Well shit. I handled that one badly.(456 Posts)
Oh Christ what have I done. First post here, but have really blown it and could use some advice.
Just minutes ago I had a major fracas with DS(15). It was that bloody xbox that did it. Things have steadily been going down hill for months - cheek, not helping with chores, have to nag to get everything done, fighting 24/7 with family... We always follow through, try to have natural consequences, yanno from parenting 101.
But tonight (we live in NZ), DS is in the attic where we have a sort of teen hideout, playing on xbox live. We've been entertaining the neighbours and DS has been a disgrace all night. Grunting when spoken to, sulked because we asked him to eat at the table and not up in the den, swore at DS and I. I was mortified. And so so furious. Even writing those words now is making me sweat with rage.
So after they head home I go to have a word. Consequence will be no xbox for 5 days. I'm talking to DS, he jams him headset back on, gives me this horrible sneer, and them says "you don't control me bitch". Then he turns back to the screen and says to his mate "sorry, I was just putting my mother in her place".
The red mist just descended.
I went straight over to that fucking machine and threw it out the window. It's now lying smashed to pieces on the path.
Oh shit shit shit. Still not a good way to handle things. I'm now swinging between frothing wildly at the mouth and wanting to you upstairs and blast him, and wanting to slap myself for blowing my cool so spectacularly.
DS is in shock and hasn't emerge since I stormed from the room.
Do I go up and talk?
Oh God. Can't I just go back and make a better, calmer decision?
Maybe not textbook, but entirely appropriate. I think you've handled it very well - especially the follow-through
and not I don't mean the throwing action
Ds is 12 and showing flashes of this sort of behaviour - yet most of the time he is a lovely charming child
especially to other people I can see when he is in the throws of the teenage years him provoking this sort of reaction. I hope your example means that we manage to avoid it - but not to beat myself up if it happens!
I just read the first post. You did the right thing.
You may not have done the 'correct' thing, but I think you did the RIGHT thing and I say that as the mother of 3 adult children!
My eldest ds, now late 20's, was agressive as a teen when he had been playing computer games and the more he played them the worse it was.
Respect to you OP from another in NZ
don't replace the x-box. let him get a job outside the home and earn money for his toys from now on. don't lose ground after you've done so well.
i haven't read carefully - have you had a chat with him, since the incident, about the standards you expect from him as a young adult and beyond? strike while the iron's hot.
I agree that it would be a mistake to replace the x-box. That would suggest the OP was at fault, whereas she reacted to a very serious provocation, which if left unchecked could have horrendous consequences. Imagine a grown man who thinks he has the right to talk to and about his wife in that way? How can a teen know this is unacceptable unless shocked to his senses. Hooked to screens and video games, teens aren't subtle creatures. They need very pointed messages, and parental voices droning in the background barely register. What the OP did was connect to him on a level he could relate to.
The x-box caused the problem. It's gone. It doesn't come back. He needs to relearn how to communicate, how to socialise, how to respect his parents and their friends, others generally, and if he still wants an x-box instead of face to face social interaction, he can save up for one.
There are those rare times where hurling things out of the window is perfectly acceptable...this was one of them.
I had my own phone in my room when I was 13-14, which was a Very Big Deal in those days...it was shiny red and shaped like a pair of lips, so even more so. My mom ripped it out of the wall when I was being a vile little shit and it was months before I saw it again. I completely deserved it.
Op, you are amazing, my dd is only three but I was vile as a teenager, hoping I don't get what I deserve when dd hits that age. If so, hope I can handle it as well as you. Really sounds as if your ds has had a wake up call and genuinely reflected on his behaviour. What more could you want? Well done. X
Grammaticus you would be a mug if you did replace it, because he would know that all he had to do was suck up a bit and be a bit patient and then there would be no further consequences.
Sorry Gammaticus, I have to disagree. There is no way I'd be replacing that Xbox until he'd earned the money himself to pay for it.
Well done. Sounds like you handled that discussion really well. I hope you feel like a good mummy now. It sounds to me like you are one! He has learned a valuable lesson. You stood firm but let him understand that you wouldn't hold it against him forever.
One day you and your DS will laugh about this. OP you did the right thing and I am glad that DS has apologised. He crossed the line but he knows it and said sorry. I think your talk and the sanctions sound about right. Good luck to you. You sound great. High five and hug from me.
OP: It won't take that long. Don't worry. You all sound quite resilient.
DS and I have had issues similar to this and DS ends up coming to apologise and give me a hug. It's quite tough though, when you have to take a very firm stance.... But good for you and your DH.
Just read your OP to DD, she thinks it was a perfectly reasonable response. She survived my parenting for 21 years.
He can replace it by doing chores for cash, using birthday and Christmas money. That way he'll appreciate how much things cost and how much he has for free. Well. you can hope.
If my DS had called me a bitch there is no way he would be getting another XBox until he left home and bought it himself.
I would replace it. Mind you I wouldn't have lobbed it out of the window in the first place.
Bollocks to that Grammaticus! At 14, I'd have waited you out every single time if it were just for a month. OP did exactly the right thing, there's is no way she should be replacing the xbox at the family's expense - are you nuts?!
Thanks ladies. I think it'll take a little while for us to shake down and get in the groove again. Certainly DS won't change is attitude overnight. But at the very least, I think he heard where we were coming from.
I guess that's the main thing for now.
How did I miss this thread?
I'd have thrown the Xbox through the window, no one should speak to you like that, ever. Nor would I replace it.
Now he knows that his rudeness has serious consequences, at 15 he's old enough to cope.
My Great Aunt once had a huge bust up with her son, 17 and very rude to her, calling her stupid and worthless and nothing but a skivvy. He stormed out overnight to a mates and when he came back she's thrown everything in his room out of the window, including the bed and the wardrobe.
It was all in a huge soggy heap on the front lawn.
The neighbours talked about it for years, but their relationship was much improved!
What interests me most is that among all the high 5's, people like me with teenage boys have taken heart that even if they swear among their friends, there is NO NEED for it to be within parental earshot
and that the occasional shock can still make a difference
do be aware that he WILL go on the x box at friends so you need to think of a reason for him to have friends round to yours regularly ...
That's good to hear, op. I am really glad he has apologised. I assume you have acknowledged to him that hurling stuff out of windows isn't really the best answer. DH and I talked about your situation last night, we envisaged replacing the Xbox ourselves after a month or so, and at our expense. (Our eldest is fourteen, FYI.)
I am so glad that your son has found out that there is a limit to what people will take from him... and that he has learnt from it!!
Aww, sounds as though he's a good kid really
So pleased this has turned out well - all credit to him for the willing and heartfelt apology.
Very impressed - so glad to hear that you've had such a good result
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