Sigh. What a night. Just when I think he's matured ...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Yesterday, I raced home from visiting my cousin, P, at assisted living, to beat difficult child home b4 he got online. Too late. So I had to get his attention to go over his homework with-him. Homework first, then computer.
    The kids got their interim reports yesterday. He got an A in English, B in math and C in social studies. No grade in Spanish or tech ed, as those are pass/fail.
    The teachers highlighted missing assignments and checked off details like, "Talks too much in class." Which difficult child does.
    I spoke to difficult child about it and then noticed that he had 3 missing assignments, which could have brought up his grades. Not to mention that the rule in our house is that you do the assignment no matter what, no matter how late, even if you don't get credit.
    I printed the math assignment off of the computer and gave it to him and he flipped out. He refused to do it because he thought he'd already done it ... even though it wasn't in his composition book. His voice started to rise and b4 Iknew it, he was in a full-blown rage. He said some very interesting things. "I know I'm the boy who cried wolf, but you've got to trust me this time." And "Why are you getting on my case about doing more work instead of congratulating me for getting good grades and starting out the year strong?" (Good point, but I was just going over his homework and he was the one who turned it into a battle.)

    His Spanish teacher is problematic, to say the least. We got a call Sun night about missing homework and behavior issues with-difficult child. Her English is so bad and her accent is so heavy, that I had a hard time understanding her on the phone. In the midst of difficult child's rant, he throws in a story about how a student, J, also got a call, and her dad is in the military. He literally marched into the middle of class, made her stand in front, "Front and center," and apologize for talking, swearing, using foul language, being disrepectful, you name it. "She's a straight-A student and never talks at all during class!" difficult child shouted.

    I said, well, her dad is military, and often, they are authoritative, and she had to obey him even if he was wrong. That's what I mean by having you do your math over again even though it's already done. Not to mention, it's good practice. And might teach you to remember to put all of your math assignments in the composition notebook."

    I filed away that tidbit about the girl and her father, and in the meantime, difficult child kept shouting, merciless and perseverant.
    Long story short, I ended up in tears but remembered to turn off the Internet. I locked myself in the guest bedroom and cried myself to sleep at 5:00.
    By 7:30, husband was home, and I woke up feeling a million times better, and whipped up spinach, baked red potatoes (actually I put those in the oven b4 going to bed) and pistachio crusted tilapia.
    difficult child had done all of his math homework and had taken out the dogs, and brought them back in again.

    So all was well by the time we went to bed.
    But boy, am I exhausted! What a battle just to fill in some missing homework! (He sassed me, by the way, and said, "You do know the only reason I did the math, don't you?"
    "Yes, to get me to turn the Internet back on."
    I am off to MN to help take care of my Dad, who has Alzheimer's and who had a close call 2 wks ago (unresponsive, taken to ER, given fluids and 2 pts of blood and good to go ... until next time). I have to say, in all honesty, I will not miss difficult child and I really, really need to get away. I'm wondering if seeing my Dad unresponsive and having to make a life-and-death decision will be easier than dealing with-difficult child. Or maybe, Dad will be fine and sleep most of the day and I can sit right next to him and read and sleep, too.)
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    That sounds a lot like things in our house regarding anything "school". I have gotten to the point that if one of them tells me "I did that already", I tell them to "show me!" I did broken record until they quit arguing with me. If they can't show me, they do it "again". It took a long time for them to get that through their heads.

    Hope Dad is okay. I had to do the "seeing my Dad unresponsive and having to make a life-and-death decision" thing and it was NOT a good thing. I would deal with difficult child in a heartbeat over that. The decision about my dad turned into a lifelong doubt (did we make the right decision) that I still struggle with every day. With difficult child, it comes and goes and is usually short-lived (at least now it is). {{{{(((HUGS)))}}}} and prayers.
  3. keista

    keista New Member

    ((((HUGS)))) Although he took the long way around, it looks like some maturity did find him in the end! :)

    I hope you have a nice trip and visit with your dad. Hope it's the latter scenario so you can get some much needed and deserved rest.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Terry...I've raised four teenagers so far and I actually think he was acting sort of typical teen :) First of all, it IS possible that he did that assignment even if the teacher didn't mark it or it wasn't there. That has happened with my kids. My instinct is to believe it if they insist because I don't want them to think I don't trust them at all. There are some he said/she said stuff that I let go in my children's favor just because it's more peaceful and I can't prove anything and it's not worth it. Also, it is EXTREMELY typical teen to want to go on the computer and to only do what you are telling him to do to get on it. I can't think of anything more typical teen then computers, videogames, cell phone texting (my daughter is the Queen of Texting) and all that other fun stuff that you and I never had to distract us.

    Some backtalk is also typical teen. In fact back talk is typical they start swearing, throwing stuff, hitting, etc. Teens are NOT FUN.

    Thirdly, I think he has a point about his grades. When I saw his grades, I thought, "Wow. He's doing great." I would have really built him up and praised him, even if he had some assignments missing, because in all he is really doing well. It is typical teen to be missing a few assignments. Not saying it's ok, but it's not anything unusual either. Now if he hadn't done ANY homework, then it would be a red flag. I think for the most part everything here is pretty normal for a fifteen year old. I mean...Jumper is fifteen too and we have some of the same issues going on :)

    Take care!
  5. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

  6. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Definitely not a pleasant night! I'm sorry difficult child reacted the way he did and I hope your visit to with your dad includes the sleeping and reading part. (((hugs)))

    (by the way, I want the recipe for the pistachio covered tilapia-but not until you have some restful days-I don't want to add to your stress level:))
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    His grades are fine but one dang thing for sure is that internet wouldnt be on for a long long time if he was mine. No way.
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welll, since I'm out of town, husband is letting difficult child go on the computer pretty much any time, because husband works so much. He calls and makes sure difficult child is on the bus, etc. and says that's good because it gives difficult child a feeling of independence. (Yeah, but it doesn't make him breakfast.)
    He did not stay after with-the Spanish teacher. The counselor called and said they cannot put an aide in the room for two reasons: He has a 504 not an IEP, and has not been diagnosed learning disabled; and it's an elective, and only core classes get aides. She said other kids have complained about the teacher's accent and a few of them have learned that the backup plan is to copy the work off of the board. I told her that's great, but difficult child will not take the initiative to do that; he gives up and withdraws. It won't occur to him to do the writing thing instead of the listening thing unless he is told. I will text him later today to follow up on that.
    husband" said thatgfg did some Spanish because he saw it at home.
    Also, I did reward difficult child for his math test grade last wk (or 10 days ago?), which was an A. I took him to Best Buy and bought him a PS2 game. Also, cousin P bought him a novel.
    I guess what I have to do is repeat the reward and kudos b4 talking about anything else (even though I did say "Good!" it wasn't good enough), but keeping difficult child off the computer long enough to even speak civilly is the hard part.

    Staying with-my sister and her 17-yr-old son, I can see what a typical teen does (left out pots and pans, messes everywhere, etc.) but he is getting good grades and is otherwise very responsible, despite his colon issues. (by the way, he was up every hr and a half last night going tothe bathroom and I did not get any sleep. :( Tonight will be better; I'm in a different room.)

    Thank you all for your support. I'll try to remember the pistacio recipe and type it on WC.
  9. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Just sending hugs - you have a lot on your plate.

    LOL to H's 'hands off' approach to parenting.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sending lots of hugs to you. I am sorry your dad is so sick and that you may have to handle difficult decisions. I hope you make sure to take time for just you, maybe an extra day before you go home that you spend in a hotel or at least go to a spa or do something just for Y.O.U. difficult child stress on top of a very ill parent really is too much and can cause all sorts of major stress related problems for you.

    Yes, from the sound of it a lot of what difficult child did was typical teen. However, I have a strong feeling that your difficult child took at least some of the typical teen behaviors to a level that makes them NOT typical teen. We had a lot of problems getting help with/for Wiz because the things he did often sounded like things easy child children do normally but he took them to such an extreme that it went way way beyond typical teen. On paper or even from a parent's verbal description it would be easy to call things typical teen when they went way beyond. in my opinion this is why so many tdocs and psychiatrists and school personnel think that parents just exaggerate or over-react and the kids don't really have problems.

    I can see using the computer as the carrot for him. Ditto tv, games, etc... I could also see that if he became violent with you over putting a limit on screens/screen time then maybe it should be removed totally for a couple of weeks until he gets over the withdrawal and then learns to cope with-o them. But it is HARD and at his age he is so big and strong I am not sure it is wise. Esp as your husband is gone so much and does not really seem supportive of the limits.

    I don't know much about your router (or mine for that matter). I do know that my dad set theirs up so that it was only available at certain times, and that it was very hard to hack around. I know Wiz tried and he is a fairly gifted hacker when motivated. It would be interesting to see what happened if the router was "off" at night, during school hours, and all except for a limited time that he had to work for. This could be limited only on the computer he uses, other computers could have it set very differently. Surely either Verizon or the company that made the router could help with this? It might help because it was a limit set by the router/Verizon, not you. Gives him something else to be angry at and a regular time to know it will work. This worked well for my parents and Wiz, even though he had to get his homework and chores done before he could get onto the computer.

    in my opinion there is nothing wrong with only doing homework to get the computer time. I only did it because if I didn't I had to quite my job or have my camera taken away. Lots of my friends were like that.
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh, it wasn't that I didn't understand about the homework only being done to earn the computer back. It's that I let him get to me, emotionally, to the point where I was in tears and had to take a nap, and he refused to back down. I swear, I lose another few percentages of hearing every time he blows up. His eventual response was loud and defiant, as if to say, "You know that the only reason I did my homework was to earn computer time and not because I respect you or give a rat's *ss if I made you cry." But he didn't finish the sentence that way. I just said "I know," and walked away.

    Anyway, the good news is that I'm a few thousand miles away and get to eat chocolate chip ice cream out of the tub because I'm at my sister's house. :)
    The bad news is, I bought crispy Rosemary and olive oil crackers and have to hide them from my nephew because of his colon issues and lack of willpower, so there's still a little bit of that hiding-the-food thing no matter where I go ...:groan: