Halloween nightmare--very long

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by house of cards, Nov 1, 2008.

  1. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    Last night my 16 yo M decided to leave the house without permission/run away. The reason being because he has been grounded from being able to go out with friends and lost his computer and phone until he gets 2 classes grades up above a 70. He has done alot of the work but the grades on the online place I can check out still showed 1 class at 67 so he wasn't able to go with his friend for halloween.

    He tried to convince me that they were above 70 but just not recorded but I held firm that there had to be proof (he has misled before). I tried several times to see if it was updated and even emailed the teacher but got no response.

    He biked into town without our knowledge and called saying he left because he was angry and wanting permission to attend a football game. He was told to get home right away. He chose not to. We were considering calling the police, the other kids were upset and we almost didn't take them out for halloween. I'm glad we did. Later we went over to the house M had wanted to spend the night at, found him and made him ride his bike home. I told him that I loved him and would talk to him today because I just couldn't that night. He showered and went to bed.

    Anyway, this is a letter I want to give him...what do you think.

    Matthew, last night was a very unsettling experience. It did clarify a few things for me in my head. It has changed some things. It scared me and upset the entire family. It has caused me to lose trust and respect for you, but it has made me more aware of how very deep my love for you runs.

    I know that my rule about you maintaining grades of 70 or above are so obtainable, past reasonable, almost expecting too little from you. I am very disappointed that you seem to find it unreasonable. When you put the time in, you achieve the grades…it is that simple. You have other ways you would like to use your time.

    I have my view of what happened last night and you have yours. I believe you felt overwhelming anger and frustration, felt that you were not being treated fairly and decided you would treat yourself “right” and do what you wanted. I also think you felt embarrassed to have to tell your friend you couldn’t go out because of the teachers/grades.

    I saw a child throwing a temper tantrum to get his way, with no regard for the feelings of his family. I see some very concerning behaviors. 1) you have anger management problems 2) you acted impulsively without thinking of the long term consequences 3) immaturity 4) you haven’t accepted your “fault” in any of this/ irresponsible 5) you showed incredible disrespect 6) you broke the law (not returning home when told to). All of this is a re-occurring pattern.

    The rules remain come hell or high water. I get your computer and phone until you have 70 or above. You can not go out with friends until you have done this. Next marking period I will change the grade needed to 71, a C, because I didn’t realize a 70 is still a D. I will need proof of your grades in writing.

    Consequences for what you did:

    1)I need to hold onto your money, I can’t allow an impulsive kid access to $175.00 if you would “run away”. It is your hard earned money and I will release it to you in $20.00 amounts unless you have a purchase in mind.

    2)I want a written list of names/addresses/ phone numbers of every friend you have.

    3)When you first called to say you were in town and we told you to get home…for leaving the house without permission, you have the weekend in your room.

    4)Your movie Ipod is gone for 10 days because of your not returning home immediately when told to get home.

    I’ve put this in writing so you can read and reread it at your leisure, heaven knows talking hasn’t gotten through to you. I hope you can understand that I am doing this out of my love for you because I know you need the lines clearly drawn as far as what is ok and what isn’t and not because I just want to make you miserable, I want you to be happy and to go out with your friends…to enjoy all that high school can be…After you do what you need to do.
    LOVE, Mom
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sounds like a rough night. I am glad the other kids didn't have their holiday spoiled. It is hard to keep up with the other kids' activities when one child has run away, I totally understand that.

    The letter is quite clear to me, but I am not a difficult child. I hope it gets through to him.

  3. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    I think it's good. You were very clear that while you love him very much, his behaviors are unacceptable. I don't think you're being unreasonable either. School is basically his job and he's not doing his job well. If you don't do your job well in the real world, there are consequences and it goes to reason that he should have them too.
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    So sorry. How stressful.
    I understand his need to have independence, but he's got to earn it. That's the missing component.
    The letter seems clear.
    Is your husband in on this with-you? I don't see a notation for a husband in your profile.
    I hope today is calm. Sigh. I know the feeling. {{hugs}}
  5. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    Thanks, I'm still so upset he would pull this, I just needed to know I'm not overreacting...part of me would like to strangle him and part would like to give in so he is safe( he really scared me). Is that ying/yang?? LOL Teens aren't easy. My husband is totally on board, probably thinks I've been too easy on this kid in the past.
  6. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Ah the joys of parenting teens. When difficult child was younger, he went to the Boys/Girls club after school until I got off work. One day he called to say he would be at the library....not a problem. They are right next to each other. I get off work, go there and SURPRISE. No difficult child. He's not at either place and I freaked. I finally found him at my niece/nephew's other aunts house. They had all walked across town to get there. I got out of the car (after screeching up) hugged him and then started in on him. I made him step back though because I was afraid that I would start beating on him. LOL

    Sending hugs. It's never dull is it?
  7. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I like that the grades are posted online. I remember having our M on a weekly sheet signed by teachers, and finding him in the auditorium having one of his classmates sign it one Friday.:mad:

    Your consequences seem reasonable to me. This is mid-term, isn't it? He has the opportunity to bring it up. Good luck with the weekend. It sounds like a miserable time for all. Plug in those ear phones and ignore him!
  8. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Sounds perfectly clear and perfectly logical to me! Stay strong, Kathie!
  9. Jena

    Jena New Member


    I'm sorry to hear you had a rough night. My easy child pulled that with me once as well. I could literally feel my chest pounding. It took several hours to locate her.

    I stripped her down to nothing once i located her, bedroom door got pulled off hings, stereo ipod gone, anything i could think of i took.

    Than i drew up what it is i expected much as you did, kept it short she loses focus fast lol and i had her sign it.

    i than gave her positive rewards for handling herself the right way and verbalizing instead of running away which never solves anything. i made her work at gaining back all her freedoms. she was grounded for a mos straight.

    it worked well for a year yet now again i have to tighten reigns again. they seem to change with each passing year :)

    I wish you luck it can be so difficult and trying on our patience level.

    hoping you have a calmer evening tonight :)
  10. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The letter sounds good to me but as someone else said I'm not a difficult child. I'm sorry Halloween was so horrible. I hope today was a better day. Hugs.
  11. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I'm sure that scared the bejeebers out of you, but you can't give in, just so he's safe. You have to hold true to your rules and consequences or he'll walk all over you and you'll be doing him a disservice in the end. husband's uncle is a good example of it....over 50 and can't hold a job. I could go on for hours about him. You are not unreasonable in your expectations at all. Next marking period should be a C or above, no doubt.

    I hope you've recovered from the scare he gave you.
  12. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    Thanks all, I'm not giving in and after a good 24 hour angry sulk, he is starting to come around. The night it happened is when I was wanting to give in, I called the phone he wasn't supposed to have but did, twice, at that point I probably would have said anything to get him home, he didn't answer..he shut it off.

    I'm glad I held to the agreement, the teacher did email me the next day and said the computer grade was accurate and he didn't have a 70. He had handed in several late assignments but it didn't help enough, she is willing to allow him to redo a test and thinks that would get him there. Awfully nice of her,... now he blames her for it all.
  13. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Since he is (also like Dude) in the habit (it does get better with-age) of blaming EVERYONE else - to make himself feel like a victim -

    I would ask for a consult with the teacher and him and tell her in front of HIM that you expect a 70 and no less - and then tell him or have her tell him that a. he's capable of doing the work and b.) if he doesn't? IT IS NOT ON ANYONE BUT HIMSELF - point out to him it isn't YOUR fault or HER fault -

    Don't let him get away with this playing the victim role - it worked WONDERS for us in accountability with Dude.

    I'm so sorry we get so few holidays that are uneventful due to our kids.

    HOLDING OUT A HUGE HUGE HUG for your Turkey day and Christmas....