Need ideas for appropriate discipline

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Jun 7, 2008.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    difficult child was invited to a river party at a neighbor's house. I just found out yesterday (he showed me the invite in the car--I hate it when my kids do things like that at the last min.) and he had already told them he could go.
    They never called me to confirm; just took his word for it. He had a baseball game today--the last one--and their team is really strapped because one of the kids had appendicitis and another is out of town. Plus, it's my day to work the concession stand.

    I had difficulty finding the game info and ph #s yesterday (they do a lot by email, sending info, but never responding) and continued to look this a.m., and finally found the #s, but b4 we could call, all h&ll broke loose. :faint:

    difficult child overslept, then flew out of bed at 11:10 and said he was supposed to be at his friend's house at 11 and he was late. He was very cranky and mean and insisted he was not going to the game. I told him it was HIS responsibility to inform the coach. At that moment, the doorbell rang and the neighbors were there to pick him up. They had a van full of kids and it put me in a very awkward position. :biting:

    I let him go. I did tell them he was missing his game (they couldn't have cared less) and that he could not have wheat (he really gave me the evil eye but I don't trust him to do it with-o their supervision).

    He should not be yelling at me and is not in charge.
    Please help me to be calm. This heat really makes me cranky, too. I need ideas on an appropriate response this evening.

    husband is out of town. :faint:
  2. change

    change New Member

    I can see what a predicament you were in. I've been there. Stay strong. My son used to pull all kinds of stuff on us like that knowing that it would embarrass us. Unfortunately, we are somewhat socially isolated as a family because of situations like the one you just described. If it were me, I would definitely converse with him about YOUR feelings and how his actions affected you and HIS TEAM and how it totally wasn't teamwork behavior. Then I would ground him from the next social invite (no matter who it is) and make it clear to him. If someone shows up to pick him up again without warning, (I know this is easier said than done) I would just say he couldn't go because he just told you about it that morning and he has other committments. DON'T WORRY ABOUT WHAT THEY THINK.

    Try not to stress out the rest of today.
  3. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    Did he not tell you about the party because he was sure you would make him go to the baseball game? Or was it a late invitation or he truly forgot?

    I have mixed feelings. I believe that joining a sports team is making a commitment but I also know that some of our difficult children rarely get invited or included in social events. It was a the beach....with other kids. Sounds much better than a hot old baseball game. I think choosing the party is logical from an 11 year old's point of view, unless that 11 year old is fully committed to the sport.

    I can understand the crankiness and meanness when he overslept. I think most people always wake up a bit cranky and need a little time before they are forced to function. He not only didn't have that time, he was late for the party (and maybe fearing they had already left for the beach without him), and he was still fearful that you wouldn't let him go to the party. On top of it you were asking him to make a phone call to his coach. Fear and anxiety, the difficult child's two worse enemies.

    How would I have handled it? Probably much like you did. I would have encouraged following through on the commitment to the baseball team but when I saw he would have done so only with extreem resentment, I would have let him go to the party. In the evening when he came home telling me what all that happened and what a great time he had (I hope), I wouldn't do anything to darken it. I don't know about your difficult child but my son needed all the good times he could get.

    But we would have a conversation about how he handled the whole situation, from receiving the invitation to his departure. I'm all about bad things not happening again and very little into punishment. Never thought it was a good idea to teach kids to behave out of fear. They need to learn to behave because it's the right thing to do.
  4. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Well, I think that perhaps the right consequence is the two of you going over his gluten free diet plan in detail, and him calling the coach to apologize. Sincerely apologize.
  5. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I'm with Sara on this one. He may have been selfish and rude to you but in the grand scheme of things, it really was nothing major.

    If you really wanted him at the game, you should have just told him he couldn't go to the river party. You didn't. He did what he felt would be more fun. There will be many baseball games. There is only this one river party (in his mind, anyway).

    I think I would have been beyond cranky if I overslept for something I felt was this important, especially at 11 (and I was not a problem child in any way, shape or form). If my mother knew I needed to be somewhere at 11 am and let me sleep, I would have been furious with her. Truth be told, I think I'd be that way today. Even with my daughter, I gave her the option of me giving her a wake up call if I knew she needed to be somewhere at a certain time. Otherwise, there wasn't enough money for me to wake her up.

    I might talk to him about his responsibilities to others, including his coach and teammate sometime during the week (not tonight). I would have him apologize to the coach either verbally or in writing (again, not tonight). Other than that, I'd enjoy the stories he tells of having a great time or commiserate if it was a huge disappointment.

    You could also talk to him about understanding how hard it is to get up sometimes and offer to wake him if he specifically asks for a wake up at a certain time. Otherwise, his oversleeping is his responsibility and he's expected to be civil regardless.
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I thnk having him call the coach and team mom is an excellent idea.
    Thank you!
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh, by the way, they had to call the games early because it was 100 degrees on the field. So I didn't have to work the concession stand! I walked into the kitchen and they said I could go. Woo hoo! I drove straight to the health food store and stocked up on rice pasta and rice flour.
  8. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    If you have Asian grocery stores in the area, you'll find an amazing variety of non-wheat noodles and other products.....and probably a lot cheaper than the health food stores. All kinds of rice and bean thread noodles....
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Yes, we do have a large Asian population. Good idea!
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm pretty harsh in situations like this. I wouldn't have let mine go to the party- if it embaressed HIM to tell a van full of people that at the last min., then maybe he will remember not to say what he can do and will do without getting permission first. He might have gotten upset and refused to go to the game (ok, probably would have refused) to go to the game- like that would be punishing me- but I would have left it up to him to explain to the coach and team why he wasn't there.

    I have had kids show up at my door because difficult child had invited them when we already had plans- and he knew it. I could have changed the plans, but I didn't. I sent the kids home. Later, when difficult child asked them to come over, they growl at him a little then asked if he asked his mom first.

    Now, maybe I am too harsh in this area, I'm not sure. I just figure I dealt with it and then it is done and we move on. No extended punishments for either of us to worry about.

    PS- difficult child and I have been snapping at each other all day- we were out running errands. The heat is definitely having an impact on everyone here right now.
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    No extended punishments for either of us to worry about.

    I do like that part. And I have sent kids away from the door b4. But this was a first day of summer event with-kids I actually like him spending time with and it was an unusual opportunity in that regard, so I was torn.
  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Then you know, Terry, I don't know that I would worry about it too much at this point. I can see a stern talk and haviing him own up to it in some way with the team, maybe even tell him the next Invite has to be a NO, but he really probably ended up having a better day for himself at the river party then going to the game in this heat just to have it called or cancelled. Maybe a talk and tell him that you'll let it slide only this time or something!!
  13. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I would sit down with difficult child and say, "Look, this morning did not go well. I was so frustrated when your friends showed up because I was not prepared. I did not know that you had made arrangements to be picked up and I was planning on taking you to your ball game and working the concession stand. What can we do to prevent this from happening again?"

    "What is the best way for you to tell me about the things you want to do?" He may say, "Tell you as soon as I know." or "Make sure you hear me when I ask to go somewhere" or "Make sure I give you ALL the information, who/what/where/
    when/how" O.k., I am a paper person so maybe coming up with a form with these questions on for him to work on - either verbally with you or he can fill out. (Oh, if he is going to manually write the answers, add "why" - you will get the funniest responses)

    "How can we know if there is something else going on at the same time?" He may say, "Put it on the calendar" Then get a calendar or make sure he asks to consult it before making any plans.

    "What should we do if something is already on the calendar?" "Talk to mom about how I feel and if there is away to reschedule something or how to make the choice."

    I did this a lot with easy child when she was 12 years old. I would often say, "O.K. that did not work - let's find another way of dealing with it -new rules, ect." I was never angry when I talked to her, it was just something that didn't work and we need to be ready for the next time it happens (and it will).

    I think the 11 - 12 years and sometimes into 13 are really years of new rules - preparing the kids for the teen years as they are becoming more independent - will they be able to just go where ever or do they need to tell you (even if you know were they are going, make them responsible for telling you themselves, that whay when they are older teens, they may still be in the habit?)
  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Sounds good. Thank you. We do have a calendar and he did not write on it.