Wednesday, August 19, 2009

“A life spent in the hedonistic seeki...

"A life spent in the hedonistic seeking of personal pleasure is not a good or honorable life and does not lead to the greatest happiness."

(Not real happiness anyway.  Empty pleasure and happiness are not the same.)

My teenage son spends very little time with BB and me.  When he is with us, he is somewhat surly and unwilling to listen.  I came up with the idea of emailing him very short pithy statements in hopes that he will read them in case I have something important to say--important to him, like so and so called and wants a call back.  By the time he's realized I'm not conveying that kind of information, maybe he will have registered my point.  Or maybe not.

I despair at this point in his becoming a real person, but I guess that's common for the mothers of teenage boys.  I'm told be the time they are 35 or 40, they may actually become human again, but I may not live long enough to see it.

What I emailed to him is the part in quotes.  BB thinks that PB is totally incapable of applying the wisdom to himself, of seeing the connection, of understanding that I mean HIM.  He, PB, the boy, wants nothing other than to hang out with his friends, drink soda, eat junk food, and follow every whim.  He constantly wants us to hand over money for foolish purchases, but he is very angry if we ask him to do anything, including clean his room or rinse his dishes and put them int he dishwasher.  And he walks out without saying goodbye or telling us where he's going.  (Which he just did, and when a friend calls, which one just did, I have no idea what to tell them.)


Brigitte said...

Dear Mary,

how has BB been in PB's age?
Was your room always tidy and didn't you choose to tell as less as possible to your parents?

When I recall my teenage time I had a really chaotic room but I knew where everything was. If my mother forced me to tidy up I couldn't find anything after wards.
I have a teenage son my own and he has to earn his pocket money. He washes every nights dishes (we have no dishwasher) and he has to care for Benny our rabbit. Every weekend he has to clean his bathroom and then and now his own room (yes it is untidy too :-)
I think this untidy mess is comparable with life. Is every thing on it's place nice and tidy it looks as if the room isn't used (dead)
My son can choose what he wants to do with his money so if he would like to spend it on something which is important for HIM, I suppose it mustn't be important for me...
If he would like more money I would say he has to earn it somewhere else (paper boy or something else he is allowed to do in his age)
In the age of 35-40 some people are already parents of teenager them self and are confronted with their special task :-)
I was once in the same situation that I wrote an e-mail to my son because I had the feeling he doesn't listen otherwise but I wouldn't recommend it! This makes the gap between generations even broader. It is very important to talk together otherwise they end up in failing later. Act or let your teeny feel that you accept him as an young adult but talk to him reflective and even a child can understand (because he isn't an adult yet)
I had a talk with my son yesterday which went like 'I respect your room as private zone but if you don't turn out the heater in the morning or don't air the room, you force me to go inside to do it. We have to take care for this house and if you are not able to do this simple task what shall I suppose of other things?' He understands very clearly and I am sure this will work for a while (looks like taking an adults responsibility) and after a few weeks we are back at the same stage (still a child :-) and we have to talk over again.
You mention your son is going away without goodbye or mention where he is. Tell him that you are concerned if he hits the road without goodbye because you love him and care for him. Don't expect him to say where he is going because when he is telling you he goes to A they might decide to go to B or C. So if he would tell you he goes to A and you call there and he isn't there you might have an argument when he comes home and be sure NOBODY likes an argument! The least a teenager.
And be sure, he does listen to you even he does act like his deaf and he doesn't do the things you ask him for.
He has to find his own way.
You and BB could be his grandparents so talk with PB as if he would be an adult. And don't force him to do something but trick him to do it :-)
Let him know that you love him and that you care and always be there if he needs you. Comes the right time he will be communicative again.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Hi Brigitte

You make some very good points here.

I was feeling angry when I wrote this post. Piano Boy really knows how to push my buttons, especially when I am over-tired or not feeling well.

I mostly don't ride him about his room, but I do feel that he should have the pathway into it clear in case of fire or other emergency.

Also, I cannot tell you the number of things that have been ruined becasue he WALKED on them.

I was not only not a neat teenager, I am not a terribly neat adult--I'm not expecting neatness, at least not consistent neatness, but I do not want BUGS and cockroaches or something because he leaves food in there for days on end.

And PB refuses to earn pocket money--he keeps trying to demand it from us. We live in a fairly wealthy neighborhood and he sees his friends with lots of discretionary cash and thinks he should have the same.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin