Monday, March 16, 2015

Let Him Go, Let It Go!

Sometimes moms have to use Tough Love.
For us, it was getting my seventeen year-old son with Aspergers up for school. Three of us are early birds, but my son is the only night owl. Getting him up is harder than waking a anesthetized sloth in the middle of hibernation.

We had a sit-down talk after a solid week of me getting him up more than three times a morning, each day yelling at him to get going, to the point that I was still shaking with shattered nerves a good half-hour after he left for school.

I warned my son that he needs to start getting up on his own and out the door on time for school.
I warned him that I wasn't waking him after his sister initially does every morning.
I warned him that I wasn't yelling at him to get up anymore.
I warned him that he had to get all of his chores done before he went to school, late or not.
I warned him again about everything above.
I warned him that I wasn't going into a panic attack because he was late for school ever again.
I warned him that I wasn't getting in the way of the consequences concerning lateness at the school.

The next morning, he got up. 

He didn't do any of his chores- and it was five minutes past his time to be out the door.
When he finally came down, I told him calmly that he had to get his chores done, and listed them (that morning was trash day- and he missed it last week.)

After trying to argue, I reminded him of our talk. He got to work and did the chores.
He told me he was praying that the buses were late (he walks) so that he wouldn't get into trouble. "Trouble" is a detention.
Then he figured that since he talks to the detention teacher after school every day anyway, it would just count against his detention- no harm, no foul. 

Think again, son.

When he left, I called the school. The teacher he talks to was teaching class- oh right- my son was running very late and just left the house. I told the receptionist (who also knows my son well) what happened and what he thinks is going to happen. I found out that the detention teacher is not in charge of the detentions- the Dean of Students is. And the receptionist wouldn't let him get away that easily. She would make sure he knew that. 
I hung up the phone smiling.

I love this school!

I'm not happy that he was late (I get panicky when we are late for anything), but I'm done trying to motivate and protect my seventeen year-old from himself- let the lad get in trouble for once- it's all on him this time.
For the first time in forever I wasn't a nervous wreck from all the stress!

He was late twice that week, and served out his detentions. One or two more and he's been warned that suspension is eminent- and I let him know if that happens, he'll be dealing with me for those five days. An angry me with a chore agenda that would tire out the Energizer Bunny.

Guess who's up early this morning?


Unknown said...

I feel your pain! My oldest (17 this weekend) also has Aspergers. All three of my children are night owls . . . well, the middle one could be a morning person, but he wants to do everything his big brother does . . . Wake up time is a hassle every morning. I have yet to follow through with regular consequences. Being a night owl myself, I seldom want to deal with it that early in the day.

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