Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Tuesday 24th June 08

I took the children into school.

Didn't do anything much today other than housework and sorting things out, tidying, some cutting and shredding of branches blown down on Sunday. Gill went to town. In the afternoon I got the children back from school, in two journeys, well four actually, one at 3.15 (there and back) and the other at 4.15 after his Yoga class.

I invited my eldest to come with me next Sunday to the farm which is to be the Northern Green Gathering site, near Ripon... a bit of an adventure... and he said no (using more words and raised voice). I thought he'd jump at the idea of a trip out with me... shows once again how difficult parenting is with a child who doesn't want to do anything. I wasn't like that, I loved going places and doing new things, but I'm not going to force him to come, but it also means that the family probably won't come with me to the event in August. Gill suggested he go to check out the place and report back to her to help her decide whether to go or not.

I escaped from the bad atmosphere by getting into the garden. When I came in I got an apology for the shouting.

After they were in bed, Gill and I played Scrabble, I won partly because I put down 3 words which cleared my rack, Blunter for 76, Springer for 71 and Wefting for 86. Not an easy game for Gilly.


Anonymous said...

errm. ok John, well you asked for tips on how to parent. i can only tell you what i would do in such a circumstance.

My daughter is 12, she doesnt want to go anywhere with me or her Dad, ever, and constantly says no when we ask her if she wants to do this or that with us.

We just dont have any truck with it, if we say she has to come somewhere with us, than that is what she is going to do.

She yells and shouts and kicks up a fuss, but we stick to our guns and make her come.

I am not talking about her not wanting to come round the shops with us, sometimes we are planning a trip up town, or to the coast and she will moan like crazy about coming.

i had a situation like this yesterday - it was my daughter's prents evening and she didnt want to come with us, even though the school said she must attend in her school uniform. she threw a right hissy fit about it, then tried tears, begging me to make out she was sick and couldnt come (this from a girl who has not had one day off school all year).

I had no hesitattion in completely disregarding what she was saying , as far as i was concerned she was going and that was that even if it meant me dragging her by the hand down the road.

Kids that age dont want to be seen out with their parents as it is 'gay'.

However, at the end of the day we are the adults, we are in charge and if we want her to come somewhere, then that is what she has to do.

Once she is out, she has a great time and you wonder what all the fuss was about.

In your case, your lad is possibly preventing the rest of you going to an event in August so he cant be allowed to do that - he has apologised for shouting at you, now you have to enforce the fact that you want him to come with you, non negotiable, he's your eldest son, you especially want him to come with you as you feel he is the important boy of the family, he is the eldest you are looking to him to show a good example to his brother, you value his company and would like him with you.

Alternatively take the other boy instead and make a big deal of the fact that the eldest one will be missing out on something. he had the chance but he passed it up so your other boy can have the opportunity instead.

its always about bartering, compromise and even bribery with kids sometimes.

i often say to my daughter i will let her do such and such when we go out, and then when we do go out i forget all about it (deliberately) as does she.

its no good you 'eascaping' to the garden to avoid the situation, because it is still there when you get back in the house and you might like to consider how Gill and your other boy feels when you
keep doing this.

i think the lads know they can do this to you so keep on doing it. you have to be strong and say i am not having this anymore and then stick with it. the boys will hate your guts for it, but unfortunately being a parent means you have to take a load of sh** a lot of the time and be unpopular. but thats just the way it goes.


Anonymous said...

Hi John,

I do agree with some of the above comments...

As I told you last night, I too had a similar situation with my teenage son the other day about going to the beach for a few days..he told us he gets bored there etc! But we will be going as a family and he understands we need time together and is now willing to come!

Yes!like most kids I get the same sometimes,of both or one of mine not wanting to do or go somewhere, we want to go as a family or just with me. But I do ask and if that doesnt work then I make them come with us/me and then as soon as they are out they love it! and I too wonder what the fuss was about!

This seems to be the way of this new generation! most of us parents are facing this dilema...but mostly I have to say for my kids.. they do tons with me ,tennis,swimming hikes, camping,arts,trips etc,they are generally good at spending and enjoying time with us( or myself..if their dad is at work).

As you know I work from home so its an even harder a challenge to be a fun mum and working woman in the summer( ours started a month ago here!,but I juggle it, but they also help me with my job.So its good to have them work along side me and respect the working mum too.

But generally my feelings are about parenting have to direct,suggest,disipline ,be on constant look out for signs of changes in behavoiur,talking and asking questions. but importantly you are the parent and if things arent done or your wishes not respected then you have to be the tough guy! and stand strong with the action you decide to take,follow it trough!

My kids often come to me and tell me,mum you know we are glad you are the way, you are with us..You can be firm and strict with us in some areas ,but its good you are that, as we then know our boundires and know how far to push etc,we need a parent not a friend! my daughter 13 years, tells me this all the time too! they are grateful for a bit of dicipline as they tell me, there are so many of thier friends who dont seem to get a boundries from thier parents etc..I am telling you this as my kids themsleves say and agree children need some dicipline and boundies and parents following through to what they say! i tought your readers might like to hear it from childrens point iof view!

John, you and I have talked many times( even going back to last summer) about you spending time with the boys playig etc..which you have been doing more, about all this above. I have expressed my feelings on it and how to guide ..I hope this helps again.

I agree sometimes escape is not always the solution,but Hey! if you need to walk away from it and come back calmer yourself and hopefully things have calmed down the other end too ,then do it! Whatever works for you!

I sometimes send mine to my bedroom to think( I know oy say you cant do that!) or go down to my office to calm down !! and then progress with the issue at hand!
We all have to try what we can to survive the moment, which is healthy for you..if walking away for a bit works for you then thats good,at least you have found something that works for you and them,as your son had a chance to think and say sorry!

But,I do think you should ask your older son, once again to come with you and if he really does not want to, then take your younger one.
But let the older one know you may not come with me this time but in August "We are going as a family and you will come then!"

Best wishes John,
Talk to you soon.

Compost John said...

Thank you both.
My son CAN be lovely and easy and enjoyable to be with..
and after receiving Annabel's comment, I told my son that he WOULD be coming with me this weekend. He agreed. I think he was feeling chastened by the aftermath of today's 'behaviour' at school (Wednesday). I am looking forward to a good day with him.