Intercepted text message

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by comatheart, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. comatheart

    comatheart Guest

    Late last night my husband intercepted a text message on difficult child's cell phone (that he JUST got back in the last few days). It's from a girl and said "Bring it to school tomorrow but leave it in your bag, otherwise you might get suspended"

    Of course, this sends our minds wheeling! husband works nights and I didn't find out about this until well after difficult child has already left for school or I would have checked his backpack myself. The school was called and notified and they brought both kids to the office, questioned them and checked their backpacks. Turns out difficult child tried to pierce his ear yesterday and was unable to get the needle through so the girl told him to bring the needle to school and she would do it for him.

    It could have been so much worse and we are relieved it wasn't drugs! BUT, once again this goes hand in hand with what difficult child does. If he wants something he does it. Regardless of whether or not he is supposed to. If he wants something at the store, he takes it. If he wants food at home that's restricted, he takes it. He does not stop and think of the consequenses.

    Months ago difficult child asked if he could pierce his ear. husband and I discussed it and agreed that it's not permanent. husband agreed he could pierce his ear if he proved to us he could be responsible. He was to work and earn money and save $500. He figured if he wanted it that bad, then it wouldn't be so hard. difficult child immediately decided it wasn't worth it and decided not to pierce his ear after all. Well, I guess he's decided instead of working to earn a trip to walmart to do it, he would just do it himself!?

    What do we do? What kind of punishment does this call for??

    Honestly, in my opinion $500 was asking far too much of a 14 yr old in the first place but husband came to that conclusion on his own without me. :mad: BUT, now that difficult child has gone ahead and pierced his ear on his own will, he needs to fulfill that requirement. It seems that would be a good natural consequence. My husband thinks that's not enough.

    OR I say let the hole heal and tell him when he's 18 he can pierce his ear. It's not drugs, let's count our lucky stars! Am I being too lenient?

    WWYD if this was your kid?
    Lasted edited by : Sep 13, 2010
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Onyxx used to sit alone in her room at night and instead of sleeping, pierced the cartilage in the upper part of her right ear; her lip; her septum; her belly button; a third set in her ears; and both hips (don't ask, the scars are ugly and I thought it was nuts anyway). With my sewing machine needles! (Then asks me to hem something... Of course, I had no needles, which is how I figured out they were being stolen - over 20 of them - and no, they're useless after being heated!)

    She was told she had to wait until X time, then we would take her. Nope, couldn't wait, did it anyway.

    She regrets it now. But, yeah, since that was the agreed-upon price, it should be met - PLUS a consequence for not following the agreement.
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I know the punishment is supposed to fit the crime ... maybe a mandatory backpack check every a.m. b4 school for the next 2 wks?
  4. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I agree that natural or logical consequences should come into play here. The $500 might be too big a stretch for your son -- it's really hard for children with impulse control issues (piercing your own ear with a needle sounds like a bit of an impulse issue to me) to save up that much money and at 14 it might just be too much to ask. I would make him take out the earring and let the hole heal shut.

    As for the backpack check, it might be worth instituting something like that anyway. However, if you do start that, don't limit it to just 2 weeks. A lot of kids can hold it together that long, especially if they know it's short-term. If you do decide to do backpack searches, be prepared to be both random and consistent. You have to do it all the time, and it might expand to checking room, pockets, other hiding places around the house, etc. All depends on what they're stashing and what you're looking for.

    (Sorry for the ramble. I've had a heckuva day and my brain is mushy...)

  5. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member

    I vote for the ongoing backpack check. It will be a huge PIA for you as parents-- maybe you and your hubby could switch off every other other week so no one gets burned out of this tedious but necessary job.

    Good luck.

  6. Mamaof5

    Mamaof5 Guest

    Okay, this is coming from a chick who is tattooed, pierced and came close to being branded as well. I think you actually set your difficult child up for failure when you that high of a savings quite honestly. I would (and I know we're all different in our family dynamics here) have said save up for the actual cost of the piercing rather than 500 bucks. You are right, it isn't perma but to say to save for nearly 10 to 15 times the amount of what it costs is a bit much in my humble opinion.

    I'm not trying to be a big "B" or anything but it seemed like you and husband set that goal that high to deter him in the first place from getting the piercing leading him to do what he did. I don't know, maybe I'm just more easier going about piercings (I have 6, two in ears, one nose, one tongue) and 6 tatts. I've told my oldest, do your research, carry around for at least one year what you want, if you still want it then fine and show me you can make an educated decision about it and I'll give you permission at the age of 16 to get one (which is legal with parental written permission here in Ontario, 18 without).

    I got my first tatt at 18...I can't tell him no when I've got what I've got (or based on that fact) but I will say no if he doesn't show me the responsibility of researching the artist, the shop, what he wants, how it works and what are the pros and cons of it. He'll also have to save up for paying for it himself too. I apologize now if I offended you with this post I didn't mean to if I did. The dynamics of what you posted and the details just kind of sounded like what I perceived above...if it wasn't the case, my apologies.
  7. comatheart

    comatheart Guest

    You didn't offend me at all!! In fact, while I don't have a lot of piercings or tattoos I think you hit the nail on the head. That is exactly the way i felt when he set that $500 goal!! He refused to hear me out and now look what's happened. For now, it's just a piercing but next time it may be something a lot more serious!

    Tomorrow husband and I are going to meet with difficult child's Counselor (without difficult child) and I think it will be a very good session because we are NOT on the same page in disciplining this kid. Anytime I don't agree with his punishments, he gets so angry with me and says I'm too lenient and difficult child is going to walk all over me. *sigh* I obviously have 2 major issues. A struggling teenager and some marital issues that need to be straightened out before we can expect difficult child to make any kind of improvements. :-(
  8. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    I tend to agree with mamaof5 and the only piercing I have is a hole in each ear. Lol.

    My son first asked about getting an ear piercing when he was about 8 or 10 years old. He was always a kid a bit out there in style and I think he wanted to be the first to do it. At that time I said no because he was so young, and i didn't want him making that kind of choice before he even hit puberty.

    He lost interest for a while. When he was around 15 i did take him to get an ear pierced. My reasoning was that by then I had let my daughter get her ears pierced and she was younger than she was. So it felt totally sexist to me and I also felt that he soon would find a way to do it himself and I didn't want that.

    He tattoos after that and I told him when he is 18 and can pay for it that will probably happen soon.

    So I agree the $500 was too much and probably felt impossible to him and also a means for you to prevent him from doing it.

    I think the consequence of checking the back pack is a good one.

    I don't know how you do this but I think you might want to consider talking to him about the whole situation and then find a way to let him get his earn pierced safely.
  9. Mamaof5

    Mamaof5 Guest

  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I let my son get his ear pierced at 6. He was so cute. Looked like he was tagged by the wildlife society! None of my other kids wanted it done. It actually kept him from wanting anything else done for a long time. One time he did attempt to shock me into allowing him to get his nose pierced but I simply told him with a completely straight face that it was fine with me but I was also going to pierce his genitals so I could attach a chain to lead him around. Never heard another peep out of him! LOL.

    He did let the ear close up several times and opened up again himself a couple of times. I dont know if its open now or not.
  11. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I agree with this, althought I'm no longer pierced and have no desire to be tatooed or branded. I wasn't a wild child but even I attempted to pierce my own ear with a needle and a potato when I was about 12.

    I also think that saving $500 is out of reach and has little in the cause-effect scheme. Saving the amount for professional piercing, plus a second earring and cleaning supplies would be more in line plus consistently keeping his own body clean, is in my opinion, more in line.
  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    OK, what is wrong with this picture? husband set an impossible goal, you new it was impossible, but you allowed it to stand? First, you and husband were not on the same page. If HD refuses to be on the same page, and you feel husband is being unreasonable, tat give you the right to so what YOU feel is right, and once difficult child had saved up enough to cover the cost of the piercing, you should have let him have it don.

    Next - a decision once made, CAN be changed. It is a mark of strength, not weakness, to admit that a decision was flawed and to change it, especially after reasonable discussion.

    It is total weakness and frailty, to refuse to accept that a decision may not have been the best. To insist on sticking to something increasingly obvious as unreasonable, has a name - chauvinism. I don't mean sexism, but the original meaning of the word - of blind adherence to increasingly obvious flawed choices. From Nicolas Chauvin, a supporter of Napoleon long after he had been exiled to Elba.

    The things within our parental control that cause most problems with difficult children - inconsistency. Unreasonableness. Decisions made in anger rather than careful consideration. Impulsivity. Parents/disciplinarians not being on the same page. And in this, you seem to have hit the jackpot.

    I think you need to sit down and lay it on the line for husband. Don
    t ask, tell him. If he will continue to make such decisions without making sure you are both on the same page, then you are likely to amend the ruling in favour of something more achievable, practical and feasible. If he doesn't like this, then he must learn to collaborate and consult. With a therapist overseeing, if necessary. Because this result alone should tell him that in this case, it was a BAD idea!

  13. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I think the problem here is really CLARITY.

    difficult child wanted his ear pierced. You didn't say "No" said "OK, it will cost you $500." The $500 was an arbitrary number having nothing to do with anything, really--but what you did was set a monetary price on ear piercing...not a goal, not a standard of conduct, not a certain GPA, but a dollar value. So all difficult child did was price-beat. Mom and Dad said "$500" said "Free ". Easy choice for difficult child.

    So now, the problem with consequences is that there are no logical consequences that I can see. You didn't tell him that he was not allowed to have an earring - that may have been what you meant, but that's not what was communicated. And in any other situation, price-beating is usually a good thing....If difficult child wanted school clothes but didn't have $500 for the new wardrobe, he could decide to spend less by shopping at the discount store instead of the mall....under other circumstances, you would have been very proud of his creative problem solving and thriftiness.

    So, just my opinion, I think you need to talk this out and explain what you really wanted....and tell him you were sorry that you were not clear with your expectations. And at this point, negotiate what happens with the earring. Maybe it can stay if he demonstrates good hygience in taking care of it? Maybe it has to go because you really didn't want him to have a piercing in the first place? Maybe you are OK with a regular piercing but not with some of the more exotic, ear-lobe-stretching stuff that is out there these days.

    But I think to battle it out just to battle it out will be a lot of wasted energy...and at the end of the day, there are bigger things to worry about than whether difficult child has an earring.
  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Very good point, DaisyFace.

    One thing most difficult children have, is logic. It may seem skewed, it may seem not our logic, but he does seem to have behaved logically.

    Now to consequences - there are natural consequences to what he has done. First, it is far more panful to do it yourself and do it slowly, inexpertly.

    Second, it is far less precise. You can end up with a bigger hole; with a hole not in the right place; with a hole that has 'dags' (Aussie slang, means bits hanging off that are not good - think of sheep's rear end); and lastly but certainly not least - infection risks.

    Having a piercing brings responsibility. Right now the firsts priority, even above keeping the hole open, is to treat for infection prohylactically. Forget about antibiotics (at least for now, unless a doctor says it is necessary), the reason ear lobes get pierced is because they don't have as much blood supply. Oral antibiotics will only treat infection if they can be carried to the site by a good blood supply. The best home treatment to prevent infection, is topical. First, the biggest nasty risk is of common bacteria already present and happily living benignly there in the presence of oxygen, getting 'injected' into the tissues where oxygen is a lot lower, and the bugs choosing to grow in the absence of oxygen. Staph aureus is a classic - if the needle used to make the hole is also a needle used to deal with pimples, you can almost guarantee an anaerobic staph infection. The best way to treat tis is with hydrogen peroxide dabbed on frequently. it will bubble and fizz, especially if there i any infection. But it will still bubble and fizz even without infection. The bubbling drives oxygen into the tissues and kills anaerobic bacteria.

    If the person making the hole (say, a friend) has a bit of a sore throat, then the risk can get really sty - you can get a combination of staph aureus and Streptococcus B, both growing anaerobically and working together to make a nasty mess of the ear. if tihs happens, it will be years before he can risk piercing tat ear again. It could be even worse - that combination can turn flesh-eating. I've seen it in myself, and in easy child. The infection we had was localised (finger in easy child's case; toe, in mine) and we got onto it fast. But watching it develop was scary. The staph burrows into the tissues and lifts the skin away from the flesh underneath, making it 'boggy'. This makes room for the staph to move in and create a lot of gunk. This allows the strep to force in deeper - and so on. It can develop and grow really fast.
    Thankfully, a combination like tis and circumstances like tis are not too common. Oh yes, and if this happens, it IS painful. It is the staph that is most painful. He would know about it. His ear would be red, swollen and gunky. Under these circumstances, keeping an ear-ring in there might actually be needed, to provide a channel down which to trickle peroxide and then some alcohol. The alcohol will sting. Good. If he had had his ears pierced professionally, they advise dabbing alcohol on the ears several times a day, and rotating the ear-ring to stop the flesh fusing to it. painful. But you gotta do it, it's pat of the responsibility of getting a piercing.

    Feel free to calmly share this with him.

    Oh yes, one more vital titbit of lovely news - if you get an infection from piercing, it is a bad sign for later piercings. We had told easy child that one piercing was enough, she wanted a second hole in each ear. So she took herself off and had it done. And despite it being done professionally, it got infected. We saw the doctor, he said that this is increasingly common, the higher around the ear you go. He told her to never go higher, and if this hole closed over, if she tried again she would almost certainly get infected again. The lobes down below in the middle, the classic case for a first piercing, are the least likely to get infected. But once you start going higher, when you get an infection especially with a piercing done properly in sterile conditions, then the problem is your body - it will not be healthy to have more piercings. Also, the other locations for piercings are more vulnerable to infection.

    easy child still has two holes in each ear, but nearly didn't. She fought hard and worked on those ears to clear up the infection, and managed to save her new piercings. But it was a near thing.

    Frankly, an ear cuff is a better deal when they're under age. And an ear cuff can look cool too. Or you can get some really effective 'fake' clip-ono earrings which work with a tiny spring hidden inside the loop (for a single ring) or studs which attach and stay on with magnets. It gives you an idea if you like the look, without having to go through the piercing.

    I got a loop thingie which had a tiny hook on one end so you could put it inside your nostril and make it look like you'd had your nose pierced. Once inserted, the little hook helped hold the ring in place so it just looked like an ordinary ring, through one side of the nose. I remember wearing it to horrify my in-laws. Even the kids thought it was real!

    You can get some lovely ear cuffs, too, which look cool. They can sit up quite high on the ridge of cartilage at the back of the ear. A bit of shaping might be required to make them fit better, because each ear is different. You can even attach a chain to an ear cuff, and pin it to your shirt. If the ear cuff is in the shape of an animal, it makes it look as if you have the 'animal' tethered. Very punk.

    I know this stuff because I love to mess with kids' heads myself. Having me turn up with a rainbow mohawk and studs & chains in really weird places, can freak out kids I want to shock. It also sends a message - if you get stuff done when you're younger, what will you look like when you're a granny? But it's also got to look 'cool' enough so it is plausible. You don't just throw anything together. OK, skip the rainbow mohawk. But a bit of stiffening gel in your hair to spike it a teensy bit is not overdoing it.

    Less is more. To a certain extent.

    I wonder how your husband would react, if he thought you'd gone out and had multiple piercings?

    (hey, it' not just kids' heads I mess with!)

  15. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I pierced Miss KT's ears myself...learned how during my store manager days. She was just starting kindergarten, and the only condition I set was that if I did one ear, the other ear had to be done as well.

    Our school district dress codes doesn't allow for guys to wear earrings, so with Son #2, it was a non-issue until he graduated. Then he had both ears done, and let them close after a few months. Instead of the $500, maybe you could inform difficult child that any medical expenses involved with not taking care of his ear is his responsibility.
  16. comatheart

    comatheart Guest

    You have all given such great advice and put much insight into this for me.

    I have to say that I did I stand up husband when he originally set the $500 goal. In fact, this is not the first time he has set rediculous goals (in my opinion) for difficult child and I've posted about them before. I always put up a fight about it and tell him I don't agree (not in front of difficult child of course) but but husband claims I'm far to lenient and nothing else has worked that "I" want to do and he is correct about that. What could I do or say to him?? I can't confuse difficult child by going behind husband's back and telling him something different. That would give difficult child far too much power to start playing husband and I against each other.

    Anyway, to make a long story short we met with difficult child's counselor yesterday and it went VERY well. He really opened husband's eyes a lot. He sided with me (and most of you) about the $500 being ridiculous in the first place and suggested a better way of handling it. I've also shared your messages to husband as well so he is starting to see where it didn't make sense and further pushed difficult child into going the route that he did.

    There will be no consequenses in this case. We already to backpack and room searches pretty frequently. Instead, the counselor led us into taking this -less extreme behavior than the recent past- and using it to our advantage to show difficult child that he CAN earn our trust back. I guess he thinks difficult child is numb to everything and reached the point of not caring what he does or the consequence because he doesn't think he can possibly every earn our trust again.

    Sooooo... Late last night husband, difficult child and I had a brief talk about WHY he should never try and pierce himself, that we *trust* that he won't attempt it again. We then explained that what he wants to do is impulsive and we want to show him that impuslive decisions are not always the wisest and gave some examples of our own. If he can *think* about an ear piercing for 6 months, do all the research including risks, costs, best kind of metal to start out and why, location etc. If in 6 months he's still interested, and he earns the cost of the piercing, then we'll take him to get it done at a safe location.

    He seemed very pleased and I feel much better about all of it. husband was slightly perturbed all day and I think he feels a bit picked on, but he'll get over it and I'm pretty sure he realizes he has been going too far. ;-) Let's just hope difficult child doesn't go out and do something crazy now because husband will have a field day since we "let him off the hook" in his eyes. *SIGH*

    Did I mention I LOVE difficult child's Counselor? He's good for all of us.
  17. Mamaof5

    Mamaof5 Guest

    Can I recc that you do not use the gun piercing you get at the big box stores. Here's a start for him on research (please share with him). As a piercer myself (no I don't pierce others but I do get piercings) I can tell you the difference between the gun piercing machine and an actual trained, certified needle piercer. The gun pushes the skin apart while the needle makes an even, un-jagged piercing that will heal faster and better. It avoids something called keloids and infections as well.

    I've done both and the needle piercing with a professional is fast, easy and LESS painful than the piercing gun. It heals better, I ended up with a keloid for my nose ring because it was done by piercing gun, those are not put in an autoclave, they can't be because of the plastic components, are meant for one time piercing but most use them for more than once by dousing them in rubbing alcohol (70% solution) rather than what they were meant for. The link of pics is extremely graphic but well worth the look to know a. what to look for in an infected piercing b. to know your stuff for what can happen and will happen with lack of piercing care and c. just smart research.

    #1 piece of advice with piercings, if the pro does not discuss aftercare or refuses to or can't answer questions about aftercare then don't get pierced by them. Ask for their license, ask for their certification (health board, most pros will certify even though some states and provinces don't require it - good business practice) and ask to see a portfolio of their work - follow your gut instinct ALWAYS!!! Same for tatts if that issue arises in the future.
  18. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    A strong message for your husband - kids do stupid things. Even easy child kids. Impulsivity is normal in all kids, especially boys. Especially teen boys as testosterone surges. Ask husband to think about some of the things he did as a kid. Ask him about what his friends got up to. Do not ask him to talk about this in front of difficult child!

    "Boys will be boys". Never forget this. It doesn't mean you don't get angry and deal with each infraction, but this is normal, tat's what I'm saying.

    GFGness adds another layer of parental concern.

    Being too strict will not prevent, it just drives it underground. If instead you have more openness, then difficult child is going to be more inclined to come to you and say, "I don't think your request for me to [raise $500] was reasonable because..." While this may seem to be arguing, it is actually much healthier to engage in dialogue (and to allow it) because tat openness allows you to guide your child and to compromise .And in compromising with your child, you teach your child how to compromise.

    This is what you have been doing. and what husband doesn't know how to do. To husband, compromise seems to be weakness. But it is actually strength. It shows your child that your ego is secure enough to e seen to be fallible and to change your mind. Also, circumstances can change and then decisions sometimes have to change.

    It is not perfect, and to begin with, your kid is going to mistake dialogue for argument. YOU need to show him the difference calmly, politely and firmly. I think the first thing that needs to happen, is to make sure you and husband both know how to argue constructively, politely and effectively, with one another. There are rules that must be followed. There are other rules which are often broken and are the ones that cause problems. From what you say, husband breaks those rules when he says, "You're too soft with him, you're weak." In doing this, he is making "you" statements, he is blaming you, he is name-calling, he is dumping it all on you. Instead, he should learn to put it as "I" statements. "I feel frustrated when you don't back me up in being firm with difficult child."
    This then leaves the door open for you to say, "I feel frustrated when you don't allow enough wiggle room, but instead lock us into a decision with difficult child that he can't achieve."
    husband is almost certainly going to say at that point, "Well, I did it so he won't achieve it, we don't want him to have piercings yet."
    At which point you say (because husband has just admitted to his real motive - the beauty of "I" statements), "So you don't want him to raise $500. Your main aim is to prevent him succeeding. It is not fair or kind to deliberately set your son up for failure. It also means that he will not learn his lesson, he will only fail in being pierced because he fails to raise the money. He won't learn anything about the good or bad about choosing or not choosing to have piercings. He also won't learn anything positive about respect for authority."

    Constructive argument is an art and a gift. Once you can do it between you and husband, then you are equipped to teach your children. It is one of the best gifts you can give them.