He really is.
He's 15 and he can be quite moody, but on the whole, he's a good kid. That is to say, as far as we know, he doesn't smoke, drink, or do drugs. He's never had sex. He doesn't roam the streets or hang out with troubled kids. He doesn't do any of the things that most parents fear their teenagers might get up to - or that they didn't themselves as teenagers.
He's a good kid.
That said, the Grumpy Old Man and I are still feeling it, the teen thing, that stage everyone tells you to dread.
The good kid is really not doing very well at school. He just doesn't care. Or as he likes to put it, he doesn't think about it. Doesn't think about what failing school might mean for him in the future.
We've tried the usual house rules. A regular bedtime so he gets plenty of rest. Homework time to make sure he does his home work. He has work to do around the house as well. And we've also made sure he has fun; he goes to friends housees and parties, he goes to the movies, not often, but sometimes. He has enough gadgets to be keeping up with the Jones, and he chooses he own clothing and style.
But there was no cooperation from him.
He stayed up all night playing computer games or chatting with friends.
So, we made the rule that he could only have his computer at the dining room table and at bed time he had to put it in a custom made charging station. He decided to sneak out after we'd gone to bed (sometimes at 2, 3 or 4am!) to get his computer to play games.
He would play with lego in his room, which was fine, except he'd put on the overhead light, so his brother wasn't getting enough quality sleep.
He picked on his second youngest brother all. the. time.
He told his grandmother he was going to 'wear mum down'.
He never answered his phone when he was out, and would came home later than agreed on because he decided to see a later movie and not tell us.
His grades just kept dropping.
We found out he had plans to wander around the city unattended during an upcoming excursion. We found this out because he insisted he needed his mobile for the excursion so the teacher could call him back after lunch. Then we found out that was just a story because he wanted his phone. No doubt he was going to tell us he'd lost it in the city so we wouldn't ask for it back. Not having devices is apparently killing him.
So, we locked up all the devices, or so we thought, he managed to find one I'd stowed away months ago. We knew he had it, but he said he didn't know where it was. The Grumpy Old Man had to get very, very grumpy, before he finally gave it up.
Now he says we're going to guarantee he fails school. He believes us moving him from his old room to share a room with his younger brother is going to prevent him from sleeping (you know, because he was sleeping so well when he was staying up all night watching movies, or playing games). He believes the sleep deprivation with affect his marks negatively (because, they've been so brilliant thus far).
He asked what would happen if he smashed windows and doors. I told I would call the police.
There are children dying every minute on this planet from starvation, from war fare, from neglect, but all he cares about is having his devices.
I guess this is what they warned us about having teenagers.
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