Kids choose — insight from my therapist
This should probably have been obvious, but it kind of helped me to have it spelled out.
I share stuff about our SS frustrations with my therapist (I struggled with some things a few years ago and find monthly "maintenance") helpful. Last time, she said kids can and should adjust to different rules at different places. It shouldn't be something, particularly for a kid who's nearly 13, that's too much to ask.
But, kids will choose which ethics, morals, etc., they will adopt. And they'll almost invariably choose the value system that suits them best. In this case, it's BM and her family. They expect nothing of him. She doesn't think it's a big deal if he lies or slacks off in school. If he wants something, he gets it -- immediately. These are successful, highly educated people who didn't see a problem with SS nearly flunking several classes last year because he wasn't turning in assignments. This year is better, largely because he dropped down to regular classes and isn't being challenged. Naturally, he's going to latch onto their "value system."
Anyway, I realized this, I guess, but hadn't heard it laid out in that way.
SS12 and BM are at Disney World this week (the real one), but he's going to have a rude awakening when he gets home. DH told him before he left that DH was going to go through his clothes to pull out anything too small. DH also decided to clean the bathroom. I heard a cuss word -- very loud. DH found a mound of clothes (some clean, some not, stuffed in the cabinet under the sink). Clean v dirty and proper care of clothes have been ongoing struggles.
A bit later, another shout. DH pulled clothes out of a drawer and found candy wrappers, ice cream sandwich wrapper (I knew there was one missing) and three drink cans (one half-full).
Before he comes back next weekend, DH is texting BM to tell her no electronics are to come to our house. He will not buy anymore drinks (he's been buying them for him to take to school), no ice cream bars and the Halloween candy is going on our high shelf in our closet. The next weekend, SS will spend Saturday cleaning his room top to bottom.
Like I told DH, SS just doesn't care. He tried to hide stuff this time, but he was stupid about it. He obviously has it firmly entrenched that he can and will do whatever he wants.
I wish I could like this kid. I just don't.