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ok so I might have been wrong

(12 Posts)
Mamateur Wed 06-Jul-11 06:35:26

We have full care of DN (child of DP's sister). Last night he made a big deal out of not wanting to show me his homework. He had told me it was researching the voiceovers of the Simpsons. Then he denied having said this and said it was just researching the programme. He showed me the hwk and it was just ten or so bullet points about the programme, who did the voices for each actor, etc. The first thing that came out of my mouth (bear in mind I've only been parenting a teen for 8 months) is this is cut and paste because the words used were not at all natural. He went completely mad and starting swearing at me. Stormed off to his room effing and blinding. I had another look at the homework and although it's very like something off the internet I'm no longer sure. He may well have done it himself. I talked to him and said that I shouldn't have said it was lifted and I was sorry for that but that it wasn't a good enough piece of work, did not show any analysis plus much more importantly I would not be sworn at. I told him he wasn't having his dinner (his grandpa came over and took him out for massive burger king at 5pm, and he came home with eclairs so he couldn't have been starving). He stormed back into the kitchen and started going through the fridge and I told him he wasn't taking anything from the fridge. More rudeness and swearing. DP and I went in to talk to him and he just said I was l lying, he hadn't sworn at me and cried and sobbed into his duvet. This morning I see he raided the fridge anyway after we had gone to bed. I've also had a big row with DP because he always sets loads of rules from DN and then can't be bothered to enforce them.

I basically feel like shit this morning and want to run away from the lot of them. I don't want to see DN although I know this is silly and I'm the adult.

rainbowinthesky Wed 06-Jul-11 06:48:23

I have a teen. I am sure you were right about him having lifted it and he reacted despite knowing you were right. However, I should imagine it set him off with you critising it fairly indepthly. It's horrible for anyone to be told their work isnt good enough etc (even though he knew this).
Swearing is not acceptable but withdrawing food as a punishment is a strange punishment for a teenager (or anyone imo). Teenagers eat a lot and need to.
The trouble is it started as a minor thing but escalated quickly into something much more. Was it worth it? As you say you are the adult and shouldnt have allowed it. You know he is going to get upset at you critising him so dont bother. Let him get the teacher comments etc instead.

I am guessing there is background to this and he has a lot more than the usual teenage issues to deal with so maybe needs some slack yet not excusing swearing.

Goblinchild Wed 06-Jul-11 06:48:32

Teenagers are hard work, nothing wrong with wanting to take a step back, have a breather and put down the load for a while. You are the adult, but it doesn't make you superhuman.
I'd be inflexible about being sworn at, I tend to be very monotone and unemotional when I'm telling my boy what I have found unacceptable and what the consequences are going to be. He has AS, and if I yell all he hears is the anger and he yells back louder.
You need your DP to make a few, very clear and basis rules, stick to them all the time and enforce them himself, rather than thinking that making a rule is all that needs to happen. Or that others should do the hard work.
It is nearly the end of term, everyone is knackered and you have done an amazing job so far.
Your willingness to stick with supporting your DN is wonderful. I've followed a lot of your posts and appreciated the continuous, long-term effort you have put into giving him security and a better chance at a future that's sustainable and will build him into an adult worth knowing.
So yes, most of us have fantasised about running away for a weekend or so, it's normal and it's a shame that most of us don't get the chance.

bigTillyMint Wed 06-Jul-11 06:48:42

Sounds like a night at our house, apart from the Burger King bit grin

How old is he? I have to tread very carefully round DD (nearly 12) about her homework, and only offer constructive criticism if necessary, eg that's really good, and you could add a bit about....

If there have been words the night before, I keep a low profile in the morning - we are both usually fine again after school!

And food-wise, burgers are highly calorific, but not that "filling", so he could have still been hungry? Or looking for comfort food if he was feeling upset?

Mamateur Wed 06-Jul-11 06:55:11

Thanks for your replies. I know I handled it badly. It's just that he was offered the dinner we were all having which was just baked potatoes, tuna and salad but he made a face and said he really hated beans etc. so I said (as he had been well-behaved all day) he could have a pizza but I wasn't serving it up until he showed me his homework. It's the only item in his homework planner from the last two weeks, so I said I expected him to do a good job.

He could have had a bowl of cereal or toast but he wanted 4 muller corners shock (and I see this morning he took them).

Mamateur Wed 06-Jul-11 07:00:31

The thing is I went in to talk to him and explained that ours was a rather different situation and that we both had to listen to each other and respect some boundaries. I would NOT be sworn at and he was welcome to say what he felt was important too. I left lots of pauses from him to come back to me but all I got was a really rubbish sorry. You know the sort. He also said I was lying about him swearing and he only said 1 swear word (there were about 10). I said I wasn't massively bothered about saying 'sorry' as in my experience people hardly ever mean it but I would rather he acknowledged things had to change. We get on well when I'm not challenging him on anything.

I use the very modulated voice too, or he says I'm shouting.

I've been up with the baby since 5ish and have told DP he can take over at 7.30 because I don't want to do the whole getting DN out of bed, making him put his plate in the dishwasher etc. But DP is increasingly the problem.

Thanks goblinchild your kind words mean a lot.

Mamateur Wed 06-Jul-11 07:10:50

What I meant by the above is that the pizza was really more of a treat and he had already had dinner and turned his nose up at another dinner. If he had apologised he could have had the pizza. It's not a strategy I'll revisit though.

Should I just not mention it again? He did sort of say sorry. I just feel very strongly about being sworn at (particularly with baby DS around) and more importantly, that he can't deal with any anger without swearing and much sobbing and phoning granny to say how horrible we are. It happens at school too (i.e. all his teachers "lie" about what happened and are just horrible people etc.).

kreecherlivesupstairs Wed 06-Jul-11 07:24:12

No advice about the food, but do warn him that DHs school recently suspended a pupil for plagiarism.

Goblinchild Wed 06-Jul-11 07:29:08

He is very immature, I'd leave it up to the school to judge the homework and check his sources.
The weeping and wailing is annoying, but if you gan deal with him in a neutral and dispassionate fashion, you won't give him any emotion to feed from.
I have teenagers, they have gigantic and odd appetites with foodstuffs, especially when feeling stressed.

purplepidjin Wed 06-Jul-11 07:29:57

Does he recognise words as "swear" words? I've come across this before...

If you hear shit, bugger, etc daily, you come to think of them as part of language and don't know that they're rude. Only fuck and cunt are the rude ones.

When, technically, everything from damn upwards is swearing - blasphemy.

Could you do a fun game with him where you think up all the rude words you can - you and DP included - write them down and talk about "these are the words I don't want Baby to hear"? If he's anything like the teens I know he'll be pretty surprised to hear you swearing your head off wink

Mamateur Wed 06-Jul-11 07:43:15

I think he knows very well what swearwords are. I have talked to him about it before. This was the F one and the SH one. We have talked about how it can have comic value (and I do believe this) but you do need to make sure you're funny and never ever swear at someone. There is no way he thinks he was being funny last night.

The other day he used pr*ck in reference to a teacher and we had another talk about it. I've also made clear you must never ever swear at someone and he says he didn't swear at me. But he did.

Mamateur Wed 06-Jul-11 07:47:29

Goblinchild he does get very hungry and I have started under pressure to have far more snack food in the house. But at dinner he will eat all the meat or fish and only pick at the carbs. Then half an hour later he is opening and closing the fridge door or taking a pot noodle (oh how I have fallen grin but they are just for emergencies when he gets in). He has no self-discipline and has been allowed to get whatever he wants. I have seen him bully granny into ordering him a pizza when he has already eaten a good-sized dinner. He worships junk food.

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