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Your willingness to let these types of requests become new plans can tell a lot about healthy boundaries and good parenting skills. Frustrated perhaps, but not hurt.“Dad, I need someone to pick me up after the cross-country meet and I can’t get Mom to pick up.” Things happen. And between strained ex-parents, there can be some manipulation and control going on. “Okay, count on me to be there if we can’t get your Mom to respond. But OF COURSE, go to your cross-country race, we will figure it out.”Kids can be an excuse to get out of anything. If your divorced dad is always breaking plans because their kid is sick, getting an award, has a recital… But I do know, that I push back on my kids all the time.The text could be a request from one of the kids or the ex. ” And depending on the situation, you can choose to ignore (The discussion that evening, “You needed to ask me the night before, we’ve already got plans.”) or respond. Well, you might want to see why you’re no longer a priority. Make sure the two of you have a chance to establish enough rapport that you can ask, “Dude, if you don’t want to go to this event with me, just say it.” Kids can be the easy way out. They ask they demand, the whine, they want all kinds of things. And I know that if I have an opportunity to PLAY with my kids, at this point in my life, I’m going to choose that, whenever possible.
And I am perfectly capable to make decisions based on a request and a crisis at the moment.An emergency will be evaluated on a case by case basis, and I will always attempt to let you know the real story.I will try to say, “I’m sorry, sweetheart, I’m just tired and I don’t want to go,” rather than, “Oh, they moved the parent-teacher conference without telling me, I need to bail on the opera.” I’ll simply say, “Sorry darling, I don’t like Opera.” We can take the negotiations from there.Never use your kids as an excuse, unless you simply need an excuse.But don’t make your kids the reason not to explore a new life, a new relationship, and the new intimacies that may open up a whole new future for you and them, eventually.