Consistency and Consequences

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by JodyS, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. JodyS

    JodyS New Member

    :angry-very:O.K. So I've read the books. Pick your battles, etc. The problem is my son, and no matter what consequences and how consistent I am continues to break the rules day after day after day. I know you have to pick your battles, but by letting go of a lot of it, I worry he is getting the message that hey mom only comes down on me for certain things, but ends up blowing a lot of stuff off. So by picking my battles and grounding him for what I beleive are "bad" things he has done, he still continues to do bad and is grounded 24-7.

    EX: I started letting him ride his bike to friends this summer. I was leary, but wanted him to be able to go visit friends and earn responsibility. He is not the most responsible when I bike with him, so I was nervous. Today I busted him big time. I told him he may only go to the park near our house. I have 2 foster boys here and they went with him. He lied to them and told them I said they could go to a different park that was much farther away. My daughter came home and said they are not at the park mom. So I got in my car and drove around for 1/2 hour before finding them on their way back home. I grounded him from his bike for the summer. I don't feel he is responsible enough. I am so angry for him so blantenly disobeying me that I feel he needs to stay in his room as well for the day.

    My questions are these: How do you pick your battles? When you choose not to battle over things your child has done wrong don't you worry they are getting mixed messages? How do they know when to follow the rules then? Am I being overboard? How can I help my son not be grounded 24-7? He lies and breaks the rules daily. I don't know how to turn this around so he doesn't do it. HELP
  2. ML

    ML Guest

    I feel your pain. It's about leverage to some extent. I would never ground or restrict my difficult child son (almost 10) from outdoors because it's like pulling teeth to get him there in the first place. Taking away computer priveleges is about all I have.

    I still think picking battles is the way to go. I don't worry too much about letting some things go. I figure the world is often inconsistent so I'm preparing him. For example I often go over the speed limit (not much but still) and most days I don't get the ticket. Still I know it's *wrong* and I know what the consequences would be.

    With some of these kids it would be impossible to take on every misdemeanor and saving the big consequences for the bigger stuff makes sense. I know how tiring it can be. I agree that lying is a big thing and losing biking time makes sense, especially as the summer is almost over. I think if it was just starting out it might be too strong (jmo).

    Hang in there!

  3. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi! In the Explosive Child, Ross Greene breaks things down into baskets.

    Basket A = Safety rules, hitting, etc. Basically, something worth enduring a meltdown over.

    Basket B = the negotiation bucket. Things that you want done, you don't see eye to eye, so you both discuss and decide a middle-ground that would result in both of you being a "little bit happy".

    Basket C = Why should I care? Does it really matter if he makes his bed every morning before school? Stuff that can be "left on the shelf" until further down the road.

    That's pretty much where I am as far as picking my battles!

  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I know how hard it is. been there done that.
    Over the yrs, I've found that grounding my son "For the rest of the summer," for ex., is merely punishing myself, because then I can't go anywhere.
    So I've learned to step back and figure out what might be a better fit.
    Perhaps you could have grounded your son from going to any parks for the rest of the summer, instead of grounding him to the house.
    Then find him doing something good. No matter how insignificant.
    If he picks up a dirty sock off the floor (heaven forbid! LOL), praise him for it. When I first started it with-my son, he got mad and slammed the door. Later, he told me he thought I was being sarcastic. I had to explain to him that whenever he did something really good, I would tell him the truth, and I would also tell him when I was being sarcastic.
    (in my humble opinion, a bit of an aspie trait when he categorizes everything the same way; a rule is a rule is a rule, but I digress)
    Sometimes you don't know.
    I would sit him down and ask him to come up with-a list of suggestions.
  5. JodyS

    JodyS New Member

    I am not grounding him to the house for the summer. Just off his bike. It is a safety issue because I don't feel he rides safe enough and I can't trust him to go where I tell him too.

    I ground him for safety issues and lying. These reasons are why he is grounded 24-7. He lies constantly and has since he was a little boy. No consequences has ever made him stop even though he has lost friends because of his lies. He constantly hits, leaves his "chokable" toys all over the house, yard, garage, etc. I don't sweat so much of the small stuff, but none the less he is always and I mean almost every day grounded. Grounding does not and has never diswayed him to not continue the behaviors.
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Okay, then you've got to find something that does work. Does he like video games? My son is obsessed with-them and I just unplug the mouse. Like ML said, it's about leverage. You have to hit him where it counts.
    What does he like to do best? Once you figure it out, it's amazing how well it will work.
    Also, a carrot approach works. Once you take away what he loves, then giving it back is a carrot ... i.e. "I really like it when you call me from the neighbor's house so I know where you are. I'll let you play a video game for 15 min. ea. time you do that when you get home." (Of course, that may backfire, and he may call you from the neighbors every 5 min. just to earn several hrs of video games, LOL!)
    Just brainstorming here ...
  7. JodyS

    JodyS New Member

    He does like his video games - a lot. The problem is he doesn't take care of them, most of them are broken and I refuse to buy him anymore because he is incapable of picking up after himself. I am not kidding since I started this thread I have caught him in 2 more lies. The only thing I can do is give him chores, because there is nothing to take away anymore. He doesn't get the opportunity to earn something back because he will do 5 bad things to 1 good thing. I do point that good thing out to him, but I can't not punish him for then punching his sister or flat out lying to my face. He seriously has earned 60 chores this weekend and he gets me to a boiling point where seriously I can't even handle being around him anymore. I love this child with all my heart and soul but come on if he is doing this at age 11, how bad is it going to get at age 15?

    Today like too many days was just terrible. I seriously think about sending him to boot camp. I can't find one in MN or one that is affordable. But I need help! My family just can't survive like this. I just loose it with him and get so angry and hurt. It is all day of lies and blatent disobedience and disrespect to myself and my husband and our kids. I know tomorrow is a new day, but there are times I need to not be around him and I have no where to send him. But don't get me wrong. I love that little man with all that I am. I feel like such a failure as a mom. Why can't I get him to follow the rules and do what he is told? I worry he will grow up and be in jail because he just can't follow the rules!
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2008