Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Desperate Parenting

I share this story, which I find humorous now, but oh so far away from humorous ten years ago. Young moms can learn from this, old experienced moms may applaud me. But I survived a son with behavioral problems. I'm not talking normal boy things, I'm talking about me and the principal having a close working relationship. Did I ever tell you about the time in second grade when he peed all over the other boys in the boys' bathroom? I, unfortunately, got to know all of Seth's elementary teachers.

I was the president of our children's program at our church and was holding a meeting at my house. We were planning away when Seth, fourth grade, made a huge scene. I'm talking my face was probably bright red, I was trying very hard not to kill him in front of four other women, he was screaming with his foghorn of a mouth about life not being fair and he's going to run away. I believe I told him he couldn't go outside until he cleaned up the landfill we called his bedroom. He went upstairs and packed his backpack, slamming the door as he left. It was one of those slams where you're amazed every picture didn't fall off the walls. To say the least, I was beside myself in anger. BUT......I had to remain socially respectable. Lucky for him.

When the meeting ended, I had calmed down quite a bit and decided to really dig into Seth. I made a sign and put it on our mailbox in very large letters. It said, "BOYS ROOM FOR RENT. MUST DO CHORES." A couple of neighbors called to find out if we were really renting out a room. (There goes the neighborhood!)

A couple of hours later, Seth returned, sign gone, and he said, "Sorry, Mom" and gave me a hug. Here we are ten years later and he still lives at home, usually has a messy room, still fights about mowing the lawn, doing dishes, etc. The thing is, he really can move out and we remind him of that sometimes. We parents need leveraging no matter what age our kids are.

17 comments:

Brenda @Just a Bed of Roses said...

I dont know how old seth is, but you still havent gone through the part where they repossessed their new car leaving them horrible credit, got a job, then would quit?

We finally got him a Deseret Industries hat...like, hey you can always find a job...right!

Guess what...he is now 28, makes more money than his parents and 2 brothers and just bought his first home...been living on his own for some time now...blessings happen.

It's called hope...we all must have it or how we could live through all this?

Nancy said...

I tell you what, I am already fretting about this littlest son of mine and just what kind of a creature my husband and I have spawned. You were supposed to end with how now he is a perfect angel . . . but sometimes, I guess, survival is about all we can hope for!;)

One Cluttered Brain said...

Aww, really?
Sounds like my 5th grader.
Sometimes she sure can have a mouth on her. but she is so sweet so I'll keep her.
*sigh*
thanks for the advice!!

I hope they get better.

KyAnn (like Cayenne Pepper, only HOTTER) said...

I might just steal this idea. I love it!

Leenie said...

Funny(know about kids and pres meetings) but close to home. Got to know principals and teachers very well. Fortunatley they(principals and teachers) do still speak to me. One son we worried would end up on the wrong side met a WONDERFUL young lady--named Krista--who made all the difference in his life. Now a Dad with great kids. The other one left and came back. Living at home--AGAIN. But could be living somewhere worse. Love them both more than life.

Garden of Egan said...

You are my idol and I nominate you for Mother of the Year. I would have let the little sisters sit in the chair and watch me abuse my kids.

Teachinfourth said...

Wow, that's the kind of kid every teacher just hopes they get in their class…

Actually, I usually look forward to the challenge.

Lisa said...

What in the world inspired you to do such a brilliant thing? I LOVE it! Wish I'd thought of that many times over the years.

Krista said...

Brenda, my little bundle of joy is 19 now. 20 in November. I should have mentioned after he wrote that Mother's Day letter he is forgiven for all mishaps. I have rebuilt my reputation (what MUST his parents be like?) and he has turned out to be a good kid.

Glamazon said...

Aw, you are a good mama. Wait, they still slam their doors when they're 10? Does this insanity never end?

Donda said...

OH! I think we have alot in common! My son who is now 14 and also has ADHD decided that he would pee all over the bathroom wall in Kindergarten to show the other kids that he could. I was mortified. The things that kid has pulled would be perfect birth control for the younger generation!!

Holly said...

Hmmm... I'm on the 2nd challenging child.
The first is now married and I'm amazed at how she's mellowed. Hubby actually took her bedroom door off the hinges for a while as a result of slamming. LOL! ;p

The other is almost 13 and may be the death of me. Telling him I have a headache is like saying, "Please stomp, yell, and be as obnoxious as you can so my headache can go MIGRAINE!! I KNOW you CAN!" *sigh* He CLAIMS he's NEVER leaving home... Yeah... WE'LL SEE about THAT... ;D

Pearl said...

Oh dear. All I can say is, "crap, I'm in trouble."

Diane J. said...

Oh my gosh, that is so funny. I wish I had thought of the "Boys Room for Rent" sign. My 15-year-old told me (when he was 12) what a horrible mother I was (you know because I expect him to mow the lawn, pick up his dirty clothes and put his dishes in the sink). He said he was going to run away. I handed him a suitcase and reminded him that his i-Pod, Playstation, and stereo had to stay. It wouldn't matter anyway because he wouldn't have electricity to plug the items into. I told him he should try to find a foster family, but that he would still have to do chores there and they wouldn't drive him to concerts because he would have to get a job to afford the tickets and no Grandpa wouldn't give him money for helping in the yard if he ran away.

He pitched a fit, told me how I was ruining his life and I was the only mother who could "Totally ruin running away."

Oh the joys of parenthood. I have to say parenting has made me much wiser. Can't guarantee that I'm saner, but definitely wiser. By the way, he's shaping up (he still thinks I ruin his life, but he'll still tell me he loves me).

T said...

I am SO making me one (or three) of those signs. tonight.

Saimi said...

Oh the good ol days! I had one that gave me a different set of challenges. It wasn't until his first year of college that the alien left and gave me back my son.

Serene is my name, not my life! said...

I'm thinking I'll need to keep this one in mind!
Luv U!