Extended family homes: Are you really putting the child first?

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Ev - posted on 07/27/2016

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Wendy---I said my kids are grown adults now. It does not matter anymore. And if I took him back to court for every little thing that I felt he was not doing right to the court orders....I would be broke and so would he and the judge would have us both in contempt of court for bringing petty things to her attention.

Ev - posted on 07/27/2016

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{I can attest that judges are not the ones who truely determine the best interest of the child. It is the parents, and the child that can do this best}-----Yes, judges do determine what is in the best interest of the children. He or she has to go by the laws in their state, country, province, or nation. There is more to this than just people mutually agreeing on things and making a balanced choice for the child. You are leaving out the law. Nine times out of ten most parents who are split can not come to agree on anything at all regardless of it being the kids or other things.

{ When the parents can mutually agree on decisions for the child, including a reasonable balance of what the child wants, it reduces the stress that falls on the child. If there is turmoil between the adults, then group counseling for the adults should be considered. Possibly, counseling to help move the adults forward positively to help make peace with any existing negativity among the adults.}*****In a perfect world this would work. But when you have two people who won't come together for no reasons at all--how do you expect counseling to work if one or both are not going to do it? YOU can not force people to come to group counseling. Not unless a judge orders it. I agree that parents should work together but again that is in the perfect world or the 9 out of 10 sets that actually can do this.

{What I have found in my sessions is that it is usually the negativity among the adults that creates dysfunction towards the child's ability to thrive between both households. Let me also state that this forum is to help those who are having these issues and to explore solutions. If you are not having these issues feel free to share what strategies you've implemented to create a wholesome environment for the step child or children in your home or bio child living between two households.}}*****I agree that the negative things going on between the adults does cause the child not to thrive well in both households but you are looking at it logically not realistically. And where do you get the idea that this forum is just for those having the issues described? Where do you think I have been the last 14 years dealing with a ex and his wife who think they can tell me how to do things and he won't work with me on his own merit without having to ask her first about the things he and I have to decide for the kids. I am sorry but you are only looking at this in a clinical way not a realistic one.

Dove - posted on 07/27/2016

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I'm not sure what the point of having this post was... because whatever does or does not happen... a person only has the ability to control themselves and what they do. Sure, working together is great when it happens... but no one has the power to control the choices of their ex-spouse.... or my ex's life would be a hell of a lot different. lol

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/27/2016

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So, you DO want your ex to step off, eh?

Stop deflecting. There is not one single thing about what you have posted that I would ever apply to any situation of mine. You see, I prefer to live in reality.

As I have clearly stated (so have the others) YES it would be ideal if all could get along, co parent, and have everything roses and unicorns. The REALITY of life is that this does not occur. This is where family court is necessary, as has also been clearly stated.

My situation will never be as yours is. For one, my step daughter was denied her rightful relationship with her father. There was no compromise, only untruths from the other parent. As for my biological sons, they were raised in a stable, two parent (both biological) home, and both still had some problems here and there, despite both parents having their best interest firmly entrenched. They both are adults now, and just fine.

Even if we had not remained married, which I cannot fathom, we would have been willing to co parent, but neither of us would have been willing to step off and let the other have sole possession and authority, because that is not truly in the best interest of the child. What IS in their best interest is an unimpeded relationship with BOTH parents, and when they are old enough, the choice of residence.

Ev - posted on 07/27/2016

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Wendy,
In answer to your post, my kids are grown up now and on their own. My youngest just out of high school. And as to the interference issue--its a bit late on that one. And if it was not--who is going to pay for the lawyer and court costs to get things fixed?

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Sarah - posted on 07/27/2016

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I guess Wendy; I would like you to answer the questions you posted yourself and clarify your position. Do you actually a absentee parent better than a two household situation? How about the stress of the kids who live with fighting, abusive controlling parental relationships? Better of enduring and being in the one home, or living in two homes in peace?

Dove - posted on 07/27/2016

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No kidding Ev... I haven't been in court for 5 years and I have no intention of going back if I can help it.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/27/2016

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Yep...after reading your other posts, it's quite obvious the direction you are taking here. You clearly think that a child is best with only one parent.

You would be tickled pink if you never had to share custody again.

You clearly have some deep seated issues with your own situation, based on your other posts,and I would suggest that you could greatly benefit from a counselor. Being a mental health professional, you only know how helpful that can be.

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Ev
There is something called pro se where you represent yourself in court and ditch the attorney.

[deleted account]

Shawn I've answered your question already if you really think about it. You have to take what I've already said and apply it to your situation.

Ev - posted on 07/27/2016

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Wendy,
You said a simple search. You did not say anything about credible places to search.

Statistics also show that kids who are from divorced/split homes also have a lot of problems in school and do not do as well as those who live in a two parent home. My own two kids had to live in a two home situation. Both graduated with 3.0 or better grade average for high school and one went on to college with a dean's scholarship for all four years of school plus her other scholarships. The other chose not to go on with school but is working.

Also kids who come from divorce also have a lot of depression and other emotional issues. I know this for fact as well. My kids did have these issues to some extent. They did not get to have the therapist because of insurance and cost. But I was always there to help them walk through their emotions and other issues because I was open to talk to. I made sure they knew that and they have done that all these years. But for the most part they are doing rather well compared to most of their peers.

So, regardless of the fact that I am sure the others agree with me on your point it would be better for parents to cooperate in raising kids, you just can not assume the same things about everyone.

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Ev
I'm not an attorney, but have you looked up what the law is concerning third party interference in your state? In some states there are penalties if you can prove that there is a third party interfering with the court order being fulfilled by the bio parents.

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Ev Witt

The judge can order group counseling if the need for it is present and argued strategically. You may want to consider this.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/27/2016

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You're repeating yourself, Wendy. A true professional would be happy to cite sources and provide useful links.

You're also deflecting. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT ONE PARENT SHOULD WILLINGLY GIVE UP THEIR CHILDREN? How could that be truly stable, with the children never having a relationship with their rightful parent?

Answer: only in certain situations is this acceptable. ONLY situations where a parent presents a dangerous situation.

Furthermore, how do you propose this decision be made? Rock, paper, scissors?

Dove - posted on 07/27/2016

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Very interesting.....

Statistics also show that children in single parent welfare homes are more likely to flunk out of school, do drugs, break the law, and become pregnant teenagers... so far, so good on all accounts. ;)

No... I don't have kids that are parented between two households... at least not me and their father because he lives too far away and can't be bothered w/ them. The last time they saw him was July 2015 (for the whole month) and that was the first time since July 2013 that they saw him... and he'll barely call 2-3 times/year.

Talk about kids w/ a whole bunch of screwed up issues... yep, but they don't because I've always made it my mission to provide them w/ everything they need or stick people in their lives to help provide them w/ everything they need.

I don't see why it's not equally as possible to do in a split home. Divorce/death/two parent dysfunctional families... it all has the potential for emotional turmoil. Heck, stable and loving 2 parent homes STILL have the potential for disastrous emotional turmoil. Life is tough... kids can still thrive under some pretty crappy circumstances though.

I'm rambling, but that's my piece.

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I do not have to put my personal business on here just because you want me to lol. I am a mom and a professional. That is all I care to share. In order for me to have my position, I met the qualifications. Also, someone assumed that my mentioning of a simple search meant Google, and all of those other search engines. It's funny how you assume those search engines were what I meant as opposed to databases that are credible, which are just as simple to search. It's sad that the point of this forum is to find solutions for children and all that is happening is a lot of attacking. No wonder so many of these children are in counseling smh.

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I can attest that judges are not the ones who truely determine the best interest of the child. It is the parents, and the child that can do this best. When the parents can mutually agree on decisions for the child, including a reasonable balance of what the child wants, it reduces the stress that falls on the child. If there is turmoil between the adults, then group counseling for the adults should be considered. Possibly, counseling to help move the adults forward positively to help make peace with any existing negativity among the adults. What I have found in my sessions is that it is usually the negativity among the adults that creates dysfunction towards the child's ability to thrive between both households. Let me also state that this forum is to help those who are having these issues and to explore solutions. If you are not having these issues feel free to share what strategies you've implemented to create a wholesome environment for the step child or children in your home or bio child living between two households.

Ev - posted on 07/27/2016

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{{To those questioning the source of my original statement, the simplest search will validate that these children experience a concerning amount of stress..}}

*****I question this because as a recent student, I had to do papers for a lot of classes and we were required to list our sources in our documents and we were also instructed to use reliable ones too--meaning that it had to be a good source of information for it to be used within the paper. As a professional, I am sure you just do not read any old study and go with it...or I would think you would read only those in medical journals, posted on reliable websites such as universities and medical facilities, or other places that can provide adequate evidence to support their findings and other things. Just telling us to use a simple search on Google, FireFox or Internet Explorer is going to give us RELIABLE sources to look up.

{{Children are little people that have their own voices. They want to be heard and included on what's happening in their lives. When visiting decisions are being made, we should include them.}}

*****Yes, kids are people too. None of us other moms have said different. I heard my kids voices and concerns. I went along with them as long as they were within reason. But having to deal with custody and visitation orders I had to abide what the judge had decided to do and so did their dad. My kids lived with their dad as primary care parent and I had the other times. The kids did not like it but that is what he and I agreed to. Only he would not co-parent with me much and add to it that there were step moms involved that tried to add their two cents into business that did not need their concerns--made for hard communication. I took the time to explain the situation to the kids as much as they needed to know and what they needed to know. I took the time to make sure they knew that both parents loved them but things were different in both houses. They understood this. They learned to accept this and live with it. It was not ideal but it was what we had. I made the choice to let dad have them because I did not want them to have to worry about trading back and forth because dad and I were going nuts over custody. I did not want them to have to worry about not having any relationship with me. i wanted them to have some semblance of a stable mind or peace of mind. But they could not tell the judge they wanted to live with me because she had to chose that. She did take my daughter's words into consideration but at the time she would do what she thought best--BUT we settled it out of the courtroom the day the divorce became final. I gave my kids the best thing I could---I made sure they still had me and they had some stability.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/27/2016

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You figure out how to induce full cooperation between adults who generally have some bad feelings, anger, and hurt towards the other, and your proposal would be already in practice.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/27/2016

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The simplest internet search can be twisted to validate anything you want it to.

Please cite your sources.

Please respond to the other questions posed. For review: have you ever been either a child of divorce, or a parent experiencing this? (I have) Is it your opinion that one parent should sacrifice their right to parent?

[deleted account]

Each situation is unique to each one of your families. Children are little people that have their own voices. They want to be heard and included on what's happening in their lives. When visiting decisions are being made, we should include them. I am a mental health therapist, and my heart has been saddened by the many children who have cried out to me about this very topic.

[deleted account]

To those questioning the source of my original statement, the simplest search will validate that these children experience a concerning amount of stress..

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/27/2016

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Apparently you haven't been either a child of divorce, or divorced yourself. THE REASON that it is best to have legal orders is to protect everyone, but mainly to look out for the rights of the child.

Would it be better if all such things could be mutually agreed upon? OF COURSE!!!

Is this, in fact, realistically possible? Nope.

Please answer the questions posed to you. Stop crying that we are close minded. Doing so is the weak defense of someone who is perhaps "in over their head" in an area that they have no experience in.

You posted a controversial view. Do you not enjoy a good debate?

Sarah - posted on 07/27/2016

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Love me a duplicate thread! I posted the link to Evelynn's original advice which is pinned in the Welcome community!
Here is my posted from the other thread which I am closing because we do not need two identical threads running:
I find this post very curious. Is it your opinion that one parent should sacrifice their right to parent a child because it is in the best interest of the child to live in one home?
I think you will find this post by Ev Witt to be very enlightening:
http://www.circleofmoms.com/welcome-circ...

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/27/2016

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Ev, I love you! Your response is perfect, and I agree with it wholeheartedly.

I will reiterate one thing. Unless you have a private page, with only those you administratively allow, you cannot dictate who responds. This is s public forum. Anyone can respond.

Ev - posted on 07/27/2016

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{Reasearch shows that children who are raised between two households and two families experience unspeakable amounts of stress. But why? Are the adults involved ignoring the needs of these children, by being too busy playing selfish games of power of authority and tug of war?}
******Research may show a lot of things and unless you have reliable sources for these so called studies then you should not put too much into them. Have you ever been a child of divorce or a mom experiencing divorce and custody? If not then you do not understand all that goes on in it as some of us do understand.
{ How do you actually rise above the bullcrap, and help the children thrive in both homes?}
******The preferred way to handle raising kids in two homes is that the parents work together. But it is not always going to work. Parents may be at a point where they do not like each other and that makes it hard to raise kids in a co-parenting set up to work for all involved. Each person is going to have his or her ideas on what they want to do with the kids. Also take into consideration step parents and step siblings if any, girlfriends or boyfriends, and other issues that get added to this mix. If one parent is not going to cooperate with the other, you do what you can to be sure your kids are doing as best they can. You can not force the other parent to do what you want them to do and they can not force you to do the same thing.
{Does anyone ever ask the child what he or she wants? Or, are folks too scared that he or she won't choose you?}
*****Unfortunately, a child does not get a say in what they want when this goes to court. Depending on age a child can tell the judge what they want but the judge will consider that. It is up to a judge to decide the best interests of the kids and the parents have no say either in how a decision is made. The judge looks at the facts and testimony and evidence. It is true that some folks are scared that they won’t be the parent who gets custody but that is part of the whole thing. It just depends on the case.
{But, should that even matter if all you care about is the child's happiness? Or is it your happiness that matters more?}
*****A child’s happiness is important but again, when this is in the hands of a judge, that is the one who makes the choices for the best interest of the children. Kids do learn to get used to the changes in their family life. Two homes are not all that bad and it is much easier for all if the parents can parent the kids this way and not be fighting in front of the children. In a perfect world, everyone would get along but that is not how it happens.
{ Only honest people who are willing to be honest with themselves are allowed to respond to these questions, and hopefully if you conclude that you have been making selfish choices that are possibly harming a child you will make a change.}
*****Also you can not dictate who can or can not post here. It is an international site and you will have different people from different countries/cultures that will post here and it may not agree with your ideas. Also you can not assume that all kids in all custody cases and in two homes do not do good at all. You can not assume all parents are nasty about custody and do not care what happens to their kids. You can not assume that things about this unless you have been there yourself.
Have you been in this situation?

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