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(Slate)   "I'm homeschooling my kids, since I have an education degree. My 12-year-old stepdaughter has moved in full time as everyone agrees the pandemic will not be over by August. Her mom wants me to teach her own stepdaughters; do I have to do this?"   (slate.com) divider line
    More: Awkward, bad relationship, 7-year-old son, book thing, Q. Ca, school hours, good luck, full time, stepdaughters' friends  
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345 clicks; posted to Discussion » on 14 Jul 2020 at 5:03 AM (3 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



16 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2020-07-14 6:38:33 AM  
It's no wonder that these advice columns make up elaborate scenario questions.  The standard "I don't know how to say no" letters are pretty boring.
 
2020-07-14 6:39:56 AM  
Ask for money. Lots of it.
 
2020-07-14 7:05:55 AM  
No.  Obviously.  Why is this even a question?

In no way is this anyone's responsibility but the actual parent of those children.  If you decide to take it on, then you should be compensated.

On the other hand, if you aren't smart enough to know this for yourself, maybe you shouldn't be a teacher.
 
2020-07-14 7:48:10 AM  

durbnpoisn: No.  Obviously.  Why is this even a question?

In no way is this anyone's responsibility but the actual parent of those children.  If you decide to take it on, then you should be compensated.

On the other hand, if you aren't smart enough to know this for yourself, maybe you shouldn't be a teacher.


Anecdotally, Teachers are poorly compensated. So this is pretty much in line with expectations. Start teaching that non-kid of yours!
 
2020-07-14 7:59:22 AM  

Tr0mBoNe: Ask for money. Lots of it.


Or something, at least. Maybe the mom can make diner five nights a week for everyone as payment for your work. Things can be worked out, but everyone first has to acknowledge that teaching (and dealing with kids) is work.
 
2020-07-14 8:14:26 AM  
You let her move into your home. But your question suggests you resent this. That's unhealthy for the 12 year old and for you. Pretend you're a grown-up and yes, offer her homeschooled lessons. But also be clever about it because she may not want to spend much time with you as she likely recognizes that you don't really like her. So give her the opportunity to be very self-directed just to avoid spending time with you. Everybody wins. She develops independence. Your time isn't overwhelmed but you can also feel like you've accomplished something. Or be more clever than me and find a better win-win solution that isn't anchored by some twisted desire to stick it to your husband's ex.
 
2020-07-14 8:58:51 AM  
Let them come over.  The 1st homework they bring home is to read the Satanic Bible.  Let's see if they come back for day 2.
 
2020-07-14 9:08:40 AM  
What motivates this animosity - did she steal your partner?  Tell her to get stuffed.
Do you want a healthy relationship with these girls? The cooking-as-compensation idea sounds good (she buys the food, too).
 
2020-07-14 9:18:29 AM  
Charge the mom $10,000 per stepchild per year.
 
2020-07-14 10:26:35 AM  
The two children that are your husband's first wife's stepdaughters are close in age to your stepdaughter that you have already decided to home school. Therefore one lesson plan may work for all three of the girls. I say you try teaching all three and see how it goes. However, the two extra girls are not your responsibility, so I would ask to be paid for teaching them.
 
2020-07-14 11:11:04 AM  

wademh: You let her move into your home. But your question suggests you resent this. That's unhealthy for the 12 year old and for you. Pretend you're a grown-up and yes, offer her homeschooled lessons. But also be clever about it because she may not want to spend much time with you as she likely recognizes that you don't really like her. So give her the opportunity to be very self-directed just to avoid spending time with you. Everybody wins. She develops independence. Your time isn't overwhelmed but you can also feel like you've accomplished something. Or be more clever than me and find a better win-win solution that isn't anchored by some twisted desire to stick it to your husband's ex.


No, it's another set of step kids. 2 other step kids from what sounds like another marriage.  The article is confusing but it sounds like she is married to a man who has two previous marriages. She agreed once to teach one of the man's former wives' kids, and now the other ex wife is asking for the same. Or maybe she has an ex and he does too, and she's getting asked to teach all three marriages worth of kids. Such headache.
 
2020-07-14 11:25:50 AM  
1) Teacher Teacher, Can You Reach Me?  Or Will I Fall When You Let Me Go?: Ugh.  OK, so the best approach I think here is the COVID spread risk.  These other kids coming and going aren't in line with best practices.  Maybe offer to help with assignments but otherwise tell Anna to FRO.

2) It's A Thousand Pages, Give Or Take A Few.  I'll Be Writing More In A Week Or Two: I think priority one is GTFO.  Then you can tell him to STFU from a safe distance.

3) If This Isn't Love, Then Why Do We Fight For It?: DTMFA.

4) The Seasons Don't Fear The Reaper: My friend who received a cancer diagnosis over a year ago was a little fast to tell everyone which led to some confusion about the nature of the treatment plan.  Initially they thought it was only stage 1, maybe 2.  Got a bit further into it, found it was stage 3.  So I support the plan of limiting disclosure until the plan is formulated.

5) I'll Be On Your Side Forever More: You're good friends, right?  Then you should be fine telling her to STFU and GTHOI occasionally.

6) But My Silent Fears Have Gripped Me Long Before I Reach The Phone: STFU, MYOB and GTHOI.

7) Teacher, Teacher II: See, the thing Prudie seems to miss here is that they are co-parenting.  That means they basically have to maintain speaking terms at some level.

8) Don't Fear The Reaper II: Duh.

9) I Know About You And I'm Gonna Tell (Classic): I'm sure work has noticed, so what secret are you keeping there?  Does this intern know personal contact info for affected partners?  Probably not.  But the truth is going to come out eventually anyway.  Call the bluff.
 
2020-07-14 11:29:00 AM  
Christ, Prudie, Bad Prudie, BAD Prudie!

This is actually something that I see a lot of.  Co-Parenting is tough, really farking tough in pandemic land, and I have watched this exact scenario play out multiple times.  It gets harder when one parent social distances and another doesn't.  Or one parent only has kids going to grandparents and the other is fully involved.

You can't say "no" with the kids there, it isn't fair to the kids and they wouldn't understand everything that is going on, just that "you are angry all the time".  You need to lay down the law BEFORE the drop-off happens, controlling the place, the location and the time of the drop-off.  It isn't at your house or their house, it's at a neutral location.  Always a neutral location.  Always make sure your vehicle only has room for the number of people you should be taking with you.  Picking up one kid?  Make sure you have a packed car and can only take one kid.  That way, they can't accidentally unload more kids on you AND the kids understand that.  You would take them BUT your car is full.  Next, make sure you always have to be somewhere at a specific time after the drop-off.  That controls the time, so they can't drag their feet, or get someone to help them with more kids.  You are in and out, because you have somewhere to be.

Touching up on neutral location.  If they show up at your house unannounced, always make it inconvenient, hostile and poor for them to be at your house.  Flooding inf the basement, water turned off, broken window and no A/C, Power is out, always something at the house and they need to call first.  Make it clear they need to call first.  Never let them show up at your house, never show up to their house.  Let the kids inspect the house and tell you about the situation.  Whenever it's a kid-swap always make it a neutral location and always drive and always make it so you can only take the number of kids that you are supposed to have.  It takes planning, but at the end of the day, you will be happier without having to be an absolute asshole.

But wait, I only have one kid, and I have a 4-door car, I have a swap in 15 minutes and nobody to load up the car with, wat du?  GOODWILL CRAP!  Load that car with goodwill crap, top to bottom, you are helping the atchurch, you are clearing out the basement, you are helping a friend, I don't care, load the car up, stuff it so full of crap, you can barely get that one kid in there, and even that is sketch.  You do not want any extra children in that car.  By the time the other parent drives off, any children not in their car are in your care.  Good luck with that.  Be the first to go with the children you are in charge of and drive it like you stole it.

It's hard, it's emotionally damaging and draining, children are awesome, but they are not always your responsibility, unless they are in your charge and you are the adult in the room.

Also, send follow-up texts to let people know what kids are in your car.  Nothing sucks more than being the kid left behind because they went to the bathroom.
 
2020-07-14 1:43:21 PM  
So, the ex-wife has two stepchildren from her second marriage, and they live with their mom mostly. Check.

The child that she shares with the letter writer's husband will be living w/dad and stepmom. Check.

The ex-wife expects her ex-husband's new wife to teach her stepchildren. Check.

What a load of crap! If the 'teacher mom' doesn't want to teach these children, and it sounds like she doesn't, she needs to nip this in the bud. It sounds like the ex-wife and the other ex thinks they can take advantage of having an educator on the periphery of their lives. I'm not sure of the words she needs to use to stop this but she needs to let them know that she will not become the dumping ground for kids of people that don't want to teach their own kids. In a win/lose game the teacher mom is solidly on the losing side. One of the biggest red flags I'd fly is the major unknown circumstances of how these other people are doing social distancing, mask-wearing and all that goes along with those risk factors. I'd just simply tell them that you aren't willing to open up your home to that many possible disease vectors.
 
2020-07-14 2:42:37 PM  
Better be careful or someone may end up as a meme on Fark, along with slats inundated with testicles and scary streetlights.
/Are aliens street light people?
//Was that song postactively
///Or was it Drew and his time machine?
 
2020-07-14 10:25:41 PM  
Not to derail the thread, but who are these people that fail at marriage#1, but do so *after* they've had kids and yet these same bozos jump into marriage #2 so quickly that the second sets of kids are near in age to the first set?
 
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