Nothing means more to my husband than his family. His kids are his pride and joy. He knows his injuries place abnormal strain on them from time to time, but when he is able he does everything in his power to help them. Today has been a true test of his anger management, and he passed with flying colors.
We are big believers in raising children for success. When I say success, I am not speaking of finances. I am speaking of a happy, healthy (physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually), and all around good life. We believe in boundaries, discipline, and the value of education. Unfortunately, my stepson's mother does not share our views.
Yesterday was my stepson's birthday. Although she had already let him skip school for no reason 5 days this year, she let him skip on his birthday... making it 6 days he has skipped. This does not include the days he has had excused absences such as an illness or an educational experience. These days are simply "playing hooky" as she puts it. He is struggling in one of his classes, and his attendance was very important. Yet she allowed him to skip school. Her excuse? His birthday is one of the two most important days in my life, and I want him to know that. Our view? If you truly love your kid that much wouldn't you want them to learn and grow into a mature, responsible individual? Why would you want your child who is struggling in a class to miss out on lessons he needs to know. The poor kid has absolutely hated school ever since he started experiencing struggles in math. Wouldn't you want him to learn to at least tolerate school by relieving the stress of him not understanding anything in math? She stood firm that she was doing right. So... we logged it.
We are blessed with the fact that she freely gives us reasons to log information. It seems she daily makes decisions a court would see as poor and not in the best interest of the child. We will never have to dig for information. She lays it out plain and clear to us.
Today we received a call from the school saying my stepson was in the principal's office for not turning in his math homework too many times. We began looking into it, and we were shocked at how often he does not do his homework when he is at his mom's house. Wouldn't turning in his work be a start to helping him do better in math?
My husband was livid. But, incredibly, he contained his anger extremely well. Again, he logged it. He spoke with the assistant principal about the truancy throughout the year. Although he was not 100% clear on all the facts, his understanding was that if my stepson's mother allows him to miss 2 more unexcused days this quarter, the school will automatically be taking her to court.
What did my husband do? He could have told her. He could have gone off on her. He had every reason to lay into her about how she is doing his son such an injustice... how badly she is hurting his son. But, no... instead he prayed about it. We prayed together about it. We talked it out and decided the best thing we can do is be the best parents we can be at our house, continue to be very involved in the school, do our best to influence the boy to make the right decisions, continue to never speak ill of his mother to him, and pray.