SPARC Forums

Main Forums => Father's Issues => Topic started by: chickenbubbasmom on Sep 16, 2009, 07:31:48 AM

Title: In dealing with children's extra-curricular activities, please advise..??
Post by: chickenbubbasmom on Sep 16, 2009, 07:31:48 AM
  I have another question , err need you guys' advice on the best route of action. Order states bm to consult with dad prior to signing children up for any activities that would interfere with his parenting time. IF he agrees she will provide him a copy of schedules, etc..This has been an ongoing issue for years. Dad used to be very involved with childrens sports. Mom wants to be the focus and wants dad to have no part in childrens activities, so she signs them up, takes them to practices, works her way into being team mom/scorekeeper, and badmouths dad to all the parents. By the time dad gets the info he is already ostracized. I previously mentioned that dad had seen younger son in soccer gear at back to school night, and when he asked mom she snapped at him that "it's not your time", refusing to give him any information(this was on 8/27). Two days ago, dad received a text from mom simply stating younger son is in soccer and that he has to have him there 45 minutes before game (basically so she can take over and get him dressed/ready for game).  This is the very first we are hearing of it. Later she sent more texts with 5 dates/times. She left out dates/times for some of her weekends because she says that is her time and she doesn't have to tell him. He called her and explained to her what she is doing is not right and against court order. If she is going to sign the child up for something and dad is expected to take him during his time as well, dad should be involved from day one. BM sent several text messages bashing dad, calling him a selfish jerk and how he doesn't care about the children. Every time she does this she turns it around on dad saying he's selfish and not wanting the boys to enjoy their activities. Dad doesn't want to disappoint child by not letting him attend activity, but also doesn't want to continue this pattern where she gets away with breaking the court order. We were just in court last month, where she was painted in a very bad light in the evaluator's report and reprimanded by the commissioner, and she still won't follow orders.   She has already told the child dad doesn't want him to go, and put him on the phone last night in the middle of the disagreement to make dad feel bad. Our one concern, dad is afraid of going backwards if we end up back in court, because bm is threatening to have the commissioner removed from the case and go back to the previous judge, who was totally useless.

Any advice on what we should do now?

**on another note, dad had to call phone company to have all texting turned off on his phone last night, because mom is very abusive with text messages, running up our bill and refusing to talk to him by any other means. When he tried to call bm to discuss this issue with her,  she had her boyfriend answer and say "hang up a**hole and "jackass" to dad then hang up on him. We cannot block her cell # because it is the only number he has to call children on. She is still refusing to provide him with her current address or her work schedule.
Title: Re: In dealing with children's extra-curricular activities, please advise..??
Post by: chickenbubbasmom on Sep 16, 2009, 09:49:48 AM
Also forgot to mention, 2 days ago was the first time dad is hearing about younger son being in soccer, and he has a game this Saturday during dad's parenting time.  According to mom he was in soccer or signed up BEFORE the court hearing on 8/19. Her justification for not telling dad about it before was that she didn't know what dad's new parenting time would be, so she didnt have to tell him. The order that was previously in effect stated she must consult with dad prior to signing the boys up for activities , it DOES NOT say only if the activities are during dad's time, so either way she was not following the court order. Dealing with this woman is so exhausting :P
Title: Re: In dealing with children's extra-curricular activities, please advise..??
Post by: brwneyedmom on Sep 16, 2009, 10:10:02 AM
When DS was young, his father refused to take him to any activities- cub scouts, sports, school open houses, parent teacher conferences, etc.  His rational was that he was not going to do anything during HIS parenting time.  He never saw it as DS's time too.  That's OK.  His choice.  I tried very hard to re-arrange all scouting activity around DS's time with me.  His father and I even traded midweek time so that DS could go to scout meetings.
We just decided that DS would be a 50% sports participant and let the coaches know.  Even during high school, DS was not allowed to participate in any activities.  If there was a class activity during nonschool hours, DS got an excuse for not attending- his father wouldn't allow it.
You can take your children even if they are in an activity that you didn't sign them up for.  All children miss activities now and then.  They don't ruin their lives from the occasional absence.  Just get them and then not show up.  Close ranks around the fallout.
Title: Re: In dealing with children's extra-curricular activities, please advise..??
Post by: Gestalt on Sep 16, 2009, 10:51:56 AM
Can you not ask the coach for a schedule at the game? I'm not saying what Mom is doing is right, but anywhere you can get the info yourself and remove her ability to jerk you around, you should.

Definitely keep documenting .
Title: Re: In dealing with children's extra-curricular activities, please advise..??
Post by: chickenbubbasmom on Sep 16, 2009, 01:30:08 PM
brwneyedmom- I understand what you are saying, and it's very unfortunate. I guess it would be easier if we were dealing with rational people who only wanted to do what is best for the children involved.

In our situation, Dad doesn't want to keep children from participating in the activities they enjoy, but he also doesn't want to send the message to BM that she can continue to disobey the court order and he will just go along with what she tells him to do. We thought she would do a turnabout and start abiding by the order after things went bad for her in court last month, but she has actually gotten worse. If an activity is going to be during dad's parenting time, he should be consulted with and given information so that he can be involved from the beginning if he so chooses. Instead, he finds out about it months later and after many practices and/or games, after mom has "gotten in good" with coach and other parents and badmouthed dad to everyone. The only reason he is getting information now is because the next game falls on a Saturday and it is dad's weekend. Several times the children have gone a whole season of swimming or baseball without dad even knowing they were enrolled; she would just say they were sick when an activity fell on one of his days, or remove them from school early on his visitation days. When we have attended games, we sat on the opposing team's side because there is a lot of gossip mongering and agressive behavior on her part.

Gestalt-we can ask the coach for a schedule, i don't think that would be a problem although we haven't had a chance yet because we are just getting the information about a game this Saturday. I think the bigger problem we are having is that she will continue to sign them up for activities and only tell dad once it interferes with his time, then demand he take them or he is a "bad father". She creates a very hostile environment for dad at these activities with her badmouthing of dad, at least in the past that has been the case. She will most likely "take over" the children during the activity; the children are very intimidated by her and it makes it very uncomfortable for dad and impossible to enjoy these activities with the children.
Title: Re: In dealing with children's extra-curricular activities, please advise..??
Post by: MixedBag on Sep 16, 2009, 01:35:21 PM
remember that actions speak louder than any words mom can dish out...
 
keep working around mom if she isn't gonna behave.
Title: Re: In dealing with children's extra-curricular activities, please advise..??
Post by: MomofTwo on Sep 16, 2009, 02:12:28 PM
I think Mom's action are horrible, but I think more than worry about her, worry about the children. Time for a heart to heart with them...do they want to participate? If yes, then support them NOT her.  Get the schedule, support what they want to do.  If Mom and Dad were still married, the kids would be participating.  I think it's incredibly unfair to children not to have say and be able to keep doing things they did before divorce.  How is that in their best interest?   Go to the games. Heck, go to ALL of them you can.  Don't buy into her self absorbed selfish behavior. Cheer the kids on.  Don't worry about the other parents.  She is going to bad mouth him if he is there or not and truly, who cares about those parents, it's the kids that matter.  And being there and supporting them is what is truly the most important.   Let's face it, Mom doesn't want him there, so going is the best medicine.  Don't let her have that satisfaction.
Title: Re: In dealing with children's extra-curricular activities, please advise..??
Post by: ocean on Sep 16, 2009, 02:23:07 PM
I agree...get the schedule then go to all the games. Tell her that if child does not come with uniform , child will not go. It is your parenting time and will be getting him ready for game. If you have something else on your weekend , they miss. We tried to make all skids activities but if there was a family party, family comes first in our house. Send message AFTER you get kids that kids will not be going this weekend due to a family function and let your voicemail pick up when she starts calling. Ignore as much as you can. Few more years and kids will be old enough to tell you or it will be school organized and you can get it through there.
Title: Re: In dealing with children's extra-curricular activities, please advise..??
Post by: Kitty C. on Sep 16, 2009, 02:46:08 PM
Regarding the bad-mouthing the BM is doing to the other parents.........if this has been going on for some time (months or years), I would think that the other parents may be sick and tired of her mouth.  Give the other parents the benefit of the doubt.  Go to the games, but do NOT sit on the opposing side........sit with your child's team fans.  Sit on the other side of the bleachers if need be, but ignore her.  It will piss her off to no end and she more than likely will get much more vocal about it, but consider this:  all it will do is make HER look like an idiot and when you refuse to rise to the bait, the other parents will just have that much more respect for you and will quickly lose it with her.  DO NOT allow her to have that much power over you.  You are there for the KIDS, not her and it doesn't make a damn bit of difference what she says or does.

Grrrrrrr.........idiots like this really make my blood boil......but the devine retribution comes when all this crap backfires on them.  And it will.  Here all along she thinks she's been 'building' support amongst the parents, but you will silently prove to them that she was WAY off base.  Once that happens, they will start to distance themselves from her in a hurry, I guarantee it.  And if there are those who still believe her, you don't want or need their opinion anyway, because they obviously are no better than her, so who cares about them. Karma can be a wonderful thing!

One other thing......talk to the kids.  Ask them what they're involved in.  More than likely, they will have been told by the BM to tell you NOTHING.  But ask them if they want you involved and if they say yes, tell them the only way you know what they are in is if they tell you.  Once you find out what sport/coach, then you can follow up personally without going through the BM.  By now, I'm sure you know when the seasons are for their sports, so when that practice time rolls around, all you have to ask them is 'So are you in soccer again this year?'  Just to get the conversation started.  It's an innocent enough question.

We had to do this with SS a few years back when he was in Cub Scouts.  BM absolutely didn't want us there and would purposely switch weekends so that she could take SS to any weekend events.  We started talking to the Scoutmaster, got an event schedule, and it pi$$ed BM off to no end.  Made a HUGE impact on SS, tho........he was ecstatic that his Dad was there!

Where there's a will, there's a way......and screw the BM........
Title: Re: In dealing with children's extra-curricular activities, please advise..??
Post by: MixedBag on Sep 16, 2009, 04:15:53 PM
yea - reminds me of the BMX days.....
 
Now WHY would a parent get angry if the other parent wanted to support the child's "sport" -- think about it, WHO is really showing their butt?  The parent who complains that the other parent is there......and yes, in my case, Dad and Camilla looked like fools, but I didn't do it, THEY did.
Title: Re: In dealing with children's extra-curricular activities, please advise..??
Post by: brwneyedmom on Sep 16, 2009, 04:28:32 PM
This would also be the perfect opportunity to bring a video camera to film your childrens' sports.  While you're filming, you can't help it if you catch some BM craziness going on at the same time.  Voila, you've got documentation of her behavior for court if needed.  She also might start behaving better if you're filming which is not a bad thing. 
I wish that I had filmed DS's activities when his father was screaming at me from the bottom of the bleachers.  That basketball game was DS's last sporting event.  He refused to play after the third grade so his father couldn't scream again.  His father also accused a coach that year of sexual assault of DS when the coach put his arm around DS's shoulders. 
Sigh.  What would we do without crazy ex's? 
You just have to do what you can, and hopefully, it's the best option all around. 
I don't understand a parent who can't handle the other parent's presence at an event.  I also don't understand a parent who won't participate in any activities of the children.  Both opinions are just too foreign to me.  I didn't care if DS's dad was around as long as he stayed at least 15 feet away from me.  That was my comfort zone! 
 
Just document everything that she does to violate the order.  When you get enough for you, file for contempt.  I never thought the fine and slap on the ex's wrist was worth bringing him to court.  You will have your own line in the sand that you must determine how much is enough.  It's different for everyone. 
Title: Re: In dealing with children's extra-curricular activities, please advise..??
Post by: asof2005 on Sep 16, 2009, 04:42:32 PM
I hear ya, BM just informed the oldest son who has been playing baseball for 3 years and is now interested in other sports, that he cant play sports if they fall on her days.  What a load!  It is something he loves and it keeps him busy and out of trouble.  Sports are always going to eventually fall on her days, because both have weekday visitation.  I dont know what to tell you besides what others have.  Still go to the game, watching your kids in sports is still being there for them during your parenting time, it shouldnt be looked at as time taken away.
Title: Re: In dealing with children's extra-curricular activities, please advise..??
Post by: chickenbubbasmom on Sep 16, 2009, 07:24:33 PM
  Thanks to everyone for the great advice. It's such a relief to have found a place to come and look for advice and/or answers from people who are like-minded and understand what the real issue is..that being what's best for the children.

ocean-that is exactly what dad was thinking of doing, about the uniform..

So, the best approach is to support the kids, make every attempt to attend their activities unless we have some family event, and document in any way we can all the instances in which mom is breaking the court order. Eventually we will find our way back in court , that's a given ..

thanks guys
Title: Re: In dealing with children's extra-curricular activities, please advise..??
Post by: MixedBag on Sep 17, 2009, 05:30:58 AM
ASF -- please think about something you said that BM said....
 
See -- as a NCP, when the kids are scheduled for sports activities, there is a bit of frustration on the NCP's side because what if the NCP would like to schedule activities too and now can't because SPORTS takes over?
 
You know, I'd like to be a parent too -- pick something to do on what's supposed to be my child's time with me and then run with it.
 
Somewhere, somehow in history, the CP enrolled our child in SPORTS which got them interested and the rest is history.
 
Honestly?  There has to be a careful balance (IMHO) between everything -- time with mom, time with dad, time spent with sports or any other extracurricular activity -- and it's when that balance is upset that one side or the other feels stepped on and the complaints start rolling in.
 
I've seen/read that CP's over enroll the children in activities to where the NCP has no opportunity to make choices about the time where the children are with them.......and that would limit the NCP's ability to be a parent when they (normally) have such a small amount of time to begin with.
 
Folks -- find a balance.
 
As CP, my girls were not allowed to put extracurricular activities before time with their dad.  Heck, like I told someone yesterday afternoon, my OD took our divorce decree to work at O'Charley's when she was 17 and said "I have a court order that says I need to go see my dad over Christmas this year" -- when work was denying any requests for time off over the holidays.  The Boss there didn't fire her -- actually promoted her and she was one of only a few who got trained in every position in the restaurant over the years.
 
Back off my soap box.
Title: Re: In dealing with children's extra-curricular activities, please advise..??
Post by: chickenbubbasmom on Sep 17, 2009, 07:20:49 AM
mixed bag-our situation falls exactly in with what you are saying, so i can really relate. For example, over summer when the court evaluation was ongoing and dad's time was still severely limited (by previous do nothing judge), BM tried to force dad to sign a new stipulation, with threat of not allowing him to see the kids at all over the summer if he refused. Included in the stipulation was a page that stated:

"Dad will take children to all extra-curricular activities that are scheduled during his time. This includes but is not limited to practices, warm ups, soccer, winterball, tournaments, baseball, swimming, music, and any other activities children have been enrolled in. If dad is late or fails to take the children to any of these activities at any time, he will forfeit his parenting time from then on and mom will keep children during these activities."

She had also signed the children up for summer day camp that had field trips on dad's Wednesday visitation, so he lost his Wednesday visitation for the entire summer. The way mom has set it up, dad is in a lose/lose situation. Especially with the younger child, who is 9, and has been affected a lot worse by mom's alienating behavior than 13 y.o.
Title: Re: In dealing with children's extra-curricular activities, please advise..??
Post by: Momfortwo on Sep 23, 2009, 02:59:00 AM
First of all, soccer sign up where I live is in June.  So it is quite possible that the child was signed up before the court date.  It should have been disclosed at that time. 

The father does not have to take the child to soccer games on his week-end.  I think it's a crappy thing to do given how short the season is, but he doesn't have to take the child.  Don't get me wrong, I understand that he wanted to be consulted, but he wasn't.  And that isn't the child's fault.  And when he does take the child to the game, he can get a schedule of when the games are from the coach. 

He can also file a contempt motion over this.  But chances are a judge may view it as petty.  He may want to wait for it happen several times to show a history of non-compliance.

And those text messages that you are blocking?  Well, I wouldn't.  Those can be used in any future court actions.  She is giving you proof of harassment.  I would discuss them with your attorney. 
Title: Re: In dealing with children's extra-curricular activities, please advise..??
Post by: tjk on Sep 23, 2009, 09:26:00 AM
I agree with ocean about telling bm to send the uniform on days the child has soccer.  (That's all I would say too, I would not commit that sending the uniform was a guarantee he would be there but I would NOT take him if she fails to send it.)  Just make sure you do something REALLY fun with the child if you make him miss.

I would go to the coach and introduce myself and ask for a copy of the schedule.  I'd also make sure to give the coach my phone # and email address and ask that he please keep me up to speed on any changes or additional info.  You might want to ask if there is a website for the team online where you can find updates.

If you have other plans on any of your parenting days that would keep your ds from attending soccer, I would call the coach to advise him.  I would not call bm.  In her own words, it is not her day.  Let her find out when she gets there.  I'm sure once you get a copy of the schedule you won't be getting any courtesy calls from her if he will be missing a game.

I really do believe in taking the high road but there are times that you just have to show someone first hand what things are like to be in your shoes.  Evidently bm likes to subscribe to the theory that you don't need to know if it's not your day so you are just respecting her wishes by doing the same.  (a little sarcasm, but you get the point and bm will too.)

If I can make a suggestion, when bm violates the court order I would send her a very polite and business like cert letter RRR, stating the problem and asking that she fix it.  After you've accummulated 3-5 or so, then file a motion for contempt.  Bm will have little defense after you've repeatedly objected to her in writing.  Also, it shows the judge you have tried to work this out without taking up the court's time however bm refuses to cooperate. 

Good luck.
Title: Re: In dealing with children's extra-curricular activities, please advise..??
Post by: chickenbubbasmom on Sep 23, 2009, 05:37:31 PM
momfortwo- we attended younger son's soccer game last Saturday; it was actually his 2nd game because 1st game (opening day) was on mom's day and she did not inform dad until the following Monday. Coach called dad's cell phone the night before, and made a big deal of thanking dad for showing up on day of. Mom has made it seem as if dad is simply disagreeable or not wanting son to be in soccer, which is not the case at all..dad is not going to make the child suffer because of mom's wrongdoing. As for the text messages, we do not have free text and she was running up our bill because she is virtually the only person text messaging our phones. After he had his messaging turned off, she started texting and calling MY phone.

tjk..i feel what you are saying. Dad  is trying to communicate with the coach and cut mom out of the equation entirely. We had filed for contempt on other matters (mom refusing to provide address and work schedule, not allowing dad ROFR), and recently got notice that the hearing was approved for November. Maybe dad can file something else before hearing about this as well.