Teenage Daughter Wants to Spend Time with Friends During my Parenting Time

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October 4, 2019

I didn't see any questions about this specific topic in my searches so I'm posting here hoping for some divorce/custody advice.

I've been divorced for 11 years. My ex and I share 50/50 custody with a daughter who is now 14 and a freshman in HS. I don't live in the same town where my ex lives (30 min away) and my daughter goes to school in her town. The issue is that lately, my daughter has begun getting invited to parties/sleepovers/activities at friends' houses on weeknight evenings (some Fridays, too) when it's my parenting time. Of course she wants to go even though we typically have a great time together. If she does go, that means I lose my evening parenting time.

This issue came up a bit in middle school but, I was able to either just say no and shut it down or we would reschedule a day/night for parenting time at a later date. Now, however, under the influence of her mom, she is saying that she should be allowed to go even during my parenting time and that, further, we shouldn't have to reschedule the parenting time for a later date.

I don't want my daughter to start resenting coming to my house (especially because I know that soon enough she'll be able to dictate where and when she goes anywhere) but, I also want to maintain the custody time I have with her for as long as possible, since her mom's household doesn't set the best example for her. None of this would be an issue if her mom wasn't in my daughter's ear about it so, I am also coming up against the shitty influence of my ex. Anyone face issues with older children who start bucking the custody arrangement and are supported in this by their moms? What actions should I take, if any?

Post Information
Title Teenage Daughter Wants to Spend Time with Friends During my Parenting Time
Author wkndatbernardus
Upvotes 26
Comments 21
Date 04 October 2019 09:42 PM UTC (1 year ago)
Subreddit askMRP
Link https://theredarchive.com/post/288806
Original Link https://old.reddit.com/r/askMRP/comments/dde10c/teenage_daughter_wants_to_spend_time_with_friends/
Similar Posts

[–]Red-Curious43 points44 points  (2 children) | Copy

It's literally my job to figure this stuff out. Legal issues aside, though, here's the practical way to win the fight without dealing with legal technicalities.

  1. This is a fact of life, not just your ex's influence. Deal with it. You do have amused mastery and OI, right?

  2. Make your house the central hub. Repeatedly offer for her to have friends over during your time. You triple down on the relationship with her, the supervision/oversight in her life, and don't lose your time. Also, she becomes the popular girl, if you know how to host a teenage party. You are a charismatic, conversationally talented man, right?

  3. You know about hot moms? Girls do the same thing about each other's dads. Be the hot dad. This will make the other girls want to comer over, making the plan feasible. Your daughter will pretend to be embarrassed, but secretly LOVE the popularity you bring her. Hypergamy, right? Let her leech off of your awesomeness like every other woman wants to. You do lift and dress well, right?

  4. When you go to the mall, out to eat, to an amusement park, on vacation, etc. have her invite a friend to join you. Then gab it up with them like you're used to being in with the popular kids. You are a socially relevant, high value man, right?

Look. Your daughter was in your frame. Now she's leaving. That's part of life. It will happen no matter what, eventually. But you can control the phase out much better if you invite her friends into your frame instead.

DO NOT do this in response to one of her requests. "How about instead of you going over there, you invite them here?" is a tactless way of telling her she's winning and you're compromising. You be the one to come up with the idea and initiate. Make it part of your regular plans. "I have to go to the mall to buy a doohickey this weekend. You should invite Jenna and pick out a new top while we're out. Tell her dinner's on me."

If you want the legal angle, just ask. But I promise this relational strategy will be far more effective than anything you could do in court.

[–]tspitsatgp5 points6 points  (0 children) | Copy

That is excellent advice, thank you.

[–]Onein1024th1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

that's the smartest thing I've read on here in awhile

[–]red-sfpplusHard Core Red72 points73 points  (4 children) | Copy

If she does go, that means I lose my evening parenting time.

Kids grow up. This is exactly why my custody battle result doesn't kill me. In 3 years my kids wont want to be with EITHER parent.

They have their own lives. They need to live them. The older the get, the more this is going to happen.

What actions should I take, if any?

The only practical, tactical advice I can give is this:

Start planning out events with her weeks in advance of your weekends. Make sure she knows about them. Do this every so often so she knows to not double book herself. But don't be a dick and do it every weekend. This introduces plausible deniability on your part, ownership on hers, a small amount of leverage but also lets her know you are thinking about her.

Also, don't make her stay just to watch you finger fuck your phone.

Let her know you are there and support her. Let her know you want her with you, but realize that her relationship with you is not defined by the amount of "time" you get with her, but rather the "time" you two spend connecting and living moments.

[–]Red-Curious8 points9 points  (0 children) | Copy

Good insights. Better than letting her slip from his frame into her friends', though, is to bring the friends into his frame too.

[–]wkndatbernardus[S] 6 points7 points  (0 children) | Copy

Good stuff, thanks.

[–]RoccoPinkman2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

Good advice, I’m not to far away from OP myself atm.

[–]vplatt1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

This. It doesn't matter that you're divorced, RP, etc. you're still a father who needs to provide some structure. Besides, it's not like you can't both get your way. Maybe she goes to the friend after the stuff you have planned for you both. You drive in, pick her up, do a thing or two, drop her off at the friend's place, pick her up the next day, etc. And yes, this post is right about the screen time. There really shouldn't be any during your time together. Buy a little toy safe where your phones sit during together time if you have to. Hers goes in there, and so does yours. She might love seeing you fake sad about that.

[–]FlyingSexistPig4 points5 points  (2 children) | Copy

You are approaching this from the wrong mindset.

You are worried about the day-to-day and you are losing focus on the end goal. Which brings me to my next question, and it's the most important question there is: What is your end goal with your daughter.

I'm a 4 years behind you, and my goal is that when my daughter is no longer around me that she still makes good decisions. Until she turns 18, I'm not her friend. I'm her father. I look out for her and take care of her, guide and direct her. I focus on the time that she is with me. I focus on what lessons she's learning and I try to give her as much practice in making the decisions so that she feels that her decisions do matter, and that those decisions determine the direction that her life goes.

By fighting the petty custody battle with your ex, you are falling into her frame and falling down to her level. If you want your daughter to want to spend more time with you, then make it meaningful. Have events. Have a reason for her to come spend time with you, because if she doesn't she will miss something that she doesn't want to miss. But if she chooses not to come, let it not bother you at all. Go do the fun thing that you were going to do, and find someone else to do it with, or do it by yourself.

Make your time valuable.

[–]wkndatbernardus[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

Yes, good point, OI is important here. And quality over quantity, for sure. My main hang-up is with who/what is influencing her and doing my best to be the strongest presence so that she becomes a woman of character. I guess i get caught up dreading the influence of her mother/peers instead of focusing on what I can control.

[–]FlyingSexistPig2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

I understand your dread. But let it go. Talk to your daughter about the things that actually matter. Talk to her about her goals for her whole life. If you don't, then she will live the life that 99.9% of girls do, and she'll start riding the cock carousel at 14.

If she gets validation and attention from you, that will help her to not feel the need to seek it out in crappy boys.

[–]teaandtalk2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

It's natural, and it sucks! But it is part of life.

What I *would* suggest is trying to make time with your daughter higher quality - both so that the reduced quantity of time together is less of an issue, and so that she'll be keen to hang out with you. Do you go on dad/daughter dinners out? Do you do activities? Or do you stay at home watching Netflix and not interacting? What are her hobbies, can you get involved in them? (eg if she is into fashion - take her to a designer exhibition at the art gallery. If she is interested in cooking, do a cooking class or a tasting menu at an interesting restaurant.) Don't overdo it, but do make time together something to be cherished and looked forward to!

[–]Big_Daddy_PDX2 points3 points  (2 children) | Copy

Is the issue only that you feel like you’re losing a night of time w/ her?

Ultimately, you want her developing healthy friendships and demonstrating her responsibility. If you’re more concerned that you’re losing a night of your parenting time, I’d say you might be overly petty or just not coping with her growing up. Go with the flow.

[–]wkndatbernardus[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

I feel you but, I would say I'm more concerned about the influence of her mother on her than I am about losing time with her.

[–]Big_Daddy_PDX0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Bro, you’re on a 50/50 plan! How hard is your hamster running to make you think worrying out her Mom’s influence” is productive?

Be a leader. Set clear rules. Praise performance and personal responsibility. Punish appropriately every time.

(Another Dad w/ 50/50 time and a batshit crazy Ex who is always in my son(13) and daughter’s(16) ear)

[–]BobbyPeruRed Beret1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

This is normal around 14 yrs old. It has little to do with her mom. Kids that age want to hang out with their friends. This reads like a chick wrote it. Simple - Do what’s best for your daughter. Like red mentioned plan in advance and let her know in advance.... but don’t be butt hurt if she decides to hang out with her friends.

Do you think 14 yr olds like hanging out with their parents even with the parents are not divorced? Seriously, think about that.

Bottom line is get some time where you can but don’t make her resent you. Only you can make her resent you.

I’ve been through this whole thing. My kids are grown now. I had to put the kid’s happiness first, and I ended up giving up a lot of my parenting Time. I wouldn’t change a thing if I was going to do it all over

[–]MeansToABenz1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

This place is gold

[–]77mrpB2A1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

30 min is fuck all, that’s an easy commute in my city. Work around her social schedule, same as you would if she lived with you full time. Be there first thing Saturday to pick her up from her friend’s house, and have an awesome day planned to spend together.

[–]maljo240 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

That is what happens as they grow up. Normal.

[–]Bedtimeshine-1 points0 points  (0 children) | Copy

She’s 14. If you’ve done your job then she’s is ALREADY at the age where she can dictate where she wants to be and has been for a few years. You were 14 too. I came and went from My house pretty much at my own discretion starting at 14-15.

Things are changing. She’ll no longer be coming over and having dad/daughter time for a night or two at your house. You going to Have to meet her on her level. Dad/daughter time is now dinner or an activity before her going to see friends. And more often than not your going to have to include some of these friends in dinner/activity time. In my teen age years I was around my friends parents as much as I was around my own.

[–]zorroOP-4 points-3 points  (0 children) | Copy

Just my opinion, but if you are a real man you can deal with the fact your daughter wants to spend time with her friends instead of spending time with you. You say you don't want her to resent being with you. I got news for you, she will if you force her. This has nothing to do with her mother.... The only action you should take is take it like a man.

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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