I don't disagree with a lot of what was said... if a father were to pick up and move 3000 miles away for no good reason with no thought to anyone else and no notice, then breeze into town now and again, unpredictibly, without notice and expect that the child be pulled from her normal life and schedule here and there at his convenience so he can spend time with her on his schedule with no regard for anyone else...well, I would absolutely agree that the custodial parent should step up and help to provide some stability for the child and set some boundaries in order to do so. In fact, reading the post as though I am reading about someone else's situation, I find a lot I agree with.
So I only disagree in that the same logic applied to this fictional irresponsible flake of a father is being applied to our extremely different situation or any number of other extremely different situations. Again, I'm not going to contradict all the individual details that make this fictional situation so different from our real one, or go quote every post that makes an inaccurate assumption and set the record straight... suffice it to say that the characters and history of this fictional scenario that we seem to be examining doesn't even begin to resemble those of the people and histories actually involved in my step-daughters life. You're just going to have to trust me on that one, I guess.
As for what we are teaching our children through our own actions, that's a difference in parenting styles and the values that are important in our individual families, as well as probably experience and personal histories. If my parents come to town, they accompany the kids to their activities and lessons, take them out on special dates, pick them up from school early... heck, my father-in-law lives 20 minutes away but doesn't see the kids very often... if he wants to see the kids I say, by all means, pick them up from school and take them out for the day... they'll love it! But I have a different personality, a different history, a different temperment, a different family, a different set of values than others... and I am raising kids with different temperments, different histories, and different family situations than others. So the choices I make for them are going to be different than the choices other people make, and I can absolutely respect that... just so long as they can refrain from judging me for teaching my children the values and perspective that are important to me.
So as far as that goes, we are all different people raising different children in different situations, and our perspectives and choices are going to be different... That doesn't make one person's way "right" and one person's way "wrong"... more likely it makes one way "right" for one person's situation and a totally different way "right" for someone else's.
Parenting four little monkeys (11, 8, 6, and 4) with the love of my life. Making it up as I go.