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Author Topic: New to site, needing advice on BM & her seperation  (Read 1680 times)

lovingdadinks

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New to site, needing advice on BM & her seperation
« on: Aug 27, 2006, 06:45:59 PM »
I am actually the stepmom here. I am married to a wonderful man who has a 6 year old daughter whom they have joint custody, mom having residential.  We are in KS.
Right now the two are going through arbitration because in the beginning hubby did not have a lawyer so BM pretty much got it all her way. Hubby did not have any visitation but a few hours on Wed. evenings and Sundays. After we met, I encouraged him to take her back to court for more time with his daughter and CS reduction (she lied to her lawyer and the courts by $10,000 less on her part, more on his part, meaning she got MORE CS). He got CS reduced and a little more parenting time. But BM didn't think that SD was old enough at the time to spend the nights with us and put tons of stipulations on the visitations. We got it worked out for the most part. She is now allowed to stay with us over nights EOW, that's about it. We have screwed up holiday visitations (BM thinks that EVERY single holiday, THE DAY ITSELF, needs to be with each parent) so we have to stop what we are doing in the middle of Thanksgiving and exchange the child. Grrrr
Ok, so Arbitration yesterday was to "tweek" these holiday visitations and that went OK. Except for Christmas which was actually fine. But now according to what BM wants, we will loose 3 days with SD during our years with SD. Hubby and I need to talk about this one cuz things were fine with this holiday.
The BIG issue is this, and this is what I am here to seek advice about. We live 30 minutes away from BM. She is REFUSING to allow SD to spend 1/2 of the summers with us. No way, no how. She is saying it will cause SD (who is 6) to much trauma, she can't be away from her mom that long, and so on. The arbitrator knew it was not like this at all and even told her "I don't think it's the child being away from you, I think it's you being away from the child" and tried to explain that this is her dad we are talking about and she needs to get over all of this. This mom will not even allow her child to go to swim lessons or any camps because she can't let go of her like that. I'm surprised she lets her go to school (that's another topic though, 22 tardies in Kindergarten!!). So my questions are: How do we get mom over this, make her realize this is her dad and she has got to find a way to deal with it AND what are some summer schedules that have worked for you?  I don't think with this one particular child, the one week on, one week off will work. Too much back and forth for her. I think two weeks with Dad, one week with Mom. This way Dad gets his "block" time, then she has that time with mom. I think she is old enough for this.
At our home (I run a daycare from our home, hubby is a railroader) my stepdaughter would be in the daycare everyday where we attend bball camp, cheer camps, swim lessons, go to the zoo, movies, parks, etc. I keep the kids busy. So it's not like she would be sitting around all the time. And when hubby is not working, he takes OUR kids and does things with them (always takes our son fishing during daycare hours). We have a very happy, healthy, loving home. We believe in education, discipline, but alot of family time too. Mom's house is alot of shopping and that's pretty much it (her words to the arbitrator!). Her family has a history with the law (drive by shootings, drugs, etc), mom is DX bi-polar, she has been hospitalized for her bipolar as well as anorexia. She does not believe in education like she should, the 22 tardies. She doesn't get up to take SD to school, no big deal. She has told hubby, "she doesn't have to learn anything until she is ready". This 6 year old can't use a fork, can't dress herself, can't shower herself or dry herself off. She also takes 45 minutes to an hour to eat one meal when it should take 15 minutes or so. All cuz mom does this stuff for her.
Ok, I'll quit. I get started and can't stop.
Thanks for reading if you still are. I hope someone can help me out here.
lovingdadinks


CGS

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RE: New to site, needing advice on BM & her seperation
« Reply #1 on: Aug 28, 2006, 01:47:40 PM »
My x and I live w/in 30 minutes of each other and share each holiday day with our son as well, and honestly it works well. For example, Thanksgiving holiday is defined as Mon-Thurs @ noon for one parent and Thurs @ noon through Sun. for the other, rotating each year. Both parents get the same amount of visitation so extended families etc can make travel arrangements around when the child will be with mom or dad. We have receiving parent pick up the child, so the other doesnt have to leave mid dinner, etc. For us, when it's my year for the 1st 1/2, our family has thanksgiving dinner around 11 am, and around 2pm when I have the 2nd 1/2.  Sure our son is present for 2 dinners, but he usually eats dinner at one and just dessert at the other and everyone gets to celebrate with him.

As for the summer, thats a tough one if mom is absolutely against any summer visitation. What we did was incorporate a graduated summer visitation schedule into our parenting plan to extend the time as ds gets older. For example, we started with the 2nd week of each month (July through August) Sunday evening through Sunday evening for a year or so. Then we went to the 2nd and 3rd weeks of each month. Then after a year or so of that we simply flip flopped custody in the summer from a week after school lets out until a week before it begins with dad having custody and mom having EOW and one night each week that dad usually gets during the school year. Maybe your stepdaughters mother would agree to something like this that phases in more summer time as the child gets older while still ensuring she has frequent and recurring time w/ both parents.

Because you're w/in 30 mins. of each other, maybe a 4 hour ROFR would also ease her mind. If your dh or you cant be with the child for more than 4 hours, she gets the opportunity to spend the time w/ her?

hagatha

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Some questions first . . .
« Reply #2 on: Aug 29, 2006, 12:34:56 AM »
Loving.

Can your sd perform age appropriate tasks?
Can she count to 100?
Do basic simple math? (ie 1+1=2)
Can she read simple sight words?
Can she spell her name, recite her address and phone number?
Does she know what city and state she lives in?
Can she pour herself a cup of juice?
Can she tie her shoes?
Is she well behind her classmates in school?
Can she button a button or zipper a zipper?
Does she sleep in her own bed at night?
Does she recognize letters or numbers on a piece of paper?

If the answer to the above questions is no, there is a bigger problem that must be addressed. The child should be tested by a variety of professionals to see if she is developmentally delayed and what caused this problem.  If mom caused this, she will need to address her shortcomings and get SD up to speed. If this is a delay that is genetic in nature, there will be a plan to get SD to where she needs to be.

You must at least appear to be totally focused on the child and her development and not on mothers apparent separation problems.

Don't make a big deal about her mother not getting up on time, you know, blame it on mom, but rather the fact the child is missing out on important learning tools because she is not at school. (However, if these "tardies" are only 5 or 10 minutes, it's not going to be a big deal to the court, if they are consistently more than 1/2 hr it will.

You need to look and speak about what is best for SD rather than what you and DH want. That is where you will get the best results.

The Witch


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lovingdadinks

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RE: Some questions first . . .
« Reply #3 on: Aug 29, 2006, 09:35:28 AM »
Can your sd perform age appropriate tasks? Not a lot of them
Can she count to 100? No, not consistently. Misses ALOT of numbers.
Do basic simple math? (ie 1+1=2)  NO
Can she read simple sight words? Has alot of trouble with this. Can not or will not concentrate long enough to look at the word to sound it out.
Can she spell her name, recite her address and phone number? Can spell her name. Do not know if she knows her address. Does not know her phone number.
Does she know what city and state she lives in? Yes
Can she pour herself a cup of juice? If the container is almost empty
Can she tie her shoes? Just now learned this. They are not "tied", but she has the idea.
Is she well behind her classmates in school? Teacher says she is fine
Can she button a button or zipper a zipper? Buttons she has trouble with
Does she sleep in her own bed at night? Here she does, at her mom's we have no idea. Use to be no.
Does she recognize letters or numbers on a piece of paper? Most of them Yes, she does not know L, I, l, i, b, B, d, D, E, e, Y, y and some others. And just having it there alone, one of those is in her name, but she can spell her name on paper and know the letter in her name.

The tardies are more than 5-10 minutes. Some of the time her mom just doesn't get up and allowed SD to miss Kindergarten all together (1/2 day Kindergarten). SD would tell us when asked why she wasn't in school a certain day 'Mom's alarm didn't go off, so we slept in". This happened several times. As of this year, they have made a new Law in KS for tardies. I am curious to see how this is going to be handled by mom.
Like I said in my first message, I am the stepmom. My husband is out of town right now on business. We are working together on this. He was not seeing any "delays" with his daughter until I started to point them out. Mom on the other hand doesn't see anything, to her the child is completely fine and in her eyes, gifted. I don't see this and see a child who is struggeling and needs some special atttention or is going to get left behind. But no one is listening to me. Kinda like, your just the stepmom and you have no say. Dad is torn right now. Kinda scared to talk to the school. Denial. Thinks we can take care of this at home. But she lives with mom.
Thank you for taking the time to post your message. Any help on this topic would be nice too. I have been working to try and get this child some help for almost 3 years now, but I seem to be the only "parent" who sees this. Other family members see it, but they are MY family and my friends in childcare. Or other parents of my daycare kids. It's like her actual family thinks there is nothing wrong. I don't know. Sometimes I feel like just giving up and saying "fine, if you dont' t hink there is anything wrong, then I guess there is not". But then I feel bad cuz I know in my heart there is somewhere. Maybe it's all emotional stress holding her back, but it's something.
Thanks again.
Loving's wife

Kimberly9

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RE: New to site, needing advice on BM & her seperation
« Reply #4 on: Aug 30, 2006, 05:03:54 AM »
I am in KS and could e-maill you what we came up with when my child was smaller.  Our summer schedule right now is:

One week with dad
One week with Mom
Two weeks with dad
One week with Mom
Two weeks with dad
One week with Mom
Two weeks with dad
One week with Mom

You are close enough and she is old enough that I would also ask for every other weekend from the time school gets out until the time starts on Monday morning.  Plus I would ask for the Wednesday nights to be an overnight visit.  Then you would at least be picking up and dropping off from school 3 times every 2 weeks. . . you would have more connection with what is really going on.

I can help much more through email


 

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