I have had A DAY. It is 9:04pm and I am just now finding a minute to send YOU a daily missive. Where are my priorities?you might ask.
Uh, not sure. I do care very much about YOU. Still, I must admit to caring about my life a little bit more.
This is day five of my son’s bed head, and day three of school refusal.
A text I read from his confiscated phone by him to some odd anime-named girl in Michigan read, “I hate my “f-ing” mother, so I am making her suffer by not going to school.” Huh, who knew?
Apparently, that comment I made about him showing me apps on the new phone I told him not to download apps on, put him over the edge. He decided in his head that I was mad. He decided in his head that he was grounded. He decided in his head that he would make me suffer by not going to school and staying in bed for 5 days straight.
Truth be told, it was like a 5-day vacation for me. No inane conversations about Minecraft. No stalking for attention. No requests to drive him anywhere. No requests for dinner. No smelly body in the living room. No nothing. It was all kind of peaceful around here. I was basking in this suffering.
Still, he did need to go to school, plus he had an IEP he was supposed to attend this afternoon, so I just did the obvious:You can have your phone back if you get up and go to the IEP with me.
Boom. Five minutes later he was in the car (very stinky, not having showered in 5 days) and ready for me to drive him to the IEP.
We talked later about how he was the one suffering, not me. He was calm and accepted the reality of the situation. I could have offered the phone sooner, or tried to be more soothing sooner, or offered some other reward for getting it together sooner. That probably would have decreased the 5 day “sleep in” protest, but he is about to be 18 and I had a sense there was a better lesson to be taught by waiting it out.
Tonight we had the talk. He listened and shared and learned by the lack of emotional upheaval. That is all I can ask.
I’ll let you know how it goes.
Ce Eshelman, LMFT
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