Sunday, February 24, 2013

Why he's late everyday

"I don't knoo-Oh-ow", which is very helpful.

Last year, it was easier to identify the problem, which was school, and where he didn't want to go, which wasn't enough of a reason, so I pulled it apart and found a complex number of reasons, all with school as ground zero.

So I don't just sit with "I don't know" or "I don't want to go". I dissect the shit out of it because, for example, "I don't want to go" could have its basis in "I have no friends", "Ben hits me", and "I feel like everyone hates me".

But I don't know what's behind "I don't know" yet, and I don't know if I need to look  because Daniel is HAPPY. I suspect there are some time management slash he's a boy and his brain fell out years ago factors; he loves to read and he loves lego, and they're usually what holds us up. The problem though, is not the reading and the lego, it's his defiance - subtle as it is -  because every day I say "get dressed first, then it's free time" and every day he might as well say "fuck you, mum". Which is how it feels, anyway, and why I have SUCH a problem dealing with this practically and without getting bent out of shape.

Last year I could because it wasn't personal. This year it feels personal and I know this is part of his growing independent blablabla, but I don't know how to help him with that because I'm his mother and it's been my job to break his balls. In fact, one of my concerns has long been that, as a single parent with no valuable extended family input (think too much? YATHINK?), he sees no end to my dominance. Family unit? Extended family unit? He'd observe it as it ebbs and flows throughout my relationships with him nd others. Others would get to take the lead with him while I deferred to them, he'd see me having adult relationships where compromise and respect factor more into the outcome than "GET DRESSED NOW" does.. With me only on board though, he ONLY sees me running the show, and with this shit going on and with the negotiations, our talks about considerations and respect and compromise going completely NOWHERE, it always ends back at "GET DRESSED NOW" anyway and I feel like I've failed (again) and Daniel feels like he's a bad kid and that he's failed again and that he's let me down again and repeat repeat repeat.


The only thing I can say, other than I empathize because I also have strong willed children, is that I have avoided many arguments by having the children sleep in the clothes that they will wear to school. They may be a little wrinkled, but there are no arguments, and they are right now motivated to get out of bed by the promise of breakfast.

For whatever reason, 1st thing in the morning my kids are little pissers (probably genetic...), and any conflict that I can avoid is a battle won.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:07 PM  

I got nothing. Steve's 39 and still staying in bed, even though he's awake, even though he's made commitments to be elsewhere and/or do things, even though he's not even enjoying his lie-in or whatever. And when he's challenged about why he does it, by me or by his mother, he's still whining "I don't knoo-Oh-ow."

If I push "that's not an answer, it's a cop-out, you're an intelligent bloke and "I don't knoo-Oh-ow" isn't gonna cut it," then he goes for The Silent Sulk instead. I think he does it because he knows he can get away with it with me. He admits he wouldn't try it at work. This doesn't really apply to Daniel, though.

By Blogger Mary, at 11:12 PM  

"Little pissers"? HA. So perfect.

As is sleeping in his pjs. I've half done that in a "just put some shorts on, gah, let's go" kind of way. Maybe he needs a morning routine that involves only mouth breathing and none of this complicated shit like elastic waist shorts because they are clearly SO COMPLICATED to drive. I mean, ask Steve.

And Mary? I suspect he only difference between our two morning rays of sunshine is the ability to grow facial hair.

By Blogger aibee, at 7:52 AM  

And also, to dear anonymous,

Hi! You have no idea how thrilled I am that you stopped by and (omg!) commented.

(my reptilian brain is all "YAY I AM STILL FAMOUS)(my other brain is all "shut up, fool. You're making me look like an idiot" but, whatever. FAMOUS!)


By Blogger aibee, at 7:57 AM  

I feel your pain. Colin will be 12 in September, and frankly, he DOES sleep in his clothes (for days if he can find a way to not bathe) and has more than one time made me late for work because video gaming is too damn important to put aside for 5 minutes.

By Blogger Angie, at 6:43 AM  

My son is 7 - almost 8 and he has no real concentration problems at school, but gets distracted before school. I suppose he's still a kid and not thinking about time etc like us - he's thinking differently about what might be fun. Him ignoring you is because he is not dumb, he has taken all the information in and knows how far he can push you, along with just being caught up in the fun of the moment. He probably knows even though you can bark like a dog, you are soft like a marshmallow and your threats are not too serious and probably he can get away with it to some extent. Have you tried consequences - like if he has nintendo or likes some xbox, wii or tv programme, you could say - if you do not get dressed before - like you have 5 mins to get dressed and if you are not there will be no x,y,z. But you have to stick with it and be consequent. Once he knows that will definitely happen he should respond. A lot of the defiance is cos they know the consequences will not be all that bad or that they can likely get away with it if they persist. Try consequent and consequences. Its that mama thing where we feel guilty or the bad guy or whatever that lets us let them get away with stuff - but that lets them know our weaknesses. He's taken note of your weaknesses. Anyway, only having a crack at it.

By Anonymous Kim, at 10:49 PM  

Kim, thank you - an hi! So (SO!) glad you're weighed in :)

Your ideas are spot on, and I love that you have a seven year old and know how to work it. I mean, regardless of how much reading I do about boys and their brains, I still feel like I'm winging it - and mostly that I'm fucking him up because I don't know HOW to work it.

By Blogger aibee, at 9:51 AM  

It was a nice idea.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:36 PM  

blog is really useful

By Anonymous vikramsingh, at 4:33 PM  

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