Trust - Part II by Robin Gorman Newman
If you read my blog, I recently wrote about my son Seth unplugging the cords in my office to my computer, modem, etc. and how we paid to have a locksmith come and install a deadbolt on my door. We gave Seth a talking to, and at the suggestion of a parent trainer we consulted, we suggested he try to ask himself "would mommy and daddy be happy if I do this?" before he act impulsively and engage in a behavior where the resounding answer is "NO" we would not be happy.
All this said, I awoke this morning to find that the office key I typically leave in a particular place in my bedroom was gone. I immediately asked Seth if he saw it, and it said with complete resolution "No." I told him if I find out he took the key and didn't tell me, that I'll take away every toy he has....and I poured through my drawers in search of the spare key that he doesn't know I have.
He then proceeded to admit he took it.....locked it in his toy safe in his room.....but when he went to open the safe, he didn't know where the key was. It was no longer in there.
As my blood pressure rose and rose, so did my temper and voice. I'm not one to yell at him. I always try to speak firmly vs. loudly. But, this time I came close to yelling, and I think he was stunned. He wound up, as is turned out, dropping the key on the floor in his room, and he found it.
But, this doesn't excuse his behavior. He said he was sorry and tried to cuddle up to me as he cried. But, it doesn't make up for it. And, then unexpectedly, I found myself crying. And, that surprised him the most....and me. What was this about? I told him I don't what to do anymore. That I love him, but I don't trust him. And, I asked him, what can he do so I can trust him? What would it take? He just shook his head...didn't know how to respond. I grew speechless.
I walked him out to the bus stop, as usual, but I stood there feeling sterile. I love this child, but I couldn't look at him. I can't just wipe out the feeling of huge anger and betrayal one moment and moments later be all warm 'n fuzzy. That's what Seth would have me do. He was able to transition, as if saying I'm sorry means we can no move on.
I called my husband at work screaming into the phone that I can't take it anymore. We do so much for this child, and is that the issue? Is he just so spoiled that nothing matters? He can't respect someone else's property.
I asked Seth why he took the key, and he said he wanted to get into my office to get tape, but I don't believe him. I said, "do I have to lock up everything I own now? What's next?" I asked. No response.
I don't need to start my day with this kind of needless stress. It doesn't set a good tone for the day....though I guess it can only get better (hopefully).
What kind of punishment is appropriate for this conniving key stealing act? I don't know how to respond at this point. I suggested my husband ask his two good friends in his office who have kids, to see if they have any suggestions.
Should I grab some garbage bags and start scooping up his toys? He could come home to a toy-less living room.. Would he care? Take away the Wii? Take away tv priveledges? No dessert for a week? These ideas all feel temporary. He'll move on and find something else that engages him. For now, I took away his toy safe.
We're talking about instilling a mindset in a 7 boy, and this clearly doesn't come easy. A mindset that is an important one, and one that he should grasp for the rest of his life.
So, what's a parent to do?
The way I feel right now...I want to run away from home. I'm tired of being his mother. It doesn't change my adoration for him, but I'm truly at a loss as to how to get through to him.
Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for allowing me to vent!!!