Month: May 2016
I read in a book that parents should never argue with a teenager. I know that I should just STOP. But it’s as if he’s poking me in the gut, repeatedly, until I explode.
Today’s example: Dylan wanted to meet some friends at the mall after school. This particular mall is not close to my house, and I had to pick up Shane after a late play practice. While this was a major inconvenience for me, I decided I would drive Dylan to the mall. Our (mildly altered) text conversation follows:
I can take you to the mall at 4:00 but I need to know what’s going on BEFORE 4:00.
Okay. I know this is weird but can my friend come? It’s kinda better the more people who do and she says she’d like to.
Is she going to homework club too? Or is she just going to sit around and wait for you for an hour and a half? And what do the other parents’ moms say about this? And how long will you be at the mall? And who is bringing you home? And how is your friend getting there? And how is she getting home?
She’s coming to hw club. My other friend said she can go as long as there are people there. My friend can bring me home. I’m not positive how long it will be but that’s really flexible for all of us. It would make sense if you could bring my friend with us.
You are 100% sure that your other friends will be there?
And your friend’s mom can drive you home?
Okay. Let me text her to make sure.
I texted Dylan’s friend’s mom. “My husband’s car is broken,” she texted back. “He has my car. I can’t bring them home.”
I texted Dylan again.
No mall tonight. Sorry but your friend’s mom has no way to bring you home. Her mom and I will find another time for you two to go.
What are you talking about. The whole plan works out fine.
Dylan. Keep your head in class. I will talk to you at 2:30. No mall today.
Mom literally the plan works out perfectly.
I am not discussing this any more. No mall today.
Mom what are you even talking about omg. What suddenly happened that makes this not work. Like can I at least have a reason. For once.
Your friend’s mom doesn’t have a car. I told you this morning that this plan was not a good one. I was willing to drive you to the mall if your friends’ mom could drive you home. She can’t. End of discussion.
Why did my friend’s mom say she could drive then
WHY AREN’T YOU DOING WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IN CLASS
Because I’m doing very flexible work. Half the people in here have nothing to do.
Do your work.
I’m going to have my friend’s mom tell you that she can pick us up. They have one working car and they can pick us up and take us both home.
It would be a major inconvenience for her to do that. Don’t be so incredibly selfish and rude that you have to ask her to tell me that she can pick you up, when she has just told me that it is not going to work. Have some consideration for the people who are shuttling you around.
I do omg
After that, Dylan went on a five-minute text-bombing rampage that I (finally) ignored.
Two hours later, everything was fine.
Shane had been playing a video game for what seemed like forever. Usually, the boys get an hour a day to play – after homework, of course. But on this day, Shane was limited on time – and was using his only time in the world to chase blobs around a screen.
“I have had it!” I shrieked, blowing my cool. “You are NOT going to play any more video games today! Turn it off right now!”
Shane turned it off. Right then.
Half an hour later, I went to pick up Dylan and I left Shane alone in the house.
And I was ill-prepared for what Shane told me when I got home.
“Mom?” he said. “When you were gone, I forgot that I wasn’t supposed to play video games and I just automatically turned on the computer. And then I remembered that I wasn’t supposed to play. So I turned it off.”
“That’s great!” I said.
“But then,” Shane said, “I heard this voice in my head saying, no one would know if you play video games. Because no one was home. It was like I had that little devil on my shoulder, but it was a voice in my head.”
“So what did you do?”
“Well I turned off the game!” Shane said. “And I didn’t listen to that voice!”
“That’s awesome!” I said, giving him a huge hug. “That was such an incredibly mature decision!”
I was so excited, and so proud of him. In addition to his smart choice, I wanted to reward him for his honesty. So I gave him a Bonus Star, which went on his chore chart.
Ironically, a Bonus Star translates into … an extra half hour of video game time.