Natarsha Marr

---Meredith--- Wrote:
<<You may also need to compromise on things like outside lessons. Is your ex
willing to take P to lessons? That could be a way for him to "be involved in her
education" and feel good about his contribution to her life. >>
The 'feel good about his contribution to her life' (as I discovered when really
trying to hear is concerns) is a major factor for him. Basically his desire to
'seek legal advice' was so he knew where his rights stood as a parent so he
could ensure what he believed to be the best thing for P was done and if he
couldn't do this then "What am I here for?", was/is his question. Unfortunately
there has been many a time that I have had to help him see his importance to her
and the most basic thing is just because he is her dad, you can't get more
important! I think I will just have to keep updating him of little things that
she says and does that are related to him so he knows it isn't just the
weekend/dinner contact that she is 'with him'.


---Sandra--- Wrote:
<<There is a slight possibility (slight) that he has considered that if you
unschool her she will be way too happy at your house and he can't compete. Or
that if you teach her, that she will resist seeing you and he will get to have
her more.

That guess is pessimistic and suspicious, and I hope I'm just wrong, but it
might be worth gently pointing that out to him to see whether he had considered
those things.>>

Unfortunately this isn't a slight possibility on his part. For myself though, I
have never considered this to even be a factor with P given our relationship and
also having done lessons etc... (prior to finding unschooling) where it did not
impact on her choice of homes to live in. At the end of the day though, if
lessons were my conviction and this made her want to spend more time at her
fathers, that would be her choice (and his).
This also isn't something that has just come up with unschooling though. We have
many animals and with each addition I would see him feel and think 'how am I
going to compete'. It was never an issue though and she has never not wanted to
go and see him because of having the animals. I will have to remind him of past

It is though something that has come up for him to be 'about' unschooling as now
that we are striving toward consensual living P has a DS, an XBox and also loves
on line and PC games. This would be a good time to note that previously I
was the anti-technology dictator and fearer! (A great big thank you =) to
someone who posted about 'Zoo Tycoon' many months ago, P loves it and we now
have it on the PC and DS!). Her desired subject matter is currently anything
gaming. =) I suppose though that it is the 'unrestricted' use of these things
and knowing that she has choices in our house that has possibly overwhelmed him
and compounded his fear of her not wanting to see him. Again I will have to make
mention that the contrary is our and his actual reality. Only once she did
not want to go and I realised it was because she had a new game, so now I make a
mental note not to give her a new game within 2 days of her weekend with him. =)
 This for me is part of my effort to extend consensual living outwardly to my
parter, ex-husband and others in my life, hopefully strangers too. I have found
it much easier to do this with the girls and have had difficulty getting past my
own ego to be able to be like this with my partner. =)  Trying to be mindful on
a daily basis helps a lot, so does 'think before you speak!'
<<As someone else pointed out, if she knows that it's because of him that you're
"making her" do "schoolwork," she will be mad at BOTH of you, only you will have
done all the work to harden her poor young heart.>>

M and I have the advantage of knowing eachother for 17  years now, since we were
teenagers. We were very close friends for many of those years before being
married later down the track. I feel that this is what helps us do the right
thing by eachother and for P. Even though we have both changed as people and do
not interact as close friends any longer, there is still that feeling of
closeness. This helps to prevent either of us from doing extra harm to P in
those ways and also being mindful and putting our egos aside. We set up rules
together, no negative talk in front of her in any situation and if need be, we
meet alone to discuss. This is aslo implemented at home without the other parent
around, 'gossip' and conversations that involve the other parent are not had in
front of the girls.
There are some days that she as most children with separated parents makes
comment about prefering the other parent. I either gently explain that her
fathers days with her are specifically set aside for her alone and the reality
would be very similar as in our own home with him having to work and juggle time
etc... Otherwise I am grateful for the benefits of her being able to have his
undivided attention.

Thank you everyone for the blogging information and links. Tally Ho! I am so
excited that I now have an excuse to do it and get to learn something new! =)

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Pam Sorooshian

Maybe give him this book - it is a paperback and you can find it used
on Amazon. It really emphasizes a lot how important fathers are in their
daughters' lives and gives lots of ideas. It might help him focus on
being important in her life in ways other than academics.

Dads and Daughters: How to Inspire, Understand, and Support Your
Daughter When She's Growing Up So Fast
By Joe Kelly


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