Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

If your 12yo was skipping school - should he lose his Santa gift?

Posted by on Dec. 4, 2014 at 3:34 PM
  • 73 Replies

 

Poll

Question: If your 12yo was skipping school - does he get put on the Naughty List and lose out on his Santa gift?

Options:

Yes, he can lose his Santa gift for skipping school, that's fair

No, you can't take away a Santa gift, even for that


Only group members can vote in this poll.

Total Votes: 59

View Results

 Hey ladies, this one's a bit of a doozie... long and stressful, I apologize up front.

So my son has had a history of being late for school for the past two years - basically since I started working ft (which makes me want to cry that this is doing this to my kids). I have to leave for work at 7:30am. My kids are 11-16 yrs old. They are fully capable of getting themselves ready for school and paying attention to a clock to be able to leave on time. But my son was not leaving on time, he would start watching tv or even go back to bed and was notoriously late for school.

Because of this, I ended up putting my son & younger dd in morning care for an entire 45 mins each morning to ensure they were getting to school on time - problem with this was that I had to wake them up even earlier b/c then I had to leave for work by 7:10 to get them to the sitter's and me to work on time. We gave up after 3 mos of even more fighting with the kids and the sitter was constantly fighting with her own kids in front of mine, so it wasn't working for us. My kids behaved for the last 2 mos of school last year after quitting daycare.

So fast fwd to now...

Today, he wasn't getting up on time (as per the norm since school started again) and when he finally emerged downstairs - after 20 mins of me harrassing him to get up, calling my other kids to get up & trying to get myself dressed & brush my teeth, he was not dressed! So dh & I both blasted him that he was supposed to be dressed before he came downstairs as per the main rule for school mornings. Well he pitched a fit, started crying and stomped up the stairs saying at least he'd come down.

Dh & I left for work in the next five mins as we were already late & couldn't wait to see if he came back down again.

We expected he would get dressed & leave for school in the next hour - he had one hour to get dressed, eat and pack his bag, plenty of time. Plus he'd already gotten in trouble, so usually that spurs him to behave a bit better.

He did not go to school. In fact, he hid from his other sister who was home legitimately sick - and who kept calling me at work telling me she was hearing weird noises in the house and was scared and please come home she didn't know what it was, she'd looked around the house and thought it might be her brother but couldn't find him anywhere.

I came home on my lunch hour at 1pm. Ds' shoes and coat were still in the front hall. I searched all the upstairs and main floor, dd said she thought he'd left for school. So I called the school to check b/c I couldn't find him anywhere but his shoes were there, unless he'd worn other shoes, I just couldn't figure it out. Nope, he wasn't at school.

So I ventured down, on a whim, to the basement where it's all under construction and cluttered and there is nowhere to sit other than on the cold concrete floor and while I'm searching through the basement, I was still waiting to be transferred to his teacher and as she answered, I rounded the corner at the back of the basement to find my son on the floor, hiding with his school-issued iPad and his backpack on his lap, HIDING!!!

So I bowed out of the convo with his teacher saying I'd found him, nevermind me looking like an idiot right now and he will be at school shortly.

Then hung up and LOST IT on this kid. Called dh to tell him what I'd found and told him it was his problem now, not mine because I can't do anything more to make the boy understand.

I have tried grounding him off video games, the only thing in the world he cares about. But he sneaks on during the time while I'm at work after he gets home from school. I've taken the games/consoles/controllers/power cords away but then dh gets mad at me b/c it makes it easier to break the games/consoles, whatever and it messes it up for him - dh- so that he can't play when he gets home from work and ends up punishing all the kids when the others theoretically have done nothing wrong,

So I can't take the one thing that this kid "lives for" away to punish him - what do I have left?

I'm considering that he gets nothing from Santa this year. NOTHING and I want to give him nothing from dh & I either. He doesn't deserve it, he needs to understand that if he's acting like this there are consequences!

The rest of my family will not agree that he should lose his Santa gift or presents from us. They will be upset with me for upsetting my son - who acts pretty angelic in front of family. But they are not the ones fighting with this kid on a daily basis or with their kid (dh) not allowing me to properly discipline the kid and dealing with the school breathing down my neck about my kid's terrible attendance.

I am going to be the worst mom ever but I don't know how else to get through to him. He's a super smart kid. He should be in the gifted program, he missed it by 2 points because he was so excited about getting into it during his interview he was too fidgety!! He's smarter than dh & I put together. He knows how to manipulate & be sneaky. He's not a bad kid, he's not smoking or violent or hanging out with bad kids, he sits in his room and plays Minecraft all night long. He's bored out of his tree at the school and there's nothing they can offer to help him - can't skip a grade, give him more work, they can't seem to help him that way either.

I want to revoke his Santa gift - I think that will give him the wakeup call as he's going to be mad that he didn't get a big gift, and it might make him realize he needs to behave better. He doesn't believe in Santa anyway, but agrees to pretend for his younger sis's sake, but knows that in our house when you admit out loud you don't believe, you stop getting presents from him, so he keeps "believing".

I'm at my wit's end, other than calling the Police and having a Truancy officer come out to speak to him and scare some sense into him - dh & I could be fined or go to jail for him skipping school, there are major consequences that he needs to realize and I want him to listen to someone else who he respects - as clearly dh & I are not respected.

Arg, I just want to scream and throw out all the video games in our house, but that's not do-able, so my next best idea is to let him suffer properly.

If you're on the naughty list for skipping school at 12 yrs old, you get NADA from Santa.

Is that too harsh or would you do it? This is so ongoing and it's a big fight between dh & I b/c he doesn't want to step up & be the proper dad that I need him to be, so it's all on me to work around dh's whims and try and fix a kid who needs a parenting team against him, not just a mom he can just disrespect.

I hate that by working I have no control over the kids' leaving on time for school, but me quitting is not an option and there is no way to adjust my hours, it's a set shift I can't change anything there.

I just don't know what else to do. I'm so lost and frustrated and this is just going to cause a huge fight between dh & I b/c we don't see eye to eye on disciplining the kids, well, ds, because grounding doesn't stick when dh & I are still at work, ds doesn't respect it.

Ideas?

Tell me I'm not a bad mom for wanting to take his Santa gift away. Tell me one of you would see it as a good punishment for skipping school and HIDING from his mom - the safety issues there are crazy - nobody knows where he is, did he get snatched, etc. He doesn't understand or seem to care that it's as big a deal as we are saying it is.

by on Dec. 4, 2014 at 3:34 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
OliviaW.
by Bronze Member on Dec. 4, 2014 at 3:44 PM

I'd take it away. At least the big gift. I'd also take the other stuff away for the gaming system and tell dh to deal because the punishment needs to be done, both your dh & you need to be on the same page. What does your dh think a fair punishment should be? I'd also assign him a ton of chores that must be done and he'd not get paid (if you do that) for doing them. 

steelcrazy
by Emerald Member on Dec. 4, 2014 at 3:47 PM
2 moms liked this

Santa?  Really?  I'd come up with a much more believable and easier to stick with punishment.

I would look into finding a sitter who can come to your home in the morning.

mom2jessnky
by Platinum Member on Dec. 4, 2014 at 3:49 PM
1 mom liked this

Does he still even believe in Santa? I guess if he does it might make a point, but you need to do more.

Get a locking doorknob for your room, and lock the game system in there, although I think your DH needs to grow the hell up... I'd take away video games, give him extra chores, make it clear if he ditches school one more time you'll put him in an actual daycare, not a sitter, no I mean like daycare that kindergartners go to before AND after school. If he refuses to act 12, don't treat him like he's 12.


Is it possible to have his siblings watch him? Does someone leave school at the same time or after him that could call you if he doesn't get up and go? That's what I would do.

Jinx-Troublex3
by Platinum Member on Dec. 4, 2014 at 3:52 PM
1 mom liked this

 It is really simpple to put travel padlocks through the holesof ht plugs for the electronics. Then you are not moving game sysyems around but they must come to you forthe key to get them.

What he did was wrong on MANY levels, and he deserves punishment but Christmas in my family is NOT a reward. It is just part of how we celebrate family.

I would find a new place to put DS in before care since that worked in the past. I would limit all outside activities since you are going to have to pay for child care, the money for sports, friend activities and fun is going to pay for that.

I would padlock all electronics and go witha behavior bucks system. He has to do Xx things, get up and out the door with a good attitude, have a good day at school, complete 3 chores, and get homework done without a fight. For each item he gets a buck.  I would say that 5 bucks earns one hour of TV / game time and additional bucks earn him 15 min - 30 minutes more.

Extra bucks can be earned by doing more chores, helping cook dinner, reading for 30 minutes, etc.

jewels.unicorn
by Member on Dec. 4, 2014 at 3:52 PM

 Dh doesn't seem to have a fair punishment in his mind, and I've been asking for one for some time from him. He blames me for not being there enough with the kids - except dh & I both work ft and our house is reno chaos and I'm trying to work with dh to get it all put back together, there is barely any time for family time - which is what we need, but to try and set it up, it never flies, dh doesn't want to be part of board games or the things that ds would like to do. It's a constant battle and I'm so tired of it :(

He called me when he got home from school and I told him to find a bunch of things to clean and to write everything down that he cleaned and to be still cleaning stuff when I get home - he'd only made it to school for less than 2 hrs today, so I am making him clean for at least that long until I get home and find more stuff for him to clean.

Quoting OliviaW.:

I'd take it away. At least the big gift. I'd also take the other stuff away for the gaming system and tell dh to deal because the punishment needs to be done, both your dh & you need to be on the same page. What does your dh think a fair punishment should be? I'd also assign him a ton of chores that must be done and he'd not get paid (if you do that) for doing them. 

 

Jinx-Troublex3
by Platinum Member on Dec. 4, 2014 at 3:53 PM

 I must add that DH and I do not see eye to eye on video games either. DH would let them play 24/7 @@ I have to enforce the school work (we homeschool) and chores.

It has gotten a LITTLE better recently as I SHOW DH where the kids are not meeting expectations and he will enforce my game ban for one day but not extended amounts of time.

jewels.unicorn
by Member on Dec. 4, 2014 at 3:58 PM

 He doesn't believe in Santa, but he expects a good gift from him.

Yes, I wish dh would grow up too :(

I've looked into daycares but none are near my school or provide transportation. The home sitter was a last ditch resort last year and it was even more stressful.

His younger sister (11) is the one that calls me when she's leaving for school & gives me lowdown on what her brother is up to. I will speak to him on the phone and he'll tell me he's ready (usually he's not) and he'll tell me he's leaving for school right then (and usually he's not ready to leave or planning on leaving)... so I'm stuck with believing him, trying to catch him in his lie while at work and trying to do my job properly. I have to believe him and continue working. I can't run home and make sure he leaves, I have to wait till noon and then catch him if he's still there.

Quoting mom2jessnky:

Does he still even believe in Santa? I guess if he does it might make a point, but you need to do more.

Get a locking doorknob for your room, and lock the game system in there, although I think your DH needs to grow the hell up... I'd take away video games, give him extra chores, make it clear if he ditches school one more time you'll put him in an actual daycare, not a sitter, no I mean like daycare that kindergartners go to before AND after school. If he refuses to act 12, don't treat him like he's 12.

 

Is it possible to have his siblings watch him? Does someone leave school at the same time or after him that could call you if he doesn't get up and go? That's what I would do.

 

jewels.unicorn
by Member on Dec. 4, 2014 at 3:59 PM

 It's the same here, it's a one day fix, not long term :(

Quoting Jinx-Troublex3:

 I must add that DH and I do not see eye to eye on video games either. DH would let them play 24/7 @@ I have to enforce the school work (we homeschool) and chores.

It has gotten a LITTLE better recently as I SHOW DH where the kids are not meeting expectations and he will enforce my game ban for one day but not extended amounts of time.

 

coolmommy2x
by Platinum Member on Dec. 4, 2014 at 4:06 PM
1 mom liked this
I don't think I would take away the gifts, that's not what the holidays are about. I would take everything away for a long time. If DH can't agree on a punishment then take him out of it and enforce your own. Your DS did wrong and he knows it. Don't feel guilty about working and don't let him manipulate you so you think this your fault. It's his fault and now he pays the consequences.

ETA: he's the older one?! Definitely do not let him manipulate you into feeling guilty! That's insane!
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
jewels.unicorn
by Member on Dec. 4, 2014 at 4:16 PM

 The Santa present is not about what he believes, it's about the want of a cool gift that I'm taking away. He doesn't believe in Santa, he's just expecting something big & cool. I want to give him coal in his stocking with a note saying he needs to fix his behaviour or this will continue next year. He's all about getting presents, to take that away would really be a wake up call I think.

We've had a few sitters who have done that for us in the past, I had a no-show on each one at some point for whatever reason and lost a job due to one not showing up.

To have someone show up for 1 hr in the mornings is very difficult to find. And expensive, as it's an early hour and such a short time. I don't want a sitter at the house earlier while I'm still there, that would be too weird - like a nanny and we are not comfortable with that.

I even wonder if ds is going to respect a sitter at this point, he's being so unlike himself - I wonder if it's just him becoming a teen? But he's coming in angry/hard, I don't want this to be what it's going to be like for the next 5 yrs, I need to stop this now! 

Quoting steelcrazy:

Santa?  Really?  I'd come up with a much more believable and easier to stick with punishment.

I would look into finding a sitter who can come to your home in the morning.

 

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)