Sunday, September 12, 2010

Connect the Dots

"I want to be ADMINISTRATOR!"

We have heard that tune over and over again like a broken record over the past several days.  That's the obsessive demand of the week from our teenage son.  He thinks he is "entitled" to have administrator privileges to his computer.  He wants to have control! Hellooo...what else is new? More specifically he wants to be able to download, add and delete programs without having to ask for anyone's permission or help.  

He has been ranting for days.  "It's my computer! Why are you guys treating me like a baby?!" 
"I want to be administrator! I want to be administrator! I want to be administrator!" Over and over again like a what? Baby!  It's like -do you really think you can bully us into giving you what you want?

Now just a week ago we had to make him configure and sign a contract for internet behavior.  "No cursing people out when you're angry.  No threats out of anger!  When angry -talk to mom and dad before posting anything on anyone's wall. Turn computer off in a timely manner on school nights...etc." This because he was consistently breaking these rules.  "Violation of these rules can lead to loss of computer, accounts being suspended or flagged,  parental time controls being set, etc." 

Now a week later...we're supposed to turn around and give you more control?! Well gee -that makes perfectly good sense!  His arguments are irrational.  They do not connect the dots.  They don't make any sense -at least not to us.   In his impulsive Asperger's mind -I'm sure they are completely reasonable. 

This morning we experienced a typical ridiculous, raging rant that had no merit, substance or illusions of common sense.  

"So son -let me paint you a picture.  You're on a job.  You yell and scream at your boss because you want a promotion. 'I want to be the Supervisor! Give me a raise!' and he's supposed to turn around and give you more responsibility?  Better yet -you're in school and the teacher is looking for someone to help her grade papers and hand things out to the other students.  Should she pick the student who is yelling at her and regularly curses in her class, teases and taunts the other students and calls them names? Why would someone give more responsibility to someone who behaves like this?"  

This very morning he started the day by bursting into my room and waking me up and then tried to wake up the dog.  When that didn't work, he went to start banging on his brother's door to wake him up.  Then he proceeded downstairs to start his rant about being administrator, disturbing his grandmother who was trying to watch her Sunday morning shows and have a peaceful cup of coffee.  When he didn't get the response he wanted -he went upstairs and carried on the same with his father.  

Sure -we have every reason to turn around and give you more responsibility!   Responsibility comes along with maturity.  Of course I realize that a lot of his behaviors have to do with having Aspergers -but some of it is just plain old acting like an ass! He knows I'm asleep but he stands over me talking.  He knows his brother is sleeping -but what the heck, why not wake him up to the sound of banging on the door.  I mean come on! You're 15 for God's sake!

I say to him, "When you can consistently show us mature decision making, not consistently impulsive behavior -then we will entertain giving you the responsibility of controlling your own computer. While you live in our house and you are a minor -we are responsible for what you do.  What reason do you give us to trust that you will make mature decisions?"

His response, "What does mature decisions and my behavior have to do with my computer?" Wow!

I go on and on explaining, painting pictures until I think he finally processed what I was trying to say.  We think he gets it.  He did finally settle down for the moment and gave us the gift an otherwise peaceful day.  He knows what he needs to do. 

Here's to hoping he will...


  1. Wow, what an amazing perspective on why a teen should be an administrator!! I love it! You handled it perfectly! I recently told a student who complained that I'm not fair to make him miss recess that I was 100% fair. I said you stay in because you played yesterday when everyone else was doing homework!! He said he can't understand how recess has to do with not doing homework. Duuuhhhh! I guess eventually they figure out that the rewards and privileges match their input/output towards teachers, parents, and future bosses!

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