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Coparenting Nightmare

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Coparenting Nightmare

I feel I am a reasonable person to coparent with but because of how difficult the ex and his new wife are I can not always keep my cool.
They have strict parenting ideas that go too far at times.

For instance, on a Saturday recently the kids had last had an ice cream at around 2pm. They didnt have a huge lunch as were at an event in town so ate something but not lots. They decided not to make dinner. The stepmum told them at about 5 that they should get some noodles or something if they are hungry. Not that my boys know how to cook noodles, at 8 and 9 they don't use a jug....never have yet so to expect them to... my oldest thought she was joking and kept waiting for dinner. They had just been let on their ipads which they get limited time on so were distracted.
They rang me as I bought them kids watch phones recently due to needing to communicate with them I.e on monday after school catch the bus and get off at a certain stop... as can differ and the communication with parents isnt good. These are designed just for kids to be clear, they cant do things a normal phone can, only have set contacts and no access to video etc.

Well anyhow they rang me at 730, their bed time at dads, and mentioned not having eaten. The oldest said maybe we need to make a sandwich. I told them to go see. So they got off phone and rung me back. They said they'd been told theyd missed out and it was time for bed. I went over there furious but didnt yell. I tried to discuss and got the door in my face. For the record I almost never see them, most of our conversations are online and more parenting switch overs are on mondays at school so we dont see each other. I wouldnt usually turn up like that.

They have strict rules about bedtime but no one reminded them. In my opinion they were too busy as my ex was on his xbox and she was on her computer so I feel that just werent attentive.
I think my kids have the right to be fed if they havent eaten from lunch until 730 at night...its the parents responsibility to say hey its bedtime soon so you better go get something to eat.

Now they arent allowed to use the watches either to text or ring me. It was set up so they could communicate with either parent on either week.

Also no one gets them up in the morning. The stepmum stays in bed and they have to wake themselves up (I did set alarms on their watches to resolve getting to school on time but that's been conviscated) and get ready and walk themselves to school. Twice my youngest went to school twice with no shoes on. Once because they were wet and once because he left in the back of my car after swimming the day before. This was within a week of each incident and the school gave spare shoes twice. It was raining when he walked in bare feet. It's likely had someone been there they would of found him other shoes.

Theres been other issues... forced to eat dinners or keep it and get offered nothing else all day or over a couple of days, theres been when son was 5 dropped bowl of breakfast on floor and couldnt eat til cleaned up properly which he didnt do til dinner, being made to sit on toilet excessive periods not the time meant to when had constipation issues, smacking repeatedly as if cried got another snack on hand as they "werent in control of their emotions" I had them warned from social workers over that.... theres a string of things but this is the latest. I'm so exhausted mentally. They only get bathed there once or twice a week and I wash their hair the day I get them and day they leave as they usually dont get their hair washed.
I'm just so over the controlling way they get treated. The kids are happy to go there....they didnt like it at some points but have got more used to the strict parenting but there are certain things that still happen. Smiley Sad
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Re: Coparenting Nightmare

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Hi @Overitmum , 


That sounds like an incredibly challenging situation to have to navigate, co-parenting when the other parent has such different ideas about what's appropriate in terms of discipline, expectations for behaviour and daily routines must be so difficult.  It must have been really concerning and frustrating to find out that they hadn't been given dinner, and it sounds pretty concerning that they're not allowed to communicate with you as previously agreed. 


I'm just wondering if you have a parenting plan with your ex partner, and if it specifies things such as communication with the other parent when you're not together, and  appropriate discipline methods? We are located in Australia, so our parenting plans and support services around separation may be slightly different, I did have a look at resources for separated parents in New Zealand here though, if any of the services here might be helpful. 


You've mentioned that you've involved social workers in the past when you were concerned about them being smacked repeatedly, do you still have support from them at the moment? Did your ex and his partner ever have to complete a parenting course at all ? It sounds like a really difficult situation, and I would definitely urge you to reach out for support if you're worried about your kids' wellbeing at all. 


I can imagine that this situation would also take a toll on your wellbeing, do you have any support for yourself?