Thursday, December 15, 2005

Your Son's Manners are Atrocious.

Normally, I would not comment on someone else's kids manners. But, considering that he is partly my son too, I feel that gives me the right. My husband complains that "A"'s manners are terrible. We talk to him about it and tell him not to chew with his mouth open, not to scrape his teeth with his fork, not to sleep on his arms while eating, all the while keeping in mind that if we say too much he won't want to come over anymore.

Yesterday, in a rare email exchange with his mother, my husband finally came out and told her! It all started when she forwarded his Christmas list (a week before Christmas no less!!). The first five items were clothing articles and rings from a band that we do not like. The name of the band starts with a slip and ends with a not (I don't want any freakshows coming here because I named that band). This band has the new "screaming" music where you can't understand what they are saying but it is basically a scream. They wear masks that you would buy at a freaky shop, they are black with zippers over the mouth (again avoiding strange traffic). The first time he told us about the band and showed us their website, we forbade him to ever go on that site while "J" was awake. If "J" was ever exposed to that band, there would be no more, period, no question, no negotiations.

Sorry, I digress, so my husband explained that we already have taken care of Christmas and wanted to let her know we do not agree with the band choice, etc. Her response was that if she told him he couldn't listen he would do it more, but she would support him in whatever stand he took (something new!). She went on to say how "A" has a huge attitude and doensn't clean up after himself and basically does what he wants and doesn't really listen to her. BIG SUPRISE!!!!! Your son doesn't listen to you because you have no rules!!! He doesn't respect you because you don't respect yourself and you let him treat you like dirt! In our house, if you don't respect one another, you get nothing. No tv, no computer, no fun, nothing. In our house you clean up after yourself, you treat others with love and you give hugs and kisses and you laugh. And you eat dinner at a table where everyone, including "J" cleans up after while discussing the latest events of the day or days that have been missed as a family. I am not sure why she thinks that her son is going to be the perfect kid when she barely even speaks to him on a daily basis. Of course, I don't live there so I don't know for sure, but according to "A" they chat a little, eat dinner in front of the tv and then he plays on the computer all night long. ARGH.

In the same email exchange, my husband let her know that his manners were bad, her response was... get this... I never noticed. Surprised?!? Hopefully there will be a few changes in her house, but I am starting to think that it is time he spends a bit more time here. We try not to push it because she freaks out, but truthfully she will only gain from him spending time here and perhaps some of the good that we do see and nurture will spill over into his other home.

Phew, thanks for listening. I love "A" so much and only want him to be the great kid we see all the time. Is this too much to ask for? Should I be worried that he will turn into a truly rotten teenager and we won't want him to come over at all for fear of influencing "J"?

At least once a day "J" asks for his brother, breaking my heart that I have to tell him not tonight, two more sleeps. Some days he understands, others he cries, oh the tears. On those days he won't even say hello to his Dad, he just wants his brother. I just hope that his brother will always be here for him.


Blogger Silver Creek Mom said...


i hope things change. A is such a nice kids it's too bad he doesn't have the same love and support at his mom's house that he has at yours. I hope he is albe to come over more often It will be better for everyone all around.

I wonder when he goes to bed at night? I wonder if he just plain tired?

Big hugs

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If only there was an easy answer. My first thought is to contact a lawyer and start proceedings for custody...but that probably won't solve any of the issues...."A" is getting old enough that he should know right from wrong and with the positive reinforcement that he gets with you and Dh should hopefully make a difference.
If only life was simple....

10:13 AM  
Blogger BeachMama said...

Sharon, your suggestion of more sleep has been thought of. He stays up pretty late at home and has a hard time getting up in the morning. We don't mind if he stays up late here, but if he has to get up early he is not allowed to be grumpy. It's all about choices.

Barb, if only life was so simple, we would have had the custody years ago. He is too old to go through all that now. Hopefully he will be able to spend more time here and maybe that will be just the difference that is needed.

Thanks gals

12:31 PM  
Anonymous twinmomplusone said...

not an easy situation you've got there Anna, add to that the usual teenagers'woes and you've got your work cut out

but one thing is for sure, "A" is exceptionally lucky to have you, dh and "J" in his life...imagine if he didn't

warm hugs

3:00 PM  
Blogger nancy said...

Just stick to your rules, will be very challenging during the teen years, but will pay off in the long run and he will respect you and love you from it. At least that's what I think, not that I am speaking from experience or anything. We have the same hug policy here, I love it.

12:19 AM  
Blogger Running2Ks said...

You are doing the right thing. The gift of consistency and limits is the best thing he'll get this holiday season (and beyond)!

7:09 AM  
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