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Communicating changes via kids vs BPs

Posted by on Nov. 12, 2013 at 8:27 AM
  • 24 Replies

Do you "let" the kids pass along changes in visitation to their parent(s) or do the BPs in your situation handle that communication?

My SDs are in 8th and 10th grades.  Currently, they are living with BM in another state about 10 hours from where DH and I live.

In the past (when they lived with us 50/50+), changes in the day to day schedule (ex: need to be picked up early, change in practice time, etc) were typically handled with a phone call or text from the kids and we rolled with it.  But we lived 5 min from the kids.  Now, schedule changes typically involve whole days or even weeks, plane tickets, time off, organizing rides, etc.

Several weeks ago, BM approached us about swapping Xmas visitation weeks as she was going to have a surgical procedure and wanted to have some recovery time sans kids.  There was a strong possibility that DH would be out of the country at that time, so I was involved in this discussion as well. 

Fast forward to now...Both DH and I have made arrangements so that we can make the drive home and spend about 10 days there during the agreed upon time.  If he has to leave prior to that, I'll still go.  It's a little more than just taking time off, there are several other things we've juggled around to make sure we can be there.

While I was out of town last week, SD 8th grade mentioned to Dad that Mom wasn't going to have the procedure so there is no need to swap.  That would be awesome for the kids because it would mean that they could participate in the usual DH family Xmas stuff.  But it would also mean that we need to switch a whole bunch of other things around.

BM has made no mention of this to DH or to me.  I'm inclined not to make any changes unless/until DH and BM discuss. To me, changes this "big" should be made by the BPs, not just get passed along by the kids.  It's like pulling teeth to get the two of them to talk, and BM has been known to change her mind several times before settling on a plan so I'm looking at the alternate dates and working on plan B just in case. 

But for discussion--do you let your kids pass along changes or do you insist that it be handled by the parents?

by on Nov. 12, 2013 at 8:27 AM
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by Gold Member on Nov. 12, 2013 at 8:38 AM

SD is in HS and they share 50/50 so yes, much like when you guys lived in the same city, she'll just ask if she wants to go to Mom's or Dad's on a certain day or do something with the OP on one parents time.

However, I don't think that should be the case in your sitch, now.  You guys have to travel out of state (or buy plane tickets...etc.), take time off work, plan around not being home or having the kids there...etc. etc. etc.  I absolutly think that when it's a LD situation all communication about visitation and schedule changes needs to be between the parents because there is a lot more to it than "hey, can I walk to mom's after school?"

So... does that mean that your DH is going to be around in December, or is that still up in the air as to when he is leaving for his job?

by Gold Member on Nov. 12, 2013 at 8:39 AM

... never mind... I see that you said if he has to leave earlier you'll still go.

by on Nov. 12, 2013 at 8:46 AM

Yeah.  His current orders are for Nov 15, but the gov't shutdown amongst other things have slowed the  process down so more than likely, he will squeak past Christmas. But we don't know for sure.  

I ended up quitting my job to go care for my Gma in another state the last month.  Just got back.  I'm not going to look for work again til after DH moves so my schedule is pretty flexible now.  I will go either way IF BM still needs help. If she doesn't, I will probably swing through to say hi to the kids and then go see my family  (in yet another state, 7 more hours away). 

Quoting AmericanDream:

... never mind... I see that you said if he has to leave earlier you'll still go.

by Silver Member on Nov. 12, 2013 at 8:53 AM
The parents handle it in our case. I feel more comfortable arranging and rearranging between adults so BD and I are both in agreement and there isn't any room for error. But we are a few hours away from each other and our child is still in elementary. If the child was older and we lived closer, I might feel different.

by Gold Member on Nov. 12, 2013 at 9:35 AM
The bp's usually handle it. If it were up to the kids they'd forget to pass along the changes.
by Gold Member on Nov. 12, 2013 at 10:21 AM

I agree with you that that big of a change should be discussed between adults.

In our case, my DH communicates as much as he can directly to the kids via text or phone call (they all have their own phones). 

BM is less trusting of them getting texts or passing off the information, so she generally tends to go straight to my DH - even to text him things like "How are the kids?" when we have them, which seems like overkill as she can just call or text them herself. 

But we've found it generally works fine just to go through them.

by on Nov. 12, 2013 at 10:27 AM

My ex and I have never passed anything along through our son.

My dh refuses to take any changes that are communicated through the kids. If he doesn't receive an email from bm with the request it doesn't happen...doesn't matter if the kids are being honest or not. Bm can either communicate to him like an adult or she has to deal with whatever the outcome is of her not discussing the changes with him first.


by Gold Member on Nov. 12, 2013 at 10:49 AM

We keep it between adults simply because SD14 will manipulate changes to her own advantage.  For instance, if she gets wind of something for SS that interferes with her idea of the weekend, she'll immediately start working both sides.  That's teen.  She's not trying to screw her brother out of anything as much as give herself some insurance, but nonetheless, her plans often entail inconveniencing everyone else.  SS is too young for anything to go through him.

SD has been that way since I met her when she was 8 (i.e., managing to arrange for BM's parents to take off work and get her from school behind the backs of both BM and DH, neither of whom would hear a whisper of it until the SKs weren't where they were supposed to be).  Back then, she'd assume some scenario and spin this giant drama requiring others to jump to her rescue.  Later, she'd cloak some of that crap as "trying to help".  Kid is an obsessive micro-manager.  Consequently, she cannot be trusted with changes in plans, however benign those changes may appear. 

by Platinum Member on Nov. 12, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Ex and I have 50/50 and we talk about everything.  Sometimes something will change last minute and DD16 will call and advise, but otherwise, everything is worked out between BD and I.

With regards to BM being a wingnut who thrives on trying to make things harder than they have to be, I always have a Plan B.  It rarely goes into effect, but I have one, nonetheless.  SS15 has always been in the middle. That would be because BM would rather try to continue to show what a mean dad DH is when he tells SS15 "No. You cannot stay at mom's. It's your time with me and we have plans."  I have to say though, that was more in the past than now.  SS15 is chomping at the bit to get out of his mother's house these days. 

by Audra on Nov. 12, 2013 at 12:27 PM

When my kids were smaller it was strictly between myself and my ex. Now that my daughter is 16 I try not to deal with him unless I absolutely have to. That being said any major changes. Vacations. Weekend changes. Adding days still need to go through both of us. 

She may bring it up but I will end up speaking to him before any decisions are made. 

It's only fair to both of us . 

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