Let's make a deal

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Roxona, May 18, 2016.

  1. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    SS10 has been going to counseling weekly for almost two months now. He's been mostly tight lipped during most of the sessions.

    Today before counseling he told his father that he wanted to make a deal with him...he would tell the counselor what he was looking at on his iPad [porn 2 years ago at age 7 or 8] if his Dad bought his friend a present.

    My gut reaction was...WOW!!!

    To me that was him saying "I'll only participate in counseling if you meet my demands."

    My second thought was that he thinks he can buy his friends.

    His Dad didn't see it that way. He understood SS10 was trying to manipulate him, but he didn't think it is as serious as I do. He doesn't believe that his son is capable of manipulating people in that way.
  2. MommaK

    MommaK Member

    We go thru similar with our daughter who is 14. She has done it for years. She also used her first counselor to get back at us for punishing her by claiming abuse.
  3. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    Oh I've been there! SS10 thought he could do that too. He was upset by the all the new house rules and complained to his teacher that I was abusing him, and she called CPS for "over parenting." CPS came, did their thing, got the full story, and immediately closed the case.
  4. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    Sorry Roxona. How is it that CPS will come investigate you, but when I called because I had video proof of underage drinking and a grandmother's statement that her four year old grandson was drunk, CPS told me that there wasn't enough evidence to investigate?

    Yes, SS10 is being manipulative. Did Dad agree to buy the present or did he say "no"? This whole scenario is concerning on a variety of levels. Obviously, SS10 does not want to participate in therapy to help himself. He wants to attempt to buy friends. He thinks he can demand payment for telling the therapist things. Does that mean that he will lie to the therapist in order to get items that he wants? Lastly, is the porn viewing at such a young age. I would think that would be incredibly scary to a young child.
  5. Praecepta

    Praecepta Active Member

    I would not fall for that. And I would point out that HE is the one who benefits from being honest in counseling, not I or his father. And that counseling is for HIM.

    Therefore it makes NO SENSE whatsoever for either of us to buy him anything so he will then be honest!

    And then I would switch it around... Ask if he would save his money and buy me something if I was honest with my husband about something?

    Sounds quite silly doesn't it!

    It would be nice if things worked that way. I could go to court and the judge would pay me to not speed and pay me to not to steal something from the store! :)
  6. MommaK

    MommaK Member

    Yup, our case was closed as well once they got the full story. Worries me now with daughter in therapy, but I have valid medical documentation that she is bipolar and we are trying to get her help and be good parents.
  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I see it differently.

    One, I think he is ready to disclose to the therapist about the porn. And maybe more. He wants to present it to himself, as instrumental. Like I only did it for the reward that I manipulated out of them.

    My concern would not be so much about the manipulation--because after all it is not true manipulating. He is up front. It is more like an exchange.

    I would be more concerned about this friend. The thought crossed my mind that there might be some kind of sexual behavior with the friend. Like he is disclosing something in a roundabout and concealed way.

    In any event, the therapist should be told. Your stepson is way better off having verbalized this.

    By the way, I cannot understand your husband's refusal to believe his son could manipulate like this. Just mine?

    I mean, your husband needs to prepare himself for what may come. Our kids are not served by our denial. Not mine. Not his.
  8. MommaK

    MommaK Member

    Interesting perspective. I had not looked at it that way. This is why I enjoy this place. People who get wjat we go thru day to day and offer fresh eyes for looking at and assessing things.
  9. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    That's crazy. Poor child. Somehow, I think when a teacher reports something, they look into it more seriously.

    Thankfully, Dad said no. I don't know what else was discussed because SS10 made a point of taking his Dad to his room, so he could ask him when I wasn't around. He thinks he can manipulate Dad much better than he can manipulate me. In some respects this is true, but Dad is learning.

  10. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    I'm glad you got the documentation to show what's really going on with your daughter. This is one of the reasons why I'm pushing my husband so hard to get SS10 a neuropsychologist evaluation. I want to be able to show CPS what we're dealing with here, if this sort of situation ever pops up again.

    The other reason, is he doesn't have an IEP at school, and I really do think he needs one. He's in regular classes and can do well if he has the right teacher. He doesn't need special education, but I do believe he needs modifications to help him succeed and stay focused.
  11. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    The way I see it is an "exchange" is still manipulation. I don't make an exchange with my husband that he cooks dinner from now on and I'll agree to go to counseling. Counseling is something centered around and specific to the patient's needs to help them change something about themselves that's now working. Third-party bargaining shouldn't even be part of the picture in my opinion. Because then they aren't doing the counseling for themselves, they are using it as a bargaining chip and aren't vested in it. Going to counseling has to be something they want for themselves in order for it to be successful.

    Interesting thought, but I don't think so. This is a friend from his class and they are the same age. I think it's more like what I posted earlier.

    It's because he doesn't want to believe that his son has all these issues. He knows he does, but he just wants them to be normal and happy, especially since they no longer have their mother. He doesn't want to believe that his son could be manipulative enough to do the things he does. It's easier for him to ignore the problem than deal with it.
  12. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Yeah, but you are 60 and your stepson, 10.

    He is bargaining. Up front. Not secretive. I am not saying this is behavior that should be endorsed. Nor should it be punished. Of course this kind of barter should not be accepted, especially with regards to therapy. But it is in your son's interests to disclose to the therapist. I am glad he put it on the table.

    There are stages of morality. At 10, a kid at the first stage, most likely, possibly 2nd. His capacity to understand manipulation the way you do is non-existent.

    While we need to show our kids what morality is by our own behavior and explanation, it seems counterproductive to judge a child based on standards he cannot understand, let alone meet.
  13. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    I agree there is a difference between 46 (not 60) and 10 when it comes to morality and other things due to life experiences. Your comment on the stages of morality is interesting. I'll look that up because it is something I think about from time to time. I've looked up what to expect from a "10 year old." Most I suspected. Food preferences being locked in by that age was particularly interesting.
  14. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member


    Moral development has stages that are based upon cognitive development which is absolutely determined by brain maturation. There are critical periods where capacities unfold, which are invariant between cultures.

    10 year olds in the Amazon have the same capacities as 10 year olds in Guinea or Kentucky. Kids cannot grasp certain moral concepts until their brains mature. Their brains mature, and there by their mental develop, gradually, in set and uniform stages.

    The major theorist who studied this, in cognitive and later moral development was Piaget. I believe he was either Swiss French or French. Following him Kohlberg, an American studied moral development.

    That people reach the more advanced moral capacities is by no way a given. Many adults stay at the conventional stage. The higher stages are based upon capacity for more abstract thought and the ability to generalize.

    It is interesting, all of it.
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  15. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Roxona, your plate is full. I feel sad for your step son. What a lot of challenges for him to handle both now and later. And you, too.