is it me??

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Jena, Jan 25, 2009.

  1. Jena

    Jena New Member

    so difficult child returned home from her one day excursion with dad. She returned in the same clothes she left in, I also found out she slept with them on as well. I have spoken to ex regarding hygiene and even though it's just a day the importance of staying ontop of it and making sure she at least changes her clothes before bed.

    Than difficult child proceeds to tell me how grandma (ex mother in law) taught her how to use knives?? hmmm she apparentley taught difficult child how to cut tomatoes and other things with knives, not small butter knives from what difficult child said one big huge knife and showed me the size out of our knife thing and one small one.

    Who teaches a child how to use a knife? I cannot believe, i mean come on she's 9. Also, i always ask him how it went did she have anxiety etc.? his famous answer is she was just fine. So, difficult child tonight tells me how each time she leaves dad she is sick to her stomach, in the bathroom, etc. obviously experiencing anxiety. Yet he does not share with-me.

    Than she tells me how dad let her sit in the front seat because she didn't feel well for a two hour drive on a highway. What is he thinking?? I had to confront him tongiht on all of it. I know he thinks i'm just being difficult yet teaching child how to use knives, placing her in the front seat of car at 9 years old for two hour drive on highway and letting her stay in the same clothes for two days? not acceptable. am i wrong here? i don't think so.

  2. ML

    ML Guest

    It must be an ex husband thing. Manster always comes back needing a shower. I send tons of extra clothes and he never uses them. So, no showers, no changes of clothes and no teeth brushing. I just make sure he's clean when he leaves and throw him in the shower upon his return. It's not just you :) ML
  3. Jena

    Jena New Member

    i can deal with the dirty thing ML truly i can no biggie. Yet the knife thing and letting her sit in the front seat of the car for a two hour drive?? giving her a shower no big deal, yet the other stuff to me is just unacceptable.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    I hope you already know, deep down, that you are not wrong. You have an unstable child and having her learn how to use sharp knives, thereby in her mind giving her permission to use them, is a major safety risk. My kids were all using sharp knives for supervised kitchen chores by age 7 or 8, except thank you. Wiz learned because cooking was very calming for him and he NEEDED to learn the safety rules for knife use. Jessie was just always in the kitchen and she asked. She has always been quite level headed, so it wasn't an issue. thank you has just started to learn. he has such coordination problems that he felt anxious about using a sharp knife. And he was right, he really couldn't use one safely until about now. But this was a PARING knife, not a large chef's knife or boning knife! They knew I would have a major fit and totally ruin their fun for weeks if they messed with the big knives.

    As for sitting in the front seat, part of that is a height/weight issue on the safety side. I don't know how big she is. thank you once in a while gets to sit up front for a SHORT drive, but he is just now the right height and weight for it to be legal.

    I would have a COW about a long car trip with a small child in the front seat. and in our state it is a fine of over $300. And if they see it on the camera at one of the toll roads they just mail you the fine and the photo.

    As for the clothes, it is a hygiene issue, and I know you are struggling with those. But that would be far less important to me than the other issues. I would work on making it HER job to remember, maybe a reward when she gets home if she has showered/changed clothes. You could even take a digital picture of her before she left so you have proof of what she was wearing.

    I think you will continue to have these kinds of problems with your ex. He is going to continue to deny her problems, and he is going to even tell her at times that she doesn't have problems (I have seen a lot of kids with one parent that does that - it seriously undermines things). You cannot control what he does when he has her, just like he cannot control what you do when you have her. You are going to have to work with him to reach a happy medium, or at least a tolerable medium.

    For the car seat issue, get a copy of the actual law about it in your state AND ask the police what the fine is for a child in the front seat. Let him know you will happily report him for this, and even tell the police where he is driving so they can go find him.

    Is it possible for you to limit visits to just during the day, not overnight since he won't take proper care of her?
  5. Janna

    Janna New Member

    Well, truthfully, if she is "okay" with them, you know, she's learning how to cut tomatoes? I don't honestly think that's such a horrible thing. My 10 year old helps me cut up stuff in the kitchen, and all my children know how to use a steak knife. If they're swinging them around, being irresponsible, or have had a history of threats with them, LOL, that's another thing. But, I don't see anything wrong with it.

    D has been sitting in the front seat, when he can, since he was about 7. His anxiety and worry with sitting in the back is too much for him to handle. There's a passenger side air bag, the kid is 150 lbs, and I don't see anything wrong with that, either. I know, it's supposed to be 12 (?) - but I do know kids that get very nauseaus being in the back seat.

    I'd honestly be more annoyed with the shower over anything. But, that's just me.
  6. Jena

    Jena New Member

    it's always good to get feedback and different thoughts. thank you. difficult child's weight is approx. 95 - 100 at this point. I'm sure it is due to the anxiety my ex won't admit she has yet he has to learn how to help her cope with it putting her in the front seat for a two hour drive on a highway isn't the answer for me with that especially since he drives. I'm just not good with that. the knife thing i'm not good with either. she isn't allowed to touch knives here. i don't think she'd ever hurt me with it yet she would df use it on her own with-o supervision cause now she thinks oh i know how lol.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    The "I know how" with the knives is my big problem with them. You or boyfriend MUST take her into the kitchen and teach her how to use a paring knife safely. Since her Gma "taught" her how to use a knife, she is going to try it. Best to teach her how to do it properly.

    And you can reinforce that she is NEVER to use one with-o permission and supervision. And that easy child cannot give permission!
  8. Jena

    Jena New Member

    my ex is just a jerk. simply put.
  9. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hi Jennifer--

    No, it's not just you--but I also do not see this as an issue of your ex being especially a jerk here, some of it I interpret as a Dad vs Mom thing.

    Moms are ALWAYS more cautious about everything: buttoning coats, washing hands, eating healthy snacks, etc etc etc And Dads tend to be a little more lax about these same issues. So I am sure that he does not see the big deal out of letting her sleep in her clothes or riding in the front seat...He is just not sweating what he perceives as "the small stuff".

    The knives on the other hand....I can only imagine that ex-mother in law does not think difficult child's issues are too serious, and hey, she's nine years old and SHOULD be able to handle a little cooking lesson, and difficult child was probably especially attentive and excited about helping Grandma. And maybe, in Grandma's kitchen , it was actually OK.

    I would not make a big deal out of the clothes or the car because it will only make you look like the "bad guy" who's being unreasonable...and the ex's family will take you less seriously whenever there's a big issue that you really do have to make a stink about.

    As for the knives, I would probably make the rule "No Knives unless Grandma is helping you." You KNOW that Grandma will continue to let difficult child help in the kitchen (no matter what you say)...and if you act like it's OK with you, but ONLY if Grandma is helping, then maybe difficult child will insist that Grandma always helps with the cutting--even if it's a pizza knife.

    I'm sorry that things are working out this way...

  10. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I would have huge issues with the car ride for two hours. My difficult child is just over 100 pounds but super short-55 inches. No way do I want him riding up front. In our car, vs. the van, easy child even sits in the back because she only weighs 97 pounds and is too light for the air bags. Don't know what she is going to do as she is going to learn to drive soon.

    The knife thing might or might not bother me. My difficult child uses small paring or steak knives to cut cheese and other small things. He has been doing this for a couple of years. However, there was a time when we used to have to lock up all the knives because he would run around the house and threaten with them. He is not allowed to touch the big knives.

    I hope your ex will listen more but I'm guessing from your description probably not. Hugs.
  11. Jena

    Jena New Member

    sharon no probably not lol. that made me laugh.
  12. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I don't necessarily think it is what we would do with our kids that matters, but what you feel difficult child is ready for emotionally and mentally.

    I's sorry but a lot of people think I am crazy that I freak out still over K crossing the street on her own. Well most times she is OK. But when she is on sensory overload. If a car is too loud or comes to close, she bolts and runs.
    I am one of the only ones who realizes this.
    So yeah I look like the over bearing Mom. But who cares? I know my child.
    I don't let her around knives. Period. She is just learning to cut with a butter knife and butter things.
    Why? She has a history of violence and instability and I do not want to give her something to hurt herself or someone else. I am taking preventative measures.
    She has cut things up with her scissors, I have had to take those away.
    She does not know what a weapon is and I would like to keep it that way.
    She is 7.5, maybe at 9 I will feel differently?
    Front seat? No way.
    But for me K is way to immature for most of these things. I am teaching her safety and rules, she is one that once she knows the rules, she can not fathom breaking them. In situations like this. Especially if a Police officer told her at school.

    Showers, I may let that slide, although I would not like the clothes things, because I would want to be teaching her how to take care of herself.
    If he were to be *Basket C'ing* it then maybe. But just out of laziness or spite, I would be PO'd.

    It is hard, I guess it depends on how much you think she can handle, how much you want to fight. How much you think EX will change or care...
    Sorry you even have to deal with this Carp.
    You have enough to deal with, you shouldn't have to educate him also.
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    A lot of it really does depend on the child, the child's range of problems, and the way in which she has been introduced to these different things.

    The changing of clothes - occasionally it doesn't matter too much - if a kid is really tired, it's holidays, you arrive home late and you want the kid to stay asleep - I might put the child to bed fully clothed. But in general, we also insist on the child changing into night attire, cleaning teeth (at the minimum) and where possible, also having a bath/shower.

    Knives - we teach our kids to help with cooking and we teach them the correct way to look after knives. husband keeps the knives really sharp in our kitchen, if we didn't teach our kids they'd help themselves anyway and risk cutting themselves. In fact, that is what happened to difficult child 3 when he was about 4 years old - husband, difficult child 3 & I were having a summer lunchtime picnic in our garden, eating under the big gum tree. I'd made a plate of big salad vegetable pieces for difficult child 3 including his favourite, red capsicum (sweet pepper). He finished his salad and took his plate back inside. He had asked if he could have more red capsicum, I said to help himself, to take the half I'd left on the cutting board. However, he decided he was a big boy and he could cut that half into pieces. He came out screaming hysterically (I almost joined him in hysterics) with blood streaming down his arm. He'd cut himself with the very sharp knife. I called the doctor who came and attended to him. All he needed were some steri-strips (instead of stitches) and a stern lecture.

    We never had another problem with difficult child 3 and the knife!

    But that is the sort of problem that you really do need to avoid. I never would have dreamt that a 4 year old would attempt to use the kitchen knife or I would have already taught him. The problem had been caused by difficult child 3's poor communication skills.

    WHat we have done with our kids - we have strict rules about how to look after the knives. Our main kitchen knife is actually a small saddler's boot knife, it's made of black iron with a rough wooden handle. But it's the BEST vegetable kife... it's also small, easier to handle safely. But being black iron, it needs special care. It MUST be wiped off immediately after use and it should be stropped after each use also. Now, the younger kids are shown what stropping is but not expected to learn how until mid-teens (it's time to teach difficult child 3). But they MUST always wipe the knife - if they don't feel confident about doing this, then don't use it. They are also shown how to sipe the knife safely.

    At a really young age, the kids were not permitted to use the knives at all, without an adult present and supervising. The age varied according to how capable the children were - easy child 2/difficult child 2 was using our boot knife when she was 5, she was very competent. The boys - about 6 or 7. difficult child 3 wouldn't touch it for a few years after cutting his hand.

    We have a much bigger stainless steel knife, the kids avoided using it until early teens, for most of them.

    Teaching them to do various kitchen tasks under supervision is, I feel, the best way to keep kids safe. If you wait until they try it for themselves, you risk what happened to us with difficult child 3.

    Cooking in the kitchen with younger kids - a lot of foods I got the kids to help with, can be cut with a plastic spatula or a butter knife. When cutting pastry, I prefer the back of a butter knife, it's not so sharp and does a better job.

    A good friend of ours has one very precious daughter, a very capable easy child. But she has refused to let her daughter help with cooking if it involves using the oven or using the hot plates. The kid is 11 and is only just learning how to cook on the stove. I think that's over the top, frankly. When I was 11 I had already been for several years helping get the evening meal for the entire family, I would come home from school and wash, peel, cut up and cook a bucket of potatoes, most evenings.

    Sitting in the front seat because the kid is feeling sick - I don't have a problem with that, if the law doesn't. But the child does need to be safely strapped in, in whatever seat is comfortable as well as the legal requirement.

    Laws change. Customs change. Often you will find that the child quickly adapts to different adults who have different rules - after all, they have different rules at school. But one parent shouldn't undermine another, by encouraging a child to break the rules of the other parent.

    I can understand Grandma wanting to teach her granddaughter safe kitchen practices. Perhaps introduce a rule - "Only handle sharp implements when there is a supervising adult working with you."

  14. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    Is ex really unaware of difficult children issues or is he just angry & lashing out at you? AND, please don't take this the wrong way, how does difficult child do with ex? kt & wm used to come home from school or respite (you name it) with some horrible story & I learned quickly to get the whole story before I leapt into action. The tweedles were experts at triangulation & loved to see adults argue over them.

    Saying that, if you are uncomfortable with the knife situation teach your difficult child to use them in your home; seriously. I found out that wm was being taught to use knives at Residential Treatment Center (RTC) ~ at first I freaked. But then I saw there reasoning. wm & kt help me with dinner & help me chop vegetables. We taught the tweedles respect for these implements & locked them up when either of the were unstable ~ still do.

    I really cannot comment on the car situation.

    I'm coming from a different angle with some thoughts for you. I've not been there done that with an ex but have dealt with RTCs, day treatments, hospitals, etc & horrendous stories from the tweedles. I had to get the entire story before I took any kind of action.

    If this is of no use please ignore me. Just offering you my experiences.