Am I a bad role model for my sons

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Monty's Mom
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Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 664
   Posted 10/11/2011 4:10 PM (GMT -6)   
My boys are pushing me to the limit of patience this school year, and it just began. They both do their homework, but refuse to turn it in or "lose" it between home and school. This is the 4th year of this, me spending time checking their work, helping keep track of assignments, listening to lies about what was assigned and still getting lies even when faced with physical proof that one is lying. I just do not understand why they will gladly do projects and homework for the classes they like, but utterly fail simply from not turning in the homework or projects on 2 classes they don't care for?

Then I begin to feel guilt. How can I be such a hypocrite as to tell them that school, homework, and projects are their jobs and they must learn the self-discipline to finish work and hand it in, when I do not work? This is not something the boys have said. I don't dare let them see me feel this way or they will manipulate me and do whatever they can to get away with anything possible.

I am tired of the power struggle. I have had to remove every privilege my oldest son has because of lying and cheating behind our backs. He really thinks he can do what he wants and not get caught, lie to us with proof in front of him and he will still be ok if he sticks to the lie. Has any other parent dealt with any of this before?

How do you manage both living with daily pain and being unable to consistently provide that level of observation and scrutiny? What do you do on the bad days? How do you stop those feelings of hypocrisy that come up when telling a child to learn self control and discipline to keep going when unable to do the same in the face of pain?

How do you parent while chronic pain controls so many aspects of life? How to foster respect in relationships is I guess the center of my question. I have seen so many strong people here, raising good children and enjoying it even through CP, and just wonder what is wrong with me. Am I alone in this? I am just so sick of hearing how so and so's parents do this and so and so parent's do that. We are sitting down and going over house rules again so we are al on the same page. Don't know what else to do.

Thank you,
Mindy

Heather Lynn
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Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 283
   Posted 10/12/2011 12:28 AM (GMT -6)   
(((((Mindy))))) I see no hypocrisy in teaching your children self control and discipline. Just because you do not work does not mean you don't show them examples of self control and discipline. You are a mom to them every day, pain or not, and you work very hard to manage your conditions.

I'm not a parent, so I don't have much to offer in the way of advice or experience. But you are a good mom, pain or no pain. Teenagers are hard!!! My sister and were GOOD kids by every measure, and I still feel like we had our mom pulling her hair out a good 80% of the time.
Fibromyalgia, low back pain/SI joint dysfunction, anxiety, obstructive sleep apnea, endometriosis, asthma

Monty's Mom
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Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 664
   Posted 10/12/2011 8:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you Heather Lynn.

There are days that the guilt CP can cause gets me down. Add to it the wedding and honeymoon weekend's recovery and the guilt from doing something totally for my husband and I and not the boys, and I had a melt down.

Thank you for the reminder that I still have good Mom moments. There are many days that my hubby and I think we have more in common with most couples without children than families. Our neighborhood is full of kids with no rules or boundaries. My sons' friends at school all have no chores at home, cell phones, and anything they want without working for it. Even if we had the means to give them everything, we are just not the type of parents to hand things to them. We seem to be the minority.

We decided to stay consistent no matter what. Our lives are just going to stink right now. I am no longer micromanaging the homework. They either do it and hand it in, or they don't. It is my responsibility to help and guide, not do it for them.

Thank you again Heather.
Mindy

bayoub2
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Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 2861
   Posted 10/12/2011 9:54 AM (GMT -6)   
Oh Mindy-
Your post really hit a nerve(bad pun)

I am a 58 yr old woman with CP, Major depressive disorder, fibro and PTSD. I have a 15 yr old daughter. I have been quite ill since she was 8, so majority of her memories are mama lying in bed with heating pad, TRYING to keep house, all errands all $ matters and raise a good child.
I worked all my life until katrina in '05. All my conditionds blew up after that and I resigned work. I do my work in the am, when I have meds and feel better. Late afternoons and evenings are worst time, exactly when daughter is home. Yes, I feel like a hypocrite when I tell her to clean her room, to work hard and get good grades and I have piles of laundry or I cheat and make hamburger helper for dinner.
My daughter is rude at times (she was just diagnosed ADHD w/ depression), teenage attitude all over, and some serious lies. Small stuff she is truthful about. We caught her in her 1st biggie, told us the guy she was dating was 17 (we didn't like that, but boys her age are kinda immature), found out he was 21!!!!!!! Thank God he came from a good family and she is a prude(her words)...

We were poor when she was little and she didn't know. We came into some money when she was 10 and I know we spoiled her alittle with phones, ipods the whole inie yards.

She was raised with good manners, is respectful to teachers and her friends' parents, but saves all her worst behavior for home.

Coupla questions 'cause I could use some help here too.Are you a single mom? I don't see emntion of a father in the pic. Second, how old are the boys? After a certain age, they really need to take full responsibility for their assignments. I ask my daughter if she has homework to remind her. We finally made a schedule for school nights. From4-5:30, she has a snack and can veg out. From 5;30 to 7 is shower, dinner, wash clothes, pick up clothes. She does not have ALOT of HW(they do alot of it at school but from 7to 8:30 is electronic free time includiing TV. She can write read, take nap whatever. 8:30 - bedtime is more free time. All children need consistentcy, some parameters.

Remember when you said to your parents "But Mary's parents let her" and your parents said "we're not Mary's aprents" and you wanted to scream? Well, I find myself saying "Because I said so" alot more than I want to.

You are doing fine as a Mom. So many parents don't even concern themselves with their kids' education. Sometimes we have to learn to let go, that they are growing up and are in the process of becoming independent and they will have to learn the HARD lessons. And that is so hard for Moms to watch.

Anyway, I don't think I answered your questions, but At least you know you are not alone. We just have to do the best we can with the resources we have. It may not seem like it, but this too shall pass.
Keep posting
Maggie

Hang out at depression forum, but fibro and cp too-multi talented-lol!

Trudy2
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 213
   Posted 10/12/2011 10:19 AM (GMT -6)   
I have suffered from many different illnesses since my youngest son was in 3rd or 4th grade. He is a Senior this year. I also have another son that graduated last year and my illnesses hit when he was in 5th grade (if I remember correctly). My daughter was 15 or 16 when my illnesses hit.

All 3 kids were raised the same, in the same household with the same values - my DH and I have been together for close to 20 years now. My daughter is from previous marriage, but my DH is the only father she has ever known.

Anyway, I do not feel you are being a bad role model and it is hard to micro-manage the kids and their homework. You do not state what age they are, so I am not sure what grade they are in. My two older kids were always pretty good at school and getting their items done and turned in timely. My youngest is a bit different.

He is 17 now, a senior in high school, got his driver's license at 16. He bought a vehicle, has a droid cell phone and a job. We are concerned that he may have ideas about not graduating school because he has dismissed work that has needed to be done in the past. I took it upon myself to go up to the school and talk to the principal, vice-principal and his counselor (grade overseer). Anyway, I told them to please communicate with me via my cell phone because my son does not. If he needs to do things that he is not doing, if he is acting up in classes, etc.... The counselor has taken over the responsibility of making sure my son gets all of his assignments in. If he does not - she deals with him directly now. I have told her if she has any issues with him to please contact me. So this is putting my son directly in control of getting things accomplished to graduate. He has assured me (my son has), that he will get everything done and graduate in a timely manner.

I would suggest you talk to the school and do something similar if you can. It has certainly cut down on the arguments here at home and taken a load off of the shoulders of myself and my DH.

Trudy in Ohio
DX pyoderma gangrenosum, Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, Bone Marrow Transplant, Chronic Pain syndrome, Chronic Kidney Disease Stage 3, Major Depressive Disorder, Radiculopathy, Bilateral Hip Pain, Insomnia,Left Groin Hernia, Bulging Disk in Lumbar Spine, Tear in Lumbar Spine, Tendonitis and Bursitis in both hips, hypoxia due to sleep apnea and new problems with my lungs. Have had 2 abnormal CT scans.

Monty's Mom
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Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 664
   Posted 10/12/2011 1:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Maggie and Trudy,

My sons are 12 and 13 and in 7th and 8th grades. They are both very bright. My youngest son is in the special interest gifted classes. My oldest would be as well, but he has not been doing his homework since 5th grade. This is nothing new, but usually doesn't start until the 2nd marking period. It began early this year. I was a single mother for most of their lives. I divorced their father when they were 2, remarried and divorced him because he was never home, didn't want to work, and was abusive towards myself and my youngest son. The first time he touched my youngest was his last in our home. I was a single mom for 6 years, and then I met my husband. He has lived with us for the past 2 years while we were engaged. We just married on Friday October 7, and exchanged rings and engraved cross/dog tag necklaces with my boys. He wants to adopt them if we can find their father. Their Dad has abandoned them a few times. He will come back into their lives and disappear when things get too tough for him. He pays child support only when forced to, meaning the domestic relations officers find him and garnish his wages.

That affects them. They are going back into counseling just to have someone to talk to about things. This is their only issue. They are well-behaved, hold doors open, help elderly neighbors and reach for things off shelves in stores. They help me in so many ways around the house. They have chores and responsibilities that they do most of the time willingly. I just get to the end of my rope with the homework nagging!

The school guidance counselor and our pastor say they are both very well adjusted for the things they have gone through as younger children. We never had much money, so spoiled they are not. They are affectionate and loving toward my husband and I. My illness has been around since they were babies and became severe 3 years ago now. They do well through my many surgeries too.

I talked to their homeroom teachers today. The school's opinion is that the children are responsible; however, it is ultimately my responsibility to make sure they hand it in. I have the option to electronically submit their homework for them. Also, if anything looks too obviously as though an adult completed it, it will be returned and a zero issued for the grade.
That seems ridiculous! I should electronically submit my sons' homework? How is that teaching them to be responsible and follow through on directions? That disclaimer sort of thing at the end of the email about zeros being issued for adult work leads me to believe that parents are doing the homework, not the kids, and that disturbs me. I am going to make an appointment to go to the school and talk to the principal and guidance counselors.

Maggie, I am sorry about your daughter and her older boyfriend. That had to be hard as a parent. Our Pastor and worship leader are very close to the boys. When they get their music lessons from them tonight, they are going to chat a bit about what may be bothering them as well. It could be something I am missing or don't know about going on.

Thank you both. You helped immensely! I am not alone! All of my friends have younger children if any, and at times it can feel lonely being 31 with older children. We are not always on the same level at parenting, but it is nice to hold the babies, love them a bit, and hand them back!

Chartreux
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Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 10/12/2011 10:53 PM (GMT -6)   
You are a terrific mother, give yourself some credit...
Your doing what you can and that's the most improtant thing for now...
Many well wishes to you ..
and healing hugz
**********************************************
* So many dx's I could write a book* "It would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...
********>^..^<********>^..^<*******

Monty's Mom
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Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 664
   Posted 10/13/2011 6:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you Chartreux. It feels good to hear positive reinforcement that doing your best with what you have is a good thing. The American society is very driven for material things at times, and I forget that even though I am not working out of the home, I have value.

We had success last night. We formed house rules as a family, good and bad consequences for actions, and the expectations for every family member for every day. It is like having different kids! They look at the rule and expectations sheets to see when/what they need to do. They earn privileges each day for doing the good things, and lose them for the bad. Homework was done without an issue, they even came to me to share how good it felt to see what they needed to do in case they got side tracked.

I just pray it keeps up. My husband and I took time to remind them that everyone makes mistakes, fails, and does wrong things, and it is ok. It is just what we do with it after it happens that makes a difference.

Thank you again for the advice and support. It helps.
Blessed and low pain day wishes for you, and happy hugs all around!
Mindy
The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. George Bernard Shaw
Pelvic adhesive disease, IBS, SI pain, arthritis, kidney stones, depression, 10 pelvic surgeries for pain, ovarian cysts, adhesions, endometriosis, adenomyosis, and possible ovarian remnant syndrome. Unexpectedly growing ovary #3 on right side.

bayoub2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 2861
   Posted 10/13/2011 9:05 AM (GMT -6)   
Dear Mindy
 
You DO sound like a great Mom. Yes, there have to be very clear rules and consequences and not stray from that.. I am very bad about giving in
 
!2 and 13 are difficult, not quite adolescent butgrown up in their minds...Katie had alot of HW in middle school, and projects. But it sounds like you are getting things under control-great job!!! Could you come down here and kick our butts a little?!!lol
 
Katie is in 10th grade, so I feel she must suffer the consequences of not doing her work, just like the working world...of course, I do remind her of obligations, then she is on her own, but she is older than yr boys. I used to squeeze HW out of Kate at that age, and we helped a little with science fair stuff, or presentations.
 
It sounds as if the boys were acting out b/c it must feel like that (Snipped) abandoned him. But your new man sounds great-I hope he can adopt them and shut out the worthless one.
 
I don't work out of the home and they think we are sitting around eating chocolate bonbons and watching soaps-I wish. Beinga parent is the most important job you will ever have and the rewards are golden!! Keep up the good work and let us know...I might be taking lessons from you
 
Hop you have a relatively good day
Maggie
 
 
 
       Please watch the language! Thanks! SE
12. No cryptic posts.  Using cryptic messages to "skirt" the rules is not permitted.

Post Edited By Moderator (Screaming Eagle) : 10/13/2011 12:23:19 PM (GMT-6)


stripey
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Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 1059
   Posted 10/13/2011 1:30 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't have kids, not through choice but after our only child was stillborn and IVF drugs didn't work even on maximum doseage decided that maybe it was just not to be and so have 3 dogs instead. It sounds like your sons are just being normal teenage boys, I hear this sort of thing from my friends and colleagues who have kids all the time. The are trying to push the boundaries and to see how far they can push them and how much you will allow. I think the family meeting you did setting up consequences/themselvex actions is a good idea. Don't beat yourself up over it, they will sort themselves out and in a few years time this will all be a distant memory.
Crohn's, antiphospholipid syndrome, Crohn's arthritis, very low blood pressure, low kidney function, ezcema, asthma, ileostomy, numerous surgeries for abscessses & strictures. Humira - very bad permanent side effects incl joint pain, hair loss, fatigue & nreve damage. Azathioprine, immodium, simethicone, fludrocortisone, oxycodone, gabapentin, tramadol, amitriptyline, Folic acid, vit d & calcium.

Heather Lynn
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 283
   Posted 10/13/2011 4:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Mindy, I thought of you last night when I was having drinks with a friend who also has a 13 year old and was recounting the same homework struggles. Her daughter does the homework but does not hand it in, and it drives her CRAZY! For her it is also the responsibility issue - she doesn't understand how her 13 year old can be so irresponsible and just not care.

I had a lot of homework struggles when I was a kid too, and in my case it was ADHD. I have the inattentive type, so I was undiagnosed because I wasn't bouncing off the walls the way hyperactive kids do. I wanted to do my homework, it was just so hard to stay organized and on task long enough to do it.
Fibromyalgia, low back pain/SI joint dysfunction, anxiety, obstructive sleep apnea, endometriosis, asthma

Medicalkid2
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 147
   Posted 10/13/2011 8:54 PM (GMT -6)   
As a former high school student (graduated with honor roll) as well as having ADHD and Aspergers, I can say there is NOTHING wrong with you being a "hypocrite" like you say. My mom was the same way both when she worked and when she became disabled from RA and Lupus. You don't need to "practice what you preach" if its solid advice :) That said careful with taking things away...I say this because it can really make kids rebel..though my parents never took anything away from me I think its a valid approach so long as you take away the right things. Leave their cellphones alone and go for the Xbox, TV, etc. Also leave the iPod alone. If you must, try being assertive with when they will do there homework and work out blocks of time with rewards and breaks (seams like you've got that down)..sounds very ADD to me (read again and saw that). Though I do not have a good relationship with my mother I could definitely ask her for input if you wanted...her pain has turned her very mean but I respect her knowledge.

I know I come off as a know it all but all through out high school I saw ALLOT of what your describing with kids and I usually would say "yeah that sucks" but in my head side with there parents just because I usually go with the most rational side. I want to really really warn you though about the daughter...if you get too protective and restrictive it can get ugly. I know too many girls who were protected all throughout there lives and when they hit senior year of high school or started college they learned the hard way about allot of bad things like older guys and drugs. I used to do seminars on parenting for parents with autistic kids, usually got paid for it too and I loved it.

Also with the ADD and attention issues I have the same problem so I really can view it from both angles!

Anyways I just got home from the ER and this percocet they gave me is going to put me out but I will read over this again. Good luck!

bayoub2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 2861
   Posted 10/14/2011 6:35 AM (GMT -6)   
Dear Med

Point well taken with my daughter. I grew up in a very repressive home, every minute scheduled, very little praise and lots of criticism, very little affection, so if I err, I go too easy on her. My mom had so many rules, I was bound to break one and after that , who cared. So I agree, there is a happy medium. My daughter knows she can come home with a "c" (her worst grade so far...with untreated adhd) and I will love her and if she has tried to do well, then I can accept that.

Now she has meds, I told her she might even enjoy classes now. All those years she was struggling and I couldn't see it....just imagine that beautiful mind just trying to shine out of there. Now she has a chance!!!

Thanks for your input, and you are not a know-it-all, you've been there!!

Maggie

Monty's Mom
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Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 664
   Posted 10/14/2011 12:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Heather Lynn and stripey, Thank you for thinking of me and responding. It is good to hear that this is normal for teenagers.

MedicalKid2, My sons don't have cellphones or iPods. I appreciate the advice, but will share my opinion as well.
The idea of not practicing what you preach is ridiculous. Studies prove that children learn by example better than by instruction. It is my responsibility as a parent to show my children that good things come out of bad situations, that challenges are just that, challenges and not the end of the world. Life doesn't stop because I don't feel good today, or tomorrow. I had parents that were strictly do as I say, not as I do, and will not burden my children with that type of screwed up parenting. If it is not ok for them to do, I should not do it either.

Thank you for the offer of input, from your mother, but no thank you.

Maggie,
Thank you for the compliment. A lot of what the boys struggle with does have to deal with feeling abandoned and unwanted by their father. Having good male role models now has helped with our church family reinforcing the values we share. They see that I am not a thing to be used like a doormat, and that they have value beyond what their father refuses to validate.

As for coming down and kicking you into shape, sure thing! What are your goals? Maybe we can work on them together? There are many who think that since I don't work I have all the time in the world to help them, do activities or work for the church, clean my home which is a huge challenge most of the time, and sit and watch soap operas all day. It is irritating! My husband is not like that, although certain people in his family feel I take advantage of him because I choose not to work. There are days I wish they could live in my body for one day to see what this feels like.

I hope you are having low pain days. Thank you for helping me feel like a better mom!
Mindy
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