"A father's contribution to his children is primarily a measure of how much he adores their mother. "

Address marital differences first.

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UPDATE to my 3/10/2017 questions. It seems the times I've discovered the 9 y/o crying over "missing mom or dad" have coincided with the iPad either being taken away or it not functioning the way he wanted. We think him crying over his mother the other night was actually because he didn't get what he wanted when he attempted to use the iPad to call her. (And I am likely guilty because it's about the only type of crying episode I will react to by soothing the child). She had to stop by our house soon after he got that device, and because of that said she wouldn't be on FaceTime that evening. He got very upset over the lack of device, not lack of seeing mom. I could go on but I know you already know how terrible these are. I think I've about got my husband to agree with a complete removal of the device as opposed to restricting it. I told him it's like giving a drug addict "just a little bit" of crack. We also found out his mother has not been enforcing the M-F ban of the device, as she was surprised he didn't receive her texts during the week. We have established a landline to ensure communication without it.

We still would like some help with his friends/social issues and his tendency to dwell on any ailment/injury he has ever received with great fanfare, as well as his habit of lording over other children. His mom wants him in therapy (we supply the health insurance) but I think a lot of the misery will go away with the iPad removal. She is also very quick to fan the flames of any upset and slight as a "trauma" and will attempt to excuse bad behavior because something "traumatic" happened. My husband has seen benefits of therapy with adults and is supportive. I asked my husband to at least look at it scientifically - if we both remove the iPad and begin therapy at the same time, we won't know what is truly helping. Also, I'm concerned that therapy would only nurture this victim mentality he is cultivating.

In short, how do prevent him from developing these boorish habits of constant complaining, fixation of the negative, and attempting to assert superiority over others? I can see he's not getting the outcome he wants and is a somewhat miserable child as a result. Thanks!

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