How do you deal with parenting with an Ex when you know they make issues on purpose?

Kellie - posted on 03/10/2011 ( 12 moms have responded )




I left my son's father 6 months ago. He continues to not keep our son on the same schedule that we agreed to. our son is 2 and has his schedule at home and at daycare. So when his father lets him stay up later because he can't get him to go to sleep, he ends up taking him to daycare tired, cranky and it upsets the daycare(he's been going there for almost 2 years and he is her only full time child). My two year old can talk now and he tells me no daddy, no go mama, I don't want too!. It breaks my heart. I have tried to talk to my ex about keeping him on a schedule and all that but all he says is i'll do what i want! Your not my boss.


[deleted account]

Unfortunately, he's right. You are not his boss and you can't force him to do something (like keep a schedule during his time with your son.

I know that if you live in California you can go to the family court and file for a mediation appointment (it's free if you already have a custody case). You can address your concerns regarding all this with a mediator and maybe they can help you (and your ex) with all this. Maybe look into something like this through the family court if you're not in California.

I'm sorry you have to go through this. Belive me, I know how hard it is, and it sucks twice as much because you really can't force him to keep to your son's schedule.

Here's some coping advice that I have given a lot of others (I deal with a lot of custody issues as well and I use these tools myself):

1. Scream. Not at the child (or your ex), not even in the next room. Scream into a pillow in your bathroom with the door closed and the fan on. Sometimes you just gotta get it out, so you have to find a way to do it where it won't affect the child :)

2. Keep a journal. I have many journals. I keep one for rants, I keep one for documenting, I keep one for "woe is me" crap that I need to get out of my system. They are all nicely color coded and on the highest bookshelf where my kids can't get to it. I find that getting it out through writing is often the best therapy.

3. Write emails and/or letters to your ex, BUT NEVER EVER SEND THEM! I keep a folder in my email titled "rants" where I GO OFF, but I NEVER EVER EVER send them. I don't even put the email address in the 'To' bar because then it's too damn tempting to push the little 'Send' button. Honestly, after writing those emails, I usually feel a lot better.

4. Find a support group. I have one online since I am horribly shy in the "real world" and can't make any new friends to save my life. I have found that having my support group of other women going through rough custody crap has really helped me out a lot. There's a great board on here called 'Custody Issues' and there are some wonderful women on there with great advice. The community is kinds stagnant - but a bunch of us check for new posts all the time and are more than happy to help!

In the end, the more you keep out of the drama and stay on the positive side the happier both you and your son will be. Please feel free to send me a message on here if you ever need any support, or even just someone to listen. I'm really good at listening and I completely understand the need to get it out. :)

[deleted account]

Anastasia, how is that helpful? We (speaking in general for all single moms) can not control how our exes behave and we can not go against court orders w/out risking more damage to our children.

I didn't make my ex leave. He chose that regardless of what I said about it and I can't get him to work w/ me for the sake of our children even though I've been trying for 3 years. Everytime I DO try to work w/ him.... he tries to use it against me in court (doesn't work, but quite frustrating).

All you can do is control yourself and do the best you can for your kids. They will be ok. I HAVE to believe this.

Jenni - posted on 03/11/2011




Well all you can do is voice your concerns to him. You can't really control how he decides to parent. I know it's tough.
My family is a blended family so we've been through similar issues with my SD. The only difference is, she lives with her mom and we have her on weekends. My husband, God love him, was doing the same thing with his daughter as your ex is. He wouldn't put her down for a nap because she would resist and he couldn't figure out how to get her to sleep. He'd bribe, conjule, beg... and eventually just gave up on the whole thing. Result, one cranky little girl when he'd drop her off at home. Her mom would beg him to give her a nap before he dropped her off. And I could totally symphathis with her.
I took it upon myself to start putting her down for naps. She would nap for me no problem and my SO was shocked: How do you do it?? So I showed him my methods that didn't involve bribery. I would just very matter-of-factly put her to bed without "asking her". My children KNOW daddy lets them get away more than mommy and it's painfully obvious with how much they listen to him compared to me.
So sorry, a bit long but maybe he is struggling to get him to nap like my husband did. Maybe when you talk to him you could give him some pointers in a non-accusational way.

Louise - posted on 03/11/2011




As your son gets older he will be able to tell his father he is tired and wants to go to bed. The bloke is a complete dick if he can not see that his selfish actions are affecting his sons every day life. He should try and fit into your sons schedule to stop the stress on your son and if he is not willing to do this eventually his son will refuse point blank to go. In the mean time I am afraid there is nothing you can do but keep pointing out the affect it is having on his son. One day he may wake up and realise what a douche bag he really is! You can live and hope!


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Angel - posted on 03/13/2011




Kellie, I know what you are going through. My 9 yr old goes to his bio-moms every weekend and she will let him stay up till 3am in the morning! Then he tells me he didn't wake up till after noon and most times he hasn't eaten anything when I pick him up. This creates huge issues on Sunday when he has to go to bet at 8pm because we wake up early for school on Monday. He has a really hard time falling asleep in time to get enough rest in before its time to get ready for school. Then he goes to school tired and it follows into the next day. He is finally back on good sleeping schedule by Thursday when he goes back to his BM's and starts the whole mess over again.

I confronted her once on this and she flipped out on me saying he had a restless night and wouldn't go to sleep. Well, my son told me that his bio-mom wasn't home and he stayed up so late because he was worried about her because she said she was going to the bar. Anyways, the same thing happened the next weekend but this time he told me he stayed up till 3am because he was playing Super Mario Brothers WITH HIS MOM! OMG...

Well, as much as I wanted to yell at her and put her in her place the court order says that the parent in physical custody gets to make the decisions for the child when they are at their home. Meaning when he is with us we get to set a bed time and take care of his basic needs and when he is with his mom she gets to set his bed time and take care of his basic needs.

My husband and I can't demand anything from her. All we can do is request he be put to bed at a reasonable time. Also I have learned to document these behaviors from her. Things she allows at her house, drop off and pick ups, no shows, things he shares about her bf, and when he tells me about bed times and so on.

Like this weekend, she got him Friday after school. She brought him to his basketball game on Saturday at 12pm. She let his grandma (her mom) take him so she could go see a "friend". I learned Sunday when he came home that she didn't get him till about an hour before he got dropped off at 7:30pm. My husband told her I was going to pick him up and she insisted on dropping him. She said she would have him here by 6:30pm. *sigh* He got here and he hadn't eaten dinner yet. I normally ask him if he got his medecine and what he ate for the day. He told me he had a lot of ice cream up at grandmas and fruitloops. That was it!... He had spent the night at his grandparents and all they fed him was fruit loops and ice cream!!! GRRR... AND they didn't give him his medecine...

Unfortunately there is no quick fix to stop this from happening in the future. All I know to do is to document it and talk to our lawyer about what we can do to make sure his basic needs are being met when he is with his mom. Talking to her never does any good because she gets VERY defensive and doesn't want to hear anything we have to say because she things we are trying to tell her she is a bad parent even though we are only trying to look out for our sons best interest.

One of the things that I have found helpfull also in my case is to try and pick him up early on Sunday morning. We tell her we want to take him to church with us but it is really to ensure that he isn't sleeping in too late so he can get to bed at a decent time Sunday night and get a full night sleep. If you can work around his daycare and let Dad have him on days he doesn't have to go to daycare this may help. Though in your situation you may want to keep the daycare involved with dad dropping him off so they can keep record of your sons behaviors when dad drops him off.

Best of luck to you Kellie. I hope things work out for you and your son!

Dawn - posted on 03/13/2011




that sounds like my ex.. I have a 8y old and a 3y old and my ex let them stay up and my oldest has school. It does break your heart when your baby says no i dont want to go and you have to let him go. My ex thought keeping the boys for a week at a time is healthy for the baby well he found out that was wrong.

♥TIA♥ - posted on 03/11/2011




I think if it's a different story about your child NOT wanting to go with the other parent vs. WANTING to go with. But under the circumstances of his bad parenting. He is no longer someone that will take your wants into consideration since you are his ex. However, suggestions for the best interests of the kid maybe considered. Realize I said "maybe". Sorry to hear you have to deal with that.

Kellie - posted on 03/11/2011




I have voiced my concerns in an adult manner to his father in person and in a email. He did say that he would like to be on the same schedule. I provided that schedule to him.

My son's daycare and I noticed that there have been changes to our son when he come back from his dads. He's tired, cranky, sleeps double for his naps, eats a lot and wants his mama. So I have decided to keep a journal, as well as one for the daycare. We will note his behavior when I drop him off and when his father drops him off. Only then will the courts really see the difference.

I have a 14 year old also. I am not with his father by my choice. Children who have a one parent household don't all turn out to have "Issues". My son is a well adjusted 14 year old in the G.A.T.E. program. He has been in it for years. He has always be a happy go lucky child.

So if your reading this post and you are a single parent, do your best for your children. Read to them, talk to them, cook with them, watch a show with them, play a video game with them (I did try this one really! only I got motion sickness from playing Modern warfare on the play station3!!! lol) love them!.

All I am saying is when you have children respect them enough to do your best for them. When you do your best, so will they!

Anastasia - posted on 03/11/2011




So you have decided to split, the wounds in your heart and soul could not even take salt now. For whatever reason you have decided to take this action – I am sure it’s right for you.

But I do find it very insensitive towards your son. I’m not saying stay in the bad relationship just for his upbringing. Can you image being two dogs playing tuck-a-war with a rope. And the end of the action they will succeed in tearing the piece of rope apart. And this is exactly what is happening in your son’s mental, physical (2 little sleep), emotional (unable to express his needs) and philological development.

You both should have been more sensitive to this little boy’s development. And not try to accommodate the other parents soothing needs. There is no way that this adoring child of yours could be an adult at its age and speak his mind. This is why you are the parent, to protect him loving him. And to ensure that above all reasons and actions that he comes out this decision of the parents THE BEST.

Following this routine, I guarantee you this today.

You will make him an unbearable young teenager.

We constantly treat young teenagers with this background. The feeling of separation, not knowing their place or standard in society, and unable to deal with a matter (big or small) on a reasonable doubt.

I leave the decision to you. Dad can always come over for a visit!

Kellie - posted on 03/10/2011




I honestly think he is overwhelmed with a 2 year old. I wanna push for every other weekend only.

Michelle - posted on 03/10/2011




unfortunately there is not a lot you can do but depending on how often your child goes to dads you can possibly seek out getting your custody agreement altered so that dad only has the child every other weekend so then the upset is limited to 2-4 nights a month. I never had these issues at that age as my ex was not allowed overnight visits until my son was 4 years old.

Savannah - posted on 03/10/2011




Dnt know wat to say but going through similar situation so when you find the answer let me know

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