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click4it posted 8/19/2013 11:53 AM

Its "help solve today's teen problem" Monday. (if you dare).

My 16yo just started back to school last week and the fun begins. (grouchiness, moodiness, etc.)

So, with that comes the teen-toddler reactions.

Today is the last day for him to buy his PE clothes at school to dress tomorrow - cost $25. He did not remind me over the weekend to give him the cash (since they will not accept checks) so this morning I told him to use $20 of his own money (I have $5) and I will give him his money back when I get home from work.

His response: NO.

And this is not atypical. Whever I ask him to use his own money for something I normally pay for, he refuses and puts up a bit "fit".

So, I said ok, no sandwhich for you today. (My mom buys him a sandwhich from his favorite deli once a week - her treat, her idea.)

What do you suggest?

ajsmom posted 8/19/2013 11:59 AM


He goes without the clothes.

Does he not get you are paying him BACK?


GabyBaby posted 8/19/2013 12:05 PM

I agree with Ajsmom.

He failed to tell you in time to get the money.
He refused to front his own money (with the knowledge that you'd reimburse him within hours).

Let him feel some of the consequences (a zero for each period he isn't dressed properly for PE, etc).

When you're calm, I'd have a discussion about actions and consequences, with this as an example (and a few others if you can think of specific ones). It won't be the last time, but be consistent in letting him feel some of the consequences of bad decisions. You're helping him be a better man in the long run. (Though I will admit you're going to go gray in the process ).

GabyBaby posted 8/19/2013 12:07 PM

Oh- and I think that there should be an added consequence for his rude attitude toward you when you told him to use his money.

No allowance for a few weeks or no XBox for a while - since that's YOUR money being used to entertain him.

tushnurse posted 8/19/2013 12:42 PM

Definately,what AJ's mom says. I would back that up with a big dose of no phone when you are home. He needs to know that even though he's 16 you are still in charge.

He also needs to learn to plan ahead. Lets face it in 2 years you won't be by his side to help him out (if he goes away to school). When it's a clamer environment review ways to help him stay organized.

My 16yo is ADHD, so this kind of oops I forgot thing is fairly common, but I have given him the tools to help him remember. He is pretty creative in ways to help him remember things. He frequently will take pic's of forms, and things he needs, and sends them to me via text. I know then what I need to get him, or remind him of.
I am fairly confident that he will be ok and able to manage on his own. But this is only the first full week of school so ask me again in 30 days.....

click4it posted 8/19/2013 12:50 PM

So, he goes without the clothes, and then because he goes without the clothes, he gets zeros in PE which will result in another punishment from me. Its like one consequence after another that spirals till it seems out of control to me.

Oh yes he gets that I'm paying him back, but he "doesn't like it".

He has teen temper tantrums and I want to SCREAM.

ajsmom posted 8/19/2013 12:51 PM

Its like one consequence after another that spirals till it seems out of control to me.

Consequences for HIS actions.

GabyBaby posted 8/19/2013 12:53 PM

The zero in PE is the consequence (plus whatever other consequences you wish to implement due to his rudeness toward you).

THere's no need to punish again over the zero in PE. He'll likely have to make it up via extra credit or some other way, so that could be self correcting.
Don't give in to the tantrums or it only gets worse.

I have a 20yr old DD, who barely made it through her teens alive as well as a 17yr old DS who is a lot easier on my nerves than his sister was. I am happy to say that DD is starting to resemble a human again and less like the alien tyrant inhabiting her human shell.

GabyBaby posted 8/19/2013 12:55 PM

Oh yes he gets that I'm paying him back, but he "doesn't like it".

Well you don't like having to rush around and do things last minute because he didnt plan ahead a little.
Too bad (for him).

MissesJai posted 8/19/2013 12:57 PM

agree with the others.

click4it posted 8/19/2013 13:05 PM

No, he won't make up any zeros in PE, as he won't care. I will again have to enforce that or give a consequence. I've been down this road before.

See what I mean, its a never ending cycle.

GabyBaby posted 8/19/2013 13:50 PM

If he gets enough zeroes, he'll be in danger of failing PE. That means he'd have to make it up or take it again or maybe even be forced into summer school.

Mention that and he may have a (very slight) change in attitude.

DeadMumWalking posted 8/19/2013 14:00 PM

Can you work with the school to give him detention or something like that for not having the PE clothes? I mean applying a consequence that would be meaningful to him - like losing some freedom, since maybe he doesn't care about 0 in PE.

In any case, what you have to realize is that this is HIS problem, NOT YOURS. He has to learn that he can't dump on you at the last second and expect to be bailed out, that he can't DISRESPECT you and expect you to do him favors.

It is difficult to detach, and to watch our children fail, but the problem is with him and the school. Hopefully, he will figure out (sooner rather than later) that he needs to better organize himself and get this stuff taken care of.

And yep, the temper tantrums at this age are HORRIFIC. It is important to let him know that when he has calmed down and is prepared to be respectful then you can have a conversation with him. But not before.


tushnurse posted 8/19/2013 14:31 PM

Clicky, this is what I would do - And have done things like this.
I would make him believe he has to go without, and get a zero. Then let the school/teacher know what's up. They are usually more than happy to help a mom out when they are trying to instill some consequences.

I had to do this with ALL of my sons teachers last year, the school he is in allows late work, most teachers only give a percentage of the grade, but still allow it, so for Captain ADHD he chose not to do any of his work on time. I told the teachers, that they have to make clear to him NO LATE WORK ACCEPTED. What a difference it made.

I get the cycle believe me, sometimes you just have to be creative.

click4it posted 8/19/2013 15:29 PM

all of your suggestions are so GREAT...but why do I feel I have the most difficult teenager? For every suggestion, I can come up with a tried and it won't work with him. Example: I did tell the teachers to make the same rule for him (as he also has an IEP in place) - no late work - and that didn't phase him a bit. See, he dislikes school very much and would like to drop out if I allowed it. My goal is to keep him there to at least graduate. Then after that - reality sets in. I can't force him to go to college, but I can only hope he will change his mind. I'm afraid he will learn the hard way, but who knows, these last two years might be a change! That's what I'm optimistic for!

Sad in AZ posted 8/19/2013 17:24 PM

You can't force him to pass high school either. If he wants to sabotage it, he will. Mom, kids don't grow up until we stop fixing things for them.

My DS hated school too. He refused to take a language or SATs; therefore, he could not go to university. We had a relatively inexpensive one for in-state, the University of AZ. I never fought with him about it. When he graduated, he got his dream job and never planned to go to college. He finally realized that he had to, but by that time he was an adult. His work paid for a lot of it, but the rest had to come out of his pocket.

kernel posted 8/19/2013 20:28 PM

Does his school have a program where you go to school part-time and work part-time? That is the only reason my DS graduated, seriously.

I also agree with letting him suffer the consequences of his actions. My kids all learned the hard way that the answer was always "no" when they waited until the last minute.

click4it posted 8/19/2013 22:50 PM

Yes, he can do work part-time, but he is not interested. I'm telling you he's a tough cookie to crack. Nothing short of anything seems to work. But honestly, I can't say he's a "bad" kid because he's not. He's home most of the time and not out rising hell in the streets, otherwise, I really don't know what I'd do. He just needs some real motivation, spark, something that will get him GOING. And I've been trying for the last 3 years to help him find that. I keep praying it will come in some way, some how. I explained to him that I was like him too as a teen (though I always wanted good grades) and I guess as a parent we all want our kids to NOT be like us...we want BETTER for them.

Kajem posted 8/20/2013 00:48 AM

Clicky, what does he want to do/ be when he grows up?

It took my kid figuring out what she wanted to do before she realized she needed a degree and all the trappings that went with going to a university.

As for the temper tantrums - just walk away. No reason to subject yourself to that. He wants attention, don't give him any when he throws one. It can't work on you if you're not there to see it.


Phoenix1 posted 8/20/2013 01:03 AM

What does he like to do? Determine that and exploit it or use as an incentive.

My DS20 hated high school and we had real concerns of him even getting thru it. By mere chance, he chose to take JROTC for the sole purpose of getting out of PE. Turns out it was a godsend. He loved it and forced him to keep his grades up. He graduated with flying colors and is a terrific young man.

Both my DD (16 and 22) were motivated by sports. They had to keep their grades up to participate. I didn't have to do much of anything with any of them because they knew their consequences.

If any of them acted up at home I just had to threaten to pull them out of their preferred activity and they would straighten up. The key to that is they knew I would do it (never made a threat I was not prepared to follow thru with).

Find what he enjoys and use it.

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