Shoot first, apologize later

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    That's my difficult child's MO.

    I have been dreading the idea of having him sign a behavior agreement form for a 5-day police academy camp because it is something new and he hates new things. So I did it today and his reaction was awful. He yelled and argued and got so ramped up (I mean, my ears hurt!) I just walked away and let husband handle it. I repeated so many times that it's only 5 days, it's very close to home, and he can come home at night, so it's not an overnight camp. difficult child finally got teary eyed and said he wanted to spend the whole summer hanging out with-his girlfriend.
    "I'll make a deal with-you," he said (always the negotiator). If I can spend the rest of the afternoon and part of the evening with-N, like, til 9:00, then I'll do it."
    Uh, yeah, that's why I pointed out that it was a DAY camp and close to home.
    But I keep forgetting how literal he is and has to have everything spelled out to him.
    So, he's all set for summer: 1 wk at the police day camp, 1 wk at an outdoor horse, archery and riflery camp, and 1 wk at computer camp.
    What the heck we'll do the other days I have no idea ... maybe buy a season's pass for Busch Gardens for fun days, and a used lawnmower for days when the landscaper doesn't make it in time ...
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Sounds like a perfect summer for a boy his age to me! He should get a lot out of all those things and still he'll have plenty of time for fun.
  3. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Man... I wish I could find stuff like that for Jett!!! That we could afford...
  4. lovelyboy

    lovelyboy Member

    Sounds so familiar!
    Lol, my husband says this argueing helps him alot in his work! His negotiating skills is excelent and his fighting stamina on social level is very high.
    Interesting to me that you interpret this argueing to literal thinking.....makes sense to me and our situation!
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Step, the horse camp is under $300. And the YMCA has things that are even less expensive. Watch out, though. I quit sending my daughter a few yrs ago when they ran out of things to do, and one of the counselors brought in her friend to curl all the girls' hair, and the next day, they played video games, and it went downhill from there ... ;b
  6. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Our YMCA won't take Jett for all day activities. He's too old.

    In fact, our Y has a HUGE gap between 11 and 16... Drove me nuts when Onyxx was 12, 13, 14, 15... And now of course she won't. So... Sigh.
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    What about the Boys and Girls Club? Ours is only $5.
  8. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    It sounds like your difficult child is going to have a fun summer whether or not he wants to admit it. I used to try to get summer plans made for difficult child 1 and difficult child 2 as soon as possible because I don't think I would have been able to survive a summer if they were home all the time. Both of them went to Y day camp. We were fortunate because the staff, for the most part, was great. By the time my boys stopped going, every single counselor, director, etc..., knew them way too well!! And, I don't mean this in a good way... We were lucky because they were willing to work with us, to find counselors, groups best suited to their needs, and sincerely wanted them to have positive summer experiences.

    When difficult child 1 was too old for day camp he was at his "difficult child best." We knew we couldn't let him remain at home and I spent as much time as possible researching summer activities. We found a great overnight camp, pricey, even though it was a not for profit camp, but well worth the money. It helped save our sanity and best of all difficult child 1 ended up thriving in this environment.

    It definitely gets harder to find activities for them as they get older. In our case, difficult child 2 was so socially immature that he was allowed to remain at day camp through his junior year of high school (he was 18 because we kept him back a year.) He enjoyed camp but was always socially isolated and used to hang out with the counselors. It's hard to admit this but I think his last year at day camp was more for my sanity then for him!!

    The summer before the start of his senior year at high school, we got him a volunteer position at our senior center. The staff let him spend most of his time playing cards and doing crafts with the seniors. They let him "help" by passing out snacks, setting up chairs for special events, and filling bags for the food pantry. He was supposed to help the janitor clean windows, take out garbage, etc... However, if he didn't want to help, he didn't have to. Not much was expected of him, and in lots of ways, while staff tried to be helpful, they ended up treating him like a baby. He responded by acting much like a young child, dancing through the hallways, acting very goofy, taking candy from the front desk, etc... However difficult child 2 enjoyed his time there and we're grateful that the staff took an interest in him. I don't know what I would have done if he didn't spend that summer at the senior center!!

    Step, I like Terry's idea about sending him to the Boys and Girls Club. I don't know if I'll come up with any other ideas, but I'm going to continue thinking about this. You need a break!! in my humble opinion, I think every parent of a difficult child needs at least part of every summer off!! SFR
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Depending on what difficult child is interested in and who you know and what you are willing to do, there can be a LOT of volunteer opportunities for kids. The year Wiz went to the Y teen camp it was awesome and the next year it was a total disaster and they won't do a teen camp again for a LONG time (teen being 13-14yos pretty much). The difference really seemed to be the counselor in charge. the guy the summer Wiz was there was awesome, an education major who liked kids that age and wanted to teach jr high. He made even days they didn't have anything planned turn into something interesting. He also actually supervised them. The next summer they had some ditzy girl who was a psychology major from the university who didn't really like kids (she announced this many times - we heard it and were only there a few times for open swim, not there for camp or sports or anything!). She had NO intention of supervising them, and was so inappropriate and encouraged wildly inappropriate behavior to the point that it was dangerous and scary. in my opinion the person in charge of the kids makes a HUGE difference.

    We were blessed with the counselor that Wiz had. It really helped him.

    You might see if the library, SPCA/humane society, or even a local daycare could use some volunteers. The senior center would be a good idea too, or an assisted living facility, or maybe one of the parks and recreation programs could use help. Of course what difficult child will agree to do may or may not be what you want, but you could find some way to motivate him. The sibling of one of J's friends was given the choice of going to do volunteer work at a place she had chosen or picking up trash on the side of a busy highway with her mom. Her mom only had to do it once and it was never needed again (child is borderline difficult child).

    Or if you know someone with a business, maybe difficult child could earn some cash doing menial labor like sweeping floors, busing tables or whatever.

    Why is it that from ages 11-16 or so there is almost NOTHING for them to do that is organized and supervised?
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    SFR, absolutely, 50% of this is for MY benefit! By August, I'm ready to have a nervous breakdown.

    a fun summer whether or not he wants to admit it

    He would rather die than admit it.
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    The camps around here - including the University-based science camps - will take older kids (13-15) on as "volunteers". They get to do all the fun stuff again.. but as "older" kids, they do it better, so are used to "demonstrate" and then "assist". Have to apply... good practice for a "real" job. K2 will probably go that route.
  12. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    Great idea! One of husband's friends owns a garage/gas station. husband spoke to him and got him to offer difficult child 1 a job pumping gas. All difficult child 1 had to do was go there and ask husband's friend for his schedule. difficult child 1 didn't want the job, thought it was beneath him, and procrastinated to the point that when he finally asked for a ride to speak to him, the job had already been filled. Sadly, there was no way we could get difficult child 1 to do anything he didn't want to do no matter what the consequences were. To this day, difficult child 1 is the most stubborn person I know!!

    on the other hand, if difficult child 2 had been capable of holding a job, he would have gladly accepted the offer. While difficult child 2 is extremely lazy, his love of monkey books, toys, movies, etc., etc. etc. would have been enough of a motivator to get him to work.

    I think society in general, assumes that by the time a child is in middle school, he/she will be able to babysit, "dogsit," mow lawns, become a CIT at a camp, enjoy hanging out with friends, etc... It is assumed that kids this age don't need supervision to the extent younger children do. This way of thinking might be OK for (some) PCs but leaves parents of difficult children frazzled, worn out, just totally drained in every possible way. Add budget woes to this and you have a recipe for disaster... SFR
  13. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    difficult child 1 had the biggest "meltdown" imaginable (I'm being polite) when we told him he was going to go to an overnight camp. I had to pack all of his things for him, totally get him ready to go. I didn't sleep much the night before husband and I drove him to camp for fear that he was going to explode and make driving him there impossible. Much to my surprise, he was quiet during the ride and when we got there, he went right over to his counselor, barely saying goodbye to us. By the end of the first week, he even admitted camp was "OK."

    I totally understand that "nervous breakdown" sort of feeling!! Keeping my fingers crossed your difficult child is so worn out from enjoying the activities you've picked for him, that when he is home, he isn't in full "difficult child" mode. Thinking of you... Hugs... SFR

    P.S. Are the weeks spread out or is your difficult child attending one activity right after the other? If at all possible, in my humble opinion, it might be best to spread out the activities. This might make it easier for you knowing that if you survive one week, the next you'll have a break...
  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    SFR, that sounds so familiar! They just hate the idea of change and transition. Anything out of their comfort zone. Plus, instead of imagining the best, they imagine the worst.

    difficult child is not attending any activities at the moment. He will be touring his new HS on Thurs evening, and will be starting Little League in two wks, but other than that, it's school and home. Period.