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Should I let DS call up ex to complain about me?

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45 replies to this topic

#1 L27

Posted 26 February 2020 - 04:42 PM

This is a serious WDYT as I don't know how to approach it. I try hard to be considerate of my kids and try to have a decent co parenting relationship with their father. Unfortunately, there ha been DV in the past and some directed towards the kids. I find it difficult at times to talk wit him regarding things that happen with the kids and he still tries to manipulate me through the kids/money etc.

So my 12 yr old DS asks to ring his dad up every time there is an issue between us to "dob" on me to his father. I am not in the habit of stopping him from communicating with his father, but I am wondering if I should be allowing him to do this.

Part of the problem is that DS is very manipulative. He's an incredibly smart kid and very complicated to deal with at times because he has an older level of intellect but is quite emotionally stunted. He's got typical "gifted" kid qualities but not been tested until recently (waiting on results). Anyway so he has had a lot of behaviour issues but has really improved in the last year and have put this down to a more stable custody arrangement after going through ordeal of physical abuse by ex and family court.

Anyway, I guess I just want to get some advice on whether I should be letting him call the ex to try and manipulate us against each other. The ex is very capable of being negative about me and anti-me in some times and others he supports my positions with parenting. So it's a complete Russian Roulette as to whether he will do or say things to improve or hinder the relationship between myself and my son.

And obviously it is really hard to sit back and listen to what is being sad without reacting. So I'm not sure what I should do when this is happening. It just seems disrespectful to allow him to do this. But then I think he has the right to contact his dad too?!


#2 Tokra

Posted 26 February 2020 - 04:50 PM

Oh wow, that is a tough one and I have no idea what the answer is.

Have you spoken to your DS about it at all?

#3 Kallie88

Posted 26 February 2020 - 04:58 PM

Would it be possible to suggest an alternative venting party? If there was different history I'd be like, yeah sure whatever he needs, but this seems like it has much more potential for negative outcomes. Ds should be allowed to vent if he needs to. But being deliberately manipulative to "get back at you" as it were really isn't on. A more neutral party, if one exists, I would think would be the ideal solution. Sorry if that doesn't really help

#4 IamtheMumma

Posted 26 February 2020 - 04:59 PM

That is tough! If your ex was supportive, I'd say let it happen because he would back you. But because he isn't, no.

Have you challenged DS about it and asked he why he feels the need to dob on you? He needs to know that discipline happens both houses and it is up to each parent to be appropriate (or work together, whatever your agreement is). I'd also point out that Dad isn't the boss of you so regardless of what he says, it doesn't change your position. You are the boss of you.

#5 IamzFeralz

Posted 26 February 2020 - 05:21 PM

Tricky.  What does your DS actually need in terms of your help to do this, borrow your phone?  If so, I would refuse as it’s disrespectful to use your property to have a vent against you. If he is doing it during your ex’s time or using ex’s phone, there isn’t much you can do.

Does he have a psychologist or counsellor whom you could steer him towards?  The psychologist may be able to show him that this is not a good way to resolve his differences with you.

#6 EsmeLennox

Posted 26 February 2020 - 05:44 PM

I think I’d try to set some boundaries about being respectful to both parents. 12 is not too young to begin to understand relationship dynamics. Also, you’ve said he’s manipulative...so I’d  want to work on that even more.
Is there another trusted (neutral) adult he can talk to?

#7 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 26 February 2020 - 05:52 PM

Could you say " sure, call your dad in X hour(s) if you still feel upset about this. Just let yourself have a think about it first?".
I also like the idea of redirecting him towards someone else, like grandma etc.

#8 ~Bob~

Posted 26 February 2020 - 05:53 PM

Deleting my response because I completely misunderstood the OP>

Edited by ~Bob~, 26 February 2020 - 07:57 PM.

#9 Ivy Ivy

Posted 26 February 2020 - 06:09 PM

No.  Too much potential for abuse and manipulation.
You're the parent in charge while you have custody.
You're allowed to say no.
If he really wants to vent, he can handwrite a letter and post it.

#10 lizzzard

Posted 26 February 2020 - 06:11 PM

It seems likely he is responding to the (unhealthy) power imbalance between you and your ex (ie, 'dobbing' has no relevance if the two parties are equal), and for this reason it feels like a bad idea. If he were 'venting' that's a different issue and I wouldn't have a problem with it.

I'd definitely try to find another option for blowing off steam. Don't kids usually complain to their friends? Is there a chaplain  or trusted teacher he could talk to at school?

#11 Tokra

Posted 26 February 2020 - 07:15 PM

View Post~Bob~, on 26 February 2020 - 05:53 PM, said:

I would focus on two things. Firstly, if there are any issues between yourself and your DH, I would try to find a way to deal with it more privately, away from the children.

I just want to address this as the OP didn't say she deals with any of the issues in front of the kids.

The XH committed DV to her and the kids.

#12 Tokra

Posted 26 February 2020 - 07:21 PM

In response to the OP - could you take your DS to a counsellor as a more healthy outlet to vent his frustrations?

#13 petal71

Posted 26 February 2020 - 07:34 PM

Honestly I'd be saying no under the circumstances. I'd be asking him to write a letter and then going through all the points in it when he's calm and explaining your position. Maybe encouraging "I statements" and acknowledging how he feels, but staying firm on the rules.

Agree with the counsellor idea - could be sold as "I see you're often pretty upset about things at our house so I've arranged for this person for you to talk to" - of course, you fill her in on the dynamic first! Maybe even family therapy where counsellor can call out the manipulation as it happens?

#14 JustBeige

Posted 26 February 2020 - 07:36 PM

I think I would be very bluntly telling him that No he cant call his dad to 'dob on' me. that 1) his dad is NOT in charge of me, so there is no authority there. 2) what happens between us is not for his dads ruling unless I put his life in danger or I have neglected him in some way, and if I have done either of those things. then lets have a discussion.

If he is just disgruntled about a decision, I would opening up a discussion regarding that too.  Listening to them, doesnt mean you will change your mind.

I would possibly be suggesting to him to vent to his mates / grandparents . but I think getting some counseling for the two of you is probably a good idea.  You definitely dont want him thinking that his dads way of behaviour towards people/women is OK, and if he is looking to his dad for a 'ruling'  then this would be a bit of a red flag for me

#15 JoanJett

Posted 26 February 2020 - 07:37 PM

Deleted due to subsequent comment.

Edited by JoanJett, 26 February 2020 - 08:06 PM.

#16 Tokra

Posted 26 February 2020 - 07:56 PM

I don't think anyone should encourage a DV victim to sit down with their perpetrator to discuss anything.

#17 SkeptiHandsOnMum

Posted 26 February 2020 - 08:01 PM

View PostTokra, on 26 February 2020 - 07:56 PM, said:

I don't think anyone should encourage a DV victim to sit down with their perpetrator to discuss anything.
It can sometimes be an option. Particularly using a mediator.

#18 Tokra

Posted 26 February 2020 - 08:12 PM

View PostSkeptiHandsOnMum, on 26 February 2020 - 08:01 PM, said:

It can sometimes be an option. Particularly using a mediator.
Yes of course, but certainly not on their own.

#19 27plus

Posted 26 February 2020 - 08:17 PM

What issues is he wanting to "dob" you in for? Apologies if I have missed that bit.

#20 #YKG

Posted 26 February 2020 - 08:30 PM

Um...no that’s not ok.

Yes your DS should have an avenue to vent, whether that be with a neutral third party (not his dad), or writing his feelings down into a journal. Honestly I don’t believe it’s healthy for an abuser to be a potential “sounding board” against someone they have abused.

I honestly would set ground rules with your DS, if he wants contact with his dad, by all means BUT you are not to be discussed. So no he can’t ring to b**ch about you, that he got made to do xyz, or not allowed to do abc.

OP I’d be concerned that his manipulative behaviour could easily fall into gaslighting, that needs to be nipped in the bud now. You don’t deserve it, friends and potential partners don’t deserve it.

#21 ~Bob~

Posted 26 February 2020 - 08:40 PM

View PostTokra, on 26 February 2020 - 07:15 PM, said:

I just want to address this as the OP didn't say she deals with any of the issues in front of the kids.

The XH committed DV to her and the kids.

My full apology. I read the OP that the son was reporting back issues with the OP and her current partner. I have no idea how I got that impression because she said nothing of the sort.

Sorry, it’s been a long day and I will shut up now.

Though FWIW, I agree with people saying no, don’t let him call the ex for that. It’s actually continuing the abuse toward the OP.

#22 Tokra

Posted 26 February 2020 - 08:47 PM

View Post~Bob~, on 26 February 2020 - 08:40 PM, said:

My full apology. I read the OP that the son was reporting back issues with the OP and her current partner. I have no idea how I got that impression because she said nothing of the sort.

Sorry, it’s been a long day and I will shut up now.

Though FWIW, I agree with people saying no, don’t let him call the ex for that. It’s actually continuing the abuse toward the OP.

I hear ya sister. Bring on the weekend!!!!

#23 kadoodle

Posted 26 February 2020 - 08:52 PM

No way, OP. Get him to call kids help line, or a mate, or his grandparents if he wants to unload. He needs to learn that dv against your mother isn’t on.

#24 Murderino

Posted 26 February 2020 - 09:54 PM

I like the kids helpline idea. My DS (8) was going to call it a while ago when he was very angry with me (he didn’t suggest call his dad but he wanted to vent to someone so I suggested kids helpline and during the talk about what they do we talked and he calmed down and changed his mind.

In the end after I reasoned him down I called Parentline and cried!

#25 Chocolate Addict

Posted 27 February 2020 - 12:12 AM

No, he shouldn't be doing that. As others have said, let him call a mate, grandma, kids line etc or wait a few hours.

His manipulation needs to be pulled in or you might end up with a mini version of your ex.

What goes on in your house is no concern of your EX's unless you are putting the kid/s in danger.

Your ex could also be egging him on.

Son rings dad 'mum is being a cow she won't let me play on the xbox'
Dad yeah, she is such a b word, she doesn't like fun stuff, just ignore her and do it anyway.

Edited by Chocolate Addict, 27 February 2020 - 12:14 AM.

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