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so - ecs and what the child wants

Posted by on Apr. 24, 2013 at 2:38 PM
  • 21 Replies

In ‘What the child wants’, the basic idea is that the parents call the shots. Just because a child wants something (calling SM mom, hanging with unsavory friends, eliminating broccoli from their diet), doesn’t mean that the child automatically gets it.


In ‘how to deal with ecs’, BF doesn’t want his daughter to do extra-curriculars during his time. His daughter (and BM) wants to try out for the school dance team, which falls during BF’s time.


I’m just curious – should the daughter try out for the dance team against her father’s wishes?


Should the daughter’s wants to join the dance team overrule her father’s demands that she not participate in extra-curriculars during his time? Is the father being unreasonable, and if so, should the daughter get to make this decision for herself?


I think this brings up an interesting debate – When does a child to get make choices for themselves? What kind of choices do they get to make? If a child is old enough to choose joining a dance team, when is she old enough to make other choices (call SM mom, hang with someone the parents don’t like, and go on strike against broccoli)?


Do kids have any autonomy, or do they have to wait until they’re 18 to make their own choices?



❝ I found it is the small everyday
deeds of ordinary folk that keep
the darkness at bay. Small acts
of kindness and love. ❞

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
by on Apr. 24, 2013 at 2:38 PM
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by Gold Member on Apr. 24, 2013 at 2:41 PM
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I think that kids being involved with their school or community is an intergral part of growing up. I think it is one thing to limit ecs and say one at a time but to ban a part of your child's development bc it is I convieniant for you is bulkshit.
by on Apr. 24, 2013 at 2:46 PM

If the parents don't "get" that their children will benefit from a reasonable amount/number of ECs (or one parent doesn't get that), I think the other parent should move to have it put in the CO. 

This is one of those things I would NEVER have thought of, had I tried to do a CO on my own. I'm so thankful for my attorney right now. Since she's been through this 1000 times, she was wise enough to have it written in the CO that we agree on all activities and are responsible for getting kids to them during our time. 

It also gives a guideline at approximately the same amount of ECs we had before we were divorced, and what is age-appropriate for their socialization and developomental needs. 

by Ruby Member on Apr. 24, 2013 at 2:48 PM

I think until children are adults, the big decisions should be left to their parents however odepending on the child's maturity they should be granted decision making powers for small matters for them to learn and grow. I think they can get t choose their ECs and parents get to decide that they have to stick it out for the season if they later change their minds.

Parenting is fluid, it isn't 1 then 2 then 3. Also, if it is a conflict between the parents, the parents need to sort that out without making it the kid's problem, stop putting the kid in the middle.

by Platinum Member on Apr. 24, 2013 at 2:55 PM

My kids want to do EVERYTHING. Swimming, karate, gymnastics, dance, art classes, seasonal sports (football, soccer, baseball, basketball), etc. There's NO WAY they can do it all. 1. the money involved for 4 kids to do all of that is astronomical and 2. the time required to get the kids too and from all of those things would be ridiculous.

This is the way it works for our family:
Kid wants to do something, they ask
Parents decide if it the activity can be afforded, and if the child's academics and behavior warrant an extra activity. The days/times of practices, games, etc have to be compared to the current schedule
Parents decide if kid can do what they have asked

They don't get to do it just because they want, there are a lot of factors. With SD and DD we have therapy 3 days a week, EVERY week. So, that limits everyone's ability to do things at least until the kids are old enough to help get themselves too and from places.

by Gold Member on Apr. 24, 2013 at 2:56 PM
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I think children need to respect their mother and father, first and foremost.  And as long as the child is a minor living under mom and/or dad's roof, they have only the latitude mom and/or dad allows.  They won't always like the decisions, but such is life.

In the case of the NCP refusing to support the EC or allow participation, the CP either needs to go to court to advocate on the DD's behalf or accept the situation for what it is.  The child will not die if she doesn't get to participate.  It stinks to not have the NCP on board and supportive, but she is a kid who needs to respect dad's decisions, whether she likes them or not.  If he is to change his mind, it will be as a result of discussion with the CP or the court.  

Childhood is a process of learning to function independently and make wise choices.  A choice that disrespects a parent is not what I would categorize as a wise choice.  When the two parents are in disagreement, they need to work that out or agree to disagree.  The kid should not feel like s/he has a place in the middle to play one parent off the other and should not be encouraged to try it either. 

by Ruby Member on Apr. 24, 2013 at 3:20 PM
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I just literally returned from my attorneys office about 5 minutes ago. He filed a restraining order forcing dad to make dd available for her extra curriculars. Apparently the court thinks band is important.
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by Platinum Member on Apr. 24, 2013 at 5:14 PM
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It is parenting time that the NCP gets.  Participating in your kids activities is PART of parenting.  It is absolutely ridiculous for an NCP with gets to yay or nay based on their 4-6 nights a month what happens the rest of the time.  I would be seeing NCP in court to resolve the issue of their selfish decisions.

by on Apr. 24, 2013 at 5:33 PM

If you have the kid a few nights a week you don't get to decide  for the whole month what the kid does if the other parent is paying and transporting.  If you don't want to take your kid, fine, don't, on your time.But the OP made the decision to do something on their time to benefit the kid and it isn't affecting the NCP.

Calling a woman mom who isn't mom isn't up to dad. (or mom when we're discussing calling someone dad).  That can affect the OP and so it doesn't matter what the parent says they can call their spouse if it steps on the OP's toes or the OP feels disrespected by it.

Broccoli is good for the kid so the kid doesn't get to decide UNLESS they've tried it a few times and hate it.

by on Apr. 24, 2013 at 6:34 PM

I do think it is an interesting debate.  I love the idea of kids being able to do some extracurriculars and it can interfere if both parents aren't on board.  At the same time some overschedule.  What if the ncp wants to sign the child up for an extracurricular that then requires the cp to take them to that on their weekends?  Should the cp have to likewise rearrange her schedule to make it happen?  Or does cp need to be consulted and agree to this as it falls on her time?  Usually it is the other way around.  I wonder how many cp would be fine with them having to take the kid to something ncp signs them up for?

I also think age can have something to do with it.  A 5 year old missing a couple tball games is not all that bad.   However if you have a high schooler that is very devoted to a certain sport it becomes a problem if they don't show.  I don't even have a definite solid pov on it. 

by on Apr. 24, 2013 at 6:58 PM

In this case, I do think the daughter's wish to join the dance team should override the father's wishes.  I think the daughter should try out for the dance team.  The father is being unreasonable.  It would be a different matter if the daughter was wanting to stay out late or hang out with unsavory characters. 

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