H v. difficult child and me in the middle

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by svengandhi, Apr 3, 2011.

  1. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    My difficult child is 16. He is a junior who takes primarily AP and honors classes but does not believe in HW. His MO has always been to self-sabotage in school or other activities where he is doing well.

    Last year, he had a dispute with a scout leader. To make a long story short, it resulted in him being removed from the troop and H and I removing the younger boys as well. We recently joined a new troop. Today, they did an activity. It apparently went well, but when they got home, H was livid and told me that difficult child will not be allowed to take his job at scout camp this summer unless he does the 3 merit badges he needs to get to Eagle; however, H told him he doesn't care if he does a project or not. difficult child told me that he has gone to meetings for a month and while he likes the boys and the leaders, he does not want to remain in scouting and does not want to finish the badges. He does want to go to camp but his gfgness will not allow him to "give in" and do the badges and H's gfgness will not allow him to back down from his ultimatum, which he knew I didn't agree with.

    H told me that if I didn't back him up, he would leave. Part of my dilemna is that I don't really care if he leaves, as long as he takes the dogs with him, takes his cars off my insurance and signs our home into my name (he can have a second home we own, which has a mortgage outstanding that is 1/10th of our main home, which I would gladly sign in to his name. He can also go live with his mom, while I have no such options. He does not have the money to support our current home on his own, while I can). I don't need CS from him and frankly single head of household would do me solid. I just need to get custody of our amazing accountant!

    Meanwhile, I don't know what to do about difficult child. I don't care if he finishes Eagle, though it would be sad if he didn't. I want him to go to camp and work. I could use him having his own money for the year, PC14 is also going up there to work but he will probably decide not to go without difficult child since difficult child is the one who loves the camp. I tried to convince him to just do the badges but he said that giving him an ultimatum makes him shut down (yeah, we know that!).

    Do you guys think that going to a mediator on this issue of our son would be helpful? H and I are both lawyers. Ironically, I am a trial attorney by trade and HE is the one who negotiates deals. You'd think it was the opposite in our M. We tried MC after his cheating and I found it laughably useless.
  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    It sounds like there are a few different issues going on here....

    You've been having trouble in your marriage? I'm sorry to hear it if that is the case...
    If the marriage is over - don't make it about difficult child. Kids blame themselves for divorce enough as it is - don't let a dispute about your kids' activites be the final straw.

    Regarding the scouting? Sounds like scouting is pretty important to your H....maybe even moreso than it is to difficult child.

    We had an issue with scouting here, too. husband was really into scouting. DS - not so much. But DS joined the troup...earned a few badges....went on a few trips....but eh, wasn't really interested. Meanwhile, husband tried to put down more and more rules about the scouting activities that DS "should" be doing and earning and caring about. It was turning scouts from a fun activity to a high-stress situation. I was the one who ended up playing "mediator" on the scouting issue. I sat each of them down separately to find out their feelings and goals about scouting. It was clear that husband was taking it far more seriously than DS wanted to. For us, the solution was that DS quit the troop...and husband let him without any hard feelings.

    It does sound like some kind of mediation might be good for your scouting situation, too - but only to resolve the dispute between your H and your difficult child. Please down let this affect your marriage...
  3. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Having spent too many years as the mediator between Miss KT and Hubby...in my opinion your H is being a jerk. Saying he's going to leave if you don't back him up? All righty then.

    As for difficult child, ask him if going to camp is more important than not doing the work for the badges. Let him know it's not backing down, but ultimately getting what he wants...to go to camp. He can make a decision to continue or not after that. Miss KT would never have done anything if I hadn't given her a time table and insisted that she finish the season/project/whatever before deciding to quit.

    Who is it that said difficult child couldn't go to camp without finishing the badges? Your H or the scout leader?
  4. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    Okay, so latest chat reveals that H is angry at difficult child because the fallout from the incident last year put a fatal rift between H and his best friend (a dad who is in scouts despite his Aspie son's absolute hatred of it! because he himself loves camping, etc.). H is angry that after losing his friend, difficult child isn't showing that he's "grateful" that we backed him in the dispute by earning Eagle. difficult child used to be the most dedicated scout in his troop; he's been in scouting since 1st grade and he's now a HS junior.

    difficult child wouldn't be going to camp as a camper but as staff. He helped us out last year by paying for his own driver's ed with his earnings and he doesn't ask me for money. He is still living off of the remainder of last year's earnings. It would help me if he earned money. He gets rave reviews from adult leaders and other staff and I feel that he should be encouraged to have a job and that maybe being up there will give him the motivation to continue on with the badges. Also, as I said before, PC14 doesn't have the same love for scouting that difficult child does and I'm afraid he'll refuse to go if difficult child doesn't. Then I'll have both of them sitting around all summer just playing video games (because H works from home and won't stop them or do anything with them). H screamed at me that he is not going if the badges aren't done and then accused me of being unsupportive of his position. When I said I had told him I disagreed earlier, he said that didn't matter, he already told me his decision... The SM doesn't care about the badges; difficult child already has advanced further than most boys ever get in scouts (he's life, with 9/12 required badges and 22 other badges where 9 are needed for eagle).

    I've given difficult child a time table. I suggested that he work on them with easy child or one of his other friends. I offered to help him with them; if I could do them myself, I would since they wouldn't be submitted for eagle. He doesn't want to do it anymore. H, on the other hand, is getting more and more in to scouts each year, taking on more volunteer duties, running another unit, etc. A lot of what he's doing is, in my humble opinion, designed to get "revenge" on the people who kicked difficult child out... Part of his agenda is to have difficult child make Eagle despite what our former troop thinks of difficult child. I think my boys would be fine if we quit scouts altogether, but I do like the fact that they at least get some activity. None of my kids does sports or anything else.

    This can't affect my M any more than it already is. My M is basically dead because H is an unrepetant cheater, not because of difficult child or any of the other kids. I will probably D him when youngest boy is out of school. We have different life plans for retirement. He wants to age in place and I want to be somewhere where the snow don't fall... We are together because I need to control the money.

    I have been wracking my brain about who to have mediate. I am thinking of a man we know in scouts who is high up and who knows difficult child very well (and thinks very highly of him; he took difficult child's side in the dispute as well). I think this man would be able to convince H to let difficult child take a job he already committed to even without doing the badges...
  5. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I'd say go with that and leave ALL the boy scout stuff between the boys and step out of the argument entirely.
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im sorry this is so complicated.

    Your life must be so stressful between home and work!