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This room is dedicated to those who are facing the challenge of raising children without the support of a spouse. This is a place to share ideas and lend mutual support.

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I have been divorced for 6 years. We have 2 daughters: a 6yo and an 8yo. We have joint custody and a weekly rotation. This has been working out pretty nice. But lately, our youngest one is starting to cry whenever I say it's time to go to Daddy's. I ask her why. At first it's superficial things, like "It's boring there, he makes us do chores, he's always busy, etc." But when I dig a little deeper, she talks about how she wishes how we could just switch to every other day, not do a whole week at a time. She just misses me (or daddy even) too much. She wants to spend time together as a family.

I don't have a problem adjusting the schedule to shorten the amount of time spent with one parent and then the other. I can see how 7 days is a long time to go without seeing the other parent. My question is: Is it ok to spend time together as a "family", even though I'm no longer married to their dad? For example, eating together? Going to the park? Wouldn't this send mixed messages to the children? He is dating someone, so I'm faily confident they know that we won't be getting back together. Your ideas and suggestions are appreciated.

Apr 1st 2013 new

(Quote) Gigi-944267 said: I have been divorced for 6 years. We have 2 daughters: a 6yo and an 8yo. We have joint custody and...
(Quote) Gigi-944267 said:

I have been divorced for 6 years. We have 2 daughters: a 6yo and an 8yo. We have joint custody and a weekly rotation. This has been working out pretty nice. But lately, our youngest one is starting to cry whenever I say it's time to go to Daddy's. I ask her why. At first it's superficial things, like "It's boring there, he makes us do chores, he's always busy, etc." But when I dig a little deeper, she talks about how she wishes how we could just switch to every other day, not do a whole week at a time. She just misses me (or daddy even) too much. She wants to spend time together as a family.

I don't have a problem adjusting the schedule to shorten the amount of time spent with one parent and then the other. I can see how 7 days is a long time to go without seeing the other parent. My question is: Is it ok to spend time together as a "family", even though I'm no longer married to their dad? For example, eating together? Going to the park? Wouldn't this send mixed messages to the children? He is dating someone, so I'm faily confident they know that we won't be getting back together. Your ideas and suggestions are appreciated.

--hide--
Tough call.I have spent time together with my ex and daughters,who are now 17 and 18.They know there is no way we are getting back together..My girls were 1 and 2 yrs when we split up.Just do what works for your kids.Forget other peoples advice.Everybody has an opinion.

Apr 9th 2013 new
Bernard has some good advice here. Do what works for your kids and ignore everyone else. They don't matter. Here is what the schedule looks like for my 6 and 11 year old.

My kids have dinner with their dad every Tuesday and spend the night on Fridays. We don't alternate weekends because the kids don't want to be away from me that much and their dad doesn't really want to parent that much, but he's good in small doses.

Their dad and I have a very cordial relationship. We might sit next to each other at my son's ballgame, we might not. When his fiancee comes, I welcome her also. Sometimes we all have lunch after the games. My kids are relaxed, doing well in school and move from one household to another with a minimum of fuss.

Sometimes the kids are less than enthusiastic. I just pack their bags and shoo them out the door. I'm sure sometimes they'd rather stay at Daddy's than come home. Going back and forth is something they do, like going to school or brushing their teeth, not open to debate. They only have one daddy. I need to encourage that relationship.
Apr 9th 2013 new

(Quote) Bernard-2709 said: (Quote) Gigi-944267 said: I have been divorced for 6 years. We have 2 daug...
(Quote) Bernard-2709 said:

Quote:
Gigi-944267 said:

I have been divorced for 6 years. We have 2 daughters: a 6yo and an 8yo. We have joint custody and a weekly rotation. This has been working out pretty nice. But lately, our youngest one is starting to cry whenever I say it's time to go to Daddy's. I ask her why. At first it's superficial things, like "It's boring there, he makes us do chores, he's always busy, etc." But when I dig a little deeper, she talks about how she wishes how we could just switch to every other day, not do a whole week at a time. She just misses me (or daddy even) too much. She wants to spend time together as a family.

I don't have a problem adjusting the schedule to shorten the amount of time spent with one parent and then the other. I can see how 7 days is a long time to go without seeing the other parent. My question is: Is it ok to spend time together as a "family", even though I'm no longer married to their dad? For example, eating together? Going to the park? Wouldn't this send mixed messages to the children? He is dating someone, so I'm faily confident they know that we won't be getting back together. Your ideas and suggestions are appreciated.


Tough call.I have spent time together with my ex and daughters,who are now 17 and 18.They know there is no way we are getting back together..My girls were 1 and 2 yrs when we split up.Just do what works for your kids.Forget other peoples advice.Everybody has an opinion.

--hide--



Bernard,

Totally agree. Just another example of one size does not fit all.

Blessings, Praying Praying Praying

Leon

Apr 9th 2013 new

(Quote) Leon-593843 said: Bernard,Totally agree. Just another example of one size does not fit all.<...
(Quote) Leon-593843 said:




Bernard,

Totally agree. Just another example of one size does not fit all.

Blessings,

Leon

--hide--
True, Leon -- we ALL know that Texans are too big for their britches.... laughing

What you say is true. What works in some cases can result in absolute disaster in others. So-called "experts" claim that children are resilient and overcome the difficulties when a family breaks up, but in real life, we're seeing otherwise. It's good to have both parents involved as much as possible, but when re-uniting appears to be an impossibility, the children's well being needs to be considered.

From anecdotal experience, there are a number of fathers who seem indifferent about having their children around. Sad, sad, sad. But, there are people like Leon who remain active with their children and do as much as possible under the circumstances.

Apr 9th 2013 new

(Quote) Ray-566531 said: (Quote) Leon-593843 said: Bernard,Totally agree. Just an...
(Quote) Ray-566531 said:

Quote:
Leon-593843 said:




Bernard,

Totally agree. Just another example of one size does not fit all.

Blessings,

Leon


True, Leon -- we ALL know that Texans are too big for their britches....

What you say is true. What works in some cases can result in absolute disaster in others. So-called "experts" claim that children are resilient and overcome the difficulties when a family breaks up, but in real life, we're seeing otherwise. It's good to have both parents involved as much as possible, but when re-uniting appears to be an impossibility, the children's well being needs to be considered.

From anecdotal experience, there are a number of fathers who seem indifferent about having their children around. Sad, sad, sad. But, there are people like Leon who remain active with their children and do as much as possible under the circumstances.

--hide--


Ray, you are so right. Some of you Wisconsinites need to bring some of us Texans to reality. laughing

Ray, I have been so fortunate with my children. Even though my daughter is married and my son is dating a girl, I totally respect their privacy. They do however call a couple of times a week. While they were growing up, they remember activities we did I had long forgotton.
My daughter has me primary on her list to take care of ill grandchildren during the week. That can be difficult in caring for a 3 and 1 year old for an old mule-muffin like me. Sometimes but not very often, I wish they did not love me so much. laughing We have been a close threesome for all their lives and for that I am truly blessed. Praying

Blessings, Praying Praying Praying

Leon

Apr 12th 2013 new
Sam and Bernard,

My experience has been like yours. Kids can never get too much love.

As my kids got older, they too did not really want to spend a weekend away from home, but it wasn't then about missing me, it was more about missing their friends, football games, etc.
Apr 14th 2013 new
It needs to be all about the kids. What if they had dinner with the other parent on Wednesday or tu/th? At their age touching base during the week with the other might help.
Apr 18th 2013 new

I would let the children call you when with there father and the other way around as well. Some times a short conversation or a quick good night also helps calm the child's fears.

Yes do what you and your ex thinks is good for the children.

Apr 23rd 2013 new

Even if children retain the hope that mom and dad will get back together, as they mature and receive the kind and supportive message this isn’t going to happen, however “we love you more than anything in the whole wide world”, their reflection on this time in their lives when older will be much more pleasant knowing you both were supportive of each other.

Also, when older, the experience might be a learning tool to teach that even when we hope for the best, life reveals paths we must adjust to, evolve and gain insight from that might be different than anticipated. When we consider our Blessed Mother’s path, she is a wonderful example of how, even in tragedy, if well-equipped through our relationship to God, we can navigate through temporary losses as we move toward hope and God’s plan that has yet to be revealed.

Finally there are some good books on how to facilitate connection when children experience longing and sadness (see local book sellers or online vendors), how to provide comfort, and empathic understanding and guidance as children learn the process of grief and healing when parents separate and divorce. The better equipped we are as parents to manage grief, loss and recovery, the better equipped our children are in learning the same as they learn from us how to feel secure when dealing with transitons.

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