My latest drama, has been the preteen, boy, puberty drama. All I can say is WOW! I was amazed when my son (who is now 5’4″ at age 11) looked me in my face, pointed his skinny finger at me, raised his voice, and told me, “I’m not going to do it and you can’t make me!” OMG! That was my first thought and then there were a lot of censored thoughts, but I pulled it together and decided that I would not fly off the handle, I would not raise my voice, and I would not snatch that little bony finger off of his hand (that took a lot of concentration and effort). After I explained to him that his finger was really close to becoming a missing item, I could see his thought processes kick into gear. He lowered the finger and began to cry. I embraced my boy who was struggling between childhood and manhood. He truly believed that he could make all of his own decisions for everything on his own. While embracing him, I told him that I was trying to understand what he was going through and that I was sure that his testosterone levels were all over the place, but under no circumstance is he to EVER disrespect me again. After he calmed down, we had a long talk. I told him that he was on punishment for a week. I asked him if he understood why he was being punished and he said, “because I can’t make all of my own decisions. You have to make some of the decisions for me.” He took his punishment like a champ, and he barely complained. I am proud of him because I know he is going through some internal, difficult times. I am proud of myself because, unlike how I was raised, with a belt and punishment (as if the belt wasn’t punishment enough), I did not lose my cool.
My son and I are back on one accord. However, I’m sure that this is just the beginning (preteens, teens, young adults), but I can’t help wondering, “What’s next?”