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Establishing Routines

bailey28's picture

Hi all -

I am hoping someone can offer some advice on establishing routines for my SS7 and SD9.  We have struggled for some time to reach common ground with BM on basic parenting issues (like routines, discipline, basic hygiene) with a long history of behavioural, health and emotional hiccups.  We have realized that it mostly boils down to differing parenting/personality styles, and that we cannot expect BM to co parent ... instead we are trying our best to instill skills and values with the kids when they are with is and hope like heck that they stick over there.

One of the biggest hurdles we have is with routines.  Their life at BMs house is chaotic (this according to both the kids and BM).  It sounds like there is little organization, discipline nor structure.  While we try our best to accept that this is beyond our control and none of our business, the reality is that the kids acknowledge that there are things happening that affect their lives beyond their mother’s home (like frequently forgetting to brush teeth, going without a bath for a week or more at a time, rarely doing homework, etc).  SD9 has serious dental issues that need consistent care and it seems to be a bit of a crap shoot whether or not she even brushes her teeth at BMs house.

We cannot tell the kids how to behave or what to do when with their mother, however we are trying to instill good habits and routines with them that they can use throughout the week (stressing “throughout” instead of just at our house... we are trying not to say “you need to do this at mom’s house”.

Has anyone had any success achieving this in spite of an uninvolved BM?  Are we treading into tricky territory by trying to influence their behaviours while they are with their mom (even if ultimately it means her life is easier and less chaotic and the kids health and hygiene are in better shape)?

DH is at his wits end and has talked about calling CAS (which I am not sure is the right thing).  I am trying to be supportive and find a positive solution that might help and really just want the kids to be properly cared for one way or another.

Any tips or advice is appreciated... thanks!



tog redux's picture

The problem is - you are trying to get young kids to do things that they don't see the benefit of - and BM doesn't either. With the limited amount of time you have (your last post said EOWE and a few hours on M,W,F) you aren't going to be able to get them into routines that will stick.  They don't care about bathing, brushing their teeth or doing their homework, and if BM doesn't either, you are fighting a losing battle.  None of that rises to the level of CPS, so he should give up that idea.

If he could get 50/50 custody, that would probably be the best way to have more influence.