Sunday, July 28, 2013

Pity Party

Well, after so much trouble and nonsense in June and early July we have had relative calm  here lately. So glad for that.
However, this evening I was in Gabe's room putting away clothes. He does not like me to come into HIS room. I have reminded him on other occasions that the room is in a house that belongs to Dad and I and either one of us can come in if we need to. We do respect privacy when dressing but maintain the right to come in as needed. As I turn from putting clothing away I see that he has brought home some staff items from VBS last week. Because Gabe sometimes takes thing (steals) I ask him about the items. He closes his eyes and sticks his face up at me. "It's mine" he says.
"This is staff stuff. How did you get it?" I'm thinking that it is possible that someone did give it to him and I'm asking gently.
This time he turns his head away from where Dirk and I are standing, closes his eyes and says in a very calm measured tone, "it's mine."
"That is not what I asked. Did you just take this from church?"
Gabe closes his eyes and just sits there on the bed. Then I see that there is also stuff there that belonged to other kids. Dirk begins to talk to him about stealing. We have had so many conversations with him about stealing. Still items show up that we have no idea where they came from, or that we do know where they came from and he should not have them.
I tell Gabe that I am going to go through his room this week and clean out. He usually keeps his room fairly clean but it is getting a mess. Gabe protests. Dirk tells him, "it is going to happen and you will co operate and be nice. If we could trust you and believe what you say this wouldn't have to happen. It is time to go downstairs now." Dirk heads down the stairs.
Just then Gabe goes into panic mode. He is sure that his ambulance, a new toy 2 days ago, has gone missing. He cannot go downstairs. I tell him that he has to go now because Dad said and he can look for the ambulance later. Gabe then accuses me of taking his ambulance and messing up his room. He knows I did not mess up his room. I also did not take the ambulance. We have talked many times about not accusing when you do not know. I tell him that I will not put up with him making up lies about me. Gabe goes downstairs and immediately begins to cry to Dirk. He is blaming me for making him come down and not letting him have the ambulance and ....  Dirk tells him to stop the crying. He will get the ambulance later. It is late and we are going to read quickly and then go to bed.
After reading and prayers I give Gabe permission to quietly look for his ambulance and to spend a little time cleaning his room. The baby is already asleep. A few minutes later I hear a disturbance upstairs  and go up. Gabe is in his bed crying.Yes he has found his ambulance but he was making too much noise and Dirk has sent him to bed. Now he is mad. "You were told to be quiet. That didn't happen. You can clean tomorrow." Gabe turns up the intensity on the crying. "Stop the pity party," I say and walk out of the room.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


After the nonsense Sunday morning  there has been peace. There have been no angry outbursts or threats that I know of. Gabe has been mostly sweet and polite, that is, until this afternoon. Dirk often takes the kids to a meeting at church on Wednesday evening. They were planning to go until Fred called to make sure we knew that there was no meeting because the church is sponsoring a booth at the county fair and people would be at the booth.
"I'm going with Dad. He promised!" Gabe announced loudly as he listened to my end of the conversation on the phone. He continued to make demanding statements as I tried to talk to Fred. I asked him to please stop interrupting. "I can go with him if I want to," he demanded. "I will ask him. Dad can say if I can go!"
"That's fine, Dad will say when he gets here. I'm on the phone now so you must stop talking."
Gabe stomped into the living room and plopped down on the couch. Dirk arrived home a short time later. I told him that there was no meeting because of the fair. "I can go with you," Gabe said.
"There is no meeting," Dirk said.
"But I can go," Gabe was calm and steady.
"I don't think you heard me," Dirk said. "There is no meeting tonight."
"But I called the pastor and he said I can go to the meeting." Gabe was clearly lying now.
"You are not allowed to use the phone so I know you did not call," Dirk said. Gabe then turned to me and lied again saying that Dad was going to take him because the pastor called. I sent him to face the wall for lying.
About 15 minutes later I called him back into the room. Did lying work out for you? No, he answered. Did you get what you wanted? No. Did you get into trouble? Yes. Dirk then talked to him about other consequences for lying. You look smarter when you tell the truth. You look dumb when you lie because people know you are lying. God tells us not to lie. It hurts us and it hurts others.
Angel had come into the room while this discussion was going on. I decided that we needed to address another situation together. I will go back to Saturday night to give the background for this.
We had gone to a dinner and bonfire at some friends house. Several families were there. Towards the end of the evening I saw Gabe go up to a young woman (20's) who was sitting talking with friends. He just walked right between her and the person who was talking to her and put his arm around her. She sat there like a statue. I called to Gabe. He walked the other way. We were planning to leave. In the van on the way home I asked Gabe if he had asked Mrs. "A" if he could hug her.  "She is my friend!" he answered.
"That is not what I asked," I said. "You are not to hug people without their permission. Did she give you permission to hug her?"
"I can hug her if I want! She is my friend!" was Gabe's answer.
"You are not to go up to people and just hug them. She was talking to someone  else and you just walked between them. That was rude and wrong." I said.
"I can if I want!" Gabe shouted.
Dirk said, "You are not listening. Mrs. "A" was not talking to you. She wasn't talking to anyone. She was listening to her friends..."
"But I'm her friend!" Gabe cut in.
"Be quiet and listen. You did not have permission and you were wrong." There was more discussion but all Gabe did was defend his position as friend and so he could do whatever he wanted. It was obvious that we were not getting through and this would need to be addressed again.
On Sunday afternoon Angel and I went to a shower. Mrs. "A" was there and sat beside me. I asked her about the hug. She said that he hugs her all of the time and that she has asked him several times not to hug her. She was not sure what to do about it. She knew he was a teenager with a little kid brain. I apologized and told her that I would tell him to stop. I asked her to let me know if he doesn't. I told her that we were working on setting up personal boundaries with him. When it comes to this hugging stuff he is going to have to have teenage boy boundaries.
Back to Wednesday evening -- I told Gabe that I had talked to Mrs. A and she does not want to be hugged. "You are not to hug her. If I find out that you are trying to hug her you will be in trouble. I am saying this with everyone here. Do not hug the ladies at church or anywhere. Just because they are nice people does not mean that you can hug them. I consider many of the men at church to be my friends. But they are not my close friends and I do NOT hug them and they do not hug me. They do not touch me."
Dirk then told Gabe that men do not touch women without permission. Do not touch women. Most of them are not going to give you permission so just don't touch. When you get 18 you can be in big trouble and maybe even go to jail if you touch a woman who does not want you to touch her. Just don't touch or hug a woman.
This is by no means the first time that we have addressed the hugging issue with Gabe. You just don't go around in public hugging everybody over and over again. You can have several hugs from Mom and Dad at home as long as you are not trying to make us drop what we are doing right this second. Angel has limited him to 2 hugs per day. That is fine, she can set that boundary.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

What now?

It has been a while since I've taken time to post here. Life has gotten so busy. I want to start keeping a log of some of the problems that we have been encountering as Gabe is hitting adolescence. I don't know if these problems are related to adolescence or not.
One of the issues that we have been having with Gabe is his inability to deal with frustration. He now threatens to kill or punch those whom he feels have stopped him. Indeed I have stopped him from doing many things. He was very angry with me last night. He came downstairs at 11:30 p.m. and wanted to play a certain CD. He had been sent to bed a little more than an hour before. I reminded him that he had been sent to bed. He argued that I had promised him the CD. I never promise a CD or movie for later. We occasionally use a particular TV show as an earned reward, but I will not promise a CD for later. He would have me in over my head in promises if I did that. He would like to have a line up that goes until some time next year! After a few rounds of arguing he stomped up to bed stating that he was very angry. He was louder than should be as others were sleeping already. I was glad that he did not wake the baby.
The statement of being very angry was much tamer than many statements that he makes. He is allowed to say that he is angry. However, his anger is not justifiable. I am not going to allow music at that time of night when others are sleeping and he should be in bed.
This morning I was in the bathroom when Gabe came downstairs. Within a minute he and Angel  "were having words". Gabe was shouting loudly at her as they came into the kitchen. I called out for Gabe to sit and I would be out in a minute. When I came out Gabe was sitting there on the step stool. I asked him what was going on.
"Well Angel she, she, um, well I was just coming downstairs and being a good boy and Angel she..." Gabe kept looking away. It seems as if he was trying to make something up fast. I have seen this many time before. I wanted to see what he was really going to say so asked, "What did she do?" He continued with his "Well Angel she...I was being good and she... well she...cause I was being good and she..." He was looking over at the cupboard beside him and not wanting to look at me. He seemed to be looking for something good to say.
I called Angel into the kitchen. "What happened?"I asked.
I didn't do anything to him. He just came downstairs and then stuck his fist in my face and told me to leave him alone. I didn't do anything except tell him to leave me alone after he did that. Then he started saying all kinds of things to me and you told him to sit.
I looked at Gabe. "Did you shake your fist in Angels face."  "No"  ''Are you sure?" "No" After a few minutes of talking he finally said that he did it because she.... Never a real reason stated. I sent him to face the wall. He tried to apologize his way out of it. I told him that he had to take the consequences for shaking his fist at Angel and then apologize after that.
I wish I really knew what happened. Sometimes Angel nit picks at Gabe so much and yet still does not see that she is causing some of the problem with all of the nit picking/nagging. I have tried to help her see but she just defends her position and does not see the effect. However, Gabe does come right of the blue with some of his threats. Angels says that he threatens to kill her at least once a day. This is NOT acceptable. I do not hear most of it. I am trying to figure out if there are triggers for this behavior. Regardless, Ï'm going to kill you" is not an appropriate response to anything. We are seeking help at this time.