He was up at midnight on his sister's computer ...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Mar 23, 2010.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Argh. We're at it again. The good news is that difficult child was caught red handed ... screwdriver on her bed, sitting in his boxers, empty Coke bottle, 2 empty apple sauce containters, game on the 15" screen.

    Backstory ... I heard footsteps. Decided I had to use the bathroom. Automatically checked difficult child's bed. No difficult child.
    I tiptoed downstairs to see if he was playing a game on the TV. Nope. Tiptoed back up, figured he was in either my ofc or easy child's.
    Woke up husband.
    Hated to do it ... it was his birthday, the other dr was sick so he had dlb the workload, the power went out and they couldn't do therapies on pts, couldn't use the computers, had to move pts to one side of the bldg where there was light from windows ... but I needed him there to help in case difficult child blew up. And also, to have husband participate, because he'd just as soon sleep and not deal with-it at all. I felt mean, but we've GOT to be in on this together so difficult child doesn't target just one of us, and so husband understands how much effort it is.

    So I put the key in the door, and there difficult child sat, in all his glory.

    "I can't help it! It's something I can't control!" he said.

    I was so furious, I shouted, "I'll help you out then, just like they do with-thieves in Saudi Arabia. They cut off their hands!"

    Okay, not the right answer. :(:whiteflag:
    I have to laugh at myself for that one, but hey, it's the middle of the night and I am SO sick of his lying. To replace the doorframe, the door, the knob, hinges, etc, will be at least $600. I had it priced out 2 mo's ago when I had the deadbolts put in, but declined to have the work done until I found out exactly how difficult child was getting in, and that he wouldn't ruin the new door and hardware.

    If he weren't so lacking in motivation for schoolwork, didn't put up a fuss to be on football and baseball teams that he normally likes, if he weren't so rude and disrespectful and defiant and sometimes violent, not to mention smelly, I'd say, hey, I'll fix up your computer in the kitchen and you can play all night long as long as you can make it to school on time and be a cooperative kid.
    After all, that's what most teens do. That's what easy child did. She'd be dead tired in the a.m. but she pulled it off.

    But ... he's not.

    :angry-very: Thanks for letting me vent.
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I feel your pain. That's the life I can't go back to- it's pointless in my book because I been there done that too many times and it always turned into a battle of wills. All I can tell you is that despite all my efforts, my son NEVER gave up as long as the computer was in the house. He went thru the door, after breaking thru locks and then taking hinges off and bypassing passwords to the point that I couldn't even access Windows. And with my son, it's not just getting on the computer in the middle of the night- it's what he's doing on the computer that is a BIG problem.
  3. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    :throwpc::smashcomputer: (Couldn't find the smilie banging its head against a brick wall...) Can you make him do calisthenics for getting caught? Like maybe 1,000 pushups while he repeats "I will not trespass...I will not trespass... I will not tresspass..." And then have him go for a 10 mile run behind the car, carrying two 1 gallon jugs of water...
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Well, several people here have suggested that I give difficult child limited access to a computer so that he isn't totally driven to get what he can't have.

    That's our current plan. We make him earn his electronics.
    He does the minimum amt of work, then zones out on his PSP, PS2, computer, CD player, Ipod, phone, ANYthing he can get his hands on. He'll even sit in my car and listen to the radio.

    It doesn't work.

    I'm worried that he'll never hold a job because he'll be so engrossed in all that stuff, he will forget to go in.
    I've told him to get a job at an electronics store when he's 16. Doesn't want to.

    We'll see about that.

    Anyway, poor husband is going to be sleep deprived today ...
  5. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I'd be angry and aggravated, too! "Can't help it"...well, great.

    Maybe the keyboard needs to be placed in a locked safe every night.

    Have you looked into monitoring software? On our computer, we installed WebWatcher. It can be set by time so that at certain times of day or night, the computer will block access to the internet and other programs. Unless you know the access codes and passwords, there is no way to get around it.

    Just a thought...

    Probably better than cutting off the hands.
  6. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I like your line about cutting off hands...did he react to that?

    Many hugs and lots of strength.
  7. unsure

    unsure New Member

    Mine would have just rolled his eyes at me to that comment.
    We only have one laptop in our house and so far there have been no break ins (I'm sure the day will come) cuz we keep it locked in our bedroom unless we are using it or I'm supervising them while they use it. It is for homework only where they are concerned and I literally stand over their shoulder til they're done and then take it away.
    So sorry Terry :(
  8. Farmwife

    Farmwife Member

    In the past my difficult child would lie about even if caught red handed. Probably something along the lines of "I thought I could".

    We finally had to remove all video games when we realized he was having classic addictive behaviors and withdrawls.

    My saving grace is that he may never work hard enough to afford his own console. Otherwise, I have no idea how he will manage as an adult. I fear the worst too. Our choice was based in desperation to remove hostility in the home. Work as an adult seemed like a distant reality when taking immediate worries into consideration.

    One stage of life at a time I guess. Maybe with less hostilities we can slowly introduce moderation and personal responsibility.

    *eh* it's anybodies guess.
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am so glad I bypassed this problem and how I have no idea. We did catch Cory a few times chatting and webcamming himself but it wasnt a huge deal. Maybe cause the computer was either in the living room or next to my bed? I think I would have skinned him alive. It was bad enough with the phones.
  10. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Terry, I think Farmwife might have a point with regard to addictive behaviour.

    With my difficult child 1, we had to remove all access to electronics for a period of well over a year. No computer access, no video games, no unsupervised television watching. He was allowed to watch a maximum of 2 hours of telly every other day, under supervision of the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) staff or husband or me. Outside of an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) setting, I don't know if it's possible to impose that level of restriction in your house, but it might be worth considering. If you have a laptop, perhaps you can lock it away in a safe when it's not being used. Such a pain, I know, but sometimes the measures we have to take are extreme.

  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Mine would have just rolled his eyes at me to that comment.

    Exactly what he did. :redface:

    So, what does one do for addictive behavior? Aside from locking up and removing everything ...
  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I think that may be all you can do- for a very long period of time. The one thing I have noticed about my difficult child is that he doesn't eat sweets/snaacks compulsively like he used to. He has eaten one reasonable size of b-day cake a night, after dinner, since he's been home. One to two years ago that cake would have been gone in 2-3 days.
  13. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Sadly, locking up and removing everything was pretty-much what we had to do with difficult child 1. Everything behind dead bolt locked doors with the hinges on the inside, reinforced strike plates to prevent him from jimmying the doors. For the computers, the second-line defence was strong password protection. For the televisions, we locked up the remote controls separately from the televisions, also behind deadbolt locks. Video game consoles were removed from the house. One went to Uncle John's house (he lives 2 towns away), and the other one was sold at a garage sale. Food that difficult child 1 wasn't supposed to eat was kept in a separate fridge out in the garage, that we padlocked with a bicycle lock.

    It was a PITA for everyone. I had to wear my keys on a lanyard around my neck ALL THE TIME. I carried a little tote bag around the house with TV remotes, my wallet, and anything else that I needed to use frequently, that wasn't safe to be left out. It wasn't perfect, but we did see significant improvements in difficult child 1's behaviour. Honestly, getting him into the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) where he could be under 24/7 supervision was what really did the trick. The locks-lanyard-tote-bag was truly temporary.

  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Locking things up is about all one can do I think.

    If you have a large number of items that are too big for a conventional safe, consider a gun safe. You can stick it in your closet and it is fairly large. Most are about 4 foot tall. They are combo locked. I defy a difficult child to get in one...lol. Well unless you leave the combination around or make it something easy. I have a smaller honeywell shelf safe bolted to my bathroom countertop and Cory cannot break into it. He has tried. He cannot guess the combination either. I should have bought that little safe years ago...lol.
  15. unsure

    unsure New Member

  16. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    To deal with smells, use white vinegar. Also use carb soda. You can sprinkle carb soda inside shoes and inside socks. Also instead of using talc, use cornstarch.

    The vinegar - when he puts his clothes in the laundry or before you put them in the washing machine, spray/splash them with white vinegar. We keep a cheap mist spray bottle of vinegar in the laundry just for this.
    Next - NEVER hot wash, it cooks the smells in.

    If the clothes are really bad, splash with vinegar, then put them in WARM water with an enzyme soaker or similar pre-wash soak. Read the labels, choose one that deals with perspiration smells and stains. Ones that deal with bloodstains are good. always treat sweat smells and stains as you would treat bloodstains.

    Next rule - never put clean clothes on a dirty body, or dirty clothes on a clean body. The smell will transfer and the wash will be wasted.

    Boys smell, especially as they reach their teens. It's a pheromone thing. But we no longer live up trees or in caves and need to stink out the place to attract a mate, so we need to deodorise. So get him to use an antiperspirant, preferably one with a very high level of active ingredient. A lot of deodorants these days are aluminium-free but frankly, I don't think there's a valid reason for this. So we go for the 25% (or greater) aluminium chlorhyddrate deodorants.

    What kind to use - if you're environmentally conscious, get a pump pack. If he hasn't got any underarm hair yet, then a roll-on will do. But I find the males in our house hate the roll-ons when they have underarm hair, the hairs get snagged in the ball.

    Some of the smells of a teen (or pre-teen) boy are simply not their fault. So don't make him feel bad about being smelly. Instead, make him feel great about smellnig clean.

    And being clean won't wash away all the pheromone. It washes away the stale pheromone (which is what smells bad) but leaves behind a heavy dose of sexy pheromone, which the girls love.

    See if that sells cleanliness! If he doesn't want to smell sexy, get him some splash-on after-shave to put on, even if he's too young to shave. Something cheap and mostly alcohol-based, fairly neutral and non-girly. We found pine-based scents good, so are lemon or lavender (believe it or not). You could make your own for him by using your nose too, choosing essential oils of lavender (not too much), eucalyptus (not too much), lemon and a little bit of pine, add some deodorised ethanol (or vodka) and also some water (not too much) and see how a little of that goes after a shower. It neutralises even the pheromones, at least for a few hours.

  17. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Marg is right about the pre-teens' smell. My son's feet and shoes smelled horrible from about the time he was 11 yo until he was close to 14 yo- and I could smell them 20 feet away. Of course now he needs deoderant and daily showers but even if he skipped those, the smell wouldn't be as bad as it was the years going thru puberty.
  18. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member

    You're doing good Terry. Good that you woke your hubby up. I have learned that the more I protect my husband, the more he lets me protect him. Who wouldn't?

    Nobody protects me. (I'd protect you if I could).

    I'm with Trinity on the locks. We had a fingerprint lock installed on the attached garage. It's a great place to stash untouchables. Also had to key/lock our bedroom, husband's office, my sacred room. We're also key/locking the upstairs bathroom for when (if) gfg16 comes home from juvie.

    We are currently computer-free and video game-free. There was too much fighting, sneaking, and illicit activity. It just wasn't worth it anymore!!!!Of course gfg16 is in juvie now but gfg12 is still computer and vide0-game free. He is failing all his classes and had developed encopresis, which he has made a nice recovery from, but still occasionally poops his pants when involved in an absorbing video game. Bummer!

    Do I sound jaded? You bet. But i am still laughing as I type this. On my laptop. Which I keep locked up.

    Hugs Terry. Be firm!! Follow your gut. Don't try too hard to be fair to everyone -- that never works. Put yourself first most of the time. Seriously!!! Things will get a little better then.


    P.S. Locking up the house cost $600.00. We called a lock place. Had some kind of a lock put on the slider door of the deck too, to block entry into the garage that way. We told the lock guys why -- we had untrustworthy kids -- and they walked around the whole house with us evaluating each room and whether it needed a key lock.

    It is a PITA -- we have to carry the keys around but so worth it. I also like Trinity's pouch idea with all the remotes. This is a great idea.

    The only drawback I can think of is -- what are they going to get into with no computer. But they did OK. They actually went outside more. Harder now with only one kid at home. But still worth it. Welcome to Mars.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2010
  19. Robinboots

    Robinboots New Member

    I didn't read all the responses, but you can program your router to go offline during certain hours - say, 10 pm to 7 am. Or you can disconnect the wireless, if that's what you use, via the router. You access the router on your main easy child, via password, it's quite simple. I do this when difficult child is home. There are a LOT of ways to keep them offline.
  20. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Ah, Trinity, what can they get into when there are no computer games?

    Here's your answer (unwittingly, from Trinity): Food that difficult child 1 wasn't supposed to eat was kept in a separate fridge out in the garage, that we padlocked with a bicycle lock.

    If that's not a Saturday afternoon difficult child project, I don't know what is, LOL!

    Yes, I do carry my office keys in my pocket at all times. I sleep with-them under my pillow at night.

    I typically lock up the TV cord, which we spliced, and other game controllers (assuming they're not permanently locked up or given away) in my office every night. difficult child has to earn them by doing homework, and on the weekends, homework and chores.

    He flat-out refuses to clean the litter box, so I stored easy child's hard drive and case in that bathroom. No lock. Just pure avoidance, LOL!