.

I do a lot of reminding about the rules at my house when they first come back.

My STBXH will not cooperate in any way so there is no chance of really coparenting.What they do on his time is his concern and battle.

sillysapling likes this.

joy.gifme, herding 5 critters a cat and a dog. DS 11/01, DS 10/04, DD 2/06, DS 5/07 and DD 9/10

crittersmom is offline  
#4 of 5 Old 12-09-2013, 05:51 AM
 
kblackstone444's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: MA
Posts: 3,832
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by autumngrey View Post

 

I'm sorry I don't have any good advice, but I empathize with your frustration. My DSD reports her mom throwing away her entire Easter basket, Christmas toys (or spending her birthday/Christmas gift cards on herself!), etc. when she brings them back to her mom's house after celebrating a holiday with us. It makes me so disappointed that Mom would do that to DSD because I think it's just plain mean--and what kind of message that must convey to DSD about her Dad--but I haven't thought of anything we could actually DO about it yet, except to suggest DSD leave things at our house with no mention of why other than "then you can play with it next time you're here."

 

Sometimes honesty is better than covering for the other parent.  Of course it depends on how you say it, but suggesting she keeps her Easter basket, Christmas toys, etc, at your house "because, remember you told me your Mother throws it away at her house" isn't necessarily talking negative about the child's other parent, it's just stating at fact of natural consequenses.

 

As for the original poster, I have no advice, except the child's father is dead wrong and yes, he's reaping what he's sows.


I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
kblackstone444 is offline  
#5 of 5 Old 12-09-2013, 12:38 PM
 
Ruthla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 47,873
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)

I think your focus needs to be on comforting your child, reassuring him that you won't throw his toys away, and NOT saying anything bad about  his dad in front of him! It's bad enough if Dad bad-mouths Mom, how much less secure will he feel if Mom also bad-mouths Dad? You can let him know that you and his Dad don't get along anymore. You can let him know that you disagree with your father about some things. But I'd hesitate to tell him "Daddy was wrong"; just tell him "Daddy and I do things differently."

 

I'd focus on " Dad makes the rules for his house, and I make the rules for my house."  Whenever your son packs for time spent at Dad's house, remind him that "Daddy sometimes throws away toys. If you have a special toy that you want to keep safe, leave it at Mom's house."

 

I don't think toys are worth getting into an argument over. Save your energy for the big things, like diet. If you're trying to put DS on a special diet to help with his health, and your ex is sabatoging your efforts, that's worth arguing with him about. But toys are just toys.


Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
Ruthla is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off