Children growing up, independence, maturity and PDs

  • 7 Replies
  • 399 Views
*

Findingmyvoice

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 398
Children growing up, independence, maturity and PDs
« on: July 05, 2019, 04:00:50 PM »
Hello again,

My daughters just turned 13, they are both responsible, generally mature, conscientious, trustworthy kids.
They are not impulsive, unsafe or reckless.

A co-worker asked me if they would be willing to dog sit for her, initially I said probably not but that I would consider it.
I knew that getting exPDW on board would be a struggle.

So i talked to my girls about it, with the caveat that mom also has a say in this and right now it is just an idea.
They were excited about the idea so i decided to bring it up with exPDW.

The girls would be staying at the home where the dogs live, so also house sitting at the same time.
The dogs are older, so would not need a whole lot of attention.
The home is close to where I work and where my parents live so I would be able to check on them at lunch or at the end / beginning of my work day.
My parents could also check on them or help them if they needed it.
In my opinion they are more than capable of doing the job, 12 year olds often babysit and looking after another child is a way bigger responsibility that looking after a pet.  In fact, we had a 12 year old girl babysit for us one summer and had no problems whatsoever, and we had 3 kids for her to look after.

so that's the back story, I'm sure you can all tell where this is heading.

at first I just asked exPDW if she was ok with the idea to get her thinking about it.  I know that she gets overwhelmed easily.  And also I didn't want to pursue it further with the co worker or my daughters if the answer was no.
exPDW would not say yes or no and demanded details before she would discuss it.  Ok, that is understandable to me.  She wants to know what she is agreeing to.
I talked to my co-worker about the details and then replied back to exPDW.
There were no exact dates in mind because my co-worker already found a sitter for the weekend, so if it did ever come up again it might be on my parenting time or it might be on exPDW's parenting time.

I gave every detail i could think of to exPDW.
The answer was "you have no right to take away my parenting time and its not safe for them to be alone at someone else's house"

I often have a tough time distilling what the actual issue is with exPDW.
She will bombard with reasons, excuses, accusations and when i try to clarify what the actual problem is she goes silent.

So I clarified that I was not trying to take away her parenting time, I was only asking her opinion about dog sitting.
I also followed up asking her to clarify that if the kids were to get a summer or part time job if she would allow them to have a job on her parenting time.
She replied saying that's not what she said. So i guess she's ok with them working on her parenting time?  I couldn't get a straight answer.
So then I asked what she thought was unsafe.  Whether it was that they were going to be alone or that the person's house was unsafe.
exPDw leaves the girls home alone often, so I know its not the fact that they are alone that is the issue.  they have each other, me and my parents are close by, they have phones.  And there is nothing unsafe about this particular home.
Its in a good neighborhood, I know the owners, the dogs are older so not hard to control.
exPDW went radio silent not responding to anything so I dropped it.

Am I being reasonable to think that they could do this at their age?
If it is on my parenting time am I within my rights as a parent to allow it?  Even if exPDW says they shouldn't be?
I think it is a great opportunity for my children to have an experience that develops their character, teaches them responsibility, helps them build trust both with me and with each other. I think it would be rewarding for them to earn some money and to care for the animals.
Our personalities are made up of a lifetime of experiences.  If all of our experiences involve sitting in the living room watching netflix, our personalities will reflect that.
Part of my belief as a parent is that children learn through experience and as they grow, the experiences need to grow with them. 
As long as the experiences are positive, this builds self esteem, confidence, resilience, reasoning and adaptability.

PS: I am an ISFP personality type for anyone that is interested.
That might help understand where I am coming from.

*

Poison Ivy

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 635
Re: Children growing up, independence, maturity and PDs
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2019, 05:20:16 PM »
I can't tell from your post whether your daughters would be alone overnight at the house. I would probably be uncomfortable about that detail if they were.  Otherwise, I think this sounds like a good first-job opportunity.

I had several jobs when I was a teenager (at different times). I have had a few breaks in employment since I started college but they were relatively short.  My ex-husband didn't work when he was in high school and I don't know if he worked while in college.  He has had problems keeping jobs. Once our daughters, both now young adults, said they wanted jobs, I encouraged them.  It certainly can be difficult to be employed and I think it's part of my responsibilities as a parent to help my children as they learn how to work.

*

Stepping lightly

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 907
Re: Children growing up, independence, maturity and PDs
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2019, 05:50:46 PM »
I agree with Poison Ivy, I think it depends if they would have been staying overnight by themselves.  My DSD is 13, and we don't leave her home overnight alone, so I wouldn't leave her home alone at someone else's house.  If this was simply during the day, it wouldn't be an issue with all of the support they would have nearby.

IMO trying to figure out what the actual issue is with exPDW is an exercise in futility.  Their brains don't work like ours, and often I think it is simply to create friction/chaos which they feed off of.

*

Findingmyvoice

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 398
Re: Children growing up, independence, maturity and PDs
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2019, 04:06:04 PM »
Ivy and stepping,

I agree with you on the overnights, I have not ever left kids alone overnight.
If this was the issue with exBPDw it would be easy to work out, but I don't know because she won't respond to me.


*

athene1399

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1001
Re: Children growing up, independence, maturity and PDs
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2019, 04:32:13 PM »
It looks to me like exBPDw said the first thing that popped in her head: that you're taking away from her parenting time. Then when you asked about the jobs in general, she thought about it and was okay with that. Or maybe since this is your coworker, she felt that may be like doing something for you (and your friend) on her time.

I find it easier at times to not try to figure out why they have a problem with it unless they will openly talk to you about it because we are really all guessing at what she is thinking.

Since the coworker found someone else, it is probably best to leave it alone unless it comes up again in the future. If it falls on your time next time then I think you are allowed to let them (unless it is overnight. I think that's different but you already said you aren't comfortable with that). Like we don't check with BM if we do a small trip somewhere (like a couple hours away or shorter) but if it's a longer trip, or where we leave the state/county we let her know.   But SO is also the custodial guardian, so that may make a difference too. I am not really sure.

*

Penny Lane

  • Host Member
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • 1079
Re: Children growing up, independence, maturity and PDs
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2019, 05:39:34 PM »
It looks to me like exBPDw said the first thing that popped in her head: that you're taking away from her parenting time.

 :yeahthat:

My guess is ... she said no because you were the one who suggested it. If it was her idea she would've been full steam ahead. There's not a real reason other than she doesn't want the kids to do anything other than what you suggested.

I strongly feel that you do not think you need to get her permission to allow your daughters to do this on her time. If you waited for her permission for the kids to do enriching things on your parenting time, they would never do anything enriching at all.

The reality is that there is no coparenting with a PD, as we have seen on this board over and over. If this were a relationship with two reasonable coparents, you would discuss the issue and work through your differences and jointly come up with a set of rules that apply at both houses.

Unfortunately, this will likely never be possible for you. DH tried to do this with his ex for years and I can't think of a time where he had a positive outcome. Parallel parenting is the only way to go to maintain sanity.

Our latest strategy - we're trying this as an experiment - is to try to communicate with her as little as possible and to rarely if ever ask her anything. Definitely don't wait on her answering a question in order to make a decision about what we're going to do. Answer her (non-combative) questions as briefly as possible. And send any email basically just with the information she needs.

In this case that might look like: "The kids have an opportunity to petsit for one of my coworkers. Here are the details of that. Let me know if you want me to pass along any petsitting opportunities that happen on your parenting time."

You're not asking her for anything, not to do this on her parenting time and certainly not permission for you to let the kids do this on your parenting time. You're giving her all the information she needs to move forward if she wants to. If she doesn't want to allow them to do it, that's between her and the kids.


*

Findingmyvoice

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 398
Re: Children growing up, independence, maturity and PDs
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2019, 03:56:56 PM »
I had another quick chat with my daughters about this and exBPDw told them something totally different.
She did discuss it with them (not really a discussion but a guilt session) and told them that they were irresponsible and had to do more to help her before they could even think about having any sort of job.

I came to the conclusion that if the opportunity comes up again and its on my time I will let them do it.
I know that it would help them build confidence, responsibility, ownership.  there really is no negative side to it, perhaps safety but I would cover my bases as I don't wan them to get hurt or in trouble.

I generally don't ask exBPDw for permission to do things on my parenting time, it definitely is not worth the frustration and her opinions on things are way off center anyways.
I am very low contact with her and it seems to be working good for me and the kids.

Thanks everyone for your feedback on this, it has been very helpful.

*

athene1399

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1001
Re: Children growing up, independence, maturity and PDs
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2019, 09:00:51 AM »
It sounds like BM is shutting it down on her time:
Quote
had to do more to help her before they could even think about having any sort of job.
so it's a good idea you do something like this on your time. Especially since she called them irresponsible, this would teach them that they are in fact responsible and more than capable. I hope an opportunity comes up for them in the future! A possible negative could be BM yelling at you about letting them do it, but if she wants something to yell about she'll probably find something. I think the benefits outweigh that for sure.

I'm really glad the low contact helps both you and the kids.