Abby: Parenting at ex’s house is an issue for new wife
Dear Abby: I am a divorced father who has recently remarried. I have parenting time with my children one weeknight and every other weekend.
My children have told me that during the week they prefer doing their homework at their mother’s home. They say that by the time I pick them up, prepare dinner and they start their homework, it’s already time to return to their mother’s. They are at ages where homework assignments can take several hours.
My ex is OK with me spending time with them at her home. She uses the time to run errands and do other things she may not have time for. When there’s no school, I bring the kids to our house. All weekend parenting time takes place at my home.
The problem is, my present wife can’t stand that I spend time with my children at my ex’s home. She doesn’t understand why I won’t bring them here. I feel there’s ample opportunity on the weekends for my kids to be at our house and for her to build a relationship with them. Academics are crucial at this point in their lives.
So — do I disrupt their homework to accommodate my wife? Or should I continue the arrangement my kids, my former wife and I have established?
Parenting Time in Nebraska
Dear Parenting Time: It appears you have married an insecure woman. Your kid’s reasons for wanting to stay at their mother’s during the week seem valid. You didn’t mention how long you and wife No. 2 have been married, but if it’s a brand-new marriage, point out that during school breaks and summer vacation she will have the midweek time to bond with your children that she’s craving.
Dear Abby: I just think that as a child, I have too many responsibilities to take care of. My mother thinks I am stubborn and not able to take care of myself. What do you think?
Helena, age 9
Dear Helena: I think you have a good mom. The way to teach kids responsibility is to place some on their shoulders. If you learn the independence lessons your mom is trying to teach, with time, these chores will become easier. And you will thank her for them later when you’re older.
Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.