DH sending his little boy to private school.

posted 2 years ago in Relationships
Post # 361
Member
98 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I mean, I would argue that since your husband can only afford to send one out of three kids to his fancy, private alma mater, that it really wasn’t as advantageous as he claims. If he really did have that extra push and those extra opportunities, then I would assume he could afford much more than private school for three kids. 

   Sarcasm aside, I’m of the opinion that $30,000 a year finger painting and duck duck goose is the same as what can be found at a public school. If you are really concerned about being fair, send your youngest to public school now. When each of the three kids is close to high school, start having the private vs. public debate. Give all three the option for high school. No one cared about where I went to elementary or middle school when I was applying to college. 

Post # 362
Member
29 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Parents in blended families usually expect themselves to treat all the children the same. In spite of the deabtes around this standard, it isn’t easy to pull off.  

The thing is a prent may not feel the same about all of their children. Which seems to be the thing in this thread. As far as children, as much as the stepdad try not to show that there is a difference, I have to be honest and say he may just feel a little different.

In this case the goal should be fair treatment, not equal treatment. The sad thing is girls are not even getting a choice.

Post # 363
Member
116 posts
Blushing bee

smalltownbigworld :  No one is saying that step children don’t matter.  I think that some of us just see this as a far more complicated situation.  

Money aside, I think it’s really unfair to discount a participating biological parent.  I don’t plan on getting divorced, most people don’t. I’m thinking about how I would feel if my fiancé got remarried to a woman who insisted that she knew what was better for my child.  I’d be angry as hell.

Let’s say this hypothetical new wife already had a child in private school, while my child was in public.  I’d be pissed off that suddenly some chick was dictating how I should spend my money.

Or let’s reverse the situation and I had decided that my child was going to private school and my ex’s new wife was insisting that my child couldn’t go because her kids weren’t in private school.  Again, I’d be angry as shit.

The bottom line for me is that if there are two willing participant biological parents, they should control raising their children.  Step parents should butt the hell out.  Just because you get a divorce from your spouse doesn’t mean you get a divorce from your kids.  And just because your ex remarries, doesn’t mean that their spouse trumps your parental role, even if they live with your ex.

Post # 364
Member
3092 posts
Sugar bee

mimivac :  I absolutely agree…many things need to be adjusted when you have step kids. However, in this particular case, I don’t see why her situation needs to be adjusted. So I guess we will have to agree to disagree.

Post # 365
Member
2400 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

I have step children. It’s not like when you remarry that the biological other parent suddenly losses their rights & responsibility to govern their own kids. There are 2 parents here. One of them ISN’T the OP’s husband. Dad pays child support. He sees his kids. He is responsible for deciding (along with mom) how his kids get educated. If he doesn’t think it’s a priority, and mom doesn’t either, how is it somehow the step- dad’s fault? Sounds like mom isn’t the best mom. 

Post # 366
Member
2072 posts
Buzzing bee

I keep coming back and starting to comment and erase over and over. This thread has turned into a dumpster fire about how shitty step parents are, which is really sad. No one (aside from maybe 1-2 posters in a 25 page thread) is suggesting that stepchildren don’t matter. In fact, many are advocating that not only DO matter, but so do the parents involved.

For those that haven’t been step parents (not step kids or marrying someone who will take on your kids.. but an actual step parent) before, your hands are incredibly tied. The OP hasn’t given us much information and only really shitty updates, so it’s hard to tell– but the blanket sentiments of “treat every child equally and fairly” in a blended household is damn near impossible. My stepkid and my kids will inevitably have different lives because my stepkid has an active parent in their life. That active parent also has active grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. My stepkid goes to a different school than my kids will. Same dad to all kids, same wants for his kids, but different mothers so different realities. Divorce decrees and parenting plans are designed for this very reason, to outline the decisions of health, education and overall well-being of the kids involved. I guarantee the OP has one, and it states how her and her ex want to handle the girls education. No where in that decision making process is a step parent consulted, or given the authority to make any of those decisions.

It’s not being unfair or mean to point out that in blended families, the step parents almost ALWAYS take the back seat and in most cases, aren’t even allowed to MAKE educational decisions for their stepkids. In OP’s case, she wants her husband to pay for the girls when in reality, he doesn’t even have the legal authority to take them to the school and enroll them. 

I said in a previous post way back in this thread we are in a similar situation. My stepkid is in a private school and we have decided an “ours” kid will go to public. Darling Husband and I combine finances, so one thing we discussed early on was if I was ok co-mingling funds knowing that “my money” would be going to child support and private education. I agreed, because it meant a lot to Darling Husband and his ex that their kid go to this specific school, even though I personally will not be sending my biological children there.

MANY stepfamilies keep funds separate, which OP hasn’t really stated if they do or not. She’s hinted at the fact that they co-mingle. Point is– when you’re trying to blend 2,3+ households, with varying opinions and varying financial situations– its not easy! Jumping on the bandwagon that all kids entering the door get the exact same everything is not only uneducated when it comes to blended and co-parenting, it’s unrealistic. In a perfect world, all kids in our household would get the exact  same everything. But the reality will always be that once you’re at the mercy of an ex, the courts and having to make judgment calls on the fly– thats not always the case.

I’m a step parent that DOES help pay for my stepkids education to a fancy private school. However; I can also see why this stepdad is backing off of this decision financially for the girls. Unless you’ve been in a situation where your pocketbook is scrutinized by another household, where your hands are tied when it comes to every single little thing and then in the same breath asked to provide funds towards it, you really don’t know how YOU would react. It’s easy to sit behind a keyboard and bash step parents who have to draw lines in the sand and play pretend that you’d do something different, but I know and many other step parents know that your tune would change if you were in this situation.

I love and provide for my stepkid, I want to see them flourish and do well in school and in life, but I ultimately do not make the decisions. I support their dad, and I want to see HIM happy. His ex spouse doesn’t want my stepkid to take family vacations with my family. Every year, my grandparents take everyone on a big trip (a cruise, Hawaii, something along those lines). My stepkid isn’t allowed to go per the ex and her parenting plan. Any kids Darling Husband and I have will absolutely get to go. Is that fair? Nope. Will I hold my kids back because of that? Nope. do I wish my stepkid could go? Yep. 

The only thing we can do is go to court and try to change some of the language in that decree.

This is a long winded way of saying that you can love and support and provide for your stepkid as best as you can, but every single blended family is different and at some point (especially dealing with young ones), it’s going to get unfair. Be it big or small scale, it is almost impossible to make all of their lives mirror each others. OP hasn’t provided much context other than a few weird updates, so it’s impossible to know much about their specific blended family situation– and certainly not enough to start burning the stepdad at the stake just yet.

Post # 367
Member
1671 posts
Bumble bee

fromatoz :  I don’t think that most posters are saying that to be fair, the stepkids need the exact same thing as the bio kid. What they are saying, is that they should be given equal opportunities. Also, this situation isn’t the same as yours because all of the parents (step & bio) would like the girls to go to private school but they can’t afford to send them all, so they are prioritzing one child’s education/opportunies over the others, which is inherently wrong.

Post # 368
Member
12 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: April 2013

The whole system of treating children fairly in wrong. It is not possible.

Treating one’s children fairly requires us to look at each one as an individual with unique needs and circumstances, and give them the specific time, focus, and rules they need in order to flourish. It’s important for our kids to know that what works for a sibling, may not work for him or her.

Post # 369
Member
2072 posts
Buzzing bee

MrsMellyBean :  I said I was in a similar situation, not the exact same. In fact, I said every single blended family has a different situation, and offered my perspective as someone going through something very similar.

ETA: Since you’ve dubbed it inherently wrong– and they cannot afford to send all 3 kids to private, then all 3 should go to public (as I stated many pages back when it comes down to “fairness”)

Post # 370
Member
597 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

kfen7 :  except that’s not the situation here??

Post # 371
Member
1671 posts
Bumble bee

fromatoz :  Fair enough. I understand things aren’t always black and white, and I am admittedly not a stepparent so I commend you for taking on the task. I think we are actually in agreement on a lot of the things (i.e. equal doesn’t necessarily = same). I think that if the family was in a financial situation where all the kids could go to the private school, but they decided that it wasn’t a good fit for the girls, that they could provide the girls with different opportunities that are just as good, like some really great extracurriculars. Unfortunately this isn’t the case 🙁
And yes it is my opinion that all 3 should go to public school and then be exposed to extracurriculars that best suit their individual needs in this scenario.

 

Post # 372
Member
1192 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

I’m wondering what they would do if their son was a daughter?

Post # 373
Member
38 posts
Newbee

It could be that the father is feeling differently about his son and his step children and that might explain why he is so adamant of sending his own son to get best possible education he can afford. As a biological father to his son. he may be disposed to favor his son who share his genes.

Post # 374
Member
2072 posts
Buzzing bee

MrsMellyBean :  Yep, it’s so tricky! To your point about all being given the same opportunties– we certaintly will try, but it’s so hard when you have to split between multiple households. OP stated that the girls dad is around “a couple times a month”. Does that literally mean 2x a month for 1 day or that he has them every other weekend, which is more standard and actually changes the dynamic here a little bit on the assumed level of involvement of the bio-dad. She hasn’t really clarified that point in her updates I have seen. 

Already it’s starting to surface that different houses give/expect different things. We are financially in a different place than my stepkids mom, (not better or worse, just different)– so there’s that. We go above and beyond on time we have, the money, the “extras”( which is why I wish the OP would elaborate more on the child support piece, ours outlines specifically what it is to be used for, broken down by cost estimates). It’d be helpful to know what their current CS payments are being used for and try to re-allocate some of those funds into education, or more opportunities or whatever.

But like you said– it’s not black and white by a long shot.

Post # 375
Member
8 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Maybe the husband refuse to distinguish between biological and non-biological children except as their interests and personalities differ.: I’m sure he  will be closer to his son  than to their daughter’s , but that will have more to do with personality (as well as parental influence) than anything else.

Maybe he has the funds , but his son is clearly his top priority. 

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