Thursday, 3 October 2013

Teenage boys, grumpiness and the internet.

I am writing this quite quickly in a window of internet availability. The reason for this lack of internet is a ban ...  I have banned the internet in our house as punishment for my two little angels who last night ended up fighting and being generally obnoxious.

My boys are 14 and 15 and, most of the time, they are pretty lovely, typical (if there is such a thing) teenagers. They wander about grunting a great deal of the time and other than football their favourite sport involves the X Box or Facebook.

This is fine to a certain extent, but I like to limit their time on the X Box in particular and they are only allowed on at the weekends, if they've been good. Last night I went up to have an early night and told them both they were to go to bed too. I also said that the internet was going off. As I went downstairs to switch it off they had a kerfuffle ... a mirror was knocked off a wall and a brief 10 second spurt of anger they clashed. That, for me, was 10 seconds too much.

I lost my temper, telling them that such aggressive behaviour was unacceptable and wrong. I also told them that I wanted letters of apology for their behaviour and until I received them the internet would be ... off.

Last night they both saw me as a terrible old witch, one of them refusing to talk to me, the other ( bizarrely) sleeping on the floor in protest over my mean actions. Its funny though how the light of day changes everything and this morning I was met with hugs from my eldest. The youngest was still sulking, but hey...

I find situations like last night so difficult. I know I am lucky to have boys who are good and kind, stay in, don't drink, don't do drugs ... but when they are angry and grumpy they drive me nuts. I never know quite how to react to their behaviour, but I do know that I have standards that I want them to live up to. They need to know that I am boss here and I expect their respect.

I came home from work this lunchtime to discover them both writing letters. They had a half day from school and I couldn't quite believe my eyes. I hadn't reminded them about the letters of apology since last night ... but they had both remembered. They both wrote beautiful, genuine letters apologising to me about the way they acted last night and today we have had lots of hugs and talks.

I am proud of them and although I expect this will not be the last time they drive me nuts at least there is hope that they will grow up to be nice young men!! However ... once this is written the internet is going off again!! I have told them that they can have it on in limited windows so that their time is spent not just glued to a screen. They have written the letters and that's great, but they also need to understand that there is more to life than just the virtual world. They need to know I mean what I say and I may be a mean mama but constant access to YouTube, Facebook and so on is not doing them any good. So there.

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