When my girls are with the ex h doesnt send them to bed on time, they arent told to brush their teeth - so my littlest wont bother! They are allowed to eat stuff that I usually restrict, they watch tv that they dont watch at home, the lists kind of long.....
They come back with a bag of washing, tired because of a lack of sleep and I grin and bear it - you cant tell the other parent how to do things, you just have to accept that you do things differently.
My girls understand that theres a set of rules at home but theyre different when theyre with their dad. They dont really struggle with it other than some tiredness which I''ve learned to recognise and deal with by imposing early nights the Monday after they come back!
Happy again - kids were hating the visits and getting told off all the time. They told Dad and he chose to not have them at the house again rather than relax rules.
Mum also has rules. She doesnt just let them run free. School night bedtimes are 7pm with a story then lights out, it''s actually a very orderly house. It''s just that Dads rules are "rules for the sake of it" if that makes sense. Lots of time outs for silly things that arn''t naughty. For example I dont think "sit on the naughty chair because you looked at your step mother in a disrespectful way" (yes LOOKED not SPOKE TO) is a punishable offence for a then 4 year old who didnt know what he''d done!!! Are you all seeing it now?
Hattie, you seem quite defensive. You''ve picked on 2 fairly innocuous comments I made in my posts, neither of which were remotely aggressive.
Nobody is suggesting mum doesn''t have rules, simply that you have to respect the rules of the other parent. After all, they were considered suitable enough to have the child with in the first place so their opinions have to be respected.
I know you have posted for a friend before now but i am getting slightly confused. Are you the mum in question here or is this still your friend?
It is for my poor friend who has had years of being dominated by her ex.
It is not that she has no respect for his rules it is that she considers them OTT and when contact broke down it was due to the little ones being given time out''s that would last a whole afternoon for "crimes" that just didnt warrant it.
During the 2 years of no contact the change in the children was immense. They were relaxed and it was noted by school, by me (I see them most days) etc.
Now contact has started again (and to give her her dues Mum is really really helping to achieve a good workable contact routine) Mum doesnt want the kids to start visiting Dad again and they say they dont want to go again.
So, mum has asked Dad to ease up on rules. Said that a time out should be the number of minutes relating to the childs age, so a 7 year old gets 7 minutes, them apologises then its forgotton. Not a 4 hour time out for getting biscuit crumbs on a carpet!
I hope I''ve made this clear now.
I think the thing is that you cant dictate how someone else parents unless they are causing distress or harm. My kids think I am stricter than their dad - yes I am because Im the one who has to make them do their homework, reading etc. Whose to say one parents rules are better than another?
The children havent seen their dad for two years, they must have been very young when they were having issues before and then he stopped seeing them. She could simply do as a lot of us do, and explain that there are different rules in each of their homes.
I dont think my ex is strict enough sometimes, but I choose my battles wisely - theres nothing that winds him up more than me telling him where hes going wrong and vice versa! Your friend and her ex need to be working together and conflict over differing house rules really wont help.
Shes trying to work with her ex to ensure that the long time out''s dont cause the children to become distressed as happened last time as that''s when they started not wanting to go.
She understands that Saturday night tea in front of the TV is not something ex would tolerate as he insists all meals are eaten at the table etc.
She also understands that Dad likes the kids in bed by 7.30pm regardless of what day of the week it is.
Everyones different as you said.
It is a matter of pick your battles carefully though. Dad apparently is manic about XBox war games yet Mum wont have these in the house so it''s 6 of 1 and half a dozen of the other.
Thank you for your comments.
the othe thing which your friend can do is let the school know that the children are restarting contact and may be a bit unsettled while they adjust to the change - if the school notices any problems with the children she can suggst that they let dad know as well as telling her. If he is imposing rules which are causing the children problems then he may be more amenable to a conversaton which is instigated by the school than to one brought up by Mum, especially if the school can be senstive about it, as it is less likely to come across as critisism or interferance.