How did this escalate so badly??(10 Posts)
Cooked tea and watched the end of a movie with DH and DS(16).
DH said to DS "how about you make us all a cup of tea while mum & I load the dishwasher?"
DS doesn't move and says, "nah, I'm alright, thanks." DH asked him again, but somehow this then escalated into a huge row with me in tears saying he's an obnoxious, entitled brat, DH going on about how he needs to learn to be grateful/show some respect and DS storming off outside for 20 mins (could see on snapmaps that he'd gone to sit on a bench down near the main road, about 10 mins from us).
He's now back in, went straight to his room, but took his gym bag from the hall with him. DH is worried he's packing a bag and is going to leave once we've gone to bed ...
Don't know what to do now, but don't want to leave it overnight. I genuinely don't think we were in the wrong (although shouting is never good, I admit) but I have been doing so much for him over the last couple of months and he just seems to take everything for granted.
I imagine that what is unsaid is what happened when "somehow" it all escalated. At various points in that "somehow" everyone played a part in it escalating.
It is I know from bitter personal experience, very very upsetting to find ones child being unhelpful and mean spirited. But I guess being 16, that goes with the territory. He'll be more hurt and confused than you. If you can find a way to talk calmly to him, you should be able to deescalate things tonight. At the end of the day you and your DH are the adults and it is your responsibility for fixing this.
So basically you both lost it with him because he didn't want to make cups of tea. Unless there are other issues between you all then both you & your DH had a massive over reaction about a cup of tea. With teenagers you have to pick your battles, also they don't take everything for granted they just don't notice how much we do for them.
Umm not that im a teenager or particularly bratty but if someone said that to me 'how about' etc I would feel that I had an option and not immediately inderstand it was an instruction if that makes sense?
(And funnily enough I would usually give the same answer as your teen did today, unless someone was explicitly clear that they wanted/needed me to do it)
My nearest and dearest know I'm a little slow on the uptake. I need information in black and white, so to speak. So they would say to me "X, go and make the tea, or will u make me a tea please?"
Another thing to bear in mind that with a teen you are likely to get sarcastic comments now and then, they think it makes them sound smart and obviously its up to you and your dh how you choose to deal with it, but I dont think either of you should have taken it as an insult!
Personally I would have thought of a lighthearted response back, so as not to escalate it into something negative.
I think you both need to apologise to the child for overreacting.
The cup of tea thing was just the straw that broke the camels back tonight I think. Probably been escalating for a while. Last night he made us late for an event as wasn't ready to leave on time despite being reminded at various points of the time. Today he was asked to do various things - tidying up a frying pan/dishes he'd used, hanging up his suit jacket, putting his laundry in basket etc - nothing major, and not nagged, just asked/reminded, but he didn't do any of it. Yet he started complaining that we'd run of food that he likes to eat (he weight trains/follows a particular diet) and that his gym kit wasn't clean etc so I guess that's what fuelled my anger.
Anyway, he's back now and he's just emptied his gym bag and hung his suit up, then we had a hug, so it's all over til the next time <sigh>.
(Turns out he wasn't packing his bag - he was unpacking it! )
DS doesn't move and says, "nah, I'm alright, thanks." DH asked him again, but somehow this then escalated
Rather than ask again, your DH could have said "You know that's selfish pig behaviour, right?" Which the kid would probably refute or joke about, but at least you didn't just let it go.
Then make your own cups of tea while being firm in stance that he CAN and should be a kind housemate not take you for granted.
Seems to me like it escalated b/c your DH wanted to make the DS do something.
He sounds like a typical 16 year old to me.
I'm glad it's blown over. These things happen but they are not major.
I'd get him to put his own gym kit into the washing machine, he needs to learn how to do things like that.
OK, when things are calm you and DH need to deal with it so as to stop it building up again. You might prefer to avoid the conflict but it's better to have a conversation about expectations when you are all feeling calm. Sit down with him (and a cup of tea) and talk it through.
Have a chat with your DH beforehand because "showing respect" and "being grateful" are power-struggle talk. I prefer to go with talking about fairness and politeness - people things for each other, take turns to make tea, are helpful when asked, and do things in time.
Talk about the things you do for him - now he is growing up do you still need to do all of them, or would it better to leave him to do them himself and deal it himself if he forgets? Can he keep his own gym kit clean and shop for his own food (or at least give you the list to add to the weekly shop)? That might make you less grumpy and him more responsible.
In this situation I would want my parent to talk to me, no matter what is happened it won’t resolve itself overnight, and it is important to talk to your kid so that they realise that you do care and your not the bad guy and not on a different side to them. At the end of the day they are your child and need to know that you are there for them..... they probably feel as bad as you do
I think it's pretty normal for a child to feel entitled to their parent's care. They've had it forever as far as they're concerned and rightly so. I'm in my fifties now but I still remember resenting my dad saying that kind of thing - I always felt I hadn't asked to be born, it was their choice. I get you'd like some consideration, but you need to discuss it calmly in terms of family rules / expectations. Which I'm sure you realise anyway. Remember teens are very egocentric. It's not their fault.
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