Wednesday, September 16, 2009

9/16/09 Rude kids

I am so, so tired and frustrated with our rude, belligerent, disrespectful boys. The simplest tasks, such as getting dressed in the morning and brushing teeth before school, turn into a huge ordeal, too often met with rude retorts.

"I don't have to do what you say!"
"If I have to do what you say, then you have to do what I SAY"
"Why don't YOU go brush YOUR teeth then?"
"Stop bossing me around, why are you so bossy?"
"You think you can make me do anything, but you CAN'T"

Just what is the "positive parent" supposed to do with that? Timeout? No, we have to get to school. Natural consequence? There is none -- they'd be fine with being late to school, and one brat can't make the whole group late, even for the sake of a lesson to said brat. Take away privilege? No, they completely ignore me or laugh and continue being obnoxious while I rattle off futile unheard threats above the din. Meantime, the clock ticks, my blood pressure rises, traffic builds, parking lots fill, and school still starts at 8:40am.

(yes, of course I approach it the "right" way, by giving them gentle reminders at first, heads-ups, warnings, trying to make it fun. But sometimes, you just don't have time or energy to do that, and sometimes, they don't respond anyway. Why can't I just tell them "Please get dressed now" and be done with it? Why does it have to be such a struggle?)

It's not that different at the other end of the day either. Putting away lunches, starting homework, putting shoes away. More reminders, more resistance and ignoring, and ultimately, more extremely rude responses. It's the "shut UP, Mom" that leads to the "natural consequence" of a smack. Funny how things they say push me over the edge more than things they do.

When I picked the boys up at the CDC today, they were both in trouble. Gabriel's been removed from his group for the whole week, and Julian was on timeout for punching Gabriel. Gabriel has the added black mark of laughing at the CDC teachers when he's reprimanded, and they're not allowed to give him what he deserves for that.

Tonight, Dave and I did an "intervention" with each of them, which means sitting them down alone in a room with no distraction. We ask what happened, say sternly that bad behavior is not allowed, and tonight, added in a consequence: if their behavior isn't perfect tomorrow, they can't bring a bicycle to Wheel Day on Friday. Gabriel scowls during his intervention; Julian rolls his eyes, refuses to sit down, makes faces, denies, and blames other people ("she didn't give me a second chance").

I want to be "positive" about this, but "you're STUPID Mom" in response to "please pick your knapsack up off the floor" is begging for an old-fashioned response.


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