Our expert says:
let's see. I'm sure there must be such a species as the mother-in-law who doesn't interfere and try to control everything, but I suppose people lucky enough to have one or two of them in their lives, don't bother to tell us about it !
It's hard to tell what exactly has been upsetting your children --- the mobility and changes may well be part of it. Also, coping with all these problems has probably preoccupied you and your husband, so they may have been receiving a bit less attention than usual. A drinking problem dosn't help much ( I hope he's planning to work on that, maybe with AA, as it'll help him suced at all his other endeavours to get the drinking under control ).
Is it possible hat he and his mother could be persuaded to fight less often, and never in front of the children ?
As to the school, it's really impossible to guess from this distance. Maybe their sense of standards is too high and they may be unfairly evaluating the childen --- or maybe they are entirely right, and it's not necessarily a good idea to decide that your kids don't deserve the highest standards they can attain.
Maybe it's best to focus on facilitating this suggestion that the children see a shrink for a proper assessment. He/ she will be in a far better situation to assess whether the children are being pushed too hard and far by the school, and might bnefit from switching to a less demanding school ; or if they have problems they can work out, and can benefit from staying with the present school. Schools who don't care about standards, or who don't motice when a kid is having problems are surely the worst of all ?
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