ok, ridiculously small issue on surface...but...how long is long enough for 'natural consequences'?

(43 Posts)
brdgrl Sat 10-May-14 00:44:57

DSS (16) has broken a number of things when angry. I don't want to drip-feed, but I also don't want to out myself or go into a lot of detail which might not really be relevant.

One of the things he has broken was, probably two years ago now, the mirrored front of a wardrobe we'd only recently bought him. Can't remember for sure, but at that time, DH was not likely to have imposed any consequence for this, beyond the fact that he no longer had a full-length mirror in his room (not such a huge deal, as there was one in the hallway).

We have now moved house, and DSS has a great new room. He has asked for a full-length mirror. (there is no longer one in the hallway, the only real full-length one would be in my and Dh's bedroom)

The most recent serious incident with his temper was at the end of March. There were consequences for this one, including the loss of his pocket money until such time as he apologizes and begins to do his chores again, which hasn't happened.

Do we buy him a full-length mirror?

MuttonCadet Sat 10-May-14 00:47:46

I wouldn't.

LegoCaltrops Sat 10-May-14 00:49:20

I wouldn't. He doesn't appear to have learned his lesson yet, he's not showing any willingness to earn back your trust in him, and frankly, why would you go tothe expense of buying him a large, fragile object to replace the last one he smashed up, especially given that broken glass is dangerous -if he's that angry I'll bet he's not to to take care not to step on it or something.

NatashaBee Sat 10-May-14 00:52:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

solosolong Sat 10-May-14 00:53:58

I can't believe you still want to punish him for something he did two years ago. I think you should give him a chance to show he is more responsible. And it doesn't seem fair for him to have to come into your room, when he is at an age where appearance is important.
If you are worried about it getting broken then get one of those shatterproof ones.

brdgrl Sat 10-May-14 00:55:59

Thanks. My thought process is basically:

"Hell no."

"Welllll..that was two years ago, so he's gone two years without, isn't that enough?"

"Hell no. He's still in trouble from the last incident!"

"Welllll...shouldn't we consider each incident separately?"

"Hell no. Same issue!"

AnythingNotEverything Sat 10-May-14 00:57:06

I think a mirror broken two years ago is water under the bridge now. As hard as it is, you have to keep giving him chances to prove he has changed. By all means, remind him gently about what happened and tell him you thought log and hard about getting him a new mirror, but I don't think you can withold one because he once broke one.

Don't spend a lot though!

brdgrl Sat 10-May-14 00:57:35

And it doesn't seem fair for him to have to come into your room, when he is at an age where appearance is important.

erm, not sure I'd be letting him do that. More likely he'd have to stand on tippy-toe in the bathroom and see 2/3 of himself.

LegoCaltrops Sat 10-May-14 00:58:49

I think you should give him a chance to show he is more responsible - I couldn't agree more. He can start by apologising for the incident in March & start doing his chores again, like you've asked him to.

brdgrl Sat 10-May-14 00:59:32

See, this is where I get stuck. The last incident wasn't two years ago, it wasn't even two months ago - so while I appreciate that the mirror was ages ago, he has had chances to show he has changed/be more responsible, and we're still dealing with him destroying things when angry.

MojitoMadness Sat 10-May-14 01:01:20

How often does he get angry? And if it's often/quite extreme (I'm guessing by breaking things when angry it is) is there an underlying reason for it? I speak from experience here with a daughter who has had mass anger issues but for a very valid reason. The answers to the questions would probably sway my answer either way.

If there is a reason (and a valid one) then I would cut him some slack and let him have his mirror. If there isn't a valid reason, but he hasn't broken anything since the incident 2 years ago, then I would buy him one. If there has been incidents in the past 2 years then hell no, I wouldn't be buying him a mirror.

LegoCaltrops Sat 10-May-14 01:01:21

In any case, does he need a full-length mirror? Its hardly a necessity of life, it's a privilege he should earn back (I never had one, I bet lots of kids don't).

MojitoMadness Sat 10-May-14 01:03:05

Cross posts. In that case unless there is a valid reason for his outbursts then no, I wouldn't buy him a full length mirror.

brdgrl Sat 10-May-14 01:03:25

Maybe we use this to have (another) conversation about the need for him to apologize/change his behaviour. New house, chance for him to have a clean slate and all that. He's so prideful though, that I genuinely don't think he will ever do it, and the discussion will end in a row, no matter how reasonably begun.

hoppingmad Sat 10-May-14 01:06:10

No I wouldn't, he isn't in control of his temper yet and that is the consequence. It's not punishing him for something that happened 2 years ago - it's recognising that you cannot trust him now.
If he doesn't like it then tough, he needs to stop breaking things.

brdgrl Sat 10-May-14 01:14:58

There have been probably six major incidents, over two-three years, and many door-slams and kicking of objects. One incident was financially quite significant and potentially very dangerous to others in the home. Twice he has laid hands on me (pushing). Never on his dad. Lots of verbal disrespect and abuse.

Valid reasons? Yes and no. He's been to see a counselor, not exactly under duress, but because (after the most significant incident) he told us he was very depressed and couldn't be blamed for acting out, and we made it clear that if he wanted that to be taken into consideration in our response, he needed to talk to a counselor. But DH was not a part of the sessions and we really don't know if he participated in the process or not, and he quit after his initial six sessions.

slithytove Sat 10-May-14 01:25:14

Let him save up and buy himself one, you can get them for under £30

alita7 Sat 10-May-14 01:52:44

Igot mine for £10 in the range, it hooks on the door. get him one ofthose and tell him if he breaks it he has to clean it up and he won't get another one!

purpleroses Sat 10-May-14 06:25:53

I would let him have one but expect him to pay for it himself. That way he is getting some consequences of his actions. But agree that two years ago is a long time so I wouldn't be saying he is too irresponsible to have a mirror because of that.

PitchSlapped Sat 10-May-14 06:41:31

When he starts earning his pocket money again he can save up and buy one. Maybe he'll have a bit more respect if hes had to shell out for it himself

brdgrl Sat 10-May-14 08:29:14

The cost isn't the issue, TBH. It would be a cheap one regardless, cuz we're pinching pennies at the moment. It's more about the issue of the behaviour still not having changed.
Telling him if he breaks it he has to clean it and doesn't get another seems like a given anyway - I mean, I would assume that even if he'd never smashed anything before - surely there ought to be a difference?
He won't be able to buy one himself unless he gets his pocket money back, or uses birthday money from relatives - so maybe that's good in itself, as it is more incentive to sort himself out.

shoppingfrenzy Sat 10-May-14 08:50:57

I feel for you BRDGL. my DSS also has a temper & has broken things when angry. It is difficult and stressful for the whole family and can result in a feeling of walking on egg shells in case he loses his temper - a feeling I particularly hate.

What sort of things result in the losses of temper? Is it when he is told off? Criticised? Not allowed to go somewhere? Isn't in control of a situation?

RandomMess Sat 10-May-14 08:55:07

I would say he has to pay at least half under the circumstances.

Have you also considered that he needs to be taught other ways in which it is acceptable for him to express is anger? No idea if it would work but perhaps tell him that he can go to his room and rant away into some sort of voice recording app. Then he can listen to it and bring back the valid points for discussion when he has calmed down?

doziedoozie Sat 10-May-14 09:32:18

No, because of this including the loss of his pocket money until such time as he apologizes and begins to do his chores again, which hasn't happened

he is taking the piss a bit. He can buy his own.

croquet Sat 10-May-14 12:50:25

I would get him a plastic/non-breakable one as someone else suggests. Explain what it is and why - he will surely feel embarrassed that he can't be trusted with a real mirror and up his game?

P.s. I never had a full length mirror, and that did mean I sneaked into my parents' room to look in theirs. Surely you'd prefer he didn't do that, right?

Sounds really bloody annoying, but remember it won't last forever.

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