He's Pushing Buttons...


Shooting from the Hip
...And not getting husband to cave in like expected.

husband has HAD it with the constant lying, refusing to eat dinner, chore refusal. Kid actually demanded we apologize for his getting in trouble for not doing chores (specifically dishes but other stuff too) when asked repeatedly. 'Cause we were in the wrong, doncha know.

Sheesh. As a 17-y/o, if I'd acted like he is acting, I'd have gotten my butt handed to me. And my parents rarely spanked me. I remember twice, EVER.

So first he lost his laptop, last summer. Then his phone. He got the Xbox back briefly over Christmas break, then that was gone, too (husband "broke" it - it's fine, but the case popped off when he "threw" it on the floor). As well as TV.

He was asked to do things. Refused. Asked. Ignored. Now the only conversation we get out of him is "Belle said to call her now" so he can have husband's phone. Belle is trying to get him to understand we don't want a slave, we want him to learn some skills. Get a part-time job. Get his license and a vehicle. This is the ONLY reason he gets to talk on the phone.

After 2 letters, the first detailing what it cost for us to have him (room, board, etc.) and explaining that he could get a job and pay us to do it, move out and handle it all himself, or just freakin' DO HIS CHORES... The second explaining that husband was going to start levying consequences... His bedroom door is now gone. Another letter saying it was a consequence of the lying and refusing to do anything... Last Sunday, husband said, "your chores done?" Pat said, "My laundry and room are done." Well, that's only a tiny bit... And after 2 days of the door off, most of the upstairs smells like his room. Thank goodness for incense and wax melts.

Got him a new pair of glasses after he lost or broke his last pair (THAT was a crazy mess, he lied to husband and told him he had not gotten a new pair in 3 years... Then 4 years... husband was there & knew better, he's had 3 pair in 3 years). Could not afford expensive ones this time so got them from Zenni optical online. husband looked through them, said they were pretty good (husband's eyes are very close in Rx to Pat's)... Pat came out last night and said he can't see out of them. I've not seen him WEAR them. Oh well. I have never heard anyone yet complain about Zenni, so I'm skeptical.

husband wants to check with the school and shadow him for embarrassment. I swear, he may be on to something...


Well-Known Member

Be a rubber wall. Keep bouncing the same message back at him.
I'm guessing the major problem is that, in order to move forward, he has to change his thinking. What? I can't change. I'm (fill in the blank for a "reason" for not being able.)

His major coping skill is to push back at you and Bill. He doesn't WANT to learn new coping skills. He doesn't WANT independence. It's WAY too scary. So he pushes back at everything.


Shooting from the Hip
LOL yup! He does, however, want to move out at 18 and live on the Social Security death benefit we receive (bio mom). That's nowhere near enough to live on, and he has to be enrolled in school to receive it after age 18... Otherwise, it goes poof. So, assuming he is in school full time, he will still need transportation to and from, a job to pay for all the extras he wants...

I wonder, though, if it has suddenly hit him that he IS almost eighteen, and maybe if he doesn't "know how" to do these things, we won't push him out of the nest. It's not that easy, but...

husband took the curtains off his windows. It's no longer cavelike... He does have blinds, so curtains are not required.


Well-Known Member
I wonder, though, if it has suddenly hit him that he IS almost eighteen, and maybe if he doesn't "know how" to do these things, we won't push him out of the nest.
That would be my theory.

Mine is more black and white about it. I will say, if you're going to live on your own, you need to know how to (fill in the blank). He will absolutely agree, and admit he doesn't know how to, AND even ask me to teach him. BUT. When I'm there and available and going to do (whatever the blank was)... it's never a good time to learn.

A bit passive-aggressive, maybe?


Roll With It
If you haven't already read it, Parenting Your Teen with Love & Logic might give you some ideas to help motivate him. Hubby & I both found it to be very helpful. You can also think creatively. My mom was incredibly creative with us when we were teens. At one point gfgbro was locking the cat in his room while he slept, keeping her from her food, water and litter box for 8-10 hours at a time. My mother went into his room and painted his feet with tuna juice while he slept and left the cat n with him. The cat and the dog BOTH went nuts and my super ticklish gfgbro NEVER did it again. I can give you other examples if you need them. I toed the line more or less because I didn't want alll that creativity aimed at me that way!

A dad

Active Member
I do have to say the door thing its punishment for us not for them. I mean really boys are disgusting no joke. I admit I gave up on the room cleaning its not like I live there. I really gave the door back after 2 months because I caught my oldest do well what do you all think teenagers sometimes do?
To his defense he taught no one was home.
Make consequences that do not make you suffer its my motto. I do not have to suffer also.


Shooting from the Hip
Being creative is nice, but it doesn't work as well with him. (Susie, I remember you telling me that story long ago under my previous name.)

The thing is - he can't smell the stench, so it doesn't bother him. When he was leaving cups half full of milk out, I started dumping them on his bed. Didn't even phase him. He never even noticed! He just brought the cup out and put it in the sink. The smell of spoilt milk was even worse for us, even with the door on.

husband and I think he may have bought another cell phone and is hiding it. It's harder, with no door... But he can also see us coming down the hall better.

CPS said privacy is not required, nor is actual bedding since he is 17. As long as he has a warm blanket (or sleeping bag)... There is food available in the house... Running water, no filth... They're fine. husband called them to ask and explained the situation. They even told him - if Pat's room is filthy, but the rest of the house is not - since he is old enough to clean it - not a problem.

A dad, I've caught him before, but never in his room. In front of the computer while playing a war game (?!), on the XBox playing Halo... Strange child. But ya know, I caught Belle in flagrante delicto with her boyfriend at 13. So... Enh. Would bother HIM more.