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