Sunday, June 20, 2010


How do you deal with your tween?

Mark turned 12 last week. He had a fabulous day, lots of presents, food he wanted, centre of attention. Just the way he likes it. He was amazingly lovely.

Today, I got the "other" Mark, the one I'd prefer to call Kram (the anti-Mark).

Kram is awful. Disrespectful. Rude. Disobedient. Smelly. Messy. Tired. Grumpy.

Case in point: Last night was the final performance of StarStruck which is a big song and dance show for approx 3000 kids from the entire Hunter region. Mark is not a singer or a dancer, but I think saw it as a way to get out of school and experience something different (ok I'll give him the benefit of the doubt). The evening performances finish at 10pm, I had to collect him at 10:15pm then its home to bed. Last night I had to bring his friend Mads as well as we all do football on Sunday mornings. Everyone thought it would just be easier if he stayed over. Makes sense. But having a friend over - who is a thoroughly delightful although a little worldly boy - brings out Kram. When I suggested that it was 11.15 and they should go to bed. I got the "WHY?" we can stay up until 1am without any problems. He was in my face saying WHY WHY WHY. I stuck to my guns.. they were in bed and fast asleep by 11.40. These boys were TIRED. But for Kram to listen I had to turn into a banshee and I don't like that. That is not my personality. I had to threaten to hit him. I have taken away all his computer/tv/scooter privileges for today. But as I said "until tomorrow" I got the shrug with "I don't care" comment.

They both had trouble waking up (surprise surprise) and then pretty much refused to get ready for a pretty important football match. Jamie likes to leave at 8am, at 8:10 Kram was still fussing around. But it all happened and they have left. Ryan isn't so well, so I'm staying at home.

I asked Jamie for some back up and got "that's how he treats me at football training"

I don't know what to do. I know he's a good kid, I see the good kid. What changes him and how do I deal with it?

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.


Anonymous said...

This is very common behaviour and very aggravating. I get it with my daughter.
I have found it helpful, when peers are going to be present, to warn the child beforehand. Along the lines of "Tonight, when ... is here I expect you to behave yourself. That means no backchat and doing as you are told. If you misbehave this is what will happen".
One day of no priviliges is'nt enough. He can go one day without no worries. Choose the thing he would most hate to have taken away and warn him it will be gone for a week. And write it on the calender when it happens (and it will).
Jamie can say the same, before football, in consultation with you.
Try not to get angry and upset. If he wont do something you consider he really needs to, such as go to bed on time, then take away everything he's staying up to do. T.V. off, computer off, etc and he won't have much of a reason to stay up. But if he still does and he's knackered the next day, too bad, he still has to do what he was supposed to that day.
Also, nipping the behaviour in the bud as SOON as it begins works well. Call him into the next room and warn him. Ignore his reactions (don't care, shrugging, etc), don't worry that he's not listening, he is but does'nt want to show it. Tell him that if he keeps it up then this is what will happen, you don't want to be telling him again. Be very firm and very clear. He'll push it, he'll test it, especially with having something taken away for a week, like he'll be really good after a couple days, to try and get it back early.
But don't give in. He made that choice himself after all.
Good luck Christy , and I hope some of this helps :)

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