Trying again - need input

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Mikey, Mar 23, 2007.

  1. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    Last week, we (therapist, difficult child, and me) had a session together. The goal was to try and negotiate some acceptable boundaries that we would both respect. difficult child seems to think he should come and go as he pleases, keep the free room and board, and not have us poking around in his life. "It's all about trust - I' can take care of myself" sez he.

    on the other hand, he acknowledges that he's made poor decisions in the past and is still caught up in the stoner culture. He also acknowledges that he needs us to provide said room and board, and to "help out" until he graduates from HS in '08. However, the fact that we're worried stiff about him and his actions doesn't seem to balance against what he requires us to provide him.

    Meeting started out okay, as long as difficult child was the one making demands. When the discussion turned to "okay, that's what you want, but what about what your parents want?", it got ugly, and difficult child ultimately walked out on the session. doctor wants to try again, though, because he thinks difficult child didn't really know what we were doing and felt ambushed, reflexed into difficult child mode, and bailed.

    I'm not certain he's planning to stay around once he gets his degree, but he does want it. That means another 16 months under my roof (minimum), but it can't be with him calling all the shots. Hopefully, difficult child will be reasonable about this. Therapist seems to think he's capable of being reasonable, depending on how it's presented.

    So, we're planning part deux for next week. Only this time, there won't be any misunderstandings. difficult child is very well aware of all the things he wants, and has also acknowledged that he still needs us to get to his major goal (HS diploma). Ground rules will be set up ahead of time for the meeting stating that both parties have something they want, and something they need to contribute.

    Don't know how it's going to work out, it depends on whether or not son shows up in easy child or difficult child mode. Hopefully having ground rules up front will keep him from freaking and reflexing into a difficult child. If things go well, I'm thinking that some form of simple, written contract between us is needed, one that covers the time remaining for him to get his degree. It needs to cover areas that will make the next 16 months of life tolerable for him and us, because we can't keep going on like this.

    Does this sound crazy? Ideas for what we should give, and what we should ask for? Any "gotchas" that a sneaky, smart difficult child could use against us that we should watch out for?

    Thoughts, comments, suggestions, and thrown cream pies welcomed.

    Thanks,
    Mikey
     
  2. guest3

    guest3 Guest

    "no checks or credit cards accepted" LOL

    Gosh this will be me in another year or two, my difficult child teen is all about what he wants and that is it, no give and take with him. No motivation or work ethic either. sigh.............I just don't get it.

    I was a teen and pregnant at 19 to boot, I fought with my parents and rebelled. But i never told my parents I hated them I called my mom a B once and there's still a dent in the wall where my head touched down 20 years later. Now I am defending myself against my son threatening to hit me. I am ready to wake up now, LOL
     
  3. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    He sure is entitled, isn't he?

    Compromise is a good thing. It is extra hard to accomplish with a difficult child.
     
  4. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Have both parties sign the contract with therapist as a witness. Hand a copy to difficult child, keep one yourself & have one at therapist's office. It really can't hurt to give it a try.

    It also might, just might, make difficult child aware that you are treating him as the "adult" he wants to be treated as - however, all adults are expected to reciprocate & follow their end of the bargain.
     
  5. oceans

    oceans New Member

    I am no expert on this, but I started reading this book.

    Treating-Explosive-Kids-Collaborative-Problem-Solving by Ross Greene.

    It has some really good ideas in it about how to collaborate effectively with difficult child's. You might want to check it out.
     
  6. kris

    kris New Member

    <span style='font-size: 14pt'> <span style='font-family: Georgia'> <span style="color: #663366"> hmmmmmmm. in theory this sounds like a viable plan.

    can you share with-us what are the deal breakers for you & wife? what things are you willing to give on?? if we know what these items are we might be able to offer some suggestions....experiences.

    for instance...can you live with-a school night curfew but more liberal curew on friday & saturday nights? stuff like that.

    kris
    </span> </span> </span>
     
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Mikey, I didn't see this note until after I read the Good Morning Sunday thread... it gives me more background and that helps.
    Of course the therapist isn't going to give up after one session. I would keep trying for a bit. Nothing changes overnight.
    However, I can see you had a setback this weekend so that may complicate things.
    Best of luck. Keep us posted.
     
  8. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: kris</div><div class="ubbcode-body">hmmmmmmm. in theory this sounds like a viable plan.

    can you share with-us what are the deal breakers for you & wife? what things are you willing to give on?? if we know what these items are we might be able to offer some suggestions....experiences.

    for instance...can you live with-a school night curfew but more liberal curew on friday & saturday nights? stuff like that.

    kris
    </div></div>

    Three goals, in order of importance:
    <ul>[*]Improve life skills so he doesn't end up dealing or working the Tenderloin district if/when he leaves the nest. Primarily, this means staying in school, getting his degree, and picking up some work or trade skills along the way.
    [*]Moderate or eliminate his substance abuse. Already working on cigs and inhaled pot, but nearly dying from an asthma attack last week helps out. But we're afraid he's moving to other stuff, like booze.
    [*]Improve his relationship and connections to the family and family members.[/list]
    Working from top to bottom, life skills is most important; I've known many drunks and potheads who could keep a job and provide for themselves. Of course, it would be better to hold a job without the substance abuse issues. Family is nice to have for how, but more for us than him. He won't value that until much later in life, possibly not until one or the both of us passes. I can put up with him hating me if he gets the help he needs and learns to take care of himself.

    Dealbreakers for us are, first and foremost, not staying in school, followed by his pathalogical lying, running the roads all night, not honoring his commitments, and using controlled substances and then driving (or driving with someone DUI). Secondary dealbreakers are continuing to treat the family like a motel with live-in maid service.

    Concessions we're willing to make (and already have made) are not telling him who he can/cannot hang out with, not forcing him to check in and get permission to move around, increasing schoolnite curfews to 9-10 (weekends 12-1), and contining to help him with other things (like financing his car, helping with insurance etc...)

    The real pickle is that we've already given away most of the things we can. The trick is going to be getting him to see everything we've given him (or given up for him), acknowledge that, and try to make some good-faith effort back to us. If we can't get him to do that, then we're in the deep stuff and I don't know where to go from there, other than to "get tough" - and I have my doubts about how well that will work on my prideful, stiff-necked, and stoopid difficult child who really thinks he can make it on his own right now.

    Mikey
     
  9. mom_in_training

    mom_in_training New Member

    "Concessions we're willing to make (and already have made) are not telling him who he can/cannot hang out with, not forcing him to check in and get permission to move around"

    Hmmmm, I always tried to made it a point to know who my difficult child was hanging out with to include getting confirmation from other parents about transportation and where the kiddos would be etc. Also asked that my difficult child please let me know of any changes in the plans. A parent cannot be everywhere to babysit their kids nor do I think they should so long as they have no reason to think that their kids are doing anything wrong. I might be wrong but it seems that in my case things started going wrong when I started letting loose a little bit. All it takes is for them to get with the wrong group of kids. I obviously did not know this new girl in the neighborhood as well as I thought I did and she was the one that introduced a heavy drug using group of kids to my difficult child.
     
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