Let me preface this by saying I have never had a child and my girlfriend is the mother of an 11 year old which is hers and a 13 year old she has custody of. We are both 32 and have been living together for about 9 months now and have been in a relationship for over a year.
Now, her 11 year old has ADD and refuses to listen until he's yelled at by her. He leaves messes, refuses to clean and is pulling bad grades. We both recognize the problems but we are having arguments over how to handle things. Like I said I know I don't know as much about parenting because I have no kids, but I can't help but think she is handling this wrong.
She will punish the 11 year old by taking away the tv and video games but still let's him watch either animal planet, history channel, or channels she thinks are educational. But I try to tell her it's not a punishment because there are programs on those channels that have nothing to do with education and he likes to watch them. Also, she lets him go to the library with a friend because he says he needs a book or to study. But, we both see him on Facebook from our home so we know he's playing games. He's also suposed to be watching the programs I stated before for only 2 hours a day. But he watches it all day as soon as he gets home.
Well when I bring this upto her she get irritated with me and tells me she can't be on him at all hours. But the way I see it he's not going to change because he's not really being punished. He's getting away with what he wants because he pushes her to the point where she gets stressed and just says "whatever let him do what he wants then". And eventually he will really push her and she will scream and tighten up the punishment for a week maybe.
What I have suggested is that she takes everything away. Tv, video games, and if he needs to go to the library we take him to get the book and go home. But again she complains that would take her having to be on him too much and it stresses her out. He also doesn't do any of his own laundry for example because she says he doesn't do it right and would break the machine. So she does it because it would be too much stress to stand over him and make sure he does it right.
The funny thing is what she is doing currently has the 13 year old acting rift for the most part. But the he's not constantly getting out of the punishments like the 11 year old. And me and her get along great she's very loving and caring and we love eachother very much. But these problems with her child are causing problems between us, there are even problems between the 11 and 13 year old because they share a room and the 11 year old won't help. Lean or tries to get out of it.
Is this all normal and is she handling it right or should she be more firm with her child like I think?