Member since 12/3/09
Date: 6/1/12 7:54 AM
Hi, and thanks to all for great advice.
I must say I have become much stronger after reading all of your posts. I was very firm and said "no." Naturally, I did my very best to not be a tyrannical despot and attempted to explain the whole story. He cried the whole way home (semi-silently - not in a tirade type way).
My problem is I don't want to hear any more of it. I feel I should not have to explain the same thing every day so that he might find a crack in my argument to bolster his efforts.
I tried giving him respect by explaining the situation, but he just keeps asking as if I never said "no."
How can I put this thing to bed ? Thanks, Bert
Member since 12/13/07
Skill: Advanced Beginner
Subject: He Hasnt Stopped Yet ! Date: 6/1/12 8:07 AM
"NO, and every time you ask again you loose **fill in the blank here with something he likes to do or get **". 10 minutes of TV, video games, ice cream, whatever will trip his switch. The tough part is that you really have to do it - keep up and remove the item. Keep a little notepad in your pocket and everytime he brings it up, whip it out with a flourish and mark down "-10 minutes of TV".
No means no, and there are consequences of continued annoyance after the answer was given.
South Carolina USA
Member since 5/10/05
4 members like this.
Date: 6/1/12 8:13 AM
I might get boos for this but it works with my kid. If she keeps riding me about something that i'm not going to change my mind on, I just finally tell her "You made your case, I said no. I gave you my reasons, and my answer isn't going to change. Ask me again, and you'll find yourself grounded." And mean it.
I do have to admit that my kid is 7, things could be different with a teenager. However, I doubt my ability to be a 'mean mom' is going to change as she gets older.
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Member since 4/8/02
1 member likes this.
Subject: He Hasnt Stopped Yet ! Date: 6/1/12 8:32 AM
Bert62, have you ever given in when your child tried this? Have they tried to do this? If they have and if you have EVER "broke" down and gave in? If you can honestly say, "yes, I have" then you just gotta keep saying no and remind him of a time you said yes against your better judgement and results of that. Say, "I will never change my mind about this so you should put it on your list of things to do/buy/get when you are an adult and no long living at my house!"
I have been in your position with a teen and I have to tell you I have broken my own rules a time or two early in the teen years just to have peace and it was NOT worth it because DD always remembered that we gave in when she whined and etc. and never gave up hope she could do it again. Just stick to "No." If the subject is brought up again, walk out of the room. If you are driving him somewhere he wants to go and he starts whining and asking, stop the car and get out. Trust me that the subject will get old when they don't have a source to bounce their whine off. Especially in the car taking him somewhere he WANTs to go to!
-- Edited on 6/1/12 8:34 AM --
New York USA
Member since 3/13/06
2 members like this.
Date: 6/1/12 8:46 AM
Bert, for what it's worth -- you have my total sympathy and support. I don't have kids. I would find issues like this very difficult and upsetting.
You rock, I'm tellin' ya!
One thing I got out of watching Super Nanny. You see a kid who will NOT go to sleep. They put the kid to bed, the kid gets up, they put the kid to bed, the kid gets up, they put the kid to bed, the kid cries and screams. So they let the kid watch TV with them until he falls asleep.
And I really wondered what the flippin' solution was.
And the solution was that one night, the parents are instructed to just keep putting the kid to bed. All freaking night. The first time, you say, "It's time to go to bed." But after that, you don't say ANYTHING. You just keep chasing the kid, picking him up, putting him back in the bed. Like, it goes on for HOURS. Like, you think, this is never going to end. Eventually, the kid goes berserk and you wonder if they now have a total monster on their hands. The parents are weeping and saying, "We don't want our child to hate us!"
But what happens is, deep down, the kid gets really really scared and insecure that the status quo has changed and I guess about losing the parents' love. Eventually, the kid wears himself out and stays in the freaking bed and goes to sleep. Next morning, parents greet him with a happy kiss and approval. And that's the end of the sleeping problem.
And I think the moral to the story is this: yes, as a parent, you're scared to lose the love of your child. But, apparently, the kid is MORE SCARED than you.
Is this drivel? I can erase it.
-- Edited on 6/1/12 9:36 AM --
Member since 1/12/04
1 member likes this.
Date: 6/1/12 9:19 AM
Bert, if your son has ever worn you down by his persistent badgering, then you have unwittingly "reinforced" his behaviour. In behaviour modification theory, giving in once in a while is what is called "intermittent reinforcement" and it is known to strengthen behaviour.
In other words, even if you mostly hold firm, just giving in once in a while increases the likelihood that your son will persist in his attempts to change your mind. He doesn't know if it will take 100 or 1000 asks, but he believes that it's worth his effort because, eventually, you may change your mind.
The thing is that some kids just are EXTREMELY persistent in going after what they want. It takes a parent made of steel to resist, and as the other posters say, I don't think there is a short cut to just saying "no" over and over and over again.
I look at this persistence as a very good quality in a human being, even though it can make your life as a parent quite challenging. So yes, maybe you can channel it by saying something like suggested above "you can ask and ask, but this time I will not change my mind" and then add "I admire your persistence in going after what you want, because that quality will serve you very well in life, but in this situation, my mind is 100% made up and it's not going to change."
Just remember that it has to stay 100% made up, else you set yourself up for more of this in the future. That will be the hard part.
For the first first years after my kids left the nest, I thought a lot about how exhausting parenting really had been. You always have to be on your toes, one step ahead of them. You have my sympathies! :)
Member since 8/24/02
1 member likes this.
Date: 6/1/12 9:33 AM
It can be SO HARD to stick to your guns because they have more energy than us so much of the time!
This is why *studies show* that kids from single parent homes LIKE MINE get into more trouble. They exhaust that one person who has to work full time. I know that's what happened with my kids. I had no help from the ex with them, and some of the time I was simply too exhausted to stick to my guns.
Couple that with elder parent responsibilities during the kid's teen years and I had a recipe for disaster!
But, on topic -- Bert I commend you! You're doing great. Eventually if you stick to your guns he will stop and realize it's no use. I love SexiSadi's approach.
Bernina 780, and 530
Viking Opal 690Q
When life gives you green velvet curtains, make a green velvet dress.
Member since 10/1/06
Date: 6/1/12 9:56 AM
I feel your frustration. This is the part of parenting that is a huge pain in the #$$ and can make it hard to like your kid. Whining and nagging was like an earwig to me. I rarely lose my temper so a few times my getting mad was the shock treatment needed to make the point that I was done. Sometimes they don't think we are humans. Let the grounding begin if the nagging does not stop.
Sending you lots of morale support - teenage years are rough
Member since 2/5/09
Date: 6/1/12 10:08 AM
I'd like to suggest that you sit him down and tell him you and he are having a "man to man" and be sure you have his attention. Ask him, "Are you listening to me?" Then say this is the final conversation you will have with him about this subject. Tell him again what you did before. Maybe even apologize again, if it will help you feel better about it. Make sure he understands. Then the next time and the next time and so on, ignore him! He will get tired of asking and being ignored. You just have to deal with the aggravation for a while. Part of being a dad to a teenager.
Listen with your ears-hear with your heart!
British Columbia CANADA
Member since 7/23/07
Date: 6/1/12 10:13 AM
I have worked with a lot of kids (0 - 5 years admittedly, but some things stay the same until they are about 25) and plenty of kids who have had the most consistent and non-wavering parents will still try the "wear them down" tactic. My coworkers and I have discussed this many times and all marvel at how they will keep going despite absolute zero chance of success. Just putting that in so you don't feel it is any way your "fault" Bert.
Sometimes you have to go for a serious heart to heart discussion. Depending on you and your situation, a quiet walk together somewhere, in the car (captive audience) or sitting by your child's bedside are good choices of where to do it. You get the kid's attention by telling them it is an important discussion and that you love them deeply, but the answer to this question is and always will be "NO." Not a big song and dance but "I feel it is very unsafe and I never want to see you injured and you know it is far too expensive for our family."
Then you have to explain how the badgering is making you feel. "Having this conversation over and over again is making me frustrated and angry. It needs to stop right now. I don't want to take away privileges, but I will if I have to and it will start right after we finish talking." Then of course, you need to have your consequence planned out so you can implement it immediately. I like Dr. Phil's phrase "find your child's currency" - something that he values enough to care about losing.
Then you need to go out and get Barbara Coloroso's book "Kids are Worth It." I don't have many heroes in my life, but she is definitely one of them. Good luck!
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