What is the biggest difference between my 15 year-old and my 12 year-old (boys)?
The 12 year-old still thinks it can't hurt (and naively, that it might help) to argue after he has been told "no."
The 15 year-old KNOWS that arguing will not only hurt, but make things proportionately worse.
So, that is where I am in motherhood right now. Training that last kid to not argue with me. He was so cute and adorable yesterday. Today he argues, sulks and acts indifferent. Poor kid though. After three kids before him, he is dealing with a pro. He never stood a chance. Still, I have to give him credit, he tries.
Yesterday, for example, he wanted to go to the mall with some of his friends from school. The answer, of course, was "no." Why? Well, not that I need to explain but let's just say that he is grounded. From Everything. He is currently getting all F's (except in Art and PE) in school. There have been some behavioral issues as well, and well the proverbial hammer has fallen on his young life of privilege.
This week they are both out of school for winter break. The 12-y/o was supposed to come to work with me and sit in an empty cubicle to contemplate his life and what he could be doing with his free time had he chosen a path of academic responsibility and attitudinal accountability. Fortunately for him he was spared the first three days because we were having a training class onsite with potential customers. Instead he was able to stay at home with his disabled (another story for another time) brother, who was on crutches.
Somehow the time at home with nothing to do created the sliver of hope within him that he might be able to go to the mall. Heh, heh, um? No. But, like I said, he tried. I was on my way home from work on Wednesday when he called to tell me that he had a surprise for me. I knew, where this was headed, but you know that I had no choice but to let this play out. Plus? I was a little curious to see where his mind was at.
I came home and he led me into the kitchen where he had made a lovely "after work" snack for me. He had prepared a ham sandwich, yogurt and apple on a dinner plate for me. Accompanying that was a diet coke freshly poured in a glass with ice. He was very proud of himself and I have to admit I was a little impressed. Or maybe flattered?
Anyway, shortly after he asked if he could go to the mall the next day. Followed by an emphatic "no," from me. Followed by, you guessed it, The Argument. So, the training begins, continues and kicks into full gear. Don't argue with your mom. The sooner you learn that, the better things will be. Still though, if he were 15 he'd know that by now. *Sigh*