Skip to main content

He's a good kid...

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.


I am so not looking forward to teenage years. I am a couple of years off with my daughter and even more with my son.
If you want my two cents worth (easy for me to say, when I am not in this same situation), I feel he is definitely pushing buttons and seeing just how far things can stretch before they break. From everything I have heard this is normal teenage behaviour.
Again, from my outsiders position, I would acknowledge that he is coming to the age of added responsibility. But it is not just given, it is earned. He is wanting to be treated like an adult, yet is not wanting to act like one. He is almost torn between two worlds (which is quite possible with the ups and downs of teenage hormones). I remember myself, being given rules and curfews and thinking, I am my own person now, not a child, I will come home when I want to.
Unfortunately, for him, if everyone behaved this way in society there would be mayhem, and perhaps that is how he needs to view it. You may have already involved him in a sit down to negotiate and agree on some rules, and explain why these rules exist for the good of the family, his future and your sanity?
Whatever your next move, I would love to her about it, and wish you the best of luck. Enjoy the journey, and hopefully it is short and not too bumpy.
Anonymous said…
He's a good kid.

What was the Oprah?

It's time to get back to basics! Cut out the noise and simplify your life with the "What Can You Live Without?" Challenge. "It's all about disconnecting from all the stuff and all the technology and reconnecting as a family," Oprah says. "You're going to have a great time. You're going to reconnect as a family. You're going to find out what each other's real interests are, what everybody's been thinking, what everybody's been feeling. You're going to feel a lot of love."

Chances are you'll sing the big-screen blues or fight a cell phone craving during the week.

For seven days, follow the guidelines:

The Ground Rules
1. Cut out all technology—no televisions, video games, cell phones, computers, MP3 players or anything else you may use on a daily basis.
2. No eating out. Everyone must eat dinner at home as a family and brown bag it for lunch.
3. Curb your spending! The only items you can buy are groceries, and try to buy what you need for the week for $125.
4. Plan an inexpensive, creative family outing. You may spend a small amount of money on this if necessary.
5. Choose one family activity that gives back to others.
6. Mom and Dad: Plan one date night so you can connect as a couple.
7. No working late.

At the end of one week, see if you can go for another week—and create your own family rules!

Popular posts from this blog

The symbolism of elephants...

Just recently I've been seeing and noticing elephants everywhere!

A few weeks ago I saw the Samsung Elephant Ad, and watching that led me to watching a video with an elephant painting (seriously, you have to watch it to believe it!).

Then last night the boys told me they were having a free dress day at school to raise money for 'Mali the Elephant' - who turned out to be a paper maché statue which the children will paint and then show around the council before it comes back to the school to stand outside the performing arts room.

Then this morning I followed a link from Twitter to Toushka Lee's blog and read this post about an elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka.

This morning the Grumpy Old Man did another driving test and unfortunately didn't pass. We've booked his next test and are looking forward to that now. About ten minutes before he walked in the door I saw this poster on Facebook...

At the time, I didn't know if the Grumpy Old Man had been successful or …

Alone... And Stuff...

Do you ever just need to be alone?

As the boys are growing up, we have more times when the house is quiet. The youngest will be asleep. One will be reading, one will be playing on his computer with headphones on, one will be painting and there is stillness.

Sometimes, even that is not enough.

Sometimes I crave being alone, with no possibility of someone suddenly realising they have to tell me something important or ask me a question or even just crash about in the kitchen.

Sometimes I crave S P A C E, lots and lots of space, being able to walk from room to room without encountering another soul.

This is how I felt when I woke up this morning, so instead of getting ready for work, I decided to stay home. Get up, but not go anywhere, no hear the sound of my own voice, or anyone else's.

I think this might just be part of getting older. After a lifetime of chasing after other people and trying not to be alone, my mind and body is full of thoughts, experiences, feelings, and busy-ness …

12 Things Happy People Do Differently - a self-reflection...

A few days ago a Facebook friend posted the above poster on her wall. I believe she got these points from this blog which she enjoys reading, and the bloggers on the Marc and Angel Hack Life blog derived their discussion of these points from this book, available on Amazon - you're welcome! I have to admit, I haven't read the blog or the book I've just mentioned but wanted my readers to have access to the sources of the poster for their own reflective purposes.
The New Year will be upon us in but a few days and I thought this a great opportunity to do a little personal assessment on how I'm playing the happy game. I'm often not very happy at all - I don't need to be happy all the time, let me just say that up front - I personally believe that life is a balancing act and those who seek euphoria often will also often feel desolation because in all things there must be balance. The great riches of the few on this planet come at the personal cost of the many as is …