I Got A Text From A Parent…
Getting a text from a parent is normally not a good sign. Unless they want to give me a gift, its normally something bad. This was proven true today when I received a text from one of my students’ mother. The text was more of a vent of her difficult teenage son.
According to the mother, the son was being rebellious at home. He did not want to do any of his house chores and work. Furthermore, he was being defiant and rude to her. To make things worse, she claimed that he attempted to attack her.
As such, I was asked to talk to her son about it. after class, I took her son aside and spoke to him about what he did.
I started by telling him that my role was not to judge him. My role was to serve a bridge between him and his mother. I shared that I was his age once and it is at this time that things get confusing. Parents will tend to be exasperated because they feel like they don’t understand their child anymore. Children at this stage feel that their parents don’t understand them at all.
I told him that in order for this to work, we both have to be honest about what happened. He nodded and we began talking about what transpired.
As he started telling me his side of the story. He claimed that his mother pushed him off the bed and made him do some house chores. He pointed out that he felt like his mother was controlling his every move and that he was still being treated like a child. I nodded, listened until he finished his side of the story.
I told him that I agreed with him on the counts that his mother should allow him more autonomy. I even type up the message about what we talked about in front of him and asked him to hit ‘send’ if he felt that I relayed his part of the story well. He did so and seemed relief although still rather awkward.
I then asked him if he felt that his mother deserved an apology. He replied, not really. I then told him that regardless of what happened or how ill-treated he felt he was by his mother, she is still his mother. I told him that apologizing, in this case, is not for her but for himself.
He was a bit puzzled, but I explained that resorting to violence is more of a character and less of a response. He could’ve responded to his mother in many other ways but he chose violence. I said when he apologized to her, however, he is acknowledging that violence is not the solution and also that he is wrong to do so. He nodded and claimed that he would try to make amends.
As he left the class, I told him that my door is always open if he needs someone to talk to and he nodded and left. I have a feeling that he wouldn’t take me up on that offer.
I believe that students like the one I just talked about need mentors to guide them. Often, they would talk to their friends who may give them great advice but said advice may not be best. I hope he tries to hear from people who are much more mature and get a better perspective on the issues he is dealing with.