Oldest daughter called yesterday. It seems that her middle son, who's 16, was being a smart mouth and raising his voice to her. When son-in-law got home from work it escalated and grandson started yelling that he hated them and wanted to live anywhere but there. Rather than beat him, which son-in-law said he would have liked to have done, they dropped him off with me. Thanks.
Grandson went out into the backyard and started working on his pickup. He wasn't able to borrow his dad's battery so he didn't do much other than sit in the cab and sulk. Son-in-law called me to tell me that grandson took a CD out of their van when he got out. The boy wasn't supposed to have this CD and I was to take it away and preferably break the thing in half.
I went out to the yard and asked the boy where the CD was. He said it was HIS. I told him that my question wasn't who it belonged to, my question was where is it because I've been requested to confiscate it. He said it was in his bag and headed into the house. I told him he didn't have to get it right then but to give it to me when he came in for dinner. I then left him alone for the next hour.
He came in and ate with the rest of us. If he didn't then he would have missed out on dinner. I don't play games like that. After the two younger grand kids went to bed I went looking for the 16 year old. At dinner I told him no TV or video games. He was sitting in the family room on the couch. He was just sitting. I sat down and said it's my turn to lecture. He wanted to ignore me but where was he to go? So I just talked.
I explained that quite often there are people who get me really mad, angry even. Stopping what I'm doing and counting to ten is stupid. That only pisses me off more and gets my blood pressure even higher. So how do I calm myself down and behave properly? Two ways. In both cases I pretend that the spotlight is on me. First, there's God. Let's pretend that God has enough time in the year to observe me, and only me, for about 30 seconds or a minute. Can you imagine God watching me yell and scream because I did brush my teeth and you are telling me that I didn't? God has no idea what the person I'm arguing with is saying or doing. His focus is only on me. If I'm being judged right then and there for how my life is going to play out over the next year, I'm screwed...yes I said that to my grandson! Second scenario - the TV camera. I pointed to the motion detector in the corner of the room. Let's pretend that's a camera. The camera is focused on you. Nobody else is in the picture. You are yelling and screaming and it's being broadcast around the world. How do you feel with everyone watching your behavior? Remember, nobody is seeing your mom yell at you. They are just watching you. He said he'd feel like a fool. Exactly! Those two scenarios keep me calm...most of the time.
I won't argue with you if you are yelling and screaming if someone is doing something illegal or dangerous and trying to involve you. Argue, fight if the cause is just. But for something like being wrongly accused of not brushing your teeth? Or even if the parent exaggerates that he never brushes his teeth? And this argument is worth your 30 seconds of judgement that God is going to give you this year? Please don't get into religious arguments here, it was to make a point, not that I think God only gives us 30 seconds of his time! He was feeling pretty stupid after that conversation and I got a good smile out of him.
I told him the story of the little girl down the street who has a cell phone and all kinds of pretty clothes. She doesn't have anyone at home who cares where she is or what she is doing. The adults in her family are all wrapped up in their drugs with no time for her. But from the view of other kids she's got it made. She has a phone, cool clothes, and can stay up or out as long as she wants. But nobody cares. It's better to have your parents care, which at times means you get in trouble. Even if you don't think you deserve it.
Then I brought up his other statement that he wanted to live somewhere else. So you want to mooch off someone else? It's hard not quite being a grown up. If you want to live here we can get you a little storage shed from Home Depot. You can turn it into your house. You don't need much. You'll go to school during the day and then when you are done with school you will either go off to your job or do hard labor around here. After all, you have to earn your food. And your clothes. And your shoes. Unless the pair of shoes you have now will last you for a couple of years. I'm sure you'll take such good care of them that you won't need to earn money to buy new shoes. How does that sound rather than living at home?
He said his parents already agreed that he can move out and at the end of his weekend with me he'll have to tell them where he wants to be dropped off. I told him he should respond that he wants to be dropped off with them. You owe your parents an apology. I don't care if they were wrong. Remember you are responsible for you and your behavior was wrong. Perhaps a little grovelling will work...
Until then he's mine. He's going to be working on the backyard fences this weekend. I'll take the slave, I mean darling grandson, labor.