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“Why do I always have to be the strict one?”

My ex-husband and I have been apart for over five years. We share a daughter who is 18 and just gone away to uni, and a son who is 15. We have always shared time with the kids very evenly and he has always supported them financially. But I am really struggling with his laid back approach to their education and studies.

My daughter was always quite academic and it was always a battle to get her to study, and she has done OK. My son is less academic but has aspirations of becoming a mechanic working with boats or cars. I am trying to encourage him to put in some effort especially in Maths and English because without these grades his options will be really limited.

My son thinks I just nag him and I believe his dad agrees with him, I have tried talking to my ex but he says 'don't worry, he'll be fine'. Neither will listen so I always look like the strict one. My son seems to be staying at his dad's more often... less rules, cash flows and no chores... Why wouldn't that be more appealing? I don't know how to fix this before time runs out for exams!

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