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Blatant disobedience

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
My DS will be 12 in a month. There's a big problem at the moment with blatant disobedience. I have a rule in the mornings that he cannot watch tv until he has let the dogs out into the garden, fed them and unloaded the dishwasher.

Every morning recently I am coming down to find the tv on (he turns it off but doesn't unplug it when he hears me coming) and the dogs not fed and the dishwasher left untouched. I completely lost it this morning and yelled at him because on top of that, this week he has had his tv privileges taken away after an incident at the weekend.

I don't have that many rules at all and the reason for this one is that if it wasn't in place it would end up being 4pm and the dogs unfed and the dishwasher untouched.

Short of buying a lock for the living room door so he can't get in there in the mornings, does anyone have ideas as this is driving me mad, it disrupts the whole day as other things then get left undone.
post #2 of 9
I'd get a lock for the living room door.

ok, ok, U don't want 2 hear that.

You could sit him down & quiz him why he's not doing what you've asked. Keep his butt on the sofa until he explains himself at length (you keep mostly quiet just try to listen & listen for as long as possible).

Then when he's run out of things to say, you Explain why it's important to you 2 get those jobs early, try 2 get him 2 agree your reasons are good ones, & ask if he can think of a better way to get things done (better for him, especially).

Assuming all that failed & I couldn't get more out of him than grunts by way of reply, I guess I'd look at what else motivates him -- allowance, lifts, whatever.
post #3 of 9
You could remove the TV. Or saran-wrap it or something.

Then read Hold On To Your Kids. Because ultimately, you need to get past inventing punishments-- you need to get to a place where he wants to please you and cooperate. This book is about attachment parenting beyond the baby and toddler years, up into the teen years and beyond. It's a very important book for our times because nowadays peer and media pressure is intense and encourages children to detach from their parents and rebel.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
The thing is, I've done the sitting down with him thing and going why it's important etc and he agreed and to do things this way was very much his choice! But I will try that again and we'll see what happens.

I try hard not to punish, I am very relaxed and don't do it often at all. Peer pressure and media pressure is not an issue as he is home educated and does not watch any kids tv, he watches documentaries and nature and science programmes as that is what he likes. He hates typical kids programmes and the attitudes in them, so that is good.

For now, tonight I have removed the Sky viewing card so he won't be able to watch anything tomorrow if he does turn it on. This is a fairly new habit which has actually only arisen since we got the dogs in April. He has to be up at 7am to let them out and previously to this he was sleeping until 9/10am. He gets up without any problems as he has set his own alarm but it seems to have set up a habit of letting the dogs out, wandering into the sitting room, turning on the tv, letting them back in and then sitting with them in the sitting room watching tv rather than feeding them.

It just feels like we are fighting all the time at the moment, it gets better and then worse again. He did admit through tears, at the weekend that he finds it hard to care for the dogs each day, but he loves them so much. He knew the deal when we got them, we had previously had a dog when he was a bit younger, and letting them out in the garden, feeding them twice a day and brushing them (only two little dogs) really takes no more than 45 minutes altogether, if that.
post #5 of 9
Does he have issues with impulse control in general?
post #6 of 9
Originally Posted by feistyblue View Post
It just feels like we are fighting all the time at the moment, it gets better and then worse again.
If this is the case, then yes, you need that book. This is not good or healthy.

FWIW, I was not allowed to watch TV and I was homeschooled, and I had a poor attachment with my mom as a teen. This even though she attachment-parented me as a young child. If she had read that book, she might have understood much better what to do.
post #7 of 9
It is very easy to fall into power struggles at this age. He is hormonal and probably feeling out of sorts too.

Depending on a LOT of mitigating factors, there are times when I have effectively erased a power struggle by completely surrending all indications of wanting power or control. I know when this is likely to work, and it almost always does, but you have to have a sense of when it's going to be effective. It is totally different than capitulating out of exhuasting or in a spirit of defeat. It is more like...I'm showing that what matters to me most is getting back on the same team?

In this example, after going off on ds, I most likely would get up the next day early, and do all his chores for him. I would not point it out. I would not say one word. I'd keep doing the chores until he came to me to talk about it. With my own ds this kind of total surrender of the struggle on my end does wonders. WONDERS. It is almost like magic. He becomes very contrite, very apologetic, very cooperative, and starts doing whatever it was he needed do in the first place, with a good attitude, which is what I wanted in the first place. It is win-win for us.

FWIW, this also works with husbands.
post #8 of 9
Doesn't work with my husband, lol. Mine genuinely believes that I just don't mind any more.
Doesn't sound like a power struggle to me, tbh, just good ol' fashioned pushing the boundaries.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Yes I do think it is a pushing the boundaries thing. It's just him and I and he has a huge say in 99% of everything that happens to him and in his life.

Anyway, we had a chat and I came up with the idea of him feeding the dogs and doing the dishwasher by 7.30 and then he is free to watch tv until 9am when he must switch it off on weekdays to do his work/home school. He was very happy with this.

This has worked fine every single day so far and he has kept to it perfectly and it fits in with how my days need to run too, so fingers crossed it stays that way.

Oh and I don't not allow him to watch tv generally, I just didn't want him watching it rather than doing his chores.

All his privileges have been reinstated as well and so far so good. Let's hope it lasts. I've read a million and one AP/GP books including ones for older children and teenagers and for whatever reason, none of the ideas seem to work well with my DS. I suspect it is probably because 99% of the time he is incredibly laid back, easy going and well behaved so the books talk about all these situations that just aren't a feature of our every day life. We're very close, very attached and generally have a very good relationship.

Thank you for all your responses.
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