Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Rebellion Begins

Me: "Put your uniform on."

Son: "No."

Me: "It's a BSA rule. Everyone else is doing it. Put it on."

(Appears with Class A shirt on but not buttoned and regular jeans. Has to wait five minutes which apparently is too long to bear unentertained so flip on the TV and sits. Note the body posture and look on the face.)

Me: "Where are your uniform pants?

Son: "It's a stupid rule that the Boy Scouts make you wear the full uniform while you drive up to the campout. What's the point? We're just in our car. Who's looking at us? I'm not doing it"

Me: "You ran for Patrol Leader and were elected. You need to be a good role model for your Patrol. And there are brand new Scouts who just joined. They are looking up to you to be their example. That's the way it is with leadership positions. You have to do what is right even when you don't feel like it."

I got a stare back.

I decided to compromise. I know some kids there will not have theirs on. I am so strict about rule following usually that some people say I'm too intense.

Me: "Button up your shirt."

Son buttons shirt. Leaves it untucked, at which point I said, "Tuck the shirt in. And bring your pants with you on the camp out."

Upon arriving at the meet-up location I see the Soutmaster's son in gym shorts and a tie dye t-shirt. A couple of others are wearing only half of their uniform. I told this story about the uniform to an Assistant Scoutmaster to get some sympathy for the puberty hormone surges. He said I should have threatened him to not go unless he fully dressed. I said I was picking my battles and 100% of the time for the last two solid years my son has been in proper uniform. And honestly I wasn't ready to dole out the threatened consequence if he challenged me on it.


There is a certain look that I don't like to see, the posture, slumping of shoulders, mouth downturned. The eyes also seem to be half closed. Sometimes a hoodie's hood is up and stays up, blocking his face. Son is asking to let his bangs grow longer "it keeps my forehead warm". I replied something about the hair being in front of his eyes and it's obstructing his vision to which he replied, "I can see just fine and I like it this way".


I don't think attachment parenting or homeschooling is saving my son from experiencing some of the negative's of the teenaged years (despite the claims that some make).

Please let me get through my son's teenage years! I feel lost already!


Mei Wood said...

I'd look into Love & Logic for some creative problem-solving strategies. http://www.loveandlogic.com/

Your child is going to go through what he's going through, but you have options for how you can get through this!

Love&Logic in a nutshell: providing two choices, either one of which will make you happy.

Ina's 5 and our Native Homeschool Blog said...

I don't think there is a parenting style that undoes hormones. You will survive, along with the rest of, just like our parents did. As for the hair, I'd say let him grow the bangs. Yes it is an annoying style, but it's a decision that he can make without negative consequences. They need to make some decisions on there own and hair decisions won't have any life long effect.

Kathleen said...

Hair is a great, easy to undo, rebellion. It's not permanent. It might keep your son from going over the edge and sneaking out for piercings and tattoos as he gets older. We chose not to fight that battle and had a son who dressed goth and dyed his hair black. Now? He's 23, married, expecting a baby, working full time at a plant that can't get by without him and making plans to go back to school to be a police officer. We managed to bargain and let him have the crazy hair and clothing he wanted and avoid piercings and tattoos.

If you hate the bangs in the eyes look, tell him he has to push them aside when you talk to him. And, if there are family events or something, he has to wear his hair so it's not hanging in his eyes (and provide styling product for that.) My 12 year old had long hair for quite a while and was willing to play by the rules to keep it (until he decided he wanted to look like Percy Jackson.)

The hormones and grumpiness are a phase. If it makes you feel any better, he doesn't know how to deal with it either!!