Monday, November 9, 2009

Pushing boundaries

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No, not photographically. Developmentally. As in, my son won't live to see his next birthday if he doesn't wise up. This particular phase of boundary pushing is a doozy, and is the reason that said son is now grounded and mom is seeking out the excedrin, because I don't just have a headache, I have an excedrin headache.
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The thing is, he's a good kid. A REALLY good kid. But he's also a kid who's smart enough to look for ways to abuse his new-found independence, and young and dumb enough to be talked into some really stupid stunts by some of the hooligans he's decided to hang around with lately. I thought we'd turned a corner last week and then today happened. The specifics don't matter, suffice it to say that we've done some pretty serious privilege-revoking around here today, and that a very chastised boy is doing a whole lot of homework and room cleaning. It's a good thing his room will be clean, since he's going to be seeing a lot of it this week, which will hopefully send a strong enough message that a) we're not going to stand for this crap and it better stop Right. Freaking. Now. and b) his parents are nowhere near as stupid as he apparently thinks we are. I wrote the book kiddo, and your father wrote the damn manual. We WILL put a stop to this.
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Appropriately, I already had a shot taken in his room lined up for this week's Ruby Tuesday. Of course there's a better than average chance that I will be removing it's subject soon...
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Click to enlarge
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54 comments:

Genny said...

We've had some boundary pushing lately too. My son is eight, and I remember my daugther doing the same thing around this age. I love your determination, Robin. :)

Have a great day,
Genny

Mojo said...

*ducking*
I didn't do it mom. I swear!

I'm so glad mine have lived through...er... gotten past that stage. Or at least pats the stage where I have to take the weight for it. They're grown now, all I gotta do is love 'em.

Dina said...

Uh oh ...

SquarePeg613 said...

Yes, when my daughter was eight she suddenly seemed like an adolescent. I checked around and she wasn't the only one that age who was like this. I think eight might be sort of a mini-adolescence. They stop being little kids and start being big kids -- it's a transition and I guess they have to grow into it.

Now that my daughter is going on fifteen she is really acting like an adolescent. Sigh ... it gets worse. OTOH, maybe you'll have an easier time since yours is a boy.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

We went through a similar escapade last year. If you need to talk, holler.

Jen said...

Yeah, I have to agree that 8 seems to be a transition year. I HIGHLY suspect that our OMFG moments are a few months off, though there have been a few wowzas since A turned 8 in April. It's been a *relatively* quiet 6 months (heh...riiiight), which means that the next 6 are likely going to be hell on wheels. Agh.
Drop a note if you need to long-distance scream. ;)

Robin said...

I suspect you're right Jen - 8 was nothing compared to 8.5, especially since he's now a grade older as well. They've definitely upped the ante the past few months.

Mimi said...

Robin (hehe) you've a (hehe) very funny (hehe) way of (hehe) putting this.(no more hehe). I love the bit where he's oging to see more of his room!
Yes,I remember that stage, but it does pass, and you're right to be firm.
Just remember two things: 1.They have to go through it, there's no way round it. 2. Almost all kids end up fine, especially if they have loving parents who are willing to be unpopular to bring them up properly.
Well done to you!

ilanadavita said...

Somebody is in trouble!
Nice illustration of your post and a good one for RT.

Ellie said...

I feel your pain. My first grader Alex is grounded for a month without computer - he was suspended from the bus for pretending to be Mario /from the video game/ and jumping in his seat despite the driver's objections.

Leora said...

Children are so good at pushing their parents' buttons. Such experts! Glad you will not buckle.

I like the focus on the foos ballers.

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Oh, Robin. I feel your pain. My kids made it to adulthood but I DO remember wondering if they would. Hang in there!

Phyllis Sommer said...

oh boy, my kid turns 8 next week.

i can't wait.

NOT.

hang in there!

Carletta said...

Robin,
It might not be much right now; but we do somehow make it through just as you will. You sound like you have it all under control. That's not to say he won't push the envelope again but you'll continue giving him guidance and unconditional love and he'll grow up being proud of the parents who took the time to really show they cared.
And this photo - very well done - love how you accomplished the depth of field in it!

maryt/theteach said...

I like Dina's comment: Uh-oh! He'd better wise up. I wouldn't like to tangle with you Robin if you were my mom... :)

Ralph said...

Kids will push the envelope as much as possible (ours were more passive-aggressive), almost forcing us parents to lay the law down. The child really wants the discipline, the non-caring parents won't discipline, and we see the results as they turn into troubled adults...

Terri said...

Oh my, isn't parenthood just a hoot a minute. I applaud you for your persistence!

And I love the photo of the (oh for crying out loud I can't think of the name of that hockey game...my sieve of a brain wants to say Foosball but I know that's not right). Anyway - great shot.

quilly said...

All is as it should be. Child test, parents teach. In most cases everyone survives and grows and prospers.

Patti said...

Sending my plaudits as well to you, Robin, for being a parent who stands her ground. It's tough, I know. They know how to push our buttons.

Show who is in charge now, and it will make your life easier when he is teen-ager.

I love the photo! The blurry background works well.

storyteller at Small Reflections said...

Nifty Ruby choice! Kudos to YOU for doing the WORK of raising responsible children ... sending you patience and positive energy to stay the course ;-)
Hugs and blessings,

Dianne said...

it ain't easy!
hugs Robin
I have been there and sometimes thought one or both us would not get out alive

he's a good kid
you're a good Mom

it all comes out OK

great shot!! the perspective is perfect

life's journey said...

My son is like that... Happy Ruby Tuesday.

angie said...

Uh oh. Boundary pushing going on around here, too. It amazes me how stupid my kids apparently think I am. :)

Icy BC said...

Seeing red all over this football table..Great angle!

pinkyshelo said...

Kids really come to that stage wherein they are enjoying much of their freedom.. But they will also grow up and pass that stage of course..=)

Eaton Bennett said...

Uh huh...been right where you are now! More power to the parents I say. All the best and I hope he has a copy of this photo, he might want to remember that he was once the owner of a great game and how he lost it. Seriously, all the best! :)

Felisol said...

I see you've got lots of good advice.
There i no right or wrong recipe, I guess. Each child must find his or hers way through life. Examining boundaries is just one of many steps in developing into an adult human being.
I think your on will do just fine. His has the foundation of his house safely built.
Love your choice of picture.
From Felisol

Paz said...

Love the photo. Used to have this game when I was little. Hang in there. I'm sure he'll learn his lesson. ;-)

Paz

Jama said...

I'm glad I'm over that phase! even with 2 grownup son still living with me, it's still mentally challenged! who said being a mother is very easy?

chubskulit said...

My daughter is just five years old but sometimes she is already giving me a headache too. Her dad put her into time a couple of times already for acting up..

Please come and find out what our little fashionista has to say.

Joops said...

Being a parent is a big challenge isn't it?

I would like to share our Mellow weekend

Loree said...

Tennage boys ... what can I say? I suppose it's worse than toddler tantrums??

Mar said...

Way to say it!! I've been there, done that...

Happy shot for the theme!! Happy RT, mine is here.

Meikah said...

Oh I can so relate! We just had some boundary pushing talk last night. As our kids grow older, we have to contend with the friends' influence, too. It's tough, but we as parents must be tougher than the situation. :)

Happy RT! My RT entry is here.

Annie said...

oh my gosh, how I remember those days. When adult son was a teenager, he was obsessive about privacy. I taught him fast that if he wanted to keep his privacy (i.e. keep the door to his room closed) he simply didn't mess with me. So at 13 he discovered I meant it. I made him take the door OFF of its hinges. It sat in the garage for three days before I let him put the door back up. There was a re-run of this event at the age of 15 and then things seemed to settle down. There is nothing like loss of privacy to get a teenager's attention. He's 30 now and has plans to use the same tactic we did years ago.

bermudabluez said...

Ah yes....I remember those days....my daughter is now grown, but holy cow did she test my patience! Never thought I'd make it through those years. You will survive!!

Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo said...

You go girl!

Auntie E said...

Oh boy can I relate. It seem to hurt us more then they think. Growing up into the teen years can be so hard on us parents. Hope he wakes up earlier and get back to his sweet self.
Love the Foosball game.Great anger disperse game:-)

Ellie said...

Exactly - Alex was suspended for 1 day from the bus /which follows a written warning/ and I had to drive him for a day. The game on the picture looks healthier then all the Nintendo crap all the kids are loosing their time with - at least it involves some movement.

Dianne said...

thanks for catching up on all my posts :)

your comment on the NJ gov post made me laugh

moneythoughts said...

40 comments by the time I got to this one, nevertheless, as an old man who was once a boy, I would like to say this: It is not all the little boy's fault. Perhaps he is looking for a little attention from his parents?

Gilit Frank said...

Hi Robin,

It's good to set boundaries, but I don't understand something. For my son, being in his room is a REWARD, not a punishment. There are books in there....and there is no way of getting rid of all the books, because he was always able to find something to read...like the maps in the yellow pages of the phone books...if it makes you feel any better, at least you can actually implement a punishment. It gets a lot harder when they are teenagers (and taller than you!!!)

Robin said...

Honestly I really don't think so this time. it's more of a "the kids I'm hanging around with this week think it's not cool to do homework or tell their parents where they are or do what they're told, so I'm not going to either". He's trying on their undesirable behaviors for size, my job is to ensure that the size doesn't fit ;). Remember, he's still only eight. If he were teasing his sister or something I might think it was for attention, but this is more of a peer pressure issue. He really is an incredible kid though, he'll be fine once he realizes that emulating these particular two is not getting him anywhere.

Robin said...

Gilit, we cross posted. Actually, I hope restricting him to his room will encourage him to read and play quieter games more and to show him that life doesn't have to revolve around screens and soccer ALL the time. Seems to have worked too - he came home with Harry Potter 7 (in Hebrew) from the school library today - talked them into giving it to him even though it's marked for grades 5-6 :).

In any case, he's no longer restricted to his room, the total ban was just for the first day, but he isn't allowed to go to friends or have them over for several more days. I still have a lesson to teach here and a deterrant factor to set.

Gilit Frank said...

Good luck! Great you are setting the boundaries early before it's too late.

Jill said...

Rock on mom! I'm so tired of parents trying to be "friends" with their kids that they lose sight of the fact that they STILL need to parent.

My kids think I'm mean, but I don't care because they sure do have respect.

Marice said...

aww good luck to us sissy! i know most of the moms needs to go through that stage.. thanks for sharing :)

u may view mine if u have time

Daryl said...

I hear my boss all the time with his almost 13 yr old ... and I think its times like that/these when I am not so sorry I didnt have children.

I know I was two handfuls and my mother, may she rest in peace, wished me FIVE just like me ..

I wish I could truthfully say it will get easier but we both know thats not true.

Stay strong!!!!!!! And keep some extra strength Excedrin close

Gayle said...

I wish we had that foose ball table. Too cool!

It's something new every day, isn't it? I hate the boundary pushing.

My son came home with a black eye and fat lip yesterday because apparently 16-year old boys resolve conflicts with their friends by hitting each other. And then they are buddies again. I don't even want to understand.

Good luck with the grounding. I usually find I can't stand to have them aroudn that long and they get off too easy! lol :)

daylily777 said...

I am glad I'm a Nana & way past those problems .
But, so course I have a whole set
of new ones .8~)Great Post.
~Myrna

nonizamboni said...

In the off chance that this photo takes a 'time out' I wanted to say, 'its a great shot!' And you sound like great parents.

OneTiredEma said...

I'm coming to you for advice in 2-3 years :)

moosh said...

You said you wrote the book and your husband wrote the manual. My mom always said you reap what you sow. LOL Hang tight, I'm sure it will get better. HRT

Robin said...

Don't remind me moosh - I already live in terror at the thought of the teenage years. Between my husband's escapades and my own we're pretty much doomed LOL.