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Author Topic: How can we get BM to support children's activities?  (Read 5866 times)

stepsoccermom

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How can we get BM to support children's activities?
« on: May 15, 2006, 12:17:15 PM »
I am the step mom to two wonderful boys (ages 13 & 11) and they are involved in a competitive soccer league. They are very talented (yes, I'm biased, but other parents say the same) and have expressed interest in playing in high school and college and dream of being a professional some day. They have each been playing since the age of 6, originally playing recreational soccer, then moving up to a competitive league once recreational was no longer challenging (i.e. 5+ goals every game).

Needless to say, the demands on a family keeping up with children’s activities are challenging, especially in the competitive soccer arena. Multiple games each weekend (some can be 1 hr+ away from home) several tournaments (some requiring hotel stays) throughout the year plus practice 2x week after school. It is a commitment the family has to commit to or it will not work.

My husband and I are fully committed to it, the BM, however, is not. She is remarried with two additional children (ages 6 & 2) and has said that the boys soccer schedule isn't "convenient" for her and that she wishes they would go back to recreational soccer. She convinced the youngest not to go to his Olympic Development Camp this summer because she said she wasn't going to see him that much. Mind you, that word Olympic is used just as you would expect -- it's a training ground for possible Olympic athletes and you have to be invited to participate. By him not going to the camp (5 days, overnight) he *will not* be invited. She uses guilt in her approach -- "Don't you want to spend time with family?" How is an 11-yo boy supposed to respond to that?

The boys don't feel comfortable standing up to their mother and saying they want to go to their game, because they've seen her lose her cool (cops were almost called) and they'll avoid that at all costs. My husband and I just don't think what she's doing is fair or in the best interest of the boys.

She has told my husband in the past that she feels like soccer is "his thing" and she doesn't have a "thing" with the boys. He's tried to tell her that since she is a teacher that school is her thing and she's just not realizing it -- and that she should try to be more involved with the boys and their sports. It would be good for her and the boys.

We have gone through mediation before and she signed a document that stated the boys "will continue to participate in the extracurricular activities of their choice so long as it is in the best interest of the children.  Each parent will do everything in their power to promote the children’s commitment to these activities.  Whichever parent has visitation of the children during one of their scheduled activities will bring that child to their activity according to the predetermined and scheduled time(s).  If the visiting parent cannot bring the child to the activity, the other parent should be utilized as the first alternative. "

Do we have grounds to take her to court and mandate that she call us if she can't get the boys to their sports commitments? We're not unreasonable -- her brother recently got married and the boys went to the wedding and missed games which is understandable. But just because it's inconvenient doesn't make it ok for you to hurt the boys when there is a parent that's available to take them.

I would love any thoughts/advice on this topic -- our hearts are breaking for the boys.

Thanks-

StepSoccerMom


junglechicken

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RE: tough one. I'm out of time...
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2006, 12:52:16 PM »
but real quick - if she can't or won't get them to their games, it's up to you.  If you don't have her cooperation, it'll be next to impossible for the boys to have such committed activities.

BTDT.

Also, people's priorities are different.  She may believe family is more important than activities.  She's not wrong.  Neither are you.  It's just different priorities.  I have no problem with Parent A not being all about activities while Parent B is.  Where my issues are, is when Parent A says sure, I'll help out, or I'll cooperate, then they don't.  Or Parent A does nothing to facilitate the activity, except cooperate with whatever arrangements there are...but then uses that cooperation against Parent B (and the kids) whenever the opportunity arises.

Perhaps a compromise can be reached.

Erika

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A few 'depends'..
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2006, 03:11:50 PM »
Do the boys live with you full time?
Did mom agree to the competitive sport? Or were they signed up by you and dad and mom was told after the fact?
Do you have younger kids in your house as well?
What are the work schedules in each household?
Other activities for other children in the household?

stepsoccermom

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RE: A few 'depends'..
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2006, 03:26:05 PM »
Hi there-

Boys are only with us for 3 weekends, Sat a.m - Monday a.m. plus two weekdays when Mom has them 1st weekend of every month.
Mom actually started the boys in soccer (recreational) when they were 6.
No other kids for my husband and I. No plans for additional.
I work regular M-F 8-6, my husband works from home, self-employed. Boys' mom is a teacher - only substitute now, hasn't found permanent. Stepdad is a plumber whose work schedule is sporadic, hasn't been working lately.
Currently no other activities for mom's other kids but I would imagine that will start up as they get older -- they're only 6 and 2 now.

stepsoccermom

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How can we get BM to support children's activities?
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2006, 12:17:15 PM »
I am the step mom to two wonderful boys (ages 13 & 11) and they are involved in a competitive soccer league. They are very talented (yes, I'm biased, but other parents say the same) and have expressed interest in playing in high school and college and dream of being a professional some day. They have each been playing since the age of 6, originally playing recreational soccer, then moving up to a competitive league once recreational was no longer challenging (i.e. 5+ goals every game).

Needless to say, the demands on a family keeping up with children’s activities are challenging, especially in the competitive soccer arena. Multiple games each weekend (some can be 1 hr+ away from home) several tournaments (some requiring hotel stays) throughout the year plus practice 2x week after school. It is a commitment the family has to commit to or it will not work.

My husband and I are fully committed to it, the BM, however, is not. She is remarried with two additional children (ages 6 & 2) and has said that the boys soccer schedule isn't "convenient" for her and that she wishes they would go back to recreational soccer. She convinced the youngest not to go to his Olympic Development Camp this summer because she said she wasn't going to see him that much. Mind you, that word Olympic is used just as you would expect -- it's a training ground for possible Olympic athletes and you have to be invited to participate. By him not going to the camp (5 days, overnight) he *will not* be invited. She uses guilt in her approach -- "Don't you want to spend time with family?" How is an 11-yo boy supposed to respond to that?

The boys don't feel comfortable standing up to their mother and saying they want to go to their game, because they've seen her lose her cool (cops were almost called) and they'll avoid that at all costs. My husband and I just don't think what she's doing is fair or in the best interest of the boys.

She has told my husband in the past that she feels like soccer is "his thing" and she doesn't have a "thing" with the boys. He's tried to tell her that since she is a teacher that school is her thing and she's just not realizing it -- and that she should try to be more involved with the boys and their sports. It would be good for her and the boys.

We have gone through mediation before and she signed a document that stated the boys "will continue to participate in the extracurricular activities of their choice so long as it is in the best interest of the children.  Each parent will do everything in their power to promote the children’s commitment to these activities.  Whichever parent has visitation of the children during one of their scheduled activities will bring that child to their activity according to the predetermined and scheduled time(s).  If the visiting parent cannot bring the child to the activity, the other parent should be utilized as the first alternative. "

Do we have grounds to take her to court and mandate that she call us if she can't get the boys to their sports commitments? We're not unreasonable -- her brother recently got married and the boys went to the wedding and missed games which is understandable. But just because it's inconvenient doesn't make it ok for you to hurt the boys when there is a parent that's available to take them.

I would love any thoughts/advice on this topic -- our hearts are breaking for the boys.

Thanks-

StepSoccerMom


junglechicken

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RE: tough one. I'm out of time...
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2006, 12:52:16 PM »
but real quick - if she can't or won't get them to their games, it's up to you.  If you don't have her cooperation, it'll be next to impossible for the boys to have such committed activities.

BTDT.

Also, people's priorities are different.  She may believe family is more important than activities.  She's not wrong.  Neither are you.  It's just different priorities.  I have no problem with Parent A not being all about activities while Parent B is.  Where my issues are, is when Parent A says sure, I'll help out, or I'll cooperate, then they don't.  Or Parent A does nothing to facilitate the activity, except cooperate with whatever arrangements there are...but then uses that cooperation against Parent B (and the kids) whenever the opportunity arises.

Perhaps a compromise can be reached.

Erika

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A few 'depends'..
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2006, 03:11:50 PM »
Do the boys live with you full time?
Did mom agree to the competitive sport? Or were they signed up by you and dad and mom was told after the fact?
Do you have younger kids in your house as well?
What are the work schedules in each household?
Other activities for other children in the household?

stepsoccermom

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RE: A few 'depends'..
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2006, 03:26:05 PM »
Hi there-

Boys are only with us for 3 weekends, Sat a.m - Monday a.m. plus two weekdays when Mom has them 1st weekend of every month.
Mom actually started the boys in soccer (recreational) when they were 6.
No other kids for my husband and I. No plans for additional.
I work regular M-F 8-6, my husband works from home, self-employed. Boys' mom is a teacher - only substitute now, hasn't found permanent. Stepdad is a plumber whose work schedule is sporadic, hasn't been working lately.
Currently no other activities for mom's other kids but I would imagine that will start up as they get older -- they're only 6 and 2 now.

stepsoccermom

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RE: tough one. I'm out of time...
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2006, 03:35:52 PM »
She has said, "Family should come first", but in the same breath she says it bothers her that soccer is my husband's thing and not hers. I don't believe the 'family' argument is the real problem.

Like I said in my original note, she signed the agreement that said each parent would support the boys' activities and if there was a scheduling problem then the other parent would be called upon to help. The problem is she doesn't want to admit she has a hard time handling the schedule and simply opts to forgo the commitment that was made rather than ask for help.

Her husband doesn't appear to support soccer (has only been to one game of the many, many they've had) yet when the youngest played football one season he was at every game.

No one is saying it's not hard to have four children, but if we have two sets of parents that are willing to help support the kids, shouldn't we do that rather than the boys miss games?

Thanks so much for the reply!

Erika

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RE: A few 'depends'..
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2006, 07:43:38 AM »
Hmm, that's tough then. With BM's and stepdad's schedule it should be easy enough for them. I know having little ones can make it hard for hotel stays and such, but local games or ones you can travel to for a couple hours shouldn't be too much of a burden.

All I can see is that you might have to ask BM if on her time you can take the boys to soccer practices and games, with you doing all pick-up and returns.

Alot of work for you and your husband, but it sounds like you both support the soccer more than BM and if it's what the boys really want you have to make sacrifices.

Maybe you can even switch the days you have the boys during the week, to the days they have soccer practice.

 

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