Okay...so as many of you know, I am the mother to a 14 1/2 year old son with BP & ADHD. And boy oh boy are we in the throws of it I think....teenagehood...it's like Mr. Toads wild ride! Now, while what I will share is part for therapeutic venting and working out some issues, it is also to collect feedback, suggestions, and sage wisdom from those who have come before me and been victorious. My disclaimer is that I love my son DEARLY, and he really IS a great kid when he is not a slug with thumbs, or oblivious to the obvious, or back talking, or refusing to be accountable to ANYTHING like school work - direct instructions from one parent, manipulating, lying and then when caught acting like "so what...so I lied...it doesn't matter", hedging...etc. It is about
that stage I want to pinch his head off!
My H (who is also BP) and I are ALWAYS walking the fine line about
how far to push, how far to hold him accountable (which we feel we should and DO), what is or isn't out of his control, honesty, accountability...etc. We want SO badly to give him a break, to spend some time with him laughing and just enjoying each other. BUt of late we feel like he's not giving us a chance. He is stepping over the line at every turn. Here's some examples...
1. So he was caught in a series of lies about
food, school work and taking money from us. With food it was about
how much he was eating. If there were leftovers, by morning their was none (and we are talking a lot of food)...and then he would lie about
it. If a dozen corn muffins were made for the family, he lied about
eating 10 before anyone else had a chance to eat any, even when asked directly about
it. He kept saying he had his homework done and didn't, and when asked would just say "he had it covered" and then we would check his grades and he'd have gotten and D or F on the assignment for not turning it in, doing a piss poor job on it, not studying for a test...etc....and when we request to see the work at night it takes 30 minutes of arguing just to get to the place where the REAL story of what is due comes out and it turns out he has yet to REALLY do it as it is requested. EVERYTHING has a story to it. And then we discovered that he was swiping/stealing money from us (about
$65 worth in 6 weeks that we know of) to spend on EXTRA food at school (he is fed breakfast and given a full healthy lunch every day BTW) he justifies about
lying to us about
this when asked about
the money, because he says he didn't like that we won't feed him the sugary food he wants. Needless to say...NONE of this behavior was /is acceptable to us. SO...he was given a consequence to repay us the money he stole (he has to work off 25$ of it by doing the dishes for a month, and he had to give up something he valued to sell on e-bay to come up with the rest of the money - so his flat screen monitor for his computer is now gone [it has been replace by buying a clunky old fashioned smaller screened one so he can do his work with the money left over from the sale]), and he lost the right to play his favorite computer game during the week, and through it all has lost our trust. We wanted these lessons to drive the point home that there will be NO acceptable reasoning for lying and stealing...ever. That HE alone is accountable for the judgment that led him to these behaviors in the first place.
And while it has in SOME ways sent that message home...it is a daily fight about
the dishes (the month ends on the 10th), and the homework arguments and struggles continue daily... (and keep in mind my H is BP TOO...Ode to joy for me around here!!!!!!!!!!!)
2. Then today, on the way to school I tell him he is to call at the end of school to check if I will be late picking him up today as I had a funeral to attend, and we didn't know if my H would be back from a client site in time. I told him that IF I was late, he was to go to the school library and do homework and was NOT to go to his friends house. So, he called at the end of school and asked my H if he could go to the friends house to "do homework"...which is a joke in and of itself...Anyway, he neglects to tell him that I had said absolutely NOT about
the friends house...PLUS, I had made it back on time and was sitting at the school ready for pick up (which my H knew) and when he wasn't there I called home and found out about
all this and informed my H about
the conversation I had had with him that morning. My son does not see anything wrong with what he did. Both my H and I are mad because he did not accept the answer from one, and lied by omission to the other. Plus, he played the computer game he is not allowed during the week and had NOT done his homework....so the battle continued tonight on ALL fronts....
This sort of stuff is DAY AFTER DAY AFTER DAY....It is slamming us at EVERY turn and we are ready to explode. Then my son attempts to lay the guilt trip on me when I got mad about
all this today saying "I am not going to stand and listen if your going to be an A** to me...I have to put up with this all day at school, I am not going to listen to it here too!" I could see he was upset, but REALLY....at what point is enough...enough from him. At what point is he going to see that he is pushing and pushing and pushing, being disrespectful and is not taking one ounce of responsibility for WHY we might be angry at his behavior, the way he is speaking to us, or his actions. He isn't giving US a break to be able to then give HIM a break in return. Is this typical for this age? Is this more excessive because of the BP & ADHD? He IS regulated on his meds, and his "moods" are stable....it is just his attitude and judgment that suck. Are we being too hard on him to expect respect, honesty, responsibility about
his homework, minimal chores?
Like I said, part of this is to vent it out so I can sleep tonight, the other part is the need to get thoughts, insights, experience and wisdom from those having been there and done that, or from some of the teens on the board to speak to me about
what they think. We WANT to spend our time feeling loving with our son, not angry and disappointed by his attitude as we so often are these days. I am sad and oh so stressed about
this. I want to do the right thing for him. I feel like what we are doing is the right thing....but I am
open to being wrong too. I welcome guidance....SORRY THIS IS SO LONG....Thanks for reading....LFW
Post Edited (loving frustrated wife) : 3/4/2008 12:10:54 AM (GMT-7)