How do you...if you do

Catrina - posted on 07/09/2009 ( 7 moms have responded )

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Encourage your SK's and their emotions relating to feeling torn?



Each time my SK's are here, mainly my SD, is emotionally bugged out by BM. During the weekly phone call, BM is telling SD at least 10 plus times that she misses her. I don't mind that so much, but it's also gone so far as "Oh we did this, and it would have been so much fun if you were here. Don't you wish you were here with me instead?" It's like 80% of the year you have these kids, and you can't do those things when they are with you? But even though you can't, do you really feel it's beneficial to her to rub it in her face? Last summer we had an issue with BM putting the idea of ending the Summer earlier to go home into my SD's mind, BM swore up and down that SD was traumatized. Go figure she even tried to take full custody because of it. Although just because she felt this and never acted on treating it -- like counseling suggested by my husband. Even the Judge threw it out, and told her that she can't consider taking all rights away just because she felt the situation was traumatizing, and did nothing to heal what she considered so traumatizing.



This summer, BM sent out mini photo albums of the family on that end. I don't mind, I think it's a cool idea. We've been wanting to do something like that, however don't want to do so if she's going to keep it from them. The kids don't have ANY photos of their dad or siblings out here. (3 siblings here), the family here. When I've asked BM if it would be ok to do something like that she refused to answer me! It's really hard to just say "Screw it" and do it anyway. Valuable things, money wise, have been destroyed by BM. I'd hate for her to destroy a photo album - and what that'd do to the kids.



But anyway...so for this Summer we started it off with allowing the every 48 hour calls BM was placing to be answered or returned by the kids. After 2 1/2 weeks, and a huge melt down by my SD, we decided it was not beneficial for her. So we went to the 1x a week court ordered call. BM followed this for a week, and started back with the multiple calls. The kids have been here 33 days, and she's called 24 times! 5 weeks almost, and it would only mean 5 calls from my husband to the kids if they were with BM. She does not return any phone call made outside of the court ordered one, there's not even a response or explination. There are very FEW times that my husband will call outside the ordered time because he hates the rejection basically. BM will say she asked the kids if they wanted to call and they said no...but the kids say they were never told he called. But that's a whole other topic!



Since we cut the calls to the 1x a week call, my SD had a hard time with the first call. That's where BM pulled the "don't you wish you were here" and "i miss you" 10x in like 3 minutes. Afterwards my SD went to this photo album and ended up in tears. Couldn't really talk about why, so we had her write us a note and tell us what was going on in her mind. This worked. She wrote that she missed BM and looking at the pictures made her more sad because she missed her. So we talked, and agreed that after the phone call NOT to look at the photo album. My SD understood and actually came up with that idea. She understood that we didn't like to see her sad, and were sure she didn't like to be sad and crying. That missing games, movies, outings or whatever because she was sad - wasn't something we wanted! We wanted her to enjoy her time. But completely understood that missing BM is going to happen. This week was wonderful! The phone call went smoothly, no photo album!



But BM still continues to call, we've told the kids each time she's called. She even called on my youngests birthday - after my husband told her not to (he was called by her attorney to inform him of the ex parte hearing they are seeking to continue the court hearing scheduled for monday - strange! But again another topic) but she called anyway! As well as 3 times yesterday! We're always doing something, so the kids understand and see that we aren't sitting at home looking at the phone saying "Oh it's your mom, but since it's not the scheduled time you can't talk" they see that we are out at the store, the beach or theme park - so it's not possible..........



A cardinal rule we live by is this:

Every emotion is accepted. Even if you are mad at us. It's HOW you express these emotions that determine whether or not they will be tolerated! Fits, tantrums or blow ups will not be tolerated. You will be sent to your room until you are acting appropriate for us to discuss the emotion.

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Catrina - posted on 07/10/2009

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I think with the photos, since this photo album thing was something we asked about during Spring Break - was her way of testing the waters. Thinking we'd send them back or not let the kids have them. The only limitation we put on 'em is for my SD - to NOT look at them when she's done having her weekly phone call with BM. That's it! It's really neat looking at them with the kids and hearing them explain what it was about etc. Their little sister is a cutie! (remember I only have boys, and nieces - so I've never had the baby girl of my own from the very beginning)



My SS already is asking, and has been for about a year plus - to move with us. When can he decide. Obviously we'd LOVE LOVE LOVE to have hime, but there's no way we can take on another child full time! He'd have a lot better education (in our opinions) as well as the bonding time with his father. He'd also do the sports he wants to (BM is afraid to put him in tackle football - but my oldest has been playing for 4 years. going on his 3rd yr of tackle) My SS wants to play sooooooo bad! Every summer he's here - he partakes in the team party at the beginning of the season where all the boys just have at it! Play, hang out and get to know each other or reconnect after the off season. You can see his frustrated at knowing he isn't going to be a part of the season ahead.



I will have to check and see where and how to get the photos on here for you to see. I will accept suggestion of HOW to do so LOL....



I've been gone for a while - sorry - but with the 5 kids, AND my MOTHER IN LAW here as well my time is nuts!

Jaime - posted on 07/10/2009

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Sounds like she is playing the good parent making biodad out to be the bad parent. Pictures are so innocent, my girls love getting pictures from there brother seeing what different things he is up to. I save the pictures we get and put them in his scrapbook (I am way behind mind you). My girls get all the books out and look at the pictures all the time.

Those poor kids, having the pictures to look back on would probally mean so much to them, BM needs to get over herself and let the kids enjoy there time with there dad and family. I know what you will say, it won't happen but we can hope right???

Graffiti pictures sounds cool, you will have to post a picture so we can have a look,

Catrina - posted on 07/10/2009

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Yeah the I miss you's aren't so bad, but even seeing how young your SD is and seeing that it affects her - just validates me more. My SD is about to be 9. There's no reason that she shouldn't be used to this entire routine of coming to see Dad & her siblings & me. She's been doing it since before she was 3. I would almost put money on it, that BM does it for a personal satisfaction. To know that my SD acts this way towards her and not Dad.



I see the good in your acknowledgement of it being an issue with your SD, and her wanting to make daddy feel better. You are understanding and taking her best interests at heart! I'd suggest the "I miss you too sweetie, and can't wait to see you in (insert appropriate timeline)"



As for the pictures, I know it's easily duplicated. I just don't want to create a situation for the kids to have to deal with BM or Step Dad's comments about them. They already get it over Legoland passes - which only have their photos on 'em. But they've expressed they like to have it because it reminds them of their time here, and their Dad. This alone doesn't make BM happy, and you can see the discomfort they feel over it.



On a side note, to avoid all that, we had set up email accounts for the kids (since my SD especially is always playing on the computer) where we'd send photos. This way to avoid the actual items being "in her house" as BM refers to it.



explination: My husband has been involved in Graffiti for 17 years. Yes he did many years of illegals and even jail time for it. However during this illegal time, was when him and BM were together. She partook in the illegal "bombing" etc. However these days, my husband strictly does it for either churches or friends houses, game rooms etc. No longer an illegal action. I mean our church - he did an entire room (theme - The Lighthouse) Nothing typical of the Graffiti typical image. I mean it's aerosal art, spray painted - that can be turned into anything!! Well there was one photo emailed (that she actually allowed them to check) and she went onto this entire "That's illegal, and bad. You shouldn't be around it, your father made a bad choice brining you around that etc." It's like woman - pick up the damn phone and make a call and ASK about it!! Obviously if it was illegal do you really think my husband would bring his kids around knowing how anal BM is???? UGH!

Betty - posted on 07/10/2009

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My husband and I have made the mistake of telling my 4 year old SD that we will miss her. We would say it in response to her telling it to us because we thought it would be nice. Lately she would have this sad little face the entire time she was with her mom and when her mom would ask why she is sad she would say, "Daddy's sad because he misses me I want to go see him so he won't be sad". So now we have to find a new way to respond to her telling us she will miss us.

If you send an album home with them I don't see the harm. If she rips it up it's only paper and all the images are saved on your hard drive waiting to be printed again. Just tell the kids that if anything happens to the pictures it's ok because it's just paper and it can be duplicated. The kids won't be tramatised.

Catrina - posted on 07/09/2009

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Jaime -- Yes it's super sad that she'd knowing upset her own daughter. My SS doens't give a crap! He has the cold one worded conversations with her. I'm usually standing there like "Hey what about this, what about the beach, or Legoland. How about transformers 2, and then what about..." so he gets excited to talk to her. Although he did get a negative response about Transformers 2 - since it has bad language in it. I guess BM is only ok with her sister giving those movies to him (she gave him the 1st one for Christmas) Ironic huh?



My SS did well with the surgery. I wasn't so comfortable with the incision he had, and the fact that they did NOT stitch him up. Steri-strips only. Made me super paranoid when he came out here. He had a few on him still, so we re-enforced it of course. It's lame knowing that for over a year we were asking for her to take care of this - since we were not authorized by her to take him to see a Dr. We are still only authorized for emergency treatment, so that canceled a camping trip this summer. Don't feel like chancing either getting poison ivy or something and making them suffer.



We are actually going back to court in the morning, BM decided to hire a lawyer to do whatever for her, when my husband filed to get Child Support modified and to reinstate things that were mistakenly removed by the mediator. Court was set for Monday, however her lawyer decided that it was an emergency to ask for a continuance since she was just retained, and had to do so ex parte! Weird!!



But yes we are making the best of our time!! Avoiding all the extra phone calls BM is making. Can you believe that this woman has called 24 times in 33 days? That doesn't include the 10 plus call backs from the kids, or our emails or the photo emails we've sent. In addition to the phone call made to their Aunt. There's only 1 scheduled phone call weekly. She's tried to ruin our babies birthday on the 7th (that's when we were called and informed by her lawyer of the ex parte hearing)



I just really don't understand the things or reasons why this woman decides to live like this!



Sorry I totally went off on that one! Grrr!

Jaime - posted on 07/09/2009

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Oh Catrina! How horrible for your SK's to feel like they can't tell there mom about things they are doing with you guys. SOunds like you guys are having a great summer, and making the best out of the time you get to spend with the kids. I can understand mom telling the kids she misses them once, but definately not multiple times, doesn't she realize it makes them upset?? What mother wants to see they child intentially hurt or upset???

How is your SS feeling after the surgery???

Catrina - posted on 07/09/2009

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Sorry I left out -- my SK's -- have stated very clearly that they can't express to BM that they are enjoying themselves and having so much fun because she'd be mad or hurt because they like spending time with their Dad. They don't want to hurt her. SD is almost 9, and SS is almost 11.

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