Friday 20 January 2012

Pre teens, the internet and sharing

My 12 year old was feral for the last two days.

Day one
'Can my friend sleep over?' 'Yes but I need a copy of his med aid and I want to hear from the parents that it's ok and only one night'
This started the downward spiral, next we went to the cafe for milkshakes, he pulled the wool over Granny's eyes by ordering milkshake and icecream and as typical wouldn't share and din't finish it all. Granny suggested he put his bowl in the middle of the table, he shoved his chair back, yelled, called me a bitch and stormed off, none of this helped by the 17yo and his constant comments. I can't really remember how the rest of it went, but it ended up with him kicking me (big bruise on my leg and hurts to bend down) all I know is I called hubby to finish work early.

By the time hubby came home I'd cancelled his school trip to Durban next week and had confiscated ALL of his DJ kit, inc laptop, lights, screens, fog machine and laser. By this time he was a screaming banshee, trying to bite me (nearly suceeded). Put to bed early.

Day 2
The morning wasn't good I was still a bitch, until he realised he was going to school with me as 17yo had gone in for 6am swimming. He wouldn't back down and stormed off at school. I followed him and gave him the option of being collected at 1.30pm, tidy his room and do his homework or stay at school till 17yo finished at 4pm and still come home to do homework. He opted for 1.30pm.

'Please help me tidy your room.'

You see living in South Africa it's hot and when there are sweet papers in the room the insects tend to make home in there. 'Ypou pick up the stuff from the floor and I'll put your clothes away'

'OK, can I have my laptop back after that?' 'No, but you can watch TV when it's done'

So an hour later after he insisted doing it himself he had spent his time on his laptop that he found and hadn't done his homework or tidied his room.

So what do you do? Well I challenged...I gave him the option of doing it now instead of watchingthe TV, we would do it together and he turned feral again. I had to get 17yo from school so Granny said to go and she'd keep an eye on him.

I returned an hour later, hubby was home, he'd been locked out the house, Granny was unaware that 12yo had turned the remote access switch to the garage off, locked and removed all keys from the doors and had taken my laptop and hidden it in revenge.

I walked away and left hubby to deal with it. We'd already decided to play good cop, bad cop with him on this and had asked 17yo to stay out of it. Hubby said that he would 'talk' mum round re the school trip if he started to show he was sorry for his behaviour. 12 yo sulked and went to bed early, he opted not to eat with us and we didn't push it.

Day 3
Well this morning we had a changed child, until he lied to me about having his school card and I'm afraid I snapped, shouted and slammed the door. I collected him from school at 1.30pm and he asked for his laptop back, I said no, he didn't scream and shout, he just picked up the brush and swept the lounge, he emptied the dishwasher and asked 'have I been good enough to get my laptop back?' I told him it was not my decision, it was hubbies and he needed to demonstrate he could behave himself over the weekend and IF he was allowed to go on his school trip he could have it back but his time on it would be limited and only after chores and homework are complete.

We've had a lovely afternoon and an evening at the golf club for a meal with friends, we walked home chatting, he took himself off to bed at 9pm.

I wish I didn't get drawn into his pettiness, I wish I could learn to walk away and not over react, but I can't. Maybe this is where he gets his temper from, I don't know, but I'm standing my ground, I mean business this time. it's not acceptable for a 12yo to swear, shout and physically attack me, hide things, destroy things and generally upset everyone else in the house.

I blame the internet, facebook and online games and his inability to share. But I'm the parent, I'm the responsible one, I'm in charge and when he does earn his things back there are going to be big changes and it starts by changing the WEP code on the internet so he has to ask me to sign him in and I can monitor and regulate his usage so we don't have any more incidents like the above and he doesn't get what he wants all the time and if he won't share next time we're out then I shall just walk away from the table, pay the bill, leave the food untouched and take him home.

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