Friday, August 17, 2007

Can You Give a 14 yr old a Time Out?

I hate stories that begin with "Seems like only yesterday," but it truly does serve as the perfect intro to many fine tales. Why, it seems like only yesterday I just started this blog...

Anyway, as you might have guessed, this is going to be one of those "remember when" type rants that will eventually lead to my much anticipated point.

It seems like only yesterday ('s not like I didn't give you plenty of warning) I was keeping a written list of the cute and funny things my kids said. Some of them were just SO darned funny!

Example, here's a conversation I once had with my son, when he was 2 yrs old son while at a public fishing event for kids. I was trying to get him to talk to the video camera for the movie I am unfortunatley still recording for my parents (13 yrs in the making):
ME: "Tell grandpa what you're doing..."

SON: "Where's Granpa?"

ME: "The video camera, tell the video camera what you are doing.."

SON: ""

ME: "Did you catch anything."

SON: "Yeaaahh...."

ME: "Well, tell grandpa what you caught."

SON: "Where's Grandpa?" looking around now....

ME: "Tell the video camera what you caught...."

SON: "Uhm...two worrmmms...."

Yeah, the son will be turning 15 in 15 days. As far as I'm concerned, he should feel lucky I let him live this long. It's a lot harder at this stage in their lives to get them to just say something nice, let alone say something cute and worth dragging out the video camera for. Not that he would even let me get him on video tape, let alone a camera. "DON'T TAKE MY PICTURE!!!"

I've tried the creative approach to parenting, and since that's obviously not working for us, I am trying some other low stress level approaches such as "raising my voice," which according to my kids is YELLING, and the even more popular selective listening, which my kids have correctly labelled "ignoring." My kids don't think I'm funny. They aren't even sure I have a sense of humor to speak of, and they certainly aren't going to laugh at my jokes. That's why I have to laugh at my own, and if it's at their expense, all the better.

It's just that it seems like yesterday they were cute and sweet, and now, on the rare occasion we can coax them out of their bedrooms, they are moody and always ready for an argument. Every question you ask them is at first answered with the audible and much exaggerated *SIGH* before they want to know "WHY?" you need to know. By the time you tell them WHY and ask a second question, they want to know "WHY ARE YOU ALWAYS ASKING QUESTIONS?" If you are a parent with enough patience to calmly answer this question, then more power to you. At my house, it typically resorts to tears (not always mine) and somebody slamming a door (not always me).

So, here we are, dealing with a 15 yr old "person" living under our roof and NOBODY and NOTHING seems to make him happy. I would ground him, but that would mean he'd just hang around us being moody and that's not fun for anybody. But maybe that's the plan? I'm all for a "time out" chair for teenagers that not only makes them behave, but keeps them from growing up too fast. Is that too much to ask?


adotson said...

Trust me Ang, it'll get better. He will eventually move out and only ask you to pay half of his rent each month and will shop at the A-Mart (your pantry and deep freeze)for his weekly groceries. Then, he will come over once or twice a day, every day, to see what y'all are having for supper even though all of your groceries are at his house. Well, least that's where I am at with my oldest . . .

Anonymous said...

Sure. It's 1 minute in timeout per year of age. So - 14 minutes should do it.