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Help - The Ex and Vacation

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LostandGuilty posted 12/17/2013 13:01 PM

I have not posted in awhile, but I have a problem and need some advice. I have been officially divorced since October 2011. The relationship with my ex and I is pretty good. I still think that she is not a responsible person, but what can I do? She is the mother of my two kids and they love her.

She has recently asked if she can take the kids on vacation in the first week of May, which would require them missing a week of school. Normally, I would be against that just for the missing school thing, but May is even worse because of the school schedule. My daughter has her state standardized test that week (very important for placement) and my son has a final exam (for college credit). Also, my daughter was given extra time to take the test do to a learning disability. I understand that they can do retakes of the tests, but they will have other finals that they will have to worry about, as the last day of school is May 23.

My stomach feels as if I am going through the divorce again. I feel bad that I am turning down the request, as my kids would have had a great time. I am sure that my ex will demonize me to them because this is something that she badly wanted. Also, the vacation can not be at another time because it is for an uncle's birthday and her parents are paying for the trip. Can anyone give me advice? I have the e-mail written out and ready to send.

MovingUpward posted 12/17/2013 13:06 PM

My first advice would be to understand what the school thinks. If the kids can't make up the work then the answer is an easy 'no'. If the school doesn't care then one must look at things in the view of what is best for the kids. Let that viewpoint guide you. If the answer is still "no" then you will have a rational argument to stand by. You'll have to not worry about what your X will do. You can't let her behavior control what is best for the kids.

GabyBaby posted 12/17/2013 13:10 PM

I'm not a fan of kids missing school to go on vacation. A day or two would be ok every once in a great while, but a whole week?
That's a lot of work and missed assignments to make up.

I'd have to vote no or suggest a time later in May after school is out.

lieshurt posted 12/17/2013 13:15 PM

^^^^ Ditto Gaby

GabyBaby posted 12/17/2013 13:32 PM

My son is PDD-NOS and also gets extended time to do testing and assignments.
To miss a week of school? He'd never get caught up and it would stress him out to the point that he would simply shut down.

Dawnie posted 12/17/2013 13:50 PM

Its a shame that she cant be adult enough to see from a parents view this is not a good thing for your kids academically. She probably knows this but wants you to take the blame when you point out the bad timing that this is and that its a bad idea. Then you are the bad guy who wont let them go and she is the good guy who wants them to go....

I dont have any advice just wanted to point out my opinion of what she is pulling.....

Crescita posted 12/17/2013 13:59 PM

Also, the vacation can not be at another time because it is for an uncle's birthday and her parents are paying for the trip.

It can be moved if having the kids there is really important. I'm assuming this uncle is an adult and can celebrate his birthday 3 weeks later? You aren't responsible if they have already purchased tickets and informed the kids before thinking it through and clearing it with you and the school.

cmego posted 12/17/2013 14:35 PM

Umm…why would SHE think it is OK for kids to miss a week of school? This puts you in a difficult position because you have to be "the parent" and say no. But, it is for the best. She shouldn't have accepted the invitation to the vacation in the first place.

Just tell her no.

This is like my ex and his last va-cay to Hawaii with his partner. Ex didn't tell the kids, they overheard me talking about it. Ex yelled at me. He doesn't see the point that hiding something from the kids is the problem, not them finding out. Their thinking is just off.

devistatedmom posted 12/17/2013 14:51 PM

I'm in Canada, but I know up here, kids CAN NOT make up missing a standardized test. If it is mandatory for graduation that they do this testing, they can't go.

Also, missing a final exam for a vacation is NOT a good excuse, and could cause your college bound kid to lose the credit.

Call the school and confirm this. Then I'd tell her that although you have no problem with the kids going on a trip with her, they simply can't that week, as kid1 will miss the standardized testing, and kid 2 would lose a credit required for graduation.

It takes the decision off of you, and you do state that you would be happy for the kids to take the trip, just not when they are missing important things at school. If she would like to delay the trip until June, you are fine with them going.

suckstobeme posted 12/17/2013 15:00 PM

Exwh did almost the exact same thing to me last year. He planned a vacation in May before school was out. He used the excuse that his father was going to be there in between dr. appointments and that the slunt had access to some stupid condo that week. The kicker, in addition to the 8 full days that he wanted them out of school, was that he scheduled the vacation over Mother's Day so that my kids would be with him and the slunt rather than their own mother. I still can't believe he had the balls to do that, but I digress. ...

I had a big problem with 8 days out of school, as did the school. My kids are younger, but that's almost 2 full weeks and DS has a learning disability with which he struggles quite a bit.

Dumbass didn't see it from their point of view at all. He just said that he remembers his parents taking him out of school for long vacations when he was a kid - FORTY YEARS AGO!

In the end, I compromised. I allowed them to miss 4 days of school but the Mother's Day idea was never going to happen. After what was probably a lot of fighting with him and the slunt, he made it work - he brought them home on time and took another flight back down to the condo that same day so that the slunt would not miss HER special mother's day vacation with him and her kids.

It was a shit show for a little while and resulted in a pretty nasty fight. To cover my ass for future dumb ideas, I told him that I would allow it this time, but that as they got older, multiple days out of school will count against them and, particularly for DS, will have much more of an impact. The Vice Principal backed me up on this too so it's a good idea to call the school first for support.

I'm sorry she did this. A long vacation in May is a thoughtless thing because it's just shy of the kids getting out of school. There are tests, field trips, dances, etc., etc. all scheduled for that time of year. You can't do it when they are on summer vacation?? Plus, it puts you in a bad position and will definitely cause friction. But, stick to your guns and do what you believe is right. If she really wants them there, she will make it work so they don't get hurt in the process.

StillLivin posted 12/17/2013 15:30 PM

I would get with the school and get their input. If the kids can take the tests a little sooner, maybe they can work that. If not, and the school gives you the thumbs down, you have no other choice but to tell her that the school cannot work around that schedule without it seriously negatively impacting the kids.
She can argue with the walls at that point.

LisaP posted 12/17/2013 16:01 PM

Today's school system with the new standards is making it much harder for kids to miss school, especially middle school and up.

I had to pull my kids out for 4 days last year because my father passed and my sisters and I needed to come together to get everything resolved in another state. My kids missed 4 days because my XH would not "import a family member or pay someone" to help watch the kids while he was at work to accommodate me in this type of situation...

My kids fell behind and it really put a level of stress on them and myself trying to get them caught up. We collected a great deal of work from each class prior, and they still were overloaded! Even now, they stress if they miss a day or 2 because of illness!

I will never do that to my kids again, if I can help it.

Do as others suggested and talk with the school first. Vacations here, are not an excused absence...which means no make up work.

Dreamboat posted 12/17/2013 16:23 PM

By the ages in your tag line I assume your DS is in high school. NO WAY IN HELL would I let my HS-aged DD miss an exam. She would have to be deathly ill for me to allow it. Why? Because in college and after there are no second chances just because you skip something require so you can do something fun. This is your kids' future we are talking about! And if this is an AP or IB exam (I am assuming because it is for college credit), then he likely cannot make it up. So all the hard work he put into the class is down the drain. And oh yeah, the exam may also impact his final grade in the class so there goes his GPA.

And as others have said, generally standardized tests cannot be made up so your DD is out of luck too.

Just tell your ex no because if will adversely affect their grades and do not feel guilty about it. Most families plan get togethers during summer break and long holidays BECAUSE they want the kids to attend and do not want them to miss school. If your ex's family does not understand that, well that says a lot of your ex and the family she grew up in.

homewrecked2011 posted 12/17/2013 16:45 PM

Your ex is wrong. If they want the kids there so bad, they need to schedule the party 3 weeks later. No brainer...

And remember: You don't have to convince anyone you are right,,, as long as you know in your own mind you are "right", that is all that is needed".

homewrecked2011 posted 12/17/2013 16:46 PM

Also, when my XWH and OW plan this sort of stuff, knowing there is going to be an argument, they almost do it when they are bored to stir the pot.

So, Don't pet the drama lama,,, just laugh and say, "good try"...

Catwoman posted 12/19/2013 04:31 AM

I, too, do not agree with kids missing school for events that can be scheduled at times when they are NOT in school. If they are in HS, a week is much too much school to miss, let alone missing placement exams and other very important events.

The answer is no.


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