Ex Husband & His Mother

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-24-1999
Ex Husband & His Mother
Thu, 07-21-2011 - 6:17pm

In a nutshell - I've lived in


Avatar for lizmvr
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-06-2001
Thu, 07-21-2011 - 6:57pm
Maybe his dad made another agreement with your son. Even if your son tells you that they just bought him the game for no reason, you really have no way of knowing what goes on with your son when he's in Florida with Dad and Grandma.

Your control as your son's mom and teamwork with your husband in parenting are thing that easily get lost through divorce. It's unfortunate, mostly for your son.

Have you talked to Dad and Grandma? Do you have a plan to co-parent with Dad? I'm not saying that just talking and trying to reach an agreement on parenting decisions will work, but after that, what's left? Do you want to go to court over it? Do you want to limit the time your son has with his dad?

I think in many cases, you really only are able to parent on your terms when your son is with you, when you can set an example for him. If you want him to grow up with good eating habits, keep fruit in your house and get rid of the horrible foods. Sure, he might still have junk food available at Dad's, but hopefully, he'll grow up to value the effort you put into parenting him and teaching him to respect himself and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Don't be crazy about his dad undermining your authority in front of your son; keep your cool and continue to do the best you can when you have your son with you.

Nothing's guaranteed with any kids, but I do tend to think that many children actually like having parents who care about the wellbeing of their children. Hopefully, you'll be happily surprised when your realize your son wants to be with you, his strict mom, moreso than he wants to be with his dad in Florida, where attention from his father might to easily be replaced with a toy or other indulgence.


Clinical Research Associate


iVillage Member
Registered: 12-02-2008
Fri, 07-22-2011 - 11:28am
Oh boy!!!! I get that her job is to be the grandma & spoil him rotten...yes, that's her job. BUT since you're are the boy's mother, she's got to understand that she cannot undermine your authority. She's got to support your wishes....or at least stay out of it & let you & her son parent him!!!

Jerking you around with the child support check ... was mean and unnecessary. Since she bought him the game anyway, I don't see why she had to make sure that you didn't have enough money to take care of his other needs (food, clothing, shelter)?! She only ended up hurting her grandson by withholding something that was yours/his!!!!

I'm sorry, she sounds like a real handful!!! Hang in there & try to come to some sort of agreement with them....about CO-PARENTING!!!
Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Fri, 07-22-2011 - 4:59pm

I see this as 4 different issues: your son going against his agreement; attempts to apply discipline and consequences by one or both parents; MIL undermining your authority, possibly with your ex's approval and taking it upon herself to withhold your child support payment.

As another poster said, you can only control your son's behavior when he is with you. The signed agreement was a great idea, and since he did not fulfill the contract you can pull it out when he returns from Dad's and require that he make good his agreement. You likely have another 5 years of negotiating with him so you'll need to make it clear that he follows your rules while at your house and they're still in place when he returns from Dad's.

Ideally your ex would be willing to work with you to provide consistency and standards for the best interest of your son. Has your ex indicated whether he is interested in doing that? If he wants to support you then its his job to tell his mother to back off and let the parents make the big decisions, she can still spoil Junior but not in a way that undermines the parents. If he won't support your efforts then you probably have to let it go, unless it gets to the point where you feel the need to take him to court. Your son is old enough to understand that things may work differently at each parents' home.

Your MIL sounds like a piece of work and I don't have any suggestions there except to keep as much distance as possible. If her son won't rein her in then you may have to accept her and

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2009
Fri, 07-22-2011 - 5:29pm
Maybe it's just me, but I'm not going to be held hostage to an ex's punishment of my child, for the little time I have with him, over fruit!

I put no merit into an agreement the kid couldn't NOT sign. Sounds more like blackmail. And when my son was 13, I had much control over his diet and never had to resort to this kind of thing.

The child support payment is lacking too much information for me to make an opinion on that. Why was she delivering it at all?

This post wasn't meant directly at you. I'm just too lazy to start over!


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2007
Fri, 07-22-2011 - 6:14pm

I don't understand, if you didn't want your son to have the video game, why did you buy it?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2004
Sat, 07-23-2011 - 2:18pm

Avatar for cfk_3
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-1999
Sat, 07-23-2011 - 6:43pm

I guess you were feeling pretty desperate to offer him a $50 game just so he would eat something healthy. I would hope that it wouldn't have to come down to that if it were me but, I'm sure you've exhausted all other efforts. I would be irked that you didn't get the payment when you were supposed to but, it wasn't really the dad's fault that you didn't have some extra padding in your account. If it were me, I would take the necessary steps in order to have some sort of direct deposit arrangement set up. I would not want to be put in a situation where I had to rely on my ex-mother-in-law for anything.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-24-1999
Sun, 07-24-2011 - 9:52am
Thank you for replying. I didn't care if it was eggs or fruit - I just needed him to expand further than pizza, spaghetti, Kraft mac & cheese, grilled cheese, hot dogs, bread, chips, peanut butter, chicken nuggets and pancakes. He is super super stubborn and his diet is that of a 3 year old. Believe me, I have tried other ways. I chose fruit because it's sweet and he loves candy but would have included mash potatoes, corn on cob, hamburgers (all of which he won't eat). How can you not like so many things? He ate the scrambled eggs with ketchup and had no problem. He's just extra stubborn. Thanks again for the feedback.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-24-1999
Sun, 07-24-2011 - 9:59am
Thanks for the reply. You make some good points. I did exhaust all other efforts and I was desperate to have him eat new things, but I didn't care if it was ham sandwiches. I used fruit because he likes sweets and I hoped it would expand from there. He really has the diet of a 3 year old and with him being so super stubborn I couldn't fight the battle every night when I work full-time and he had homework to do. I do give him several supplements. I pray it will correct itself as he matures. Thanks again.
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2004
Sun, 07-24-2011 - 12:31pm

Do you cook?