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Should parents ever stop trying

Crr18's picture

I was away this weekend and SO had to take the skids to celebrate the grandfathers birthday and that is pretty much the only thing the kids do with SO because they always get money or gift from the grandparents. I guess after they left the kids started an argument with SO saying he doesn't do anything with them or for them. As you know I think SO runs SS way to much. But yes he doesn't actually do anything fun or bonding with them because they say no to everything. They said he doesn't spend enough money on them which of course again is not true because we argue all the time that he spends too much. They said that he yells at BM all of the time which again is not true because they haven't talked on the phone for months and I read his texts.  There was a lot more said by the kids and I guess SO said it wasn't worth him explaining everything to them but he said to SD that he does know he spends too much time with SS and sports especially the baseball SS said that SO does not . Seriously kid. But SO told SD that anytime he asks her to do anything she says no.  There is so much he could have said to them but chose not too.  My question is as a dad should he  continue to keep attempting to make these kids understand and settle for crumbs or do you back away?  All I said to Him is sorry you are going through this because it is not worth my effort. I was sure glad I was out of town at the beach and really not caring. 


If_I'd_Known_Then's picture

I don't think he should feel bad to stop trying at this point. His job is to be a parent, and parenting really has nothing to do with what the child thinks is fair, it has to do with what is morally right. He has put an effort in and they don't want to participate, taking a break from trying to please them is not a bad idea especially as teens. They can come to him when they are ready to bond. I highly doubt he will ever be able to get away with not "spending enough money" on them and as long as he's responsibly parenting them while they are in his care it shouldn't bother him to step back from the fun stuff. It does sound like they side with bm and arguing with your SO is their way of feeling loyal to her, only bm can fix that because that's probably why this behavior occurs in the first place.

AgedOut's picture

if I were him I'd start a running accounting of what I spend ferrying them to and fro, buying sports equipment and do away tournies. I'd also mark the dates his daughter says "no" to seeing him. Every blessed one. And on the same calendar I'd use a third colored sharpie (I love my sharpies) I'd mark when I text/email/speak w/ their mom. Then the next time the lies rear their ugly heads I can show them and put an end to this nonsense. 

Harry's picture

Do something with his kids.  Telling them we are going to x for the weekend if it's OK with BM .  Running the kids to sports isn't doing anything .  He should cut down on that .  But plan events every few weeks 

SMto3's picture

I'm of the opinion, he should try until they are at least 18. Also, I wouldn't take no for an answer, I would exercise my right to see my kid, and if kid wants to be an asshat because we aren't doing something fun....well I guess kid will be in the room all day reading, or doing chores so they can see how it feels to work, though they could never fathom working, then giving your money over to ungrateful snots. I don't owe my child "fun", I owe her to be a parent and to help her become a productive member of this society. Hopefully one with a decent moral compass. It's my job to teach her how to operate in this world, and lesson one is you don't get to deny visits with me because you think they won't be "fun". School is sometimes not fun, work is sometimes not fun, relationships sometimes are not fun, and parenting won't be fun a lot of times. Those kids have to get over themselves. 

ESMOD's picture

No.. he doesn't give up on his kids.. this is not one of those situations... .yes.. they are entitled.. and misinformed.. and don't know the whole picture.. but this is 100% different than a situation where the kids are actively estranged.. like JustMakingThe Best's situation with the son who has refused any communication or visitation.

Here is what I might have suggested his response is.. and this may be a discussion he wants to have with his kids after he has some time to think about how he wants to say it... AND.. I think it may  be better to have the conversations separately.

First for his son.

Son,  I wanted to talk to you more about our conversation the other day.  I'm not sure if you realize it, but I do spend a lot of time and money helping you stay in your sporting activities.. Just last year, it added up to "$5,000"... for the sport teams and associated equipment and training extras.. and that doesn't include the money I have spent on gas to get you to the close to 100 committments you have had for sports.   I would be happy to do other things with you and your sister, but there are a finite amount of resources and time, and i can't spring for trips and other luxuries while stilll supporting your athletic team participation.  If you want to do more other things.. you will need to decide which teams or sports are not as important to you.

You are loved and an important part of my life and I do spend a lot of my free time transporting you around.. probably to the detriment of your sister and certainly to the detriment of my home life with my wife.  I would be happy to cut back on those needs if it meant we could do other things together.

Also,  I'm not sure where you get the impression that I yell at your mother, that simply is not true.  No, we don't agree on everything and i don't agree to every demand she makes.. but saying "no" is not the same as yelling.


For his daughter.

I would tell her.. I'm sorry that you sometimes seem to get the shorter end of the stick because your brother's sports committments take up so much time.  I actually am hoping at some point he narrows that focus so that there is more time for all of us to spend together.  But, I also get frustrated because when I ask you to do things, you almost always decline.  So, if you could help me understand what kinds of things you DO want to participate in.. I can see if those are reasonable and doable for us.  Because right now... It just feels like I'm throwing things against a wall to see what sticks.. and most doesn't. 

I know you are getting older and have more of your own interests.. and activities for school and other social commitments.. maybe I have been too easy to allow you to not spend time with me.. and we should start going back to a more set visitation schedule that is set in the custody order?

I would also give her the "saying no isn't yelling" with her mom too.

I might also tell both of them, that they may not be aware.. but you pay their mom a "significant" amount of child support so in addition to the things they see fromhim.. things coming from their mom also are funded by him as well.  just because he isn't opening his wallet in front of them.. doesn't mean it isn't happening.


I know you want to hear that it's ok to encourage him to drop the rope with his kids.. to hopefully save somethign of your relationship..because these are issues you really struggle with.. but .. I think you have to go back to really examining if this is the right relationship for you.. because it's not a reasonable option to drop the rope with your kids just because they act like brats.. and don't see the full picture.

Winterglow's picture

Not only would I tell them about the significant amount of child support, but I'd also have the means of proving it on hand because they are not going to believe a word of it .Child support is a fact of life, not a dirty little secret.

ESMOD's picture

A copy of the CO.. records of fund transfers... all fine.  They are old enough to have age appropriate information that he is, in fact, supporting them fully.  Teens especially are old enough to understand that both parents are paying for their lives.

Rumplestiltskin's picture

I think part of the problem here is that this guy doesn't insist the CO is followed. If he did, he would have more actual time with them. Instead he just jumps to run errands when BM tells him to, or when the kids tell him to. He lets them call the shots and no matter how many times he says "yes" to their demands, it is never enough.

ESMOD's picture

I agree... he set a long standing expectation that he would be available.. and that they didn't have to reciprocate with their visitation.

He could use this as an opportunity to push this with the... You claim I am not doing anything for or with you.. you will be required to fulfill visitation per our CO going forward where I will be sure to spend time with you...  (on the flip side.. he could also make BM do the running now.. unless there are absolute conflicts with the kid's schedules.. inwhich case it's nice if he can help in those situations)

Crr18's picture

I decided to tell him this. He said he can't do it. He said they won't believe him, they won't say what they really want him to do for and with them and that they will think he is being mean about their mom.i am just letting it be now.

Yesterdays's picture

Those are quite the excuses. I kind of agree he could have just said to them, simply.... "you mentioned you'd like to spend more time, I feel like we should go back to our regular days so we can spend more quality time together ".

It's kind of crazy he sees this as a joke or something that" cannot be believed " or that it's something "they'll see through "

It's not a ploy... It's hearing your kids say to you they want to spend time and then arranging to spend that time 

So why does he view it as a" ploy " or manipulative? It can simply be what it is... Spending time together 

Rumplestiltskin's picture

A parent should never give up on their child. But - your DH is doing it all wrong. He's not parenting, he's simping, and the kids don't respect him. You don't ask kids if they want to come stay at your house on your CO'd parenting time, you tell them. You don't jump at their every whim and change your plans for non-urgent requests. That shows that your time is not valuable, that you aren't valuable.

Next time he hears the "you don't spend enough on me", he needs to list exactly what he pays for each thing he pays for, with dollar amounts. His teens are old enough to hear it. Then he needs to state which of those things aren't "necessities" and say he can stop paying for those at any time if it isn't appreciated. He could use the money for a vacation for himself, or a nicer car, but he chooses to spend it on them. 

Crr18's picture

And he does need a new car and we have had to cut back on vacations and it is both because of time and money spent on the kids. And as he should be able to see none of it is appreciated. He just hopes one day they will see what he has done for them is what he tells me. How will they if they don't know the facts

Rumplestiltskin's picture

He is a masochist/martyr, and that's fine for him but not for you. He's making it so you have to be one too, just to stay with him. 

Crr18's picture

Yes I agree that he actually enjoys the drama.  He says he knows what he should do when it comes to them but he has to pick his battles.  He never picks a battle. Well unless it is with me. 

Crr18's picture

Yep but then I am told by SO  that I am the adult and should try. And I don't mean for SO to give up on his kids. Just to stop trying to always please them . They are spoiled and get their way and he just enables the situation by trying so hard and getting nothing but grief from it. 

Winterglow's picture

They are not your kids, not your responsibility, adult or not. 

They say he yells at BM? When exactly have they heard him yell?

He does nothing for them? Ok, then let him stop doing what he does for a week or two and see if they still think the same.

He pays for nothing? Out comes the CO and an explanation.

Etc. ad nauseam

Rags's picture

This is exactly why kids need the facts front and center in an age appropriate manner.  Thi is also exactly why kids do not get asked if they want to do something. They are told what is happening.  This is why there has to be a CO with stipualted visitation.

I would go full frontal facts and scorched Earth on this kids if I was your DH.  I would have them in front of a huge spreadsheet detailing every Cent paid for them via CS, and any other contributions he makes.  I would have every toxic BM spewing vitriol text and email printed and sit those toxic nasty spawn down for a fact session review on a quarterly basis.  I would have every nasty telephone conversation with BM recorded and we would listen to her banshee harpy shreeking crap during a catered lunch on the Quarterly fact session meeting.

On that drive back from grandpas, I woudl have pulled the car over, locked the doors, and force fed the toxic spawn reality for as long as it took to recount every sordid factual detail of reality.

But, I would never have let it get to this point. It would have been fact, fact, fact, fact, fact from the very beginning. I would have kept my foot up BM's ass and the Kid's assess starting at second one  of the demise of the first family.

So, I would never give  up and never stop feeding my kids the facts and confronting their whiney entitlement bullshit if I was daddy in this situation.

But... there probably is no question that IATAH.  

Crr18's picture

He just won't do it. He says things will get worse with them if he tells him all of the facts. He feels any  piece of time he gets with them is something. I wish I could believe that were true. But I don't think kids this spoiled and entitled care about anything of that also they are teenagers which makes them care even less. I would have handled things like you said Rags but they are not my kids and if I keep at SO I will just be the bad guy as usual.