Thursday, July 29, 2010

An admission he will come to regret

My 13-year-old went to bed surly last night and woke up surly this morning. We don't live with surliness all the time, but it's getting a little more frequent. An annoying younger sister, boredom, and nervousness over new Boy Scout responsibilities are getting to him. It's good he's going away for a week soon. We all need a break from each other.

So this morning he did not want to go pull weeds at our neighbor's. She had offered him the work earlier in the summer; between the heat and busyness he hasn't gotten to do it much. But the past few days we've been encouraging him (you might say) to get over there.

This morning he had various complaints but I said to put in 1/2 an hour. So he went with the annoying sister.

He came back laughing. He apologized for his earlier surliness. He said he felt a lot better.

I asked if maybe the physical work had helped his mood. He didn't hesitate to say yes. Then I saw the look in his eye that said "oh, I don't think I should have said that."

But I heard it. The little sister did too. And you know we won't let him forget it.


Sandy said...

I saw a sullen teen at the park today. When he wasn't within hearing distance his mother told us that she thinks his moods are caused by 'spiritual warfare'. I thought they were caused more my his mother having taken his 14 year old self to park day with little kids, but that's just me. I told my husband when we got home that when our kids acted that way I put them to work. That has never failed to bring about a cure.

Marbel said...

Sandy - I have been involved in a conversation about "park days" and teens. So many mothers don't want to give those up. I wonder why that is.

Good to see you!

Kerri said...

Forrest has come to love hard physical work. Whenever the little boys get out of sorts he takes them outside and makes them dig.

He gets into these moods where he gets frustrated with life, can't figure out what he's supposed to be doing with it, the stuff we all go through I guess, and he finds that just going out to work brings about a sense of equilibrium.

But he hates doing housework.

Sandy said...

You know, I wonder if this is a guy thing. It doesn't work as well with my girls. They do better with rest- a movie night, for example. When I'm stresed I want peace and quiet, when my husband is stressed, he goes to work.

wayside wanderer said...

This summer I hit on something with my daughter that was the closest thing to an epiphany that I have had in a long time. When she is involved in appropriate outlets that really use the gifts God has given her she is much better behaved. (She is 13.) She is the most extroverted of our family and this summer she was the lead actress in our VBS skits. She thrived on doing this! So now I am looking for ways to tap into this year round. I was sharing this with a mother of grown children and she said she thought that this was the key to adolescence. :)