16 Year Old Teenager And Frustrated Mom
In the last 2 1/2 years my son and I made a big geographical move, and on account of schooling, his dad and I switched parenting roles, and dad is now the school parent and I am the summer and holidays parent.
My son and I have always had a great relationship, and that is still the case in the big picture, however there has been an argument, confrontation almost every day since he has been here. His dad (ex husband for many yrs) and I get on very well in terms with our son, but we take different roads to get there.
I can't completely say, but I think that the reason my son and I get along so well is that we talk. I am clear with him about expectations - chores, behavior - and as he has gotten older I include him in these kinds of things, etc, etc. I love and respect him and think he is a great kid! We have a similar sense of humor and our home, our relationship has always had lots of laughs in our house!
But since he has been here, it seems that the things that we have always had issue about are glaring! Being lazy (tho I never use that word), talking back or giving me a look, or an ornery tone... so disrespectful, it shocks me and I get
mad and yell!
The scenario: he sleeps and keeps his stuff in a space off of the living room. In the past he has had his own room when with me but not at the moment. He has the living room too, and that we lived together for so long, we know how to find our own space. I am also aware that at his age, he needs this space.
There are challenges with the fact that this is his second summer here, and he doesn't really know anybody. He has a summer job that isn’t underway yet but this week will pick up. Gymnastics 2 nights a week. So, he spends his days on the computer (Facebook with friends, and outside swimming, training for his sport, or studying (he is a great student, cares about it allot!) So, he does whatever he wants all day.
Ok, 1st problem but I think it's solved: He is staying up really late at night and then sleeps till 2pm if I don't wake him. The nature of my job is that I am in and out all day, so I do see him. I have asked of him that he keep his area neat, and thought he hangs out in the living room, to please keep it basically straightened out and put stuff away.
I am trying to be fair, and also realize this is my problem while he is happy as a lark! It really bothers me as for me it seems so unhealthy and represents this lazy thing! But I am also sensitive to the fact that he is on summer vacation, etc.
But there are days where I wake up at 430am for work and there he is on the computer! No! Then he will be in bed till 2pm, etc. He is not always up that late. On gymnastics nights he is in bed soon after.
I was really grappling with this, and finally I told him he has to be in bed by 2am. On nights when he has to work the next day he does go to bed at a decent hr on his own, and as I said this is going to be frequent starting this week.
When I came to this decision I sort of went on about how I know he is on vacation, and that I am definitely not objective about the sleep wake thing (just pushes my buttons and represents pure slacker to me), about how it is unhealthy...and also that he is like a roommate now and we have to respect each other.
I wouldn't choose to live with someone who’s got the TV or whatever blaring till the wee hrs etc. I told him 2am tops, and that on non wk days, 11 -12 pm unless there is something we/he are doing in the morning earlier.
2nd issue) Doing things the easiest and laziest way possible! Have you ever seen someone pick up something from the floor with their toes and pass it to their hand? I see what his dad goes through when he has him wash the dinner dishes, and when he finishes, there is still the dirty water the sink with the sponge floating, crumbs on the counter, etc. I have addressed this in the past as well as now that this means neaten up the kitchen too! So it is better.
If I leave for work and give him a couple things to do for the day - and I don’t give him a time limit - he is 16 and I think he can figure it out - and I come home at 4pm for instance, and he outside or online - and usually only up for a couple of hours, and has not done the thing! Also his bed isn’t made and his stuff is just lying around, dishes in the sink, and there he is with a bowl of cereal on the computer! I might add that this is simple stuff; make sure your stuff is away and vacuum the living room.
I have solved this to a degree as well, in that since he leaves it till the last painful second, it needs to be the first thing he does before anything else. I just worry that is going to be this rude slacker man!!
I feel furious! Sometimes I keep it in, but sometimes I tell him to do it right then, and if I get a look, or a disrespectful tone, I find myself just about going off the hook! This kid has got it made! And not only that, I love him to death, and have just bought him the backpack he wanted for school, have the fridge filled with all of the food he likes, try to think of stuff to do with him, yet give him his 16 yr old freedom - and he is giving me a hard time? Are you kidding?
It is Sunday morning. I slept until 8.30 and then caught up on email and am writing this opus! It is 12:20pm, and yes, he is still sleeping. Writing this has been cathartic, and I have come up with some of my own answers already.
I need to think about exactly what I want out of this and nail it to the point. No lectures, screaming – just firmly with less is more. But I really need to be clear before I speak to him I think. I think I am being too nice. I think that maybe he should have a night or two where he cooks dinner, etc. I do not want to spend the entire summer working on this.
Any insight or advice for me would be greatly – and gratefully appreciated!
Problem Solving 4 Kids
Learn my 7 Step Problem Solving 4 Kids Process
A step by step guide to
teach your kids to be solution orientated.
- Your Stories
- Questions Answered
My Subscribers Get Freebies!
Let me know how I can support you to be an Awesome Parent!
Click N Kids would have to be one of my subscribers most popular programs, and from what they say, it is mostly because the kids have fun while they are learning. In fact they don't even realize they are learning! Click N kids are using the Looney Tune Characters now in their phonics program, which of course kids just love.