Next month my 3 boys will all be teenagers, only for 2 weeks and by the time the 19yo flies out here, he will have turned 20 over night somewhere over Africa.
My 12 year old, soon to be a teen, is driving me and hubby to distraction.
He’s in trouble at school (unfinished class work, no homework) and he’s rude and argumentative at home, to the extent he swears at us, denies all knowledge of misdemeanours, even when caught red handed, refuses to help with house hold chores and is often found biting, kicking and screaming at anyone that comes within a 5 meter radius.
It’s not helped by hubby challenging, in that tone of voice and when I step in to help, yes I think I’m helping I make it worse.
So today hubby and I discussed how to sort out the problem with son, using things and not putting them away.
‘Where’s my tool box?’ son goes into denial, I haven’t had it, it wasn’t me, which is followed with ‘I’ve found it in your room, I’ve spent 30 minutes looking for it among all your crap and half of its missing and why is my saw being used to cut through your desk?’
Tripping a child up with a question you already know the answer to, isn’t helpful. My son reacts in a negative way because he’s been caught out and knows he’s in trouble.
But just what is the issue here?
Hubby and I have decided the aim is to find tool box, locate all the missing items, fix the desk and for son to help.
So we tell son ‘when your programme has finished the TV is going off as you have some chores to do, which are (then list adding mum/dad will be helping you) TV will not be back on and mum/dad can’t get on with your tea until we have completed these chores.
So off goes hubby on the tool box quest and within 5 minutes all hell breaks loose, hubby says he can’t cope and goes to light the Braai. Mum sighs and gets off her arse and tackles the issue, patience is also wearing thin, and tools are located and put away.
I sat with son on his bedroom floor and told him what he needed to do, I passed him things and together we got the tool box sorted, notice the keyword was ‘together’ I then informed son as he had wasted my time he was to help me with hanging the washing up and emptying the dish washer. I outlined who was doing what and took the opportunity to discuss why we got so cross/upset with him and how he could manage these incidents in the future. I also allowed him to talk to me about how we as his parents could handle situations better and basically it’s because his brother does nothing and is always mean to him. OK sometimes this is true, but I explained that we were dealing with his behaviour and no one else’s.
As a result within an hour instead of the usual whole day it takes, hubby has the Braai lit and is sat reading his book, I get to blog and tweet, eldest son has been watching cricket and has been helping hubby with the Braai, the house is calm, son is now sat back in front of the TV and more importantly our aim has been accomplished with minimum fuss, stress free and no sanctions issued.
We have the tool box, complete and back in its rightful place. Which is now locked away to prevent son using it without asking permission.