Teenagers

OK so parenting this teenager is way harder than I thought it would be. I am so sensitive, really, and so very, VERY logical, that it is extremely hard for me to see a child that is bigger than me thinking along the same levels as his three-year-old brother. It's also very hard for me not to take behavior personally. I feel like I've gotten better but I know I have a ways to go.

I feel like we're not doing enough, but I don't know what else to do! He has a history of many years of no consequences for his actions, and being able to manipulate adults with his behavior. He is guarded, he doesn't like what we represent, he takes everything personally to the nth degree.

Sometimes I think we are moving on from this stuff but stuff happens like what happened last night and it makes me question what the heck is going on.

Me: *getting a huge whiff of him as he walked by* Did you shower at your mom's?
D: Yes
Me: Did you put on deodorant?
D: No
Me: Well, I think you need to shower again because I can smell you.
D: *freak out, go into room, yell, hit the wall, muttering under his breath things I couldn't hear*

Then he did his chores, and went to bed early. Refused to take a shower. This morning I tried to talk to him about it, and he declared he was in the right because he didn't need to shower. Obviously.

Really? All because he didn't want to take a five minute shower? And he didn't even try to talk about it or anything last night, just muttered and yelled. I dunno, maybe it's kind of insulting to be told you stink. But the point of showering is so you don't stink. We all stink sometimes, myself included! And I probably could have phrased it in a nicer way, but he does always get mad if we insinuate in any way that he is less than 100% clean.

BLEH. We wanted to send him to this camp this weekend, where he could do stuff like acting or cooking or photography, artsy type stuff. And I think it would be super fun for him, good for him to get away and to do something fun, and all that. But this freak out stuff, I don't know where it comes from. And if he can't take a five minute shower when we ask him to, what's to stop him from not doing things that his camp counselors ask him to?

Every time we want to do something nice for him he freaks out or just gets really mean. Part of me wonders if it is some sort of self-defense mechanism, or a way to somehow defend his biological mom, because he knows if he was with her he would not have these opportunities. Or maybe it's just a kid, being a kid, and being ungrateful for the sacrifices their parents make for them.

Also, can I just say I suck at relating to him. My husband is way better and I'm thankful I have him around to keep a handle on these things! I wonder if by the time the little boys are bigger if I will be better, or if I will still just suck. :)

Comments

  1. When we took our foster care classes they talked about how older kid sometimes feel guilty that they like their foster parents because it feels like a betrayal to their the bio parent(s) or they use their behavior as a defense mechanism, etc, etc. He's still only 12 and probably has more emotional "stuff" to deal with then most adults so who knows what's really going on in his head. I'm praying for wisdom for you guys. I too have to work at not taking behavior personally. I think I've gotten a little better at it but I still have to work on it sometimes.

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    Replies
    1. Good point, that he has more going on emotionally than most adults. Thank you for your prayers!

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  2. From 21 years of teaching middle schoolers- esp. boys don't like to shower and don't get hygiene until they want to be attractive to girls-then they completely overboard with cologne. Sometimes I would gag at all the cologne smell that came in band room. Sometimes, getting a whiff of the 'non-cologners' was equally bad. That may or may not have anything to do with his behavior, but kids that age do smell bad easily with all the hormonal changes etc. I don't have any real fatherly advice other than sometimes being a parent stinks. (ha!) Keep at it-you're doing fine.

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    Replies
    1. The sad thing is, the girls still love him even though he stinks almost all the time. So they are doing nothing to help us out!

      Thanks for the encouragement. It means a lot coming from one of the best parents I know! :)

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