This is the problem today...kids don't have consequences because parents are afraid "they won't like us anymore."
Like you said...had he sucked it up his first year and came to you over the summer and asked again, you would have said yes. Guess what...now he gets NOTHING!!!
I'm with you on this! It's your TV. You said he couldn't take it. He did, anyway. Umm...isn't that stealing?? This is his consequence. Let your XH buy him a TV.
BTW: My parents did and said unbelievable things to me growing up, and I had unimaginable consequences for some of my actions. For my own good. I love my parents very much and am thankful for the way they were because that made me who I am today!!!!
Good job, MOM!!!
[This message edited by Raven96 at 7:48 AM, October 26th (Saturday)]
I don't think humiliating him while at the same time making you look like 'the bitch' will solve the problem but may instead, escalate the distance between the two of you.
figure out how to discuss with him ways to communicate......maybe there's a way to clear the air so everyone walks away with a different understanding of each other instead of anger and resentment which sounds like it might happen if you drive there to pick up the tv.
it's one of the most important and the last transition period for our kids where we have a real opportunity to share our views of the world, our morals and values and also our coping skills before they are truly on their own.
Take the TV or don't, I'm not sure what's best there. But DS19 needs to hear why you're upset. He needs to hear that he's exhibiting a quality of his dad that frightens you. He needs to hear that his dishonesty has damaged his credibility with you and that trust is hard won and when damaged, hard to repair. I'd use this as a growing up lesson for him, and as a clear the air/bonding experience for your relationship with your son if you can. Because if you don't be real about this, he'll continue to think it's about a TV that you could easily afford to buy him 20 of so he won't really get why you care.
Your anger, most likely really disappointment in your son, is righteous. However, I feel you might want to take the approach that Alex and cayc suggest. Go to your son' apartment. Take him out for a cup of coffee. Talk to him. He is a child, always will be your child, but treat him as you would an adult (not Sultan) and talk. Ask him what you should do. Ask him if you should take the tv. Ask him what he would do if he was placed in the same situation as you. I feel this is a serious situation and must be addressed but just going and taking the TV just might backfire on you. Depending on the talk you have with him, decide then if you should take the TV or not.
[This message edited by SisterMilkshake at 9:19 AM, October 26th (Saturday)]
"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson
I wish more parents were as good at parenting as you apparently are! I work in a management role in healthcare and if I have to deal with one more self important, entitled snot nose 19 or 20 year old I may choke someone. If parents don't teach them that they are not just entitled to everything and that the world does not revolve around them, then guess who does get to do it? People like me, and let me tell you it can get ugly sometimes!
Bless you for having a conscious and trying to raise productive honest humble members of society!
I think he sees some humor here. (I do anyway.) He pulled a fast one on you. You finally caught on. He's now paying the price.
You almost have to take back the TV.
China? Even 64 years after the Revolution, the old ways hold sway in China. He needs a guide. A guide with white hair would open a lot of doors for him. Just sayin'....
You are going to take back something he took from home without permission. Simple, no further issue, just respect me going forward.
He pulled a fast one on you. You finally caught on. He's now paying the price
In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.
[This message edited by cissi at 3:47 PM, October 26th (Saturday)]
He had no right to do that. Who cares if he's embarrassed because his mom has caught him being underhanded and is calling him out on it? I have taught A LOT of entitled kids over the years, and it frustrated me to no end when I knew their parents were not punishing them despite their poor behavior and/or grades.
Go get that TV-- he needs to see that entitled, selfish behavior leads to consequences.
OK, I wouldn't yell -- I'd go the calm, reasonable why I'm disappointed in you, and you will have to earn back my trust because you disobeyed me and, worse, lied to me about it.
Oooo, I'm pissed off for you!
And to the responders who said he picked up the wrong tv -- no he didn't. He knew just what he was doing.
[This message edited by StrongerOne at 4:17 PM, October 26th (Saturday)]
I do feel it is humiliating to be treated as a child when one is 19, whether the roommates know the details or not, gonna's son will know he was treated as a naughty child.
Look, we had 2 troubled teens in our home. The first being my nephew who we became guardians of when he was 13. His mother (my baby sister) was killed in a car accident. The sperm donor who was his "father" was in prison and never in the picture, except sporadically. My nephew was troubled when he came to live with us. He was a bad influence on our older son who was only a year younger than his cousin.
We used "tough love" . Had to. What we realize now is that maybe we over reacted with our son and didn't have to sweat the small stuff (which we definitely had to do with nephew). We really should have picked our battles with our son. It did do some damage to our relationship that we greatly regret and wish we could re-do. Our relationship with our son is now healing, but it is still a work in progress.
Go get the tv. Calmly. Do not give him another tv. Explain why you are taking it. I would use the words disappointed, lost my trust, and lying in that explanation.
This is not treating him like a young kid. This is giving him appropriate consequences for deliberate misbehavior and deceptiveness. If it embarrasses him in front if his roommates, too bad. He *should* be embarrassed.
You do him no favors by letting it slide or by making it a joke or by trying to soften it. None. I don't mean scream at him -- frankly, calm expression of disappointment will be much more powerful. And I don't mean, never forgive him. But he does need to understand what he did wrong, to apologize for it, and to demonstrate that he is worthy of your trust.
All the things we at SI say a WS should do. Because they are the right thing to do. Because they show respect and consideration for the other person in the relationship (spouses, parent-child, whatever).
I'll never forget not telling my dad that I had a math test, in middle school, on a day that he wanted to take me for an outing. He found up a couple days later. Didn't yell (which was highly unusual. He had quite a temper.). He just said, quietly, I'm really disappointed that you were dishonest. I've always trusted you as the one with the most integrity of all my kids. I guess I was wrong. Omg, I have never forgotten it. It made a real difference to my life -- it gave me strength to do the right thing when it was unpopular and even risky to my employment.
You are doing the right thing, because you are teaching him to do the right thing.
When I spoke to DS19 yesterday, he was given 'food for thought.' He knew that I was upset and disappointed. And I had asked him if he thought that *asking* me about taking the TV beforehand might have been a good idea. (his response was Maybe).
So while knowing that I *should* take the TV, I was willing to hear him out and gauge his attitude about it. Obviously since I already 'spoilered' that I have the TV -- his response wasn't what it should have been.
He didn't want to be logical or reasonable.
He just wanted the bigger TV....and so he took it. He gave me 2 'reasons' that he took it:
1. *He* would use it all of the time and *we* would never use it since it was in his room; and
2. He didn't think that I'd notice that he had switched the TV's.
I told him that #1 could be used as a persuasive argument for why he should have been able to take it.....however, he was treating it as if it was conclusive. *you don't use it -- therefore, I can take it* <-- that had me scratching my head. Huh?? What's up with that crazy logic? I asked him if he could see the *flaw* in what he was saying.....because under his premise, I would be able to decide that *I* could make better use of someone else's <something/anything> and so *I* should be able to just go and take it -- no harm, no foul. I pointed out that he was completely ignoring the fact that it wasn't *his* to take.
He's normally a logical and reasonable person, but he's unable/unwilling to wrap his head around this concept....which is what leads me to see a level of an 'entitlement' attitude in him. It's not a large attitude and it isn't a global one -- but every once in a while it pops up and causes issues between the 2 of us (like now).
As to #2 -- I asked him this: "did you ever ask yourself what you thought would happen if/when I *did* notice the switch?" He just shrugged. I told him that it had taken so long for me to notice because I trusted him and didn't think that there was a need for me to go around and 'take inventory' and that I never expected that he would do this.
I said that he seemed to be upset about the fact that I *noticed* and he was busted instead of the fact that he had taken advantage of my trust. Again -- he didn't say anything.
To his credit....he wasn't being 'snotty' about it at all. (to my face anyway. who knows what he was saying inside of his head)
And. I have no idea what stbx will think of what I did. Most likely he'll see me as the heavy-handed 'bad guy'. He's been extremely, mind-bogglingly hostile towards me lately anyway. I really hope that he just stays out of it.....
It is hard being a responsible parent. It ain't for sissy's! (I hope that isn't offensive to anyone, please forgive if it is, no ill intent towards anyone.) (((gonna)))
eta: hugs for your SN son, gonna, I absolutely love him. What a sweetie trying to comfort you.
[This message edited by SisterMilkshake at 10:47 PM, October 26th (Saturday)]
hugs for your SN son, gonna, I absolutely love him. What a sweetie trying to comfort you
Coming to the party late, but you did the right thing by taking your property back.
The reasons he gave don't make sense. What he is saying is that if one of his roommates isn't using something and let's him use it-his logic -he can just keep it. Without telling the roommate?
I wonder how he would feel if the situation were reversed?
Gonna, you're an excellent mom. Don't let your STBX cause you to second guess your parenting your boys. They will learn about how life really is from you. From him they'll learn about life in Disney land.
OTOH, your son is heavily influenced by his father. Your being honest with him is the best thing you can do to show him it may be a good idea to develop empathy and respect form others. I don't feel good saying that, but I think it's something worth considering.
Besides, you made your decision, and it's done. And it was a good decision anyway.
Sometimes kids just don't think...but he did sneak it out of the house. You did good, Mom.