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Stepson thinks I should compensate him for his time

EveryoneLies's picture

Ok the title was kind of a click bait, but really not that far from what happened.

To recap, SS is 14 on the spectrum. He recently got 2 ZEROs in tests in one of his classes. We asked him to check with his teacher so he can develop an action plan. (We are so hopeful, I know)

Yesterday when we checked in with him for his daily study schedule, it turned to an argument (oh is it even new). I mostly stayed calm (but seething inside) but not so much for DH. At the end of the talk, I asked him to repeat the action plan. After he did that he told me I (not we, as DH was there too) took 15 minutes of his time for this talk. (Truly, if he can answer yes/no questions with just yes and no, it wouldn't have taken this long)

In an angry and sarcastic tone, I said "What, should I be paying you for your time?" (I know autistic persons are not always good at detecting sarcasm, however that is not the case with SS, he's like 80% good at that.)

And to my surprise, he was actually thinking I should be paying him, as he was calculating how much the pay should be! When I walked away he followed and tried to talked about the amount. At that point I had to tell him I was being sarcastic and it was ridiculous for him to think i should be paying him for "listening to me," because I have been paying for him already. (It's shared cost between DH and I) DH was in another room and heard all of it and he told SS to stop acting like an a-hole.   

I know I'm petty to let this get to me (especially i partially asked for it). It is also not the first time he said things that deeply annoys me. (Another example would be asking me to give him my condo since "I don't need it anymore" *eyeroll*) 

I wish I can just let go like some wise women would do. Grr.


justmakingthebest's picture

I am only laughing because I can see my SS21 doing the same thing if the thought occurred to him.

In response, I do get a little passive aggressive with things. For example. I don't buy soda for our house, we don't need it, it isn't good for you and SS has no self control. We used to have a rule of one a day but SS would drink like 8 in one after noon, so I just stopped buying them a couple of years ago.

Well, SS brought home a 12 pack of cans the other day for himself. He is 21 so, whatever, he can have them, I just won't buy them. One of  BS16's friends grabbed one from the fridge and SS came downstairs yelling and ranting about those were his and he bought them, blah, blah, blah- BS's friend owes him $1. I said ok, I will give you a $1 for that soda, but you owe me from this week: $150 in groceries, $30 in gas driving you around, $45 from your doctors office, $180 for your share of the utilities because you rent isn't even touching it -- He quickly stopped and went away. 

Just throw it back. If he sees time as a transaction, explain that your time cooking, driving, looking over his grades, checking his bedroom, doing laundry, ect- all has value too. So he needs to pay up or shut up and your time is worth WAY THE F more than his!

EveryoneLies's picture

So i think my SS know I (and his dad of course) pay for his living. He's really just trying to have the easiest way to make money without thinking how others might feel. (Surprise!) SS spends more time finding loopholes than actual work. 

We are also like your family, we don't buy soda much. We buy them sometimes (kids can have some treats) but never keeping sodas at home at all time. Your SS is not paying rent to stay with your guys right? It's frustrating when they don't see how much is being done for them.

ESMOD's picture

Based on his behavior in school and now this issue.. I don't know that you can assume he is going to pick up on the sarcasm here... even if he, himself, uses sarcasm... or that he "gets" it sometimes.. it still could be a blind spot for him.

And while I think it's generally good to teach kids to advocate for themselves.. like talking to the teacher.. this seems like an issue that a parent needs to step in and address.. multiple zero results on multiple choice tests?  something is going off the rails and just encouraging a teen to talk to a teacher that may not be enough.

EveryoneLies's picture

I guess it's a bit complicated. SS sometimes to silly things just to prove a point (such as putting all As to prove whether his dad is right or wrong) I don't want to appear so cynical and think he does this to get on our nerves, but it has happen so many times it's hard to separate the feelings.

I would much love to just contact his teacher on my own. However, SS doesn't really want this (yes he wants to appear independent), so this is usually the last resort. We do want him to slowly building this habit to ask for help without someone being on his arse. 

But you are right, I probably shouldn't have just assumed he knew i was being sarcastic. That's why I said I partially asked for it lol

justmakingthebest's picture

My SS does pay $150 which is about 25% of his income. He only works 12 hrs a week- but that is all he can handle. 

I think he does know how much we do and how much things would be not living with us, mostly because I have broken it all out for him several times. He knows he can't even afford to be some weirdo's roommate in a trailer park with what he makes. BUT sometimes he speaks before he thinks over something dumb and I have to bring him back to reality. 

EveryoneLies's picture

That is good, he is learning to take responsibility for his life. Again I really do think you are a saint, I don't think I can do this. Logically I know ss say crap without thinking, emotionally I just can't deal with it every 5 minutes.