I'm hoping that NEVER ENDING consequences will eventually lead to my son opening his own dry cleaning business….or at least make him a fairly good husband one day!
Since the day he moved in, my youngest son has been extremely defiant. I'm sure he has many reasons of his own for acting like this….but I think mostly he's just somehow made this his coping mechanism to deal with life! After all, he did have a less than perfect childhood, prior to moving in with this luxurious family….. He endured being shuffled to many different homes, lost touch with his biological parents, and then had to adjust to his new life and new family.
It's been about 5 years since the adoption, and he still continues to be challenging and defiant…though he's made HUGE strides in the right direction!
If you ask him not to do something, he will nod his head in understanding, and then wait for you get get out of his line of vision, so he can do what you asked him not to do. Then, when you ask him why…he says he doesn't know…and he probably doesn't!
We've always been told to stay consistent with his consequences, so the television gets taken from him most often..mostly because I find this to be a luxury item, that is not necessary in ones life! However, he doesn't really care that you take it from him, because he will just plop himself on the couch and turn it on anyway. When you look at him in disbelief, he looks back at you with eyes that say “So what”?
This became even more frustrating, the more he did it, and taking extra days of Tv time from him was pointless, because he simply wasn't going to listen. He had no regard for what was asked of him.
I really had to search hard for so something he hated to do…something to change the behavior.
….and so one day it happened….LAUNDRY! He despises it 🙂
For every time I saw him watch that television, when he lacked privileges, I gave him a week of laundry…and we have 6 people in this household. When we started this…and you may have already guessed…every time he lost Tv privileges….he did laundry. Even still…two years later…he retests his boundaries and does a week or two more of laundry.
He always acts like he doesn't care, when you give him these duties….Oh, but what he won't do, to get out of it!
Many times he has been caught rewashing the same load.
Many times he has been caught placing clean clothes from the dryer back into the dirty hamper, so he doesn't have to fold them.
Many times he has been caught placing the clothes from the dryer directly back into the washer, so he doesnt have to fold them. Hes also been caught multiple times dispersing clothes into different hampers all over the house, to prevent the folding process. Almost EVERY TIME he tells you that the clothes aren't dry yet, or that he forgot to turn the dryer on at all.
Obviously, he hates folding the laundry! But for whatever reason, he hates folding socks and washcloths the most…….He hides them!
As the week goes on, we have less and less of each of these items. I start wearing mismatched socks, until I've reached my breaking point, and I don't say a word about the washcloths, until the last one is gone!
He never knows where any of these items are when you ask him. He even goes so far to say that he doesn't have any clean socks either, and blames us for the washcloths, because he doesn't even use them (good to know)! Eventually, I will tell him he will do nothing else until he finds them….Magically they reappear!
This week, he finished yet another week of laundry. In the past, he would end up with 2-3-4 weeks of laundry in a row, after blatantly disregarding his lack of privileges. Now, he usually stops before he gets that far, and he never plops on the couch, but stands in the corner and watches from his periphery (sneakier at least)! He is making some progress!
This laundry process makes Renee and I crazy. It would be way easier to do it ourselves! Aside from our missing socks and washcloths, our clothes are often wrinkled and filled with dog hair due to them laying in a pile on his floor for so long, due to his procrastination. Our bras get dried and our clothes sometimes get ruined. Our blood pressures get high and our voices hoarse, from redirecting and catching him in his shenanigans!
However, it is working….slowly. That has always been his pace.
So for now I'm content to live with him doing the laundry. Wearing one pink and one yellow sock ain't a big deal in the scheme of things, because I've found something that really bothers him to do!
I just hope one day he looks back and says “Thank you mom, for teaching me these great laundry skills, for it has made me a great man”!
I'm tearing up already 🙂