Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Battle of Wills

Devin actually did not argue about donating his time on a nearby farm Thursday, surprising! I dropped him off about 7am and picked him up when I got off work about 5pm. Mr. & Mrs. Farmer explained everything Devin did all day, starting with feeding the chickens, horses, and cows. Next they had to clean out the chicken house (which by the way had been neglected for the last two months), a couple of horse stables and where they feed the cows. Next on Devin's agenda was assisting Mr. Farmer with designing and building some sort of wood shelf. Mr. Farmer said he was quite impressed as Devin came up with most of the design and cut all the wood and was very helpful in putting it together.
Devin came home hungry tired and was VERY well behaved all evening. He is due to go back Monday, but not as long as he has to meet with a home bound teacher at 2:30 to go over any homework he needs help with.
Devin is actually looking forward to going back, really, no fits. It was actually MD having a fit about it. He did not approve of me pawning our son out for free labor. That from 7 am to 5pm was WAY too long, that it is against child labor laws, and on and on and on.
I asked him would he rather Devin sit home all day playing video games and watching TV while he was on suspension? he replies "no, but that is just punishing him again". My response was "so" . MD just expels a heavy sigh and goes to the garage to smoke. I follow and ask him what should I be doing, since A. Devin refuses to do home work while we are gone, B. I can not quite working, and C. he refuses (MD) to aid in all of this. He response with an "I don't know what to do". So I tell him that it is okay that he does not, but let me do what I know how to do and to back me up on it. He just grunted, but no longer argued with me. At least about Devin and the Farm.
Next he went into a stint with Felicia and the whole wedding thing. Again, he was just ranting and would not and could not be reasoned with. Not that I disagree with him a bit, but the way he approaches things is wrong. Plus he was just mad and wanted to yell at somebody.
Friday Devin refused to do any school work with Felicia. Kept calling her names and throwing fits. One of his fits ended with a hole in my wall, that of course stopped him in his tracks. He of course was worried about what MD would do when he found out. I told Devin that he would deserve anything coming to him, but I would make a deal with him. He needed to calm down, sit with Felicia and do his homework. He was meeting a teacher at 2:30 and needed to have work completed so they could turn it in. Otherwise I would leave him to deal with MD on his own. How depressing, I am forced to threats to get him to do his work.
I also called MD and explained to him that I was giving him fair warning. That if he did not remove the televisions from Devin's room by the time I got home, I could not and would not guarantee that when I finished with them that they would ever work again. MD asked what happened now, I explained that Devin is once again pitching fits about doing homework. he says fine and tells me he will see me later and hangs up the phone. Of course when I got home they were still in his room.
Eventually Devin completed some homework with Felicia and then completed all his math with the teacher.
Which leads us to today, again he refused to do any homework. So I promptly went to his room and removed the televisions (yes he had two), the electric guitar, his Play station, PSP, DS, and every other electronic devise (other than the alarm clock) from his room. I clean out the closet, under the bed and dressers and put away all clothes. of course Devin was downstairs having a fit because of what I was doing, and I might add I did not harm one wire in the TVs both are still in working order. Just not in his room.
I do not know how he did it, but he calmed down and has been sitting at the Dining room table for the last two hours doing home work. He of course has been calling for Felicia ever 15 minutes or so to help, but he is doing it. Science is just about completed, Felicia and I are unable to figure out some of it to help him so he will have to go over that with the teacher on Monday. He is also completing the Romeo and Juliet packet for English. He has a bit of Social Studies work left and Health. Fabulous! He might actually go back to school in better shape (grade wise) then when he left!
I WIN! And in the end HE WINS.
I know I should not be like that but it feels good. Sorry! But not really.
Now I have to get ready to "DRESS SHOP" for wedding dresses with Felicia. I did explain to her that we (I) was not buying ANYTHING today. I still have to pay for her trip (part of it) to Italy, her college needs, and now Devin's legal needs. I am not ponying up cash for a Wedding that may or may not happen until September 2010.


Laggin said...

Tough love works. It's emotionally draining but doing what you say you are going to do and letting them live with the consequences is the only way to deal with headstrong kids. I wholly support your farm project. I seriously doubt it violates child labor laws when the parents are doing it as punishment. I've got your back on this one! Keep up the good mommying.

P.S. I bought myself a bracelet that I'm wearing through this hard time. When I feel myself wavering or when Eldest is pushing my buttons I hold onto that bracelet to remind myself to stay strong. Maybe you need a mom-strength bracelet too?

utmomof 5 said...

I think the farm is a fabulous place for him. Any kid raised on a farm has to work that much :) Keep up the tough love -- it sounds like that is what he really needs!