kids all teens now, at what point should I stop trying to be a buffer?

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dragonfly101

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Hi,

So I've been divorced from my kids mother for 10 years now, and they are all in their teens.  Weekend contact has always been a problem during these last 10 years, but I've managed to keep it going.  In the past when I've got messed around by her on contact I've tried reasoning with her (to no avail), and always ended up in the courts.  Now my eldest is 16 (and the younger 2 are 13 and 14) and the courts here in the UK won't rule on contact for the 16 year old, and for the younger 2 will only make a ruling based on a social services report (called a cafcass report here in the UK), I did get such a report last year and it stated that the kids wanted to see me.

Anyway, my kids do come every weekend (their mother lives a 20 minute walk away), but my ex nearly always ends up calling one of them to go back for one reason or another, and my kids seem unable to refuse her.  In the past I would be emailing her and trying to reason with her, about how her behaviour was upsetting the kids etc, but it never really worked (quite possibly made things worse).  Should I continue trying to argue with her and fight for my kids, or just leave my kids to feel the frustration and hopefully find a way deal with her?  I am trying to get them to open up more, and my 16 year old did read a BPD 'checklist' and confirmed my ticks all the boxes of BPD.



 

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Latchkey

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Re: kids all teens now, at what point should I stop trying to be a buffer?
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2017, 12:20:26 AM »
Hi dragonfly101,
Welcome here. It's understandable to wonder about being a buffer. It's really not an easy thing to do for a decade or more. Unfortunately it is part of the job of being a PD parent and even as kids are adults- the buffer may continue to be needed. I do think kids need to have independence and gain the skills they need dealing with their PD mom as an adult- so dialing it back is not a bad idea-but I'd say to remain vigilant.  Each child is experiencing their BPD mother differently.

Even as teens, some kids will still need the buffer and having a parent fighting for them. Others may resent your interference. I would advise to take some time with each of them and talk with them separately about their life and feelings. Maybe just talking about school or something. My teen daughters spent more and more time with their friends as they got older. They began to recognize PD behavior in their friends, coaches, and teachers. I've had to go to bat for them to protect them from predatory adults and helped them go NC with PD friends and boyfriends.

If your kids are getting out and doing things they will have less and less time for her manipulations. If they don't have many friends or activities then they may not be so independent and may have more trouble. I have seen some kinds become enmeshed with their PD mothers so it's important to not do a one size fits all approach if you are concerned.

Latchkey

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notrightinthehead

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Re: kids all teens now, at what point should I stop trying to be a buffer?
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2017, 04:00:12 PM »
When my kids grew older I did stop buffering - mostly because I was exhausted - and they experienced their father more directly, the result was, that one daughter frequently fought with her father and now hates him; the other developed depression.
I can't hate my way into loving myself.