Should I speak up?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2011
Should I speak up?
Fri, 08-03-2012 - 4:07pm

So I thought I would put this out there for debate.

For the most part we don't have many issues when it comes to dealing with the ex and his wife.  We work really hard to provide a calm, non-stressed environment for our kids when it comes to co-parenting.   Something happened recently that is probably not a big deal, but has really been annoying me.   I'm probably over-reacting so open to hearing whatever you think.

So my son wanted these very expensive sneakers for school (over $100).  I told him absolutely not, that they cost too much money for his age, especially when I'll have to replace them in 6 months.  He doesn't take very good care of his clothing as it is and he's too young to be wanting expensive clothes.   He was upset with me, but we settled on a nice pair of  Nikes that were half the cost.  

Unbeknownst to me, he told my ex and his wife about how much he wanted these sneakers and that I wouldn't buy them for him.  Instead of asking me about it first, his stepmom went out and bought them for him.  I'm sure she was doing it to be nice and maybe even win some points with him, but it just really irked me.  She's normally not the type to go against the rules we put into place, so I"m hesitant to say anything to her or my ex.    I'm pretty po'd at my son also, and am tempted to punish him for going behind my back like that so he knows it's not okay.  

It's just a pair of shoes, but for some reason is just irritating me more and more.  Should I say something to them about it? 



iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2009
Fri, 08-03-2012 - 10:30pm
I think I would be tempted to at least get the whole story. Is it possible they didn't know why you wouldn't buy them and thought you weren't able to afford nd were either ok with spending it themselves or thought they were helping you? If however, they knew the whole story, it might be time to touch base about how you want to support each other and what is expected from each household in coparenting for your child's best interest. I do agree with you about consequences for your son's behavior. In our home we are clear that playing both sides of the fence is not ok. So, unless you hear us say "your dad/mom can decide _____", you are expected to follow what you've been told already. If exes don't agree....tough..but we only set consequences we can do in our home unless other parent agrees to it in their home as well. of course, sometimes we have to discuss it to be sure we are on same page. In your case, we'd probably not allow the shoes in our home, assign extra chores to equal cost of the shoes, and/or ground the child.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004
Mon, 08-06-2012 - 1:00am
I would have him write a thank you note. As well as an apology. Thanking for the nice shoes that were very expensive, and an apology for playing the sad puppy dog to try to get what he wants. He should state how he will behave in the future - that he will say that mom says no, I am frustrated with mom, and that he will not try to get the thing that mom has set her foot down about. I would also have him tell how he plans to care for them - polishing, washing, brushing off, etc. And then have that one of his chores for the day when he is with you.

It may be that the wife misunderstood. He may well have been griping, and perhaps to them the amount was not that big. He should not have been putting them in the uncomfortable position of getting the shoes for him.

It may not have been his intention to have her get them. It may more have been him expressing his frustration that you refused and thought that he was not old enough to care for them. I remember griping about how cold our new house was to my father, and it caused some issues. In actuality, it wasn't different than the house we had lived in with him, and in some ways I was proud of my ability to endure hardship that most kids did not. My dad didn't see it that way and insisted that my mom use more money from the support for heat. (We heated mostly with wood stove and oil back up.) Had we run the heater more, we probably would all be dead as the chimney was clogged up with a bird's nest and we all were exhibiting some signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, which we didn't find out until spring.

I think that if he sends the note, that should be enough said. Talk to your ex if he brings it up. Hopefully the shoes are leather, and can last a year's worth. If they are leather and get tight, use some shoe stretch or get them wet and wear them to stretch them. I have found good leather shoes can grow with my kids for at least a year. The issue is finding good leather shoes for kids, not man made materials. Also, insist on taking them to a shoe repair place to get new stitches if needed so that he can wear them longer. Usually the repairs cost under $20, better than a new pair of shoes. They may not look as trendy then, but considering the price, he needs to wear them as long as possible. I think I would insist that these shoes last at least the school year, if not the summer too.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-12-2011
Tue, 08-21-2012 - 11:44pm

My husband and I would be contacting Mom and explaining to her that we'd said "No" and felt she may have been played by the kid. Just as an FYI.


Then we'd leave it alone.


In your case SM has no reason not to buy the cool shoes and win brownie points. And I don't know why it irks you. You said yourself, the reason you were saying "no" is because you don't want to spend the money on something he wont get a full use out of. If SM wants to dump her money on it, no skin off your back, right? Maybe just let SM know that she shouldn't feel obligated to continue buying anything she doesn't want to in the future.

- Luhverly Mom to DS5 Smom to DSD6 & DSD4 Lilypie Pregnancy tickers