How can we fix bad parenting
Resolve parenting disagreements with non-caring parents
I think the most important thing here is to choose your battles. Every child in a two-family situation will have different rules in their primary home than in their secondary. Personally I would treat it as if she were staying with a friend, especially since you do not share custody - this is a rare occurrence and makes it easy for you to treat it as a "treatment situation".
The other person is responsible for their general well-being, but it shouldn't absolutely be expected to perform all of your standard duties and "maintenance" tasks. Hence, things like TV time restrictions and sleep / wake times are not necessarily expected to be respected. However, you should speak to your daughter to make it clear that she understands the difference between being home and that special time at her mother's house. However, when doing maintenance, you should expect your daughter to manage these things herself to some extent.
By the age of 7, she's more than capable of brushing her teeth and hair on her own, provided she has the necessary equipment. If not, this is a good time to talk about the ramifications.
- If her hair becomes tangled out of control, if she doesn't brush it twice a day, she'll have to work harder brushing it out if she forgets it.
- If she doesn't brush her teeth, she can develop cavities that are painful and need to go to the dentist to fix them.
But take it with the seriousness it deserves - tangles can still be resolved with a few missed brushing sessions, and a day without brushing won't do any harm to healthy and well-kept teeth. As long as your daughter understands that these aren't becoming normal habits at home, it won't do much harm.
They say she didn't get lunch ... was she hungry? I've skipped lunch a lot in my life, including as a kid, because I was so busy having fun and playing. Like brushing your teeth, they are occasionally Missed meals really weren't a big deal. Sometimes when you ask a child, "What did you have for lunch yesterday?" and they say "nothing", it is important to follow up the "why?" to ask. The same goes for drinks. If she wasn't thirsty and didn't ask for water, milk, or any other drink, she's probably fine, especially if it wasn't a very hot day that could lead to dehydration.
On the other hand, if she was hungry and thirsty and asked about it, it is good to know why she was denied it. Is Your Ex Low Income? Is it possible that food was not available because they cannot afford it? Even if it doesn't, there's nothing wrong with packing some snacks for your daughter when she gets hungry ... heck, you could even send a few extra to share. When faced you should be able to play it off as "they are their favorites and I wasn't sure you had them".
One of the things that you never mention in your question is what your daughter thought about the situation. They have a long list of things that are different from the way you work at home, but do them not correct ? If your daughter was having a good time and didn't cry to you that she never wanted to see her mother again because it was terrible, you might be rethinking things. The goal is to have a happy, healthy child, and a day of excess will not harm any of these things.
That's not to say that your list of ailments is all safe. Some of the things on your list are important. Your daughter, who vomits twice and is not cleaned up (or encouraged to do so) afterwards, seems important to me. If she has vomited twice, it sounds like something that needs checking unless she is prone to vomiting. Is she sick? Was there a clear explanation for the vomiting?
You are clearly concerned about your daughter, which is good, but I think the expectation that your time with her mother will be the same as your time at home with you is going to drive you crazy, hence my comment at the beginning about your battles to choose. This will help with your interaction with your ex as well. Instead of coming up with a litany of mistakes, address the important ones and come to the interaction to look for information without making accusations.
- Jane came home and said that she vomited twice last weekend - what happened? Was everything ok?
- Can I give you the contact information for your pediatrician in case this happens again?
- Would you please call me next time it happens?
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