POLL: sleeping arrangements of kids when visiting other parent

Elisel - posted on 02/03/2015 ( 14 moms have responded )

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boy 9. girl 5. girl 6. share bunk beds set up in a common room(not a bedroom, meaning living/family/den room type)
boy is not related to girls.
my options
1. do nothing and let it be
2. ATTEMPT to convince my ex that its in appropriate and other arrangements need to be made and if not I will take care of it.
3. call and report it anonymously as suggested by a friend who worked for my local CPS up until last year. since she knows the local rules/regulations.

ex is not very rational so most "suggestions" I make on things about the kids is met with "I can do what ever the BLEEP I want because its my house and my kids" and suggestions I make are things like-they need better lunches for school or they need to do their homework.

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Dove - posted on 02/03/2015

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If other people are bringing it up to you... definitely direct them towards your ex. Simply let them know that it isn't your house, so if they have questions about the house... to ask the people IN that house.

Jodi - posted on 02/03/2015

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LOL, My kids and stepkids share rooms (make and female) if we go on holidays. No biggie. I don't think it is of concern at the ages they are.

Calling CPS? Nothing here screams abuse at me. I think calling in child protection would just create problems that are not there and it certainly won't benefit the children.

With your suggestions about rooming arrangements, lunches and homework, it sounds like you are trying to control some of the environment at dad's house. I can understand dad's "my house and my kids" comment. I think maybe you are being a little overcontrolling. Maybe just focus on the homework aspect BUT your children are 13 and 9, right? Old enough that they should be able to take some responsibility for their homework choices. Talk to them about the importance of their homework rather than their father.

Dove - posted on 02/03/2015

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4 days/month isn't much at all. If the kids are complaining to you that they are hungry... do they also complain to their dad?

At 13 and 9 if THEY are uncomfortable w/ the sleeping arrangements... they are also old enough to bring that up to their father.

Snack cakes and chips are far from ideal for lunch, but 4 days/month..? Have the kids bring it up to dad or just send them w/ some extra healthy snacks.

If there are more concerns of neglect or abuse... by all means bring it up and/or have it investigated, but just on what you have said... 'I' would leave it alone. Then again... my daughter is 13 and if she is hungry... everyone is going to hear about it. lol

Raye - posted on 02/03/2015

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I'm somewhere between 1 and 2. Attempt to convince the ex to have boys and girls sleep in different rooms, but if he doesn't change it, don't report to CPS unless you have proof that the boy is actually harming the girls. And if it's a common room, seems to be less likelihood of "inappropriate" behavior because there's less privacy.

I assume the boy is their step-sibling or your ex's partner's kid? In that case it's like sharing a room with their brother. Not ideal, but how many nights a week are they there?

My step-son (7) and step-daughter (10) have their own rooms at our house (primary residence), but they share a room at their mother's. Many times her boyfriend's twin boys (9, I think) stay over and they all crowd in the same room. Nothing inappropriate going on. They sometimes play too rough, bumps and bruises, but no hanky panky. So, unless something happened to give us serious concern, we leave it be. We can only dictate what happens in our own home, whether we like it or not.

Your opinion that it is inappropriate does not give you control to change their household. "Better lunches" is also just an opinion. But you are correct that they need to be doing their homework. Maybe if you didn't cry wolf at all their decisions, they might take your opinion into account for the important stuff.

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Dana - posted on 02/06/2015

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I have to agree with some other posts on here. Calling CPS and them not finding anything will look bad for you. Legal advice is free and not only that they do have mediation. If you think it is effecting your kiddos that bad have the school counselor have a talk with them. I have to share my 1 year old with his dad and that I know for a fact how hard it is especially when your mind wonders. I have three other children that are with me 24/7. Try using your resources so you don't look like you are reaching or out to get him. I hope this helps and I know how hard it is trust me!

Raye - posted on 02/03/2015

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I agree with Dove. If other people bring it to his attention, then maybe he'll start doing something about it. Let them point it out. It's not your place.

If the kids are unhappy, then it's very sad. But they also need to address their concerns with their father, and he should listen to them and explain why they can't have/do something not just say it's his house and he said so. If he can't be better for them, then when they're old enough they will start deciding for themselves that they don't want to go. I think it's around 12-13 y/o that courts will start listening to kids reasons for not wanting to go and they may decide to change the visitation agreement.

My stepson (7) already refuses to go to his mom's sometimes. She doesn't usually fight with him to make him go, but she feels she's loosing them, and rightly so. I don't have to say or do anything to influence them against her. I only try to love them. She ignores them most of the time. So, she's digging her own grave with her kids. Very sad situation, as I think kids do better when they have the love of both parents. But it's her own fault, and I don't feel bad for her... just for the kids.

Sarah - posted on 02/03/2015

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Leave your 13yo daughter to have her privacy. If your 9yo desires some privacy, a dressing screen can be put up.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/03/2015

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I actually missed the 4 days/month deal...In that case...I'm in agreement with the others.

You cannot control EVERY little thing about your ex.

Jodi - posted on 02/03/2015

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So you are trying to control sleeping arrangements, lunches and homework for 4 DAYS A MONTH????

Your children are NOT suffering. It's 4 days a month. Get over it. Tell them to get over it as well. I get that it isn't ideal....but it's 4 days a month.

Elisel - posted on 02/03/2015

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thanks for the input ladies.
since the sleeping situation started I always told myself "well i'm glad they are only there 4 days a month" I knew it wasn't IDEAL and there were/are better options BUT I didn't have control. BUT then family and friends started questioning it to me, NOT him. So maybe I will direct them to ask him about it all and not me.

As far as the lunches/food and school stuff I know there isn't much I can do. its been a constant issue all school year. I tell the kids all the time when they bring up an issue to discuss it with their dad. they are afraid of him and say "I cant he will just yell at me and I will get in trouble." I've suggested they write letters or text dad instead if its difficult to discuss in person. so they tried texting and that was met with resistance.
I just hate to see my kids suffer when they have been treated better than that their whole lives and they didn't do anything except go visit Dads house. And like I always tell myself(and sometimes my kids) I'm only 1 mom and I do the best I can!

Raye - posted on 02/03/2015

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For 4 days a month, I think you're making a mountain out of a mole-hill.

Would I have arranged it how your ex has? No. Should they have their own space? Probably. It sounds like there is room in the upstairs to consider putting up a wall to allow the boy his own area and give the girls some privacy. Or, as you said, it would make more sense for your two to share, or all the girls share (but now that the 13 y/o girl has had her own room she would probably be screaming bloody murder to have that changed). But there's the fact that you still have no control over your ex's household and there is no abuse from the details you have provided. So, still 1 or 2 (minus the "I will take care of it" part, cause ultimatums rarely go over well and really there's not much you can do about it).

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/03/2015

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If anything, your children should share a room, or all the girls should.

However, at the ages you are describing, it's not harmful for them to be in the same room.

However, if you feel that the children (all of them) aren't being cared for properly, then you do need to have it investigated.

Elisel - posted on 02/03/2015

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there are 2 bedrooms , a bathroom and a common space upstairs. about 800sqft of space.
my 13 yr old daughter has her own room. an adult uncle has his own room(pays rent) and the boy(9) is my son, and the 2 younger girls are my exes GF kids who are the ones who share space with my son.
I would prefer my son share with his sister or all girls share a space.
my 2 kids(13 yr old and 9 yr old) are only over there 4 days per month and the 2 little girls, I do not know but at least 20 days a month.


I do not "cry wolf" at things to my ex, I bring them up because the kids say they are hungry because they were given chips and snack cakes. and the grandparents have asked why aren't the kids being fed properly when they witness the lunches themselves.
I have never been comfortable with the sleeping arrangements but have yet to speak up.
Now friends and family have visited the Exes house and asked why have I not said anything about it because they know I wouldn't approve and feel as mothers and parents themselves, its not right.
so its making me question even more... how right or wrong is it?

Dove - posted on 02/03/2015

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How much time do the girls spend there? Technically they are 'supposed' to legally have their own space, but if they don't HAVE the room to do that... I'd likely do nothing.

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