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Getting Dad to help!!

posted 8 years 3 months ago
I had no idea where to put this topic. I hope this is the best place for it to go.

I have been with my boyfriend for 14 years now. I have 2 sons from a previous marriage and 2 daughters that are his. While the boys do not call him dad, they do consider him a father figure due to the fact that he has been in their life since they were really young. They also have no contact with their biological father.

The boys are teenagers and he's great when it comes to talking to them about problems. He's not so great at telling them to do anything. What I mean is that he doesn't tell them to clean their rooms. He doesn't make sure they've done any chores around the house. I am the one that tells them everything to do. This has made him the "fun" parent and me the mom that they seem to hate.

The girls are now 9 and 11. He doesn't do a thing with them! Now my 9 year old is normally perfectly happy entertaining herself. The 11 year old has several learning disabilities and needs someone to help her with a lot. She also needs extra teaching at how due to being so far behind. We've argued numerous times about the lack of help that I receive.

In all honesty, I simply want added help with the 11 year old. We've argued about it numerous times and I always get, "I don't know how to teach her." Really?! She does have Down Syndrome and I know several people think that there's a specific way that they learn. It's merely by repetition in which every child can benefit from. Anyways, I finally found small things that he could do with her. We have a reading program she's on in which you read the book to her once a day. You are only supposed to spend 2-3 minutes on this book. It's very short and concentrates on learning words. They don't actually tell a story or have any flashy pictures or anything. Simple enough to do right? Wrong! I can't even get him to do that.

I'm at my wits end here. She's falling further and further behind and I can't keep up with the other kids, the house, and her!

Does anyone have any ideas??

posted 8 years 3 months ago
My heart goes out to you and your problem. I wish I had the right answers for you so it could be fixed right away. Is there a particular reason behind his not wanting to help? Is it just a more recent problem or has it been a problem her whole life? Maybe there is an ulterior reason why he "can't" help. Is he like that with the other children too? It sounds like this is causing you a lot of stress and frustration and I can certainly understand that. Is there some professional that would be able to help you and your boyfriend work this out so that he can understand what you need and you can understand his reasons for not helping? I know raising children with no help is hard. I hope you can find the right answers for your situation and this works out for you.

posted 8 years 3 months ago
Raising a child with Down's Syndrome can be taxing on a relationship. Many marriages do not make it. Good for you for being a great mom to these girls. Do they live with you full time? What about their mother? You sound like you really want what is best for them. It's hard to motivate someone to do things and if your boyfriend is generally unwilling it must be for a reason. I would seek professional help. Perhaps if he heard it from a teacher, doctor, etc. that spending time with his daughter reading each day would be beneficial, he might be more apt to do it. Hang in there.

posted 8 years 3 months ago
Thank you both for the advice. When I'm at my breaking point, he seems to perfectly understand why I need the help. I can't say he's NEVER done anything because he has. It's just very short lived until I have another mental breakdown so to speak.

He doesn't go with me to doctor's appointments, to take the kids to school, or even attend the IEP (Individual Education Plan) that they have for my daughter with DS a few times a year. I know that he won't go with me for any type of professional help. He's the type of person that doesn't believe in that sort of thing. I can't possibly tell you why.

I know he had a hard childhood. I do know that his parents were similar but they also are not from the United States and don't speak English. He was born in the U.S. and had to learn how to learn everything without their help.

Sometimes I think that he just doesn't realize how far behind she is. I had to explain to him what Down Syndrome was to begin with. Maybe he thinks that she will just catch up? Maybe he still sees her as much younger than she already is? I'm clueless.

Oh and purple, I may have worded it wrong in my initial post, but I am the mother of both of the girls.

posted 8 years 3 months ago
This may sound like a simplistic answer, but it's the thing that came to my mind first, so I'm going to "throw it out there." Have you tried just asking him directly to do something in particular? I know that many guys, my hubby included, won't take the initiative to do some things because they're not sure what would be helpful. I usually just get specific and he's glad to do whatever it is...

Okay, like in your case, have you waited to see if he'll step in, or have you tried a direct "how 'bout reading to -hername- for a few minutes from her book? I'd sure appreciate it."

posted 8 years 3 months ago
Marposa, your reply had me literally laughing out loud and I needed that today. It is the most simplistic answer and no, I've never actually tried that. I just always expect him to take that initiative. I'll never understand men. Complicated human beings they are. Though I bet they'd all say the same thing about women. I definitely have to try this!

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