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Grrrr what to do about an ex like this?

So my kids who are 5 and 7 see their dad every other Saturday ( he lives with his parents and has no room for them to spend the night). It seems every time me and my DH buy my kids a present or something special, he tries to take credit for it. Like they told me when they went with him and told him about the new puppy they just got, he said, "oh yeah, me and your mom thought it might be nice, can I get a thank you?" even though he had nothing to do with it. Or for my DD's birthday she got a shopping spree to Justice and when she told her dad about it he said that was her birthday present from the three of us (him, my dh and me), again, didn't even know about it and didn't contribute a penny (we spent over $250), it has been going on since Christmas (where he took credit for the presents we got them). I think he just wants to not look like a deadbeat when he doesn't give them gifts but the problem is, they come home and ask why I didn't tell them the presents were from him too. Right now, I just tell them, no me and Greg bought them for you, he must be thinking about something he bought you (which is hard because he hasn't bought them anything in over a year) I feel so frustrated because we work really hard to give the kids nice things and he comes along and takes credit for them. My ex has only paid one child support check out of the last 6 month so we are also dealing with not getting that help from him. How do I handle this? Do I just explain to them that he doesn't have much money right now to buy them gifts and that's why he tells them these things and they should just not talk about what they get from us? They are seeing through my "he just got confused about what you were talking about bit because again, he hasn't bought them presents in over a year so what would he have gotten them confused with.

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Asked by Anonymous at 6:34 PM on Jun. 30, 2011 in Relationships

Answers (9)
  • What do you think is best for the kids to think at their current ages? "Dad's a loser who feels so bad about how he can't afford to even pay child support that he lies and says he was in on their presents," or something else? I don't know how much of an issue you want to make of the child support right now, but I'd be tempted to call him and say "listen, if you're going to insist that you were a part of every present the kids get, I'm just going to notify you ahead of time, so you don't have any surprises to lie about," then tell my kids that every gift was from all of us. When they're old enough that they figure out for themselves that he's a financial deadbeat, then I would stop.

    Answer by SWasson at 6:45 PM on Jun. 30, 2011

  • Did you tell the father about that problem, you should let him know first thats its pretty much a loser dead beat move to make and to knock it off. If he doesnt, I would be honest with the children. The cloud of fog isnt going to be there in a few short years, and their going to figure it out. Give him a chance to stop first. If not, honesty is always best, and to children letting them know easy is the best way, "daddy doesnt have a lot of money". Its not fair that you guys are doing more than your share of work.

    Answer by Ashleigh_17 at 6:51 PM on Jun. 30, 2011

  • See the problem is, just going along with it, my children are already seeing through that and I don't want them to think I am lying to them. I have talked to my ex, he blows me off and says it's non of my business what he tells them

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 7:05 PM on Jun. 30, 2011

  • I think you're doing fine. Your alternatives suck. Either he gets to do nothing and take credit for what you do, or you basically tell the kids their father is worthless...and both of those options are bad. I think telling them he must be thinking about something else is an excellent approach. Eventually they will make the connection, and you don't have to be the bad guy.

    Answer by Mom-2-3-Girlz at 7:25 PM on Jun. 30, 2011

  • Mom-2-3-girlz they already don't buy it. The 7 year old told me that wasn't true.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 7:28 PM on Jun. 30, 2011

  • Well since the 7 yr old already has figured out that its not true, you need to talk to her. Tell her the truth. Let her know that her dad did not contribute to the gifts, and that you are not really sure why he has told her otherwise. If she wants more info as to why he lied, you need to tell her that she would have to talk to her father about why he is saying those things.

    I think you need to be honest with them. Kids are smart, once they figure it out, they may feel like they can't really take your word or his word. Be gentle but don't lie to them, they already have their dad lying to them, they don't need mom to lie to cover up dads lie. Chances are, these are just the start of many lies to come. You need to be the honest one in their lives. The more you play into it and try to cover things up for dad, the more you make it harder for your kids to see past his manipulation.

    Answer by daughteroftruth at 9:26 PM on Jun. 30, 2011

  • And from the sounds of it, he will manipulate. They may need to rely on you to help them navagate through his lies as they get older. But if you are sugar coating it, and skipping around the truth, they may not feel like they can truly come to you for advice and guidance when it comes to his tactics. Your not his advocate, your not his defender.... but you are an advocate and defender of your kids. If it were any other person telling them lies, how would you react?

    Answer by daughteroftruth at 9:28 PM on Jun. 30, 2011

  • I think doing what is best for the kids is what you should do. The kids don't need to view their dad as a loser they will internalize that and view themselves as one. You need to not make this about you and a bit more about the kids. They will figure out how dad is all on their own in due time.


    Answer by Anonymous at 11:34 PM on Jun. 30, 2011

  • The children will know eventually. It really is unfair that he is getting credit for something he didn't do. And typically I would be so angry and blast him and be honest with the children. But the children are what's important here and what makes them feel good. So when your children say "daddy said it's from him too" I'd just not respond to them! Or I would just say "really?" And change the subject. Like I said, they'll catch on soon enough, just let them have their innocence of his ways. If you think it would stop him, tell him to stop. But he seems kind of dirty and would find a way to turn it around. Take the high road.

    Answer by Austinsmom35 at 5:16 PM on Jul. 1, 2011

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