I guess we’re in round 3 (4?) of dealing with our youngster’s friends who seem to have crappy, uninvolved parents. Last time it was a teenager who was thrown out of the house on December 23rd by her parents over some ridiculous argument (religion, I think). After frantically making room (and Miz pullin’s high speed shopping trip to get some presents and another stocking), we invited the youngster to move in with us until leaving for college six months later.
I’ve honestly lost count of the our kids’ friends who accompany us to restaurants, movies, and even occasionally vacations because their parents WON’T TAKE THEM ANYWHERE. (sorry, I had to shout) It’s always been our policy to invite whoever’s in the house when we head out to do something, on the assumption that meals and tickets and gas will all even out in the end. If we end up losing a little on the deal, so what? It’s not really the youngster’s fault since they don’t have any control over the situation, and if nothing else, it’s good karma.
But now, we’ve acquired another pseudo-orphan, who literally must depend on us for all transportation, except for school (there’s a bus). If we don’t take him, he sits at home. Period. He’s trying diligently to be in the band and other extra-curricular stuff, but would lose all this if we stop letting him ride with us everywhere. Homelife (apparently) is pretty nasty, and goading his “parents” to participate only results in heartache for him.
I guess I’m just getting tired of this, since I have my own kids to raise (and chauffer). I know we’re being taken advantage of, but if we stop, this kid loses a lot. And frankly, I think that kids who are effectively abandoned like this end up in trouble (which this kid seems to be actively avoiding - going against the grain of his household).
So, to other parents; How do you handle situations like this? Hassling the disinterested, ex-con parent(s) is not an option here. But we need to draw the line somehow.