SS7 pushing boundaries
My SS7 (just turned 7 in September) is a very sweet kid but also a little $hit. I love him dearly but sometimes I want to shake him. He can be very sneaky and think he is smarter than everyone. He can also get violent. I have caught him hitting his brother etc. when he gets frustrated. Both DH and I have punished him when caught. Over the summer when we had him for a month, I felt like we made great strides. He lashes out out of frustration, and we were doing really well with talking about feelings.
I will say BM2, who I tolerate but don't really like, is a good mom. She communicates with us about SS7 and his behavior. He got a note sent home in preschool that he was becoming the playground bully and she took him to see a psychologist to try and sort out his issues.
I suspect the real issue is rapid changes in his home and lack of attention. BM2 separated from DH when SS was 1almost2 and other SS was a few months old and moved to TX for what was supposed to be 2 weeks to clear her head and spend time with family. DH signed off allowing her to take the kids out of state, then she refused to come back. BM got a BF who she hid from DH and he only found out when love song playlists from him were gifted to the iTunes account (which they shared). DH and her finalized their divorce after a while, one month later she was engaged (called DH to tell him on Christmas eve :? ) one month after that she was pregnant, one month after that they bought a new house and moved to Austin, and two months after that they were married. By the time of the divorce SS was about 4. Within 1 year he went from having DH as a dad to a new stepdad and a new baby and a new house.
Enough back story, onto SS this week. DH and I get a call on Thursday night from SS7 and SS5's bus driver. They couldn't get a hold of BM and he is the backup number. SS7 has apparently become the "bad boy" ringleader of the bus, and leads a gang of kids who refuse to sit down, talk back to the bus driver, etc. He has been in trouble for this last year and had to write lines and an apology to the bus driver. This day, he drew a dinosaur on the bus seats with pen and signed his full name. We were PISSED! We apologized of course and immediately called BM and left a voicemail. She called back without listening to the VM and it was SS7. We asked him about the bus incident and he was playing coy and acting confused. DH was on speakerphone and BM was like what is going on?! DH said we will talk in person this weekend SS7 and you are in big trouble.
After we got off the phone, I guess BM listened to all her voicemails and texted DH absolutely FURIOUS with SS. Our call was the first she heard about it. Even worse, when she went in SS's backback, there were $40 of books he had STOLEN from the book fair!!! She lost it! As did we!
The next morning, we got more texts from BM. She took SS7 to the policy station and told them what he'd done. He got taken in the back and got a very stern talking to about how stealing and vandalism is against the law. They showed him hand cuffs and a jail cell and were very stern with him. Then he had to go to the library. He had to pay for the books with the money he's been saving (almost everything he has) and then donate all the books to the library. He was not happy about this. The librarian also gave him a stern talking to. Finally, he had a meeting with his teacher, who he lives. BM said he sobbed the whole time. The teacher told him how disappointed and sad she was with him and how his behavior hurt her heart. He was very very upset and contrite.
We had tickets to a Formula 1 practice rate Saturday and the actual race Sunday. I said that we shouldn't allow SS7 to go to the practice day, DH would only take SS5. I would take SS7 to the park with trash bags and rubber gloves and he would have to clean the park to make up for his vandalism. DH was all for it. Keep in mind, it was DH's birthday and I was not going to let him miss the race on his birthday, so I volunteered to take SS. When we got there, BM2 said she felt SS had been punished enough. He only gets to see us once every few months and really looks forward to our visits, and she felt we should let him go to the race and monitor his behavior. We deferred to her judgement.
SS7, DH, and I had a private talk on Saturday morning. We told him how sad and disappointed we were to hear about his behavior. I told him I know he is a good and smart boy, but behavior like that makes me sad and embarrassed that he is our SS and he needs to be proud of himself and make us proud. He was again very sorry and swore he learned his lesson and would prove it to us. All weekend he was actually very well behaved. He shared with his brother, was polite, didn't run off in the crowds, etc.
I really hope all of BM2's punishments scared him straight and he continues. HIs bad behavior is escalating and none of us want to go down that path. I will say BM2 is including DH and I and we are all a team to try and nip this in the bud, which is good. She easily could have pulled the "not my son, he is a good boy" BS that parents do, but she didn't. She, in my opinion, handled it really well.