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Frustrated and there is nothing I can do.

Posted by on Sep. 8, 2013 at 12:32 AM
  • 14 Replies

I just feel that I am the only one that truly care about the skids education.  My skids are SS is 11 and SD is 7.  And my bio kids DS is 14 and DD is 7.  I mean SO and BM do care if they pass but I feel as long as they pass every thing is A OK by SO and BM book.  Like they could have D's and they would be fine with it.  I try to get SO to care more about their education but he never liked school himself and so the kids don't like school.  BM trys to pretend like she is Supermom but then she keeps the kids home from school for no apparent reason.  SS likes to pretend like he is sick when he isn't.  You would think his own mother would be able to tell when he is faking it but she keeps him home anyway.  I don't know if it is she doesn't want to fight with him or wants to be the favorite parent or is just lonely sitting in the house all day by her self I don't know.  I mean both kids missed 9 days of school last year.  And they were truly sick about 1/2 of that.  Plus BM doesn't always check their homework.  BM always has them do their homework before we get them Thurs night but then or 1/2 the time they have problems wrong that need to be corrected.  And who knows what happens when they don't come over here for SO or I to check it.  I would like the skids to study more over here and read but then I am the bad guy because I want the kids to do extra work.  SO only gets skids EOWE so he doesn't want them to be doing homework the whole time.  He is then worried the kids won't want to come over since we make them study and read all the time.  Which I understand.  SD is behind on reading but if SD reads more maybe she will become a better reader instead of being behind.  Then SO thinks that since he only gets them EOWE what ever we have them do extra is only a drop in the bucket compared to the time BM gets with her and if BM isn't going to do the same.  If BM isn't going to work with the SD on reading then us working with her EOWE isn't going to help much.  SO and BM don't really talk about the kids education.  SO one time brought up to BM that SS was behind on his reading homework because SS teacher emailed back informing SO and BM was more pissed that SO found out and not her than SS being behind on his reading homework.  Like she didn't care that SS was behind she cared more that the teacher was emailing SO and not her.  And the teacher emailed SO because SO called the teacher and asked.  BM could have done that she saw his planner that said he was behind she just refused to do anything about it.  And last year BM did inform SO that SD was in a special reading group but played it off as no big deal.  We are unsure if SD is in the same special reading group since she is behind on her reading.  SO is going to email the teacher and find out.  This weekend SD was writing some of her letters backwards and I wanted her to practice writing her letters and we got into an fight because he didn't think it was necessary and she is fine.  She ended up practicing but I don't think SD was too happy with me about it.  I suggested maybe seeing if SD has a learning disability or has dyslexia and SO refuses to get SD tested.  And since I don't have an legal rights I can't do anything.  I understand it is hard to have your child labeled my DS has ADHD and my exh and I fought for year about getting him tested but eventually I did and I ended up putting him on medication that helped a lot.  It is just frustrating that I feel like I am the only one that cares if skids go to school and succeed in school.  I guess with my own bio kids I always wanted them to do well and if they were struggling I would work with them and make them practice.  My DD is excelling so well.  My DS is struggling a little but he is in high school now so it is a little harder than he is use to.  I know I can't make people change it is just so frustrating to sit back and watch it happen. 

by on Sep. 8, 2013 at 12:32 AM
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by on Sep. 8, 2013 at 12:55 AM

I am sorry, you mean well, but your step kids have their bio-parents around so, you have no say in it. Sometimes you just need to ignore it because there is nothing you can do. I am going through the similar thing like you right now. There is nothing my DH and I can do if the BM and her husband don't want to coordinate to keep track of the SDs' school progress. We'll do what we can when they are here with us.

by on Sep. 8, 2013 at 11:15 AM

 I agree....DH has full custody so we have more say in their homework and school stuff and well I keep track more because we can...but in your case both DH and BM are on the same page and you really cant control what BM does at her home you can only help when they are with you. I would talk to DH and let him know how you feel but in reality there is not much you can do.

We all know you mean well!

Quoting spicy0425:

I am sorry, you mean well, but your step kids have their bio-parents around so, you have no say in it. Sometimes you just need to ignore it because there is nothing you can do. I am going through the similar thing like you right now. There is nothing my DH and I can do if the BM and her husband don't want to coordinate to keep track of the SDs' school progress. We'll do what we can when they are here with us.


by on Sep. 8, 2013 at 11:34 AM
I am a SM only so my point of view is from a stepmom point of view. Stop. Stop worrying about your step kids education. They have two parents who are obviously unconcerned about their progress. There is nothing you can do to help this situation, especially since you all only see the kids EOWE. You are going to ruin your relationship with these kids and make them not want to come visit. You can find other fun ways to have them practice reading and writing when they are over other than sitting th down and forcing them to read and write. Have them help in the kitchen and read a recipe. Work a puzzle together or get a family game out and ask them to read the directions or instructions to you before you play. Find a story they like and read to them. Hearing fluency helps with learning fluency. But honestly, you are going to have little to no impact on your step kids education only being involved 4 days a month. Concentrate on your own children's education and hope their progress and motivation rubs off on the skids. I'm really not trying to be mean, but trying to offer some advice to save you the headache of being frustrated with a situation you have no control over and no hope at this point of impacting or changing. Good luck
by Platinum Member on Sep. 8, 2013 at 5:44 PM

"I would like the skids to study more over here and read"

^^^ That is your problem right there


by on Sep. 8, 2013 at 5:50 PM

Education is very important to me too.  And I've had situations where I really felt like DH and BM were not pushing hard enough, expecting enough.  But ya know what?  Those kids are THEIR kids. Not mine.  So unless I'm asked to help, I really have to take a step back. 

Focus on your own kids.  There is a wide spectrum of parenting that still counts as reasonable and while you might not agree with what your DH and BM are doing academically with their kids...not your kids.

And honestly?  The truly motivated kids will find a way no matter how involved (or not) their folks are. 

by on Sep. 8, 2013 at 6:15 PM

We have custodial custody of SS and we are able to keep on top of his education better.  When he lived with BM , she would stand there and give him the answers to his homework.  She openly admitted this to us and laughed about it.  He couldn't read, think for himself, etc....I know how you feel.  I used to be where you are right now.  

BM didn't care.  She gave him the answers so she didn't have to listen to him whine.  The only difference is my DH does care.  When we got custody at the beginning of the summer 2 years ago, I realized that SS had a 1st grade reading level going into 3rd grade.  SS couldn't read 1 page in Cat in the Hat or do simple Math with having a nervouse breakdown since we refused to give him the answers. DH & I worked with him the entire summer.  We realized that something wasn't right.  We too thought that he had a learning disability or ADHD.  I had researched and was pretty sure it was ADHD.  We had SS tested and he is ADHD with literally a 12 second attention span.  BM was not interested at all.  She could have cared less.  Since being diagnosed, he has excelled.  He went from failing 3rd grade the first semester to being on the Honor Roll.  We taught him study skills, how to think for himself, etc...He would look to us for all the answers to his homework.  30 minutes of HW was taking 4-5 hours.  In our house, Education is important.  School comes first.  

We finally had a "Come to Jesus Talk" with BM.  On her visitation weekday, she would check SS homework to see that "it was done", not if it was done right.  Too many times, he would have to come home a re-do it or double up the next day correcting what she should have caught.  DH finally told her that if she can't be adult enough to check SS homework correctly, he can't come over there until it's done.  It isn't fair to have to make him re-do his homework every single week after visiting her.  Now, she's not the brightest crayon in the box, but surely she can see a simple Math mistake or spelling mistake.  She actually Goggled what a verb was one time because she didn't know.  When she told DH & I, we just started laughing.  We couldn't help ourselves.  And this is from someone who was going to school to be a teacher?  Hide your children people!  She will suck the intelligence out your kids.     

Hang in there.  Unless your S/O is on board, there really isn't anything you can do.  Trust me, we tried when BM was NCP.  We (DH & I ) had to sit back and watch SS fail.  It broke our hearts and angered us that his BM didn't care more about him. 

by on Sep. 8, 2013 at 7:08 PM
I didn't read your entire post so if this advice isn't applicable forgive me-

Don't waste your time trying to get them to read or do any extra- mainly because eowe is kit going to help them enough to merit the problems it is going to cause. Are you the best parent of the three adults involved- most likely- should they listen to you- yep- if they were smart... Sigh----but they aren't and your just causing yourself aggravation trying to teach them how I parent better. The hardest thing I have found about being a step parent is keeping my mouth shut while my skids parents royally screw them up. And now they are grown and royally screwed up- it does get easier to keep your mouth shut about it as time goes on though- I haven't offerer any advice since about two years into our marriage. I have had some say that involves our joint finances but nothin more than that.
by Silver Member on Sep. 8, 2013 at 7:17 PM

This was something I really had to let go. Even before we lived where we do, my kids were open enrolled here, the schools are much better. SD's current district is rated 5/24, and where we live is 21/24. SD is/was also failing for numerous reasons, one being BM would just give SD the answers. DH has begged and pleaded now that he sees the difference between DD and SD education wise. BUT her refuses to make BM put her money where her mouth is as she always says she will let SD come here, or help her more, or get her tutoring. I just stopped wasting my breath, and let it go.

BM doesn't really value education, instead tells SD that she can marry a rich man or shake her booty for $$.

by on Sep. 8, 2013 at 7:19 PM

You are trying to meddle where you do not belong. It is none of your business how well or not so well your SD & SS are doing in school unless you are asked to help by the BM. It is also not your business to diagnose your SD with a learning disability just because you think she may have a learning disability. Seriously, you see your SD every other  weekend, how on earth can you possibly diagnose a child with a learning disability when you don't have the child living in your home full time? God god, my youngest GD was still writing certain letters backwards at age 7 but it wasn't long before she was writing perfectly fine. As with everything, some children take longer than others to learn. That doesn't give you or anyone else full licence to label them with a learning disability because it took them longer to grasp proper lettering for goodness sake.

You are making a mistake by expecting your SC  to be exactly like your bio children in their studies. Your SC only see their father every other weekend, for you to expect your SC to spend those weekend days studying and reading is unreasonable on your part as well as almost bordering on nasty. You say your SC are passing but not passing to your standards. Do you not stop to think that although they might not be passing to your standards they are still passing where other children are not? To me that is a good thing.

What you should really be concerned about is if your SC are happy and even more important are handling the fact they are being being passed back and forth between two families every other week.

by Ruby Member on Sep. 8, 2013 at 7:31 PM
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Honestly?  It sounds like BM and dH are mor interested in their battle and turf wars than their kids.  You are certainly not going to fix that.  Focus on your kids.  You might want to suggest one thing to your DH that might help the turf wars.  When he emails a teacher, he should copy BM.  And once he starts including her in his communications, maybe she will start including him in hers.  It is a tiny change, but maybe it could help ease the tension.  It is wrong if he communicates unilateraly with a teacher and doesn't inform the other parent.

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