Subject: Out of control kids
Question: I've been dating a man for a little over 6 months now and he has 2 children from his previous marriage. His son is 17 and his daughter is 15. The kids live full-time with his ex-wife and with them (the kids) being older they don't have a "set" schedule when they see their dad. Basically his ex only calls him when the kids need something or they are in trouble.
Things are beginning to get out of control.
His son just turned 17 in January and has recently been kicked out of school for not showing up. The mother doesn't seem to have a problem with this considering she was telling her son that he didn't have to go to school anymore after age 16.
These problems have been mounting and now he's also been caught doing drugs, drinking and being abusive to his sister and mother. So where should he even start trying to save what is left of his son? The next issue is his daughter. She is 14, going to be 15 in May.
She is currently on probation for damaging some property at a friend's house. Her father has told her time and time again that she is not to "hang out" with a certain friend of her's but she continues to do so. The latest issue is she is sneaking out at night (which is a violation of her probation) and spending time with this friend she is not to be seeing.
This girl is getting a MAJOR attitude and basically only calls her dad when she needs something. He has tried to tell her that he is serious about the rules he's setting but it's hard for him to follow through when his ex is allowing the kids to do whatever they want. Trust me...this man needs all the help he can get. He's at his wits end with these kids and his ex and he's to the point of blaming himself for their actions. Do you have any suggestions?
I do have suggestions which you may not like. You are dating a man with teenagers. Begin your relationship by keeping your boundaries in tack. The fact that he is not on here asking my opinion says volumes to me.
When dating men with children realize they not your are responsible for their relationships with their children. Do not make the mistake of confusing support and empathy with sticking your nose into his relationships with his children. Your advice will not be welcome. No parent wants answers unless they first ask for them.
This is a situation which is only going to escalate unless he or his ex seek intervention and trust me when I say all anger and resentment will come your direction when you begin to get into the middle of this situation.
If you cannot tolerate the chaos then reconsider the relationship however please for your own sake don't start a relationship with someone you are already trying to rescue.
Feel free to encourage him to write me himself if he is so inclined to.
M Kay Keller