Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them. ~Oscar Wilde
This is not a finger pointer, but a way to realize what needs fixed for Kyle’s well-being.
I’m not a perfect person, not even close, nor did I ever claim to be. There are many, many people who can attest to that. Sure, usually my methods for handling certain situations are a bit abrasive and direct, especially when it comes to Kyle. However, at least I’m not passive aggressive, and I’m always honest, usually brutally. (If the true can’t be handled then perhaps it’s time to look in the mirror and make some adjustments.) However, it’s no secret to where I stand with Kyle, for I’m not shy about my thoughts and showing that he’s a priority.
Believe it or not, I’m actually a pretty easy going person, except when it comes to Kyle’s well-being. I’m well aware that these young teenage years shape and develop traits to strengthen his adult character, or they can be a detriment and hinder him in the long run. Kyle’s early learning structure is pretty stellar, but molding a kid doesn’t stop when he wants all the freedom in the world at thirteen. I’m talking about the big three, mental, physical and spiritual wellness.
This past Sunday, which started out as me picking up Kyle for church, turned into a big, almost silly, blowout. (It’s silly now that it’s over, but not at the time.) Granted, Kyle wasn’t totally to blame, I played my part, as well as others. I won’t rehash the long drawn out scenario, but I would like to point out the good that came from this potentially lethal situation, actually a few positive key points and the solutions we agreed upon. Kyle is a good kid, and I plan on keeping it that way!
First, Kyle claims all I do is yell at him. Probably true, but if anyone had to deal with Kyle’s attitude, and to top it off by listening to his whining and back-talking all the time, I believe even Mother Teresa would raise her voice, too. Secondly, Kyle believes that he can never do anything right by me. Not true, in fact I make it a point to complement him and encourage him when does good, but I won’t sugar coat his actions or behavior when the opposite is true.
Personally, some of these issues are real, but his emphasis on the severity and number of instances aren’t. Kyle’s pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes. Seriously! He’s gotten really good at playing the martyr. He’s so dramatic!
Example, if I tell Kyle he’s kicked off of his video games for a half an hour because he played for four hours straight, he’ll respond with the usual whine and arguing. Then, his time-out is such a traumatic experience. He’ll poor it on thick to anyone who’ll listen to how he’s not allowed to play his videos games for the entire day! When in reality it’s only a half an hour. Did I mention he claims he’s not allowed to do anything during that time, even though I suggest a game of chess or a walk. Yes, according to Kyle, he’s in prison serving hard time. Think I’m kidding? Not even close. This is what Kyle does to get his own way, and work everyone to the dark side. Who wants to deal with this? It’s not right, and I won’t tolerate it. Sadly, no one sees his stunts or if they do, they continue to cater to his whims to avoid an argument. Not me!
Let’s discuss Kyle’s grades. They’re not terrible, but I know he can do better, and I won’t stand back and accept skimping by. I hold him accountable. Why? Because I believe in him, and I know he’s smarter than what his grades reflect. However, he’ll argue and claim other. I have faith in my little man and praising his grades is basically saying, “You’re not that smart, and I accept your half-way attempt.” Nope! Did you know he told my sister he knew he was slacking a little, and he needed to buckle down? Yes! Those were his words after he made excuses for his grades. I appreciate his honesty, but I knew it! There are so many more instances, I won’t even elaborate on.
When discussing my situation with a good friend of mine, who has a nephew a few years younger than Kyle, it was discovered that she had the exact same problem, almost word for word. While describing Kyle’s behavior, she said it was an exact replica to her own behavioral situations with her nephew, exactly, down to every drama moment. What are the common denominators to this behavior? Both kids eat junk, play hours upon hours of videos games, get no exercise, and basically have little to no structure.
Trying to get this under control and do right by Kyle, I don’t assume I have all the answers, but I will find an expert who does. I consulted another friend of mine, who’s a school psychologist! Perfect! She handles children’s behavioral problems on a daily basis. I explained the entire scenario. Her solution? Reward with good behavior. I agree! If Kyle does good, then a reward is called for. But what? My initial friend, mentioned earlier with her nephew, and I tried to brainstorm ideas. You know what conclusion we came to? There’s nothing! No, seriously. These kids have way too much, and that takes away the opportunity to treat them, or surprise them. Ultimately, they are rewarded all the time for bad behavior.
This is a poor example, but one that came to mind. When I was a kid, we were never allowed fast food, only when we went to the doctors as a treat. Not that fast food or even food should be a reward, but I can’t even use that because his off days, Kyle’s usually filled with junk. (We always cook three meals a day and most of it is raised or butchered by our own hands. Although my parents do sneak in garbage every once in a while.) If I gave Kyle another video game, I’m fueling the fire for spending more time on those mind sucking animations that create laziness, and that started this miserableness with the kid. (I try to teach moderation.) Money? Forget it! I tried to have Kyle work for my company, Thrill of the Hunt entering data, and I paid him. He wanted nothing to do with it. Why? Because if he wants money to go to the movies or to buy something, he simply asks for it and it appears. He’s not stupid, he’s working the system.
Yes, at this point, anyone with any common sense is realizing the real problem at hand. It may result with Kyle, but it doesn’t stem from him. This is what’s causing friction between us. I don’t, and I will never buckle to the kid, even if it’s not totally his fault. Sure, I do make compromises, but I won’t tolerate all this, and he knows it. Hence, his reason for ignoring my phone calls, pushing my buttons and then claiming I’m always yelling, and trying to avoid hanging out with me because I expect him to do chores.
Let’s get this straight. He does chores maybe once a month, more in the spring and summer months, but I don’t ask him to break his back, or to consume his entire day. Well, actually it usually does take the whole day, about five hours of arguing, whining and moving at a snail’s pace, and then a half an hour of actual work. Do I give in? NOPE! Why? Because I want to do what’s right for Kyle.
Kyle’s biggest complaint about me? You’ll love this one! I make him take walks (less than a mile, to three miles total) with me and the dogs in the woods. It’s good for him to get off his iPhone (yes he has an iPhone 6 loaded with video games) and stretch his legs, while recharging his battery in God’s country, and giving the dogs some exercise. Kyle’s response nearly EVERY time, results in crying for at least an hour, taking another hour to get dressed, and complaining the entire walk, at least until he breaks a sweat and then he’s good (sometimes). Yes, once he starts clearing his head, he’s happy and enjoys himself. Granted, it’s getting harder and harder to get to that point, but I won’t give up. Why? Because I want to do what’s right for Kyle.
How about other activities? I’ve tried these and then some, but are denied as the ideas passed my lips. Shooting at the gun range? No. Roller skating? No. Shopping? No. Playing a board games or chess? No. Going to the comic book story. (used to be his hang out) No. Walking around a park? Hell no! Movies? Maybe.
So back to my original story, what good could come from our blow out on Sunday and all this tension? A lot! I was able to justify my true intentions, so Kyle really understood my point-of-view. I explained that I’m willing to fight for him. I’m willing to fight to my last breath for his well-being and his long-term happiness. I will fight all the video games in the world, and preservative filled foods, and anyone trying to sabotage his natural goodness for their own self satisfaction and easy parenting. I’m not doing this for myself, but for him. I won’t give in to him or give up on him, not because I enjoy the fights or I have nothing else to do or it’s the easy way. NO! On the contrary, I’m taking the difficult path. Sometimes doing what’s right isn’t easy, but I will fight for Kyle every step. I also explained to Kyle that no matter what happens in life, I have his back and I will fight for him every time. I will fight the devil if I have to, to make sure he’s following in the way of the Lord. My actions won’t be halfway, or passive aggressive, I will fight for him head on. Why? Because Kyle’s worth it, every difficult argumentative whiny moment of his existence is worth trying to do what’s right by him. That’s how much I love that little guy.
His response? A few tears were shed, but nothing said.
My job as his Aunt Heather and godmother, isn’t an easy one, but one I’ve been completely dedicated to since he was born. Ryan trusted me these responsibilities and he knew, when it came down to it, I would always fight for what’s right by this little boy. I know if Ryan was alive, he’d have my back and agree with me, for he wouldn’t have tolerated a bratty kid either. And he would believe in Kyle like I do, and know he’s a better kid than his actions are portraying. Kyle’s not bad, just spoiled, and a kid who’s becoming a teenager, a difficult stage in itself without compounding it with other issues.
The solution to all this? I agreed to never raise my voice to Kyle again (even though that’s how I was raised), as long as he promises to keep his attitude in check and listen to me when I tell him to do something, no more whining and complaining. Begrudgingly he murmured, “Yeah.” I did blatantly explain, to avoid confusion, that I love him wholeheartedly and I’m not trying to be a roadblock or an opposing force, but one that’s trying to guide him to being a good person and to keep him on the path of righteousness for his own sake. We’re a team, we’ve always been a team, and we’ll always be a team. I will never give up on him! No matter what. That’s family, and that’s love.
On a side note, my cat Storm, a.k.a. Lady Fluffington, and my dog, Seven hate it when I’m yelling, they really get upset and I don’t enjoy it either. I’m kind of relieved over our new compromise. It will force me to stop and think, in turn making me a better person. I told you, we learn from each other!
I believe this was a good stepping stone, one long over due. I have faith in Kyle, and don’t expect perfection from him, but only good intentions and everything for his own well-being.
It was also brought to my attention that this blog is hurting Kyle and his adolescents. I disagree, for I never divulge everything, and I still keep Kyle’s privacy, more so than most. This blog is the same as other “mommy” blogs and those who post on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or Vine etc. I don’t regularly go in that direction, instead I choose a well thought out blog post. If I thought this blog was truly hindering Kyle, then I would delete it immediately.
Unbeknownst to some, I get a lot of private messages giving me guidance and sharing personal stories to assist me with Kyle, or others take my advice for his or her own personal dilemmas. This blog has been a learning experience for me and my readers. Plus, it’s a way for my family and Ryan’s friends to stay in touch. Let me get back to the real reason I write. It’s for Kyle, to have an account of his life stories, something to read when he’s older. I want him to always know his dad and his family. A minor point, but I do use this blog for my company, Thrill of the Hunt. Perhaps, I might cut down on the Kyle stories, and focus on his dad and other activities. Time will tell. God speed!