I'm just going through my divorce (we should be final within a month). As time has gone by I've noticed a few things that bother me.
We have two boys, 5 and 2. Right from the begining, when he was only 18mo, my ex put my youngest into a toddler bed at his place. We hadn't even discussed doing this before the divorce. The boys share a room at his house, so this meant that the baby could get out of bed and pester the five year old, or go out to the living room or any where else he wanted to while every one else was asleep. I've been in the aprtment, it's not baby proofed, outlets aren't covered, cupboards aren't safety latched. I asked why he was in a bed instead of a crib and there was no real answer, just that he bought a bed instead of a crib.
My ex has also gotten the boys a pet turtle. I'm all for having pets, I think it's good for kids to grow up with a pet. But when I ask him if they wash ther hands after handling it, he says "You're the third person to tell me this. And I don't see what the big deal is." I explain that turtles carry bacteria which is bad for people. And kids put their hands in their mouths. Yadda yadda yadda...He says he'll let them know to wash each time. But I know he won't.
When he comes to get the boys (or any time they're in his car) the five year old is in the front seat. (I checked my local laws and it's technically not illegal for him to be up there, and there's no passenger side airbag.) BUt I'm not comfortable with this, seems safer in the back. I get no results when I ask if he'd put him in the back seat.
The list goes on and on. I'm not a mother hen and I'm only trying to keep my kids safe. There are plenty of times where my 5 year old says "At my dad's I can do this....." And I tell him that mom and dad have different rules at their houses. Which is true and I understand that. If he lets them watch TV for two or three hours, what can I do about it? So I'm not out to control everything.
What do you do when an Ex completely disregards your opinion when it comes to the safety of your children? Is there anything you can do?
Last edited by Fireball76; 07-30-2006 at 12:58 AM.
Your requests to do not sound unreasonable to me; I am a safety conscious parent as well. Can you talk with your divorce attorney, and see what can be done to reach agreements about such matters? Or talk to a child advocate in your area, for ideas. I am not saying to report him for endangerment, but get advice about what your options are. Maybe after the divorce settles down, then the two of you will be able to come to agreements more easily. I feel for you!
I have talked with Friend of the Court, and she suggested using a lawyer (we were doing it all on our own) or to try and talk to him. Well, I know that won't work! So I have hired a lawyer, he should be getting notice of this some time this week.
We have a meeting scheduled at FOC by our family advocate though there, for August 11. But he didn't show up for the last FOC meeting, I highly doubt he'll be here for this one.
So if that happens that shows complete disregard for his children and their wellbeing, so I'll petition for full physical custody at that point.
Then I'm sure he'll start making an effort, but too little too late in my book!
Last edited by Fireball76; 07-31-2006 at 12:28 AM.
I have to agree with Jennypash. You may not be a mother hen, but you're dangerously close to becoming one. Your complaints are pretty borderline and the path you've chosen to deal with them could cause more harm than good. I suggest you keep talking to your ex. Maybe you could cut out some news articles or ******** some information from the Internet that supports your positions on child safety and present these to him.
Good luck to you.
Well, I have to say, I think Jennypash was a little harsh there, but in a way she was a little correct. I understand when it comes to things like washing the hands after handling the turtle because they can carry Salmonella and can be very harmful to humans. And here in Ontario, it's illegal for kids to ride in the front seat. In fact, all kids 8 years and under (or under 80 lbs, or under a certain height) must be in a booster seat now. And there's a reason for it, because there are too many deaths out there due to kids riding in the front seat, or not buckled in properly.
However, saying all that, my parents divorced when I was 12, my brother was 15 and my sister was 9. My sister and I used to take a 1 hour train ride by ourselves (once I turned 15) to visit my dad. My mom would drop us off and my dad would pick us up. When we used to come home my mom would ask us questions about what we did and certain things. I came to find that she would get mad at certain things that we would to with him, so I would start lying. I don't think you want your kids to start lying to you when you ask them things. So whatever you do, don't get mad or yell in front of your kids about your ex. I think talking to a lawyer might help. Maybe put some stipulation into the custody rights, but I don't agree with trying to get full custody and not letting him see his own kids. I'm 26 years old now and am closer with my dad now than I was when I was a kid. It's always good to have a male figure in a childs life. Yes he may not be the best parent in the world, and will make a few mistakes. All parents do. You probably have and will too. Just make sure when you voice your opinions to him, you don't do it in front of the kids. It won't help.
Okay I have been a divorced parent for almost 8 years and my girls were 2 and 4 when I got divorced. They will eventaully understand about there being different rules at each parents house.
As for the "safety" issues that you have. Unless you are going to have a lawyer lay down in writing all the things that you don't want him to do (which will get really expensive) you are going to have to accept that he does things differently.
My ex has a totally different parenting style than I do and I don't agree with some of the things that he lets our daughters do, but I also know that he would not knowingly hurt them or allow them to be hurt with his knowledge. We can only do what we think is best. I used to worry about my girls when they were with their dad but now I am pretty sure that they are safe but they always get to do things and watch things that I would not allow them to see at my house.
But I do agree with Jennypash that you can't worry of the little things while they are in his care. If it is not neglect or harmful you are going to have to let it go... I am sure you want your sons to have a good relationship with their father. I think that you need to sit down and talk to your ex about the things that bother you but I think it would be a very unwise move for you to try to get full custody over something as insignificant as the things that you stated. And it may cause your sons to resent you later in life if they think you are trying to take their dad away from them.
Please think twice before you try to take full custody it may really upset the kids. Mine always blamed me when thier dad didn't see them (when they were younger) and it caused a lot of unwanted problems. I am sure he is doing the best he knows how to do, so think about giving him a little slack and talking to him before you just try to take custody away from him.