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Need Your Opinion: How much communication is too much?

Aymey's picture

I'd like to pose this question to get everyone's opinion and maybe even your personal situation regarding communication between your spouse and the bio-mom of step kids. How often do you think bio-parents need to communicate? How much is too much?

(Background on me, stepkids are 9 and 12. We have a terrible relationship with bio-mother)

Can't wait to hear everyone's viewpoints!

Totheend12345's picture

do SKids have phones? If so alot of communcation can be done though them (12 maybe more than 9  year old)

 

I think BM and DH should only talk if its about kids, nothing more. But our BM sucks. So less is more, unless its an emeragacny with kids other then pick up and drop off not much. 

 

Cbarton12's picture

I would think daily would be excessive. Maybe a once a week kind of deal or on a need to know basis depending on when things come up. 

Per DH's CO no info can be relayed to BM from the child and vice versa. So even when SD who is only 6 now eventually gets a phone there will still be communication with BM.

Right now DH and BM interact maybe once a week and sometimes the time that lapses is longer. It's mainly just posting stuff received from the school or if SD got hurt at school so can document the injury and no risk of claims of abuse from either party.

This last time they went about 2 weeks with no communication until it was time to sort out some summer stuff. And I dont foresee there being a lot of communication this summer unless there's an emergency or if DH asks to call SD while she is at BM's.

lieutenant_dad's picture

My DH could communicate daily with BM and it wouldn't bother me. It's less about quantity than it is quality. If every conversation becomes an ask for money, or it's always during dinner, or always 2 hours long during "us" time, or they're talking about our relationship, or DH ends up angry and frustrated afterwards - then it doesn't matter how often they speak because the issue is with the conversation itself.

If DH needed to have daily 10 minute calls with BM but they were all pleasant and they ended with him feeling neutral at worse, so be it. I'd rather that than only speak every other week and ending in massive frustration or anger.

Curious Georgetta's picture

we discuss both the trivial and the important thi ngs  I cannot fathom

what we would consider to be much communication. I cannot think that  I would ever say to him that there are things involving  my children that he is bothering or disturbing me by telling me.

My parents communicate about their adult kids and  grandkids on a daily basis.

My sister and her ex discuss their daughter on a daily basis and meet up once a month to coordinate plans, schedules, and activities for the upcoming month

I would think that when parents'  time with the kids is restricted, there would be more of a desire to be kept informed about the things that you are missing.

 

L

 

lieutenant_dad's picture

Difference is that you and your husband are not high conflict. And you aren't using the information to hurt one another.

I actually agree that I think it's important for parents to communicate, even if they aren't in a relationship anymore. If we view co-parenting as a business relationship, then lots of communication makes sense. I have to communicate with my coworkers and boss on a near-daily basis to keep working moving smoothly. Same would go for co-parenting.

The key should be healthy communication. If frequent communication becomes unhealthy or toxic, it needs to be reduced/restructured.

Thisisnotus's picture

UH duh! People communicate with their spouses daily not their ex spouses! If my dh talked to BM daily or just chit chat I’d be long gonethere is absolutely no need for people that are divorced to speak daily. They happen to share children that is it. Unless there is a schedule change or a sickness there is no reason to communicate.

meet up once a month?? Haha that’s a no go.

when the kids turn 18 both dh and I will never again in our lives communicate with our exes. We do it minimally now for the sake of the kids.

flmomma08's picture

That would never fly with me either. We don't even get date nights once a month, he sure as hell won't be meeting up with BM once a month lol

ITB2012's picture

If they get along and the communication is not interfering with things (not occuring at inconvenient times, not causing emotional turmoil, and not impinging on your relationship with your SO), then it's probably not too much.

What I consider okay: my XH and I are communicating a lot today as he and DS are at a college prep thing for the fall and I need to be involved/informed since we are both paying/getting DS to launch.

I also consider this okay: XH and I are in the same industry/field, DH and BM are also in the same industry/field and we call our respective ex to talk about work-related things sometimes since they understand faster, better, and know some of the players.

I do not consider this okay: An ex calling or texting the skids or SO to tell them what should be going on in the SOs/my house, the ex calling continually at inconvenient times (like dinner/bed time) with trivial things, my SO and his ex getting into heated arguments and it ruining a day or evening because of the turmoil.

I consider this okay: A random text here or there to the other parent with a funny tidbit about a kid.

I do not consider this okay: Daily/multiple times a day pictures of the kids and texts about every thing that's being done while the kid is on vacation with the picture-taking/texting parent.

 

Jcksjj's picture

DH and BM parallel parent now so its once or twice a month brief communication. When I first started dating DH it was daily because BM had SD all day and then DH had her at night. It was constant never ending drama. The limited communication has been much better and honestly so far there has been zero downsides or issues with it being that way.

ESMOD's picture

Unless one or both of the kids has an issue that requires it.. I don't think that daily communication with your EX is a healthy amount of communication.  However, if the kids don't have their own phones and the communication is "Hi, this is DH, I'm calling to speak to the kids.. Ok.. I will get them"  That's not "communication.. and it's ok if dad wants to speak to his kids daily.

Generally, I wouldn't think most Exes with kids would need to communicate much more than once or twice a week and in those cases, I am pretty much attributing that to them possibly having a communication about pickups or drop off coordinations weekly... otherwise.. maybe a couple times a month.. maybe..

But, why do you want to know what's normal.. because normal can be all sorts of things..

 

Notup4it's picture

I’m not really sure why some talk so often- with kids your SKIDS ages it isn’t really necessary.

Me and my ex (and my DH and SM) all get along really well and we don’t really have these convos some other parents seem to have.  Like usually it is a quick text like “Hey we are running 20 min late”, or “Can we switch days next week?”, or “Did you see the report card in backpack?”, “Reminder to pick up early from school”. But we don’t have frequent long drawn out convos at all. We sort of parallel parent I guess?? I don’t know it seems to work and everyone is happy. 

Goodluck's picture

Here are my 2cents.

Based on my Xdh and our kids when they were that age.

We never spoke unless something came up. That something was medical or serious educational issue. OR with transportation hiccups. Those calls were mostly ok....

Both of us had access to teachers on our own terms---only coming together IF something serious came up.  When a trip to the doctors was necessary---we notified each other of the outcome.

Simple easy stuff---but daily contact?

Nah ,,,not necessary and it is time they both learn to function independently since they are no longer a married couple. Again, coming together to deal with serious situations making sure both leave with their dignity intact upon departure...little hard at first but do able.

 

 

 

SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

DuH and Biowh0re? Almost none. Only about actually important and pertinent Skid matters. Also, brief and zero chitchat or nostalgia bullshit.

Never when me and DuH are doing stuff with our real kids, having sex, watching a movie etc. No interruption or interference during special times.

fourbrats's picture

my kids were very young (5 and 2) and our younger one had some moderate health issues due to prematurity so our communication was pretty frequent at that time and close to daily. But it was about the kids. Appointments, potty training, food intolerances, glasses (for both), schedules, school stuff etc. And as they got older it went down and down and down. By the time they were teens it was pretty much non existent. We communicated every few months about an event or a school trip and once or twice a health situation and that was it. 

tankh21's picture

BM over here used to contact my DH almost daily when I first met him and would just show up at our house even when he wasn't there. I told him that wasn't going to fly with me. So he tried to put some boundaries on her and the excessive communication. I think once or twice a month is ok to communicate with an ex as long as it's strictly about the kids unless there is an emergency or course. But when you have a HCBM it's really hard to even communicate at all. My DH tries to do his best to avoid the drama with BM but sometimes he has no choice but to communicate with her.

NoWireCoatHangarsEVER's picture

I would say we probably communicate once a week. Probably more this week but today is the last day of school and our 14 year old had her middle school dance last night and our 12 year old has elementary school graduation today. It was just brief  one sentence Facebook messenger texts on who is picking up whom or dropping off whom. That's it . We don't fight. I asked him if his wife was going To my Sd18's graduation tonight 

momjeans's picture

The answer in regards to how much contact is too much is entirely dependent on the situation. 

But, given their ages, and that the BM is high conflict, I’d say anything more than a once a week email, recapping anything important in regards to school, extracurricular activities, or medical/dental appointments is too much.

This is what my DH’s attorney recommended, as we had to deal with a highly combative BM, who was needy AF and thrived off of over communication. BM desired daily contact with DH in the beginning. Texts, phone calls, and emails. Dozens of times a day. It was beyond ridiculous.

If bio dad is playing into too much communication - he is a willing participant and part of the problem. Remember that. 

flmomma08's picture

At their ages, I would not expect much communication at all between bio parents... My SD is 11 and she has a phone so DH really has no reason to call BM, he just calls SD, and vice versa. They will speak if there is an issue with school or if SD is sick or something like that, but for small daily things there is no need at that age.

juststressedbeyondbelief's picture

Absolutely zero unless mediated through a lawyer. My wife filed a harassment complaint and it was actually seen as valid (her ex was drunk texting her angry or something), so there was a no contact order given. No calls, text, or third party contact unless authorized by the courts.

It's pretty nuts.

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

As minimal as humanly possible.  Psycho tried to change summer schedule a few weeks ago. And that's been it for months. There's ZERO reason to communicate. Psycho doesn't even have the skids, she's entitled to subscribe to the app the school uses to pass out information (she doesn't because she doesn't care. She hasn't been involved in schooling EVER and SD10 is in 5th grade now), so there's ZERO need to communicate.

Honeslty divorced people don't need to communicate unless absolutely necessary, and then only about the kids. They're co-parents and that's it. BUT a parent has the right to parent how they choose on THEIR time. So there's no reason to involve the ex imho. Unless something crazy happens, the kid starts drugs, has a bad illness, gets pregnant (while a minor), or weird circumstances like that. Personally I don't even think a cold is something that HAS to be mentioned.

MommyT's picture

We have a week to week schedule right now and we talk to him maybe once a week. We do text tho. BM texts and calls everyday on ss’s phone but ss doesn’t answer. He doesn’t like too much communication. BM gets pissed because whenever ss talks to DH on the phone, ss never wants to get off so the court appointed psychologist suggested that phone conversations be limited to 10 minutes on scheduled days

Harry's picture

No need for daily talks,  better still a Text every now and again should be enough.  Text are better, you have a hard copy of any agreement, for future reference. Any text should be about the child only.  Pick up time, drop off times. Any problem with child.  No venting about anything, 

Rags's picture

Rare and never is too much IMHO.  The only communication between X cobreeders should be to transfer the Skids. That is it. Each parent can interface with schools, doctors, etc, etc, etc independently and with the rare exception of a critical injury or illness only the date and time of Skid transfer needs to be discussed.

This worked great for us.

IMHO of course.