15 year old DS being a douchebag, help me with a punishment

(16 Posts)
ChanningsPony Mon 11-Nov-19 23:24:51

My 15 year old DS came to an event with me tonight, I need to be a wee bit cagey with details just in case shock I’m outed.
I had 5 kids in my care from Age 7-15, I was running a busy community event and they all had to come and help out/join in. They knew this well in advance and it’s something we’ve done before. He had to come and stay, he was welcome to bring friendS but decided not to, other DC did bring friends and the event is fun, not all work.
I tasked him with a job with some friends of mine and he disappeared.
I called, as did a friend, he ignored the call.
Other DC saw him go off with his mates.
After two hours, he texted me to say “I care about my friends more than being there”

After four hours, I got a text asking if I was still at the event. I told him yes. By now I’m really cross but decide to not have a pop just yet. He arrived back five hours after disappearing, the event was over, everything tidy and we were waiting in the car.
We got home and I now have his phone.
WWYD re punishment?
He’s normally well behaved, if not a bit selfish, rarely does jobs and when he does, it’s the absolute minimum. He’s doing well at school.
I feel like now is a good time to teach him a lesson on respect and if he wants to behave like an adult then he needs to show me he can take the responsibility too.
Any suggestions? I didn’t deal with it tonight as I knew I was too cross - help!

OP’s posts: |
Justmuddlingalong Mon 11-Nov-19 23:28:32

You say they all had to go to help and join in. If he had no option, he's kicking back at your decision. I don't think his behaviour was outrageous, but with the scant details, it's hard to be sure.

ChanningsPony Mon 11-Nov-19 23:39:33

It was the disappearing act when he’d been specifically told he had to stay at the event.
It felt like a giant fuck you.
Obviously not the worst offence in the world but also the first big fuck you he’s given me.
I’m really pretty chill and happy to run him around, pay his phone bill etc etc, he’s got a great life and I don’t ask much just a tidy room and help with the dishwasher.
This event was important to me and as DH was at work, I needed his support with the younger ones. He knew that but didn’t give a shit.

OP’s posts: |
Justmuddlingalong Mon 11-Nov-19 23:44:08

I can see that it's out of character for him, but, at 15, the responsibility of the others, or the importance of the event to you, is not his problem really. Sorry, but at 15, his friends are more important than those things.

ChanningsPony Mon 11-Nov-19 23:48:19

I get that to him, yes. But to me, it wasn’t. I asked for his help, a rare occurrence. I help him daily, my taxi, chef, cleaner etc etc. I think he was rude and disrespectful not to mention not even telling me where he was or that he was leaving 🤷‍♀️

OP’s posts: |
Justmuddlingalong Mon 11-Nov-19 23:52:53

15 year olds can be incredibly selfish. To be honest, 15 is a bit old to be just getting to that stage. It's no comfort to you, I know, but I'd count that as a small blessing.

Pumpkintopf Tue 12-Nov-19 00:17:47

I'd sit down with him once calm and explain the impact his behaviour had on you.

Depending on his reaction (contrition vs doesn't care) I'd decide an appropriate punishment- from nothing but a promise to behave better in future to a full on loss of all devices, phones, privileges etc. You'll know him op so you know what to confiscate/cancel - for my 16yo it would be his phone!


ladybee28 Tue 12-Nov-19 21:35:31

at 15, the responsibility of the others, or the importance of the event to you, is not his problem really. Sorry, but at 15, his friends are more important than those things


It may not be as important TO HIM, but integrity and doing what you say you're going to do is important at any age.

And if there are jobs to do, you muck in – because that's what being a part of a family and a wider community is for, and because one day, you'll need to call on that family and community yourself.

ladybee28 Tue 12-Nov-19 21:37:50

In terms of your question, OP, I don't know if I'd 'punish' it as such, but I would probably find something that was 'more important' to me to do at a time when he needed my help with something.

And then follow up with a conversation about how it felt.

SirVixofVixHall Tue 12-Nov-19 21:42:30

I agree Ladybee28 putting yourself out for family and community is an important life lesson.
Op in your place I would also be really annoyed. I would say that he has to now put in the equivalent length of time doing something to help at home.

lyingwanker Tue 12-Nov-19 21:46:46

I would find him a project/task to do at home to make up for him abandoning you like that. Something like sorting the garden out, tidying the loft and getting Xmas decorations down, tidying and cleaning the garage?

What he did was selfish and unfair. It was previously agreed that he would help you out and he shirked his job at the very last minute. Family needs to pull together and help each other out. Yes, it's not usually what he would enjoy doing but it works both ways doesn't it?

Babyfg Tue 12-Nov-19 21:52:28

I would be tempted to play a bit tit for tat. You want a lift to the cinema to meet your mates. Sorry that's not important to me, you need your football kit washed, sorry that's not important to me, or any other instance that might occur in the next couple of days where it won't do him any damage but will be an inconvenience to him. Teenagers are selfish by nature but I don't think that's an excuse to disregard your feelings. A taste of his own medicine will help with his empathy.

Years ago on super nanny there was a teacher who ignored his parents when ever they asked for anything and her advice was to do the same back to him and after a while say that is how you were treating us and it didn't feel good to us either.

CatalogueUniverse Tue 12-Nov-19 22:00:02

Definitely time for some strategic tit for tat.

Possibly after agreeing to do something.

And going incommunicado.

I’ve done it, it works.

FishCanFly Wed 13-Nov-19 14:39:40

Cancel or indefinitely delay pre-planned purchases or fun activities. If he can't be arsed to help out for one evening, neither should you.

saraclara Wed 13-Nov-19 14:58:14

It's not the not helping, so much as simply abandoning the task without telling anyone he was going, and ignoring the calls when they tried to find out where he was.

GrumpyHoonMain Wed 13-Nov-19 15:02:31

Honestly in that situation you absolutely need to make him earn his trust back. I would stop all non-essential perks (pocket money, cleaning his room, driving him to school or his mates) until he realises what be did was wrong.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in