ok...WWYD? 13yo issues! A tad long sorry! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 01-03-2010, 08:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 13 yo son has been pushing pushing pushing lately. I know some of it's typical kid stuff. Perhaps it's my hormones, my ego, or maybe I'm normal. Looking for some outside perspective here....

There's a few issues, but I'm going to post the two hot spots for the sake of condensing.
1. Facebook. I'm not one that lets her kids video game, tv etc frequently and they don't even own cell phones yet. To which I am sure I'm the backwards mean depriving mom-meh-the things they "think" they need.

That being said I let DS make FB account. He understands I check it frequently and have even made him delete a friend because of her racy profile pic. It's not a "free reign" thing...He did well for a while. Then he started doing one of the quizzes and it was deemed inappropriate by mom. The app question was "are you perverted?" It included a picture that is either a lamp or a crotch shot of a woman...basically it's one of those eye optical illusions. Still, not appropriate in my opinion.

DS sent this question to my uncle. I was pissed when my mother called me to point it out. Another question from the same app asked my (60 something year old) step mother if my she would ever loose her virginity.

This was after he got in trouble for jumping into an adult conversation between his friends mother and I about guitar lessons for the boys and splitting the cost. Granted it was his friend's mom and the lessons were for the boys...but he was told to butt out, then had the balls to snap back that I shouldn't be posting conversations I don't want him in on FB where it's public...and yeah, he put that up in the conversation for all to see as well. Excuse us for not moving our conversation to PM's. In short, he was grounded from FB. ...but has logged on since then. I reminded him absolutely NO logging in that I was going to delete his account if it didn't stop. I see this morning that while he has been on visitation at his dads over the weekend...he logged in and accepted a couple friend invites etc. Outright not going to follow what I asked him not to do. Now I feel in a pickle I kind of hate to delete his account-there's no way I know to just suspend it...but at the same time I feel slapped in the face with the total disregard to my boundaries and think he should have to start over at some point when he can handle it better and respect our rules.

2. DS was told nothing you got for Christmas or presents (birthday easter etc) anytime here at home are to go to dad's for visitation. they get broken, lost w/e and it becomes my responsibility to fix/repair/replace things I purchased for use here at home...(ie: new guitar the he's in love with...my ex is the type to thrash such items and not give a crap...no way in hell is it going over there) DS is pissed that it's "his guitar" but I won't let him take it. I told him it's 48 hours you'll live, (they go every other weekend-a whopping four days a month total) explained in detail why nothing goes back and forth...and the terd snuck out his new IPOD player to dad's house. Likely will come back loaded with music I don't allow. The music isn't so much the issue as the defiance-not to mention it will be registered at his dad's house/accounts etc.

I'm just not entirely sure how to handle the lying/outright defiance.

As I was sifting through his top drawer (to see if he did in fact take anything to dads house) I see that he has a couple Christmas toys that were for our one year old in his drawer. He's been known to take the other kids toys-they all get mixed up at times, but this to me just seemed like cherry on the pie of the outright defiant attitude. It's like he's saying he's going to do and take what he wants as he's flipping me off along the way! I'm so irked right now!!! This is not even delving into the attitude he gives towards his brothers, the pissy BS over asking him to clean his room, or do the kitchen...etc etc.

I've been contemplating how to handle this. DH (son's step dad) is fuming besides himself as I was in tears this weekend over how slapped in the face I feel. I know it's teenage hormones in a way and that he does love me, but I can't help but take it personal. Sometimes we have these great days and I feel so close to him, we talk about anything and joke and have a great relationship and then I get this 'tude... wtf?

They are coming home from visitation tonight and I just don't even know where to start. I don't want to yell yet again or ground him to his bed yet again...none of this is working and I feel a little lost! Part of me wants to just take everything away but I can't help but think it's just going to aggravate the attitude. I certainly don't want to do nothing either.

If you've read this far, I thank you for letting me share. I may be a mom of many but this is my first teenage "fun" and I value the outlook of other moms who've been there done that. I think part of it is the need for confirmation that yeah, Crispie, you have to be a b!#ch...or perhaps I'm looking for some ideas of something to do differently. Just a bit lost and overwhelmed!

Thanks for reading!

Mama to 4 Boys & One baby Girl! My DH co-sleeps! (with the couch) I'm a Student Midwife!
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#2 of 7 Old 01-03-2010, 09:48 PM
 
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Well, I'm not sure this is exactly what you wish to hear, but this is how I see it. I know some things here are directly related to blended families and visitations and such, and others of course the age.

I think there are two reasons kids break the rules: #1. the kids deserve more freedom than they have, OR #2. the kids test the reasonable limits. I really really think it's mostly the case #1 here.

* I think it's too much to ask a teenager not to take his brand new guitar and his ipod for the weekend. We are in a blended family situation, and dsd lives with us. All gifts for her are truly gifts - no limits. She is welcome to take it anywhere anytime. It's hers to use. In your case, if it is a gift for him, then it is his to use, and if it gets broken - then there is his natural consequence. It doesn't get replaced. I could see your rule being useful when a kid is very small, but by 13 it seems too controlling to insist on EVERYTHING to stay at your house, especially the i-pod.

* I completely get the inappropriate comments / friends thing. The consequence is - he gets no FB at your house. That seems reasonable and enough. When he decides he wants it back badly enough, he will make a choice to stick to the rules you set.

* I would be really upset over taking little siblings toys (what in the world is that all about??). I would insist he comes up with a strategy to prevent this from happening again, and consequences you both can agree to. It's unacceptable.

* At the same time, if I were in his shoes, I would feel completely violated if you were going through my things, and it's not something to look down lightly upon. The only defense for going through child's stuff is concern for safety. That's it. At least that's how I see things, so be prepared to defend (or apologize?) for your own actions as well.

* FB rules have to be universal for your house and his dad's house. If you cannot enforce the rules at both places, it will be more reasonable to let it go. We cannot force dsd's mom to accept our view of things, that means we allow her to set the limits over there, EVEN if we disagree. That includes internet. Our rules are for our house. If it matters that much - then you discuss it with the other parent, and if they refuse to follow through - there is not much you can do.

* If I were in your shoes, I would sit down and as calmly as possible would discuss how his actions made you feel slapped and ignored, and how you want to change things. Ask him for advice on how does he think this should be handled?

Good luck. Teenage years can be very hard for everyone. Throw in blended family - and it can turn into a nightmare! I might not agree with how you approach things, but believe me, you have my sympathy, and I am not at all sure I have it right. All of these are just personal views that I'm sharing with you, since you asked for perspective. Hang in there.

New endeavor coming soon...
Raising Alice in Wonderland (DSD, 17), and in love with a Superman
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#3 of 7 Old 01-03-2010, 10:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for your response. I think a lot of my control issues with this one in particular are because every time I try and loosen up, he proves that he can't handle it (ie: the facebook thing) and it's not like I didn't give him several chances, and discussions about what's ok and what's not. If I don't look in his drawers, I'd never find the one year old's toys that I've been looking for since Christmas day...or all the washrags that are missing from the kitchen after laundry day for 2 weeks until I loose it and go on an all out search. I keep waiting for the day when he doesn't do this crap to loosen up the control on my end. Right now I just feel like I can't even give him an inch or he is going to take off full speed in the wrong direction. The more I don't say or don't do, the worse this stuff gets with him...I do know that I have to let go in order for him to gain freedom and be responsible with it. I have to not expect perfection from the gate. At the same time I need to loosen up in areas where he can learn from his mistakes without crapping all over other people (his brothers or facebook family members) This is all easier said than done.

The gift thing is really hard...part of it has to do more with his dad/dad's house than it does the stuff. His dad also has a rule that stuff over there stays there. That's not the reason why I imparted our rule...but I couldn't help but ask my son if he cries and pouts and gives his dad an attitude over his stuff over there not coming home here? Of course he doesn't even ask-he wants it to stay there.

For the most part-my ex and I get along. For the most part... They used to have more internet security etc than we do here. I think it is wise to talk to him about the FB thing, I just wasn't sure if it was really necessary. I was along the line of thought that if you were asked not to go on FB at a friends house overnight because you were grounded, you would abide by that...why can't you restrain yourself at your dads? At what point does he start getting honest with his dad by himself and I don't have to give his dad the updates and all the above? It makes me feel even more like a control freak having to sit down with my ex and go over this stuff just for a 2 day visit. It was one area that I was trying to loosen up.

For now, I changed the password on the FB account. If he really wants to get into it, he could use the forgot password link and go change it all through his email but it was the best I could come up with other than flat out deleting everything...which still seems a bit harsh. I've barely talked to him since he's been home, we definitely need to talk. I'm just at the point where I'm either going to cry or talk myself up into a rage. Neither would be of much use to him or me. (damn these hormones aren't helping from my end either!) DH and I agreed that staying on the quiet side would be better than raging, so we are kind of walking around in silence at the moment.

This is hard.

Mama to 4 Boys & One baby Girl! My DH co-sleeps! (with the couch) I'm a Student Midwife!
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#4 of 7 Old 01-03-2010, 10:43 PM
 
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Crispie: when I was dealing with my daughter's teenage horrible years (they were quite a bit more severe than what you have described with your son, take heart!), I tried many "solutions." Finally, someone recommended I get a book called How To Deal With Your Acting Up Teenager. An inelegant title, yes, but an amazingly helpful book, and actually not just for teenagers, but everyone. The basic premise of this book is that teenagers need to learn how to be independent, functioning adults, and that they will inevitably makes mistakes along the way, but (big BUT) we, as parents, need to learn how to let go and allow that often frustrating process to occur. This book is not about learning some new method that will make your kid do what you feel is right for them, but rather about you learning to let go and let your kid make those mistakes and deal with the natural consequences. And as for the public FB conversation, I have to say that I agree with your son. He probably didn't express himself diplomatically, but he's right, it's a public forum and whatever is written on the walls or under status lines that everyone can see is fair game.
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#5 of 7 Old 01-04-2010, 12:27 AM
 
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I would let go a lot of the rules about his new things traveling back and forth between the houses. If it gets broken or forgotten at the other house, then he doesn't have it to use. By age 13, I really think he needs more freedom with his own things.

As for the "downloading innapropriate music"- it's just music. Yeah, some of it has violent or sexual lyrics that you don't want to listen to and would prefer that he didn't either, but it's not going to turn him into a violent kid. If he's becoming violent, he's got much bigger issues than what's on his ipod- and if he's overall "a good kid", then the music isn't going to turn him into a delinquint. I can see the point of not wanting him to blast music full of cuss words where preschoolers might hear it, but this is on his personal ipod. I suggest you let this go.

You and your ex need to be on the same page WRT Facebook. You could go ahead and completely delete his account (but then you run the risk of him opening up a new one that you don't have access to.) Another approach is to change his password when he's grounded, and then change it back to his normal password when the grounding is over.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#6 of 7 Old 01-04-2010, 04:23 AM
 
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I think you can deactivate a facebook account without completely deleting it. Its an option under privacy settings.

However, if I have a conversation that I don't want someone on my friends list reading or potentially butting into, I take it to PM. Leaving out in the open not only allows anyone to read and comment, but might be taken as implied that anyone is free to join in. If its private, take it to PM. That's why its there. The conversation was about him, I would have assumed he was free to comment.

The app thing, I'd probably be annoyed. However, without knowing what app it was, I might give him a little leniency. Some of them are pretty sneaky- either they look benign when you grant them access, or say, your friend posts something, you click on it out of curiosity, and suddenly its sending your friends lewd messages or spam. I've had it happen- it says something like "Your friend just answered a question in friendquiz!" so you click it just to see what it is and suddenly, you've got an issue. On the other hand if the app clearly says XXX Questions as its name, um, yeah, he'd be in bigger trouble. Not saying he shouldn't be getting a talking to regardless, just that I can see how it could happen, particularly if he's been sheltered from the internet.

As for the Dad's house rule and sifting through his drawers- at 13, he's old enough to either take care of his stuff, or face the consequences if he doesn't. The stuff was gifted to him, its his. You can explain WHY you think its a bad idea to take it to Dads, but in the end, its his stuff, not yours. I could understand if he was younger, but he's not. I'd simply tell him that if he brings it and it breaks, you're not paying to have it fixed. Then either he proves he's responsible, or it breaks and he has the consequence of not having his item and having to buy to fix or replace it on his own.

At this point, I'd ignore the issue with the babies toys. Who knows why he had it. There could be a reasonable explanation, maybe not. Simply give them back to his brother and say nothing. I think going through his drawers just to see if he brought items to his fathers house is a violation of his privacy at this age. It would be one thing if you suspected he was stealing, on drugs, etc. OR if you happened across them while, say, putting away his laundry or some legitimate chore. But you didn't. He made mistake in disobeying you, sure, but you made one in going through his stuff. I'd call it a truce and not mention it.
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#7 of 7 Old 01-04-2010, 12:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crispie View Post
This was after he got in trouble for jumping into an adult conversation between his friends mother and I about guitar lessons for the boys and splitting the cost. Granted it was his friend's mom and the lessons were for the boys...but he was told to butt out, then had the balls to snap back that I shouldn't be posting conversations I don't want him in on FB where it's public...and yeah, he put that up in the conversation for all to see as well.
I agree with your son 100%. This is something that I've explained my kids over and over. If you put a conversation in a public forum, it's public. And if you are conversations in public forums, other people can say what they want.

I think you want very different standards of behavoir for yourself and your child and that isn't going to work.

Quote:
2. DS was told nothing you got for Christmas or presents (birthday easter etc) anytime here at home are to go to dad's for visitation.
I disagree with. Either this stuff is his or it's not. If it's his, he can take it. I'd talk to him about where you draw the line for repairing/replacing stuff because he needs to be responsible for his own things.

At this stage, we only have a few years left to teach our kids to be functioning adults, so every chance we have to help them learn responsiblity we need to do so.

Quote:
As I was sifting through his top drawer (to see if he did in fact take anything to dads house)
Quit snoopying in your sons room. It's rude and controlling. BTW, if your real goal is for him to move to dad's house the minute he is old enough to make that choice for himself, you are the perfect path.

Quote:
I see that he has a couple Christmas toys that were for our one year old in his drawer. He's been known to take the other kids toys-they all get mixed up at times, but this to me just seemed like cherry on the pie of the outright defiant attitude.
I don't think this is defiance at all. I think this is emotional stuff playing out. I think it is very serious, but not in the same way you do. I suspect that your son has some issues with your new family. This isn't a discipline issue. The goal shouldn't be for him to not take toys, but for him to know that he is loved and accepted and just as important to you as he was before you went and got a new husband and new baby.

Have you considered family counseling?

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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