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Treat as chutzpah? Or ignore?
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amother




Chartreuse
 

Post Tue, Jun 28 2022, 10:43 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Ugh, I'm glad you think so. We just had an argument and I really need advice on how to handle this because it just isn't working....

He came home from maariv and is supposed to come home and go straight into the shower so he can take his time (his preference) and then have time to read for a while in bed before he goes to sleep (again, his preference). I tried not to rush him, but after a good ten minutes of conversation I finally said "Okay, it's really time to start getting ready now" and he of course ignored me and continued talking (to his brother, who was also supposed to be getting ready). So I got his attention and told him again, and he said "Just one more question!" And then started asking the question. I cut him off and said, "Just ONE question, and he answers, and then...?" And he said "Yeah, fine, and then I'll go get ready to take a shower. Right away? Fine??" And I said sure. So he asked him "What was the name of the kid who was at shacharis next to you today? I thought I recognized him..." And his brother says the kid's name. And he says back, "Really? What does he look like? Does he have glasses? Does he...?" And I say "Hey, remember, you said one question?" And he just exploded at me. And I defended myself by saying again and again "You said one question. I said fine, as long as you went to shower right afterwards. You asked, he answered, and now it's time to take a shower."

In the end, I got really upset that he was continuing to say how awful it all was, and I said "Fine, I guess that next time you ask for 'just one more question' or 'just one more minute,' I should say no?" And he started arguing again, so I said, "Okay, I'll keep this in mind next time you ask for 'just one more.' I like to say yes when you guys ask for something like that, but only if you can stick to your end of the deal."

And then he marched out of the room to get his shower stuff, and I came on here and saw this response.

I definitely don't feel like a great parent. Do all parents of teens feel like this? Or do they get immune to it? Or do they respond differently, once they know how to deal with teens? I feel so clueless. I finally don't feel clueless with my younger kids, like I learned techniques that help me teach them without ruining my relationship with them. But this whole teenage thing is really throwing me for a loop. I need advice. Please!!!


That sounds a little micro-managing to me. Why was it such a big deal that he shower that minute?
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Post Tue, Jun 28 2022, 11:16 am
I am exactly like your teenager. It's called ADHD. My mother used to go crazy and I used to to go crazy from my mother. She would tell me to do something and I would say ok without meaning to or without really hearing what she said. It took time for my brain to register or process what she said. I didn't hear or didn't remember her telling me what she did. If you want to make sure he heard you and he didn't just respond absentmindedly ask him to repeat what you just told him. You will see half the time he has no clue what you asked him to do. Or he will need to think a minute and then he will be able to respond. When he is listening to you 5 minutes later it's because his brain is still processing that he supposed to do something now.

Saying you have an appointment and I will take you if you are ready .... Is a better method. ADHD brains work very well under an urgent situation. If he is going to miss his appointment his brain will turn on.

ADHD brains get distracted very easily. If he is engrossed in a conversation with his brother he is not deliberately ignoring you. He just needs to know something very importantly and he doesn't realize that's it's taking up his time and that he is supposed to do something else now. If you take away his distraction, his company like the other poster said he will stop being distracted and will run to do what you said.

He is definitely not trying to be chutzpadig to you. Don't take this personal or call it disrespectful. It just adds more unnecessary tension to the situation. I used to be called disrespectful all the time and at some point I had no clue what disrespect means anymore. I felt like whenever someone gets upset they call things disrespectful. The word became meaningless.


Now when my 11 year old daughter is trying to get my attention she comes over to me and grabs onto my head or face to get my attention. It's so annoying when she does it. I keep telling her she needs to wait until I'm available to tell me something. But I don't really blame her. It's hard to get my attention sometimes.
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Post Tue, Jun 28 2022, 11:21 am
amother [ Chartreuse ] wrote:
That sounds a little micro-managing to me. Why was it such a big deal that he shower that minute?


People who are very scheduled are that way. My kids are just like me so I talk to them in a way that works.
Instead of telling her when to shower I tell her when she needs to be in bed. As long as you are in bed by....I won't tell you when you do everything. If she is not in bed ontime then the consequences would be that the next day I will have to micromanage her and tell her exactly when to come inside and take her shower. She hates that. And when it's me telling her it's gonna be 15 minutes earlier that when she does it herself. Not a perfect solution. She won't be in bed ontime anyway but she aims for that time. As long as I see she tried I don't make an issue if she wasn't in bed the exact time.
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amother




Slateblue
 

Post Tue, Jun 28 2022, 11:28 am
From a therapist seems like he may struggle with ADD- not for sure but something to look into. A child isn’t always defiant when they don’t follow through but sometimes they simply aren’t able to. Also, do you struggle with anxiety? Why does it bother you so much that he is doing these things? Do you feel anxious about the house staying in tact or about getting to places perfectly on time etc?

Just a few thoughts that came to mind hope this is helpful!
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amother




Narcissus
 

Post Tue, Jun 28 2022, 12:00 pm
It’s definitely not chutzpah. It would be helpful to look at it differently. Teens want independence and autonomy. Playing ball inside is not acceptable, but ask him once and pretend that you expect him to do it right away. Don’t give him the feeling that you expect him to drag on.
Shoes, showering, etc, just don’t talk about these things. “I’m leaving in five minutes” no more words. The more words you add, the more he’ll want to defy you.
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amother




NeonPink
 

Post Tue, Jun 28 2022, 3:14 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
My 14 year old son has been really getting on my nerves recently, and I think I have two ways to respond at this point. I can either decide that what he's been doing is chutzpah and I need to really come down hard on him each time it happens ("hard" doesn't mean major punishments or anything, it means calling it out as disrespectful and speaking in a harsh voice to let him know it's not acceptable), or I can tell myself it's just normal teenage stuff and completely ignore it. My middle ground, of trying to ignore it until I feel too resentful and then exploding with frustration and giving him an angry lecture that he doesn't listen to, needs to stop.

Situation 1: I tell him to stop doing X. (Playing too roughly with his young sibling in a way that he WILL hurt her -- and has before -- because he doesn't realize his strength. Or throwing a ball against a wall near a light fixture, which is against house rules. Or playing with some part of the house in a way that makes me nervous it will break, like swinging my pantry door really hard against its hinges. Just a few examples.)
Me: Hey, could you stop throwing that ball?
Him: (totally ignoring me, or maybe not hearing me)
Me: Koby!
Him: Yeah?
Me: Can you stop throwing that ball in the house? I don't want it to hit the light fixture.
Him: Yeah. (Does it three or four more times, slowly. Or does it for thirty more seconds. If I say nothing, he then usually stops. If I say something, he gets all defensive about how "It was just a couple more times, Mommy! Why are you making such a big deal out of it??")

This has been going on for a little while now, and I'd chalked it up to "normal teen," and since we have a pretty good but careful relationship right now, and since this is my first teenager, I didn't want to pick on what is a relatively small issue. After all, he does stop eventually. But then, sometimes ten seconds after I asked him to stop, his little sister is screaming or the pantry door is broken, because he hasn't gotten around to deciding to stop yet.

I feel like I'm parenting my younger kids well, and with them I would totally step in and tell them that I'm going to take this seriously from now on because it's important to me that they stop the first time I say something to them. And then if they didn't listen, there would either be a consequence or a serious discussion, depending on the kid. It would then stop after a few days, or maybe a week, and I'd feel like I'd taught them something.

Before he hit adolescence, we had that down pat, and he was pretty respectful. But I feel like now that he's a teenager, maybe he's supposed to be doing this? He's showing that he's independent? But it feels so disrespectful! Like, I would never ignore my husband's request for me to stop doing something, even just for "a few more times" or "one more minute." I've already told him that, and we've discussed that AFTER he stops, he can ask me something like "Can I do it just one more time?" or "Can I do it this way instead of that way?" But that's not the point. He doesn't mind stopping, just wants to do it on his own terms.

Situation 2: The opposite. I ask him TO do X. (Take a shower for Shabbos after he's already said he wants to go next, get his shoes on so we can go to a doctor's appointment, put away something he left lying around.)
Me: Okay, we're running a little late for the appointment but should be able to get there on time if we leave right away. Can you grab your shoes and meet me at the car?
Him: (ignores me. If I do not check that he's heard me, he'll say he didn't hear me -- as I know from experience)
Me: Hey, Koby?
Him: Yeah?
Me: Can you get your shoes on? We've got to leave right now, or we'll be late!
Him: Grunt. (And then sits there. And sits there.)
Me: We've got to go NOW, Koby!
Him: I was coming! WHy do you always get so mad at me?
(Still sits there. Half gets up and it turns out he was just moving around on the couch. Etc....If I leave him alone, he will eventually get up, most of the time. Unless he forgets. But it could take him up to 5 minutes. Again, just seems so disrespectful...but maybe it's normal for teenagers?)

Note that it doesn't matter if he's actually busy with something -- in the middle of a book, for example -- or if he was just sitting and having a conversation with me and doesn't seem to be "busy" at all.

Is letting this go just asking him to amp up the chutzpah? Or is making a big deal out of it just sacrificing our relationship for "immediate obedience"? I have a slightly younger teen with a totally different personality who doesn't do this at all. He may roll his eyes and not want to listen, but then he either does it anyway in a normal amount of time, or he says "Mommy, can I do X first?" or "Can I do it in a few minutes?" or something like that, which I find a very respectful way of saying no.

Curious about what other, more experienced moms of teenagers think.


My oldest is similar age and oh my!!! I have to say I feel better already as you described exactly what happens here.

I’m also finding the younger kids are starting to copy him
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amother




NeonPink
 

Post Tue, Jun 28 2022, 3:19 pm
amother [ Slateblue ] wrote:
From a therapist seems like he may struggle with ADD- not for sure but something to look into. A child isn’t always defiant when they don’t follow through but sometimes they simply aren’t able to. Also, do you struggle with anxiety? Why does it bother you so much that he is doing these things? Do you feel anxious about the house staying in tact or about getting to places perfectly on time etc?

Just a few thoughts that came to mind hope this is helpful!


Seriously?! Struggle with anxiety if you don’t want ball playing in the house%? Playing in a way that hurts other kids?
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amother




Lightpink
 

Post Tue, Jun 28 2022, 3:25 pm
It is not chutzpah but it is frustrating. I thought you were describing my son. See what you can let go of. The only thing that helps is if I talk to him with no one around. Siblings around will up his defiance, turning it into a power struggle.
It gets easier. Don't forget to hug him sometimes. They're frustrating but still cute!
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amother




NeonPink
 

Post Tue, Jun 28 2022, 3:25 pm
dankbar wrote:
He is trying to assert his independence.

Don't tell him get your shoes, because we are running late, that is like infantilizing him.

Tell him, if you want me to take you to the doctor, then we will have leave at 1 to get there for 1:30. Make sure to be ready then, then I can take you.
Don't remind him again. If he is ready then, you can take him if not don't take him.


And if he doesn’t want to go but needs to?
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