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I'm the disrespectful one???

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 
So I need some help her. DS is 13, he is a really good kid, usually super respectful, good listener, etc. Well lately he has gotten on this kick where whenever I ask him to do something, or am annoyed with having to ask him 5,000 times, he gets attitude and I tell him not to get attitude with me and he tells me that I am being disrespectful :
My issue here is that we are big on respect in my house and we talk about it a lot. But he is misunderstanding what disrespect means and is using it as an excuse for being mouthy and having a bad attitude.
I tried to explain this to him, but more and more he is driving me mad with it.
I try not to resort to the "I'm the mom, I will talk how i want" but I am on the verge because unless I am letting him do what he wants, I am disrespectful.
any ideas or is it something he is just going to have to accept?
post #2 of 58
Can you think of different ways to do the asking so that you don't end up i the same place?

When I started having trouble with 'nagging' I didn't speak to them unless I could look them right in the eye when I was asking them anything. Any problem with what I was asking was addressed there and then, the expectation of the job being done within a certain time frame or after xyz was negotiated if necessary and that was enough.

Is your ds upset with the kind of things you are asking him to do as wel as the asking? Is there the possibility of negotiating which tasks you need him to do and which tasks he can choose to do for you regularly then plan to do them without you feeling the need to nag?
post #3 of 58
I ask him to explain how he feels you are being disrespectful.
post #4 of 58
Yep... you need see if he can tell you what he is experiencing as disrespectful. When you talk to him try to use statements about yourself, and how you are feeling about/when "xyz" happens. If you can stop yourself from saying "you can't" or "you always..." or "you never..." it will go a long way to ending instant defensive stuff from him.

I see you mentioned that you are trying to get out of the idea that because you are older than him that you can talk however you want to. That is a very very good thing to try and break away from!
post #5 of 58
"Yep... you need see if he can tell you what he is experiencing as disrespectful. When you talk to him try to use statements about yourself, and how you are feeling about/when "xyz" happens."

This, of course, assumes that he is really feeling disrespected and not simply manipulating/using it as a method to get the result he wants from Mom.
post #6 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by bczmama View Post

This, of course, assumes that he is really feeling disrespected and not simply manipulating/using it as a method to get the result he wants from Mom.
It definitely does assume that. Probably because overall I have not experienced teens being manipulative. I've got no doubt that some can be. They are human and humans can do that sometimes.

Asking him to explain it will make things pretty clear either way though.
post #7 of 58
The more hormones my son gets the more careful I am getting. I think his developing minds and body has made him very "distractable". I found that eye contact, touch, et is more important when I get his attention.

I have found that getting interupted is even harder for him to deal with. I find that if I say "Get to a stopping point and do XYZ" or something like "Can you save that so after you get done with XYZ you can continue" gets better results. It says I respect what you are doing as valuable to you but I also need something from you.
post #8 of 58
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input ladies.
Yesterday we had another run in it went something like this...
"I need you to put the dishes in the dishwasher before you go back on the computer"
"Why do I have to do it? Mia should do it when she gets home from gymnastics"
"I will give your sister another chore when she gets home but I need you to do the dishes so I can make dinner"
(Headshake, mumbling under breath) walks past me and lays on the couch.
"what are you doing?"
"I am resting, I am tired from school"
"It you choose not to do the dishes, you will choose to be in your room for the rest of the evening"
"I don't care"
"I'm really disappointed with your choice and if you choose not to do what you are asked again, some of your privledges will have to disappear."


And that is how it goes.
dh did the dishes and ds was in his room for the evening.

What am I doing wrong?
I really made a concerted effort to be nice and to be firm.
I guess maybe he is just testing me. I am going to take him out tonight and talk with him one on one as long as there are no run-ins. I am going to specifically ask him to give me examples of me being disrespectful to him.

Also, as a side note, he goes to his dad's every other weekend and once a week in the evening. It is largely fun-fun-fun over there. In fact he does all of his homework at home before he goes so they can "hang out". I wonder how much effect this has as I am the bad guy becuase we have chores. I don't necessarily blame his dad becuase the time he does have with them he wants to actually be with them. But it sets up this unrealistic idea that at dad's it's better because he doesn't have to do chores.

I dont' know.
post #9 of 58
I hate chores and if you offered me an out I'd take it.

I don't rule with a rod of iron and our house is by no means spick and span but there is an expectation of everyone that some jobs just need to be done and I can't (or won't because my life is too short) do them all so everyone does a bit of everything and it all gets done less painfully.

We have talked about this since they were little so it's largely a non-issue now. For us the choice is about when and how to do something or trade one job for another perhaps: not to choose not to do it at all.

Do you talk about teamwork, responsibility and kindness to eachother as well as respect?
post #10 of 58
In our house we do not have set chores ... I also will just ask when I need something done. But if said askee does not wish to do said task ... oh well. But if you have things that you must have done, I wonder if your ds would benefit from set duties? - Ds empties the dishwasher every day at 4 -
post #11 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by anasmommy View Post
Thanks for the input ladies.
Yesterday we had another run in it went something like this...
"what are you doing?"
"I am resting, I am tired from school"
"It you choose not to do the dishes, you will choose to be in your room for the rest of the evening"
"I don't care"
"I'm really disappointed with your choice and if you choose not to do what you are asked again, some of your privledges will have to disappear."

You come at this from the line of thinking that says "I am the adult and you must do what I say. If you don't do what I say, I will punish you." He told you a variety of things in this exchange, but you didn't really hear them (or you heard them, but you didn't listen. There's a difference )

Here's what you know:

1. You want him to do the dishes
2. He doesn't want to do them

I might have said:
"I feel like it's important for all of us to pitch in around the house because we all live here. What do you think about that?"

"I sometimes feel that you are passing on a lot of chores/jobs that need to be done. I hear that you are tired, and I want to respect that. I am often tired too. I think working together helps keep the load less heavy for any one person in our family. Do you feel that way or ? "

"What would be helpful to me is if we could talk about working around the house openly, and find something that works for both of us."

"Okay, a rest is fine. After your rest could you deal with the dishes?"


Maybe there are specific times that aren't so great for him. Like if you asked me to dust in the morning (or do anything other than breathe and drink coffee lol) I'm not going to be into that. Maybe right after school is not the time for him.



Quote:
dh did the dishes and ds was in his room for the evening.

What am I doing wrong?
I really made a concerted effort to be nice and to be firm.
I guess maybe he is just testing me. I am going to take him out tonight and talk with him one on one as long as there are no run-ins. I am going to specifically ask him to give me examples of me being disrespectful to him.
What do you feel was accomplished by making him stay in his room all night? (Not trying to be snarky at you. I am genuinely asking.) Do you feel like he learned anything about you or your thoughts on him and work around the house? Or do you think it just sets up more resentment and apathy? The punishment, IMO, only does the latter.

I think it's a great idea to go out and talk. I hope some good stuff happens for you guys!
post #12 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by anasmommy View Post
Thanks for the input ladies.
Yesterday we had another run in it went something like this...
"I need you to put the dishes in the dishwasher before you go back on the computer"
"Why do I have to do it? Mia should do it when she gets home from gymnastics"
"I will give your sister another chore when she gets home but I need you to do the dishes so I can make dinner"
(Headshake, mumbling under breath) walks past me and lays on the couch.
"what are you doing?"
"I am resting, I am tired from school"
"It you choose not to do the dishes, you will choose to be in your room for the rest of the evening"
"I don't care"
"I'm really disappointed with your choice and if you choose not to do what you are asked again, some of your privledges will have to disappear."

What am I doing wrong?
I really made a concerted effort to be nice and to be firm.
IMO, you *are* being too nice. You're trying to be friends with him, when it's time to enforce some hard truths about family. In this instance, he totally got out of doing what he didn't want to do, AND he got to stay in his nice comfy room so he didn't have to deal with you.

How about asking him to swap?
"Please put away the dishes"
"I don't wanna"
"Well I don't want to make dinner, but I have to. Life sucks that way. Want to switch? You make food and I'll clean up."
See what happens....

I offered that possibility to DSS and even though he's 10, he took it, because he hates doing the dishes THAT MUCH. He's learning how to cook AND learning that there are things in life that, though they suck, have to be done. Going to work sucks. Homework sucks. Cleaning the house sucks. Paying bills suck. What are you going to do about it? You just do it.

Your family is a cooperative of sorts, bringing together people of different skill set and abilities; you all contribute in one way or another to the proper functioning of the household. You also love each other and try to do nice things for one another. He's got to learn this. If he wants to treat your family like a boarding house where he comes and goes as he pleases, then he can start paying rent. Harsh but realistic.

An alternative:
He doesn't want to do dishes. Whenever he uses a dish and leaves it dirty, stick it on his bed. Don't wash any of his clothing. Don't give him any of the dinners you make. I give it a week or two, and then he'll start contributing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anasmommy View Post
I guess maybe he is just testing me. I am going to take him out tonight and talk with him one on one as long as there are no run-ins. I am going to specifically ask him to give me examples of me being disrespectful to him.
Of course he's testing you, especially since his dad is Mr. I'm So Fun, you get to be the nag. He's trying to see how much of an ass he can be before you pop. The whole "disrepect" thing is just the latest catch phrase he learned that makes him feel empowered and gives him the opportunity to grate on your nerves...teens LOVE that!

DSS used to compare our house with his mother's (where he doesn't have to do a thing, and once dinner is done, he can throw his fork down on his plate, stand up, burp, and walk away to go play video games ). We eventually got him to see that although mom's house is fun, it's ALWAYS a free for all, everything is misplaced, lost and late, and no one cares. After a while, he decided he'd much rather live with DH and me, even though we're strict, because his life is more peaceful.

Don't let up; good luck!
post #13 of 58
Quote:
"It you choose not to do the dishes, you will choose to be in your room for the rest of the evening"
"I don't care"
"I'm really disappointed with your choice and if you choose not to do what you are asked again, some of your privledges will have to disappear."
The choices you are giving him are not real choices, do not entail any real power, and he knows that. If you gave me these choices, I would feel disrespected.

A real choice would look like this:

"I need to start dinner at 5:00. Can we make a plan for what time you will wash the dishes, so that I have a clear space to work in when I go in there to cook?

Or, "The dishes have to be done by 5:00 so that I can cook. What time will you get started?"
post #14 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Halfasianmomma View Post
IMO, you *are* being too nice. You're trying to be friends with him, when it's time to enforce some hard truths about family. In this instance, he totally got out of doing what he didn't want to do, AND he got to stay in his nice comfy room so he didn't have to deal with you.

How about asking him to swap?
"Please put away the dishes"
"I don't wanna"
"Well I don't want to make dinner, but I have to. Life sucks that way. Want to switch? You make food and I'll clean up."
See what happens....

I offered that possibility to DSS and even though he's 10, he took it, because he hates doing the dishes THAT MUCH. He's learning how to cook AND learning that there are things in life that, though they suck, have to be done. Going to work sucks. Homework sucks. Cleaning the house sucks. Paying bills suck. What are you going to do about it? You just do it.

Your family is a cooperative of sorts, bringing together people of different skill set and abilities; you all contribute in one way or another to the proper functioning of the household. You also love each other and try to do nice things for one another. He's got to learn this. If he wants to treat your family like a boarding house where he comes and goes as he pleases, then he can start paying rent. Harsh but realistic.

An alternative:
He doesn't want to do dishes. Whenever he uses a dish and leaves it dirty, stick it on his bed. Don't wash any of his clothing. Don't give him any of the dinners you make. I give it a week or two, and then he'll start contributing.



Of course he's testing you, especially since his dad is Mr. I'm So Fun, you get to be the nag. He's trying to see how much of an ass he can be before you pop. The whole "disrepect" thing is just the latest catch phrase he learned that makes him feel empowered and gives him the opportunity to grate on your nerves...teens LOVE that!

DSS used to compare our house with his mother's (where he doesn't have to do a thing, and once dinner is done, he can throw his fork down on his plate, stand up, burp, and walk away to go play video games ). We eventually got him to see that although mom's house is fun, it's ALWAYS a free for all, everything is misplaced, lost and late, and no one cares. After a while, he decided he'd much rather live with DH and me, even though we're strict, because his life is more peaceful.

Don't let up; good luck!
Your post is contradictory. You say that a family is a cooperative and yet you give examples of dealing with these issues that will result in the total opposite of cooperation. Leaving dirty dishes in their room or refusing to wash their clothes only proves that parents can act even more childish than their so called children.

It certainly isn't a good example of modeling the kind of behavior and attitude you want to get from your child. It;s the equivalent of "teaching" a child to not bite by biting them back.

Your post also shows a total lack of respect for teens.
post #15 of 58
Different strokes for different folks. If we all agreed, life would be boring

I didn't propose to implement both solutions at once or closely followed. I'd start with a negotiation of some kind based on the premise that a) dinner needs to be made and b) dishes need to be done, or at least organized/gotten out of the way/put in a corner somewhere to be dealt with later. That's the reality. The reality is when the dishes are dirty, they need to be washed; the reality isn't that when your dishes are dirty you go to your room and someone else does them for you. There are obviously alternative to how one deals with that reality. Maybe mother and son can take a 20 minute break together and chill, and THEN get stuff done, or maybe son can do dishes as soon as he gets home so it's done already, or maybe they can all agree to have toast and jam for dinner that night and to deal with the kitchen tomorrow...something can be worked out. But the main idea is that everyone's got to do something for the household to function and for needs to be met.

The hard-core alternative is just that: an alternative when all else fails. When any member of the household slacks off or stops functioning altogether, things fall apart and everyone suffers for it. If that person slacks off temporarily due to illness or whatnot, everyone else picsk up the slack for while. If child/teen/adult repeatedly refuses to function as a contributing member of a family, then that person can deal with the consequences of their decision. If you give nothing, you get nothing in return AND there are unpleasant consequences to deal with.

This is how my family functions and everyone, precocious-teen included, feels respected and heard. IMO it is disrespectful to one's child to teach him/her that reality isn't something other than it isn't; when they grow up, life isn't going to be nice and let them off easy.

But as I said, to each his own
post #16 of 58
Actually at MDC it's not to each their own. The UA outlines that this website upholds certain parenting practices and philosophies.
post #17 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Halfasianmomma View Post
An alternative:
He doesn't want to do dishes. Whenever he uses a dish and leaves it dirty, stick it on his bed. Don't wash any of his clothing. Don't give him any of the dinners you make. I give it a week or two, and then he'll start contributing.
I find this approach to be anything but respectful. I would be extremely sad and frustrated if someone I loved/was supposed to love me treated me this way. Any "lesson" or message would likely be lost in the resentment I would feel. The golden rule comes to mind for me here. If I wouldn't want it done to me, I probably shouldn't be doing it to someone else.
post #18 of 58
I can't even imagine refusing to give a child meals I cooked. As far as I'm concerned that is abusive.
post #19 of 58
I think that sometimes kids don't really get how their behavior or lack of assistance impacts others. At least in my experience, talking about it doesn't always help them understand. Action does. And I think you can take action without being mean or revengeful about it.

For example, my 13 year old used to hoard her dirty laundry and then dump several loads into the hamper and expect them to be done the next day. I politely explained to her why this wasn't possible several times, but she continued to do it and then be angry with me when the shirt she wanted wasn't clean.

Finally, I gathered all her dirty laundry from the hampers and it put it in a basket on her bed. I left a nice note that said, "Desta, I can't get all this done in one day. After school I'll show you how to do a load of laundry. Love, Momma."

She didn't want to learn to do laundry, but I showed her anyway. I then told her that I am happy to wash her stuff for her if she puts her dirty clothes in the hamper on a daily basis, but if she hides them under her bed until she's out of clothes, she has to wash them herself.

Sometimes she hoards her clothes and has to wash them herself. She gets annoyed, but I stay out of it. She knows the drill now.

I'm also a big fan of the "After you do this, I can do this" line. For example, Desta will suggest something for dinner and I'll say, "Sure. After you unload the dishwasher (her chore anyway), I can reload it with the dirty stuff and then I will have enough room to make dinner." A few times she wandered off and didn't unload the dishwasher. We had peanut butter and jelly for dinner. She knows the drill now.

I try to stay pleasant and action-oriented. My daughter has some cognitive deficits that make it very hard for her to understand things unless they are extremely concrete. I make sure that my "consequences" are not just me trying to show her who is boss but that they spread some of the burden to her, because, honestly, if she doesn't feel the pain, so to speak, she's not moved to action.

I think that there are plenty of kids (people) who are like that ... my dh is one of them. I jokingly tell him, "If it's not a problem for you, it's not a problem!" Verbal processing is not his strong point. Telling him about it doesn't sink it. Letting him experience a bit of my situation does.

Blah blah blah. Anyway, in the OP's situation, I would have said, "Ok, after you unload the dishwasher, I can start dinner. You can choose to rest before or after you unload." If he didn't unload, I'd have served something simple that didn't require clean dishes or counter space to prepare. That's the reality ... no clean dishes, no counter space = no way to prepare a nice meal.

dm
post #20 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa View Post
I find this approach to be anything but respectful. I would be extremely sad and frustrated if someone I loved/was supposed to love me treated me this way. Any "lesson" or message would likely be lost in the resentment I would feel. The golden rule comes to mind for me here. If I wouldn't want it done to me, I probably shouldn't be doing it to someone else.
Yeah, buuuuuut... If we're talking golden rule here, it wasn't right for him to ignore what was asked of him. Seriously, how many things a day do our kids ask of us? And mostly we comply, cheerfully even. I agree with your point, but it's a two way street, yk?

Ok, so I've had that same conversation. More than once. If I'm not in a great mood my response is usually, "Yeah, I'm tired too. I don't feel like cooking dinner, doing your laundry, helping you with xyz and yadda yadda. So I'm going to go _insert some random thing here_. I guess when you're hungry you can go make yourself a sandwich." Then I go about my business. Nine times out of ten, the job gets done and they sheepishly come apologize. If they end up having a sandwich once out of ten times, so what? Nobody melted down and eventually the job gets done anyway, on their terms, no fuss, no tears.

The other response is "Yeah, I'm tired too...etc. Why don't you come with me so we can knock this out together? Then we can go do _____."

It is extremely rare that I get a flat out refusal. Whining, yes, I do get that, but it's usually good natured. We aren't perfect, by a long shot, but I've found that making them aware that mom is a person too has gone a long way in smoothing out the wrinkles in our everyday life.
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