Creative ways to outsmart my difficult child

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    (Even though I shouldn't have to.)

    difficult child has a girlfriend. That means that at age 12 or 13, they can call one another and talk. For hours. And when I tell him to get off, he smartmouths me.
    His girlfriend doesn't hang up, either. If I were that age and my friend's parents were yelling in the background, I'd hang up in a hurry!
    She calls 16X a day (seriously, it's on the Caller ID) and when husband or I answer, she hangs up on us.
    I grounded difficult child off the phone yesterday because he refused to bring in the trash from the curb (4 containers on wheels). Not to mention he tied up the ph all day.
    He tried to push me back into my ofc (so much for the new rules the psychiatric laid down) but I reminded him not to do it, and finally was able to get the door shut and locked.
    After we both cooled down, husband came home and started to bring in the trash, and I stopped him so difficult child could do it.
    Then I got a flashlight and screwdriver, and disconnected both phone lines. :laugh::smug:

    We had the nicest, quietest Christmas Eve ever! :D (2 days early because we're going out of town).

    difficult child wondered what happened to the phone. After 1-1/2 hrs, I secretly plugged in the lines outside.

    I'm assuming it's typical for g'sfg to attract other g'sfg, right? They're all ADHD and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)? And refuse to listen to parents?
  2. Momslittleangels

    Momslittleangels New Member

    They do seem to find other difficult child's, but at their age, talking on the phone incessantly is the norm. I did it, my girls did it and I'm sure their kids will too.

    by the way - - When my girls were tweens/teens, I pulled the same trick and disconnected the outside line. But since cell phones came into existence, it makes it harder, unless they don't own one!!!;)
  3. emotionallybankrupt

    emotionallybankrupt New Member

    HA! That phone company is so unreliable, isn't it? I've done the same thing before. You do what you have to do, and sometimes sneaky is better than conflict, in my opinion. So many things can happen. Modems can be ever so SLIGHTLY unplugged so that the click just isn't quite clicked. Stuff just happens.

    The last sneaky tactic I used, in order to keep difficult child from being on the phone all night long, was to coordinate the timing of arming the home alarm system ("difficult child sneaking out alarm system," that is) with unplugging the phone from the modem, which was in my bedroom. She just knew she had about 30 second from the beeps of the system arming before the phone went dead. I explained that the alarm system had somehow been reconfigured to take over the phone line to be ready to call the monitoring station if necessary, and that she had no need to use it at that hour anyway, RIGHT???
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yes, typical, but I sure would be calling little miss "I will call my so called boyfriend"'s parents and tell them what she is doing!

    I had to deal with one of these when Cory was 12 and he and she lived in neighboring counties and it was long distance. Needless to say...both of us had huge phone bills and were none to happy about it.
  5. ML

    ML Guest

    You are smarter than a 7th grader!
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We have done things differently here.

    easy child "got together" with her first boyfriend (now SIL1, so be warned!) when she was 14 and he was 15. They met at a camp for kids who help care for a disabled family member. His mother has been a partial quadriplegic since he was 5 years old, he was sole carer.

    From the time they became an item, we had to deal with the phone being tied up. Made worse because he lived in a city three hours' drive away.

    So very early on, we sat down and made some deals. The deals have to go in every direction, they're rules not just for the kids, for use of the phone. But due to boyfriend living so far away, it was a long distance relationship very dependent on the phone. So this was necessary.


    The phone is there for the family to use. Mum & Dad pay for the phone service, so their needs must have priority. However, parents will willingly take a back step on "phone date night". One night a week the lovers may talk on the phone. The cheap night rates begin at 9 pm so the call may begin then and continue until midnight. [Midnight was past the usual bedtime, so t his later hour was a privilege].

    Each will take turns to call. So if easy child calls boyfriend one week, boyfriend must call easy child the following week. This spreads the cost of the call.

    In between these marathon phone calls other, shorter calls are permitted but within reason. What constitutes "within reason" is to be negotiated, with the needs of all phone users being taken into account. But where possible, keep such calls short, because you both have your own lives to live, your other responsibilities and if they get neglected then phone privileges will have to be curtailed more strictly.

    We MUST meet the love interest, as early in the relationship as possible. We also require friends to meet us so we can recognise them and know to allow them entry if they drop in at any time. Any friend or love interest refusing to meet with us wil arouse our suspicion and distrust. [In this case with your difficult child's girlfriend, she could be feeling very anxious about talking to you when she hasn't met you - yet more reason for you inviting her around to dinner one night, or maybe afternoon tea].

    Our telephones now have Call Waiting, and we have a strict rule that ANY call coming in must be answered, and messages taken in writing, by whoever is on the phone. Obviously if you're on hold to a government department and Call Waiting starts beeping, we tend to not answer that but let Voicemail get it. But this is otherwise a common courtesy rule, it's a house rule for all phone users.

    These are simple, universal rules. They apply to everybody.

    The key is, negotiate. Discuss it together. Ask the kids for their input, their opinions. You listen to them, then require them to pay you the same courtesy. Do your utmost to manage this in the same way you would with, say, an elderly parent living with you. It's the beginning of them learning, by the example you set, how to get on with people in their lives as they get older and more independent.

    THis is something we put in place with our older kids when they reached their teens, when they got to the rebellious teen stage. We found it helped a great deal because these kids WILL clash heads, but if you show them how to back off and discuss (rather than yell) then they learn valuable skills as well as feel themselves being treated with respect due to an adult (even if they don't deserve it, to begin with. They will eventually).

    We also found it eased our own blood pressure levels.

    Once you've got this in place for the phone, you can bring it in for other areas of your shared living arrangements. For example, working together to run the house. Learning how to cook, do the washing, keep communal areas tidy etc. A very important rule we brought in and have kept - we always tell one another where we are going and when we will be back. Any variation in this, we let people know. Parents tell the children as much as we require the childrne to tell parents. It also allows us to use one another's movements to help the household. For example, "Are you going to visit Jack? Well here is a couple of dollars. While you're out can you please pick up a couple of litres of milk on your way home?"
    "I'm just going down to the store for a loaf of bread. Is there anything else that you can think of that should be on the list?"

    It keeps the home working as a unit, too.

    Not perfect, of course. But it does tend to work better.

    And then, if the rules get consistently broken, you disconnect the phones!