to think the way ex looks after our DC's is lazy and half assed?

(60 Posts)
iwanttobelola Sat 07-Sep-13 15:42:06

Need an objective point of view.. not sure if my judgement is being clouded by my strong dislike of my ex
We have 3 DC's with the eldest starting high school last week, they go to their Dad's for one weekday and night and one weekend and night (ex's choice to fit in around his work)
When they stay there on the weekday the eldest (11yrs) gets the younger two (6yrs and 7yrs)their breakfast and makes sure they have had a wash, dressed etc then their Dad gets up 15 mins before they need to leave for school. Now the eldest is in high school he has to get the bus which leaves at 7.40 meaning he has 'taught' his younger brother (6yrs) how to get breakfast ready for him and his sister so that he can go and get the bus .. his Dad is still in bed when he leaves to get the bus so he makes his own lunch to take with him.
I feel this isn't his responsibility to do that their Dad should be up when they are and be doing all this and to see him out the door on time.

I have spoken to the DC's about it and they like the arrangement as it is 'like being a grown up', I have asked the ex if could not get up to see eldest off to school and he replied 'there is no need'

AIBU to want to insist that he gets his ass out of bed in the morning or they don't go there on a weekday or am I being over protective.?

Chunderella Tue 10-Sep-13 12:24:50

11 year old getting own breakfast and lunch- fine.
6 and 7 year olds getting own breakfast- arguably fine, depending on ability and what they're having.
11 year old having to take responsibility for younger DC because parent won't get up- not fine.
Parent not getting up- very sad as DC are missing out on time with him, which is worse for them then if the resident parent did it as their contact is already limited.

But don't stop contact. If he's up with them the night before, they're at least getting something. I wouldn't say anything but would be secretly sad that the DC are missing out unnecessarily. Even if he just got up and sat there without doing anything towards breakfast etc, they could still have a chat with him.

iwanttobelola Tue 10-Sep-13 11:48:24

He is generally like this it seems ... on the weekend day they get themselves up and dressed and go and call on the friends who live down the road hmm , then Dad gets up around 12pm and they return for lunch, in the school holidays they don't go out anywhere with him (apart from the food shopping) and if the younger ones ask him if they can 'go somewhere' his reply is 'that's what your Mother is for'.
In the 5 years since we have split up he has been on holiday but hasn't taken the kids away .. but then to be honest that was one of the factors in the split in the first place so why I think he would change really?

But he pulls out all the stops with birthday/Christmas presents (even to the point where last year he told the youngest that Father Christmas had 'had a word with him' and told him that he would have to buy the presents this year ..so he got the gratitude rather than the bearded bloke!) so to them I suppose its swings and roundabouts

Is it obvious I don't like him ? wink

Mimishimi Mon 09-Sep-13 02:40:49

Ahhh. Oh well, at least they will be more self-reliant and if they don't mind, there's no harm. Unless the children are in danger, I'd keep out of it.

AmberLeaf Sun 08-Sep-13 23:23:27

Children taking on adult roles is not the same as a child learning to be independent at an appropriate age.

The OP has said her 11 yr old has taught the younger sibling to get his breakfast, that is what his Dad should be doing! That is an adult role.

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Sun 08-Sep-13 23:14:06

Lazy. Sadly there is probably little you can do. I would note it down though so that if things ever escalated later on, you could show this was part of a pattern of being Not Really Bothered.

Serious question: does everyone who says 'my 6 yo makes their own cereal' keep everything very low down in their kitchen specially? My cereal is kept in an overhead cupboard, and my fridge is the top bit of a combined fridge-freezer, so a child would find it quite hard to get milk and cereal without climbing on stools and such. Do you leave it all ready or something?

AmberLeaf Sun 08-Sep-13 23:04:56

The children don't know any different!

Resentment tends to come later in life.

hettienne Sun 08-Sep-13 23:04:56

There's another thread at the moment about TVs in bedrooms. I could argue that letting a 5 year old have a TV in their bedroom is harmful and reduce contact with their parent accordingly, but would that be reasonable? I don't think so.

The point at which someone's parenting becomes so harmful that they should see less of their children is quite a bit higher than TV in bedrooms or primary school age children getting their own breakfasts.

hettienne Sun 08-Sep-13 23:00:05

Harm and resentment in your opinion, but not in the opinion of the children and parent involved.

AmberLeaf Sun 08-Sep-13 22:59:46

That's a refreshingly candid answer, thank you!

You're welcome! smile

AmberLeaf Sun 08-Sep-13 22:58:43

^Is there a book? "The Proper Care of Children" by Amberleaf? wink
I didn't get issued with one when I had my DD, so I expect I'm not doing it properly by your standards, either^

Trust me, I am very much of the 'free range' parenting mindset, I don't molly coddle and tbh am a bit of a slattern around the house, but making it an 11 yr olds duty to care for little siblings is shit.

because the NRP doesn't do things the same way as the RP would be an awful thing to do

I agree with that, but this isn't just not doing the same as, it is wrong to have a child in the role of parent. It does cause harm and resentment.

hettienne Sun 08-Sep-13 22:43:57

Stopping the midweek contact because the NRP doesn't do things the same way as the RP would be an awful thing to do. The people who would suffer in that scenario are the children.

I probably do things with my child that other people wouldn't do, or would think lazy, but so long as I'm meeting my child's basic needs and not causing them any harm then it is no one else's business.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Sun 08-Sep-13 22:37:28

China, that's probably because you're coming at it from a step Mum perspective.

That's a refreshingly candid answer, thank you!

ChinaCupsandSaucers Sun 08-Sep-13 22:36:21

Would be much easier all round if this father would just get his lazy arse up and care for them properly.

Is there a book? "The Proper Care of Children" by Amberleaf? wink
I didn't get issued with one when I had my DD, so I expect I'm not doing it properly by your standards, either!

My mantra has become "my way is not the only right way" - it helps in all sorts of situations, especially DDs dad!!!!!

AmberLeaf Sun 08-Sep-13 22:35:37

China, that's probably because you're coming at it from a step Mum perspective.

AmberLeaf Sun 08-Sep-13 22:31:37

I wouldn't allow my 11 yr old to be responsible for 6 and 7 yr old siblings.

So to answer that, yes I would stop the midweek contact [not the weekend-which is what the OP stated] unless he properly parented his children.

That is difficult to do though I do appreciate, because the OP will look the baddie to her children and her EX could well dig his heels in.

Would be much easier all round if this father would just get his lazy arse up and care for them properly.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Sun 08-Sep-13 22:30:37

amber My DSC Mum (resident parent) has been doing this for years.
If anything, the responses I have has when questioning it here on MN have been even more vociferously supportive of her than the posts on this thread are of Dad.

hettienne Sun 08-Sep-13 22:25:03

The question is, should the OP stop contact unless he gets up with them. If it was a resident parent doing it 5 days a week, would the answers be she should get up with them or lose care? No.

Ultimately, this does have to tolerated even if it isn't ideal, because parents don't have to be ideal.

AmberLeaf Sun 08-Sep-13 22:22:29

No.

I'm talking about the apparent mindset that whatever a NRP does, however far from ideal it may be in some cases, it must be tolerated and how that can differ from what would be accepted on a day to day basis.

As for it being one day a week, would this man do it differently if he had them every day of the week? I doubt it.

So if it was a resident parent doing it 5 days a week, what would the answers be?

hettienne Sun 08-Sep-13 22:19:01

What do you think the answers would be then confused Call social services?

AmberLeaf Sun 08-Sep-13 22:15:00

I really doubt it hettienne

hettienne Sun 08-Sep-13 22:12:55

Amber - if a parent with care was letting her children get themselves up for school one day a week, I think the replies would be similar: lazy, but not harmful enough that she should see her children less.

Onebuddhaisnotenough Sun 08-Sep-13 22:11:19

And really what amberleaf says.

Onebuddhaisnotenough Sun 08-Sep-13 22:10:46

shitty, lazy, pathetic attempt at parenting. But he doesn't sound like the sort of person who'll take anything on board if you comment. It's just crap that when the kids are older, they may see his lying in bed/laziness/selfishness as part of a bigger issue. What's he like the rest of the time with them ? Engaged ? Interested ?

AmberLeaf Sun 08-Sep-13 22:05:11

Do the children like it really though? or do they know this is just it and they have no choice/alternative?

It is poor parenting. I don't know how it can be justified really.

AmberLeaf Sun 08-Sep-13 22:03:42

If a Mum who had majority care of her children was doing this, would the answers be the same?

I don't think so TBH.

But because this is a non resident parent/Dad, it must be sucked up?

Is this because the OP should be grateful for his limited involvement?

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