I had problems similar to this, with dance class, however when it didn''t suit the ex to go, she didn''t.
I was instructed to ''include it into my day''
Eventually it became i,possible and for a couple of weeks it was only me taking her.
This is quite simple, whatever you do with the kids in your time is up to you, what she does in hers is up to her.
We can all spend time discussing the whys and wherefores of these activities, fact remains the time spent with each parent is most important.
If you wanted to start sky diving would the ex continue that?
Everyone has different views on this as i say, my ex also tried the same with swimming lessons, my kids can swim ok, good enough for me, not good enough for her she wants them to lifeguard stays, well, thats up to her, but, not in my time,
I know she wouldn''t see this as beneficial but my partner said he''d happily teach them to swim and extend on what they have already learned. It also gives my partner chance to interact with them in the pool rather than watching from the side lines.
We even contemplated looking into an activity that they could do on a saturday morning i.e. gymnastics but would mum travel over to our neck of the woods for them to attend gymnastics on her weekend - the answer to that would be no.
Mum commented that the party is only 1.5 hours, which maybe the case when all the parties are local to where she lives but when you add 2 hours driving into the mix from our house it''s not good.
My ex lives too far away from us to even be asked if he would take the kids to parties etc if they fall on ''his'' weekend.
I disagree with the earlier poster who said that kids should go to parties; yes they are important but so is spending time with their Dad.
Having said that, my ex is constantly letting the kids down and not seeing them so when RSVPing to invites I always ask to be put down as a ''maybe'' and explain the situation.
I have just turned down a fantastic oportunity for my son to go on a jamboree-type cub-camp because it falls on Dad''s weekend. I did ask which he preferred to do, and he said see Dad, and I will have no hesitation in telling him why he''s not at camp if (when) Dad lets him down
I like the idea of suggesting alternate times/days for swimming - that way there can be no quibble about making arrangements
sorry CJ, I hadn''t realised there was a 2 hour drive. You can''t be expected to attend parties on that basis, I agree, although I stand by what I originally said which is that children should be able to do activities in both of their parent''s time. You need her to be more flexible which she obviously isn''t going to be so I guess you''re stuck.
Bobbin - the problem with the suggestion that you do what you want and I''ll do what I want is that there''s potential for what the child wants to get left out of it all. Budding actors or dancers or swimmers should be able to attend every Saturday (bar accidents, emergencies, one-off events such as weddings etc.) if they enjoy it/get something out of it/ want to progress. If they end up attending every other week, they don''t progress at the same rate as their friends, they lose interest, they don''t get the exercise, don''t maintain the friendships. I know that it''s important to spend time with dad but somewhere along the line there''s a compromise, surely? It''s difficult and clearly there''s no right or wrong answer.
It is difficult, there is no right or wrong answer, but where things are acrimonious between the parents then it''s generally the NRP that loses out, simply because the RP has the ''control'' and the NRP is powerless against it. Unless they make a stand of course, which may mean the children miss out on something. I know when mine were little, if they''d been invited to a party during their time with their dad, I would politely inform the host that they couldn''t attend because they would be with their dad. They never minded and certainly didn''t feel left out because they both attended enough parties during the time I had them to maintain friendships etc. But, their dad and I always got on, so I guess it was different because if the boys had been really insistent on attending a party their dad wouldn''t have minded and would have seen them extra elsewhere, with my blessing.
The problem when an NRP has such little contact is that arrangements are often made well in advance, for example to visit relatives or have a family day out. I know when our contact with SD was very limited, we arranged things sometimes a couple of months in advance. Therefore, for an RP to turn round a couple of weeks before contact and say ''oh by the way, X has a party on your day so you can''t see them'', is wholly unfair, and if the NRP then explained that they had already made plans for that day they would be made out to be the bad guy by the RP, or be accused of making up that they had arrangements so the child couldn''t attend the party! It''s a no win situation for any NRP whose ex pulls the strings! Therefore, it''s best to start off not giving them that inch, because they will always take a mile.
Parents don''t own children''s time, when there is acrimony between parents the biggest losers are the children. Sadly one of the most common complaints ChildLine receives from children of separated parents is they miss out on activities.
I''d just like to reiterate that my partner does take the children swimming, it''s just problematic with it being late morning & by mums house, which obviously limits what we''d like to do with the girls that day.
My partner also doesn''t have a problem with parties but due to the time travelled back & forth to collect the girls to then return to that area several hours later for a party it just doesn''t seem fair at present. My partner doesn''t mind this so much when contact is increased.
My partners family live 3 hours away from us in different Directions so any paternal family parties that the girls are invited to do require an overnight stay. Surely it''s not right to get the girls up early on a Sunday morning to get in the car for a 3 hour drive back just to make sure they get to swimming on time?