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Thread: How to protect but not enable?

  1. #1

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    Default How to protect but not enable?

    Ok so I've of the main things DH and I argue about is my ex mainly because he thinks I do things that enable him for be lazy etc



    So anyway latest disagreement is because coming up to summer I'm ok with ex borrowing my proper children's life jackets because the girls enjoy swimming but can't swim properly. DH thinks he should get of his bum and buy his own as he always has money for other times such as name brand clothes etc
    I'm of the theory if I don't supply them he may risk not bothering buying his own and I would just rather them supply them instead of Risking that.

    That's just one of the incidents but yes I tend to do things for ex for the benefit of the girls but DH says its just continuing to enable him to not do anything himself.
    These are my kids and I would do anything to protect them.

    So what do I do?

  2. #2

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    Default How to protect but not enable?

    I would probably send them with the jackets and maybe suggest he get them some aswell to leave at his place for next time so the girls don't have as much to take back and forth???

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    Tell him to put them in swimming lessons so they can swim without life jackets, or buy his own.

    I see where you and DH are coming from, but I think being able to support the activities they like and ex wants to let them do while in his care, is a priority and ex needs to supply the equipment required himself. He is never going to have to take resonsibility for his children if you keep doing it for him.

  4. #4

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    I think you do what you need to protect your kids.

    Thing is that it sounds like your ex is not the sort to get off his bum and do the right thing anyway, whether you enable him or not.

  5. #5

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    My XH was a bit like this too when my eldest two were younger. I would have sent the life jackets too for the kid's safety. If it ever came to things around safety I would make sure the kids were ok. If it came to anything else, I would try to let it go and make him attempt to do it himself. But I could never leave a safety or well being issue up to him if I felt he just wouldn't bother. I couldn't have lived with myself if something were to happen. If keeping my kids safe is enabling then bad luck.

    I would always ask him to get things to keep at his house too, but it often fell on deaf ears

  6. #6

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    When I send the kids to ex, I'll be including a basic first aid kid. (panadol, nurofen, stingos etc). Just because I know he won't be prepared & I know the basics of what kids need to get by. He really doesn't
    I do agree with your DH, but there are times when you just have to ensure your kids are safe. As long as the items are looked after by ex & come back from him, I would do what you're doing.
    But maybe tell him its about time he bought his own & hope for the best?

  7. #7

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    What exactly would the benefit be of not enabling him? Do you really think he will step up or will your kids just lose out? Why is your current partner even concerned about it? What is he afraid will happen? I'm just not really sure why it matters who provides what in the end as long as the kids are happy and cared for?

    I think you should just take all the adults out of the equation and do what you think is in the best interests of the child. If that means sending life jackets or anything else then that is what I would and do do.

    I just don't see the point in trying to teach your ex a lesson, if he doesn't want to step up nothing will make him. He has to do that on his own, you can't change people. I used to tie myself in knots about this sort of thing and fairness. But it isn't fair, sometimes it can't be and that isn't what matters in the end. It isn't about us adults. I used to hate how my ex always looked like the good guy, did all the fun stuff while me and DP do the hard work but what matters is that kids have good positive experiences with all the people they love. And they usually love their dad, it is kind of part of the whole being a parent thing. I think just worry about what's best for the kids. They will appreciate all that you do someday, they will look back and be thankful you enabled them to have such great memories and come to their own opinions about the whole situation.

    I think trying to force your ex to step up will just lead to the kids being fast tracked to disappointment and resentment. And not just towards your ex. Nobody wins a war, don't let yourself be pulled into one.

    Maybe your partner is concerned he will be overshadowed by their real dad? (My partner definitely worries about where he fits in) Maybe you just need to find a way that will reassure him about his important role? Maybe counseling would help?

  8. #8

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    Default How to protect but not enable?

    Sometimes it's more about re assuring the kids.
    I don't have ex DH, however was a child of separation, and often found that dad/mum would send us with things because they though the other would forget, but overall it meant us kids could still enjoy things without having to build resentment toward the parents because they were slack. We were kids we didn't and shouldn't have to worry about that stuff.
    I would sent them but perhaps if one of your kids is old enough suggest to them to suggest to ex to buy us just like this so they won't forget and miss out on fun!

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    He has said he will buy some its just a matter of when really. We are meant to be having a chat Sunday at drop off so will talk to ex then.

    As for swimming lessons. I can't even afford to send all 3 hence the jackets so no I don't think it's his responsibility to pay for them. They get there school lessons and I try and teach them when we use SILs pool so unfort that will have to do for now so the jackets are important (not a life saving device I know, I am always in the water with them)

    I'm just tired of fighting with ex and DH, they don't get along because ex never gave DH a chance when he came on the scene and it has lead to a lot of tension 4 years down the track. Drives me mental. Ex has just gotten engaged and I can't imagine having the se conflict with his new fiancé so much that I reached out and messaged her congrats and open communication lines between us and she said thanks and is great full and keen to get along thankfully!! Just wish the men would take a leaf from our book but oh so stubborn.

    DH is amazing with the girls but I'm sure he does get frustrated (as do i) that we are more often then not the safe and discipline parents where as ex is Disneyland daddy and all the fun stuff.

    Ahh anyway I guess I'm going to go with my heart and my kids will always come first. DH will have to get his knickers out of a twist. He understands it, he really does ex just frustrates the pooh out of him.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by nothing2lose View Post
    I think you do what you need to protect your kids.

    Thing is that it sounds like your ex is not the sort to get off his bum and do the right thing anyway, whether you enable him or not.
    Couldn't agree more. I would send them with the kids for their safety.

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    your gut instinct puts the kid's safety first - i would trust that over everything else.

    Yes, ex SHOULD buy life jackets for them himself, but when and if he does this - the girls need to be safe NOW, not when he "gets around to buying safety equipment".

    Good idea to get on well with the ex's new fiance, i hope that goes well (into the future too).

    i hear you on the cost of swimming lessons, (let alone times three).

  12. #12

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    Carry on getting on with the new fiance. She'll probably do your dirty work for you and give him a kick up the bum about this stuff if you keep her onside.

    And totally agree, send them with the life jackets. Keep your priorities straight and keep the kids safe. Who cares if it's enabling or not.

  13. #13

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    I don't think it should be that big a deal. If my kids need something and I know ex doesn't have I just send it along. As long as it comes back and if its something needed regularly then I suggest he buy it to keep there. But at the end if the day it's what my kids need that I care about. Might be annoying at times but i just do whatever is needed

  14. #14

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    I would send things if it benefited my children. I would hate something to happen then have to spend the rest of my life thinking, if only I had sent the life jackets. Does it really matter in the long run if it is protecting your kids?

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