I’m a father of many kids, and my wife and I are separated. I’d like to think that I’m a good dad and that I know what I’m doing.
My kids have a 12 year old friend who is always down at our house. We feed her dinner probably 5 or 6 nights a week. She’ll get off the bus at our house, help with their chores, help with dinner prep and cleanup, and play with all the girls.
She used to have a lot of behavioral problems, but those have all but disappeared. We’ll usually take her back down the road to her house at 9PM, even on school nights, which is half an hour before my kids go to bed.
I don’t mind her being at our house at all. That’s not the issue. But my wife and I were starting to get really concerned about her.
Rumor is that her mom is a heroin addict…
My kids explain that her parents are divorcing and forcing her to choose which parent she wants to live with. She won’t let me in on what her home life is like, but only says she doesn’t like to be at home. She always looks so sad when we tell her it’s time to go home.
Her mom never calls and checks in on her, not even when she never went home after school, it’s 8:3o, and she hasn’t eaten dinner.
What’s worrying, is that on the weekends, my older 3 go to their biological moms for the weekend, and only my 3 year old is here. But that little girl still comes over. It’s Saturday morning and she was at our house at 10AM.
She ran errands with us to pay rent and go to the bank. She’s having a squirt gun fight with my toddler and playing hide and seek. She wants to go running with me later and run errands another town.
We really want to have this kid sleep over during school nights, to give her a better chance. She’s 12 and in the 5th grade, which is unusual in this area. She’s got 22 days of missed school so far this year and has failing grades.
She stays up until 1AM every night and is late a few times a week because her mom won’t make her go to school. If she was here, she would at least be in bed by 9:3o and make it to school on time. We could help her with homework. We already have increased her manners, and increased her nutrition. She used to look undernourished, and now is looking healthy and growing. We buy her clothes and pass down my kids clothes when they outgrow them.