Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Did the Jonas Brothers' mom and Justin Bieber's mom have to put up with this shit, too?? I think I'd feel a little better if they did.

angst:  a feeling of anxiety, apprehension, or insecurity

As the mother of a 12-year-old boy, this word has become a major part of our vocabulary.
And just for the record, before I go any further, let me just say this: 
I am NOT liking this stage...not. one. bit.

We've all had it....the angst.  I'm pretty sure that it was recommended as a 'life study' in junior high.
Some of us survived surprisingly well....and my mom our parents should be commended for not sending us up the river at first chance.

I am, at this very moment, sitting across the table from one very mad, very frustrated 12-year-old.  He is doing homework that should have been done during the summer holiday.  It is homework that he told me was done.  He looked me straight in the eye and assured me he was finished.  Guess what?  He wasn't.  But, he thinks that he should still be able to play his Nintendo AND buy a new game (to the tune of about $45!!  Not just "no", but "hell, NO!!") 

It doesn't matter how many times I remind him that the situation he finds himself in now is his own, I am the enemy.  I don't know what I'm talking about.  And if he knew how to use the word bitch correctly, I'm sure it would have been mumbled countless times under his breath.


I'm not really sure how we got to this point in our lives.  The hardest thing is that most everything that comes out of his mouth of late?  The feeling of "oh....I remember that" comes over me like an ugly,
pre-teen tidal wave.

I know what it's like to feel as if he is the only person in the world to not have something.
(In his case, a particular DS mine, I'm remembering a pair of saddle oxfords in 6th grade, among other things).

I know what it's like to fall behind in a class (or three) and feel like there is no way that everything is going to get done.

I know that there will always be smarter kids, but that doesn't make me dumb.

I know what it's like to have kids in class that seem to get everything that they want and they never really seem to have to work for it...all they do is ask and voila! it's in their hands.

I know.

But, in the process of growing up and becoming the adult, I am now the one who doesn't understand...the one who is being unreasonable....
the one who is partially responsible for the angst, it seems.

So, my friends, here is where I ask for your help...your input...your advice....words of support or...escape routes. (Just kidding about that last one...I'm trying to find some humor here.)
Have you gone through (and survived!) something like this?
As I am the main "parental unit" in situations like these (And please, don't ask why, the explanation is too  hard to understand for anyone not in a relationship with a Japanese man), I'm finding myself at more of a loss than I have ever been....which is causing my own angst.

And as I have been told for many years and firmly believe:
If momma's not happy, nobody's happy.

Thanks for "listening"....I feel a little better just typing this all out.


Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I feel your pain, for sure.

I'm a big believer in natural consequences--as in he screwed up in school so let him suffer consequences in school. I don't know if that would work in the Japanese culture though.

He did lie to you, so that's another (Nintendo) consequence. I might take the Nintendo away for a defined amount of time, but let him earn it back sooner by displaying some of the behavior you're looking to develop (i.e., homework done with no nagging on your part).

Good luck!

Gina said...

Such fun. Not! It's natural and normal and so fricking annoying! And since every kid is different it seems as though there are no set ways to deal with this stage. The best advice I can give you is to try not to take it personally. He is mad at you because you are safe. In the life of a pre-teen there aren't many safe people so you get to be the scapegoat for the next few years. Do what you need to do to enforce the rules, and consequences when rules are disobeyed, but try to do it without adding more fuel to the emotional fire and don't let his nastiness get you down. Underneath it all is the little boy you love and eventually he will return to his body (after this miserable growing up thing is almost done.) Delaney will be 12 in three weeks and I'm riding this wave with you girlfriend. I'm looking forward to sitting on the beach and lauging about it someday!

Cheri @ Blog This Mom!® said...


It sounds to me like you're doing it just right. Doing the best thing for your child isn't always the easy thing. Sometimes it hurts. As the mom of two adult children, I can tell you that they do look back and say, "Mom, remember when you wouldn't let me do XYZ? You did the right thing. I was mad at the time, but I'm glad you raised me that way." Also, I'm not in a relationship with a Japanese man, but we have a similar situation in that Tom is a BIG softy when it comes to Laura, so often it is me who has to be point man on discipline. Anyway, back to my original point. You're doing it right, and some days that's hard on a mommy's heart. Sending you love.

The Other Laura said...

Hey Debbie. It sounds like you are on the right track, but that doesn't mean that the right track is at all comfortable for THE MOM!

We are going through some similar attitude shifts with Max and his sense of entitlement when it comes to new toys. I am talking a lot about cultivating a grateful heart and he is doing a lot of sneering.

I often say "sorry dude, it is my job to teach you these things no matter what. I am the mom. It is what I have to do." And then he slams the door to his bedroom and curses me under his sweet little nine year old boy breath.

Hang in there...

jan in nagasaki said...

hi deb!!!

look what wise and wonderful friends you have!!!!

happy autumn equinox day!!!

Leeann said...

Well Sweetie, it does sound like we are on a similar page indeed!

I would have had my kid sitting right there doing the homework, just like you are.

For Trey, he lost every electronic privilege he has from yesterday until Saturday. I was going to do that and then when I asked HIM what he thought I should do, that was what he suggested. Even though it isn't a natural consequence (although he did have to go in yesterday and tell his teacher he did not have his homework), losing his electronics is hitting him where it hurts the most.

What is your son's "currency?"

Nurse-to-be said...

Oh good grief I would not go back to that particular point in my life for any amount of money! I can only imagine what kinds of things I put my parents through - very similar to what you described I'm sure. Also one of my biggest fears of someday parenthood. I told the bf that if we ever have teenagers together I am sending them to boarding school. :)

Karen MEG said...

You're scaring me a little, Deb, I'm only half kidding. The 10 yo is showing the occasional defiance, but thank goodness he's seemed to have found a passion with soccer this year, and the condition of him keeping up with school in order to play rep seems to be working so far.

Sending you big hugs from the other side of the ocean. This is great advice from moms in the know here...