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How do I handle my kids complaints?

Not sure if any divorced parents with kids have gone through this, but I have 2 daughters that visit back and forth between their dad and I on a weekly basis. They spend 2 days in a row with him, and every other Thursday evening. So they are mostly with me. Every so often they will come back from visiting him and complain about what he doesn't have at his house, and how boring it was and how their dad complains about having to drive them places. When they are with me, I make sure they are busy and active. This contrast is what's causing them to complain. They are ages 12 and 15 and I'm not sure why they vent about him with me, but I'm at a loss as to what to tell them.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 8:02 PM on Apr. 20, 2010 in General Parenting

Answers (5)
  • Tell them to talk to him...or maybe you should talk to him, and tell him that he needs to step up and be a better father....idk

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:15 PM on Apr. 20, 2010

  • OP speaking- They are afraid to confront him, and he cares nothing about what comes out of my mouth. Sadly, that would not help.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:20 PM on Apr. 20, 2010

  • I think the best thing you could say to them would be that you are sorry you chose such a man to be their father, but you did and sadly this is what kind of man he was and is. I would then go ahead and explain to them exactly why they should be so very careful when the time comes for them to choose a mate. I would speak to them about the positive things to look for based on the negative things they are learning from their father. There isn't anything you can say that will make the situation better nor that will make him change a thing about the way he is. So the next best thing is to apologize to your children and tell them that though he is the way he is,he is still their dad and they should learn from the mistakes you made. I used that method with my children in some other areas and it worked out very well for us. Just say, I messed up but I want you to learn from my mistakes and not repeat them. They will respect you for it

    Answer by NannyB. at 8:30 PM on Apr. 20, 2010

  • Talking to the dad will not help at all. Have them take stuff over there and have them bring it back to your house afterwards. Do not talk bad about their father to them either. You said it happens every so often, so it doesn't happen all the time. Maybe your kids are a handful over at his house?

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:37 PM on Apr. 20, 2010

  • Im a part of a blended family, second marriage for both my husband and I, both with kids from the previous marriage. When the children complain about their respective other parents (boredom, rules, unfairness, punishment), I simply tell them that I have no control over what goes on in that parents home, that they need to talk to that parent. If its something that I do take issue with, I will tell them the same thing, but call my ex (or have my husband call his) and deal with it outside of the childrens knowledge and hearing. We do this to prevent the children playing one parent against another. As far as boredom, I agree with previous posters, have them take some things from your house and bring them back when they return. Thankfully they are old enough to be responsible for their things and get them back home with them, this wasnt the case with my youngest step children.

    Answer by Tarinia at 3:08 AM on Apr. 21, 2010

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