Need advise


I have a 12 year old step son that is have lots of problems in school. Right now he is failing…his mom has primary physical custody of him and we have him every other weekend and holdiays and during the summer (secondary physical custody. RIght now he is getting in trouble at school - being put in ISS for his behavior. We don’t think he is discipline much at moms house and a don’t like to be discipline…we have had some behavior problems at our house but we usually punish him for what he dones…his mom don’t seem to being doing her part. His dad and I plan to take mom to court for modification of custody this summer and it can’t come soon enough. This has been going on for the last 1 year and we don’t know what to do…we have been to his school and discuss him with teachers…and are in contact with teachers at school and guidance counselors…any suggestions?


My ex had a daughter when we married. She was having difficulty in school, failed second grade and my ex decided to sue mom for custody. In the end, my ex did not get custody. Spent thousands of dollars in the process. It was a mess and step-daughter was put through a lot.

Mom and grandmom got the kid a private tutor during this time. Turns out kid had learning disability. She got the help she needed and it took a little while, but she ended up on on the honor roll from middle school on through high school.

If I had it all to do again, I wish the $ would have been spent to pay for private tutor or helping mom with whatever assistance she needed to be able to help my step-daughter.

Now I am the one with twin daughters with educational issues. Both daughter have ADD and learning disabilities. Ex has decided to sue me for custody - in the middle of this right now. I have spent the past two years taking my daughters to neuropsychologist, pediatrician, occupational therapist, audiologist, etc. trying to find out exactly what the problem was and help them. I fought the school for a year and a half to get them services.

I moved and now I am in a really good school that I am so happy with I could almost cry. My daughters are repeating a grade this year, but they are doing extremely well - honor roll each nine weeks. They are still a bit behind in reading, but they are progressing very well.

It is hard to be a single mom. It is really hard to be a single mom to two kids with ADD. It is very hard to be a single mom to two kids with ADD and learning disability and it is extremely hard to do all that with no support from dad and it almost impossible to do all that while fighting a custody battle with dad.

The only people who win in a custody suit, is the attorneys. Not that I am against a modification to custody when the situation warrants it, but you have to weigh the pros and cons.

Being a single parent, especially of a teen and espeically of a teen with educational and behavior problems is probably beating mom down. You didn’t mention that there were any other issues.

It sounds like the kid is having problems. What you are about to put the kid through in a custody battle will not help his situation at all. My advice is to put your financial resources to better use supporting the kid and maybe even mom. Offer to pay, transport, whatever to a good tutor. Same for a counselor if his behavior is an issue. You may be surprised to find the kids problems aren’t at all what you thought they were. Maybe the behavior is related to the poor performance at school.

In the end, it is about helping him - not beating down mom.