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My Older Child.

Patrick lately has been really picking on me. I'm genuinely upset and have cried alone about this many times. Just the way I MOVE in public will inspire him to harshly criticise me in front of everyone. At church on Wednesday, I made some sort of gesture while talking (I honestly don't remember what!!) and Patrick saw it through the window and loudly questioned me IN PUBLIC a moment later as to whether I was doing some "Hallelujah" move to impress my Pentecostal friends.

When I try to lay down the law and make him quit being so disrespectful, I get this "Oh, but I have no clue what I did wrong and I was just wondering" kind of thing. I think I would rather he just come out on the WAY to church and say he hates being where we are and would rather go to the Baptist church again. Then I could tell him that it's tough crap, go deal with it until you get your own car and now we're getting near the door so please pretend to be all holy n stuff. Well, I only half- kid here. I honestly don't mind if he's more of a Presbyterian sort of a fellow, so long as he doesn't give gobs of money to the denomination we used to go to that now supports un-Christian lifestyles. To each their own, honestly.

Or yesterday. We were literally walking up the steps to get into his school for an "open house" thing and he tells me that we pulled Elf out of school too quickly and that we lacked wisdom from God.


Oh, and while I was about fuming and not knowing what to say, he added that if *only* I had stuck things out with Elf, he wouldn't learn that he'll get his way and can quit school and stay home with mom. And I should have waited for a summer break.

Oh, my word. I'm sure there are a lot of teachers and parents wondering why I was on the steps of a public school giving my son a run-down on the evils of the local elementary and telling him he had SOME NERVE to even THINK that we just pulled our son out of school as some sort of knee-jerk reaction to "not getting our way."

I mean, yeah, "kid-locked-in-a-closet-regularly" DOES EQUAL "not getting our way." So we should have stayed? And it was a knee-jerk reaction when I'd been bugging his dad FOR MONTHS to pull the kid? And I have a chip on my shoulder regarding public education? Damn straight, I do. (Yeah... sigh. Now I'm cussing.) Thanks for pointing it out and getting me all fumed RIGHT BEFORE meeting all the ps educators!! By the way, I happen to LIKE all the teachers I've met that are working with Patrick and G. I think I said several nice things about the teachers and staff but made one comment about the mazelike building during the two hours we were there and got trounced again by Patrick. The boy infuriates me.

The building is actually a real firetrap. Full of stairs up, down and sideways. I won't tell you where we are exactly, but it was actually the setting of a famous horror film, ok? I never saw the film, but I'm sure the film had lots of running in the narrow, twisting, windowless corridors and up and down those stairs. This feature is too scary to leave OUT of the film. I'm thinking axe or chainsaw and a chase scene would be ideal... In any event, just last year a child fell down the stairs and broke his ankle and I can easily see how that happened. Easily. Add to that the fact that the building has been added to and that the bottom stair isn't always the bottom stair (it can be two inches off the ground and you think it's level - too late!) and some literally HILLY floors in the 100-year-old building and you can at least see where I'm coming from. One of the teachers joked with me that the children wanted to hide cheese for the parents tonight, it's such a mouse-maze.

Usually, when someone bugs me, I just stay away from that person or place. If I fight with my husband, well, he works all day AND most weekends. So we're ok. And if I fight with G, he has a terrible grasp on "how to win a verbal fight" and I can effortlessly run circles around him in that department. If only he weren't so loud and screaming the same two tired insults, I would win every time. And the younger kids still listen to Mom occasionally.

I alternate between praying for Patrick and wanting to pop him on the head with his schoolpapers. Probably just my displaced anger at the school district coming out. My bad.


  1. I thought it was only girls that got all critical like that! LOL

    I hate to hear that though. It does make for a very frustrating situation.

  2. From all my friends I hear that boys at 14 are actually worse then girls at that age. Really what it is, is their God given drive for leadership that is expressing itself in the wrong way. This is why mom and dad need to channel it.

    I was at my girlfriends the other day and she has 10 children. Her just-turned-15-year-old son is the first boy, second child. She was saying this exact same thing about her son. She says he tries to tell her how to raise the kids and what rules are right and which ones are wrong etc.

    Really this sort of thing in an adolescent boy is not a bad thing. Like I said, some day your son will need to be a leader in his own home. The problem is that when they are 14 they have no idea how to handle that part of them because they are still immature and in puberty. This will take gentle nurturing and soft instruction to guide him through this time.

    I wouldnt even try to explain myself to him. He needs discipline for making fun of you but for his unwanted opinions on your choices I wouldnt use discipline.

    Instead you will need to use two little words that I use on Tink and that I learned in reading The Explosive Child. Those two words are nevertheless and regardless.

    When he tells you you lacked wisdom in pulling Elf out of school your only response is; I hear and recognize your opinion but regardless of how you feel I am the parent and I make these decisions.

    If he argues you continue in a quiet but firm voice.

    It would go something like this:

    But mom you didnt pray enough about it!

    Regardless of what you think, it is not for you to question my decision.

    But mom it's not working and..

    Nevertheless, it is my decision.

    But Elf would be so much better behaved if..

    Regardless of what you think the decision has been made and it is not for you to question.

    If you keep up in this vein they actually do stop because there is no arguing with you. You remain firm and you remain the one in charge.

    By explaining ourselves we put ourselves on their level and we end up arguing like we are a sibling rather then a parent with an athoritative right to make our decisions.

    After reading that book I have been doing this with Tink and its amazing how effective it is.

    I hope this will be of some help to you. :)

  3. I think I need to focus on the fact that I don't humiliate HIM in public like that and how do you think that feels? Just received an email from a dear friend with some hugs and suggestions as well.

    Sure sounds like the "regardless" or "nevertheless" would be good "code words" to teach Patrick that he's crossing the line.

  4. Oh my gosh. I kept gasping while reading about his comments! I'm not one to talk though. My son just stood up on the school bus and told the kids they are all going to hell. Oh, boy. He got in trouble for that one! I was so embarrassed when the bus driver told me. Ahem..

  5. I am sorry for what you are dealing with. I wish I could help you out but I don't know how. I'll pray for you though. You are always in my thoughts.

    Aunt B.


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