How do you deal with older kids activities? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 06-04-2010, 03:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How do you deal with older childrens activities with your ex? My ex feels that he should attend every birthday party etc, that DS is invited to. It makes me uncomfortable as most parties plan on having one parent per child. I don't attend if the party is not on my weekend, and it is EX's call if he goes at all.

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#2 of 10 Old 06-05-2010, 11:29 AM
 
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Dad has every right to be involved in the boy's activities. Whether they fall on your or his time. I hope you won't punish your son by pulling him out as a result.
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#3 of 10 Old 06-05-2010, 12:10 PM
 
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I agree that pulling your son out of his current activities is probably not the best plan, but if X is in the habit of showing up at every.single.public.event., then you might want to cultivate some future activities where the logistics prohibit X from showing up. Karate lessons that take place during his working hours? Swimming lessons at the Y or someplace where nobody who's not a member can get in? Enjoying evening events may not be in the cards for you, but you can find other activities for ds that you will be able to relax and enjoy.

An NCP showing up for all the den meetings and birthday parties is totally off base. Most of these kinds of events are one-parent deals, even when the parents are still married! Why does X even know the dates and locations of birthday parties that happen on your parenting time? You might want to enforce a boundary there. Same thing with Cub Scouts - next year, pick a troop that meets during your parenting time, and don't tell X where and when. He might holler about it, but he's not actually entitled to an itinerary or your events during your parenting time.

From a more positive angle - could you encourage X to sign ds up for an activity that happens during HIS parenting time, and let them enjoy that together without intruding? Sometimes it helps to model the behavior you want to see in the person that you're dealing with. You might even let him take ds on a weeknight that he doesn't normally get, in order to facilitate this activity, as a gesture of how you support their relationship.
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#4 of 10 Old 06-05-2010, 01:33 PM
 
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DX really doesn't have anything to do with our DS1. He's kind of an "all or nothing" guy. for some reason he's decided that I've "ruined" our son and doesn't really have much to do with him. In addition to that he's extremely controlling and overprotective so I'm sure that he would not "allow" him to do any unsupervised by me activity so I honestly don't let DX in the loop about his activities. he's active in 4H and goes with his friends and he's also going to camp soon. DX doesn't ask any questions about anything either and I don't feel that I should be obligated to say anything since he only has him 1 night every 2-4 months and doesn't pay any kind of support.

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#5 of 10 Old 06-05-2010, 02:37 PM
 
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From a more positive angle - could you encourage X to sign ds up for an activity that happens during HIS parenting time, and let them enjoy that together without intruding?
That's how I would probably approach it. I don't know how your parenting time is arranged but I would see if it's possible to pick one activity that always falls on your ex's time and make that strictly a father/son activity. If he has something that is just him and his son he may back off with feeling the need to come to everything.

I agree with Smithie, there's no reason he has to know about every activity you have planned during parenting your parenting time. If him showing up at birthday parties is making you uncomfortable then just don't mention them to him.
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#6 of 10 Old 06-05-2010, 06:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your feedback everyone.

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#7 of 10 Old 06-05-2010, 08:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Smithie View Post
Why does X even know the dates and locations of birthday parties that happen on your parenting time? You might want to enforce a boundary there. Same thing with Cub Scouts - next year, pick a troop that meets during your parenting time, and don't tell X where and when. He might holler about it, but he's not actually entitled to an itinerary or your events during your parenting time.
It depends on the agreement between the parents on this one. In our case, both parents are required to let the other one know about any regular extra curricular activities that the child is enrolled in. One-time things like birthday parties, trips to the amusement park, play dates, etc don't fall into this category, but girl scouts, dance lessons, summer camps, etc do. Both parents know when and where those things happen and could, theoretically, attend if they wanted to (though in our case that doesn't really happen).

If dad's time is limited with his son (I don't know if this is the case or not), I can understand why he would want extra time where he can get it. And children's extracurriculars are, in my opinion, a place that can happen. I understand not wanting to deal with your ex so often... as someone who can count on one hand the number of times she's been in the same room with her step-daughter's mom in the last 3 years, I really really can... But it is your son's activity and if he doesn't mind having both parents there, as the adults we kind of have to suck it up. If you really don't want to see him, let dad be the one to take him every week and plan other special events with your son... no reason you can't have a weekly dinner date or mini-golf night or something for the two of you.

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#8 of 10 Old 06-06-2010, 03:13 PM
 
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As time has progressed on, things have become more relaxed. Activities used to be some sort of parental territory contest. DH would propose an activity, DSD's mom would say that she would research it and promptly forget about it, then we would go ahead and sign her up. DSD's mom would feel usurped and be pissy about it. She would show up to whatever activity we chose and make snide comments about it the whole time. It was so annoying.

Eventually DSD was the loser. DSD's mom has been "looking into" getting DSD back into dance for a good year now, but DH didn't want it to turn into a thing and let it drop.

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#9 of 10 Old 06-06-2010, 05:30 PM
 
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Does your son enjoy having his Dad there? If so then I"d let it go. If your ex is interferring with a game, practice or meeting to give a hug or talk to him it is up to the coach/leader to put a stop to it.
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#10 of 10 Old 06-07-2010, 10:54 AM
 
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Perhaps it would help you to reframe your focus here. I'm assuming you are the CP and your ex is the NCP. How would you feel if the roles were reversed? If you were the NCP and attending your DS's events was the only way to see your DS more? I am the NCP step-mom and I know that my DH will frequently stop by DSS 15's track practice at the end or sometimes during the middle just so he can watch DSS 15 practice and then say a quick Hi at the end. He only has the kids every other weekend and then one weeknight per week during the school year so any chance he gets to actually see their faces, give them a quick hug and a kiss, he's there. I agree with the other posters. If it's not upsetting your DS, I think you need to let it go. If you really don't like seeing your ex so much, maybe your DH can be the one to transport your DS to his activities or maybe even take it one step further and offer the transporting to your ex.

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