My Parenting Fun Continues…
Posted by Christy Hayes
My fourteen-year-old son recently texted me while on a school trip with his classmates and asked me to stop texting him. He’d been gone for two days and I’d texted him a handful of times asking those probing questions that parents ask like, “Where are you now?” When I asked him why I should stop texting him, he answered that I was annoying him.
When he got home, his father and I took his phone away and I told him he’d get it back when he learned to treat me with respect. Oh, and I was done doing all the annoying things I do for him every day.
He now wakes up with an alarm instead of me rubbing his back. He makes his own breakfast (I do still slip a Power Bar into his book bag or else the kid would starve). I’ve stopped annoying him by doing his laundry. We had a lesson with both the washer and dryer that included many eye rolls and frustrated huffs of impatience. He even asked when he was getting his phone back and when he could stop doing laundry (his first load was still in the wash).
Needless to say, he still doesn’t have his phone and he’s still doing his laundry.
Never would I have treated my parents with the kind of disrespect that he treats me. My husband would never have been so bold with his parents, and he’s pretty darn bold. Somewhere along the line, our son has lost complete respect for us. My friends say it’s because he’s a teenager and he’ll grow out of it. Unfortunately for him, I’m not patient enough to wait until he grows out of it. As a matter of fact, he can do his laundry from now until he leaves for college if his attitude doesn’t improve.
The thing I don’t understand is that I don’t expect him to lavish me with praise for preparing his food, doing his laundry, and being at his beck and call 24/7. I never have. I’m simply trying to raise a self-sufficient, happy citizen who will contribute to society. If he does a few years of laundry along the way, his future wife can thank me with grandchildren I intend to spoil rotten and then return to his parents. Should he be scared that I’m already plotting revenge? Yes, he absolutely should.
So as Thanksgiving comes to an end and the kids head back to school with visions of Christmas break on their minds, I’m wondering what the rest of you who have raised teenagers recommend. Should I lighten up because he’s a teenager or give my wayward son more chores?