PT Interviews

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Associate of Daniel

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PT Interviews
« on: March 03, 2020, 10:06:04 PM »
Ds13 has started at a new school for his secondary years.

Parent Teacher interviews are happening tomorrow.  They are 5 minute meetings with each subject teacher.

Seriously, what's to be achieved in 5 minutes?

The students are supposed to attend.

UNPD exH has gone interstate for work so won't be attending any PT interviews.

I've booked mine on the online school site.

I'm assuming the uNPD smum will attend with ds.

Yes.  It should be me and ds since uNPD exH won't be there.  But the interviews are happening on his time with ds.

And no one will stop the uNPD smum from attending and putting on a show, even if the interviews were happening on my time with ds.

I don't know if she can see from the school's online site what time I've booked my meetings for.  I don't know if she'll try to come at the same time.

If she comes, I have no intention of hanging around.

I will have driven for an hour to get there.  I'm quite prepared to turn immediately back around and drive straight back home again without attending any of the meetings.

But can anyone give me suggestions as to what I can say to the teachers if I end up doing that?  Or even to her, for that matter?

I'd love to say that I'm not safe around the uNPD smum but no one at the school has met me yet and I'd just come across as the unstable one if I said that.

AOD

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Free2Bme

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Re: PT Interviews
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2020, 01:07:48 AM »
Oh AOD, this really stinks.  I realize your PT conference was probably today.  I am hoping you got through it without drama or overwhelming anxiety. 

Part of me would want to do as you said... simply retreat.  I have an overdeveloped ability to grey-rock these sorts of situations, when my ptsd is high.  It can be hard to know when to do this and when to be assertive. 

It doesn't matter that it falls on his time.  You are the other parent. Period.

My more assertive side would maybe have suggested that you contact the school in advance to introduce yourself, tell them that YOU would be attending the PT interview, ask for a schedule, etc.  I would also ask for the emails of DS teachers and send each one a warm intro email.  I would not get into a pissing contest with uNPD smum, but don't give away your right to be there for your DS. 
 
 What does DS want?  I would bet that he would want you there  :)

I can sympathize with your reluctance.  I shied away from so many things out of fear. But you are his mom, hold your head high and keep focus on DS.
If this opportunity has past, there will be another one down the road, have a plan for that.

Sending hugs and support ..... :bighug:

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Associate of Daniel

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Re: PT Interviews
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2020, 09:46:07 AM »
Thanks, Free2Bme.

The conferences are not for another 12 hours or so.

Ds says he wants to go with his uNPD smum and not me.

I do have the various teachers' email addresses but haven't yet contacted them.  There hasn't really been a reason to do so as he's only been at the school for a month.

Thanks for your support.

AOD

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pushit

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Re: PT Interviews
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2020, 10:16:02 AM »
I think you should go to the PT interviews, even if it's by yourself and let DS go with uNPDsm either with you or by themselves.  You are his mom, you have parenting rights, and SM doesn't regardless of who the child shows up with.  (I'm assuming that is the case in your situation)  If it were me I would go and be the one that acts like an adult no matter what might happen.  Being there, and being calm and confident goes a long ways.  Not only with the school, but with DS.  It sends him the message that you're always there for him.  You never know, SM may not be around in 5 years but you will be.

My experience with schools is that people see through the PDs fairly quickly even if they don't show it.  If you don't go the teachers won't be able to see that you're the level headed one.  I can tell you that in my situation, less than a year out from divorce, it is clear that our therapists and teachers look at us and see that I'm the one they actually want to deal with.  This is based on what they've told me directly, what I've heard from other parents, what they're saying if I read between the lines, and my observations of their body language whenever my exPDw is talking.  PDs can only fool some of the people some of the time.

Good luck in your decision.

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mamato3

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Re: PT Interviews
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2020, 11:35:52 AM »
As you are his actual parent, I'd simply state that you would like to have your meeting with the teachers alone without anyone else present. They should not deny that.

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mamato3

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Re: PT Interviews
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2020, 11:37:02 AM »
Thanks, Free2Bme.

The conferences are not for another 12 hours or so.

Ds says he wants to go with his uNPD smum and not me.

I do have the various teachers' email addresses but haven't yet contacted them.  There hasn't really been a reason to do so as he's only been at the school for a month.

Thanks for your support.

AOD

Is there any way you can talk to your son about how his comments make you feel? Choosing SM over you while he now lives with them is pretty crappy.

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pushit

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Re: PT Interviews
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2020, 12:20:31 PM »
Is there any way you can talk to your son about how his comments make you feel? Choosing SM over you while he now lives with them is pretty crappy.

I don't know that I agree with this, it sounds like putting DS in the middle of it.  Who knows how he is being manipulated by uNPDsm behind closed doors.  I personally feel it's best to hold your head high and don't bring up the PD's behavior (unless they ask about it) or that you're hurt by things.  I think kids are way smarter than we give them credit for, he may very well know something doesn't feel right but it's easier for him to go along with the PD's for the time being.  If it were me I would approach it as a matter of fact that you are his parent and should attend, if he chooses to go with SM that is his choice.

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mamato3

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Re: PT Interviews
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2020, 01:03:00 PM »
Is there any way you can talk to your son about how his comments make you feel? Choosing SM over you while he now lives with them is pretty crappy.

I don't know that I agree with this, it sounds like putting DS in the middle of it.  Who knows how he is being manipulated by uNPDsm behind closed doors.  I personally feel it's best to hold your head high and don't bring up the PD's behavior (unless they ask about it) or that you're hurt by things.  I think kids are way smarter than we give them credit for, he may very well know something doesn't feel right but it's easier for him to go along with the PD's for the time being.  If it were me I would approach it as a matter of fact that you are his parent and should attend, if he chooses to go with SM that is his choice.

I understand that line of thinking, but I also think it's ok for children to see that we are people and have feelings. I'm very close to my kiddos as a result, and it's ok for kids to learn empathy for their parents too. I wouldn't say that to a parent of a young child, but a teenager? Definitely.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2020, 01:05:10 PM by mamato3 »

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hhaw

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Re: PT Interviews
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2020, 02:07:44 PM »
I'd book my appointment and go without making a big deal of it.

My motives would be meeting my child's teachers, listening to their thoughts about ds, his work and his work habits. Ask what kind of supports they feel would be helpful, if any.  A math tutor?  Maybe ds really needs a different teacher? Some teachers have a style not suited to  every child's learning style.   

 Whatever's going on, you're the mom and you should be able to attend pt meetings if you want to, IME.

Also, you can nip any crazy talk from the PDsm in the bud by showing up, being normal, involved and invested in your ds' best interests to combat any tales she's telling about you.

Keep breathing.
hhaw



What you are speaks so loudly in my ears.... I can't hear a word you're saying.

When someone tells you who they are... believe them.

"That which does not kill us, makes us stronger."
Nietchzsche

"It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness."
Eleanor Roosevelt

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pushit

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Re: PT Interviews
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2020, 03:04:25 PM »
I understand that line of thinking, but I also think it's ok for children to see that we are people and have feelings. I'm very close to my kiddos as a result, and it's ok for kids to learn empathy for their parents too. I wouldn't say that to a parent of a young child, but a teenager? Definitely.

Agreed.  My thought was just that I wouldn't say it in a way that would make the kid feel guilty for not wanting to go with me, and making it a tug of war.  My exPDw likes to play the guilt game with the kids, so I saw the comment through that lens and I wouldn't play the game back.

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Rose1

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Re: PT Interviews
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2020, 07:36:33 PM »
5 mins each isn't much but you could discuss ds' change in circumstances, new school, new living arrangements, his need for support during transition and make it clear you are his parent and your email if there are any concerns.
Absolutely do not give up your parenting rights. If she's there smile sweetly and ask for private meeting with the teacher. If she pushes her way in, object. Won't take long for the school to figure out crazy

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Rose1

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Re: PT Interviews
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2020, 07:39:37 PM »
You need to let the school and teachers know you are very much the parent, and if they say things like "oh I thought sm was his parent"just smile and say "I understand she likes to give that impression" and move on

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Free2Bme

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Re: PT Interviews
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2020, 10:21:42 PM »
I have experienced similar situations with my kids making choices to be with PD dad.  It hurt like hell and I had a very difficult time with it,  I had to constantly tell myself that my child did not feel free to choose within his own mind.  The largest voice in his head was the PD's and so he took the path of least resistance, I get that. 

Sometimes kids do this when they know that you are the reliable, stable, non-manipulative parent.  Try not to take it personally.  Your son is watching and will sort out who the safe adults are, be patient and take heart. 

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Stepping lightly

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Re: PT Interviews
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2020, 11:32:04 AM »
HI AoD,

I hope things went well!!  You certainly had a right to be there, and like the others said, it is good for the teacher to see you face to face.  It always helps when there is a possibility of bad mouthing that they have a visual/real experience with you to counteract what is being said. 

As far as DS chosing to go with SMum.  We have dealt with this for a long time, and it so very, very hurtful.  We see my stepkids EOW and even on our very limited time they have to run over to sit with BM.  DSS told us at one point that there are severe repercussions if they don't do it.  I believe that for him to even say that out loud had to be extremely scary.  We don't pressure the kids to choose, and we don't question them when they always run to BM.  They have to survive in a situation that DH/I can never fully imagine.  That being said, we don't tolerate them being unkind about it. Watching DSD when she was young, waiting for BM to show up to activities....one time she literally had her jacket balled up in her lap and she was rocking herself she was so nervous, eyes locked on the door.  The kids will always come talk to us before we leave an event, and sometimes we'll get them for a portion of the event.  We just let them know we appreciate their company, and when they feel they need to run back over to BM...we let them go.  I know BM looks at this as "they always sit with me, I am the better parent", and it makes me furious that she gets away with treating her children the way she does and then twisting into her being "good", but....it is what it is.  The one thing we want is for the kids to always feel comfortable coming to us.....that we aren't going to make things worse for them.

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Associate of Daniel

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Re: PT Interviews
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2020, 05:50:18 PM »
Thanks, everyone.

I'll write more later but just letting you know it went.... okaaay. Sort of. Lots of destressing time was required afterwards.

The most important thing is that all of the teachers are happy with ds's progress and can see his maturity and potential.

AOD

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hhaw

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Re: PT Interviews
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2020, 09:57:56 PM »
Sorry things didn't go smoothly for you, AOD.

I invite you to check out this link.....
https://socialwork.buffalo.edu/content/dam/socialwork/home/self-care-kit/exercises/assertiveness-and-nonassertiveness.pdf

It's super helpful when I have to figure out a way to deal with distressing people I can't avoid.

I'm glad ds is on track at school!

hhaw



What you are speaks so loudly in my ears.... I can't hear a word you're saying.

When someone tells you who they are... believe them.

"That which does not kill us, makes us stronger."
Nietchzsche

"It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness."
Eleanor Roosevelt

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Associate of Daniel

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Re: PT Interviews
« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2020, 10:25:23 PM »
Thanks, hhaw.  They look to be helpful links.

I had 6 interviews in all.  Timing those is stressful enough.

I had 4 before I saw ds and his uNPD smum.

Their 1st interview was at the same time as my 5th, so they wouldn't have heard me say anything to the teacher.

But I discovered that they were standing behind me during my last interview.

It was an open plan set up so it was difficult not to hear other people's conversations while we waited for our turn.

I expect an email from the uNPD smum telling me off for whatever she heard me say.

At one point I went up to ds and said, "Hi, (term of endearment)."

Before he could take a breathe to respond the uNPD smum jumped in with, "(my non preferred name), ds doesn't like to be called (term of endearment). He wants to be called (shortened version of his name.)"

I bolted, saying to ds, "see you, (another endearment).

I so wanted to tell her, "seriously?  That old chestnut?  You're clutching at straws. Find another button to push.  That's one's broken."

But I didn't. Sigh.

When I finished I said goodbye to ds.  He didn't want to acknowledge me.  He seemed really down.

He's trapped with her this week as uNPD exH is away for work.

I texted him later but got no response.

Gotta go but there's more to say.

AOD

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mamato3

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Re: PT Interviews
« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2020, 11:08:16 PM »
Thanks, hhaw.  They look to be helpful links.

I had 6 interviews in all.  Timing those is stressful enough.

I had 4 before I saw ds and his uNPD smum.

Their 1st interview was at the same time as my 5th, so they wouldn't have heard me say anything to the teacher.

But I discovered that they were standing behind me during my last interview.

It was an open plan set up so it was difficult not to hear other people's conversations while we waited for our turn.

I expect an email from the uNPD smum telling me off for whatever she heard me say.

At one point I went up to ds and said, "Hi, (term of endearment)."

Before he could take a breathe to respond the uNPD smum jumped in with, "(my non preferred name), ds doesn't like to be called (term of endearment). He wants to be called (shortened version of his name.)"

I bolted, saying to ds, "see you, (another endearment).

I so wanted to tell her, "seriously?  That old chestnut?  You're clutching at straws. Find another button to push.  That's one's broken."

But I didn't. Sigh.

When I finished I said goodbye to ds.  He didn't want to acknowledge me.  He seemed really down.

He's trapped with her this week as uNPD exH is away for work.

I texted him later but got no response.

Gotta go but there's more to say.

AOD

Why doesn't he go home to you when his father is away?!

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Associate of Daniel

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Re: PT Interviews
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2020, 01:58:48 AM »
He goes to school directly across the road from his uNPD dad's apartment and we live an hour's drive away from each other.

And why come home when the all perfect uNPD smum is there to do the honours of being dad?

AOD

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Rose1

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Re: PT Interviews
« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2020, 05:38:18 AM »
Hang in there. Do we see some cracks appearing already? Give him time. I can't imagine living there is as good as he thought it would be.