Had to give difficult child 1 a dose of reality....

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TeDo, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    and now I feel bad.

    His Boy Scout troop has activities every month, sometimes twice a month. Things like going to a monster truck show in a big city 2 hours away, "killer" gocarts that go super fast around an indoor track, hiking and climbing in mountains 3 states away, etc. There are some other things like camping many times, community service projects, overnight activities, etc. difficult child 1 wants to do them ALL and gets it in his head that he's going an that's all he talks about until it happens. He knows these events cost money and he knows we don't have much. I don't hide that fact from my kids. They know we just can't afford everything they want.

    Anyway, leader called me yesterday to tell me the "killer" gocarts trip (which I knew I couldn't afford and I knew difficult child 1 isn't tall enough) was rescheduled for today. I didn't say anything to difficult child 1 because I didn't want to hear the complaining all night and all day today.

    A friend of his called this morning and while they were talking mentioned the trip being today. difficult child 1 went ballistic because "Why didn't you tell me? You knew I wanted to go!" I told him I didn't tell him because I didn't want to have to deal with exactly this any longer than I had to. I also told him there was no way he was going anyway (which I've said before) because I don't have $70 and he's too short anyway. He stormed up the steps (YEAH!! progress) yelling "You're the worst parent ever! You're so poor because you can't find a stupid job!" and on and on.

    I walked away AFTER I said "I don't have a job and can't even look for one because I'm scared to death to leave you alone with difficult child 2. I'm scared to death that I would come home and find you've killed him and then I wouldn't have either of you. As often as you say you want to kill him over stupid little things, I am scared to death that some day you just might do it. I would love to have a job and be around other people but I can't because I don't trust you."

    He got absolutely quiet and came downstairs a few minutes later and apologized for what he said and through tears said "I just really wanted to go". I told him I knew that's why he said those mean things and that I wanted him to go to but that there are a lot of things I want to do but can't. They do this trip every year so he can probably go next year. That made him happy as a clam.

    But....now I feel bad for putting that "burden" on him on top of everything else. That is the reality but it's not fair to put the burden of ALL this on his shoulders. He feels bad enough about himself the way it is, I don't want him to feel personally responsible for our financial situation, truth or not.

    Thanks for letting me vent. Pity party over now. LOL
  2. keista

    keista New Member

    You know it's an ultimate rock and a hard place thing, don't you? Our generation of parents doesn't want to "burden" our kids with this stuff. We know that it can cause trauma and stress and "break" some kids. On the flip side, man of our kids are missing out by not being burdened. this can be a motivator for some ppl. A determining factor to make their own lives different and hopefully better.

    At the moment, at least, it sounds like to day was the latter for difficult child. My hope for you is that it stays that way for him so you can all move forward.
  3. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Aww, Tedo--

    You're right - that's a big burden....but it IS reality...

  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Sigh. I know the feeling. But just let it go. Maybe it will sink in and he will change his behavior. One can only hope. :)
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I think your gut instinct led you to say it, you knew he would understand and it seems he did. OK, you know that I totally get how awful it feels to just lose it and in part say those things because you're mad. But as you told me, it is human nature. It does stink to not be able to give them everything. When Q was in boy scouts though, they covered every trip I couldn't afford, and it was very private....can you ask for help in those things? I think it is part of their mission. (for this one a moot point since he is too short to be in the cars anyway, unless he could go with a leader or something)

    I am glad he came and talked to you and self-initiated an apology. Really, he has such a good heart and he was just super disappointed, how can they NOT feel jealous and sad? I felt that all the time as a child and it was good and bad. I did feel left out but I also learned what is important in life and I never felt entitled or took anything for granted. I am super proud of having paid for all of my six years of education myself.

    I have told Q that I can't get a job until I know I wont have to get him from school anymore. It is the truth. I told him that my only job right now is to be his mom and that is OK but it does mean that we have to be careful with money. Even he kind of understands. Though he does still think my credit/debit card can just take over....have to explain that nearly weekly.
  6. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    It's a hard thing when you cna't trust a difficult child with your other children. I know exactly how you feel. Do I think that you burdened difficult child with reality? No, honestly, I don't. I think that difficult children need to realize how much their actions and behaviors can cost a family. It might be something heavy for some difficult children to deal with, but they need to hear it. My difficult child goes off the wall whenever I say something like that to him, but I can see that the wheels are turning in his mind after I've said it.

    I hope that he takes what you've said to heart, and don't be too hard on yourself.
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I'm coming to this late, because I had to think about it.

    I grew up in a very poor neighborhood. We had more than most of the kids around us, but nobody had much.
    Some parents tried to hide the picture from their kids, didn't want them to know how bad it really was.
    Other parents... were very up-front and open with the kids.
    easy child/typical teen kids tend to read between the lines and get the picture anyway. They suspect, even if they don't know.
    difficult children just aren't as good at reading between the lines.

    But, observing classmates and friends growing up? The kids who knew - black and white - what the realities were, took it far more in stride than those whose parents tried to hide it.

    Too often, various organizations are blind to the effect of cost when choosing activities. Including school. ($200 each for a band trip?)

    We can't afford many things either. And we're not "poor", just have a lot of expenses due to the kids' special needs. We have to pick and choose which activities they participate in.