My son is in his room, where he has been for the last 30 minutes, grounded from everything electronic until he does one small thing for me.
The problem, you see, is that my son hates to write. Specifically, he hates the physical process of writing (or typing). All I asked him to do was to write thank you notes. I have been asking twice weekly since April (!!!!!!), and my temper was stretched this afternoon by a call from my mother who, among other things, asked me if my son had received a birthday card from my granny.
I immediately got out the cards again, and asked him to sit down and write Granny a note, because it was AWFUL that this had gone on so long, and that I was NOT going to write them for him.
I had to threaten no TV to get him to do it. And he wrote a bit, leaving out "Granny" and "Love," and wrote the wrong day when we'd see her.
The problems began when I asked nicely for the corrections.
Finally, after having to raise my voice, and getting yelled at in return, I grounded him, sent him to his room, and feverishly took all of the toys he had scattered about the living room and shoved the toys into his room after him. "Don't come out until you are ready to finish that note properly, and can stop being so rude! Think about it - 30 seconds to finish that card, or being grounded?" I yelled after him.
Normally, I DON'T YELL! I can't remember the last time I yelled, before a couple of months ago (the pre-teen era is bringing out the worst!). I know this is a normal part of growing up for him, being sulky and angst-laden, but I hate being yelled at, which is why I don't yell normally. Getting yelled at makes me so angry that I could scream in frustration. I usually try to suck it up, remain calm, and try to use logic, or just ignore him (he hates being ignored, and will usually snap out of his temper right away when I turn my back and walk off).
I feel awful, because I yelled at him, but it was necessary. He cannot continue to behave this way, if I am going to get through the teen years with my sanity intact. He can't walk all over me, because I am the parent. I don't believe in physical punishment, and I think that yelling is almost as bad. But I choose yelling over the alternative.
And after half an hour in his room, sulking, while I was starting this post, I heard him walk out of his room, go to the table, and finish the card.
Now, if only I could get him to finish the others... (so if you haven't received a thank-you note yet, this is why...)