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Author Topic: In dealing with children's extra-curricular activities, please advise..??  (Read 8551 times)

chickenbubbasmom

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  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.


chickenbubbasmom

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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

brwneyedmom

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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.

Gestalt

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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 .

chickenbubbasmom

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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.


MixedBag

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remember that actions speak louder than any words mom can dish out...
 
keep working around mom if she isn't gonna behave.

MomofTwo

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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.

ocean

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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.

Kitty C.

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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........
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......

MixedBag

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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.

 

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