Another Vent! (I know...I'm sorry)

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DaisyFace, May 19, 2009.

  1. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I guess I've been venting a lot lately....and I apologize. Thank you all so much for putting up with me!

    Lately I've just been questioning everything about my parenting skills. It seems now that BOTH of my kids are on a bad road and I fear that they are BOTH going to end up making the kinds of decisions that will lead them to a life of hardship. And I have no idea what to do about it.

    This weekend I had my son with me while I was running errands and he came up with a brand new pack of gum. Well, I didn't buy it for him--so he clearly lifted it from one of the stores while we were out....

    But he denied it--swore up and down that his friend had given him the gum and he was just saving it in his pocket. I asked for his friend's number to verify the story---he didn't have it. So I took away the gum and grounded him to his bedroom for the rest of the weekend.

    On Monday (yesterday)--he comes home from school with his friend's phone number. So husband calls the parents, asks them about the gum and they VERIFY that they sent their son to school with all kinds of new packs of gum and he must have shared some with my son.

    OK--very good problem solved. Weird story--but since the parents verified son is off grounding.

    Now today, on her way out the door--difficult child whispers to husband "Ya know, he told me he really DID steal the gum from the store. He just got his friend to cover for him."

    So now, I don't know what to think....

    Every time I turn around something is missing. Something is gone. Something has disappeared. Nobody knows anything about it....except the standard 'O not me!'. And they each blame the other.

    This whole thing is so far out of my control any more. I can't catch them in the act--and so it is nothing but lies and cover ups and excuses.

    If they want to make these kinds of choices--it is going to catch up with them sooner or later. And if I can't catch them sooner....I guess they'll just have to pay for it later.

    And I'm almost getting to the point where I just am too tired to care.

    I'm a bad Mom who has raised a couple of bad kids.

    And there doesn't seem to be any way to make it right.....

  2. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    No you are a good and caring mother who has children that are making their own poor choices. My old flying instructor once told me. You and only you are responsible for your own happiness. Not your parents, not your spouse, not your boss. Just you.

    Your kids are the ones responsible for their own happiness. If they make bad choices it is their lives and they are responsible for the consequences. The requirements for being a good parent are to provide them opportunities, support and encouragement and training about what is right and wrong. But, you can't control their actions. You have taught them well, they know right from wrong, and you are providing negative consequences for the bad behavior. You are seeking help, and doing even more then what is reasonable for them. That is all you can do. You are a good mother given a challenging task.

    The best parents are careful with implementing punishments when not sure of quilt. My mother once told me that she found a bracelet, and showed it to her mom. Her mom said that she had stolen it and grounded her for two weeks. Mom is now 82 and still gets annoyed at the false accusation. So care needs to be made to make sure the innocent is not punished. Which is exactly what you did. You did very well. It is not your fault the kid can be sneaky.

    And vent all you want. That is what this site is for!
  3. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Sorry that you're having to go through this DaisyFace. It's hard and heartbreaking when you feel you can't trust your children.

    I'd like to offer you a different perspective on the matter, one I learned after going down the same road with my difficult child. He steals, and he lies. Constantly.

    I've learned over the years to:

    1) Never EVER ask the question "Why did you...?"

    It's a mug's game. You won't get a straight answer. Often difficult children don't really know why they do this stuff, as it's tied in with impulsivity, poor executive function, bad deceision making, etc. Even if you DO get a straight answer, it doesn't help to remedy the situation, often gets everyone hot under the collar, and gets in the way of finding a solution.

    2) Assume your kids are lying unless you can corroborate their story independently.

    This has done wonders for my sanity with difficult child. I have told him that I assume every word out of his mouth is a lie unless I have independent proof. It means that when he IS lying, I have already started down the road of consequences. And if he's not lying, I'm pleasantly surprised. I'm not constantly facing the disappointment of not being able to trust him. I DO trust him. I trust that he WILL lie 999 times out of 1000.

    As for difficult child feeling bad that I don't trust him, well, that's a natural consequence from all the years of lying. I may never get to the point where I believe what he has to say, or I may come around eventually, if he develops a track record of telling the truth over a long period of time. Regardless, he lost my trust, so he's the one who has to live with it.

    3) Let consequences be as natural as possible.

    Rather than punishing, wherever possible, try to let your kids own the responsibility for repairing the damage caused by their lying. Replace stolen objects or confiscate their allowance or part-time job money to pay for things. Return stolen objects to their source, with an apology. Face the consequences of stealing, even if there are legal ones. It's the only way they can own their behaviour.

  4. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip


    In fact I'm pretty impressed at how you've been holding it together.

    You know, when I was a child it was always pretty obvious who trimmed the cat's whiskers or fur... Who made a mess of chocolate milk in the kitchen... Etc. Because I was an only. However it's harder for me - I have two... And it's not always so obvious.

    FWIW, I have a "no gum in the house" rule. difficult child 1 is allowed as long as she does not in front of difficult child 2, and difficult child 2, not at all. Fortunately he doesn't like gum that much - swallows it. So if I find gum stuck somewhere... I know.

    Relax... And let this resolve itself.

    by the way, about that gum... I think difficult child was trying to get him in trouble. because what kind of parents would verify a lie for their child's friend? Not many.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I always had that problem of who did what. "Nobody" normally did it. In fact, if this so called "Nobody" got blamed, then they all got consequenced. Unless it was darned obvious like chocolate all over the offenders

    I was like Step in that I was an only kid so I had no one to blame. I assumed that when I had kids that they would always just tell me who had done it...oh so wrong was Eventually I learned not to ask who did what but just to state that something was done and that I wanted it back and it better show up or X was gonna happen. Pretty much peer pressure would win out and someone would convince the guilty party to cough up the answer because all three didnt want to be in trouble.