153

I suggest you invite the guy out for a beer to get to know him. Make it clear that you are not jealous, that you wish them well, and that the only thing you care about his how he treats your daughter and her mother. Your concern for her mother is exactly that, concern for your daughter's mother. Not concern for your ex. There's a lot of crappy stuff in ...


129

I don't think you can "parent" in the sense of applying discipline and strong guidance. But you can be in his life. My mother had a god-daughter on a different continent. From the time the god-daughter was a young child, my mother would write to her regularly. She always remembered birthdays and Christmas. She probably only visited a few times as the girl ...


91

I have to challenge your entire premise, which may get this post deleted, but I hope you get a chance to read this before it is deleted. In simple terms this is a case of, Majoring in the minors and minoring in the majors. Focusing on who is right and who is wrong won't solve anything because you will get opinion based answers that ultimately come down to, ...


50

Whatever you and your spouse decide to do, please please do not ask your kids to decide who their primary guardian will be or what their living arrangements will be. I found this approach terrible when my parents did it when I was 14 or 15. I strongly feel that this is the reason why I still do not feel emotionally close to them even though they are ...


36

I will address only one issue: At roughly what age levels is it appropriate for the kids to have what levels of say in their upbringing? At every age, a child should have a voice about their preferences and should be heard and dealt with respectfully (patience, kindness, consideration.) But from birth, a parent is responsible to do the best for their ...


31

Children should be involved in, and have input on, life changing things - but while they get an opinion that should be considered they do not get a vote; that is why they are children not adults. You are the parent(s), "man-up" and make the hard adult choices, while considering their opinion and wishes, but more importantly what is best for them. Nothing is ...


29

I want to tell my ex to stop using that kind of language when discussing these issues with me, but I don't know if this is a battle not worth fighting. If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. I presume you got divorced for a reason, possibly related to an inability to change a behavior or a lack of support, communication or understanding, etc. Let this ...


27

I don't have any experience or background here, I'm just a guy with a couple kids, including a 3yr old son. But I would say you should hang in there. You are part of your son and as he grows older you will probably start to see more of yourself in him. He will probably have reactions and behaviours and do things that remind you of yourself. You are ...


25

I don't think there's anything you can do about this. Imagine it was the other way around - would you let her tell you who you can live with? To 1: Just because he's a policeman doesn't mean he's safe for kids to be around. But really shouldn't you look at it from the other end? Shouldn't you assume that he's okay until he gives you reason for suspicion? ...


19

I agree with those who have advocated communication. That's the only option open to you at this point. Are you being unreasonable? About your daughter living with a stranger, no, I don't think so. The way to deal with that is to get to know this person. Invite the three of them out to dinner and get to know him. If it goes well, do that from time to time; ...


18

What a difficult, painful and important issue. And congratulations on recognizing the long-term effects that the situation might have on your children. Divorce can affect a child's relationship with their parents, and creates stresses which can interfere with their natural development. While divorce per se does not seem to negatively impact children in the ...


16

One rule of thumb (and it's a good one) is don't put your child in the middle of a dispute between your ex and yourself. You are contemplating using an innocent child, someone who asked for none of this storm, as a pawn to change your ex's behavior. The odds are that it will not change your ex's behavior (as evidenced by the fact that you're having the same ...


15

Your child will only ever have one birth father. That is a fact. That he may develop relationships with other men in his life - step dad, uncles, teachers, coaches - is very likely as life if long and full of untold situations and scenarios. Those other relationships may have a bigger impact on his life BUT you will always be his birth father. Do not ...


14

I would try not to read too much into it. Unwilling runs a pretty wide gamut, from "it's no problem but I just don't feel like it" all the way to "I could swing it, but it would be a pretty large sacrifice, and I don't think the benefits outweigh the costs in this particular case." This kind of thing is easy to misconstrue in written communication. I'd ...


12

Call them both daddy. Joe (Or whatever his name is.) is also your daddy. This should be all the explanation your two-year-old needs. She is not likely mature enough to understand the complexity, and won’t be for a long time. So a simple explanation, “some girls get two daddy’s,” is enough for now. This is a perfectly normal practice for young children ...


11

I'm not going to suggest a quick fix; this takes time. But it involves and imparts life skills. Things that are helpful in situations like these: Realize that it's not your job to fix other people's emotions. This is easier said than done, but it's true. If you try to fix it, your son will have learned nothing about resolving conflict, or preventing ...


11

The fact that your son will be graduating indicates that he's probably intelligent. I'm sure that he knows about his mother's feelings and past actions. At a graduation party, you are celebrating his academic acchievement and maturity. So why not talk to him as one adult to another? Be honest, ask for his opinion and feelings. You won't be able to exclude ...


11

This is so hard, my heart goes out to you. BOTH parents loved each other to have kids. It's a good thing to remember that and to support your partner. That will show your children that even though you aren't married any longer, you'll always be a supportive family. It doesn't matter who did what or feels love for someone else. Tell your kids you love them ...


11

Plainly and simply, at the present point in time Bob is using your fear of him not being in your daughter's life to control the situation. If Bob cannot keep his personal beef with your parents separate from his parenting, and remain civil (we're really talking the most basic of the basics here) in his co-parenting with you, I strongly doubt he has much ...


11

This is a tough situation and a tough question. You have a lot to think about. The question I, in return, pose to you is what do you have to gain by either telling him or not telling him? When you tell him, what do you hope to gain? How will this benefit your child? Here's my suggestion, albeit radical and against the premise of the question: Don't tell ...


10

I have some good news and some bad news. Good news is, this behaviour probably isn't strictly related to the toxic relationship between you and your wife. For the bad news, re-read the good news. At around 2.5+, your child works out that one way to get a little bit more attention is to make you a little less secure about their affection. Anecdotally, my 2-...


10

I think that as a practical matter it would be easier on the kids to stay in the same home, but I think it would be a strain on the parents and not necessarily effective in the long term. Sharing a living space will introduce stress that, even if not the reason for the divorce now, could make it complicated to stay on good terms. Sometimes you won't clean ...


9

Bio-dad seems to be a control freak intent of damaging the relationship between your son and your partner who is acting as his stepdad. The word "sperm donor" is probably too difficult for your son, maybe you could teach him to call the biological father "speedo". (No, don't!) Let's just say that you are not the one confusing your son, it's the boys ...


9

It is obviously much better for a child to have two loving parents but as a child to a single Mother of two I can also say that I did just fine without a Father figure. We both did. The fact that he has hurt you whilst pregnant means there's a good chance he'll hurt you again and there's no way to say that won't be in front of your daughter. There is also ...


9

I do not want to call Child Protective Services (CPS) I think that's maybe a little more drastic than what the situation calls for and I am not trying to make my relationship any worse with the ex. I am just wondering what if anything can be done? Yes, from a parenting POV, you can attend joint family therapy sessions to learn about the best ways to co-...


8

Set the ground rules that you won't tolerate it under your roof and why. Give clear set levels of consequences should they be caught. Don't make overly broad consequences and don't make them so inconsequential that your child won't care. Above all make the consequences enforceable. Have them written down and have your child sign to them as an acknowledgement....


8

Oh @Kate do I feel your pain! I have that kid too; he's 4, and the other morning he was up at 4:30 playing with his trucks in his room. First thing I will suggest is that you take care of YOU. I know I'm a much more patient mom when I get exercise, or meditate, or do something to keep my body and mind together. Have you tried cutting out the daytime ...


8

If I understand your question correctly, you and your husband have not been picking up his daughter for his regular visitations - partly because of transportation issues, and partly because his ex was unpleasant to him and he stayed away to avoid that. While you "let her know what was going on" you probably didn't make specific plans about when things would ...


8

Please put yourself in your daughter's position for a moment: You are 11. You are starting to discuss "cool" things with your girlfriends and can't wait to be a bit older. And with a bit of luck, puberty is already messing wth your brain. Your brother, on the other hand, is not yet two. He just walks around, babbles, dribbles, has sticky fingers and ...


8

Communication is key. I believe you should talk to your ex-partner and see if/when you could come by for a visit to get to know him. It's the adult thing to do. If you regularly go to pick up your daughter that may be a good time to take a few extra minutes to talk to the guy and get to know him a bit as well. If you are an extremely concerned parent ...


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