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Main Forums => Parenting Issues => Topic started by: backwardsbike on Nov 18, 2004, 03:36:38 AM

Title: Request opinions
Post by: backwardsbike on Nov 18, 2004, 03:36:38 AM
Hi!  I'm new here.  I'm a NCP mom.  I have four kids: son15, daughter12,son6,and daughter2.  The youngest two are from my second marriage and live full time with DH and myself.  Older two have been involved in custody battle for 6 years.  BD and SM have physical, legal is joint.  We have had a nightmare for all 6 years.  Recently since an order barring the older kids from spending more than one hour alone with DH has been lifted the PAS has hit fever proportions.  I never get telephone calls from the kids when they are not in my custody.  I have only EOW,half of all holidays and half of Summer when the ex doesn't deny.

Here is my question.  For the last two visits I have requested that the kids call me one time per week during the two weeks they are gone.  If they don't call. they get no priviledges while they are here.  We did it last visit.  My son wanted to go out with a friends I said." Sorry no calls no priviledges."  He tried to get the other kids mom to get me to back down.  I held firm.  He said, "Next time I'm making the calls" but he didn't.  Visitation is coming this weekend.  I know he wants to go to a party but I am determined to stand firm.  Do you all think this is reasonable?

I feel like the minute  they leave my house I cease to exsist until they come back.  They seem to think I exsist soley for their convince.  I feel disrespected!  

Their dad will say, " you can call your mom"  but his actions ( which speak way louder than his words say don't you dare call her.  The kids thinkthe sun rises and sets in BD and SM even though there is little evidence they do anything for the kids.  The kids never have friends over at dad's.  They claim they are always "busy" going to meetings( adult things like  civic groups) and home party plan party ( SM sells one of those lines and daughter's whole social life is attending these "parties" and the kids actually seem the love it. At least that is what they told the psych.  Up until I started the phone calls for priviledges deal they spent time here with friends, going to movies having sleepovers and seemed to enjoy that.  They never even ask dad if they can have a friend over over at dad's because they are too "busy".  Yet as I said dad and SM are "da bomb" and I am a wothless piece of you know what.

Had eval done this Summer but evaluator did not think PAS was going on.
Title: RE: Request opinions
Post by: MixedBag on Nov 19, 2004, 06:20:04 PM
Opinion, right?

I'm a MixedBag -- CP, NCP, Step-CP (though those two are emancipated now) and step-NCP. (mom)

As a CP, I never saw my two girls pick up the phone and call their dad.  It just was't high on their priority list (and he didn't call either that much).  However, and I can say this because the oldest is 19 now, their overall relationship didn't suffer (and I say it's because I encouraged them to still love their dad and make time for him -- no PAS whatsoever).  I explained over the years, that even though I don't love him, they still could.  It was like this all of their friends didn't get along with each other, but they still had them as friends, just not in the same circle at the same time.

I think it worked well for them (and for me).

As an NCP, I never get a phone call from my son out of the blue.  He MIGHT return my phone call, but that's about it.  And I don't call much either.  I see him once a month (he's 12-hours away), and that works real well for us.

As an step-NCP, Dad gets a phone call once in a blue moon, but again not too often and not on a consistent basis.  

It's our opinion that both CP's to our sons don't allow the boys to love both sides of the family.  Now it has gotten better over the years, but a lot of that has to do with them getting older and asking more questions and the CPs (probably) being afraid to "loose" them (because that's what happened to two of DH's kids and the two EXs of ours talk).

I really don't agree with the fact that you've connected "not calling" with privileges at your home over the weekend.  That just bugs me.  

You know, you make the comment that the minute they leave the house, you cease to exist....well, I could say that too when my girls would go out with their friends....sometimes they "forgot" all the rules of this house (and suffered the consequences).  But I don't think phoning you should be one of those consequences.  (You've already had one parent talk to you that disagreed too, right?)

At that age, they think a lot of just themselves....and then when the CP doesn't help matters....yep, it makes things worse.

What about e-mail?  Mine hung out on the computer a lot and e-mail would have been one way, or chatting another.  

Unfortunately right now, both of our sons are not allowed to have e-mail or chat....but in time, that might change too.

I'm not sure PAS is going on either -- when you read the articles, PAS includes the kids really lashing out at you (cussing and all) AND not talking to you at all.  How much of it is just typical teen behavior where they are pushing you away?  Too many people scream PAS too fast and that's not the case.  Read the "Malicious Mother Syndrome" article and change the "Mom" to "Dad" in your head as you read that.  It might be more on target.

Good luck!
Title: RE: Request opinions
Post by: Butterfly on Nov 19, 2004, 10:56:53 PM
I do not think it is reasonable to punish a child for failing to call you.  I consider it an away parent's responsibility to initiate any contact with their child.

The only time I find it frustrating not to receive a phone call from my child's primary residence is when I've called many days straight and they have either a.) failed to return my phone calls or b.) refuse to make her available when my nightly phone calls are predictable.

Simply put, I wouldn't punish him for forgetting to call but I would gently reinforce to him that you value phone calls, letters, etc...from him as he does from you.  Perhaps it's a good time to discuss/teach how interpersonal relationships work..that it takes two investing in it.

I wish you the best.  Indeed, it stinks being a NCP.
Title: RE: Request opinions
Post by: wendl on Nov 20, 2004, 08:50:27 AM
When my dh has the kids, they don't call mom, when mom has the kids they don't call dad. In the court order we have it states that both parents may  have reasonable phone contact with child (but neither parent shall call collect unless it is an emergency.

My dh doesn't call the kids during moms time as he feel they have a routine at her house, so they use email instead.

Mom rarely calls our house while dh has the kids (hmm with the exception of this year as we just finished a court case so now she is imo trying to be good mommy, but hell I really don't care)

I don't feel you should punish them at your house for what they did at dads.

We refuse to punish my ss's at our house for something that occurred at moms (as we don't know all the details).

JMO

**These are my opinions, they are not legal advice**
Title: UPDATE
Post by: backwardsbike on Nov 20, 2004, 01:35:58 PM
Hi All.  I wanted to thank all for the opinions.  I do appreciate it.  It has been a long hard road.  My DH and I have decided to end the no phone calls- no priviledges campagin.  

It is so hard to know sometimes what is normal teen behavior and what is because of the divorce.  I miss these kids so much it physically hurts.  I live only 20 minutes from them and get to see them only 4 days per month.  That, in my opinion, is insane.  And yes, I have a CO stating that it is the custodial parent's job to see that the kids maintain a relationship with the NCP.  However, it never happens.  I have given up visit time when the kids were with me on Dad's birthday.  Shoot, I have given up very precious time with them because they want to spend time with friends because at dad's they can't have friends over because they have to go to home party plan "parties" and civic group meetings. Can you just imagine a 12 year old enjoying the meeting of the borough council?  This is their social life over there.  I try to make it fun here but lately I have noticed a lack of concern and some disrespect in children formerly concerned and considerate.

The good thing...my son and I had a talk last night.  He actually admitted he was angry with me, his dad and the whole situation.  This is after six years of separation and custody conflict where he has steadfastly refused to aknlowledge that he was angry.  It was a good talk and the first honest one in at least two years.  I feel the impasse has been breached for now and I will do all in my power to keep the lines of communication open.

Again, thank you all for your valuable insight and comments.  This is my first go around raising teens.  I am a psychiatric nurse and worked with troubled teens.  One would think I would know the ropes, but when they are your own it is so darn hard to see the forest for the trees.  Thanks for the reality check.
Title: RE: UPDATE
Post by: wendl on Nov 20, 2004, 08:28:34 PM
Back---

12 is also a hard age for kids, my son is 12, he lives with me full time and rarely sses his dad. He likes to spend time with his friends and not much time with famiy anymore (which is actually changing slowly) so part of this is probably the age.

I am gald you two were able to have an honest talk, that is one thing I am so thankfull for is my son talks to me about almost everything.

Best wishes.

**These are my opinions, they are not legal advice**
Title: RE: UPDATE
Post by: backwardsbike on Nov 21, 2004, 09:24:30 AM
Hi!

DS is 15 DD is 12.  Yes it is a hard age.  The sad thing is that the relationship has changed dramatically and now DS is loosing weight without explanation.  His grades are dropping through the floor and he is in a new school and hanging with a questionable peer group.  Last Spring/Summer he had a 19 year old girlfriend!!!Egads.  His dad (the CP) see no problem with any of this.

After discussing my concerns about the weight loss with the CP and hearing,"Well this school is more active than his other one".  How would a school where a kid sits at a desk for 7 hrs a day be anymore active than his other school? I made a doctor's appointment at the doctor's suggesstion.  CP told DS mom was trying to make problems for him and son was po'ed with me for taking an interest or being concerned.  But after the appointment was made all of a sudden dad is getting up to see that son is eating breakfast ( as he had been not eating in the AM)  and making sure son goes to sleep as som has been staying up all night .  The deal with that is dad told him it was OK so long as SM didn't find out about it.  Then lied to an evaluator saying son had no insomnia ( a lie) and that he went to be every night at 9:30 pm.

Anyway now son is eating everything in sight, like he should be and he is acting more like his old self.  Not so n
egative and disrespectful.  I hope like heck he isn't into simulants.  That would explain the decreased appetite, mood/personality change and weight drop.  It would be very hard to find another adolescent who might want to feel "different" than my DS.  The pressure is terrible for everyone.  CP is very manipulative and lies through his teeth about anything that he perceives might "make him look bad".  So we can never really resolve any issues.  

To say the least, our family puts the fun in dysfunctional. There is NO communication between CP and NCP.  Son had an unsatisfactory in Biology at the mid term that I only found out about after discovering that he had biology in the first place.  CP never sent a copy and inspite of talking with the guidance counselor and the special Ed teacher and emailing a few teachers ( I have to beg borrow and steal to get any info) I didn't find out about it until almost the end of the marking period.  Anyway, the kid gets a "B" in the class.  Many emails from teachers( now that I know they have email and the addys) say DS doesn't turn in homework or study for tests.  This is in stark contrast to last year when DS was at the top of his class in a school he supposedly hated.  The school was near my home and CP wanted him to go to the school he is in now because its in his district.  Former school was a charter school that accepts kids from many different districts.  Unfortunately it only went to the eighth grade.  New school is on academic warning list for the second year in a row.  I went to court last year to kep DS in the Charter.  CP was saying he just could not wait to go to this other school in CP's distict.  The kid had never seen the place.  Knew only about three kids who went there and they were all in higher grades.  Stop peein' on my leg and telling me it's raining!  

This CP will do whatever he needs to do to keep these kids away from here.  He gets them to say the darndest things right out of the blue.  They will admit they are confused ( aboutt he only honestt hing that comes out of thier mouths). DD has stolen from me.  Money, jars of baby food ??, a pregnancy test ( Yikes), a box of condoms ( double yikes). All the items were found hidden in the top shelf of her closet at my house. She never admits it.  Blames younger sibs.  They couldn't even get to the place where the things were hidden.  DS DD admit they  didn' t tell evaluator the whole truth this summer and don't feel bad about it even though they promised to "tell the truth".

I barely know these kids.  They used to say, " we want to live with you."  They used to be kind and considerate.  They used to talk with me honestly about everything.  That was just 18 to 24 months ago.  I have such a hard time keeping in contact with them .  When I call them I get just one word answers and they are rude and you can tell they are uncomfortable talking to me.  When they come for a weekend visit they take so long warming up that its time to go again before we really get through the crap.  This is so hard.

Thanks for listening to my vent.  Please offer any comments and/or suggestion.  I apprecaite everyone of them.
Title: RE: UPDATE
Post by: wendl on Nov 21, 2004, 09:41:45 AM
is their anyway they DS would open up to the school counselor, that would be great with a 3rd party invovled who is unbais'd and has nothing to do with the court case. Maybe counselor could talk to DS about how last year her grades were good and this year they are slipping??

Hang in there and continue to to right by your children.
That is BS that CP tells the kids NOT to tell SM, that is teaching the kids to lie and that is wrong.

Continue to instill the importance of honesty, respect etc  in them.

our big things wtih my ss' is continually teaching him to think before he speaks AND most importanting to tell us how HE feels not how dad/mom or I think he should be, that, that is something that is HIS and he has a right to feel, think anyway he wants no matter how it may or may not make us adults feels.

**These are my opinions, they are not legal advice**
Title: UPDATE II
Post by: backwardsbike on Nov 22, 2004, 09:16:24 AM
Well, just when you think you have things figured out life throws you a curve ball.  During the weekend and after the party my son got to attend because I decided to relent on the phone calls some new information came to light.

The other boys mom said her son really cracked down on DS and was saying to him, " Why on earth didn't you call your mom.  That's such a simple thing?"  My son supposedly replied, " You know I can't call her."  Then later my son and I were talking.  It was kind of relaxed for once.  I  asked, " Just tell me why you won't call.  What do you have against the phone?"  He just looked at me with this very strange expression on his face.  In an attempt to break the ice a little I said in mock horror, " I know, the phone's bugged isn't it."  He looked even stranger and said Well, X and Y ( two school friends of his ) say that it is."  I said," Well, I thought it might be."  Then he said, "I really don't think that it is."  My ex did have a former frind of mine tape ( illegally) calls between the two of us during the equitable distrbution phase.  The ex is also a real information gatherer in a pathological sort of way.

This whole exchange was really very weird.  Now I really do think the phone is bugged.  It would explain those one word answers.  But then why don't the kids just say, "Dad records our call, that is why we don't call."?  This is driving me crazy.  All I want is to keep in touch with  my kids during the long 14 day streches when I don't get to see them.

Anyway, my son asked for a stamped envelope as he said he'd rather write to me during study halls.  What could I do but comply?  We'll see what happens.
Title: RE: UPDATE II
Post by: wendl on Nov 22, 2004, 07:01:32 PM
Is their anyway the kids could email you from school, my friend has a daughter and she emails her dad from school since mom doesn't have long distance or internet, it works really well for them.


**These are my opinions, they are not legal advice**
Title: RE: UPDATE II
Post by: backwardsbike on Nov 23, 2004, 01:10:52 AM
Last year this was possible for DS.  I think it may be possible for DD but I think dad monitors their accounts
Title: RE: UPDATE II
Post by: wendl on Nov 23, 2004, 05:35:48 AM
NO I am talking email from school from the teachers email. Call the teachers to see if this is ok, or set them up a new hotmail account and see if the school will allow kids to email you during their breaks.

**These are my opinions, they are not legal advice**
Title: RE: UPDATE II
Post by: MixedBag on Nov 23, 2004, 08:39:09 AM
Or you set up a hotmail account or yahoo that dad doesn't know about.

and then tell them....

AND set a trap to see if dad is recording and tell the kids about it....

worked like a charm for me.

And of course, give him the envelopes....

Title: RE: UPDATE II
Post by: backwardsbike on Nov 23, 2004, 02:43:10 PM
Now Mixed bag, let's talk.  I am about the most naive person in the world.  At least I was before I ever got involved with this custody mess.  Please tell me how to lay a trap to see if those calls are being recorded.  I actually laid awake for four hours last night trying to figure it out and din't have even one idea.  I'm all ears.  You may email if you feel more comfortable.

As for setting up a secret account--they tell him everything right down to which brand of cheese I buy.  They think he is omnipotent, like God.  I think that is why DS doesn't call from school. I did tell him I would accept collect calls.  I already gave him the envelopes!  No brainer.
Title: RE: UPDATE II
Post by: MixedBag on Nov 23, 2004, 06:31:50 PM
You have a PM....

Lay a trap?

Did that here a few years ago and on the phone.

Simply tell the kids something that isn't true and see if it's makes it rounds back to you via the EX.  However, it won't "work" if the kids tell the EX everything anyways.

See -- if your son truly wants to talk to you, then he won't tell Dad about the yahoo account or what you two said on the phone.....and that's what your other posts read like or sounded like.

You're entitled to private conversations with your kids -- or private memories.  Maybe that's what you need to encourage when you do see him -- that you two deserve a relationship separate or independent of DAD.

Actually what happened to me (here) was that I posted something and only part of what I said made it's rounds.  Then I showed the child the whole post and she said "Geez, I guess I didn't get the whole story."  It was like what gets printed in the National Enquirer...only part of the truth and not the whole scoop.

BTW -- My EX and his fake-wife read here and are probably printing this post off just to show how "mean and vindictive" I am and all the games I've played in the past -- forgetting the true intentions which is to expose their true colors.  And it worked like a charm....
Title: Help! How do I read a PM?
Post by: backwardsbike on Nov 23, 2004, 10:09:03 PM
end of message
Title: RE: Help! How do I read a PM?
Post by: MixedBag on Nov 24, 2004, 09:32:12 AM
In the user menu, click on Inbox.

And if I remember right, there might be a message towards the top of the screen that says you have a PM....to click on.
Title: Got it, thanks!
Post by: backwardsbike on Nov 25, 2004, 12:47:31 AM
eom
Title: RE: Request opinions
Post by: jojobear on Jan 14, 2005, 09:49:11 PM
why not................ you call them?
Title: RE: Request opinions
Post by: olanna on Jan 15, 2005, 12:00:35 AM
Humm...bet I can guess the answer to that one...

1. "HE/she isn't home right now, can I take a message and have them call you back?" Only no phone call ever comes and when you talk to them the next time, ..."we never got that message..."

2.  Ring....ring.....ring....ring......"Hi, you've reached the Buttheads...."
(Repeat this times about 100).

3.  "He/she are doing chores right now. Try back later."

4.  "He/she doesn't want to talk right now..."

That's why most NCP's prefer their teenagers to call them. PAS at it's best....or worst....

Title: Surprisingly, no
Post by: backwardsbike on Jan 15, 2005, 12:49:32 PM
HI Olanna,

A lot of the time the kids are there and will talk tome.  Their dad is very crafty and would never do anything so transparent.  It is just when they do get on the phone they give me only one word answers and sound like they don't want to talk.  I was thinking I was calling at times which were inconvienient for them.

Since I began this thread a lot has changed with the kids and I.  They still aren't calling me.  Except that on Christmas Eve my son suggested they call and daughter intiatied the call.  It ws the best Christmas gift I could have been given.  I made certian that they both knew how much this gesture meant to me!  We worked months in family therapy on this phone call issue and the counselor had told me to give up hope they would ever call.  But, I'm not one for ever really giving up.

Anyways, since Christmas they have been a lot more forth coming.  I called my son last weekend and he talked and talked and talked.  His BD and SM weren't home, of course.  But the point is that I now know he wants to talk to me.  I had begun to doubt that!

We continue to work on it in therapy.  I also have stepped up my efforts with the kids. I call them more often.  If they are short with me I just cut the call short.  I am making contact!  I also send cards once or twice during the two weeks they are gone.  My theory is more contacts-shorter durations.  I am hoping they will again get used to me being in their lives on a daily basis if even over the phone.

I am making sure they know that I love them and I am giving them tangible evidence of that.  Maybe in my case loving them is more important that being loved by them.

Yesterday my daughter asked my advice on a relational problem she was having with some friends.  For me this is huge.  Before their dad got custody of them they would have asked me something of this nature like they would breathe.  But then they never asked my opinion on anything anymore.  Now the pendulum is swinging back.  I hope to keep that momentum going!
Title: RE: Surprisingly, no
Post by: olanna on Jan 15, 2005, 01:06:40 PM
I posted that because I do know how difficult the CP can make it on the NCP when it comes to long distance, phone contact. My ex on the eastcoast is the king of interference...along with his bride.  They do everything in their power to make sure I don't have any contact with my son, and yet, tell him what a loser I am because I never call him.  When I was paying an astronomical amount of CS, they weren't happy...when I got my CS reduced, they tried to convince my son it was because I didn't love him and didn't want to support him...I sent him phone cards to use, even when I was paying about $1000 a month in CS, and they took them and used them for *their* long distance phone calls, so when he tried to call, the minutes were gone.

There comes a point when the NCP says f#$k this and gets creative...

and that is what we had to do so we can maintain contact...he calls his sister, she conferences me in, so we can talk.  But he has to make the call, as a call initiated by me simply won't get through...

Oh yes, they have my cell phone number blocked...but I have yet to let them know what my other numbers are..
Title: Getting access to school info
Post by: Hardware Queen on Jan 15, 2005, 05:53:57 PM
http://www.deltabravo.net/custody/reportcards.htm

You as CP are entitled to a copy of ALL communication that goes to your children's home from their schools. This includes emails, if they discuss the child. The link above gives examples of letters to send to the school office. They worked for me. I was getting a copy of the newsletter, and that was all - even though I had asked to be put on the mailing list. However, I understand how hard it sometimes is to get communication from teachers, whether you are CP or NCP. I never saw copies of permission slips, picture orders, etc. while son#3 lived with his dad, but at least I got a copy of his grades. And I work for the school district!

Good luck with the communication issue. Let us know how it goes.
Title: RE: Surprisingly, no
Post by: Forthelittleones on Jan 16, 2005, 12:22:03 PM
My SS is the same way when he is with his mother.  We are custodial now and when he is here with us, he is loving and talkative.

When he visits his mother for the breaks, etc - He is mean, spiteful, I hate you, one word answers or - Hi Dad, I cant talk, we are going to the movies, etc and then hangs up on Dad if Dad tries to talk to him.

When he had a therapist she said that he projects mom onto Dad and Dad onto Mom. he hold himself to be as an adult with mom and an equal to her.  

Kids react to the stress they are under and they also want to please the parent they are with.  SS will get in trouble with his mom.  although she relinqueshed custody, she will tell SS all sorts of stories and promises, for instance she told him he had to come home as his sister needed a playmate - He said that is what our older sister is for - mom said no- that is what you are for...

Or he asked her when she was going to see him in Jan - she said you wont be living with him in Janu - he siad okay mom when are coming to see me in January?  She made a couple more stupid comments to him and he redirected her.  

Since when did I think a 11 year old would be able to redirect mom!

Hang in there and know that your kids love you!
Title: RE: Surprisingly, no
Post by: backwardsbike on Jan 17, 2005, 02:24:53 PM
That is creative!  How lucky you are that your child calls.  Mine genrerally do not call.  I have even told them they can call collect from school etc.  Still the phone doesn't ring.  It was just that once on Christmas Eve!
Title: RE: Surprisingly, no
Post by: backwardsbike on Jan 17, 2005, 02:27:36 PM
It sounds like the thearpist knew his/her stuff.  I know that they are many convoluted dnyamics going on here.  My concern is that they aren't healthy.  Unfortunately the judge doesn't care. Until one of the kids tries suicide or gets arrested for drugs or pregnant then he doesn't want to hear it.