Originally Posted by North_Of_60
ETA: Even though I think it's really obvious you have his best interests at heart, I beg that you try not to place blame on his mother. Even if she is deserving of choice words it will NOT be in Zack's best interest to hear a shred of "us against her". A few things you said in regards to his mom, which may just be you venting on here, could be construed by a vulnerable 13 year old as blame or taking sides. That's not to say that discussing her and her roll in her son's problems should be avoided, but just tread carefully in front of him. Even if he's comfortable talking to you, I think you should avoid talking to him about her. And I'm not saying you have, but just in case. Especially with him feeling displaced and obviously showing different colours in different households, I think it could create a major poop-storm if he got it in his head that you guys think his mom is to blame or wrong or not a capable parent, etc. It could lead to problems of him playing one against the other. Poker face time.
Yeah, my parents tried to pul this crap as well and it really hurt me so we say nothing negative about Zs mum. Occasionally me and DH vent but not within earshot of Z.
Thing is, Zs mum has tried to the best as she knows how. I realise she feels bad about a lot of stuff and as she says, she just wants to make him happy but the way she has done it (by buying everything he wants, not saying no, allowing him to treat her like a door mat etc) hasn't been the best way.
She obviously loves him, you can see that whenever she is here and close to bursting into tears (poor lady, honestly I have to say, before I really met her I had formed an opinion of her but having had a chance to meet her and talk to her properly on a couple of occasions I have totally changed my mind about her, she is a good person who got caught up in the emotions of a difficult relationship which ended up in her being a single parent and everything else).
Essentially, she wants the best for him, but I think she is finding it hard to let go. She did say while she was here last time that it is really hard to think that as a parent you have failed. We tell her, she hasn't failed, things might not have gone right with Z but that doesn't mean she has failed. I guess its like me and my mum, we simply do not go together, our personalities are too different.
Having said that, DH and I were somewhat stunned when she said it is Zs fault that Zs education is so bad because he doesn't put the effort in....... However, I think a lot of parents go by how they were brought up and from what I gather, her up bringing wasn't necessarily fantastic. DH and I made a decision to break the cycle of the way we were brought up, everything we do is different, I guess not everyone is able to do that though.
So, yes, we will see how the next 2 meetings go and then Colin and I will decide how we are going to pursue this. We would rather not do it the through the courts but obviously, how we move forward is down to Zs mum, we can do it easy or we can do it hard!!!!
I really like Z, I have to say, he has some interesting quirks (I actually have to tell him to put back stuff he has pocketed in the shop, I am quite observant these days) but its nice to have him about. He says he hates learning and school work but when we are talking, he asks lots of questions about things. He is really helpful with the girls which I am surprised at.
So, keep your fingers crossed that all goes well today with the first parent meeting!