Wednesday, January 25, 2012

rock your world

My boy lost his cell phone today. Well, he didn't 'lose' his phone, it was turned OFF.  


Service terminated ~ indefinitely 


{WHY} three missed homework assignments.  The expectations were clear... written in black and white... weeks ago. This should have come as no surprise, but of course it did.
Summer 2011


To some this may sound excessive. My own father called it excessive.  Taking away his 'link to civilization,'  how dare I.  Thankfully I didn't have to pry the device away. Cellular service can now be turned off and on with the click of a mouse. 


It was not pretty. Daddy wasn't home to provide reinforcement. I just kept reminding myself,  it's about taking charge of my role as his parent. In two days, my son will be sixteen. These are his transitioning years... from his world,  into the real world.  Without transition,  moms can end up on Dr. Phil, begging their 30 year old 'kid' to get off their coach and get a job.


So, in order to get his attention concerning homework  responsibility, I had to rock his world.  And it's shocking how turning off a cell phone will rock a teenager's world. Especially when there's no answer to, 'for how long?'


This discipline,  as in all of our discipline,  comes with the saturation of unconditional love. He is such a great kid... good to the core of his soul. He knows that. And, I am very thankful. Our teenage problems could be way worse.  He will earn the phone back. It may take some time, the exceptions were spelled out. He will soon know how many 100's it takes to pull up three zeros. 


Summer 2011




My parenting hero is Dr. James Dobson. I love his christian approach to discipline.  I've read The Strong Willed Child a half dozen times, cover to cover.  In my opinion, this book should be a mandatory read before  new mothers can leave the hospital. I try my darn-nest to model my discipline after his principles. I've copied and pasted a few of his points below.



    • Six Keys to Protecting Teens through 
      Discipline
      Long before I left my medical practice to work for Focus on the Family, I had read every Dr. Dobson book on how to raise children and be a good parent. Dr. Dobson articulated his classic principles so well I don't think you have to go anywhere else. Barb and I felt as though we were sitting at his feet whenever we read -- and reread -- a chapter fromDare to Discipline or The Strong-Willed Child. From Dr. Dobson's writings, we found six key principles, which I outlined in God's Design for the Highly Healthy Child and apply here to teens:

      1. Define the boundaries before they are enforced. Teens have the right to know what is and what is not acceptable behavior before they are held responsible for breaking the rules. You can't say, "You have to be in by 11:00p.pm." and not tell your teens what the consequences are for being fifteen minutes late, thirty minutes late, or one hour late. If you're going to enforce curfew by the minute, then say so. If you're going to have a fifteen-minute grace period before they're officially late, then say so. Either way, let them know in advance what the consequences are for breaking curfew.

      2. Avoid making impossible demands. Sure all parents would love their kids to take AP courses, get high SAT scores, and have 4.0 report cards. But few teens are capable of being whizzes in the classroom. Even in this era of grade inflation, a straight-A report card is still a rare event in school these days. By the same token, some dads want to relive their glory days on the gridiron, so they place subtle pressure on their sons to be All-League football players when in actuality they contribute to the team in a backup role. Parents should set the bar, but it takes a thoughtful parent to place the bar just high enough to push his or her teen to greater heights without deflating the ego. Is your teen performing at a level that makes sense for his or her gifts and abilities? If so, you've set the bar at the right height.

      3. Distinguish between irresponsibility and willful defiance. Teens can act goofy sometimes or like little Machiavellians. There's a difference between irresponsibility, such as leaving the car windows down overnight when a thunderstorm hits, and willful defiance, such as coming in after midnight when he knew full well he should have been home an hour earlier. This is an area where you can show grace -- God's grace -- as you effectively discern what your teen's motives were for his or her acts of negligence or defiance.

      4. When defiantly challenged, respond with confident decisiveness. Intuitively you know the difference between irresponsibility and willful defiance, and when your teen has thrown down the gauntlet, you must respond in kind. Dr. Dobson suggests that when children "make it clear that they're looking for a fight, you would be wise not to disappoint them!" When nose-to-nose confrontations happen, it's extremely important to know ahead of time what you will do -- and then to respond confidently.

      5. Reassure and teach after the confrontation is over. Remember how you hugged your toddler after a spanking to let him know that everything was going to be all right? You don't spank teens, of course, but they still need to hear your reassurance that you love them.  You may need to remind them of the ways they can avoid correction or punishment in the future. Teens never outgrow their need for reassurance after times of discipline.

      6. Let love be your guide! It doesn't do any good to get into a shouting match. Sure, your teens will do things to make you angry, but you must keep your cool. During these few remaining years they live under your roof, you have a powerful opportunity to model adult ways of handling conflict, which will help them in the workplace and in their relationships in the future.

3 comments:

The 1st of May said...

I 100% don't think you are crazy! You knew what would get his attention and went after it! Kudos to you!!!

clare said...

I do not think that is crazy at all. I went to a parent-teacher conference where my son's teacher told me that he was goofing off and it was affecting his grades. I set a date and told him that I would be following up with his teacher to make sure he was on track. The consequence was no video games for the rest of the year. I never though it would come to that but sure enough the time came, he was still goofing off, the games were taken away. It was as hard for me to do as it was for him. I felt bad for him but my hands were tied. Our time is limited. We can be their friends when they are fully cooked adults.

Marlowe said...

I say not a bit of overkill there! I'd have done the same thing :)

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