I love kids. Their wonderful enthusiasm, boundless energy...
Pre-teens.... Well. Let's just say I'm still adjusting.
Yesterday, I asked my son to clean his room. I gave him an easy mission first (pick up the hot wheels tracks and put them in their boxes, to be followed by other specific tasks, which would make the whole job not so overwhelming, and therefor avert certain disaster).
You can guess how well that went.
He ended up grounded for a week from all electronic equipment, unless what I asked for was done before the end of the day (all of it, every step of cleaning up his room). He also was not allowed to have a friend over today, and we would not be going to the movies, or anywhere for that matter (even though I wanted to go see the musical again). The last group were non-negotiable, could not make restitution to get out of punishments for being mouthy and disrespectful.
He had thrown such an awful fit, that when he finally calmed down, both of us were a little shocked.
In the end, he cleaned his room. The TV stayed off until I pronounced it good enough.
"Can I still have ___ over?" he asked, even though he already knew the answer.
There was no argument after that.
Being a parent is never easy, but it is more difficult now than I ever thought it would be. I had it easy for the last 8 years (once he got over baby tantrums). He's never been in trouble at school, usually gets good grades, was usually pretty popular (until this year, anyway, which is part of what the fight yesterday concerned because somehow I got blamed for the fact that he has no friends at school anymore). I guess I am floundering now, because I just don't know what to do. I am trying to do the best I can.
I used to be a confident parent, but now I feel like everything I learned the last twelve years was wrong.
I need to find something for him to do that will fit in our schedule. I work, it's unavoidable. I can't stay at home all day, and let him run wild through the neighborhood, and be a chauffer to a million different activities. It isn't possible. We've got scouts, but that doesn't fill up much time, when you think about it, and there aren't that many kids involved in our troop anymore.
Something has to change, but I don't know what it is, and I don't even know where to begin.
I hate being depressed! I am going to have to watch or read something funny to snap out of feeling sorry for myself!