Friday, September 12, 2008

Are your kids a pain in the morning? It may not be their fault!

Now that you've seen the mature, responsible side of Austin, I thought I'd share the typical teen side of him as well.

Every morning it's a battle to get him up and out the door in time for school. Case in point - we had this conversation yesterday...

Me: Austin, I'm going to start getting you up a 1/2 hour earlier from now on because you've been late almost every day.

Austin: I don't want to get up earlier.

Me: Then can you be ready to leave for school by 7:50?

Austin: I don't know. Probably not.

Me: ?

I guess it makes sense to him.

But now I'm wondering if I'm chasing the wrong problem. What if the reason he is late every morning is really because he has hearing problems? That would explain a lot.

So this morning I wrote down everything I said to him and later asked him to repeat what he thought he had heard me say. And just as I suspected, there actually is a problem. Check it out.

What I said: Would you go shower please?
What he heard: Would you go slower please?

Said: Did you finish your home work?
Heard: Did you finish some work?

Said: It's time to get dressed.
Heard: It's time to get stressed.

Said: I need you to finish your breakfast.
Heard: I need you to finish your break last.

Said: Austin, you're late!
Heard: Austin, you're great!

Huh... it turns out that none of the things I harp about in the morning are actually his fault after all. He was simply responding to what he heard.

I guess I owe him an apology for yelling at him every day...

And a hearing appointment.

* * * * *

My smiley ranking is tanking. Please save me!

34 comments:

Mom Thumb said...

It's a guy thing. I'd like to hear a post from Charli about what she says to you and what you actually hear. Hehe.

Windyridge said...

This is too funny again. I can't get the younger one out of bed. Once he's out it's fine but it's the getting out that's tough. So this AM I said, "ok that's it, in bed with a book at 9:30. Maybe you will wake up when I call you now." Stay tuned for the results.

Thanks for entering the free MP3 player giveaway. Good luck to ya!

Jaffer said...

Oh ! Well, guy thing or not, this sure sounds like a problem to me.

Good luck at the doctor's ! :o)

Windyridge said...

Jeff I clicked on a few smileys but nothing happened. Maybe it's broken. It stayed at zero.

Jeff said...

mom thumb - That won't be necessary, but thanks for asking.

jaffer - It must be something with this new generation. I certainly never had this problem. *cough cough*

windyridge - Good luck with the earlier bed time. I skeptical that it will help but please do let me know! The smiley thing takes a while (sometimes several hours) for it to show up on H-B. Maybe you could try it again later this afternoon? :-)

DFTF said...

I'm having this same problem with my son, and I know he doesn't hear a word I say. ;-)

cathouse teri said...

When I was married, I would send my husband to the store to pick up three, maybe four, things. I was very explicit in my instructions. What to get and what not to get. There should have been no room for confusion. He would come back with entirely wrong things. Every single thing on the list. Wrong. Now, you could call this passive/aggressive. Or maybe a strategy at getting me to stop sending him to the store. But I firmly believe it's a man thing. Regardless of what you send a man to pick up, all he hears is, "Go somewhere and get something."

Seriously though, a good friend of mine gave me some advice years ago. A pearl of wisdom. She told me not to start a sentence with "I need you to..." Gives kids the wrong message. It should be, "You need to..." Made a TON of difference! It's not a magic potion that makes them suddenly listen. It merely gives them a different view. The view that this is something that needs to be important to them. Not you.

Just passing on a little of the sageness. Do with it what you will. :)

JD at I Do Things said...

Austin, you're great! What kid doesn't automatically hear that?

This post doesn't seem to be up on HB yet, but I'll keep checking. Also Stumbled ya.

JD at I Do Things

Anonymous said...

Austin is a great kid--but you're making all of his stuff YOUR responsibility! If he can head up the town meetings, he can certainly get his stuff done and get himself to school. Let him handle it,.. and the consequence, if he doesn't do what he should. A couple of days walking to school, and some overtime in detention for being late with no excuse, will change his view--I have total faith in the boy! If you stop doing what you're doing, he'll start doing what he needs to. I promise!! Love ya!
sis (been there-done that! Took some parenting classes!)

Rickey Henderson said...

Shameless plug: Rickey's running a live chat during this evening's Mets game if any of you magnificent bastards wish to partake.

Jeff said...

dftf - Maybe we're not yelling loud enough.

teri - Thanks for the sageness. I also enjoy parsleyness, rosemaryness and thymeness.

jd - I've resolved to the fact that I'll always be a sub-30 HB member since my posts don't seem to find their way to the page until after everyone has gone to bed. Oh well.

sis - You're giving him too much credit. What you don't know is that during those board meetings I'm standing in front of him with cue cards and telling him what to say. He would be nothing without my constant help.

rickey - I would Rickey, but this magnificent bastard has a gig tonight. But thanks for the shameless invite.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE your sense of humor so much!Of course you direct Austin's every move! How else could he be what he's become to this day??!! Why, I believe I've even seen you do a double loop on the skateboard! (Is there such a thing??!) Keep up the good work, brother, brother--
sis

Jennine said...

I think Austin's selective hearing has less to do with him being a teenager and more to do with being male.

But I love his translations!

What a great post!

Anonymous said...

Part of his being tired might be traced to his growing spurt You and I know about growing pains and being tired.

mom said...

This worked on Mike when he was in high school, and wouldn't (or couldn't!) get out of bed in the morning. Roll marbles you just took out of the freezer, into the bed. I guaranty he'll be outa there in 2 seconds!!!

Elizabeth said...

I can get you a good deal on a hearing aid!
:)

Heather said...

Hmmm. I remember my mom saying similar things to me when I was in high school. I wondered why she kept telling me to go slower.

Heather said...

My comment count is at 13, and I simply can't leave it on 13. It's my neuroses shining through...

carlae said...

I think it's that growing thing...he hasn't full grown into his ears yet.

Jeff said...

sis - I'm glad you've come around. It makes it so much easier when people see things my way.

jennine - Hey... I resemble that remark!

anon - Growing Pains was alright, but I liked Family Ties better.

mom - But that's only because he had a water bed, and the marbles would roll into his body. I always thought the cold glass of water was pretty effective too.

elizabeth - I may call you on that. If not for him... for me. Don't forget, I've been in the rock and roll business for 30 years now.

heather - Maybe if you had gone slower now, you wouldn't be number 13. And 14.

carlaE - Don't your ears keep growing your whole life? He may never catch up!

ann of the cellphone bag said...

My daughter also has selective hearing. She possesses bionic hearing for any mention of her positive attributes, but once the verbal chore list begins, she hears less than my 83 year father does. I might as well be speaking Swahili. No offense to Swahilians...

cathouse teri said...

Advice abounds! I'm going to mix up all the herbs into a special concoction to go with the delectable advice of Marie Antoinette and say, LET THEM BE LATE! :)

April said...

You're brilliant for figuring this out!

Babs (Beetle) said...

Selective hearing? I think Sis is right. Let him be responsible for getting ready on time and I'm sure he'll learn to speed up :O)

Maureen said...

Oh, crap... no advice from me.

I'm just glad I had a girl who gets up early just to take extra long showers every morning.

Well, I'm NOT glad about the water bill, but at least I don't have to drag her out of bed each morning.

Elizabeth said...

I remember in high school getting up super early so I could get my make-up just right and get my mall hair as big as possible. That took some time (and artistry)!
;o)

Jeff said...

ann - Good point. Isn't that funny how that works? :b Hey, when did you switch from shampoo to cellphone?

teri - Actually, I think she said, "Let them be latte." She was a big coffee drinker.

april - I have my moments. Even if I do have to make them up.

babs - If I left Austin alone he'd still be asleep at lunchtime. I know this because every day this summer he was still asleep at lunchtime.

maureen - Draining our hot water tank is his brother's job. I'm not sure if I've written that post already or not, but I sure could.

elizabeth - I remember doing the exact same things with my hair and makeup, only I had to get to up sometime in the afternoon. Oh, and I'm talking about my old band days, in case you didn't get that.

Roger said...

Does he have a cell phone?

Send him secret text messages from an unknown number every morning to catch his attention... then again he might think there is some stalker chic out there looking for him... then again I always wanted to be stalked by a chic... then again, when I was actually stalked by one, I didn't like it anymore...

What did you say again?

Michelle said...

So is this when you start going for the large signs on dry erase boards? After starying cold water over him to get his attention of course -- hey, it works for my cats! Just sayin'.

ann of the cellphone bag said...

Jeff - I switched my moniker after my 'guest post' cell phone buying tirade over at The Junk Drawer. I'll keep it until my next shopping horror story that involves something in a shopping bag.

cathouse teri said...

Dammit. I always get history wrong.

VE said...

Thankfully I installed the window school slide. I simply push a button from the kitchen and his bed tilts until he rolls out and down a shute from the window and onto the sidewalk at the bus stop.

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

You really should use some of the suggestions my readers gave me for waking a sleeping teen.

wayabetty said...

Is is "selective hearing" b/c my son Trent has the same problem. The kid can't get out of bed and he's always the last to get ready. He must have gotten that "selective hearing" from my hubbie!!