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DH supporting SS's delusions

New_to_this's picture

Ok, so maybe calling SS delusional is strong, but this kid seriously has no self-awareness. So, in more attempts to waste our time and money, he told DH that he wanted to become a lifeguard and work at a local pool this summer. He said he found a job listing on a website for 15 year olds and he will be turning 15 soon. He told DH this earlier this week and DH was totally supportive of this. Meanwhile, I'm listening to this and wondering to myself how SS is going to be a lifeguard when he is obese, out of shape (out of breath after walking a flight of stairs), and doesn't know how to swim (ie. doesn't know the various strokes).

Then, today DH tells me that he's taking SS to an open house for lifeguard jobs in a different part of the city. The drive can be upward of an hour and a half away in traffic, so they would be gone for upwards of 4-5 hours for this open house. So, I ask DH if he really thinks that SS can be a lifeguard. And DH says to me, well the actual job would be closer and if SS meets the minimum age requirement and if they train and hire him, it's on them. He tells me that he sees lifeguards that are unfit (I don't agree) and that maybe SS can swim and we just don't know. I, of course, was skeptical and didn't want DH to waste time and money, so I  did less than 3 minutes of research to find out that the job indeed had requirements. SS would have to be able to swim 300 yards. He'd have to be able to dive 10 feet, grab a 10lb object and carry it above water for a number of yards. Plus, there were other requirements that he'd in no way meet and, no, they are not training him to meet those requirements.

It bugs me that DH does this all the time. He says yes to crazy things that SS asks for, instead of giving him a dose of reality. He continually wastes everyones time and money and DH is just stupidly, blindly supportive. And, this one! It's a lifeguard job! SS would be required to save lives! He doesn't do that - he's selfish and self-serving in every way. DH knows this. Why in the h*ll would he not nix this to begin with.

So, I remind DH that SS wanted to be in marching band and just finished up the season and he was never able to play his instrument and march at the same any point. He didn't have the stamina or the ability to play the instrument. So, he never played his instrument all season! Everyone else in his section had to compensate for his inabilities. I told him that it's ok for band, but not for being responsible for saving lives.

But, the kid thinks he can do anything! He signed up for winter band, which is costing us even more hundreds of dollars for him to force his bandmates around him to cover for him. I'm baffled and annoyed, but DH just laughs it off. He knows SS has no self-awareness, but he supports all of it anyway and figures everyone else has to deal with SS's shortcomings. 


VNichol's picture

It sounds annoying AF to deal with. Maybe DH is just trying to find something he is passionate about and is actually good at. You say he is obese well anything that keeps him from sitting in front of the TV/or any electronic devices and eating is a good thing. I know you have to be his rides if in fact he follows through with this Life guard thing. I would not want to do it either. I hope this kid is not shielded from reality much longer because it's will be harder for him to deal with it when he gets to be a young adult. Hang in there my friend!

Mommy22's picture

That sounds super annoying. Like, I don’t understand how these dads are so super oblivious. It’s crazy. 

Iamwoman's picture

Oh, I couldn’t NOT comment on this!

I was a lifeguard throughout my six years in college, and even progressed to assistant aquatic supervisor for the city, where I monitored 10 pools, beaches, pool managers, and all lifeguards.

I can tell you without a doubt, that you are correct: SS will not be hired  as a lifeguard.

What your DH has seen in regards to his comment about “out of shape lifeguards,” are lifeguards who still have stamina and muscle, but eat enough to also be obese. Despite obesity, these lifeguards CAN swim the distance, lift heavy objects, and are NOT lazy. They are usually ex athletes who still eat like athletes but sit on their rumps more (which is basically most of lifeguarding... I only saved 5 or 6 swimmers in 6 years).

You say that SS needs a reality check. Well, it looks like reality is about to check him. When he isn’t even allowed to become lifeguard certified, that will be reality check number one.

As far as marching band goes, if the band director insists on putting SS in shows, then that is the band director’s decision. Don’t worry about it. I would be willing to spend hundreds of dollars on marching band for anybone of my three kids just so they aren’t sitting on their rumps all afternoon. The kids who have to cover for SS may profit from that experience some day... perhaps they will become champions of a healthier society, putting to rest the “Youre perfect as you are” movement (a movement that has led to numerous childhood heart and health problems along with what could have been preventable deaths of children due to childhood obesity).

I know how frustrating this is for you.

I get frustrated every time DH praises OSS for picking up a socket wrench and expecting DH to spoon feed him through a project.

DH gets frustrated when I spend hours out of my day helping DD condition for an upcoming sport, only to have her treat me like garbage or be completely ungrateful.

I can understand where your DH is coming from: he wants his son to interested and actively involved in something... anything, for crying out loud! Kids these days, for the most part, are disturbingly lazy and not ambitious.

I also understand where you are coming from: as the step parent, we can clearly see the ridiculousness of most of these types of situations. We see that for the most part, kids like this only “want to do” these activities for whatever attention they hope they can get - not for the sake of self-improvement, which really should be the goal for most (but isn’t, thanks to our “you’re perfect the way you are” culture).

My advice is to let DH and SS go off and do whatever ridiculous thing they like. Does it cost money? Sure. So do a lot of other things about kids. At least you’re not paying for therapy for this kid, or nonstop court costs.

My other piece of advice is to try to get DH to agree to not allow SS to live with you as an adult when he fails at life due to his delusional self-image (don’t say it like that to DH though! Lol).

Harry's picture

What ever he DH is doing, either living in a fantasy world, or trying to get DS to do something, like anything.  This will never stop. Make, sure there are plands for SS to move out at 18.  College away from home, or a job and apartment!!!   Or SD will be 35 and still working on being a lifeguard 

Myss.Tique D'Off's picture

I would use this situation to my advantage.
If SS is 14 and in such poor shape / health (obese / shortness of breath on minimal exercise), he could be motivated to learn to swim and improve his health.
Sure, I agree your DH is indulging a fantasy: this isn't a preference for how you want your waffles cooked, it is real life health and safety issues as a life guard.  I doubt rules will be bent because SS is "special".

SS should be told the truth and made to work for something he wants. If not, he needs to work on a more realistic dream. However, you are still left with a Daddy indulging fantasy instead of giving SS a reality wake up call, and you have an unhealthy skid.

Ispofacto's picture

I was a lifeguard at that age in NY.  I believe most states require Red Cross certification.  It's a rigorous course, if he's out of shape, he'll never pass.

Even if it were legal to hire him, the liability would be huge.