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Suvla1915

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Subject: Whatever next? Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - 10:28:15

I can\'t see how this would work for school age children. I\'m assuming that he is planning on bringing them back to England for his week - what does he propose happens about their education? I can\'t see any English school being too impressed with the idea of pupils who just pop in for a week a month.

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sometimesitdoesn'twork

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 13:03:30

A lot depends on how resilient and adaptable the individual child is. Shared residency seems to work best with children aged between 6 and 12/13. In my experience being reasonably flexible and willing to try things out often pays dividends. Otherwise the tendency is to get bogged down in principles and the children\'s best interests get forgotten altogether by parents permanently at war. How about agreeing to introduce the week every three weeks gradually and trying it for 6 months? You might discover it isn\'t as problematic as you think or your husband might decide having them a whole week isn\'t as straight forward as he thinks!

delphine again

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Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - 10:27:01

One problem is that I just don\'t trust him. How committed will he be to it? What if something comes up and he can\'t then see them for 7weeks? I can\'t afford to constantly bend round his schedule, mine is more and more challenging. I am happy to be as flexible as possible, but within reason and with him, it can be with no reason whatsoever. We had been getting on better recently. More fool me. I\'m so after having a nice peaceful life that I believe things have settleed than WHAM! I don\'t think we can be described as permanently at war. What if he does discover that it isn\'t as fun as he thinks. How do I handle the fall out? I don\'t know how resilient and adaptable the girls can be. I\'m worried that this is too far. Wouldn\'t they get all settled there then have to come away again. Its hard enough now when they come home all unsettled. I wish I could read their minds. I am trying to put my stuff to one side...they are the most important thing here. Keep it coming chaps...

Suvla1915

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Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - 10:28:15

I can\'t see how this would work for school age children. I\'m assuming that he is planning on bringing them back to England for his week - what does he propose happens about their education? I can\'t see any English school being too impressed with the idea of pupils who just pop in for a week a month.

delphine again

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Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - 10:27:01

Nope, he is miraculously buying a place here (even though I haven\'t had any CM for 4 months).

Stuart

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Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - 10:39:14

But surely the children having longer contact has got to be a good thing?

LazyLizzie

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Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - 10:30:41

Perhaps the answer is to ask him for some more detailed plans of how he intends it to be worked out. It maybe that when he formalises a plan he will see it isn\'t feasible - or you might find that it is? Maybe the children will find a week at a time is better. My kids were always better spending a week with their grandparents than a weekend when they were that sort of age. Could you trial run it over the summer break - that way he could see how it works without the expense of getting a place over here? The CM is surely a seperate issue and should be pursued now. His budget should include paying you whatever is due/agreed. If he thinks he can get away with not paying it he will factor that cash into his plans and make you the bad guy if his plans then fail when you come shouting for the CM and its arrears.

obiwankenobi

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Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - 10:34:41

the children my very well be happier with longer contact. Also, i think its the routine that they grow to rely on... i would like to have mine for every other week too... for the whole week. they would love it,... also- mine have adapted well to our contact schedule... lizzys idea of a trial is a good one..

delphine again

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Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - 10:27:01

Well we aren\'t talking about every other week, we are talking about one week a month. My main reasons for saying NO are: 1-The 5 year old has been seeing a psychologist for behavioural issues related to anxiety. This risks her stability. She has become used to seeing him every 2 weeks. 2-The whole crux of the argument from the ex is entirely for his convenience. 3-If he could do it every weekend when we lived together, surely every other weekend remains perfectly acceptable. He keeps far more of his earnings than he did before. 4-As he intends to buy over here regardless, he will be saving on rent. I believe it would be bought without a mortgage. 5-With the work he does, it is a very real possibility that he wouldn\'t be able to stick to this system. He would need me to be flexible which I can\'t be for many reasons like work commitments etc. 6-I have been ridiculously reasonable until now and have allowed him to chop and change as much as he likes (missing weekends, varying times at the last minute...). Not a good reason but it goes towards tipping the balance. I\'m sure I could think of a few more, but perhaps this is enough to be going on with. He does get to have them for a whole week during holidays. He is about to have them for a full two weeks. It has been suggested to me that perhaps he is trying to push me so far that I will finally say no giving him a reason to stop seeing them as regularly. This seems particularly suspicious, but perhaps there is an element of truth. Pressure from the NP? She has no kids and perhaps resents his frequent cross channel trips. It is a real minefield and I\'m finding it very difficult to come to a reasonable conclusion. I risk giving him a reason to blame me and to walk away. \"She gave me no choice...\". \"She stopped me from seeing the kids\". Or worse \"Mummy stopped me from being able to see you as much\". Wouldn\'t put it past him... What to do? Dx

Monitor 441

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Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - 10:30:19

Delphine Just for clarification, over a four week period, you will have them for three weeks and he will have them for one week? As someone who does 50/50 shared care, week on week off, here are some of my experiences. One of the advantages of the children living with him for a week is he becomes a proper parent - he has to wash, feed, clean, nurse, shop for and entertain the children during his week. He will see how hard it is and will respect you for what you do. You get a whole week off in four to look after yourself. The children will settle into the routine quickly and will know where they have to be as it is for a week at a time rather than for a weekend Contact by phone should continue with the absent parent a number of times per week He will have to realise that the children have one life and two homes so he will need to do all the ferrying around to clubs, parties, friends houses etc when it is his week and he will not be able to cancel them as it is his week. He will have to provide clothes, toys, computer, bikes etc and not be expecting to borrow them from your house Will his place be within easy reach of the children\'s school, friends, you place? If it is this makes things a lot easier for the kids. My kids can walk to school, from my house and my ex2b\'s house He has to realise that the schedule is set in stone - no chopping and changing. We occassionally swap weekends but if I need to be away during my week I have to sort out the child care myself - I don\'t expect my ex2b to just be there to pick up the pieces. I hope this helps - post any questions that you think of, however trivial. Mon

LazyLizzie

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Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - 10:30:41

Try not to second guess his - or his NP\'s motives. There is no guarantee that you will hit jackpot and you are winding yourself up in the process. Ask your 5 year old\'s psychologist for an opinion - and be prepared to accept that it may not be one that you want to hear. Whatever happens a degree of \"being reasonable and flexible\" is necessary. Bending over backwards is not. When it is decided what is going to happen - weekend, weeks whatever, make it plain that your work commitments mean that you cannot facilitate his frequent unscheduled changes to the routine. That you need time to re-organise your schedule and that he has to respect that. Also that it may mean you incur extra costs to meet his needs and that he may need to contribute to them. Accept that his NP may do some of the childcare if she isn\'t already (I haven\'t seen it mentioned). If he can\'t get you to bail him out then somebody else will have to do it. Personally, I would bite your tongue on the \"its for his convenience\" observation. I am not saying that you are wrong, merely that you may be a little harsh. It could be that he is doing his best to arrange to maintain contact with his children under difficult circumstances. Children benefit from having both parents in their lives even if they aren\'t under the same roof. Finally, get the CM issue sorted out, he has to pay it and the arrears as per whatever agreement is in place. Will changing the child share pattern impact on it?

delphine again

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Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - 10:27:01

Thank you so much all of you. I\'m seriously loosing sleep over this. I do feel as if I\'m going in circles. Thank you for bearing with me. Mon, yep one week a month. It isn\'t clear if it would be from the Friday after school till the Monday after. None of this has been talked about. That would make it 10 nights away. At present it is 6 nights away. Can I say in a little voice here that I don\'t think I would like it at all. I know this shouldn\'t be a big factor, but am I allowed feelings in this at all? Does this make me a selfish horrid parent? Seriously though, Mon you are exceptional, he is in many ways a selfish child and I don\'t really trust him to be a proper parent for such a long time. I really really don\'t trust him to stick to it. So perhaps yet again I have to think about it and perhaps give him the chance to mess it up, or prove me wrong. I think his NP is doing very well with the girls. I strangely feel comforted when I know she is there too. He has a tendancy to loose his temper and shout a lot. With the three together it is mayhem at times. I decided to give up various bits of work so that I could be with them every Wednesday when they are off school. I have arranged everything with the childminder and here in france, it must be a contract set in stone with no flexibility and dates and times arranged a year in advance. The big joke is that he had the nerve to say yet again what a good job I was doing with them and how the behavioural issues seemed to be calming down. I am really really worried that we will end up back at square one again. How does a 5 year old understand that she won\'t be seeing Daddy for three weeks? It is an eternity for them. (Me too at times, again something I\'m trying not to bring into this. Full time work and three kids is exhausting. I really need my fortnightly break). Two weeks is already along time for the girls. Other advice has been, it was agreed in court so just say no and stop bending over backwards for him. His reasons don\'t hold water. As parents it is so difficult to imagine how children will react. We all have a tendancy to put adult interpretations on childrens thoughts. Perhaps it would be good for them but should I risk it?

delphine again

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Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - 10:27:01

Do you know what? I would love to have a set up like Mon. I would welcome it with open arms, problem is I\'m dealing with someone who suffers from depression and is as reliable as the British train. I want my girls to see their father, but not only on his terms and damn the rest of us. I have had enough of it. End of tether reached. I know the separation is only a year old and that these things can be complicated to put into place, but I am exhausted. He is the only one who has had choices so far, the rest of us have had to adapt and comply. I say ENOUGH. It was his choice to leave, it was his choice to move out here in the first place. I had offered him almost 50% custody before he admitted that there was someone else and that he wasn\'t staying in France. He doesn\'t know what he is doing with his life, so how can I feel confident that he won\'t mess the girls around too?

sometimesitdoesn'twork

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 13:03:30

The problem is one can be too near the woods to see the trees sometimes. The issue of determining who started it takes on significant meaning for separated parents. Belief that by determining who started it and affixing blame, a parent will not only be vindicated, but their position with respect to a solution of the actual dilemma will take precedence is common. It is very easy to become entrenched in this position and actually contribute to ongoing conflict which is so detrimental to children\'s wellbeing. In my experience the upset caused by separation is usually short lived with anxiety being overcome and children readjusting but the effects of ongoing hostility is what causes the real emotional harm. It might not be ideal if the arrangement is one in four weeks, or there chop and change or a parent is unreliable but you can\'t change his behaviour. My ex was the same and we went through just about every arrangement conceivable but the children needed at least one parent who was able to forgo a determination of “who was right and who was wrong”, in favour of developing reasonable agreements. JMO

delphine again

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Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - 10:27:01

I know stids, I\'m now acting like a petulant child. All animosity is kept well away from the wee ones and on the whole it has been better. Blame is a non starter but we all have our limits. I just can\'t see a reasonable agreement. Wood and trees everywhere. Where\'s a lumberjack when you need one? Cheeky git just phoned me to ask for help with his tax return. No mention of his proposal. Like a good girl, I helped him out. These are the lenghts I am prepared to go to to try and keep things as civil as possible. I hate conflict which is why I am so desperate for an answer to this one.

sometimesitdoesn'twork

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 13:03:30

lol - No one says it\'s easy! My tips are; 1) Attitude is a self fulfilling prophecy. 2) Recognise and respect everyone is unique and experiences the world in their own way. 3) If what you are doing isn`t working, do something else. 4) If something is possible, then it is possible to learn how to do it. 5) Recognise the implications of cause and effect, and take responsibility for running your own mind. 6) There is no such thing as failure, just feedback.  

delphine again

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Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - 10:27:01

Thank you kind stids, you made me smile. I\'m feeling a little more sure of myself now. I\'ll let you know what happens... Dx

obiwankenobi

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Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - 10:34:41

my rules: resistance is futile... when you are in a fight and dont know what to do - dont do anything... when your opponent gives you something in a fight - dont take it... dont start anything you cant finish... fear is the path to the darkside... the true test of a warrior is within... the first rule of fighting- dont get into fights... escape is an option that should never be ignored... dont eat yellow snow... oh and Cmr Data in Star Trek ALWAYS finds a solution...

delphine again

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Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - 10:27:01

lol, I shall now think like a warrior and avoid yellow snow. Do you have Data\'s number? I could do with him. Thanks... Babes off for 2 weeks and my bottom lip is quivering. Imagine a noisy house with three kids in one minute and dead silence the next. Yoiks. I\'m sure it\'ll be fine, but it is hard. Will he let them get rediculously sunburnt again? Ok, I\'ll stop being a clucking mother and let go.... The fight can keep till he gets back and it won\'t be a fight. Dx

obiwankenobi

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Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - 10:34:41

i am sure they will be ok... nothing wrong with worrying... can identify with the noisy house comment- its like that for us on a monday evening following contact weekend- i hate it when no1 son says \'dad i hate sundays...\' \'why son?\' \'because i have to go back..\' not easy to deal with your childrens upset...
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