What kind of decisions do you have a say in? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 26 Old 09-27-2007, 01:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My X and I have "evolved" (after six years) to a place where my dd1 has two entirely separate lives. We got to this place because 1) We have totally different value systems 2) He doesn't like to even discuss what goes on at his house, let alone compromise on some things and 3) I've never pushed these issues because I've had really bad experiences with the legal system here. I can provide more details if you think it's helpful.

Right now, my dd is 10 and beginning some adolescent behaviors and requests that are totally normal, but require (IMO) a different level of boundary and limit setting. All of a sudden, she wants every privilege she can think of and can be pretty demanding. For example, her dad recently got her a new computer with internet access in her bedroom at his house. I'm totally against this and tried to (very openly I think) discuss it with him, but in the end he said to me that "I'm totally comfortable with the decision that I've made". This is typical of him to decide something that is the opposite of what I think is best for dd.

In the past, I've kind of told myself that they have their life and we have ours, but I can see how parenting a teenager will make our decisions as parents more high stakes and her life could potentially become even more confusing. At the heart of it, I'm afraid that she will eventually want to live with him full time because I'm the mean mommy and he's the nice daddy. I'm also very concerned for her safety - not because of anything he's doing overtly, but because of his lack of limit setting and boundaries.

So.....how do the rest of you handle this kind of conflicted decision making?

Me : living with and loving papa and the kids: Dd1 8/97 , dd2 8/04 and my sweet baby ds 5/09 : :
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#2 of 26 Old 09-27-2007, 01:16 AM
 
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My son is not three yet and I have sole legal and physical custody, so I make all the decisions. I have no advice on how to handle that with your ex, BUT...I wanted to comment on his allowing her to have a computer in her room with full internet access. There is NO WAY IN HELL I would allow this. There are so many predators who prey on pre-teens and teens on the internet, its real, its not just on TV. Young teens, especially girls, are persuaded easily, she could very easily meet someone online and be persuaded to meet them somewhere. Of course this is the worse case scenario, but what about everything she could be exposed to online? Believe me, I am not about censoring, but at that age she needs to be protected some. He either needs to get the computer out of her bedroom (best solution) and put it in a family area or really lock it down and monitor it.

I have heard so many stories from friends who have young teen kids about the stuff they find on the computers, and about the numbers of people (adults) trying to contact their kids constantly via IM online.
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#3 of 26 Old 09-27-2007, 01:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Cycle, thanks for your response. Unfortunately, even with parental controls, she can still be contacted by a predator. I explained all this to X, sent him artictles to read, etc....

However, we do not have this level of telling each other what to do in our "relationship".

Me : living with and loving papa and the kids: Dd1 8/97 , dd2 8/04 and my sweet baby ds 5/09 : :
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#4 of 26 Old 09-27-2007, 09:41 AM
 
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Ktmama,

I feel your pain. My dc have very different rules at the two houses. We don't have cable and rarely watch tv. They've had tvs in their rooms since they were 3 - with cable, with video games. It pukes me out. The food they eat there is atrocious. Bedtime is significantly later, too.

Yes, it makes me CRAZY! But like you said - there's nothing you can do. Like you, I've tried to discuss the issue, sent articles that highlight what I'm talkingn about, so he doesn't think it's just me being crazy. Ultimately, he can do what he wants at this house.

With that said - the differences really present an opportunity for discussion. I would openly discuss your concerns with your dd. Let her know why you're concerned and why you feel so strongly about it. Model what you want at your house and talk about it.

Good luck - take care.

Amanda
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#5 of 26 Old 09-28-2007, 03:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cycle View Post
My son is not three yet and I have sole legal and physical custody, so I make all the decisions. I have no advice on how to handle that with your ex, BUT...I wanted to comment on his allowing her to have a computer in her room with full internet access. There is NO WAY IN HELL I would allow this.
Darlin'? You don't get to dictate this in his home on his time. Not even with sole custody.
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#6 of 26 Old 09-28-2007, 06:29 PM
 
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We have two teens & a preteen in our house & are very concerned with who they may be coming into contact with on the internet.
We have made it clear as to what the rules are that they need to follow when communicating through IM or MySpace.
That said, kids TRY to interpret what we say to there liking...sometimes.
Our kids thought that as long as "someone they know" on MySpace knows someone else, then it is okay for them to add them on as a "friend".
Our rule is, if you don't physically know the person, then you don't get to converse with them online.
I have programming set up on my computer called, Guardian, that allows me to monitor every keystroke and every web page that they access online.
You are able to download this programming from the internet for less than a $100.
This I do about every other week or when the whim catches me.
I have made it abundantly clear to the kids that I am monitoring their activity & if they don't want me to know about it, then don't put it out there.
You might want to put it out there to your EX about purchasing the software for her protection. Hell, tell him that you will pay for it!
I think that you can even remote access the activity log from another computer that has internet access...but I am not sure...you might be able to set it up where you get emails sent to you.
It's just a suggestion & I realize that there are many people that believe that it is an invasion of privacy to "spy" on your kids...I feel that when they are grown and move out of our house, then they get the privacies that are accorded an adult.
Just a suggestion & Good Luck!
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#7 of 26 Old 09-28-2007, 07:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by woo27ks View Post
With that said - the differences really present an opportunity for discussion. I would openly discuss your concerns with your dd. Let her know why you're concerned and why you feel so strongly about it. Model what you want at your house and talk about it.
:

Also, I wouldn't worry too much about your dd wanting to live with her dad bc he's more fun. We have a similar situation here, but dd and I have talked about it, and she would never live with her dad (even though there are few rules there) bc she knows that he's not responsible enough. She didn't word it exactly like that, but that was the gist.

Also, dss had few rules at his mom's, and he just came to live with us because he feels safer here.

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#8 of 26 Old 09-28-2007, 08:44 PM
 
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My dh's ex allows the boys to watch some pretty awful movies - scary scary stuff that give the younger one nightmares. She lets them play M rated video games. We don't. And although she's agreed not to let them watch the stuff, she still does.

We talk with the boys about our values, and why we limit their exposure to some things. We tell the younger one that he doesn't have to watch scary stuff, that he can leave the room. But that's about all I feel we can do. She is a parent, too, and our values are not the same.
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#9 of 26 Old 09-28-2007, 10:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for your responses mamas. :

Have any of you ever gotten to the point where you felt that what is going on at your ex's home is detrimental enough to your dc(s) that you tried to change your parenting plan?

Me : living with and loving papa and the kids: Dd1 8/97 , dd2 8/04 and my sweet baby ds 5/09 : :
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#10 of 26 Old 09-29-2007, 02:16 AM
 
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Thanks so much for your responses mamas. :

Have any of you ever gotten to the point where you felt that what is going on at your ex's home is detrimental enough to your dc(s) that you tried to change your parenting plan?
No - thank goodness. I'm grateful for that.
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#11 of 26 Old 09-29-2007, 12:54 PM
 
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My stepdaughter is two different children, depending on which house she's at. At her Mother's house, she runs the house. One child with two adults (Mother and Grandfather) to give her constant one-on-one attention, buy her everything she asks for and, from the sounds of it, she gets away with just about everything. It drives me crazy. At home with my Hubby and myself, she's a happy child, but she has to share her time with her brother, she has to help with chores and does not get to do whatever she wants, whenever she wants. I'm sure it's quite an adjustment for her when going back and forth between homes. Her Mother has, many times in the past, tried to dictate what and when we can do with my stepdaughter in our home- she doesn't want her eating this, she doesn't want her wearing that, she doesn't want her to talk about this, she doesn't want her watching that. We've just told them (my stepdaughter and my stepdaughter's Mother) that, unless it's something that's a serious health issue or a safetly issue, we make the rules in our house and her Mother makes the rules in her Motehr's house. We have had to talk to her Mother about seatbelts and the dangers of wearing Heely's while going down stairs, but her Mother hasn't yet had any complaints about any health or safety issues coming from our house, just which shampoo she wants us to buy for her or which laundry detergent, etc.

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.
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#12 of 26 Old 09-29-2007, 07:33 PM
 
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You could use it to your advantage...

... there is a bit of software called 'log me in' . You can download it for free. Could you, in some way, persuade your DD that she should, um, communicate with you from her PC at her dads and, um, install it? Then you could (with her consent) see what was going on whilst she was online. She would know that you were doing so with this software as it puts an icon on the screen

There are other packages out there that allow you to view without it being obvious, but as you would be reliant on her to put the software onto the machine at her end log me in may be the easiest.
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#13 of 26 Old 09-29-2007, 11:36 PM
 
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We deal with this too but my son is much younger. You really cannot force your ex to have the same rules/values as you do, it is impossible. The best you can do is talk with your child and teach her to make the right choices. If you feel her safety is in danger you can involve the courts. Ex used to let DS eat all sorts of junk and his house used to be so dirty that DS would often come home with fire ant bites all over him. I paid for ex to have pest control stop by a few tims and had to let the bad eating go. It sucks to have your child being raised part-time by someone with completely different values but sometimes it is part of life. I hate it too.

Zen doula-mama to my spirited DS1 (2/03), my CHD (TAPVR) warrior DS2 (6/07) & a gentle baby girl (8/09)
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#14 of 26 Old 09-30-2007, 10:52 AM
 
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You could use it to your advantage...

... there is a bit of software called 'log me in' . You can download it for free. Could you, in some way, persuade your DD that she should, um, communicate with you from her PC at her dads and, um, install it? Then you could (with her consent) see what was going on whilst she was online. She would know that you were doing so with this software as it puts an icon on the screen

There are other packages out there that allow you to view without it being obvious, but as you would be reliant on her to put the software onto the machine at her end log me in may be the easiest.
That would be highly inappropriate, IMO. She has absolutely no say in how Dad parents in his home.
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#15 of 26 Old 09-30-2007, 06:12 PM
 
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That would be highly inappropriate, IMO. She has absolutely no say in how Dad parents in his home.
I agree. That seems very sneaky. If my dsc's mom did that, I would be so upset.

If it's not a safety issue, we've got to let the parent parent! No matter how much we might disagree with their decisions, there comes a point where we as exes or stepparents need to step back. Unless there is a concern for safety.
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#16 of 26 Old 09-30-2007, 06:22 PM
 
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We're similiar in our parenting approaches. We were never married, and the laws in England regarding Father's changed in the late 1990's, post 2000. As his name is on the birth certificate, he has equal rights when it comes to parenting our son. Therefore has equal responsibility and ability to make choices for him.


Fortunately, we have a similiar parenting style, so there is no cause for disagreement at this point in time. One issue I do recall us disagreeing on is the one surrounding toy guns. This was and still is an absolute no go area for me. I won't buy my son toys guns, nor would I allow them in my home. 'S' believes that it is harmless fun, BUT he respected my views on this and has not bought our son any toy guns.

My son is due to start full-time school next year. 'S' has left this decision to me, simply because he has full trust in my ability to seek out the best school for our son.

Right now, it's pretty easy when it comes to making decisions.... It will be interesting to see what the future brings.

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#17 of 26 Old 10-05-2007, 01:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I want to thank you all for responding to this thread and your thoughtful advice.

My dd1 just had her "long" period here with us (six days) and we took the opportunity to discuss the internet issue with her. She was really upset at first and felt very "in the middle" of her dad and me (which she was). This is the first time I've ever done this to her. I explained to her that I did try very hard to talk to her dad, had sent him some information from experts in the field and that we were still not able to agree about what was the best solution. I did reiterate what our values are and why this issue is so important to us in terms of her safety. During her time here, she was able to have dinner with my sister who has been in IT for many years, including a stint as a computer teacher at a K-8 school.

Last night she informed us that she decided to ask her dad to take the computer out of her room and he said......




"I'll think about it".



So, he probably has some agenda for wanting her out of the way in her room (most likely STILL looking at internet porn : ).

In addition, I did find out AGAIN that unless she is in physical danger from drug/alcohol use or abuse, I wouldn't be successful in petitioning the court to change the parenting plan. However, I do feel that this situation compromises her safety, so I'll keep on top of things the best that I can.

Thanks again for all the support.

Me : living with and loving papa and the kids: Dd1 8/97 , dd2 8/04 and my sweet baby ds 5/09 : :
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#18 of 26 Old 10-06-2007, 04:10 PM
 
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Darlin'? You don't get to dictate this in his home on his time. Not even with sole custody.
Don't call me darlin. Have you read my custody papers? I don't recall sending them to you, so you have no idea what you are talking about.
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#19 of 26 Old 10-06-2007, 09:13 PM
 
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Don't call me darlin. Have you read my custody papers? I don't recall sending them to you, so you have no idea what you are talking about.
Sorry. However, it is more likely than not that you do not get to dictate what he does in his home on his time with the child.
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#20 of 26 Old 10-06-2007, 10:34 PM
 
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I agree. That seems very sneaky. If my dsc's mom did that, I would be so upset.

If it's not a safety issue, we've got to let the parent parent! No matter how much we might disagree with their decisions, there comes a point where we as exes or stepparents need to step back. Unless there is a concern for safety.
Doesn't unsupervised internet usage in a teen warrant concern for their safety?

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#21 of 26 Old 10-06-2007, 10:43 PM
 
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Sorry. However, it is more likely than not that you do not get to dictate what he does in his home on his time with the child.
Sorry, but you are wrong.
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#22 of 26 Old 10-07-2007, 12:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Doesn't unsupervised internet usage in a teen warrant concern for their safety?

Unfortunately, in CO, this is considered to be a difference of opinion, not a safety issue. BTW, my dd1 isn't even a teen yet - she just turned 10.

Me : living with and loving papa and the kids: Dd1 8/97 , dd2 8/04 and my sweet baby ds 5/09 : :
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#23 of 26 Old 10-07-2007, 11:37 AM
 
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Doesn't unsupervised internet usage in a teen warrant concern for their safety?

Unfortunately, in CO, this is considered to be a difference of opinion, not a safety issue. BTW, my dd1 isn't even a teen yet - she just turned 10.
Yep. In most states it would be considered a difference in parenting style. Absent a court finding that the other parent is a true danger to the child, s/he will have the same rights to make parenting decisions on his/her time.
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#24 of 26 Old 10-07-2007, 06:08 PM
 
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Well, I hope when my daughters are teenagers, internet surfing is no longer seen as a parenting choice/style but will be seen as it is: an activity that requires some level of supervision to ensure their safety.

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#25 of 26 Old 10-07-2007, 08:02 PM
 
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Well, I hope when my daughters are teenagers, internet surfing is no longer seen as a parenting choice/style but will be seen as it is: an activity that requires some level of supervision to ensure their safety.
It will be/is akin to the parent's choice as to allowing the child to stay home alone, to go somewhere unsupervised, or what time to go to bed. A court is NOT likely to allow the other parent dictate those choices. Nor is the court likely to tell a parent when or how they can allow/disallow those types of activities.
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#26 of 26 Old 10-07-2007, 09:31 PM
 
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The internet can be a dangerous place. I'm quite happy that my stepson's mom doesn't have internet at this point so it's not an issue for us. She's reasonable and a good mom, but I'm guessing she wouldn't supervise or use blocking programs on the computer (both of which we do).

It concerns me that even after his daughter asked him to get the computer out of her room, he said he'll think about it. That makes no sense to me.
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