Nintendo DS at the EX's? or home? - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-26-2007, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I need advice... again...
DS and his father spent Christmas Eve together. DS grandma (Ex’s mom) bought him a DS gameboy with 3 games and a bunch of accessories. DS came home telling me that the EX wants him to bring the gameboy back to his house every other weekend so the EX can inspect it. He wants him to bring back all the little pieces and cords and games. If anything is broken or missing the EX told him he has to leave the gameboy at his house. So obviously DS is freaking out about the gameboy. Last night it was a 20 minute ordeal because he misplaced a game on the floor of his room and he thought he left it in the living room. He is constantly checking if everything is there and worried if it is not. This is obviously a source of stress for the whole family as we all try to help DS find what ever he is looking for. We are on day 2 and I already cant take it. :

DP and I are thinking of just buying him another gameboy to keep at home and letting the EX keep the first one at his house. We obviously don’t want to spend $130 on a gameboy! But we don’t want to have to deal with the stress about the pieces. He is a good kid and doesn’t destroy things but I don’t want to have to worry if a cord went missing for a few hours. We are thinking of making DS chip in half of the $ and buying him one.

Anyone else had to deal with anything like this? And why do I always write novels when I am talking about my EX? Would this be evil? Would this be undermining the EX?

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Old 12-26-2007, 11:54 AM
 
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uggh what a pita. I don't have the money, but I would try to find a way for him to have a ds that he can keep all of the time, it is just cruel to give such an awesome thing and put so many stipulations on it

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Old 12-26-2007, 11:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I know! Right?
I am frustrated because the EX wasnt even the one who bought the gift! It was his mother and I dont understand how he can now put rules on it.
We got some $ for Christmas that we were going to pay bills with but now we are thinking of buying another toy for DS... ARG.

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Old 12-26-2007, 12:28 PM
 
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I do not like the thought of a person (any person) giving a gift with strings or conditions attached. I do understand the need for conditions on occassion- especially in the case of young or careless kids, but it doesn't sound like your son is that type.

If you do get him a new gameboy ds, I personally wouldn't feel comfortable making the boy chip in half the cost. It would be like a punishment for something he did not do. He hasn't broken or lost the gameboy.

My suggestion would be to try and find a used one at Game Stop or other video game resale shops. Those are also great places to trade played games for "new" used games at a very reasonable price!
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Old 12-26-2007, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh! Under no circumstances did I want to punish DS for my EX. DS is upset that the EX gave him these rules on grandma's gift. I think that DS would be thrilled to be able to have his own gameboy, without the rules and such. I'll definitely talk to DS before we decide to do this and if he wants to continue without using his money then I understand. DS and I went halves on a Wii last year and he really enjoyed saving up for it.

Its a good idea to go look at game shops. We will try that. I am worried that since they seem to be sold out at Amazon.com and places that it wouldnt be in a used shop. But its worth the look!

I am worried about setting a precedent that he will have double the toys at both houses. And I really dont want to cause any anger on the other side. I just dont want to deal with the stress. The less stress the better.

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Old 12-26-2007, 01:48 PM
 
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Oh! I hope I didn't sound like I was upset or angry or *coming down* on you!

I can completely understand the stress you must be feeling and I hate to think of the stress your DS must be under regarding this gift as well! I was just trying to think of some way to relieve that.

I know I'd do everything in my power to make things easier for my child. Sometimes it just can't be done within our means at the time. If your son enjoys saving and helping to buy big things, it sounds like a wonderful solution!

I do hope he can enjoy his game system even with the strict conditions his father has put on it. It kind of puts a damper on a gift
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Old 12-26-2007, 02:03 PM
 
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Can you just refuse to comply?
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Old 12-26-2007, 02:08 PM
 
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That sucks for your son -- not good to have stress with his present!

Let me give you the other side, not to defend your ex, but to maybe see his perspective. My husband's mom gives the kids presents with their mother, rather than with us, and we find this very hurtful. For the longest time, for example, my husband had no money (divorce debt) and their mom has tons of child support and bought them great clothes, but when she was mad she wouldn't send any to us, so we'd have to run to the store with the kids and buy them clothes on no notice and for no reason. So when DH's mom gave them clothes for birthdays and such, but gave them to the kids' mom, that hurt us. He felt like he should be able to have the kids in the cute clothes his mom bought, you know?

I can imagine that same emotion could apply to really cool toys that men like as much as their kids. Your ex's mom gave him this awesome toy, but it's going to your house? I bet the "inspection" will involve trying out the games and playing them with his son! Or, well, I don't know your ex, but if my DSS got a shmancy game system, my DH would certainly want to play it with him! Maybe if you promise to send it with him for visitation, ex will relax the "inspection" thing and just happily play games with his son? Just an idea. Best of luck!

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Old 12-26-2007, 02:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Can you just refuse to comply?
Hmmmmmm.. I am not sure if that would keep the peace or just make it worse.

I am new two this whole dual parenting thing. Its very stressful.

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Old 12-26-2007, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I can imagine that same emotion could apply to really cool toys that men like as much as their kids. Your ex's mom gave him this awesome toy, but it's going to your house? I bet the "inspection" will involve trying out the games and playing them with his son! Or, well, I don't know your ex, but if my DSS got a shmancy game system, my DH would certainly want to play it with him! Maybe if you promise to send it with him for visitation, ex will relax the "inspection" thing and just happily play games with his son? Just an idea. Best of luck!
DS almost didnt get to bring the gameboy home because he forgot the wall charger at their house. I did talk to EX after he dropped of DS and he said "I want him to respect the toy. And I dont want him to break it. Since there are a lot of pieces I want him to bring them to my house to make sure he has them all." : blah blah blah...
Though I am sure EX wants to play the video game as well! I just dont understand the inspection part. EX does love his video games though, he just bought Rock Band and is very on top of all the new games and systems that come out.

That doesnt make sense about your husbands mom though. Why would she give the gifts to their mom? Maybe you should get the kids clothes and just keep them at your house? Sending the kids with only the clothes on their backs is disrespectful.

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Old 12-26-2007, 02:27 PM
 
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ZOMG, we are dealing with a similar issue. All my son wanted for Christmas this year was a Nintendo DS. Independently of each other, my X and I both decided to buy him one. When I consulted with my son's stepmother (who does the actual purchasing around their house), she had already gotten one, and we both agreed it was ridiculous to buy him 2 gameboys.

However, they have never allowed him to bring toys that they purchased for him to my house (control issues, anyone?). I wound up buying him a bunch of accessories and a traveling case for it, so it can go back and forth in safety. I foresee control issues in which they ground him from it (they're really strict, much more so than I am) for extensive periods of time. They try to ground him to a degree that's really excessive for an 11 year old, then get mad when I don't go along with it, so I'm predicting conflict.

Anyway, I guess that's my suggestion...buy him the accessory case but prepare for conflict.

Holly

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Old 12-26-2007, 02:33 PM
 
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Do whatever makes it easier on your ds.
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Old 12-26-2007, 03:43 PM
 
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I'd return the gameboy to the father's house and buy another one when finances allowed, but I'd probably wait til after school starts up again.
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Old 12-26-2007, 04:01 PM
 
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I would probably buy a second game boy to keep at your house. It is too stressful for your son and the rest of your family. Return all the "parts" to you ex and he can play with "dad's game boy" eow. It is sad situation for your son.
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Old 12-26-2007, 04:59 PM
 
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It sounds like Dad is making his son be responsible. It does not matter that someone else bought the gift for him, parents are still allowed to limit, and monitor what their child does and has. The answer here is not to buy the child another one, the answer is to allow the father to teach his son responsibility for the one he has. Both of my kids have the DS’s and take very good care of them. They both know that I will not replace them if they get lost or broken, and they both know that if they are mistreated they will be taken away. Dad has his own parenting style, and is allowed to exercise it as he wishes.
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Old 12-26-2007, 05:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It sounds like Dad is making his son be responsible. It does not matter that someone else bought the gift for him, parents are still allowed to limit, and monitor what their child does and has. The answer here is not to buy the child another one, the answer is to allow the father to teach his son responsibility for the one he has. Both of my kids have the DS’s and take very good care of them. They both know that I will not replace them if they get lost or broken, and they both know that if they are mistreated they will be taken away. Dad has his own parenting style, and is allowed to exercise it as he wishes.
I agree that parents can limit and monitor what their children are playing with. Thats the JOB of a parent.
DS knows that nobody is going to replace or repair his gameboy if he brakes it. He saved his money up for a Ipod shuffle and left it in his pants and it went through the wash, he was devastated, but he saved his money and bought himself another Ipod.
I guess I disagree on how to make him responsible. If I would have kept reminding him to take his Ipod out of his pants pockets it would not have gone through the wash. But I didnt. And his Ipod did. I think it was an important lesson for him to learn.
He LOVES his video games. I dont believe he would ever do anything to that gameboy. But if he happens to loose the car charger I dont think he should loose the ability to play the gameboy, just loose the ability to charge it in the car. KWIM?
IMO forcing him to be responsible and accounting for all items/accessories every other weekend is too much monitoring. He should be allowed to make mistakes. Does that make sense?

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Old 12-26-2007, 05:40 PM
 
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I think you could allow him to make his own mistakes by not helping him locate the pieces every time. If he has to be accountable to his Dad, then so be it. HE should be accountable, not you and the rest of the family, right?

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Old 12-26-2007, 05:46 PM
 
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I did talk to EX after he dropped of DS and he said "I want him to respect the toy. And I dont want him to break it. Since there are a lot of pieces I want him to bring them to my house to make sure he has them all."
Tell him you're perfectly capable of keeping track of the pieces yourself and the best way to lose pieces is to force the poor child to transport it back and forth, especially since there are alot of pieces.

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It sounds like Dad is making his son be responsible. It does not matter that someone else bought the gift for him, parents are still allowed to limit, and monitor what their child does and has.
...and...

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Dad has his own parenting style, and is allowed to exercise it as he wishes.
But he has no jursdiction at the other parent's house! If he wanted to keep track of it, he should not have let the child take it back to his Mother's, or should have tried working on a way to keep track without undermining the Mother's authority in her own house.

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Old 12-26-2007, 05:51 PM
 
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I think you could allow him to make his own mistakes by not helping him locate the pieces every time. If he has to be accountable to his Dad, then so be it. HE should be accountable, not you and the rest of the family, right?
I disagree. If the ex is being a control freak and acting like a jackass, the child should not be forced to deal with it on his own. OP, if I were in that situation, I'd ask my child what course of action he'd like to take. Refusing to comply with his father's demands, for example (what, realistically, would your ex do if your DS decided that he wanted to leave the game at your place when he went to Dad's?) or maybe investing in a backup set of accessories to keep around in case one of the originals goes missing. If he'd like to go in on another game system to keep at your house, that sounds like a good compromise too. That sucks that your ex is turning what should be a fun present into a source of anxiety for you and your son.
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Old 12-26-2007, 08:33 PM
 
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OK, on this specific example (my boys both got DS's for Xmas.)
Get a case. Impose the specific ruling that the games go back in the little pocket in the case as soon as they're switched. No arguments, no stress, no nothing.
Leave all the cables at dad's house. Keep the stylus with you (and buy a pack or two of spares.) Use batteries, preferably rechargeable. Oh, and tell your ex that he's being a UA violation

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Old 12-26-2007, 11:09 PM
 
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I'd get him a travel bag for the game. Have him put everything back in the bag when hes done. If something gets lost....IT HAPPENS hes a kid. The game was given as a gift and it now belongs to your child. They need to get over it. I would tell your son not to stress about it everthing is replaceable but he should try his best to keep his DS things together but again hes a kid and things get lost and break.

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Old 12-27-2007, 01:07 AM
 
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Game Stop has the Nintendo DS for $79.99 right now. I was in there this afternoon and they had and extra $10 off sticker on them. I would definitely recommend going there considering that they cost about $130 new!!! My brother owns one and he had a lot of problems with misplacing it(he was taking it to school and to friends houses all the time) so, he was getting into a lot of trouble with my mom~it was like a whole paycheck for her.~ Anyways, in order to stop that they made the rule that he could only play it in his bedroom. Unfortunately, she had to make him come out of his room to interact with the family more!! or you could just tell X to kiss it because once the game was given to your son it was no longer his to command.

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Old 12-27-2007, 12:53 PM
 
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OP, if I were in that situation, I'd ask my child what course of action he'd like to take. Refusing to comply with his father's demands, for example (what, realistically, would your ex do if your DS decided that he wanted to leave the game at your place when he went to Dad's?) or maybe investing in a backup set of accessories to keep around in case one of the originals goes missing. If he'd like to go in on another game system to keep at your house, that sounds like a good compromise too.
I agree except that I wouldn't offer son (ie condone) the option of refusing to comply with dad. I don't think just refusing to do what dad asks should be condoned by mom, but if he seems inclined to go that route, let him know that talking to dad about it might be an option.

Maybe help your son brainstorm ALL the possible solutions, then talk about each one and decide on which one(s) he would like to try out.... a great life skill for dealing with difficult decisions and finding solutions to problems.

Good luck! It must be hard for your son to have gotten such a fun present only to have it turn out to be stressful.

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Old 12-27-2007, 12:59 PM
 
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Maybe I sounds like a jerk but I don't think the ex is being that unreasonable. I planned on getting my DSS a gameboy when he was 7 or 8 but his stepdad beat me to it. Well, after he lost that we bought him another one. Then he lost that one and was so torn up about he got another one (can't remember who bought it that time). It is so hard to buy him things that go over to his mom's and never come back. His room there is like a sea of toys, and then he is bored to tears when he comes to our house because he doesn't have any of his stuff here. I'm sorry but when the shoe is on the other foot I don't think OP's ex is being that unreasonable.

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Old 12-27-2007, 02:26 PM
 
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I kind of agree with Leila1213; I don't think the ex is being that unreasonable. Maybe a little militant about gameboy inspections, but still, he's trying to teach his child about taking care of the things that mean a lot to you.

From my perspective: my DSS is a compulsive "misplacer" of things. We used to buy him expensive toys, books, clothing, and he would invariably lose them or break them by being careless. He's a boy, I know, so he's clumsy and highly energetic, but eventually, he started losing or breaking *our* stuff, and it had to be dealt with. Now if he receives something expensive/meaningful as a gift (or if he buys it for himself), it is HIS responsibility to care for it. If he damages or loses it, we do not replace it. He has to work around the house, doing chores or whatnot, to make some money and buy himself a new one. As a result, he's a lot more careful with his beloved toys and games.
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Old 12-27-2007, 02:41 PM
 
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We are having the opposite problem. Everything we send home with DSS gets lost, broken, torn, or given away or viewed as inappropriate by his mom and DH gets a lecture. Therefore, we no longer send any toys, games, or even clothing home with him. In fact this Xmas will be the first time we have given him clothes that will be taken home with him. I really wonder how long they will last. The game "guitar hero" was taken back to his mom's house and completely destroyed. The two guitars that went with the game were given to friends. We realise now that his mom denigrates the gifts so he destroys or gives them away to please her. Any money given to him goes in her pockets or is spent by him on gifts for his friends. That way he doesn't have to defend the things he bought with Daddy's money from her. My suggestion is to buy your own gameboy for your house as soon as finances allow.
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Old 12-27-2007, 03:51 PM
 
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I would send the gift to dad's permanently. THat way, dad knows EXACTLY where it is, and can always have an eye on it. And the child has something to look forward to when he goes over there.

Then, when you can afford it, buy your own version for your house...but don't NOT pay bills to buy it. If he wants one for your house, he CAN help you save for it, it won't kill him. and, in the end, he'll probably be happier because he doesn't have the stress surrounding "keeping the game DAD proof" while he has it at your house, you know?

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Old 12-27-2007, 03:59 PM
 
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I agree with courtenay_e response. Leave it at dads house.
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Old 12-27-2007, 04:06 PM
 
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Considering that the DS is of a size where you can put the game system, charger, styli, and probably every single game that's made for it into a child's shoebox, I'd also suggest buying a travel case rather than a second system. Yeah, I think the ex is being sort of a booger, but it is an expensive toy.
If you do get a travel case, be careful if you get this one. I did, and returned it because the latch kept popping open if I had the silicone sleeve on the game system. I wound up with the little padded zipper case , but the zipper on the game-storage pocket died after about two days. If you can find one of the metal briefcase-style cases, or perhaps one of these, that would probably be the best thing for a kid who's doing a lot of traveling.
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Old 12-27-2007, 04:59 PM
 
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DSD has a DS and she's never lost anything that goes with it. She's had it for a year. I think that, at 10, your son should be perfectly capable of keeping track of the pieces himself - maybe he just needs to have a place where they belong, so that he doesn't have to remember where they are all the time. DSD has a case for hers.

I think the way your son's dad communicated with him about the whole thing is lame, as it sounds very threatening. However, I don't think it's unreasonable to ask that an expensive toy come back for visitation. Of course we're more often on the other side - buying toys and clothes that are never seen again.

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