Is this difficult child logic-

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Jan 18, 2008.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    or did he find a drop of a conscience?

    My difficult child turns 13 tomorrow- he was supposed to have a lttle party at home and a sleep-over. Then a couple of weeks ago he didn't help me at home like he was supposed to and took off to a freind's house. So, I toook the bike away (actually, the bike wheel goes in the car to eliminate potential difficult child'ness). And, I told him he better be on best behavior and study hard and help me get some things done at home if he wants this party and sleep-over. It seemed like he didn't care and didn't hear me- several times he went right on to friend's house and wouldn't come home without me calling or going to get him. So, last night I called over there and told him to get home now and start walking right now. It was cold and rainy and dark and I felt like an abusive parent for making him do this.

    When he got home, soaked and cold, he said he knew he'd lost his party. He said he wasn't going to his friend's house tomorrow (today) and he didn't. He told me about the other difficult child at school. And- the biggy here- he said he needed to go ahead and tell me what he'd done. Well, I guess he'd been written up at school yesterday for horseplaying on the bus on Wednesday and was put in 3 days of in school suspension. He said the people at school were going to wait until next week to call and tell me because they knew it was his birthday and they knew I'd cancel his party. He told me he knew he's already lost the party but he thought he better go ahead and tell me about this.

    Well, he was here cleaning this evening.

    And today I find out that out of the group that was horseplaying, he was the only one that got 3 days of in-school suspension. Why? According to difficult child, there was a tape that recorded everything and all the kids involved were spoken to. He said a couple really downplyed their involvement- basicly said they didn't really do anything -even though you could see it on the tape. So they got slaps on the hand. My difficult child said he told them, yes, he was playing around and play fighting. So, he gets this punishment. I have to tell you- I believe this because it is a habit of my difficult child's to confess all his sin's when questioned by anyone other than me. I told him that it isn't fair for the honest person to get more punishment than the one who doesn't own up to what they do- but it does and will make him a better adult.

    I told him no party- still- but if he does what he should tomorrow he can have one friend over for dinner and cake and play a little. Have I caved and done a bad thing?
  2. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Absolutely not - no, I do not think you have caved.

    I think our kids can be harder on themselves than anyone else. thank you also must "confess" everything and after years of this I think it's almost more detrimental to him than lying (ok, anyone tells him I wrote that, you're *toast*!!! :wink: ) because his self-esteem is so microscopic and every "bad act" is so completely magnified in his mind. Also, your son *was* honest and is getting consequences at school. Let school deal with school issues. You have enough home issues, right?

    I also think for some of our kids, it's *really* hard to anticipate things. They're so impulsive and don't put a whole lot of thought into short-term much less long-term consequences. He didn't go to friend's house today, and he's cleaning today. It's a good day, in my humble opinion.

    Plus, I'm a total sap of a mom. 13 is a big b-day. It deserves something special, not related to behavior, but simply based on the fact that we are celebrating our kids' passing into a new phase (heaven help us, LOL).

    Give him a b-day hug for me - and FWIW, I think you're absolutely totally right on to allow a friend over tomorrow.
  3. Nightaura

    Nightaura New Member

    I don't think you caved. I think you are compromising and while it may bite you in the behind later at some point, you are not giving in. You never know what difficult children are going to do. Good luck! And happy b-day to your difficult child
  4. Coookie

    Coookie Active Member

    Hi klmno,

    Boy did your thread pull at my heartstrings and here is why. :frown:

    When my difficult child would have something coming up I would use it as a tool to try and get some positive behavior and attitudes out of him. I didn't do that because I am a mean person, it just seemed like the only available tool I had. Something concrete to use. It also developed into piling consequences on top of consequences. :smile: Eventually my difficult child didn't give a rat's patootie... because he knew that he couldn't/wouldn't live up to the expectations I had set for him and eventually didn't even allow himself to look forward to things because he "just knew they would be taken away"...these are fences I am trying to mend now.

    Your difficult child is being punished by the school for his behavior with the suspension, and I agree there should be some at home consequences also but I want you to think about this (and I'm sure not everyone will agree with me). Birthday's come once a year and they are never seen again... perhaps there is another way? Perhaps more chores? If you have pets perhaps double duty poop patrol? :smile: If I had it to do over again I would do it differently. In a perfect world. :frown:

    Of the things I regret most with my difficult child this is a huge one. In trying to do the right thing, find the right path, so many birthdays (and other things) were lost. :frown:

    In answer to your thread topic question... Do difficult children have logic? :rofl: Sorry, just a little joke. :bag:

    Just wanted to share this with you is all. Others will be along with more/better ideas.

  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Robby, you may have hit the nail on the head- I had posted something about his birthday- and behavior- a few days ago and others brought up that it sounded like he was sabatoging his own birthday ( well, this is the third year in a row that this has happened). I did kind of see he was sabotoging but I couldn't see that - you know- LOGIC. But, I was thinking driving home today that I need to change something because for 3 years straight at birthday time, I'm always telling him (starting Jan 1) to behave and get back into routine of school so you can have a good birthday. And I realized, that he behaves better when I don't "hold a carrot over his head".

    by the way, I probably wouldn't have let anyone come over tomorrow except that other responses on the previous thread did leave me thinking that there is a pattern here and neither of us are intentionally causing a problem, but the cycle needs to be broken. And, thankfully, that has helped me see that I need to plan a little better about how to appropriately give him consequences and still permit a "normal" (ok, normal for difficult child) life!

    I wanted so much for tomorrow to be a special party- you know, my baby's growing up! I think it has hurt me more than him!

    So, was he trying to con me back into the party last night- or did the cold wet rain wake up his thinking- just for a few minutes? Yeah, right!!
  6. Coookie

    Coookie Active Member

    Boy do I understand the self sabotaging. My difficult child would (and still does to a point) do that. For example: He went through Marine Corps boot camp, MOS training (received recognition from the Commanding Officer) went onto his unit and then went UA. :crying: It has been a pattern with him.. when things are going well, and he's achieving, he does/says something to mess it up. :frown: I haven't figured out if he does that to circumvent someone else doing it or if he doesn't think he is worth having good things come to him. A pattern that I hope he will break now.

    I know there are a lot of difficult children that do that and I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    You know, Cookie, I used to do that myself. For me, I went to therapy- part of which was group therapy - and as it turns out, it was a result of low self-esteem and not being mentally/emotionally ready for things. (Not saying that's necessarily the case for your difficult child)

    I tried to respond to SLSH before- I'll try again- my difficult child sounds very much the same. Mine went on a 1 1/2 hour crime spree and blabbed his mouth so much to the officer that no attny can do anything but plead guilty or no contest. Now, I have never encouraged, condoned, or permitted lying to a legal authority- or any person- but this should have been 2 charges and it turned into 7. Why? Well according to difficult child, he knew he did something stupid and was too ashamed to just say that because it wasn't cool, so he had to try to make it sound cool. Oh boy, did he do himself in! So, now I tell him, just say you need to see your parent or an attny. And at school- he's getting his A** whipped and tries to defend himself- but apparently tells them afterwards that he was fighting to hold his own- or something like that- because of course, he can't say I hit him in the side because he was choking me and it took 2 teachers to get him off me.

    Yes, even though to others I know it looks like he's too over-confident- and I AM POSITIVE he still tries (and sometimes accomplishes) manipulating me, there is a major self-esteem issue with difficult child. I need to think of punishments that don't make that worse- like keeping him from friends at appropriate times. But that's hard because he's so impulsive and complusive about it---