Bus Stop Blues
My 13-year old son missed the bus this morning. And demanded that I drive him to school.
From his point of view, I am doing nothing at all, and only pure selfishness is preventing me from driving him a mile in our van. Every other mother would drive their son to school because they LOVE their sons, unlike me.
I know that it is frustrating and disappointing to miss a bus. I've done it many times. I've wished for help at those moments, too.
Yet I said no because there was no reason for his missing the bus aside from it being the result of his wasting time/ignoring the time. He knows he is responsible to catch it, even though I do things to help make it easier for him to do it. He has a bike which he would usually ride in this kind of situation, but which has not been picked up from his friend's home for over a week, despite frequently being told to bring it on home. Finally the weather this morning is crisp and sunny, not raining or galing. He is healthy. He can make it to school on time by walking. (I know: I did it from grade school all the way thru college.)
He just doesn't want to walk, period. He wants to ride. NOW. And he was so angry that I wouldn't consent, he resorted to the usual teenage emotional blackmail: snarling (!) that I am cold-hearted and selfish. I obviously enjoy his pain. He swore that he would never do a kind act for me again--anyone else in the family, but not me. Of course, I don't expect that resolve to hold forever, but the fury and hatred that poured from him was astounding. At this point, there was no way I could see a way to change my answer without appearing to be giving in to a kind of emotional blackmail.
I usually don't try to let things like this affect me... but I have felt torn up since he left.
Is this a problem of my being too strict? Yet I do think, even if that I should have driven, he still has no excuse for solving his anger like this.
Thoughts, insights would be appreciated!!
Oh YAY, the teen years are going to be so fun...
when I read the first part of your post, I thought, what is the big deal? why aren't you bringing him there... BUT.. when I read the rest I can see you are teaching him a valuable lesson on many fronts... being responsible for his time.. his unfinished 'to do's'... etc..
ironically if it was my kids, they would have preferred to stay home if they missed the bus... sigh..
Parenting is tough business. I know there are times when I want to give into my daughter...and sometimes I do...hurts to have your kids angry at you like that Unfortunately we can't make them happy all the time, cause that just isn't how life works. The way I see it, better she learns now than later.
I am SO not looking foward to the teen years....((((bebu))) cause mom's just need a hug every now and then.
Thank you so much for letting me know that I am NOT ALONE! I raised FOUR sons, and my last child, the baby, the only daughter, is now 14. I just read my own journal in your words. Universally, kids today have some genetic defect or something in that they expect immediate gratification for everything. Now, is that our fault? Hmmmm....looking back, if I were to be totally honest; probably. Our jw upbringings sucked so much we worked overtime (literally) to insure no such denials and abuse for our own children. However, I see that tendancy in kids that never had ex-jw parents at all. My generation (I am 47) had much more responsibility in general, much more maturity, with or without the confines of a religion full of fearful rules. We raised horses, which needed care for before our own breakfast, our rooms needed to be immaculate, did our own laundry, helped with shopping and the dreaded chore of putting a weeks worth of groceries away (I still hate that part!), we set the table, washed the dishes AND DRIED THEM (what the?!?!), WALKED everywhere, (what the hell DID my own mother do with her time???!!!), got jobs when we were removed from high-school, blah, blah, blah.....I do believe that even if we DID coddle those boys that there comes a point in every young person's life wherein they are responsible for their attitudes, views, and behavior. No matter WHAT you did yesterday, it is vital to a man's perception of women, that they understand you have every right to decide that that course no longer works for you, and that you are not doing it anymore! Good luck with your readjustment project!
I would rather be tarred and feathered then raise teens again and yes mine did miss the bus now and then and sometimes i took them but as you say it is their responsibility to get out to get the bus. But if they INSISTED and got an attitude they can be sure that the next thing they ask me for won't happen. The fact that he is close enough to ride his bike , if he really wanted to get there ,well , he has wheels.
My generation (I am 47) had much more responsibility in general, much more maturity, with or without the confines of a religion full of fearful rules. We raised horses, which needed care for before our own breakfast, our rooms needed to be immaculate, did our own laundry, helped with shopping and the dreaded chore of putting a weeks worth of groceries away (I still hate that part!), we set the table, washed the dishes AND DRIED THEM (what the?!?!), WALKED everywhere, (what the hell DID my own mother do with her time???!!!), got jobs when we were removed from high-school, blah, blah, blah.....I do believe that even if we DID coddle those boys that there comes a point in every young person's life wherein they are responsible for their attitudes, views, and behavior.
I didn't grow up on a farm, but I was responsible for everything else you mentioned as well. We had daily chores, weekly chores, and seasonal chores. The expectations many kids have now, that everything MUST go their way or there will be hell to pay by someone, is unrealistic.
Unfortunately, my son is buying into this already. He defines reality and his expectations by whatever a particular group (and this group changes in size and people to suit the purpose) has/does.
I'm not into forcing my kid to experience pain, but difficulties happen to everyone. How we resolve them is part of our character development.
Looks like I'm developing a bunch of character, right along with him!! Weird, to explore that idea...
when my kids miss the school bus they demand to STAY HOME....
Seems to me, Bebu that you did the right thing.
The consequences of not being ready for the bus is..... the bus leaves without you!
The walk will do him good and hopefully he will start making it his responsibility to make it to the bus on time and not your responsibility to get him to the bus on time.
I am put out at his anger at you, though. That really hurts.
My fifteen year old went through a bout of that one day lately...He had never been like that before and it was certainly out of character for him. Later that day, he came out of it and was okay and that was the time i confronted him with how it made me feel and how I felt inside.
He was really sorry for how he lashed out at me and we got to the real root of why he was so upset.
It had mainly to do with something that he was responsible for that day,, but he decided to stay at a sleep over with a friend and stay up until 2 o'clock in the morning. He was over tired the next day but still had this committment to fulfill (which I reminded him of). He wanted to shirk his responsiblity but couldn't...and he leveled his anger at MOM.
let us know how things go bebu.
I would have driven him. One of my kids would periodically miss the bus, in the hopes of getting out of school. I never suggested they walk, because I assumed they would never actually make it to school, so I would drive them, no matter how inconvenient, even if I had to get a sleeping infant up too early to do it.
Only one of our kids was especially rebellious and he constantly tested us, especially me. Today he is 38, married, 3 kids, buying a house and is a partner in a very successful business. He just mentioned the other day about how I never let him down about rides to school. Sometimes they just don't want to ride the bus. (his youngest started Kindergarten last month, and I occasionally pick him up from school to drive him home and my son is so funny about calling me to be sure I won't forget...............that precipitate the conversation I mentioned here)
School was important, and I taught them other lessons. That one seems minor to me.