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.

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