I had a hard time with my eleven year old last night. The trouble started when we went to his brother’s basketball game.
Now Sam HATES to unwrap himself from his computer games. He’s also not a big sports guy. I understand computer games are his passion right now and while we set limits to it, I try not to mess with his “on” time. When we have a game though, I like to have us all go and root for the brothers playing. We usually have fun ribbing and joking with one another while we’re watching the game but last night he was having NONE of it.
He was surly, angry and just unpleasant to both his brother and me. Eventually he moved to the other side of the bench and his younger brother Dan, decided he too could be rude to momma. Dan said a couple of unpleasant things and scooted over as well.
That was it. I was done. I was NOT going to be treated rudely by people whom I loved and cared about and act like it was okay. I stood up, motioned to his father that we were leaving and walked out. The two boys came running after me.
“No momma, we’re sorry; we’re sorry.” they cried after me.
Sammy was so upset he started crying saying
“I want to fix this. Let’s go inside and I’ll change my attitude mom. I promise.”
It took everything I had not to hug him up and tell him it was okay. That I understood and that I’d be happy to act as if nothing had happened.
But I didn’t.
I wanted him to know and understand that I have feelings too. That he and his brother couldn’t treat me poorly and expect everything would be okay as soon as they said they were sorry. I didn’t yell, I didn’t fuss; I just left. When we got home I went upstairs to my room and didn’t speak to them again.
I laid down that night with the youngest and explained to him that you cannot treat people you love rudely and expect them to automatically forgive you. I told him it hurt my feelings and that I didn’t particularly want to be around him when I got home which is why I went upstairs.
Of course he was sad, and he apologized. I told him I loved him and said goodnight.
Then Sam came in to say goodnight (I’d actually gone up to bed). He was breathing deeply like he does when he is stressed. I said goodnight and hugged him and told him I loved him. It wasn’t until this morning that we talked about what happened.
“Do you know why I was so upset last night Sam?”
“Yes mom.” he said.
“I won’t be treated poorly by you or anyone else Sammy. Do you understand that?” I asked.
“I do.” he said quietly.
As he left this morning I hugged him and said;
“I missed you last night Sam.”
“I missed you too mom.” he said.
So no funny stories for this one; just wanted to share some reality and say that as hard as it was and is, I think it is really important to teach your kids how to treat you. Some things are not okay and unless you set that standard with them I don’t think anyone else will teach them.
I shared this story with my exercise partner this morning. She told me that her nephew was complaining that his mom called him every day and he fussed at his mom somewhat rudely, saying sons don’t talk every day with their mothers.
“That’s a daughter thing.” he said.
“Do you love your mom?” my friend asked her nephew.
“Of course I do”, he replied, “I’d die for that woman.”
“Vince”, she said, “She’s not asking you to die for her; she’s just asking you to call her.”
Later that night she saw Vince heading upstairs with his cell phone.
“I’m going to call my mom” he said to my friend.
I guess it is never too late to learn a good lesson.
Have a brilliant day!