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Neglectful parenting

Angel's picture

Four weeks ago the bm wanted to change weekends because she was going away for the weekend (with new hubby). Our answer was NO. We are not running a babysitting service. My husband has "visitation", not babysitting. I plan ahead and don't undo plans for "her" convenience.

Well, she got her daughter (24) to watch him that weekend. So if my calculations are correct, the bm only saw her son one weekend that month. (Funny how she gets out of watching HER KID.)
Now this manchild (16 & 6ft) seems neglected SOMEHOW. He is fed & kept safe but I don't think his mom pays real attention to him. He is a big kid & has never been in ANY sport/play/choir etc. NADA,NOTHING ZILCH.

Now that has been my "presumption" all along-----come to find out, the weekend he was left at home with his sister he was smoking pot.

I could tell something was wrong with dh & he finally told me. The bm called him last week.

My dh is devastated.

If I had not seen my son 3 weeks out of 4 when he was 16, my son would have been on pot too. I would have called myself a neglectful parent. Somehow nowadays, pawning your kids off is all okay.

Our parenting styles are sooooooo different.

Thanks for letting me vent!

sarahbernheart's picture

Oh I feel ya, ok I am going to vent so this may be long
FH BS was kicked out by ex when he was 12 y/o she said he was too unruly and she could not handle him anymore and she was in fear of the younger two. ok fast forward four years, this same kid decided he did not need school and decided to drop out with a 9th grade education!! guess who blames the FH for the BS of course the ex,( and mind you she doesnt see the son after she kicks him out nor calls him for almost a year) doesnt understand why FH cant get control of BS and make him go to school MAKE him listen, this SAME woman who after kicking said son out of her home NEVER came to visit him on her weekends and when she bought a house ONLY got a 3 bedroom enough for her and the younger two- never offering BS a place to come to. so to agree with Angel if you are absent for your kids bad things can happen.
NOW guess who gets blamed for FSS issues yes HELLO here I am.
It is MY fault that FFS is drinking and smoking and is lazy and pretty much good for nothing cuz WHILE FSS should have been parented FH was spending TOO much time with me. That BS would not be this way if FH had fathered him better and how could he do that when he was with me all the time ..(right???) WTF???
When I knew that kid was going down the wrong path I told FH he needed to make sure to be the parent and not let BS run the make BS feel the consequences of his actions -boy did I get the look and the silent treatment with that statement.
When I was told that FH couldnt (this year) stay at my place much anymore because he needed to take care of 18 y/o son I said sure no problem, but when BS decided he wanted his girlfriend to live there, guess who started staying with me??? yup FH. but all this is my fault, so what is this long rant about..just to say like Angel said if you want to parent you need to be with your kids and PARENT not be a friend, step up to the responsiblity and stop blaming others for your mistakes.
I was there for my kids good bad happy sad, I didnt leave them alone I didnt parent by guilt. I have two very good sons, NOT great but good.
hoping your kids will be ok while you are not around is not good parenting. Being there and making them responsible is.
sorry for the rant.

“You will never be on top of the world
if you try to carry it on your shoulders.”

Angel's picture

Kids require sooo much work/time/complete & total dedication/love/nurturing & there are NO SHORTCUTS-----NO F SHORTCUTS. Parents either do the work while the kids are growing up or do it when those kids are adults and they are asking you for money for them, the spouse & their kids.

I always say, do the work now or do it later, BUT YOU WILL DO THE WORK. NO SHORTCUTS NO EASY WAY.

sarahbernheart's picture

that is so true, no shortcuts cuz if you try to then it will come back to haunt you as my FH is well finding out. and the work is doubled sometimes tripled.
do you know he had the nerve to be mad at me cuz I was able to be with my youngest son and give him proper parenting?? that I put my needs aside to make sure my son was taken care of and parented.

I was so shocked I couldnt think of what to say...( and believe me that doesnt happen often hehee)

“You will never be on top of the world
if you try to carry it on your shoulders.”

Angel's picture

because he is jealous. He's misdirecting the anger he feels for himself onto you.

He knows that it not only takes quality time but it takes ALLLLLLLLLLLL OF YOUR TIMMMMMMMMMMMMME.

sarahbernheart's picture

yes he is jealous and after the shock wore off I realized that-
he had every opportunity to parent his son, now is too late cuz his son has had too much control, there is no going back.
FH is a good man a loving man it is a shame his fear and guilt allowed this monster child to develop.

“You will never be on top of the world
if you try to carry it on your shoulders.”

ColorMeGone2's picture

I bend over backwards to try to see things from all the different angles and I'm a little afraid of posting my opinion here because it's, well, different.

I do think it's always better to stick with the schedule than to get into a lot of switching. Kids need routine and so do their parents. Everyone needs a schedule they can depend upon. That's a given. But I also think it's nice if you can be flexible every now and then, because that can promote goodwill between the two households. It's my DH's visitation with his children, not mine. If WE have something important planned that cannot be changed - a wedding, a vacation, etc. - then of course we'd say we couldn't switch. If I have something planned and DH doesn't, then the switch is fine. If I have nothing planned, bring 'em on. I think it's better to try to be accommodating when you can. I'd never put my foot down and say no just to say no. But that's me. I have a lot of flexibility built into my life and I'm okay with last-minute changes. I understand that not everyone has that much flexibility to work with.

I don't think you're a neglectful parent if you leave a 16yo child in the care of his 24yo sibling for a weekend. The first choice was to leave him with his father, after all. The thing is, both parents are equally responsible for the kid. You can't blame a custodial mother for being a bad parent for taking an extra weekend off if you're not also going to blame the non-custodial father who only sees his kid during EOW visitation. Even though the mother missed out on three weekends this month, she's still the one with the kid the majority of the time. Does that make it her fault that he's smoking pot, since she's the one who's almost always with him? Or is it her fault for taking off that third weekend? Or is it the father's fault for being absent? Weekend for weekend, she may be behind, but what about week for week? Who is raising the kid during the week?

Anyway, I figure that if a kid has two parents in his or her life, then those parents are both equally responsible for the kid's successes and failures. Too much time, not enough time, whatever. It's what you do with the time that counts. There are plenty of successful people who were neglected as children and plenty of children who were not neglected who turn out to be failures.

If dad is an EOW dad, then it seems to me that he misses out on a lot of the watching of HIS kid, too. More than a custodial mother would, if you're only taking time into account.

♥ Georgia ♥

"Good men don't just happen. They have to be created by us women." (from ROSEANNE)

sarahbernheart's picture

I understand what you are saying however, the way things are today, well it changes the family structure.
We set our weekends to work around the kids/schedule, when ex decides she wants to change well that messes us up and NOW we are responsible to make it work? I am not saying we are inflexible but it is not fair to think that just because ex wants to change that our lives should alter for her.
with advance notice sure, but to make her plans without first consulting the non custodial..that is selfish.
and I agree with
"It's what you do with the time that counts. There are plenty of successful people who were neglected as children and plenty of children who were not neglected who turn out to be failures."

heck my parents were alcoholics, I spent all my youth in bowling alleys and bars. I raised myself and my brother for the most part and did not fall too far to the wayside..
I guess what I am saying is all sides should be considered for the good of the kids and the steps..

“You will never be on top of the world
if you try to carry it on your shoulders.”

Angel's picture

Georgia. I understand your point. But I think that the custodial parent is VERY important---& I guess as a woman/mom, I took the main responsibility for MY children & I wasn't divorced.

I heard that in Japan (may or may not be true) that when a child is absent from school, the MOM goes to the school and sits & takes notes for him/her. His/her education is the mom's responsibility. The MOM is paramount in his upbringing. It is her main responsibility in life to raise a "successful" child. Now, even though I am not Asian, this is my mindset. I know that the dad is important but for me, the MOM IS PARAMOUNT. I know I am a little over the top but it served me well.

I don't think the mom was being neglectful for leaving him with his sister----really, I was talking of life-long neglectfulness (is that a word?). He is well fed & taken care of physically, but there isn't an ounce of "enrichment" in his life and to me, that is a form of neglect-----or at least I would feel I were neglectful if I hadn't enriched my kids life with a myriad of activities.

sarahbernheart's picture

life long neglectfulnees (word or not!)

“You will never be on top of the world
if you try to carry it on your shoulders.”

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Julies's picture

If the boy has never been in any activities why has his father not taken an interest and gotten him into some? After all, shouldn't it be father-son time, rather than mom having to take him round to these things? And if he were involved in classes, would father take time from his busy work week to take him round?