what do you think?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by mog, Sep 2, 2011.

  1. mog

    mog Member

    ok difficult child is mad because he says that I have not held up my end of the deal but I say that the deal is stilll in progress because there has not been completion.

    I told him that when he came home that after he cleaned him room that I would let him paint it cool after he reapaired the holes in the wall. --He started and didn't finish cleaning it -then trashed it again because "I didn't keep my end of the deal" His room is still trashed so why should I pay to have it painted??

    He needs to get his drivers license
    1. He has to wear glasses but doesn't like them so I bought him glasses and one set of contacts so that he could see to learn how to drive. ----He broke the glasses and let the contacts dry up --now stating that I know he can drive without them I am just breaking the deal.

    2. He needs to learn how to drive. I have taken him out several times --husband refuses to telp teach him (but I am the one that taught the other three too)but at least he would sit up front with the others--NOT with difficult child. I feel he still needs practice and I tell him to do his chores and when I get home I will take him. He doesn't do the chores and blames me that I broke the promise to teach him .

    3. He needs to call and set up an appointment to have the driving test when he knows that I can go because I can not make personal calls from work. He can't because he doesn't know the number and no one will take him.

    I told him that I would buy him a car as soon as I can afford a lttle run down something.
    1. He can't see and now has no glasses
    2. He has no license
    3. I don't have the money yet to buy the car.


    Can someone please explain to me if am in the wrong? He says that this is why he is pisted off at me and we are fighnting.
  2. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest


    You are not in the wrong at all..... He is not taking responsibility for not doing what he needs to do. It is a whole lot easier to just blame you for his failures... and it is very manipulative because if he can make you feel guilty for not keeping up your end of the deal, then maybe you will do or get him what he wants.

    My suggestion is to stop making deals or things he percieves as deals. He is entitled (as a lot of our difficult children are, including mine). You don't owe him anything. Anything you give him should be because you want to, not because you owe it to him.

    I would come up with something in writing saying the things he needs to do and rules he needs to follow. There is no way you should get him any kind of vehicle without him having a license. And certainly he can't get his license without glasses and without more practice. That is just dangerous for him and others.

    I think many of us have been in that position where we are totally manipulated by our difficult children.... part of the process we need to go through is to be able to recognize that manipulation and learn not to fall for it.

  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Your difficult child has done this to you for a long time and he has gotten very good at it. He is manipulating you. You arent breaking any deals with him and you shouldnt be making any deals with him. If you want to offer him something along the lines of "do to get" well then he needs to understand that if what he has to do isnt done completely, the get isnt going to be forthcoming.

    The whole room and painting deal would be so off the table now. He would need to clean it and to heck with painting anymore.

    Driving? Are you kidding me with his attitude? not in this lifetime. Maybe when he leaves home.

    None of this is your fault. He can manage to get with the program or find another program.
  4. keista

    keista New Member

    Not your fault. Unfortunately, it sounds about right for a difficult child.
  5. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I agree with the others. And I am also very, VERY against 'gifting' a child with a vehicle when they have done absolutely nothing to earn it. You don't "owe" this boy a vehicle! If he wants a car, let him get a job and pay for it himself. When it is given to them and they have nothing invested in it, they will NOT appreciate it at all. When my two reached driving age I was newly divorced and in no position financially to buy either one of them a vehicle, and I don't think I would have even if I could! My son pumped gas and helped out at a convenience store starting at age 15 to earn the money for his first vehicle. My daughter worked at a nursing home after school and on weekends so she could pay for her first car. They both bought modest used vehicles, what they could afford on their own. They not only paid for their own vehicles, they paid for their gas and insurance too. And they were CAREFUL and responsible with those cars too because they had worked very hard for them! My son used to tell me about a kid he went to high school with whose parents had gifted him with a car as soon as he was old enough, just because he existed. He wrecked it. The parents ran right out and bought him another car ... he wrecked that one too. By the time he graduated from high school he had wrecked FOUR cars, his parents insurance was through the roof, and they were looking for a fifth car for him!

    And about the drivers license? As long as they still need their parents permission to get a license, they need to show that they are mature and responsible enough to take that on. And if he's stubborn about wearing his glasses and can't see well enough to pass the eye test without them, then they will make that a condition on his license that he must wear his glasses while driving. Let them be the bad guy - they're used to it.
  6. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    He may not be telling you - but he is SHOWING you that he is not ready to drive. Believe him.

    As for the other things - you laid out the plan. He's not following it. Drop it. Don't mention it.

    Of course, it's easier for me to say than it is for me to follow my own advice. No judgment here. But as a newcomer here - and someone who FINALLY realized ds1 is a difficult child - I am putting my own shortcomings under a microscope. A#1 is my mistake of not following though and rather giving 2nd, 3rd 10000th chances. As though the problem was that he didn't hear me the first time??? LOL

    Never again.

    He knows what he has to do to earn the benefits of a painted room, a car, and a driver's license. Let it be.
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    You didn't do anything wrong. difficult child is consistently shooting himself in the foot.

    If he lived here and bothered to complain..........I'd be like sorry you are the one who failed to live up to x, y, z......so I don't want to hear you whine. If you want what was agreed upon, you know what you have to do to get them.

    Then refuse to argue. Because he'll probably want to engage in order to wear you down. Just walk away and ignore him. Do to get.
  8. MuM_of_OCD_kiddo

    MuM_of_OCD_kiddo New Member

    When I make a "do to get" deal with my own kiddo and it is something I really want done absolutely correctly with no wiggleroom, I put it in writing. He gets a "honey-do" list that lines out specifically what I want done. It also usually comes with some type of time frame limitation like = needs to be done by 5 pm because the library closes at 6 and I am not driving 20 mins oneway to get there just as they round up everybody to close. Or needs to be done by 3 pm, because if I have to finish the job myself, I will be too tired to do [whatever the reward for the deal was]. Needs to be done by Sat. morning 11 am, or else I go shopping and spend the $$ on groceries, clothes, dog stuff etc...

    So - specific goals, individual steps to get there [sometimes literally in the right order], a time limit when the deal is off. Goal not reached - so sorry, son. Another time perhaps.

    In regards to putting him out on the road driving - please do not! He is so obviously not ready - from the common sense point to the really wanting to point. If you give in and let him, you are putting not only him at risk [and anybody who rides with him] - but also countless innocent bystanders, pedestrians, and other drivers. Driving is a priviledge, an obligation to drive well, and a reward that allows more freedom all rolled into one. With his attitude he really doesn't deserve nor appreciate either of the three. Your husband is probably well in the right in this regards [never mind the other headbumping going on between the two of them].

    Your difficult child has a huge sense of entitlement [like most of them do] and you are backslipping into enabling him. Every reward you have offered him so far - costed you money. Paint, glasses, contacts, a promise for a future car. So far he has not done a single thing you asked him, and actually has wasted money spend on glasses and contacts by destroying them. Buy him new one, give him a car, gas money, and more range to get into more creative troubles, hunt for drugs, booze or bad friends - so really seriously not! You are molly coddling him, coaxing and bribing for good behavior and it is so obviously not working, or is it. Sweetie - you need rules, consequences and you need to close rank with your husband instead of siding with your son [bio-son or not] who is manipulating and playing you along, if you want to have something left to own at the end of the road.
  9. Blondiesbf

    Blondiesbf New Member

    I think the whole reward business is where hubby and I made our mistake! He grew up relatively poor so for him, giving for doing felt good for him. What it did is create a sense of entitlement or our boys. Not good. Because my difficult child totally feels entitled and even out on his own, is still reaching to hubby for help...against my wishes. Getting my 21-yr-old, who still lives with us, to do anything around here to help us, is like pulling teeth! We always have to ask...he never offers. Rarely does he do what we ask. However, he is staying because he is back in school full time, works at a menial job full time, working to get out of debt, and is relatively a good kid. I just need to figure out how to get him to be more appreciative...and I will, darn it!!

    Anyway, (eating my own words here) if your son doesn't want to give to get, then he doesn't get. Period. Nothing you did wrong. Nothing at all.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Under NO terms should your son drive. PERIOD. Not just because he doesn't like to follow the rules and because it is hugely expensive to have a teen driver - not just increase in insurance and gas but also all the independence that your son has more than PROVED that he cannot and will not handle appropriately.

    He clearly NEEDS glasses or contacts and refuses to wear them. What makes you think getting his license will change that? Are you truly willing to risk not just his life but the lives of everyone else even NEAR where he is driving on the "maybe" that he will wear his glasses/contacts while driving? I am NOT the type to file lawsuits, but if I learned that a parent KNEW their child refused to wear glasses and still let that child drive a car, I would file a lawsuit for every single penny they ever hoped to have/earn. I am NOT joking here. I have terrible eyesight as does everyone in my family, and this is a make or break deal.

    Do not discuss these "deals" with your son. He is simply trying to get what he wants with-o doing what he needs to do to have them. Sorry, but if he wants his room painted, he shoudl move out, pay his own bills with money he earned from a job and then buy his own gallon or two of paint and paint supplies and paint the room himself. As far as cleaning his room, well, if it is a big deal to you then tell him you are cutting off his phone and internet or whatever he values until it is clean - and give him a list of the steps to get it clean.

    Your difficult child is manipulating you and trying to justify his own bad behavior by blaming you. in my opinion you need to stop listening and/or responding when he wants to geti nto this koi. Tell him to stop whining, the deals are off because you know he does not EVER intend to live up to his side and you are done talking. If life is so awful, maybe he should get a J-O-B and pay his own way in the world.

    Sorry if this sounds harsh, but the driving with no glasses/contacts is a HUGE thing to me. Even if he did wear glasses religiously, he still is too impulsive to be a safe driver plus he has NO regard for rules and so you can guaran-dang-tee that the rules of safe driving would be a challenge - a challenge to see how many of them he can break and how often he can break them. The rest of us don't deserve to be put into danger because he feels entitled to drive unsafely and iwth no regard to the safety of others.
  11. seriously

    seriously New Member

    Good advice from everyone. Listen to it. Follow it.

    Do not give him anything he has not earned and then be stingy. There is nothing wrong with being stingy or making him earn privileges. That is the way the world works.

    Do not engage in arguing. all you are doing is teaching him to argue. You are also teaching him that he will get those kinds of deals out in the real world. There is no employer on the face of the planet that will give him a paycheck when he hasn't done the job. There is no landlord anywhere that will re-paint or repair his place when he has punched holes in the walls and left it trashed.

    He will never get those kinds of deals anywhere else and you are doing him a HUGE disfavor teaching him to think that way.

    I had to learn that No is a complete sentence.

    I had to learn to Inspect what I Expect and not to accept anything less than the correct and complete job.

    I had to learn that whining is to be ignored. I figure everybody gets to whine a little when it comes to jobs they don't like such as cleaning. That doesn't mean I have to listen to it or react to it.

    PLEASE do not give him a car, teach him to drive or let him drive. Please, please, please. He has made it very clear that he doesn't have the maturity required to operate a machine that can go up to 100 mph and can kill at 15 mph if you forget to check for a child behind you.

    It isn't easy to undo the patterns of 17 years but you can do it. You must begin to do it today if you want to teach your son the skills he will need in the real world.

    Best wishes.
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This whole rules thing and insurance thing is why I never allowed any of mine to get their licenses while they were under 18. Not on my dime.
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry I sounded so harsh in my post to you. I didn't mean to be so vehement toward you.

    Back when Wiz was in the psychiatric hospital for 4 months, LONG before driving was even an issue, we dealt with the behaviors that you are dealing with. Even during the honeymoon period the staff quickly identified manipulating and justifying as two of his biggest problems. husband and I were partly to blame for this because if he had a good, logical reason for something we would consider changing what we had said. This isn't a bad thing with a easy child, but with a difficult child it means that they can argue their way out of everything.

    Fixing the problems with justifying and manipulating was NOT easy. It wasn't just that we refused to argue with him, we also worked to recognize them as soon as they started, rather than getting into the trap of listening to his arguments/whines/excuses. Each time we caught him we said either "justifying" or "manipulating". Those words let him know we were wise to his game, that he had best stop it right NOW with-o further words, and that if he continued there was going to be a consequence. It also meant that whatever he hoped to gain by manipulating or justifying simply was not going to happen. We used hard physical labor for his consequences. He cleared a LOT of brush at my folks' home, scrubbed a lot of grout and bathtubs, even dug a couple of three foot deep holes in the yard. After he dug one, the next time he got a consequence it would be to fill up that big hole. then he would get to dig another. Yes, those were POINTLESS chores, the digging I mean. It was NOT pointless to his behavior - he learned that if he didn't want to dig holes, then he better wise up and stop the manipulation and justifying.

    It is as much work for YOU to see through the emotional turmoil that he stirs up with his accusations, finger pointing, and other methods to manipulate you and justify why he should have whatever that he hasn't earned, would destroy fi he had it and likely would hurt others and their property with the item on his way to destroying it. But it does give you a standard answer and lest you just stop your part of the dialogue.
  14. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Gosh yes.... the manipulation and justifying. What you describe was so true of us also and our difficult child. I think our difficult child learned a lot by his experience of being in jail and being homeless. He is much less entitled that he used to be. When we do stuff for him now he is very thankful and appreciative. Now that may be some manipulation but I don't really think so much. He is no longer demanding but asking and he accepts when we say no. He not so long ago was starting to push for us to help him buy a car..... and for all sorts of reasons mentioned there was no way we were doing that. I was very clear about it and said we weren't doing that, we would help him get a bike. I don't think he liked it but he did not get mad (at least to our faces) and accepted it.

    I think he has learned that life is not so easy and that we don't owe him anything. So now I give him what I feel comfortable giving and can give freely with no strings attached. The other thing is now that he is not living at home, if he gets mad I can walk away, hang up or whatever. I don't need to sit there and take it or put up with his stomping around the house. Life is much calmer than it used to be.

  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Isnt it interesting that so many of us have learned that NO is a complete sentence once they are out of the house? I know I did.
  16. Marg's Man

    Marg's Man Member

    I'm mostly going to ignore the right/wrong part of this question. I think you've done way more than he is entitled to. At 17 he is nearly a legal adult and HAS to adopt at least a few of the adult responsibilities, which includes keeping the laws of the land. Even if New Mexico regards 21 as legal age he only has a couple more years of 'childhood' and the protections that provides.

    I have NEVER bought my kids a car. The first thing I said when I started to teach them to drive was to point that they are now in charge of a killing machine if it is not handled right

    Reading between the lines it seems that glasses/contacts are a legal requirement of getting his driving licence - it is here in Australia. In fact an eye test is part of the pre-testing needed to get a Learners Permit. Each licence renewal requires a Statutory Declaration that your vision remains as it was at the last renewal or if changed you are required to admit it. The penalties for driving without glasses (if needed) are the same as high range drink driving. Check the law in your state and, next time you are accused of breaking promises, point out that YOU are not the problem here, it the LAW.

    I don't know if this will get compliance from your kid but it will deflect the blame from you to the legal system. As an adult (which he will be very soon) he will not be facing juvie but the real legal system that all adults have to comply with.

    Marg's Man
  17. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Amen, Janet! Both my girls didn't learn to drive until they were 18, then it was completely up to them to make it happen.

    Yup. I did that too.

    Had a bit of a tough time getting Travis to understand that it was / is impossible for him to drive, had to get experts to help explain it to him so he finally "got" it.
  18. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think that Mog hasnt updated her signature in awhile. Her difficult child is an adult now and at least 18.