Let me start by saying my 12-year-old is an awesome kid. Smart, funny, silly, loving (most of the time), helpful (some of the time, when reminded). An all around great kid. I adore him completely. Like any mother, I want him to have a good, healthy, happy life. Until his mouth kicks in, that is.
And what a mouth it can be! Good grief. I realize I was sassy and nasty to my parents on occasion (as are all kiddos), but I can tell you if I had delivered the amount that he attempts at times, my life would have been uber miserable… and/or over.
Along with this issue, throw in a heavy load of stubborn (straight from daddy – remember, I did not birth this one!) it can come down to an ugly situation. And I HATE IT all…including my response at times.
However, when it gets to the point that momma COMPLETELY loses her stuff, the reality finally hits. He will finally eat or drink (almost always a factor in the grumpiness and mouthiness), or get some exercise/burn some energy or just be banned to his room long enough to really think about the fact that his behavior has landed him here.
I am not proud that I lose it and turn into the drill sergeant that I probably should have been – with ADULTS, that is. I do not enjoy it. It is energy sapping, frustrating, saddening and miserable all at the same time. But you know what? There are times that it is the ONLY THING THAT WORKS.
Perhaps it works because I am the momma, and maybe even more so because I am the adoptive momma. As we keep moving along into these preteen years, I am hopeful that these instances continue to become fewer and farther apart. We try, as parents, after the storm, to review what just happened. Have you not eaten enough today, are you dehydrated, did something happen with a friend, or at school? And finally, son, can you understand why that behavior is inappropriate and intolerable? And, why momma lost it?
This is not an easy age for him. The body and the hormones are out of control, the situations around him are ever changing and ever affected by more external factors than we know. Been there, done that. But, this is the prime time for teaching appropriate responses, self-management, and setting the expectations for behaviors that will help him function as an adult.
Behaviors which include…apologizing for losing my stuff.