My girlfriend and her 12 year old boy just moved in with me about 10 months ago. I have been in the picture for the last 6 years. My girlfriend is 30 and I'm 31.

I feel that my girlfriend coddles her son constantly. I have tried to talk with her about it but she gets very defensive and it's a very touchy subject for her, understandable really, considering he is all she has. I think she's a pretty good mother but being a male, I have some major issues with some things she does and I would like others to comment.

She tucks him in every night, which I DO NOT have a problem with, except that it is a 30 minute tuck in. It's not a kiss and a goodnight. It's 30 minutes of laying in bed with him, watching TV and discussing the day, or whatever is going on, and then finally turning the lights off. 9pm he is required to be in bed (the rule), then TV is off at 9:30. She goes in there with him and is in there until 9:30 every night. I have a big problem with this.

Number one, the kid has some anxiety problems with school. Every night he gets nervous about the next day. Now, by her going in there and talking to him, this does not calm him down. In fact, being an anxiety patient myself, I can attest that it only causes more problems. The last thing you want is to have his mind moving a mile a minute. He should be in there for 30 minutes watching TV, winding down, then lights out at 9:30. I have brought it up that she is not letting the boy grow up and just causing him worse problems by doing this. I think it's completely unnecessary that she be in there that long every night with him. I asked her at what age she planned to stop this and she said "never". I think that's ridiculous for a pre-teen, but I would like to hear what others think.

Another issue I have is that she will not let me assign him chores. SHe says "he helps out when asked" but I do not feel that is a way to teach responsibility. Helping out is considered 'a favor' to me, not 'responsibility'. At 12, he's never had chores. I have brought this up before and she just blows it off. I wanted to get him involved with picking up dog poop before I cut grass, and she said "I don't know, he's got a weak stomach". That's an excuse. He does not have that weak of a stomach. Every person that's ever owned a dog has picked up dog poop. I have a shovel, it's not like I use my hands.

I have wanted to have him do dishes in an alternating fashion every 3rd night, and take out garbage every week the night before the garbage men come by. All have been brushed off and ignored.
She also does not believe in paying money for chores. She said helping out the family should not be rewarded with money. I agree on that point, but chores are teaching responsibility, and I do think chores can be rewarded with money, or some other reward.

I'd love others' opinions.

There are many more things that really bug me, but these are a couple of them. My best interest at heart is for the kid. I want him to grow up able to take care of himself and be responsible. He's a great student (4.0) but school comes very easy for him right now and I do not want to 'not push' him to be even better. I also believe in being a well balanced person. You can go through life and excel at school and academia but not know how to do laundry or cook dinner as an adult, or do simple home improvement like nail pictures on the wall straight or what have you.

Thanks for reading.