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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:29 pm 
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I wish mine could just roll with it. With anything. Ever.

He still becomes instantly devastated/outraged/despondent at (what to me are) the slightest things.

I totally get the idea of "toxic masculinity," that our culture puts boys and men in little emotional boxes, which constrain their lives in all kinds of ways. Maybe even before he was born, I read Raising Cain, a book about raising emotionally whole boys. It resonated with me. I get it. We have always supported him (boy, this sounds dumb) in experiencing and expressing all his emotions, as natural parts of himself. "Boys don't cry"? No, we didn't (and don't) say that. "You shouldn't feel that way"? Nope, not that either. Yes, it's okay and natural to feel sad sometimes and hurt and lonely and mad and happy.

But knock it off already! It's not the end of the world! You can handle it!

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:58 pm 
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FootFace wrote:
I wish mine could just roll with it. With anything. Ever.

He still becomes instantly devastated/outraged/despondent at (what to me are) the slightest things.

I totally get the idea of "toxic masculinity," that our culture puts boys and men in little emotional boxes, which constrain their lives in all kinds of ways. Maybe even before he was born, I read Raising Cain, a book about raising emotionally whole boys. It resonated with me. I get it. We have always supported him (boy, this sounds dumb) in experiencing and expressing all his emotions, as natural parts of himself. "Boys don't cry"? No, we didn't (and don't) say that. "You shouldn't feel that way"? Nope, not that either. Yes, it's okay and natural to feel sad sometimes and hurt and lonely and mad and happy.

But knock it off already! It's not the end of the world! You can handle it!


I have vivid memories of my brother suddenly becoming like this when he was tween/teen. He was really bad at not getting discouraged by little backsteps or mistakes, especially in school. It was hard to get at the root of the problem because he was better at the emotional side than actually just telling us what was wrong. The only thing that really made him feel better was for my parents to be like, "Hey, I know how you feel. Once, this thing that's kind of like your thing happened to me and I felt really sad about it for a little while."


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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:52 am 
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Ugh. My 15 year old is being a know-it-all this week. It is a very new thing. Every time I say something she tells me I am wrong.
This morning she started a conversation (about philosophy) and I was trying to tell her why it would be good for her to read a different author, she interrupted and said she needed to say something more important... really. Right now you cannot tell her something out of her experience without it being wrong.
What is worse, I am the person in the house she is doing this to. Not her dad, or her brother. I guess she has always been that way with her sister. I am so upset by it.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:18 pm 
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kfad wrote:
Ugh. My 15 year old is being a know-it-all this week. It is a very new thing. Every time I say something she tells me I am wrong.
This morning she started a conversation (about philosophy) and I was trying to tell her why it would be good for her to read a different author, she interrupted and said she needed to say something more important... really. Right now you cannot tell her something out of her experience without it being wrong.
What is worse, I am the person in the house she is doing this to. Not her dad, or her brother. I guess she has always been that way with her sister. I am so upset by it.


I went through a phase like this when I was a teen. My mom mostly ignored it, didn't get confrontational with me about it, remained supportive, etc... eventually I realized I was being a jerk, and we became really good friends again (and still are). So... there's hope!

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:38 pm 
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I guess the thing that is hard for me, is that it is really targeted at me.
Too be fair to her, I understand that she is doing something that is a huge trigger for me. Starting a conversation, (even a onesided one) and when I have something to say, stopping the conversation. Her brother does that ever time I say no or set a boundary and now she is picking up that behavior. That is not one I feel I should let slide. But I don't know how to address it outside of when it happens.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:50 am 
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i know the kid needs to vent, but she needs to find a better way.
i told her if i heard her talking back to me behind my back, she would be sorry.
she did it again (AGAIN!) and so i took away her laptop. I am SO MEAN.
yup, i am.

[meanwhile, her bags from the trip are still unpacked, all summer she did only one and a half units of japanese and NONE of english, and she forgot her math homework for today on the floor, among the bird shiitake and god only knows what else.]
school starts tomorrow and it's about damn time!

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:27 pm 
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The magpie like tendency to take anything that is not nailed down and squirrel it away in her room has gotten to the point of driving me nuts--and it's taken a long time, because I tend to have low boundaries with stuff and to be quite communal. But Flames is not communal. This is not sharing, or borrowing. When she first got here I was so resistant to the idea that she might "steal." I hated when people said their foster kids stole--it seemed to place them outside family norms--is it stealing when you take your moms sweater? I thought people identified things as stealing because of the way kids in care are pathologized. I defended her as having difficulty reading boundaries when she pocketed a bottle of lotion from my mom's house. When a package arrived from amazon for her with $300 of stuff (charged to my credit card) I believed her, or said I did, that it was an error. We returned it--but I removed her access to my account so there wouldn't be any more errors. My credit card is no longer in my itunes account which she has access to for the same reason. There's no longer a change jar in the living room. I could go on all day. I'm less likely to try to share or have communal stuff now than two years ago--if the boundary is crystal clear, like taking money or a credit card out of my wallet, she's trustworthy. Once it gets at all gray, forget it. That bag of xmas presents with no tag? "I thought it was mine." Any electronics we hope to leave in the living room? "You're not using it!" The only way she'll leave stuff alone is if she's never, ever, allowed to touch it.
I want to have stuff! And I'd like to be able to share it without that meaning I've forfeited my right to it.


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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:37 pm 
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if it makes you feel any better, my kid is the same, minus the crystal clear boundary being visible part. it's all hers, all the time, and will all eventually end up in her bed. also, if it's mine, it's disposable. CF my car, the window of which she left open during a monsoon and now is apparently rusting from the inside out. i tell you, violent discipline is not happening in my house, but at times like these i think about how effective it was when my father whooped me for forking around with the fireplace, or the car, or XYand Z and lo, I REMEMBERED! And I Did Not Touch That shiitake Again.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:58 pm 
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It does--I remembered after that we'd complained further upthread about the taking shiitake. I think that part is ordinary teen, but then there are the weird boundary things that get mixed in from being in care. And I think the hypervigilance I've had to develop because of the more dangerous stealingish issues can then make me more ready to explode at the ordinary teen girl taking all of mom's shiitake stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:01 pm 
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The other thing that's weird is that the boundary confusion happens in the other direction, too, and both kids have had times where they haven't taken things that they're (to me) so obviously entitled to that it didn't occur to me to give them permission, then I feel like shiitake when I realize they weren't taking any because they thought they couldn't. Like food. Basically, sharing and communal property is hard to grasp. We can all use it, but not use it up or destroy it or hide it in our rooms--just not there.


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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:51 am 
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Friday wrote:
kids have had times where they haven't taken things that they're (to me) so obviously entitled to that it didn't occur to me to give them permission, then I feel like shiitake when I realize they weren't taking any because they thought they couldn't. Like food. Basically, sharing and communal property is hard to grasp. We can all use it, but not use it up or destroy it or hide it in our rooms--just not there.

thinking about why this is is so sad that it makes me want to cry thinking about it. i don't know if anyone's told you this today but you are one awesome person, Friday.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:37 am 
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I had to set a rule - we are not allowed to stress out and be anxious about homework if we have forked around and not done it.

We are banned from electronics until we achieve a small level of self-discipline.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:52 am 
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torque wrote:
Friday wrote:
kids have had times where they haven't taken things that they're (to me) so obviously entitled to that it didn't occur to me to give them permission, then I feel like shiitake when I realize they weren't taking any because they thought they couldn't. Like food. Basically, sharing and communal property is hard to grasp. We can all use it, but not use it up or destroy it or hide it in our rooms--just not there.

thinking about why this is is so sad that it makes me want to cry thinking about it. i don't know if anyone's told you this today but you are one awesome person, Friday.


<3

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:52 am 
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Vantine wrote:
I had to set a rule - we are not allowed to stress out and be anxious about homework if we have forked around and not done it.

We are banned from electronics until we achieve a small level of self-discipline.


If you achieve this, I'd like a how to manual please.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:16 am 
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Kelly wrote:
Vantine wrote:
I had to set a rule - we are not allowed to stress out and be anxious about homework if we have forked around and not done it.

We are banned from electronics until we achieve a small level of self-discipline.


If you achieve this, I'd like a how to manual please.

Well, I don't come from a functional home so I am making it up as I go. What I do is ground without a fixed end date. When I see a noticeable change in behavior, I lift the restriction. In the meantime, I ask him lots of questions and check his school planner regularly. He has to read and practice drumming every day. I bring electronics back when we crash and burn. My theory is that he will either get it but at least I will have given him ample opportunity to learn.


My goal is to create a functional adult who can survive on his own. I met so many undergrad who were bewildered about how to get through their day without mom and dad to do the heavy lifting.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:18 am 
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Friday wrote:
The other thing that's weird is that the boundary confusion happens in the other direction, too, and both kids have had times where they haven't taken things that they're (to me) so obviously entitled to that it didn't occur to me to give them permission, then I feel like shiitake when I realize they weren't taking any because they thought they couldn't. Like food. Basically, sharing and communal property is hard to grasp. We can all use it, but not use it up or destroy it or hide it in our rooms--just not there.

Love to you and your partner, Friday. I know that you are helping Flames to do better than she would have without your help.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:11 pm 
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Thanks for the love, guys!

Vantine wrote:
I had to set a rule - we are not allowed to stress out and be anxious about homework if we have forked around and not done it.
.


Omg this was me as a child. Conscientious enough to get sick to my stomach at the thought of going to school without my homework, but not responsible enough to have actually done it. I've said it before, but Toby is really lucky to have you to push him through this stuff before he hits college, grad school, life.


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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:26 pm 
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love the kid, but the appetite is ridiculous. every time i turn around my lunch/breakfast/whatever is missing. OJ i just squeezed for my smoothie? gone while my back was turned. precious pack of pita bread i found? i didn't even get a bite. the other day i woke up to find that she had eaten the food i had packed for my breakfast and lunch as a late night snack... i had to go to work at 6am and there was no time to pack anything else. boo hoo!

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:00 pm 
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Vantine wrote:
Friday wrote:
The other thing that's weird is that the boundary confusion happens in the other direction, too, and both kids have had times where they haven't taken things that they're (to me) so obviously entitled to that it didn't occur to me to give them permission, then I feel like shiitake when I realize they weren't taking any because they thought they couldn't. Like food. Basically, sharing and communal property is hard to grasp. We can all use it, but not use it up or destroy it or hide it in our rooms--just not there.

Love to you and your partner, Friday. I know that you are helping Flames to do better than she would have without your help.


Quoted for truth. You are amazing, Friday <3

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:41 am 
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torque wrote:
love the kid, but the appetite is ridiculous. every time i turn around my lunch/breakfast/whatever is missing. OJ i just squeezed for my smoothie? gone while my back was turned. precious pack of pita bread i found? i didn't even get a bite. the other day i woke up to find that she had eaten the food i had packed for my breakfast and lunch as a late night snack... i had to go to work at 6am and there was no time to pack anything else. boo hoo!

OMG, I am so sorry to hear that! I am really hoardy and crabby about my food -- I get low blood sugar really easily (I think that's what it is, basically if I don't eat regularly, I get weak, tired, shaky, and crabbacious). I would be livid if somebody nicked my breakfast.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:07 am 
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Shae eats nonstop too, it's kind of amazing. He's in a big growth spurt and is taller and thinner everyday, yet eats more than all of us put together.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:36 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:31 pm 
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Oh, so teen. Amazing how hard those tasks are. You need a masters.
Conversation just now--
Me--this package came for you.
FS--no, I already got it, that's just the box.
Me--do you need the box for something? (hands her box) It should go in the recycling.
FS--No, I don't need it. (puts box back on dining table and heads off to her room.)

And, like an idiot, I take the box to the recycling myself, thus setting us up for same thing next time. Sigh.


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 Post subject: l
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:51 am 
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we really seem to be living the same life, Friday.

for the last, oh 6 months, we are in the new house and the kid's desk is right in front of the window. She insists on leaving her little laptop right in front of the window, which is pretty much just an invitation for someone to come and steal it. We have had the same fight over and over again, put the damn thing away, she says she does and doesn't. Last night I told her put it away, she said she did but didn't. So today I stole the laptop myself. Didn't tell anyone. I hope Mr T doesn't call the police when they get home tonight and the laptop is gone [maybe i should send him a message].

using the "law of consequences" as a discipline tool is so much easier when it involves tying shoelaces, putting on a jacket in the winter, etc. When the consequences are larger, it just kills you to make the kid learn the hard way.

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 Post subject: Re: Hey, let's complain about our teens/tweens!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:58 am 
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I like this conversation:
Me - Did you do x?
Boy - Yes
Me- So, so you did it?
Boy- Wait...What did you say?

I presume that at some point they regain the ability to hear what you are saying.

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