For the entirety of my oldest son’s life, I’ve struggled with getting him to respect my authority. I completely believe that he does not understand where I fit within the family unit, or what exactly my role entails.
This causes a problem for me, as I would often like to show my wife that I’m a capable parent.
We allow Sam 30 min of “screen time” every night, but recently we’ve had to initiate a forced video game and TV hiatus on him. Mainly due to his insistence with talking back.
Last night, after Sam and I finished up his homework, he leans over to me and says:
“Dad, can I watch the iPad now?”
“No way”, I quickly reply
He follows up with his “go-to” rebuttal.
“You’re not mommy. You can’t make the rules.”
Disrespectful, truthful words…you always sting!
I'm swallow my anger, and immediately pretend I also am a rule enforcer.
While doing my best parenting impersonation I say, “Sam, there are consequences to the bad choices you’ve been making. You need to learn a lesson”
Next comes a new favorite of mine: random words to assist with making his case.
“I follow him on Twitter”, he says angrily.
“Who….and WHAT?” I reply.
“The guy who makes the car videos on YouTube”
“Curious” I say. “When did you get on Twitter, you can barely read? Do you even know what that means?”
“No!!!” He shouts, completely surprised that I didn’t give into his rock solid plea, and just hand over the iPad.
I start laughing. This sends him into furious spaz mode. I do enjoy me some furious spazzing, so of course I laugh harder.
After several minutes, I begin calming the rage from the storm. I sit down beside Sam, and explain the situation. I remind him of the conversation we just had the night before regarding his disrespectful ways:
He had unfortunately felt the need to tell me, I’m “mostly fat and short” while sitting in the change room at the local pool. Good thing there were only 75 kids present, as it would have been hard on the ego to have adults laughing and pointing.
I reiterated that daddy has feelings too, and that as long as he continues down this path, he would be the boy who never had technology in his life.
With that, he apologizes! Order had temporarily been restored. Heather would have been so proud, but alas, she was nowhere to be seen.
“I think I’m getting the hang of this parenting thing!” I say to myself.
10 minutes later, I overhear him tell his brother I smell like cheese.