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Honest opinions. Am I being selfish and how would you handle this

Sarahsteal's picture

SS12 is SUPER needy/clingy with DH when he’s over (almost 50 percent Split). This school year it’s gotten even worse as SS either can’t or won’t do his HW unless daddy is sitting with him walking him through everything(see other post). Between this and SS12 Completely unable to Entertain himself our parenting weekends/weekdays Revolve around SS. Now if that was not bad enough here is my NEW Dilemma....

SS12 Is a little bastard about doing his HW. Lies says it’s done or tells his teachers he forgot it at home. He stays after school to make up the work. Since the person running the class won’t spoon feed SS like DH and has other kids to watch over SS  just sits there pretending to do the work but gets nothing done. 

DH has come up with a Brilliant idea(NOT) to have SS12 call him when he’s with BM if he gets stuck with a question or two with his HW. Sounds Perfectly ok and normal right. With a NORMAL kid it would be. Well Needy/clingy SS of course jumped on this. There was no Quick five minute question no SS12 wants DH to stay on the phone with him for an hour doing his HW with him almost ever night he’s not with us. 

DH is Self-employed and add we have needy/clingy SS12 almost 50 percent of the time between those two things I already get VERY little time with DH. Now almost every kid free day DH has to spend at least an hour on the phone doing HW sometimes it’s two hours.  Yes I have spoken to DH and he thinks I’m selfish as he is just trying to help SS be Successful. Where I just see a lazy spoiled brat who does not want to do his HW and see’s an Opportunity for daddy to do it for him. Honestly am I wrong? How would you handle this?

Gimlet's picture

Why can't BM help him with his homework?   Why isn't DH letting her handle it, because this is stepping on her time as well as your couple time. 

tog redux's picture

This is a losing battle, I promise. Let BM handle her house and set a time limit for homework at yours. He can't make up for BM's crap parenting.

Sarahsteal's picture

The biggest reason I think is because SS is such a little asshole and BM is this lazy worthless piece of trash. BM would rather push the “fighting to get HW done” off for DH to deal with rather than her deal with SS. Plus SS is SO Annoyingly needy/clingy for “daddy” SS will jump at any chance to have more contact with DH and the fact DH will Practically give him the answers so he does not have to do any work. 

This just started and I can see it’s going to be a on going problem. I need to come up with something fast before this becomes a evening Routine and we end up planing OUR plans around DH helping SS. Suggestions??

Hastings's picture

Unfortunately, I don't think there's much you can do if DH isn't onboard.

You're right. It is going to be an ongoing problem that's only going to get worse. How does SS do on in-class tests? DH can't very well go with him and take it for him or give him answers. Is your DH planning on going to college with SS and helping him with his work there? Does he plan on going to work with SS when SS (hopefully) gets a job?

One of the main roles of parenting is to rear someone who will be an asset (or at least not a drain) on society. Functional, independent, responsible members of the community. As I've heard it said, good parents don't "raise children" they "raise adults."

What your DH is doing is depriving SS of an education, really. And some serious lessons in how to live life. Is he aware of that?

Your DH may not be receptive to what you have to say, assuming it's sour grapes or something. Have you approached it in a kind, caring way at a calm time, emphasizing concern for SS? "Listen, babe, I'm worried about something. It seems like you're doing SS's homework for him, really, and he's unable to do it without your help -- getting too dependent on you to help with it. I'm afraid that if he doesn't learn how to do it by himself, he'll never learn and that could really cause problems when he's older. I know he seems to really need your help now. I get it. Do you have a plan for helping him learn to do his work without supervision? Maybe gradually weaning him off?"

simifan's picture


At 12, I think the whole thing is a bit odd. I don't think your DH is doing the kid any favors by coddling him. Is he going to backseat drive him through life? 


BethAnne's picture

All you can do is get on with your life. I would be arranging fun and interesting things to do during those homework calls. Go out, catch up with friends, watch a movie, read a book, hang out with your family...anything so that you can enjoy the time. Your husband may decide after a while that he wants to join you or he may decide that he’d rather do homework. Either way, you are enjoying yourself. 

Siemprematahari's picture

I’m selfish as he is just trying to help SS be Successful. Where I just see a lazy spoiled brat who does not want to do his HW and see’s an Opportunity for daddy to do it for him. Honestly am I wrong? How would you handle this?

Your H is not doing his kid any favors by doing this. In fact he's only enabling this behavior and all it's modeling to him is that he can't do anything on his own and SS will never be independent if this continues. Does SS have a learning disability, perhaps slower than the other kids in his class? Maybe he needs extra tutoring or after school assistance since he's not able to do homework on his own. 

Is your H going to do his high school papers and not teach him the basics of self sufficiency? He has no idea the potential monster that he is creating and as for you, you may never have that quality time with H if he continues. If he doesn't change you'll need to consider if you want to continue this marriage. 

nana09's picture

My goodness! My Stepkids where like this. They wouldnt start hohomework unless dad sat down with them, 1 hour each, to walk them through their homework. I would tell him "seriously? this is your way of helping them? your not even giving them a chance to learn something. But you want to complain about then not leraning anything". And he would get so defensive. Than when he would come home tired and complain about sitting down for 2 hours with them to "help" with homework i would say "well, your allowing this so dont complain". Finally this year kids mom was called for teacher conference for BOTH kids and teacher said they are both behind. This is going to sound evil but it was my chance to say "ha! Do you see? I told you so!" That is something that is finally changing but it sucked it had to come to the point where he didnt realize what he was doing to his kids until the teacher had to say they where falling behind.  

Rags's picture

This is a tough one.  HW time on BM's time is BM's responsibility.  But, if BM is such a sucky parent that she will let this kid cut his own academic throat and daddy can help with nightly HW calls then he can make that call. If BM allows the calls.

Odds are that calls to discuss math homework won't work.  DH will be severly disappointed and SS won't realize any benefit other than keeping daddy on the phone for several hours a week.

It is better for DH to get the kid a tutor to visit on BM's time. When BM refuses to allow it.... DH nails her ass in court.  In the mean time, daddy time is tutor time and the kid gets support for his school work away from BM's control.

Side stepping the emotion can allow for the identification of an effective solution that can be navigated.

Just find a plan and work it.  If BM interferes or things change, adjust and continue.



still learning's picture

Disengage. The more you care about this issue the more DH is going to coddle ss.  Listen to BethAnne above.  

Sarahsteal's picture

I wish it was as easy as getting a tutor for help SS with HW. SS is in a great school with wonderful teachers. Everyone is willing to stay after to help SS for free the problem is SS won’t stay. Just today DH got a email from the English teacher saying she told SS twice he needed to work with her after school since he’s behind and he took the bus home anyway. No he does not forget he just does not want to stay so he just leaves. Yes SS has ADHD so I’m sure it does make school work more difficult but the real problem is SS is lazy and wants others to do things for him. It’s easier to go to daddy and have daddy spoon feed him then do the work himself. 

Endgame's picture

Homework-coddling is unsolvable because it is an emotive part (for princesses' futures) of general coddling, which SO believes is a necessary tool to achieve his Prime Directive of (version if skids are young) "I will do anything to keep my kids staying at my place" or (version if skids are mid-teens to adults) "I will do anything to prevent my kids from not talking to me". Homework-coddling ends when skids age out of high school, probably because university content is too specific for SO or the skids would feel embarrassed.

Homework-coddling includes: 1-2 hours a night (SO has to study the maths himself before he can do it); by phone when skid is at BM's (BM has trained SO to be a helicopter parent to pick up her slack); If characterless skid sobs about homework SO will even enter toxic BM's house to do homework; skids take over dining room &/or living room with their study to loud music (SO can be more time-efficient by simultaneously cooking & doing homework. SM expected to ask skids if she can use the public spaces or turn down her TV shows if she is cooking); SO repeats script that it's a waste to pay for tutors when he is already paying for skids' private school, which supplies free tutoring...even after skid changes to free, public school; if SM suggests she moves out to live in a house half an hour away skids can call him with a homework crisis any time he visits SM & he will immediately leave SM to do homework (skids can't be expected to know which topics they will find difficult until the night before homework is due); SO sternly talks to teachers about skids' anxiety & specific needs (Not do exams. Skip class to sit in first aid room when emotional); SO complains that he is exhausted but SM can't understand because she doesn't have children & she must hate skids & they hate her anyway.

That should cover homework-coddling. I give myself an A+