I Can Only Say "I'm Sorry" So Many Times

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Bunny, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    We had a big blizzard here so difficult child was playing with one of this friends over their Xbox Live connection. I needed to send a fax that really had to go out today, so I sent it, no knowing that doing so would throw my son off his Live connection. He threw a fit about it, and I told him that I was really sorry and that I didn't know that sending the fax would effect his connection. As soon as I saw the fax go through I told him to try his connection again. Although he claimed that I "fried" his system and that he would not be able to play for "hours" and that I totally ruined his afternoon, he was able to get back on immediately and play again. That was two hours ago. He's still giving me attitude about it. There are only so many times I can tell the kid that I am sorry and that I didn't know that the fax machine would effect his connection.

    It's only Monday of the vacation week.

  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I do not think you should be apologizing AT ALL!!!

    If you had an important fax that needed to go out - yes, a heads-up would have been considerate to others, but frankly, your important fax takes priority over video games. Period.

    You apologized for not giving the "heads up" - but now, HE should be apologizing to YOU for his attitude.

    And if he is giving you attitude because something you were doing "interrupted" his precious game, then maybe he needs to restrict his game-playing to non-business hours.
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    in my opinion Daisyface is right. Apologizing once was polite. Continueing to apologize is letting him have WAAAAAYYYYY too much power. difficult child does NOT pay for the phones, the internet and most likely not for the xbox either.

    At this point it is time to sit him down, AWAY from the game/tv/electronic screens and explain a few things. First is that you are his mother and he does NOT get t scold you or give you attitude regardless of what you have done or what he thinks you have done. The second is that if the game is important enough for him to treat you this way then it has taken on WAY too much importance and maybe he needs to spend a couple of days free of screens so that he can relearn his manners and how to amuse himself with-o electronics.

    This may not be a popular course of action but it worked for us for the most part. I have always told my kids that if it is something that they would lie, cheat, steal or abuse a family member over then it needs to go away until this power has been broken or at least substantially reduced. It is hard to keep them away because the first couple of days they are total jerks, but they do adjust and they do learn that they cannot treat family this way. Then they get the chance to EARN screen time by doing chores and by minding their manners.

    Regardless of what you do, stop apologizing to him. Expect HIM to apologize for his attitude and bad manners and for forgetting that he is NOT your boss and has NO right to put ANY limits on you - you pay the bills. When HE can pay his own way then HE can make the rules for his home.
  4. Frazzledmom

    Frazzledmom Guest

    Ugh, I know how you feel though. I have let myself be a doormat WAY to often and it is now finally coming to bite me in the a**. My son would NEVER treat anyone outside of the family rudely but he is horrible to us. Stop apologizing. That is one tiny first step that you can take. I know that for me those steps are really difficult because of the chaos that will begin and we have learned to avoid that at all cost. I'm trying hard to learn that avoiding chaos does not make it go away. Blah... one step at a time. Good luck.
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Who pays the electricity bill? The connection bill? OK, it happened, he got thrown off his game, possibly at a crucial point. Annoying and frustrating for him. A vent form him is understandable. You apologised (which I also would have done) and that should resolve it. If it does not resolve things, then ask him to stop the game and come resolve it now, because clearly your apology for an ACCIDENT is not sufficient for him. I'm betting he won't want to stop; but he can only continue if he agrees to let it go. If he keeps whining, then warn him that clearly it is still an issue, it still needs resolving and you are going to cut the electrical power to the house in ten minutes, if he has not stopped whining by then and apologised for his attitude. Then follow through. We set up a loud timer (the microwave oven often has a good timer that counts down) and when it goes off, I go out to the metre board and shut off the power. This is not good idea to do unwarned, because the game system needs to have disks removed so they don't grind down.

    The other threat I have carried out - I threatened to shut down the network. That doesn't do any damage, it just causes inconvenience. And it only goes back on when the problem is resolved.

    You have the power. Literally. While it is OK to apologise and admit frailty when appropriate, you should not have to keep going and become a doormat. Balance in all things.

  6. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Thanks for the support. I know that you are right and I told him after he gave me atgtitude that if it comtinued he was going to lose the privledge. That seemed to cool his jets, but there was no apology from him for his attitude. This is something that we are trying to work on with him. He seems to think that when people do what he considered to be a wrong towards him, he holds onto it forever. The therapist has asked him why he just can't accept an apology for things that were clearll accidents, but he thinks that everything bad that happens to him, like getting thrown off his game when I sent the fax, was done on purpose to make him angry. I'm not sure where that comes from and the therapist is having a hard time getting through to him that accidents are sometimes just that: accidents. They happen to everyone and you have to be able to handle them with grace. He clearly can't, or won't do that. I'm not sure which.

  7. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Pam-easy child/difficult child is very much the same way feeling as though everything is done purposefully to bother her. She also holds on to things for a long time but doesn't expect others to do the same. An apology from easy child/difficult child is rarer around here than getting struck by lightening.
  8. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    Pam, both my difficult child''s would've been the same way , however after the 3rd or 4th rant I would've calmly sent another fax in the middle of their game (I am twisted that way)
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Pam, this becomes Basket B (if he can learn - he may not be able to take it on board yet). In other words, when he is calmer, you sit and talk through the logic of it. Simply say to him,"Let's talk about that problem yesterday. How did you feel?" Now, that can be a dangerous question because it can reawaken his anger. But you need him in touch with his feelings a little. Then ask him, "Let's look at my actions in this. If I had been choosing to make you angry, can you think of ways I could have been more successful? What sort of things could I have done, to make you angry?"
    Try to have some possibilities already lined up, some silly ones too. For example, you could have chosen to fire water pistols at him and his game system 9which could have risked fusing it and totally wrecking it).
    Next question - "Why would I choose to make you angry? I don't like it when you are angry, it makes me sad and upset too. Can you think of any reason why I would choose to upset you?"
    Then if you have been able to get across that you would not choose to make him angry, and even if you did, you would choose more effective methods, you spread it out before him. "So I would not choose to make you angry. If I were going to try to upset you, I could find more effective ways that could keep you angrier for a lot longer, and give me a lot more of what I want - you not playing games so much. So can you now see that it really was an accident?"
    Next step - "What can we put in place, to help us avoid this problem in the future?"

    There are two problems to avoid - first, the problem of difficult child believing everything is designed deliberately. Second, the problem of how to avoid the game crashing when a fax needs to be sent. You can say, "Now we have discovered, albeit painfully, that sending a fax will clash with your online play. What should we do, next time I have an urgent fax to send? What can we agree on together, now?"

    Involving him as much as possible gives him some sense of control in the situation, without actually giving him total control. He becomes an equal collaborator which, given the importance of his gaming to him, is showing him respect for his activities and, hopefully, modelling this respect for him. These kids learn by imitation. How you treat him sets the pattern for how he treats you. For example, if at some time in the past you (or someone else) took the attitude with him that he has chosen to misbehave deliberately to cause you distress, than that could explain why he is now choosing to see your actions as deliberately upsetting him.

    The method suggested should dovetail neatly with the professional therapy. Next session, tell the therapist of the incident and any subsequent conversation. by the way, what I suggested has nothing to do with discipline. It is planning strategy, nothing more. Whatever difficult child says to you, however angrily he speaks, do not punish or get angry back. If he gets too angry, stop the process. But you want him to think, at least for that moment.

    As I said before, he may not be ready for this. But it is the way to go forward, when he is ready.