« on: Jun 11, 2013, 09:23:25 AM »
A letter in Dear Abby's column today just pi$$ed me off. The writer got it right, but it was Abby's response that was seriously lacking:
DEAR ABBY: I don't understand divorced women and the restrictions they put on their exes about what they can and can't do with their children. ("You can't let him go to the pool party; he might drown"; "She can't visit with your mother; she has a cat"; "Don't make him rake leaves; that's your job!") Instead, they should be grateful these fathers are active parts of their children's lives. Too many fathers simply walk away. Unless the dad is actively harming the child, they have no right to dictate what their ex does with his kids on his time.
Remember, ladies, you made a baby with him. He is their dad and he has every right to parent as he sees fit, even if it differs from your own philosophy. And dads, don't let your ex try to tell you that you are a bad parent because you let your kid go roller skating and she broke her arm. It is not your fault. Things like that happen all the time, even to kids whose parents are still together. So stand up for your right to be a real dad! -- UNSYMPATHETIC MOM IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR MOM: If I were you, I'd keep my head down and not get caught in the crossfire. It's not that you lack sympathy, but you obviously don't relate to the women you hear complain. While some of them may seem controlling or hyper-protective, others may have valid concerns about their children's safety while they're with Dad.
Seriously, Abby?? 'Some' of them may seem controlling or hyper-protective? It made me mad enough to fire back a response to her:
I am appalled at your response to 'Unsympathetic Mom', who complained about women who try to control what their exes do with the children. If you only knew what the atmosphere is regarding post-divorce child-rearing, you would never have said that.WAY too many women try to dictate and control what the fathers do with the kids. Proof of that is when she says 'MY kids'...it should be 'OUR kids'.
I am a step-mother of a 19 y.o. and have been in his life since he was 3. And his mother tried to control almost everything we did with him during the FOUR minimal days a month we had him when he was little. Believe it or not, we only lived 2 blocks away in a very rural town, but since that was the minimum the court would allow, that was the MAXIMUM she would allow. She tried to control the holidays we spent with him, she even tried to control how we CLOTHED him! And she's not the only 'neurotic' parent out there...I am a moderator on a web forum for non-custodial parents and the stories I've seen there would curl your hair.
I'm happy to echo Unsympathetic Mom's sentiments: Ladies, if you were willing to get in bed and/or marry this guy and have kids with him (and you cannot PROVE he has abused them), you have no choice but to allow him to parent as he sees fit. You will be co-parenting with him until that child reaches the age of majority, so it is in the best interest of the child that you make an effort to get along.
My step-son's mother is now 'reaping the rewards' of her interference. He still loves his mother, but he tries to have as little to do with her as possible. He remembers what happened and she's tried to control his life, too. So she only has herself to blame if she doesn't have the relationship with him now that she'd like to have. More's the pity and from what I've seen on the forum I moderate, my stepson is just one of many this has happened to.
Been there, seen that...wished I hadn't