Having a hard time today with writing. I am not going to try to force it anymore. Staring at this white blank screen is making my left eye twitch. Ever had that happen?
So I will tell you what is happening in my end of the realm.
My son is grounded. It seems like grounding doesn’t bother him anymore. “Oh, I am grounded from my stuff. Oh well, I don’t give a shit!”
And he is bored! So my mopey teenager’s mug has been in my face the majority of the day. He wants to make his grounding as unpleasant for me as it is for him.
And it is working!
My husband tends to lean toward a “no mercy” ruling. He can be harsh. Then, we end up letting him off early because he is good. I feel like this balances out how the harsh ruling.
In the end I know letting him off early he is less likely to earn his lesson, and become a repeat offender with the same behaviors. So we will have to adjust our ways, and he will have to adjust his.
When he is grounded– I know he is going to be “good.” He wants his things he “doesn’t care” about back. He is bored.
No electronics has made his world dull. The walls are starting to talk. He has read four books. What else can he do?
I can help with that!
I have found a list of things he can do to make himself useful around the house. Points he can earn for each chore to become “ungrounded.” That lasted for about an hour.
My A.D.H.D. kiddo became bored easy. On the plus side, he did learn some life skills today. He did an awesome job with the laundry, folding towels, and taking out the trash. While remaining on my last nerve.
Our main problem is the video games. His therapist he sees for his A.D.H.D finally agrees they are an addiction. I considered this as an option months ago.
Because of his A.D.H.D, he has a greater risk of picking up addictive behaviors. This leaves him vulnerable later in life to drug and alcohol addiction. This makes me worry because his biological father had such a strong addiction to drugs and alcohol.
We talked about this when we visited his doctor this past week. He said I probably witnessed the same behaviors in my first husband. I did. He would say anything to make me believe his lies. Anything to feed the hunger inside of him.
It’s the same with my son. He comes home after school completes all of his chores– just to play video games. Has dinner hurries through the dishes (sometime before bed) — back to video games. Takes his shower to run back to video games. Then, the game shuts off. We do devotionals. It’s bedtime.
He will talk to me when he comes home from school, and at dinner. In the morning before school, and at night before bed. Otherwise, he has his door shut.
He tells me,“All my friends are like this.”
It is perfectly normal for him to interrupt me when I am busy writing. Or watching TV. He will blurt something out fast, and rush to his room leaving no chance for a reply because I’m yelling it.
I hate it. He is in such a hurry to talk to me because he is otherwise occupied in the virtual world, and only talks to me when it is convenient for him.
However, it’s getting to be too much. He comes home from school. I find him sitting on his bed with an X-box remote AND his kindle playing games.
“You have an electronic device to play another electronic device. Why do you need two?” I scratch my head. I don’t understand.
When is enough– enough? I’ve had enough! I want my son back!
We let him play games because his grades have been wonderful, so I think–
“Let’s cut him some slack.” His teachers praise his work. He completes his work on time, and works ahead in class.
Until recently. His grades have plummeted. Especially in two of his best classes.
So we sought advice from his therapist, she suggested limiting video games until his grades came back up, and taking them away if the incomplete work is not turned in. My son’s problem is organization, and he is forgetful. Unfortunately, he won’t let me help with it.
She isn’t aware of the severity of the issue. She doesn’t know what transpired here last weekend. When all hell broke loose.
My son agreed to cut my mother’s grass. My husband offered to help him as he isn’t handy with the lawnmower yet. He knew the day was approaching, but he didn’t know when…
It’s always a big deal if he doesn’t know when because he has to mentally prepare himself to lose video game time, hence, video game addiction. He doesn’t care if he is helping out his grandmother who can’t find anyone to cut her grass. It is taking up his precious time.
So, my husband went over my mother’s to get a head start on mowing and the weather. The clouds looked heavy with rain like it would pour at any minute. When school let out and I picked my son up to cut grass, he had other plans for the day.
After a fifteen minute argument, we were in the car. I was upset he didn’t want to keep his word. He knows how important it is to be man of his word. I am not raising him to act this way.
He was mad he couldn’t play video games and we didn’t “clear it with his schedule.”
“Are you kidding me! You are the child! I am the parent!”
When we arrived at my mother’s, he refused to cut the grass. He sat in the car with the windows down, and helped my husband when he needed things.
He sulked the whole time thinking he won the argument. Not realizing everyone loses.
He lost the money he would earn that day. My husband refused to take any. He lost all electronics. And a pair of drum sticks he threatened to hit my husband with.
It was also the weekend he would be at the band competition– but his grades held him back. I believe he didn’t want to go because he rather play video games. Part of him wanted to go, but the other part– the hunger for video games won.
Making him angrier still– when his plan to play them was taken away.
This is the second time an argument about video games has turned physical, and it has only been this way recently. The physical violence further proving he would do anything to play. Just like an addict would do anything for drugs.
He argues, “All my friends play video games like I do.”
Maybe they do. But he has a problem. How many of them have A.D.H.D? Are their grades suffering?
They aren’t my kid!
I know he could be doing worse things than playing video games. He could be down the street doing drugs. He could be dealing them. He could be drinking alcohol, running around, and partying. But he doesn’t do any of those things.
However, video game addiction can be as bad as any of those things. It can destroy his relationships with his family. Prevent him from learning how to socialize with people. Further decimate his academic career.
I try my best to get him talking to me. I know who his friends are. Around his birthday he made a new one, and he doesn’t do that well in school. He sits beside him in the two classes he isn’t doing well in currently. I am not pleased about it.
I know it is normal for teens to want to be alone. I try to give him his “space.” I know he wants to brood because he and a girl he dated for a couple of months broke up. He still likes her, and she annoys him. I remember what that feels like.
My gripe is I have no idea what is going on at school. He never brings home homework. Studies for a test. Projects are last minute. Or late. How can I help him become organized if I don’t know any of those things?
Things will continue to move at a faster pace. He isn’t ready. If he is stuck in his “gamer world” and I cannot get him unglued he will fail at life.
I worry about that a lot. I am stuck with him today– at my side.
So, he is grounded and we are not giving in easy this time. Being bored is good for him. He has time to slow down, and think. Which he doesn’t always DO.
He can spend time with his family. Oh no! A teenager’s worst nightmare! Hopefully, he will realize a balance must be found between too much video game time, and “none.” His therapist will have ideas.
I hope this time goes by fast for him, and me!
From Behind Enemy Lines,