Thursday, October 7, 2010


I guess there are no triathlons in our immediate future. See, I was really, really hoping the change to the new school would help. But things weren't adding up. Despite all his assurance there were no problems at school and despite the lack of any communication from the school, my mommy-gut has been reminding me that things aren't always what they seem.

There have been too many late buses, missed the bus and had to take the city trolley excuses and things like that. And showing up 2 1/2 hours late Monday with these excuses clinched it. Because I remembered that Monday afternoons are detention at his school. So I called the school to see how he's really doing. Sure enough, there have been several detentions. Some of been done at lunch because "my parents said I can't do after school detention." But the detention slips never made it home. Neither did the note about being kicked off the bus. His teacher was bringing him home because "I can't reach my parents." Uh, no. Your parents would tell you that a bus has been provided and if you can't follow the rules you will walk or take the city bus.

The rudeness and defiance continues at school, and now that he's been caught, the charm at home has been replaced by rudeness and defiance too. No need to try and charm anyone when all privileges have been revoked.

We are meeting for a conference at the school next week to sort out the extent of the lies, deception and offenses. But the triathlons are gone. The deal was good behavior at school. I am disappointed because I think the challenge would have been good for him. There are three local triathlons in the next month too. But I can't back down on what I said. My children have to show they can be trusted to be in activities. And there have been many violations of trust in the past few weeks.

I know he can change, but right now he doesn't see that need. We are the problem. And honestly, I'm sure we don't always make the right decisions, but freedom and privileges are earned by being responsible and trustworthy.

Funny, because I just wrote an article for Living with Teens about that very thing. Sent it in yesterday.

How are privileges and responsibilities tied together for your kids? How do you decide how much freedom your child is ready for?


One Crowded House said...

that stinks for him and you... I know you were wanting him to feel success...

Felicia said...

Ugh, making bad choices. I can't imagine why the school was taking all his stories at face value and never contacted you.

Yes, I agree with you, privileges and responsibilities go hand in hand. Sometimes the kids can't seem to grasp that fact.

Ohiomom2121 said...

You may need to stick to what you said, but we learned that in therapeutic parenting, taking the one reason for a child's life (sports, scouts, etc.) was counter productive. It just led to depression, that led to more failure. I still regret that I allowed my husband to stick to his decision to stop track after a mild brush with police. No charges, but our son never returned to any high school sport. It was the WRONG decision. Create other punishments, ones that are daily and annoying. Chores grounding means weeding before practice, doing the dishes after practice, no TV, no electronics, in short, cut out all the bad wastes of time, but not the things that are good for his character. That is why you are not getting any you said, no motivation. If you can, consider making a trade. I will change my mind about the sports, if you will agree to being grounded in all other respects for "x" amount of time. Maybe let him continue to train, but not to enroll in a competition until "x" amount of good days occur. DH thought he was only taking one track season, but in the end the consequence was a failure of confidence and all 3 yrs of high school sports were lost over one bad night. Don't forget that the muscles and bones you build as a teenager will support your body for decades. It was a mistake! Please don't follow those footsteps.

Kathy C. said...

Ohiomom--Adam hasn't done any triathlons to date. Not sure he truely wants to. He told me that torturing himself wasn't a privilege in his eyes but the ones he wants--running all over with friends--is not a good choice for him so this was my suggestion to him. He has played two season of city soccer but not this fall due to trashing a second computer with porn.

I do want to see him do the triathlons and they run year round so perhaps like you suggested, let him continue to train but he doesn't get to do one until so many weeks have passed with no detentions and lying.

We meet with the counselor Saturday morning and I"ll run it all by her along with the detentions slips (Some "disappeared") etc.

Thanks for your input.

Kathy C. said...

Felicia--they do go together. That's why I was trying to find one where he could interact with other people but not necessarily the peers he tends to get into trouble with. I thought some of the athletes might be good role models.

Felicia said...

I understand about finding an activity where he meets kids who might be a better influence. We always allowed Joselin to stay in the ROTC because we felt that it taught good core values and she really loved it. Seems like Adam isn't really too excited about the triathilons so there wouldn't be a huge incentive to keep it. What does he enjoy doing?