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footballmom

Reasonable consequence?

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My high school freshman has become...the stereotypical teenager.  Let's say hypothetically you realize you are meeting all of their needs and almost all of their wants / whims and they in return are not showing / expressing any awareness or appreciation for the things that are done for them (constant shuttling for activities and friend meet ups with very little notice, school clothing and supply purchases way beyond the basics, etc).  When this teenager does address his main support person, he's very teenagery lol.  Would it be reasonable to strike for a period of time?  i.e. not being available / willing to do more than the necessary - having food available and making enough servings to include them in family meals, having laundry detergent available and getting them to and from the bus stop that's 1.5 miles away.  That's it.  Reasonable or ridiculous?  **he does participate in a sport 4 days a week so he will need rides.  I am not willing to do this during my strike period.  He can ask dad or coordinate with a friend.  I've become an Uber for his friends, too.  

Edited by footballmom

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I don't think you need to "strike." I think you just need to set some rules and stick to them. For example, no shuttling for activities and friend meet-ups without significant notice. Definitely no Ubering for his friends, and that wouldn't count as being on strike, either. Of course you shouldn't Uber for his friends. Or him. Purchases way beyond the basics: you offer the basics, if he wants more, he can earn the money. Again, that isn't striking. 

Is the other parent on board with this? Because it will require a united front.

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I think you have to give a, "Ds, I am sick of being your doormat. Show me more respect and appreciation or I'm not driving you about anymore," conversation first. But if that's happened and you have transit options that will make it work, then yes. Totally reasonable consequence. Heck, mine do mostly show appreciation and still make them take the bus. It's FREE. It takes marginally more time for them as opposed to eating an hour of my life. They can take the bus sometimes.

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Sounds like it is time for a conversation that mom is a person too.  Have you given him fair warning that you are feeling used and underappreciated?  Have you pointed out exactly when he is doing it, showing him what you are upset about?  Have you let him know that if it continues you will go on strike?

If you have, then I think it is fair to do the minimum and let him figure out some things as part of growing up.  If you haven't, it sounds a bit passive aggressive.  A teenage boy probably needs things spelled out explicitly, and may not connect the dots from you feeling unappreciated and the strike unless you have laid it out there.

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Thanks for the advice so far. I know my post sounds a bit extreme but there have been multiple conversations and it just isn't sinking in for him.  I went back to work FT recently and I'm stretched thin.  Then, I try to remember I only have a couple of years left before he's driving and he won't need rides, so I'm trying to soak in that time with him and I go back to driving all over, lol.  I guess the thing I'm upset about is how he isn't kind / reasonable in how he interacts with me or others in the family a good bit of the time.  I don't want him to feel like he has to show appreciation or be over the top expressive.  I just want a little light bulb to go off "hey, mom's working so asking her to come up to the school twice today at different times because I've forgotten things is a big ask.  If she says no / can't, I won't verbally vomit all over her."  

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7 minutes ago, footballmom said:

Thanks for the advice so far. I know my post sounds a bit extreme but there have been multiple conversations and it just isn't sinking in for him.  I went back to work FT recently and I'm stretched thin.  Then, I try to remember I only have a couple of years left before he's driving and he won't need rides, so I'm trying to soak in that time with him and I go back to driving all over, lol.  I guess the thing I'm upset about is how he isn't kind / reasonable in how he interacts with me or others in the family a good bit of the time.  I don't want him to feel like he has to show appreciation or be over the top expressive.  I just want a little light bulb to go off "hey, mom's working so asking her to come up to the school twice today at different times because I've forgotten things is a big ask.  If she says no / can't, I won't verbally vomit all over her."  

I feel your pain. :-)

But still, I don't think you need to think of it as going on strike. I think it's a matter of setting reasonable expectations. Children are not necessarily going to have those lightbulb moments, and there's nothing wrong in being direct and saying you're not going to do it, not even if you were not working full time. 

If he is not kind or reasonable with you or others, there should be some sort of consequences for that. That's a behavior issue that should be corrected (regardless of his age or your going back to work or anything).

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I remember one of my friends from college: her mom hated driving. Just, hated it period. So, if it wasn't on the calendar a week before, she didn't drive there, for any reason. She had a binder with her week's schedule, I think the kids wrote down what they needed on the calendar on the fridge, at the beginning of the week she transfered it to her binder, and that was what she worked off of. No adding anything after it was in her binder. She had 6 kids, she started this method with the first as a teen and was still putting into effect with the last when I met my friend, so it seemed to work for her. 

{{{hugs}}} about the rest of it

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7 minutes ago, Farrar said:

I don't think you EVER need to go because he's forgotten things. I mean... that's just a no. 

I second this.

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How about establishing a ticket system.  Figure out for yourself how many trips you can make without feeling over stretched, like maybe 2-3 per week.  At the beginning of the week, give him the tickets and tell him he gets one ride this week for each ticket.  On Sunday, he needs talk to his dad, and his friends, or whoever, and work out a schedule for the week, and let you know by Sunday night when he plans to have you drive him.  For any changes, he needs to give you at least one day's notice.  Oh, and if he mouths off to you any time during the week, he loses a ticket, and he'll need to find his own alternative ride.  Do the same thing each week.  (I'd print out actual tickets, and laminate them so they're reusable, but you could keep a notebook or something instead).

Driving things to school that he forgot?  No.  Not ever.  That definitely falls under the "natural consequences" category.
Doing his own laundry?  Definitely.  He should be doing that for sure.
Ubering his friends? Only if he is also in the car, and there's a convenient place to drop them (no driving them far out of your way).

 

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35 minutes ago, footballmom said:

 I just want a little light bulb to go off "hey, mom's working so asking her to come up to the school twice today at different times because I've forgotten things is a big ask.  If she says no / can't, I won't verbally vomit all over her."  

 

My oldest is a 9th grader. Did your son just started brick and mortar school or was he in school last year too? When my kids forget something because they are new to the place, I do give them some grace and get their stuff to them. After the first two weeks, my kids are responsible for the consequences of forgetting their stuff. 

I am not working but I don’t drive. So expectations is set that I am not going to expend the effort to get the stuff to them. However I do remind them before bed to double check their bags for any outsourced lessons the next day. Like they have German lessons this morning so they have to pack their backpacks last night and make sure everything they need is in.

As for wants, both kids knows what my “rules” are so we don’t waste time and emotions negotiating. For example, they know I am willing to buy them a frappe a week so they won’t ask me for more than one. They also know I am willing to spend some money on fancy stationary like a stainless steel mechanical pencil instead of a plastic one, but I would only buy like three of those stainless steel ones per semester because they cost a lot more. When I am not clear about what I am agreeable to, my kids gets more frustrated.

My oldest has always wanted to know my rules. He would tell his classmates that his mom says no. That’s perfectly fine with me. 

Is there a convenient meeting place for your son and his friends? For example, my kids can meet at the nearby library for both studying inside the library and playing/chatting/eating inside the library courtyard. Friends meetups are fine but my parents expected me to use public transport or meet somewhere safe within walking distance from home. I think that’s a reasonable expectation. 

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It's his second year in B&M school.  He's going to a school different than what we're zoned for, so it's a further drive.  Ironically, he forgot maybe 1 thing last year when he was less than 3 miles away and this year it's happened 3 times when it's a 25 minute drive each way.  Part of it is adjusting to block scheduling and he has two backpacks for the different days.  One day he just flat out brought the wrong backpack.  He doesn't have a PE locker and one day the time of his sport changed to right after school and he didn't have his workout clothes with him.  Arcadia, like you said, I've been trying to show him grace but I've got to draw a line.  One of my rules needs to be backpack must be packed up and by the door the night before and he needs to bring workout clothes regardless of when the workout time is posted.  The day he brought the wrong one, he was scrambling to get out the door on time. 

I can't figure out the dynamic with the friends needing rides meaning if they really *need* a ride or if DS offers for us to take them with us.  He has one friend who always needs a ride - his parents have yet to drive one leg to or from an activity / outing.  I like being able to hear what the kids are saying and just being a fly on the wall so to speak, but I'm tired, lol. Plus, some parents I don't know very well and I guess my control tendencies mean I would rather drive and know they are with a responsible person.  But I do want DS to start feeling some sense of responsibility in coordinating rides versus thinking mom is on call.

Thanks for the support and practical suggestions.  I'm going to think more about this today and then have a meeting with him and DH/dad before dinner tonight to set some rules / boundaries.  I like the ticket idea but I need to make sure I will be consistent.    

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I don't think it's unreasonable, especially if you approach it from the point of view of self-care and personal boundaries rather than punishment.

I made sure everyone's calendar was sync'ed in our house when oldest ds was in high school.  If he couldn't bother to put something on the calendar or to look at it to make his own schedule, I wasn't going to go out of my way.  For the most part, I was the only parent on duty and had a very full schedule.  DS started to learn quickly that if he wanted a specific favor from me, it was wise to offer up something in return.  I also had no trouble asking him. "Yes, I can work that into my schedule, but only if I don't have to worry about doing X.  Are you willing to take that job on before I do Y for you?" 

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When you do extra driving for a kid who has forgotten something, keep track of the extra time you spend. Then have your child spend that amount of time doing something for you to pay you back.

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8 hours ago, footballmom said:

Thanks for the advice so far. I know my post sounds a bit extreme but there have been multiple conversations and it just isn't sinking in for him.  I went back to work FT recently and I'm stretched thin.  Then, I try to remember I only have a couple of years left before he's driving and he won't need rides, so I'm trying to soak in that time with him and I go back to driving all over, lol.  I guess the thing I'm upset about is how he isn't kind / reasonable in how he interacts with me or others in the family a good bit of the time.  I don't want him to feel like he has to show appreciation or be over the top expressive.  I just want a little light bulb to go off "hey, mom's working so asking her to come up to the school twice today at different times because I've forgotten things is a big ask.  If she says no / can't, I won't verbally vomit all over her."  

He’s old enough to do his laundry and help around the house. “ I’m working. It’s not all about you. “

Perhaps you are doing too much? My kids get entitled when I am trying to do far too much for them.

 

 

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And, I know you didn't ask, but I think you would really enjoy the book Kids Are Worth It, by Barbara Coloroso.  It focuses on the relationship between parent and child while fostering skills like independence, and it spends a lot of time talking about the teen years.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with rescuing your kid on a bad day or filling up their love cup when needed, but for the child who has an expectation of being rescued, it's sometimes better for them in the long run to set down your limits and love on them while expressing your empathy, "ooh, that sounds tough! I'm confident you can handle this and figure out something. I love you, and let's set aside some time to get together tonight."


My mom once drove 3 hours after dropping my sister off at the school.  She had a band competition in a town 3 hours away and they were all meeting at our high school and taking the bus.  We watched the bus drive away, got back in the car, and noticed my sister's band uniform still in the back.  That was a time to rescue.  It would have caused her more pain to not have that uniform than any good she would have gained from a lesson about responsibility.  The rest of our plans were put on hold because of this, and we went on a nice long ride, finding my sister in absolute panic mode at the competition.  
However, had it been a wrong backpack or missing workout clothes, that is NOT a time to rescue.  That is time to let a little pain sink in, allow them to vent, offer to help them develop a working system of reminders later that night.

The main point is, you are preparing a child, step by step, to go off to college and ultimately be independent in their lives.  I have seen the results of constant rescuing and it's really not pretty when it comes to adults in their 20s and 30s still relying constantly on parents to adult for them.  So you let them feel a little pain when needed, you guide them, and you offer them love as they navigate while still in a safe environment.  Rescue only as absolutely needed. 

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My 14 year old was/is trying out similar attitude and about  a week ago I had had enough.  We have a large marker board and after yet another instance of him being rude to me I silently went over and wrote out a list of all the driving/chores that I had done for him just from Friday through that point on a Monday.  It was a long list.  He apologized within a few minutes and things have been better since.  

I think sometimes they just need reminded . . .

Edit to add:. I included times when I could which when added up was impressive even to me -lol!

Edited by JanOH
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I would not do a "strike", but if you now work full time and feel stretched thin, I think it is time to reevaluate which tasks you do for him and which actually require your help and which simply spoil him.

Driving a healthy able bodied teenager 1.5 miles is not necessary. Unless he has a disability or the weather is dangerous, there is no reason he cannot walk. 

Driving his friends is not your task, unless you are driving your DS anyway and they come along for the ride. 

Driving to school to deliver him forgotten stuff is something that could happen if you are available and it is convenient for you - but for most working parents, a mid-morning trip to school would simply be impossible and the kids need to deal with that. That is not an unreasonable hardship.

Edited by regentrude
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One of the first symptoms in a kid of a mom over functioning is entitlement and your description of your son highlights this. He does not feel that sense of urgency or responsibility because he doesn't seem to have experienced consequences for some of these things. Forgetting something? My goodness you need to not bring things to him. Just imagine adulthood for him if he does not learn this now. Being his taxi? Bus, bike, feet, another friend's parent but you need to say no more. In fact, it will be hard so start setting a goal of saying no atleast once a week to begin getting comfortable. He is going to freak out on you, be prepared. Kids that are entitled do this to bully their parent back to where they want them. Again, imagine his future marriage and do your future in law a great service now. 

You will not get authentic appreciation if he does not know what to be appreciative for. If he hasn't had to walk or bus then he won't know the luxury that mom taking him truly is. He needs the full spectrum of experiences to have something to compare it to. You will launch a grown up version of this exact same person into society if you don't start setting limits now so I think your initial post sounds perfectly sensible. You need to stick with it. He will try to call your bluff by taking the teen version of a toddler fit. "Verbal vomit" on you will happen. Ignore, hold steady, don't engage. 

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Drop the wants and whims doing if it doesn't work out for you.

1.5 mile to the bus stop...they can walk.  Only time you are needed is if its sleeting and the wind is up.  Most people I know do this to avoid buying outerwear as the school doesn't have a place to store wet raincoats without having them water the textbooks in the locker, but my kids would use their sports or band locker for that. 

Friend that needs ride:  take him in if he's on your route.  Too many have parents who won't lift a finger, he'll pay that forward later in life. 

The only thing I take to school if forgotten is something needed for an event that has an audience..and quite likely I"ve driven to school that day as that is more stuff than the bus company allows, so we have learned to check and make sure nothing is left behind.

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44 minutes ago, HeighHo said:

Drop the wants and whims doing if it doesn't work out for you.

1.5 mile to the bus stop...they can walk.  Only time you are needed is if its sleeting and the wind is up.  Most people I know do this to avoid buying outerwear as the school doesn't have a place to store wet raincoats without having them water the textbooks in the locker, but my kids would use their sports or band locker for that. 

Friend that needs ride:  take him in if he's on your route.  Too many have parents who won't lift a finger, he'll pay that forward later in life. 

The only thing I take to school if forgotten is something needed for an event that has an audience..and quite likely I"ve driven to school that day as that is more stuff than the bus company allows, so we have learned to check and make sure nothing is left behind.

Ita with him walking to the bus stop.  Kids here walk about that regularly to school.  Charging per ride by time with chores or money. Not taking others except to and from your exact leaving/arrival locations (they can make their way from there) and only with prior approval.  Stepping up with more chores around the house, etc.  I think higher expectations of responsibility are necessary to shift gratitude.  

The reality is that extracurriculars are a privilege.  If he can’t help to make it easy for you to allow him to do it, he shouldn’t do it.  

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My son started b&m in 8th grade with similar situations and attitude as you describe then and into 9th. In 8th he had a school sport and ice skating and it was way too much (for me, and I think for him too). In 9th he only did a school sport, which was more doable, but probably still too much in terms of need for sleep . 

 He is now in 10th. This season he is not doing a sport.  

My decision is that academics and chores come first.  If he can manage his academics well and help with household chores and still has what would be time and energy for a sport left, he can add a sport back in and I will drive him as needed for that.  Currently he is rarely helping with household chores (for example washing dishes or exercising the dog),  but *is* doing his own laundry and doing the best he has done so far on keeping up on his academics  

I have told him he gets 2 rides to school for “missed the bus” times per semester.  

He told me that the other boys wear a particular type of under armor shirt for PE and that he wants one (or more ? ) — I told him I would get him one if he keeps up on his academics and works on some daily chores for the next couple of weeks.  Similar for a type of shirt he would like for school dances etc. 

Ride to from school dance this weekend  was dependent on reasonably good behavior during the preceding 2 weeks.

Had he not done the minimum behavior I wanted to give him the rides myself, he could have gotten to and from with a friend’s parent driving. 

Possibly when you are giving “Uber service” to your son’s friends, you are doing so in place of their own parents’ attempt to give consequences for their misbehavior. Or their own mom being “on strike”.  If so that probably adds to the teens’ sense of entitlement and possibly to your own son’s too.  

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13 hours ago, footballmom said:

My high school freshman has.  Would it be reasonable to strike for a period of time?  i.e. not being available / willing to do more than the necessary - having food available and making enough servings to include them in family meals, having laundry detergent available

 

Reasonable to let them do their own laundry and to not cook special meals for them beyond their share of family meal without that being considered a “strike”.

13 hours ago, footballmom said:

and getting them to and from the bus stop that's 1.5 miles away.  That's it.  Reasonable or ridiculous?

 

I would consider the ride to from bus stop itself special, not a basic entitlement.  

13 hours ago, footballmom said:

  **he does participate in a sport 4 days a week so he will need rides.  I am not willing to do this during my strike period.  He can ask dad or coordinate with a friend.  I've become an Uber for his friends, too.  

 

This is the first thing you have mentioned that sounds like something to stop on a temporary basis while on “strike”—otherwise it sounds like your idea of basics are doing too much for him. 

But if he gets rides with dad or friends your strike might not have much impact. 

Just as it could be that you are Uber for other moms trying to get their kids to shape up. 

It might be better to communicate with the other moms and decrease all of your work with a carpool, but not to pitch in if dc are not being driven due to consequences reasons. 

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13 hours ago, Ellie said:

I don't think you need to "strike." I think you just need to set some rules and stick to them. For example, no shuttling for activities and friend meet-ups without significant notice. Definitely no Ubering for his friends, and that wouldn't count as being on strike, either. Of course you shouldn't Uber for his friends. Or him. Purchases way beyond the basics: you offer the basics, if he wants more, he can earn the money. Again, that isn't striking. 

Is the other parent on board with this? Because it will require a united front.

 

I agree with this. Footballmom, you sound very frustrated, but if this has been building up quietly, I think the better course would be to discuss your frustrations and set guidelines and expectations, not suddenly decide to "go on strike." And definitely work with the other parent -- perhaps they can take some of the driving on for you, or set an allowance where you don't have to decide on "extras" on an ad hoc basis. At any rate, a united front is essential. You son will likely complain about your new boundaries.

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13 hours ago, footballmom said:

Thanks for the advice so far. I know my post sounds a bit extreme but there have been multiple conversations and it just isn't sinking in for him.  I went back to work FT recently and I'm stretched thin.  Then, I try to remember I only have a couple of years left before he's driving and he won't need rides, so I'm trying to soak in that time with him and I go back to driving all over, lol.  I guess the thing I'm upset about is how he isn't kind / reasonable in how he interacts with me or others in the family a good bit of the time.  I don't want him to feel like he has to show appreciation or be over the top expressive.  I just want a little light bulb to go off "hey, mom's working so asking her to come up to the school twice today at different times because I've forgotten things is a big ask.  If she says no / can't, I won't verbally vomit all over her."  

 

I'm a rather blunt person.  So I'll tell you what I did when confronted with that from a certain son.  

I pull him aside because I didn't want to humiliate him or have a pile on.

I said firmly something close to this:

Listen I love you and I don't mind helping you out when I can, but you are being an ass and I don't appreciate it.  (He got defensive of course.) If you are in doubt about my truth in perceiving you being an ass to me, ask yourself, in all honesty would you speak to your boss, teachers, your friends' parent the way you just did me? Would you argue and blame and generally be inconsiderate to them as they were trying to do something helpful to you, or even in general?  (He begrudgingly admitted no he wouldn't.) I get it, loved ones are an easy target for stress and hurt, but that doesn't make it okay. So the next time. I'm going to ask you once if you need to H.A.L.T and if you do, then do that instead. And if you don't, knock off the attitude or speak about what the actual problem is.

Yeah, I had to havethose conversation with some kid or another many times I've the last 10 years. But it is helpful 80% of the time.  The other 20%, it's probably me who needs the timeout.  Of which I freely declare and think is normal.  It's not like adulting ever gets easier and I think it's a good example to children to see that it's okay to need to decompress and recenter ourselves.

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I don't understand the concepts of grounding or striking.

If you genuinely want to do it, then do so with no desire for compensation.  If you don't, then either accept it still needs done or don't do it, but don't take it out on him.

I see no relation between his attitude and these things.  Focus on the attitude instead of how it makes you feel.

dear son. I love ya, but seriously, what the hell is up with being so rude to me? I don't mind giving you a ride, but if you'd give me a heads up by putting it in the calendar, that would be great because I do have other things I need to do.  Simple guidelines like, if it isn't in the cozy iphone app, then it doesn't happen.  Or things like, I can't do everything, so if you need me to do for you, you need to take something off my plate.  For example, it's not reasonable to expect me to drive all over town after work and also clean the kitchen and make dinner.  I have time for one of those, not both.  This doesn't have to be full of animosity.  You are on the same team.

When do you meet up every day to touch base?  For us, it's right before breakfast and around 9ish in the evening.  I say what my schedule is looking like for the day or the next day, they chime in with their plans, we work out how to make the day work for everyone, we update our calendar for anything new being added or changed.

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If you are going to stop doing his laundry etc. (which I highly recommend) take a weekend to make sure he is taught how to do it, and set up a schedule for him of when the machines will be free for his use.  I would make it a life skills teaching and him growing up as a positive move toward adulthood thing, not a punishment. 

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8 minutes ago, Murphy101 said:

imple guidelines like, if it isn't in the cozy iphone app, then it doesn't happen.  Or things like, I can't do everything, so if you need me to do for you, you need to take something off my plate.  For example, it's not reasonable to expect me to drive all over town after work and also clean the kitchen and make dinner.  I have time for one of those, not both.  This doesn't have to be full of animosity.  You are on the same team.

 

I agree with this. 

He can potentially feel good about helping out especially now that you have a lot of work to do. And feeling good about positive helping as a team will probably work out better in long run. 

My 16yo also seems to do better with actual together activity still (let’s make dinner together type thing) even though he acts like he wants nothing to do with me most of the time. 

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2 minutes ago, Pen said:

If you are going to stop doing his laundry etc. (which I highly recommend) take a weekend to make sure he is taught how to do it, and set up a schedule for him of when the machines will be free for his use.  I would make it a life skills teaching and him growing up as a positive move toward adulthood thing, not a punishment. 

 

This is the kind of thing I've been thinking, as I read this post. The dynamic is not what it should be, but he probably has no idea that you are this frustrated, and possibly doesn't even know he's acting like a jerk.

Just let him know you'll need to make some changes, because you're working now and because he's *capable of* (not "old enough" or "being punished") taking on more of his own responsibility. Clearly delineate what you're talking about, and 

1. teach him how to do it,

2. make sure he has everything he needs to do it, and

3. provide some accountability AND reassurance/mild praise, while

4. not falling into the trap of trying to turn him into SuperKid overnight. He will still have some entitlement. He will still have some attitude. It's astounding how much he'll grow up in the next few years, with good conversations, modeling and support - you'll all get there.

Focus on the list'able and check'able tangibles, for what you will not do, and what he must do. Keep it simple. Be matter-of-fact if he gets an attitude. Celebrate success. 

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Btw, I prefer to ignore a lot of the apparent attitude part of teen behavior, tone of voice or facial expressions and focus on what I want done. 

I get quite a lot of snark when asking for together time (a hug, for example) also, but I think it is teen need to rebell while also still needing the togetherness. So I would rather have a rebellious eye roll or snarky words along with the appropriate action happening (whether a hug or taking out the trash) as a relatively okay way to demonstrate teen budding “independence.”  It isn’t about me.  

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13 minutes ago, Pen said:

Btw, I prefer to ignore a lot of the apparent attitude part of teen behavior, tone of voice or facial expressions and focus on what I want done. 

I get quite a lot of snark when asking for together time (a hug, for example) also, but I think it is teen need to rebell while also still needing the togetherness. So I would rather have a rebellious eye roll or snarky words along with the appropriate action happening (whether a hug or taking out the trash) as a relatively okay way to demonstrate teen budding “independence.”  It isn’t about me.  

 

I tease my boys mercilessly that the only reason they avoid hugs is because they are holding out for smooches.

Lo and behold, they are suddenly okay with a hug.?

Really though, I'll ignore ocassional attitude until or unless I see a pattern.  Because let's be honest, we are all occasionally a pain in the ass to those we love.  Because we are stressed, beyond exhausted, hangry struggle is real, damned hormones, or any number of other things.  I think it's important to express to our kids that it's not what they feel that's the problem, but how they express it and whether they recognize where it is coming from.

oh and HALT means:

are you:

hungry

angry (which is almost always about feeling hurt)

lonely or feeling sad

tired

Most humans do not make the best decisions when they feel those things.  And most humans do not take a few minutes to ask themselves if that's affecting their actions.  When they do, they often find they need to step aside to correct that before acting.  For my aspie kids this was true X100.

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A couple more thoughts.

Might he be a bit resentful of you going back to work full time?  He may be a bit jealous of your job for taking you away from him, and he may not even realize it.  Lashing out may be a way of demonstrating his feelings of anger, loss, maybe even fear that he is losing you somehow.  (I didn't say this was a rational feeling, but feelings frequently aren't rational)

I walked 1 1/2 miles to and from school when I was his age.  If the route is safe for walking, let him walk to the bus stop.  The exercise and cool morning air will clear his head and give him time to reflect on his day.

Definitely get his friend's parents' phone numbers, and call to find out what is going on.  Carpools can be a pain, and they require good communication and flexibility, but they can be invaluable.  See if you can work out a way to share the ride so all the kids can benefit from their sport, and the burden of transportation is shared.

 

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I love car rides with DS16 and his friends. I find out so much about what's going on, who is important to them, what their concerns are. I know it might seem like a good idea to strike, but you miss a lot by not doing those drives!

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6 minutes ago, hippiemamato3 said:

I love car rides with DS16 and his friends. I find out so much about what's going on, who is important to them, what their concerns are. I know it might seem like a good idea to strike, but you miss a lot by not doing those drives!

 

I will have to disagree with you that there's a lot of deep discussion to be missed, by foregoing daily drives to a location that is only a bit more than a country mile away. It's probably literally five to seven minutes.

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5 minutes ago, Tibbie Dunbar said:

 

I will have to disagree with you that there's a lot of deep discussion to be missed, by foregoing daily drives to a location that is only a bit more than a country mile away. It's probably literally five to seven minutes.

 

That's how far we are too. It's the best 20 minutes or so of my day. YMMV of course. 

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2 minutes ago, hippiemamato3 said:

 

That's how far we are too. It's the best 20 minutes or so of my day. YMMV of course. 

 

How is 5 minutes the best 20 minutes of your day? There is something I'm missing, I think. Apologies if I'm just being dense.

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Just now, Tibbie Dunbar said:

 

How is 5 minutes the best 20 minutes of your day? There is something I'm missing, I think. Apologies if I'm just being dense.

 

I drive him to and from school and/or other activities several times a day. 

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34 minutes ago, hippiemamato3 said:

I love car rides with DS16 and his friends. I find out so much about what's going on, who is important to them, what their concerns are. I know it might seem like a good idea to strike, but you miss a lot by not doing those drives!

 

All I learn is what rap music is in — to extent I can hear it over earbuds. 

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17 hours ago, footballmom said:

the top expressive.  I just want a little light bulb to go off "hey, mom's working so asking her to come up to the school twice today at different times because I've forgotten things is a big ask.  If she says no / can't, I won't verbally vomit all over her."  

 

 I don’t think you can expect a lightbulb to go off. Anymore than someone else can expect you to have some insight you are not having.  

But you can offer to help him to figure out a  system to remember to take the stuff he will need because you will no longer be bringing him stuff he forgets.

Not you going on strike, but rather weaning him from that baby ish dependence. 

He will need to be able to do it without you, so to help him figure it out on his own is far more important and kind in long run than to do it for him.  If he refuses your help to figure out a system you can step back and let him figure it out on his own. 

If he is cranky about it, remember that a weaning process often gets a  cranky response    Or tantrum. Whether from toddlers or teens. 

ETA: But do let him know in advance that you won’t be taking forgotten items to him any longer.  And maybe each day the first week of the new plan to not take him forgotten stuff, the evening before give a reminder when he has plenty of time to gather whatever he needs. “Hey, bud, I want to remind you now to get your stuff for tomorrow ready because I won’t be taking you forgotten stuff any more.” That’s it. If he tantrums, ignore it. 

Edited by Pen

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I've got two young adults and a teen who can be fairly thoughtless. My observation is that attitude is somewhat innate and varies a lot among teens. My opinon is that you really can't guilt someone into a better attitude, but you can definitely decide what you want to do or not do. I wouldn't personally do a general strike, but I would lay out what I am willing and able to do or not do, based on what I saw my parenting responsibilities to be.

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Also you might want to add another self care task each week or every couple of weeks— such as this week responsibility for remembering to  take his own stuff to school. Next week laundry. Etc. Week after that walking to bus stop all by himself.   Either ordered by what helps you the most not to have to do, or by what is easiest to teach first.

ETA I think in general you want doing things for himself and helping you to be positive things as much as you can make them that. Things he does because he is capable of doing them and pitching in. Not to make doing things himself be associated with a punishment. So when he does things he is capable of doing, that is normal life. If you ever do them for him, that is a special favor. 

Edited by Pen
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After a fair warning, I think it makes sense to strike.  I might not do it 100% but maybe one non-essential perq that he cares about.  Then add more if that doesn't work.

My kid had to miss her favorite activity a few weeks ago because of baditude.  She now knows I will do that, so she's dialed her sass back quite a bit.

As for laundry, I think it finally sunk in that I actually won't wash clothes that aren't in the laundry bin.  And if you want me to wash in the middle of the week, your tone had better be excruciatingly sweet and polite, and it had better not be late at night.  You know where the laundry room is if I'm not meeting your expectations.  (Similar conversation with food.  They know how to work the kitchen appliances.  Also, why aren't they cooking my dinner?)

When my kid forgets or loses something for school / sports, it's "oh well, that's a bummer."  I don't try to fix it unless it's really beyond what the kid can reasonably control.  Getting embarrassed or yelled at by the teacher / coach / team has to be more effective than hearing me nag, considering all I seem to do is nag these days anyway.

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