The stupid ex!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by JLady, Dec 13, 2008.

  1. JLady

    JLady A ship lost in the night

    My son is at his dad's this weekend. He lives 200 miles away and he doesn't see him much. Naturally I had to explain about the medicine before we came. I had really thought (or at least hoped) he understood and could rational for our son's sake.

    He just called saying my son is like a zombie and he doesn't like it. I said why because he isn't bouncing off the walls? He said he just isn't himself. He's too quiet. I talked to my son and asked what he was doing. He has a flute that the music teacher at school gave him (for being good) and he also has sheet music. He is trying to learn how to play it from the instructions on the sheet. Oh yeah. That sounds like a zombie doesn't it. What a jerk! What did I expect? He can't tell me what to do with with my son can he? Like that I have to take him off the medications?

    I probably shouldn't have brought him but his birthday is next week and he's been asking for months to see his dad. (He hasn't seen him since August). He is going to fill his little mind with all kinds of negative stuff. Maybe I should go pick him up?..?..?..?..?

    Advice please.
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    It probably varies from state to state, but here, I have been told that if both parents have joint custody, they both have to be in agreement to have the kid on medications. And even if they don't have joint custody, tdocs/psychiatrists have said that many time the "other" parent makes a stink and causes problems if they aren't in agreement.

    That being said, if one is refusing medications for the kid and doctors have said it is in the best interest of the kid, the other parent can take it to court and get a court order requiring the refusing parent to abide. I don't know how you could make sure that the medications were being given during overnight visits though. It's a bad situation, in my humble opinion, because those of us trying to work with our kids and their issues sure don't need anyone else telling the difficult child that this is not a good thing for them. I don't think it doees the kid any favors to get mixed messages like that.
  3. JLady

    JLady A ship lost in the night

    I'm thinking maybe I should go pick him up. The only thing is my son was looking so forward to seeing his dad. What a delimma...
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    If it were me, if your difficult child said he wants to come home and you don't have a court order stating that the dad has to have this time with him, I'd go pick him up. If it's a different situation, I don't really know what I'd do. My son's father isn't in his life but my own family members have previously caused problems like this in our lives. The bottom line I think, is to do what you believe is in your child's best interest, trying hard not to base that decision on adult power plays. It doesn't sound to me like you are on a power play to me, based on this post.
  5. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I'm going to assume the ex has visitation rights. So, this is something you're going to have to deal with sooner or later. I can understand your ex's concerns. He only has to deal with his son on occasion and a bouncing-off-the-wall boy can be a lot of fun for the "vacation" parent. They're excited, eager, ready to do stuff. To see his son sitting quietly, not bouncing, not ready to hop from one activity to the next has got to be strange to him. Try talking to the ex some more. See if you guys can make a deal that at least for this weekend, he'll keep his trap shut about any negative feelings he has about the medications in front of his son. Then, try to arrange an appointment with someone (school is usually a good one for this) to explain to your ex what a difference the medications have made in your son's life. If he continues to object, maybe your son can take a medication break at his dad's and daddy can deal with the mania.

    So, I'd try to let him stay with his dad this weekend. Your son loves his father. He's lucky enough to have a dad who at least will see him once in awhile and cares enough about his son to see a difference. Your son's birthday is coming up and so is Christmas. I think I would do everything possible to let your son enjoy this time even if it means putting up with some guff about taking medications by your son later. Sometimes we really do have to sukk it up for our kids, especially when exes and family are involved.
  6. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Is this a stimulant your son is taking? If so, the prescribing physician may be willing to give your son "medication breaks" on weekends and vacations. That way your ex doesn't need to have you son take medications if he's so inclined.

    Stimulants are in and out of the body so they can be used only on the days you choose. For example, when my son took stimulants, we only used them on schools days so he could focus on his work.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Does your ex have visitation rights or any other rights? A LOT of what you can do is specified in the custody decree. It sounds like Dad is not a regular part of difficult child's life, correct? If he does not have court ordered visitation - then he would not be visiting until/unless ex agrees to give medications regardless of whether he likes it or not.

    You wil problem have to go to court though, to get a decree that the medications must be given or there will be no visitation. If you have something like unpaid child support or whatever to hold over ex's head - USE it.

    Go to your divorce lawyer, or another lawyer you trust, and ask what your options are.

    I guess my advice as to picking him up or not would be to trust your instincts, that gut feeling deep down in. In this situation AND in all others, trust your instincts.
  8. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    JLady: I am assuming that the x does not initiate and structure contact via visitation as he has not seen his son "for months". As the child is the one who did so and is being refered to as "a zombie" invalidating the child, invalidating the care he is recieving, invalidating the actions that are in place for the needs your child does have and the child is asking you to intervene : go pick up your child and do everything to make the rest of the time a pleasant time for your child at home where his sucess is important,validated, meaningful.
    Some of the best advise I recieved was "Do not let him hurt your child".
    Rejection and critism from a uninvolved father of a child is hurt to the child.
    I was turning myself inside out trying to forfill my childs wish for his fathers attention and what the effort really did was place my child in front of a man who was rejecting him over and over and over. He never agreed to visitation
    he never planned to visit, and to this day he blames me. I get calls from his family and they attribute his non-involvement to me. When I describe what did transpire they say what he has said for over twenty + years that I have known him ie"that is the past" is also my experiace. At some point as an adult it is 'my problem' if I persistantly involve a child in a reluctant unaccountable and indifferant adults pattern that is hurting my child. Yes as and adult I will be defending my position perhaps to the end of time, however,
    I am an adult and I do know better than to place my child into harms way.
    I have the power.
    If the man calls and asks you can invite him to read up on the matter conserning his child 200 miles away that he rarely sees. He can take a parenting class to learn what it is that people do do as parents.
    I would insist if it comes to it that he have supervised visitation with a parent
    in the child developemnet feild and/or child and family psycologist with oodles of experiance...this way the childs needs are being looked after while the
    man is tutored and oppertuned to direct whatever attention he is offering in an appropriate manner.
    It is very painful to watch. It is heartbreaking as a mother to see how a father will miss the boat and draw shark into the water. It is their kid too, I know, but
    perpetuation of life was given to women and the global reality is males are
    capricious, abandon their families, and use less of their brains.
    Good ones out there know what I am talking about here.
  9. Jena

    Jena New Member


    i go through this alot with my ex. i have sole custody though so now i'm trying to finally let him not push my buttons so very badly. i'm trying.

    id just that maybe you could take sometime to explain the medication, what it does how it works and how difficult child's affect (appearance to us) isn't the answer, it's how difficult child is feeling inside. the medication is only to help him cope with life better. maybe give him some literature also.

    it's a knee jerk reaction of any parent. bottom line is we make the hard choices and the parents with whom only do "play time" ride us just like the schools, docs and everyone else. sorry negative yet realistic.

    just stay strong, and know that you are doing the right thing for difficult child. if he starts to basH the medication to your difficult child is when i'd say sorry i'm getting him back. yet as long as he administers it and vents only to you than i'd say give him time if possible to adjust to this. if you think of it we already went thru the mental process of should i medication or not?? yet for alot of father's who aren't as involved with dr.s etc. their just hit with the news and sometimes need time to adjust

  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    If the medications are just stimulants, then I wouldn't worry too much about not getting his medications at his dada's. I WOULD worry about the dad 'persuading' the son that the medications are bad for him; however, your son may be old enough to have worked out for himself, that he likes himself better (and other people like him better too) when he's on the medications. I think you need to talk to your son about this when he is back home, let him know that his doctor wants him on the medications, you want him on the medications, his teachers want him on the medications. The medications are supposed to help him concentrate better and be able to stay on task so he can get his work done. It's not his fault that he gets fidgetty without medications, it's just the way his brain works and the medications flick a switch in his brain that helps him control his own fidgets (mental and physical fidgets).

    But his dad isn't used to seeing him able to stay focussed so well, it scared him a bit and worried him. His dad doesn't understand that THIS is normal, compared to bouncing off the walls. Is it possible that dad is a "bouncing off the walls" kind of guy himself, and felt validated at last by having a son just like him? And now you've medicated it all away.

    I would tell the dad, "He is NOT a zombie, but yes, he is much quieter and more focused than you remember. He IS older, too - a bit more maturity makes a lot of difference, especially when he's concentrating on something. Why don't you go get a football or some other outdoor activity, and take him outside for a game? I'm sure you will find that when he gets outside into the fresh air, you will enjoy a game of something with him. Or take him to some sort of indoor sporting activity, such as a squash court, where you can both urn up some energy. I know he's still young but surely not too young to learn how to play squash?"

    Or something like that. Because even on medications, ADHD boys will happily go play at something physical, the adrenalin helps them with any remaining fidgets and getting tired also helps.

    You need his dad on side, so he won't undermine what you are trying to do. It is good he felt able to express his concerns to you - the boy clearly is very different form what he expected, and from what he remembered. He did a good thing in calling you to tell you. Don't be too hasty to 'punish' him by taking the boy back home again, or he will think twice before calling you with concerns again. next time his concerns could be more important.

    If you feel you MUST go there, maybe go a bit early, prepared to go away for a while and have a coffee, so you can sit with ex and talk about his concerns. Ask him to point out what it is about difficult child's behaviour that seems zombie-ish. There IS a possibility his medication dosage is a bit too high - it can take a bit of adjusting, the dose level is not necessarily connected to symptom level. difficult child 3 is on four times the dose of his older sister.
    Holidays and weekends CAN be used to give a medication break, although I've found with difficult child 3, he needs some level of medication or he doesn't cope. So we cut the dose back, if no schoolwork is needed to be done. Maybe on dad visits, difficult child could go onto a reduced dose? But you need the dad's observations because at some stage, they COULD be important. What he saw that made him say, "Zombie" may NOT be just that difficult child was sitting quietly working with his flute. it may have been something about his eye contact, or his mood, or some other facet. Maybe a tic that is so subtle and so gradual in onset that you may not have seen it.

    People who don't see our kids often can get it wrong so easily. But their observations can also be useful, precisely because they DON'T see the kids often and therefore can pick up on changes which we haven't seen, since they had a gradual onset.

    My view in summary - tact and diplomacy time, before charging in to the rescue. You have the opportunity to turn this fright into a positive.