Tuesday, October 30, 2007

So here's the thing...

Max's teacher told me about his acting out at school. Max & I talked about it & worked out a plan. I didn't tell X, thinking it was a one-off event.

Sunday Max told me that he had gotten in trouble on Friday. I wrote his teacher a note, and he had no tv/computer time last night.

He assures me that he was perfectly well behaved Monday ("except for the first 20 minutes, Mom. I was a little wild. But then I calmed down and was good the rest of the day!")

I should tell X, right?

I know I should. He's the father. The thing is, he over-parents. He over disciplines. He does not have realistic expectations. He is giving the kids a TEST on Friday! A TEST! Max says he's not so worried (has to read a book and do math problems) but is concerned about Nathan.

I jsut feel for these kids.

BUT - my "new thing" is to NOT tell him how to parent. I came to this (too late) realization that if I don't want him commenting on my parenting... that perhaps I should not comment on his. (Ok, I'm a little slow on the uptake!)

He's the parent, and if we have different styles and philosophies it doesn't make one better or one worse... just different. (See, I'm trying to convince myself here!)

And he does have a lot of strengths. He is by far one of the smartest people I know. He has nearly photographic memory, has a good, analytic mind, and is, surprisingly enough, a good teacher because he knows how to break things down into small components. (A good teacher when he's in a good frame of mind....) I mean heck - the guy was nominated for a Pulitzer! (Why do I always use that to fall back on... like that saves him, or something?) (NOtice that there are a lot of parenthetical phrases where I question myself? Why is that? :) )

Bah! So, I guess what I'm saying is that I really have to tell him.... but maybe I'll wait 'til after this weekend - so the kids won't be with him...


Stepping Over the Junk said...

I hate telling my ex things about the kids that need working on, or whatever...because then he blames me

Family Adventure said...

I think it's great that you are able to put some distance between you and your X. Not get involved with everything he does parenting-wise, because it will only aggravate you. You have different styles, but as long as what he does does not hurt your children, he should be allowed to do it his way.
That said...if it is just a single note from Max' teacher, and nothing more, I dunno if it's worth making a big deal about with your X. Not to promote keeping things from him, but it is harder for him to see the 'big picture', since he doesn't have the kids on a daily basis, so he might see it as a bigger deal than it really is. What do you think?


ALM said...

Heidi - you're right, he doesn't see the big picture. But I'm just imagining going to the parent teacher conference with him & having the teacher mention it... So I guess it's more the fear of being caught!!!

Julie Pippert said...

Heidi makes a good point. My husband live in this house with us (allegedly) and because he is away so often with work there is just a lot he misses. He tries hard to be in touch and it's important to him, but frequently he'll freak out about something (good or bad) and I'm all, huh, that's not new.

Is it duplicitous to plant the information in a certain way? E.g., "Max was acting out his willies in class a bit but he's really settled down and is getting great reports from his teacher now. Plus did you see the A on that assignment and oh did I mention the (more good news)..."


I'm not sure what to advise, though. I wish I did.

Good luck!

Using My Words

Family Adventure said...

Sneak it in there...I like Julie's idea.

Wait a while, and if nothing else happens, mention in an off-handed way that Max had a rough few days 'waaay' back, but is doing so awesome now! It could work?!


Kate said...

Im afraid I would agree with the sneak it in there theory, and I also think that doing it at a time when there is as much time between you telling him and him seeing the kids as possible is a good option. The way you are handling things is great. The reason I reckon the timing is important is because then Max will hopefully not get punished twice!

ALM said...

That's a good point guys, about slipping it in.. I think that's how I'll do it. Max's Hebrew School teacher came out of the classroom today looking really flustered.. apparently he was acting up again. Not sure what's going on with him...

And oh - it's great to have the perspective that X isn't so drastically different in terms of not being there on a day to day basis & then not reacting appropriately. I don't really have too much to compare it to, since most of our life with kids was spent separate...

Anonymous said...

WHY? Yes, Why? If X wants to know something that is going on with Max or at his school, then either Max tells him or he calls the school. You are not his personal advisor. He won't listen anyway. He degrades you, he is mean, he will punish the boys if he knows, and they are already disciplined by you. What X doesn't know won't hurt him.
You need to break with his hold on you. "He ain't your boss!", Waldo said.

Tracy said...

I'm with Waldo. I wouldn't bother telling him. Ask yourself: what do you hope to achieve by telling him? And will he consider it a bigger deal than it is BECAUSE you are telling him?

I say don't. Save it for something "big."

niobe said...

I'm with the don't tell people. What I would do is make sure that Max's teacher is communicating directly, but separately, with both you and X.

X should have information about how Max is doing in school, but there's no reason that he should (and every reason that he shouldn't) get it from you.