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  • Jul 11, 2011, 07:05 AM
    Child being manipulated
    My stepson asked in January if we would enroll him in tackle football. When we told him we could check around and see if there were leagues for his age, he gave us the name of a local league that would allow him to play. He obviously took the time to talk to someone and get information on his own, so he was serious about doing this. We checked into it and signed him up.

    From January to June, he's been extremely excited - talking about what position he thinks he'll get picked for, saying he wants to be on defense so he can tackle, etc.

    His mother gets primary placement during the summer. After spending 2 weeks with her, he comes back to our house for a weekend. When football got brought up, he said, "I don't think I want to play anymore. I'm afraid I'll get injured." In the last 6 months, he hasn't brought up injury a single time; 2 weeks with his mom, and suddenly he's "scared" to play... does that sound a little fishy?

    She's got a long history of being manipulative with the kids; she accused us previously of "forcing" their daughter to be in cheerleading because she didn't want to take her to practices and/or games. One weekend, she was told us she wasn't going to take her to perform at a professional basketball game, something their daughter had been hand-picked for out of the entire group of girls.

    We do not force the children to do anything. We've asked the son for the past two years if he wants to play baseball, basketball, soccer, karate, etc. He always says no - that's why it was surprising to us when he brought this up and asked us to sign him up. That's also the reason we don't think he's "scared" of playing; we think a)he's being told he's going to get hurt so she won't have to take him or b)he's being guilted into thinking she doesn't have enough money to take him(that's a whole separate issue but yes, she talks to the kids about her finances and blames their father for her "not being able to afford things").

    The court order states that she is required to facilitate the children's extra-curricular activies but knowing her, she won't take him to practice and then claim he told her he "didn't want to go." Never mind that somebody put it in his head; the bottom line is she doesn't want to take him, she doesn't think she should have to obey the order and she will do whatever it takes to get her way, just like she has over previous issues.

    So what do we do? Personally, I'd like to tell him, "You asked to do this, we signed you up and now it's going to get done. If you don't want to next year, that's fine." What I find the most upsetting is that this was clearly something he was very excited about, he wanted to do this - now someone's trying to scare him out of it.
  • Jul 11, 2011, 07:08 AM

    I think you DO tell him that this is something he wanted to do, you put time and effort into signing him up and getting "things" in order, he HAS to follow up when he agrees to do something. If he plays X number of times and doesn't like it, then he can "resign" (I wouldn't say "quit").

    Obviously this is one other thing that doesn't fit into "her" agenda!


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