“I don’t give an “F” what you say!” That’s the last thing my son Jake said to me as he stormed out the door this afternoon. Dealing with a moody teen is hard enough – but when you have a moody teen, who has special needs, is hungry and did not take his medication when he was supposed to, it is 10 times harder.
Jake had a good first “week” of school (it was actually only 3 days) – he had a great attitude, was willing to work and get along, follow the rules, listen to people. Second week, the honeymoon is over. He hates everybody, doesn’t want to work, won’t listen to people, etc.
I got a call from Jake’s aide this afternoon. “Did you look at your email?” she asked. Uh-oh – that is how they contact parents in regards to referrals. And yep – he got not one, but two referrals today. He refused to give his aide his communication notebook (she and I send notes back and forth about how things are going). He told her and his regular Special Ed teacher “No!” – he wasn’t going to do what they asked. He went to get his backpack from his locker early, so he could avoid the afterschool chaos in the hallways. He was supposed to come back to the classroom to wait for the bell, but refused to do so. So he earned himself a couple of lunch detentions.
Usually, Jake comes home right after school, gets a snack and rests. Today, he didn’t. He stayed out with friends for a couple hours before coming home – and he brought a friend over to play video games. After they were done and the friend walked out the door, I called Jake over and asked him about the referrals. He was evasive, so I read the emailed referrals to him. He started huffing about how he didn’t have breakfast (I gave him breakfast but he chose not to eat it at home and on his way to school, he dropped it on the ground) – he said he wasn’t going to listen to people at school, that they can’t tell him what to do. Calmly, I stated that he had been really disrespectful and that I was disappointed in his behavior – and then I said, “no sleep-overs this weekend.”
And that is when he exploded – he started yelling and slamming things around, and saying things like, “you can’t tell me what to do! I won’t ever listen to you again! I am gonna do what I want to do! You can’t stop me! I don’t give an “F” what you say!” And then he left.
Now here is what I found interesting. He said, “I don’t give an “F” what you say!” – he just said the letter “F”. He didn’t use the whole word. To me, that showed a little restraint and that he still respected me enough not to say the real word. And as he left, I realized he was probably hungry and hadn’t taken his medication – so I didn’t take it all personally.
Hours later, when he finally came back home – the first thing he did was to apologize to me. He said he was starving and went off to the kitchen to find something to eat. After a minute, he came back over to me and asked, “So, since I apologized, can I have a sleep-over?” Can’t blame him for trying.