Sunday, June 03, 2007

Responding to behavior (updated)

I read somewhere that Mark Twain said that he did not lie because his memory wasn't good enough.

I definitely get that. That was in fact why we so often caught Carl in lying. He couldn't keep straight what he had told to whom. We would know that he had lied, even if we didn't know what the truth was.

I learned not to ask, "Did you do X?" when I knew very well that he had. Now, when I know that someone has done something I just address it. Sometimes I say things like, "I want you to stop telling me you are looking for a job when you are just hanging out with a friend." Or "The bill for your text messages on my cell phone is $9, what's the best way for you to pay me?"

And sometimes that is followed up with things like not allowing them to borrow my cell phone anymore.

It can feel strange though, because it also defuses me. In dealing with it that way I am cutting off my own opportunity to rant and yell at them. I am not telling them how angry and disappointed I am that they have lied or done whatever they have done. They know though.

Now it is good that it defuses me. Not escalating, simply imposing consequences is a good thing, but it can still feel strange. It feels like there is this other part of me that wants to yell, or at least lecture, dying to get out. But I know this path is better. I am sad, but my blood pressure is staying down. He knows he got caught. He knows I disapprove. We both know I can't control him and trying to would just push us into an escalating battle.

No, there isn't a lot that I can do that is productive.

Well, except re-instate that service where no one can make a long distance call without knowing the secret code.

Why did I cancel that before? I forget.

Update: I put on the block. He reactivated his cell phone. Good thing I wasn't deluded about my ability to control him.


  1. Augh!
    stop doing that!
    where you talk about exactly what I am trying to work through in my own life and head!
    It gives me the shivers!!!
    the bit about having to deal with diffusing myself....

  2. man it is so to be a mom ,, it is nothing like I thought it woudl be like. Hang in there

  3. "it also defuses me"

    Oh WOW! You are so right about this! This is exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you!


Comments will be open for a little while, then I will be shutting them off. The blog will stay, but I do not want either to moderate comments or leave the blog available to spammers.