difficult child's girlfriend can't go back to the church meals program; natural consequences strike again

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Yaaay! I was trying to get difficult child to go alone to the church meals program that he's doing for his court ordered community svc. It was too much like a play-date and not enough like work.
    Last wk, husband had to discipline them because she was sitting on his lap and they were too cozy and making people uncomfortable.

    Last night when I went to pick them up, the lady who signed the court timesheet said, "He can't come back if she is with-him. They can't keep their hands off one another."
    Woo hoo! I called difficult child back in ... he was halfway out the door ... and told him, "You can't bring girlfriend any more. You are not focused enough and you two spend too much time together and not working." I patted him on the shoulder and the women nodded.

    He'd been ramping up all week, and yesterday was especially tough, because he had school, then three things in a row: NILD, then psychiatrist appointment, then church charity work. Supposedly, all with-o his difficult child.
    Her mom and I caved when it came to church, because they can always use extra hands, it's less than a block from their house, and the kids needed to study for a test afterward.

    Once they got to the house, it turned out that girlfriend was studying for a different test than difficult child was (not what they told me to begin with). But she did have flash cards and they did sit at the table as I told them to. (Last wk they cuddled on the couch in the dark and I told them that was not the way to study.)
    difficult child announced they were finished, and I told him that now she could help him study for math and English. He got angry and started to shout, and said that the English teacher kept the handouts because they were already graded. I asked him what the test was on and he shouted parts of stories (characterization, etc.) and I said, "Good, so you can just tell me out loud what you need to study, and that's actually studying." I prompted him a bit and he came up with-some more words, and then he insisted there was no math to study.
    I whipped out his recent grades (thanks to the online grading for parents). Unfortunately, his girlfriend was sitting right there and I showed him 3 Fs he had--PE (how can you possibly get an F in PE?! turns out you don't wear your PE outfit, same reason he got an F in Aeroscience/ROTC--didn't wear his uniform because he overslept, then couldn't change clothes because he shares a locker and doesn't want things stolen. Yeah, whatever.) And math, well, he showed up late for that test because he was in court, and didn't know he could re-take the test.
    So I had him read me the definition of inequalities from the book, and write me an example, and I promised to email the teacher to get him to re-take the test. (I cc'd the counselor because he's got a 504 and she's a tough cookie and won't go the extra mile unless I force the issue.)

    By this time, difficult child was really ramped up. I let him have 5 min. alone with-his girlfriend in the livingroom, which was 6 ft from where I was sitting, and then we drove girlfriend home. I asked difficult child what his plans were for Friday and he said his girlfriend was coming along to his eye doctor appointment. I said, "No, she's not." And the fight was on.

    It got so bad that I said, "You know, I asked you what your plans were because I was going to help you two out AFTER your eye appointment., but now that you've been so rude and disrespectful, you're grounded."

    We got out of the car and girlfriend's mom met us outside, and difficult child was so angry, he said he was walking home. He made it halfway across the yard and we heard a yelp, and we thought he'd walked into their tree. I found out after we got home that he'd slugged the tree.

    After sitting on the curb for 5 min. he came back up to where we were standing by the front door and I said, "Do you want a ride home?" He said, "I don't know." He looked like he'd been crying. I said, "I'll take you home."

    Of course once in the car, he really let loose, and started hitting the dashboard, but luckily, his hand already hurt so he didn't break the glove box.

    I refused to talk to him, simply stating that I don't speak to people who are yelling at me. We got home and I got his medications ready, and he went up to husband at the kitchen table and started whining and complaining to him.

    We both made difficult child take his medications, and then sat down for a pow wow. difficult child cried and yelled and complained and dumped everything he'd been holding in. Then he said that every time I tell him he's grounded, I change my mind and let him go somewhere. Oooohhhh-kay. So this time, I won't change my mind. :)

    He was angry and confused. Now, he'll be less confused. And still angry. :)

    husband and I noticed that he was ramping up, and agreed that he'd be fine today. He seems to cycle every week to 10 days. I'm thinking this pattern is becoming more obvious as he moves into his middle teens.

    by the way, the psychiatrist pulled me aside at the appointment and said difficult child is MUCH better. He is talking and open and aware of his surroundings. I told difficult child that he was doing better and he said he hates himself and his behavior and his whole life, and husband and I both told him that this is way better than when he used to just explode and we never knew why. Words (even though they're way too loud, and hurtful) are still better.

    We all went to bed early. The first thing difficult child said when we saw ea other in the kitchen this a.m. was, "Can I go out with-girlfriend today?"
    I told him it was too early and I wasn't even discussing it.
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    It gets worse before it gets better... it's kind of ironic though that things can be pretty bad and we're feeling good because "it's not as bad as it used to be". Nobody but a difficult child's parent would understand.
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm hoping you will be able to fade back a bit as the enforcer. If he feels that you are dictating all his decisions then he will see his issues as "problems with a controlling Mom" when the goal is for him to recognize that the world requires him to "earn to get". For example I would not have relayed the information shared with you by the doctor. I would have asked the lady or man at church to address the distraction and/or inappropriateness of girlfriend being at the church.

    As Insane said "it will get worse before it gets better" but I believe it will get better sooner if he deals with people outside the family one on one as much as possible. From experience I "think" some of my kids would have matured more quickly if I had selectively stepped back a bit. Not in huge circumstances but in smaller ones that might have helped them perceive that the world has rules...not just parents. Hugs and good luck. DDD
  4. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I hope things go better now that he got some stuff "off his chest", that it's enough of a release. I was struck by the "every time I tell him he's grounded, I change my mind and let him go somewhere". I kind of do that but not really, Know what I mean?? I tell my kids they're grounded but they always have the option to EARN it back. difficult child 1 will work particularly hard to earn it back and I mean I make them WORK for it.
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    That's for sure, Insane!

    DDD, yes, I'd love to step back. I wish those women would have been more direct about it, but at least they didn't run away when I had difficult child come back into the bldg. :)

    I've GOT to be more consistent. Wish me luck; I pick him up now, to go try on contacts. I hope he has reallyl calmed down and that it lasts tonight.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think a lot of us say a punishment and then think we are too harsh and lighten it or get rid of it or let them out of it. Sadly, from experience, all this does is result in a confused child who truly doesn't believe a single word you say - on any subject. Because we go back on our words when they are in trouble, they think that everything we say is false. It is hard, because sooooo many sources tell us that we have to give a punishment immediately or the child won't associate the punishment with the offense. Reality is that by the time a child is 3 or 4 they DO have the ability to remember what they have done, and to associate a consequence with it. they sure never forget the times when they are rewarded for something!

    At one time I was really really BAD about this. Then I decided that not only would we all benefit if I took a few min or even a day to calm down before I told my kid what the punishment was, we would also benefit if once I said a punishment then we ALL were bound by it. This means that I had to stick to my words even if I thought I did the wrong thing. This accomplished a LOT.

    No longer did I blurt out a punishment when angry. No longer did my kids wonder if I was going to do what I said. No longer did I feel that I HAD to give a punishment RIGHT THIS MINUTE when I was angry and so was my child. We talked about it when we were BOTH/ALL calm, and the punishment was what I said no matter what. I didn't over-react as much, and I could be sure that husband was on board with it or at least would not undermine me with the kids.

    The overall result was a happier, healthier home and family. My kids are sooooo not confused about what their punishment is, and they are no longer afraid of my temper. I don't blow up but maybe a few times a year, and they are VERY impressed when I do feel the need to explode because they have persistently flat out refused to do what they have been expected to do for an extended period f time. It makes those times when a BIG reaction is needed vastly more effective and none of us deal with anger explosions on a regular basis.

    I am glad that difficult child is making progress, and I honestly think you need to start insisting on more girlfriend-free time in his life. It seems really unhealthy for him to be this dependent on having his girlfriend around. If she just shows up at your house, please don't feel you cannot send her home if it is an inappropriate time for her to be there. It isn't healthy for anyone to be that dependent on having any other person there at all times.
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    difficult child is pretty Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) about anything going on in his life. It was video games for so long, and then it was his former girlfriend, who was also into gaming. That made it worse. That's whyhe hadmajor meltodowns when I took away the computer or TV, and finally the gaming console.
    by the way, she broke up with-him because their entire relationship was based on that, and when I pulled him off to do his homework or do family things, she texted him incessantly. She was very needy. (She was the cutter.)
    This new girlfriend is less needy but there is something about kids these days where they don't understand that you don't have to be connected 24/7 to have a relationship. difficult child gets very panicky when he can't see his girlfriend and we will have to sit down and talk this weekend about whether it's his own Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and insecurity or whether she is laying it on him like the last one did.
    typical teen drama, on top of difficult children ... sigh.

    I had to check on him in his bed tonight, after hearing about Klmno's son. My heart is racing.
    So tragic.
    I'm glad my difficult child doesn't have a permit yet.
    One thing at a time ...
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Dropped off difficult child at the police station at 7.55 a.m. The officer is a woman and she was rushing. Class got started at 8:05. difficult child didn't have any long pants to wear because he's only got two pr of jeans, one regular and one khaki, and both were wet in the washing machine. He work basketball shorts. It was 39 degrees and I had to scrape the windshield.
    Live and learn ... I hope.
    I refuse to buy him more clothes after he took all that jewelry. He can darn well wear basketball shorts and his girlfriend's too-small hoodie to his community svc. work.
    Anyway, there are about 5 kids there. Should be interesting to hear what goes on.