How much do you tell your XH about your DCs?

(93 Posts)
duffybeatmetoit Thu 22-Nov-12 22:04:32

Dh left earlier this year. He speaks to DD on the phone but rarely to me. He occasionally texts but just about contact arrangements. DD has just started school and is pretty tired when he rings her so she doesn't generally say much to him. He doesn't ask me any questions about how she is getting on or what she is doing. I have given him dates for parent's evenings and other events, he told me he would try to come to parent's evening when I gave him the date but didn't mention it again or ask what the teacher had said.

I tell him some things on contact visits just to stimulate conversation between him and DD, but he doesn't initiate anything. Should I be giving him a rundown of her activities or accept that he's not sufficiently interested to ask how she's doing?

sausagesandwich34 Thu 22-Nov-12 22:09:37

my ex doesn't ask but I will always invite him to events at school/brownies etc -he never comes

I will email him a run down on what they say at parent's evening
I send him a copy of their end of year reports

if they are ill enough to be kept off school I will text him

that's pretty much it really

he rarely acknowledges this info other than to text 'tell them well done' but I do it for me rather than him as I refuse to be one of those parents that pushes the NRP out of the children's lives

karma and all that

CabbageLeaves Thu 22-Nov-12 22:18:22

I did offer dates, photos, information initially (which was generous IMO considering he was abusive) No response and so I just stopped.

Last year it became obvious he had no idea DD was back at school in Sept - still thought it was summer hols....

She's moving to secondary school. I know she has told him but he's neither discussed nor offered to visit her school. Even when married he never attended school events. I feel lucky not to have an ex who meddles for aggravation purposes rather than true interest

amarylisnightandday Thu 22-Nov-12 22:22:55

I'd like to provide a lot more info but it gets twisted and I get critiqued on my parenting so I don't really. Unfair critique I hasten to add not constructive. Exp v abusive and unable to do anything without an agenda so this is a loat cause but.......ideally I would like to email him once a month with a run down of dd achievements, experiences, funny things she had said - anything really and some photos but I can't even do that sad

Flojo1979 Thu 22-Nov-12 22:24:17

My ex isn't overly interested but I usually keep him up to speed, which usually involves me shouting down the path as he's collecting DS.

nongenderbias9 Thu 22-Nov-12 22:39:58

There's one thing all you guys have in common, which may not have occurred to you, so forgive me if I sound patronising. It's very difficult for a parent that doesn't do run of the mill stuff to stay healthily linked to their child. If he was used to coming home to his children every night and now only gets to see them at weekends their relastionship will be under enormous strain.
If you really care about your children you should go to court and insist on 50:50 childcare. (If you are in California they call this shared physical custody)

It's commonsense really. In any close relationship you need to spend lengthy periods of time with the person you love. (This goes for adults as well as children)

In this country roughly 3.5 million children live without their father's. This is a national tragedy which we need to do something about.

Kind regards

MrsLHofstadter Thu 22-Nov-12 22:53:55

XP and I text each other depending who has DC that day. Not of school age yet but pass on information about how the day has gone/actives at daycare/sleep/illness. This may lessen as DC gets older but for now this works for us.

sausagesandwich34 Thu 22-Nov-12 22:57:45

I have offered EXp 50:50

he doesn't want it and I'm not going to force him to begrudgingly look after them, I don't see that as being in anyone's best interests

he is happy with the every other weekend and 2 holiday weeks, I would rather he has them more but I'm not going to force the issue

Feckbox Thu 22-Nov-12 23:03:19

nongenderbias9 that would be ideal in the case of two parents who truly cared about the best interests of their children and where there were no issues of abuse , violence or mistreatment.
Sadly , after relationship breakdown, often the departing parent is just not interested.
I do think it is terrible the way SOME fathers ( and I daresay some mothers) are not allowed to see much of their children . i know a few lovely dads in this position. It is beyond awful

XP gets a Report sent from DS's school once a year. I've told him when parent's night is, but not the Nativity play yet, but I will. He won't go to either. I have given up talking to him on the phone and just leave it up to DS who's just turned 6, so sometimes the X gets nothing at all. The X never asks about things, and anything (and I do mean anything) I tell him gets twisted around to mean something else, usually involving a very non-existant male friend of mine (and I really do have no male friends at all), so I just don't bother any more, it's not worth the hassle and the accusations. Oh well, his loss.

duffybeatmetoit Fri 23-Nov-12 00:01:58

Nongender -that's fine if the father is nearby and 50:50 is practical (particularly where schooling is concerned). My xh chose to leave and move 3hrs away so this is never going to be a realistic option.

What most of the posters have in common as far as I can see (and apologies if this is patronizing) is that they are trying to help the father stay linked to their dcs but the fathers are choosing not to maintain links.

If I was the NRP I would be making strenuous efforts to find out as much as I could about their progress, friends , activities etc. I wouldn't want my dc to become a stranger because I didn't take an interest.

OptimisticPessimist Fri 23-Nov-12 00:03:44

Nongender, 3.5m children do not "live without their fathers". 3.5m children live with only one of their biological parents - this includes children living with their father, those in shared residency arrangements and those with strong contact arrangements with their father as well as those with little or no contact.

I don't tell XP anything, but by his own choice he has no part in our children's lives. He speaks to them on the phone but I doubt he gets very much meaningful information from them. I did tell him about DS1's diagnosis of ASD earlier this year but that was the first time I'd told him of anything in a while - I didn't tell him about DS2 starting school or DD starting nursery.

duffybeatmetoit Fri 23-Nov-12 00:11:29

Feckbox and Sausage - totally agreed.

Nongender - why would an absent father who really cared about his dcs not show any interest in them? Self preservation? Hurts too much to be reminded of what he is missing out on? Understandable perhaps but not really putting his dcs first.

CabbageLeaves Fri 23-Nov-12 07:38:51

Nongender it may not have occurred to you that many mothers recognise heir DCss desire to see their Dad. It was an issue when married because he didn't engage with them then. I tried. When he left I saw a chink of hope that absence made heart fonder and all that.... Hence my repeated attempts to bond him to his kids. When I had my DC sitting next to me crying because he hadn't seen her for 4 months and I rang and said please would you see her please. He was 'going out' that night but let me drive for 90 mins the next day to give 45mins of his time before he went out (socialising not work)

I have encouraged and encouraged I've facilitated etc It is not in best interest to get a court order forcing him to have her. You are making huge assumptions based on a very unpleasant group of parents who do obstruct access. In my experience there are as many DC who suffer because doesn't wish to engage... Not that he can't. Your assumptions are very upsetting. I am a real defender of joint parenting. To be accused of preventing it is offensive.

GetAllTheThings Fri 23-Nov-12 10:41:12

I get a text message every day. Brief and it's more to know that they're ( mum and dd ) ok. I do the same when dd is with me.

When I chat to my XP we fill in other stuff but general day to days stuff I'm not that bothered about hearing. i.e. I know dd has been to nursery or singing practice so I don't really need to know full details.

Once she gets to school I think this will change of course.

That is also partly because although I get on with XP I she does talk quite a lot and I don't feel the need to know the minature of everything that happened in dd's day because it just ends up in a 30 minute phone call. As long as I know she's ok I'm happy and just look forward to seeing her again when we can do the things we do together.

Lookingatclouds Fri 23-Nov-12 10:51:11

I used to, but I tell him nothing now. He's shown no interest in anything they've done of his own accord, and since moving his girlfriend and children in he has stopped talking to me directly and attempts to do it through the children, which I refuse to do. If he does ring or turn up he is rude and abusive, so I limit the amount of contact I have with him to the absolute bare essential.

I've bent over backwards to enable 50:50 but he's not interested. He wasn't willing to do any school runs or childcare, holiday care or give any financial support to either of his children, including the one who lives with me but isn't my biological child. If any of that was different or he was able to communicate respectfully then it would be a whole different kettle of fish.

He is welcome to ring and ask anything about anything they are doing, and I would tell him - but he doesn't. He can't even ring to make arrangements to see them, apparently it's down to me to ring him (so he can say no as I've asked), and I can only ring him after 6 or when I know he is not going to be driving and will be available to answer the phone. He refuses to communicate by text.

purpleroses Fri 23-Nov-12 12:25:56

Mainly just things that will affect the time he has them - changes to clubs or activies, parties, etc. I nag him about getting homework done, etc.

Medical things I'll tell him if they're important, but not really everyday stuff (again, unless it affects them when they're with him). Ocassionally I'll discuss any problems with either of them with him to see if we can learn from each other's experiences. But not often.

I used to send school reports, but my schools now send one to each of us. I invite to parents evenings, but he often doesn't bother.

Part of me feels it's not my job to keep him up to date on things, and he should do more himself. The other part recognises that my DCs will benefit from him knowing what goes on in their lives, and that sometimes this isn't going to happen unless I initiate it.

Fortyshadesofgreen Fri 23-Nov-12 13:11:53

As an XH, I am told as little as possible about my DCs.

Been like that pretty much since seperation. The occassional burst when copies of letters from School will be handed over at change-over time, but the bursts don't last long and then normal service is resumed. Used to have a weekly catch up call (suggested at mediation following Court) but that went by the way side, as it became a tick box exercise and nothing of any value was communicated.

FannyBazaar Fri 23-Nov-12 19:33:05

I don't bother with anything. I used to but it was rarely acknowledged and ex never turned up for things. Ex lives with another parent whose child goes to the same school, so should have no problem accessing newsletters and term dates. I inform him if I am taking DS out of the country.

DS's last two trips to A&E ex was told about, first one, when DS was sent in ambulance from nursery he wanted to know why I was asking him to go to A&E (he was off work and closest, I was about an hour away). He was mostly concerned that he was being more inconvenienced than me. Second time was Christmas Day, I sent a text to inform him but heard nothing back, he had travelled across London by taxi from his then partner that day but didn't call, text or ask to see DS. I'd probably infirm him if another such incident arose but wouldn't expect a reply.

DS has some difficulties at school, has an IEP and has been supported by the SENCO. Ex is not aware of this, I chose not to tell him as I felt he was likely to give negative comments to DS and be unsupportive. This will of course have to be mentioned in the divorce paperwork so I am prepared that there may be a discussion but equally likely ex will not understand and ignore it.

NotaDisneyMum Fri 23-Nov-12 20:04:52

shadesofgreen. Why not liaise with the school directly? Many are very geared up to communicate with multiple households - and if not, then at least if you go into the school, meet the staff etc, they may well begin to change their systems.

You don't have to rely on your DCs mum - get out there and find things out for yourself!

amarylisnightandday Fri 23-Nov-12 21:06:54

Nongender- it's not difficult it's called making an effort. I think it's v sad that many men find the day to day minutiae of their children's lives dull or low in their list of priorities.

chocoreturns Fri 23-Nov-12 21:07:40

I email every week with a run down of what we've done, what bugs the DC may have had, or appointments, nursery info etc. I used to say even more but it was invariably used to criticize me. I'm very sad about it, but honestly, the emails go unacknowledged, and if left to his own devices, xH wouldn't call or email or do anything between EOW visits. It's a case of out of sight, out of mind for my DC. Now I've toughened up and take the line that I will provide the telephone contact details for everyone he may wish to have info from (nursery, doctor, HV etc) and let him know if the DC have been seen by anyone or have any reports he could access. I do check with all of the above, not once has he made that call to ask for the information. What can you do when the NRP doesn't give a feck? It's a big reason why we're not together, so suggesting 50/50 shared residence would be 'ideal' is nonsense. He was barely interested when we were under the same roof! At least my DC have one parent who does want to know. And I STILL send the bloody emails, because I STILL wish he wanted to know.

CabbageLeaves Fri 23-Nov-12 21:46:40

40shades - my DP as had your experience. He has worked and worked to involve himself. Her behaviour is shocking. He visits the school for open evenings (100 mile return journey). She moved without warning or discussion and blocked his contact. It's wrong. Both attitudes of parents who ignore and block are wrong. We shouldn't stereotype one gender as being the baddie though

madam1mim Fri 23-Nov-12 22:22:02

like many of you I used to tell my ex even though he hardly ever asked. now i don't bother. he never even asks what shes been up to/how she is when drop her off to him. I don't get it. i couldn't go a day without knowing what my dd does and how she is. he literally knows nothing about her. he doesn't know what her favourite things are, he doesn't know anything about medical conditions etc. In fact, I haven't heard off him all month , he hasn't been in touch to say he wants to see dd. just spied on his twitter account n there he is chatting up some girl!!!!! angry . the best part of it is that he's taking me to court in 2 weeks time over contact but clearly does not give a shit about dd. i am shaking right now and close to tears. :'( i didnt' want this for dd. it'd be better if he just totally fucked off not just played at being 'a father' .

amarylisnightandday Fri 23-Nov-12 23:05:28

Tbf though exp was like this during the marriage too. He is subtly sexist and thinks there are tasks which simply don't apply to him. Taking an interest in the philosophy and teaching methods of dd1 Montessori is a good example. He treats it (its a fantastic nursery and I'm overjoyed with their care of dd1) like a crèche and the staff with disdainsad.
He is also a bit of a glory hunter. He doesn't want to put the hard work in with dd1's activities. But he likes to show her off now she can do x y and z at an advanced level. He would/will except I don't let him only take dd to things he enjoys - never mind her tastes. He is a man child so I treat him like one. Dd1 hA started a new sport she's trying v hard at. I'm not letting him her involved he's too unreliable. I will take her and she knows I will never let her down because I don't fancy it that day.
For me this is where co parenting starts breaking down. The RP does the donkey work and I'm starting to get ousessive about the rewards.

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