How do you stop the game playing???

Jennifer - posted on 02/26/2009 ( 6 moms have responded )

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My ex and I guess his new wife. ( they will not say they are married but she signs his last name now) They keep playing games. They say things to the kids that are not true. When the boys are with dad I talk to them every night at 7:30. They will make sure they are on the phone so the boys will not hear it ring and then tell them that I did not call.They will not pick the kids up on time and then make up stories about why. It is really hurting my kids and my oldest told me he does not know who to believe because none of his dad or my stories are the same. I always tell my children the truth no matter what. I am at my wits end. What do I do?

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Lianne - posted on 03/03/2009

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I used to tell my ex, get here on time or you don't get them.  He would be late so I couldn't go out.  But the worst was he would be hours late, and the kids would be upset because I couldn't tell them if he was going to show up or not, and when he was coming - of course you could never get ahold of him.  New rule, pick them up at daycare by 6pm - don't be late or you pay her more money.  That worked for me.  Are your boys old enough to call you on their own?  If you did that, then they would call you, and there would be no room for his lies.  All I can really say, is don't make excuses for your ex and his wifes actions.  Just let your kids know you have no reason to lie to them, this is the way you remember it, explain that maybe sometimes you can't talk every night but that you still think of them and love them.  There is a very fine line that is so easy to cross sometimes.  The day will come when your kids will realize on their own who is dishonest with them.  It is very unfortunate and a tough road to go down.  I've been there, my mistake was protecting him all the time - excuses, like maybe he got stuck at work and so on.... big mistake.  Just tell it like it is, I don't know the answer - you can ask him when he gets here.  I tried to call you, but there was no answer so I'm not sure why I didn't get to talk to you.  good luck with this.  it's so hard for the kids, and hard for the parent that is trying to keep things together for the kids.  No one likes to see their kids hurting and it is worse when there really isn't anything you can do about it.  Counselling for you and your kids might be an option for you.  It will show them how invested you are in them, and teach you how to deal with these things in a way where that is best for you and your kids.  Sometimes you just want to slap that ex and wake him up! 

Angela - posted on 03/03/2009

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One thing I did, in my situation, there was always an issue around me calling my son. Silly game playing- no one would answer the phone- no return call, after a court hearing it changed to the phone would never be answer but Joey would always call back within 5 minutes. I recognized that this was a game that was being played. My ex thought he was frustrating me and hurting me. But in actuality he was only hurting Joey. Joey was the one who wasn't getting a call from mom, Joey was the one who might have been thinking mom didn't care enough to call. I bought Joey a cell phone (pre-programmed in numbers)....mysteriously, the charger I supplied for dad's house disappeared, even though Joey was positive he knew where he put it....after I replaced that, then the phone disappeared, Joey knows the last place he had it was at dad's. So what did I do? I dropped the rope....dad can't try to yank my chain if it is not attached right? I told Joey (13yo) that he is old enough to call me whenever he likes, that I always want to talk with him, that he knows his phone is somewhere at dad's and that is between him and dad. So now he sees, Mom not cause a fight, and he is slowly seeing the game playing from the other side. It's tough when you know you are right and if you could just get that acknowledged things could get fixed. But at the end of the day, some things aren't worth fighting over and making kiddo feel bad. It's not surprising that Joey never feels comfortable enough to ask to call me.

Carol - posted on 03/03/2009

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I would lay down some rules dor my ex..If the kids are at his house he needs to make sure the phone is free at a certain time. If he is late getting the kids tell him they can't go..Maybe he will start taking this parenting thing more seriously. Don't let him treat you or your kids likethis, if it starts, trust me, it won't ever end. Demand that he put the children's welfare first and gow up. I deal with a similar situation myself. As long as he thinks what he doing is going to end up hurting me, he does it over and over. The children need to have the stablility and reassurace that they have access to either parent at all times. They have enough to go through without dad playing games as some sort of revenge. The children always gets caught in the middle...If you both put the children's welfare first, things should work out fine...If only, it was that easy...

Gwen - posted on 03/01/2009

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BTDT- unfotunatly confronting dad and wifey won't help because they will flat out deny they said/ did everything.  No matter what proof you have, it's impossible to argue with someone who never stops lying.  (I say "you are at the wrong school" he says "no i'm not" and ds is in the background on the phone saying "but dad that sign says school 5, not 4!" ... I say 'but you state THIS in your email', he says 'no I didn't'.  OK, email is pretty concrete... but how the frig do you argue with THAt? you will drive yourself nuts trying to use reason, logic, normal human brain function.)



Your kids will realize soon enough, as long as you continue to be 100% honest with them.  Kids have a way of remembering that "you SAID we could go to McDonalds the next time we had a half day at school", regardless if you said that a month ago and they can't remember where they left thier school bag 30 seconds ago.



If you say X, dad says Y, if you can back it up do so. call from your cell phone so you can ask DS if he wants to see the call record.  My DS now has his own cell phone (he's 11) , and that helps with the communication as well as his 'reminding' dad to take him to soccer or whatever because DS knows what time it is.



It also helped when my DS was younger to talk about dad's "I wishes" instead of flat out calling him a liar-  like, "I'm sure yous dad wishes he could take you on a great vacation.  where do you think you'd go?"  or "your dad wishes he really could have been here, that's why he said he would be because he wanted to so badly."  you aren't totally lying to your kids, you are just speculating that I'm sure dad would do X if he could have.



 



good luck, and lots of sympathetic hugs.

Suzi - posted on 02/27/2009

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you need to challenge them about this and tell them they need to stop it as it is damaging to your children. The are trying to get to you through your kids and you should point out that a good parent would not use their children as a weapon and they need to put their pettiness aside and put the kids first, if they want to have a go at you fine but don'e involve the kids!

Angela - posted on 02/27/2009

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You need to just focus on keeping yourself above reproach. Don't have conversations with kiddo that put him in a position to decide who is telling the truth or not. You can disagree with what you hear without indicating there is a choice to be made, for example: "That's not the way I remember it." is a relatively neutral statement. or "Honey, you know I call every night at 7:30, it's normal to think that every once in a while someone else might be using the phone at that time.".....

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