Our Poly Life

Our life as a Polyamorous Quad, with 10 kids.

Messages

on October 28, 2008

There was an issue with YM 16 (Drummer Boy) last night. After Fix’s reaction last night and then the anger that was thrown at me this morning, I questioned whether or not the discipline that was handed was appropriate. I was planning to blog and to ask you, our readers your opinion.  Much to my surprise I see Fix has beaten me to it.

 

There was a time in my life, pre-marriage, when I aspired to be the perfect mother. I was once praised by friends and family to have the “patience of Job.”  I played a very incremental role in the raising of my brother (12 years my junior) as well as my roommate’s two daughters, born while we were young college students. And then I married Fix and became the instant mother to a 3 yr old daughter.  Unknown to me at the time, this little girl would test everything I had or believed about parenting. And in fact would change me and the way I parented, and was not a change that was for the better. Her emotional issues are still a struggle for myself and family to this day.

 

Over time the patience I once had, diminished.  The mother I aspired to be disappeared and I became a shoot first ask questions later sort of parent.  My own bio children were being parented in a way I knew was fundamentally incorrect, but I felt trapped and unable to make the change I needed to. And then our oldest turned 18 and left home and I was going thru the “finding myself” phase I have spoke of before. I was making baby steps toward change, but with no backup from Fix, the changes were small.

 

When the quad came together I found strength and support with Goddess and Big to be the mother I always knew I had in me to be. To parent a way that empowered my children and kept their self esteem from taking a bruising. More than anything else I think this threw Fix. Of all the changes I was making, this one was HUGE and was just one more thing in me he did not recognize.

 

For the last 3 years I have found the patience that was once buried, I have discovered my ability to listen and then to weigh all of the points of matter and create a discipline that will teach a lesson and not tear down the self esteem of a young person.

 

I was given a lot of wonderful messages as a child. And I was also given a few messages that hurt and that I fight daily to overcome. I know I am far from perfect and that I will leave scars on my children, but it is my sincere hope that the positive messages far outweigh the negative and when they reach a point in their lives that they look back at their time as children, they see and understand I did my very best to show them that they were loved and valued and that when a wrong was committed I was able to act fairly and attention paid to teaching a lesson without harming their psyche or belittling them.

 

The issue over the weekend was a young man showing very poor judgment. He took money from my purse to purchase time on an online game site. When I realized said funds were missing ( $20) , I questioned certain members of the household including Drummer Boy . He as well as the others denied any responsibility.

In an offhand conversation, Scout  ( YM14) mentioned that he and Drummer Boy had discovered new things on said online game, thanks to the new membership status of Drummer Boy.

I did some investigation on price of game and method of purchase used and then compared that to what I  knew of Drummer Boys whereabouts and finances ( he had been given $10 the day before for gas for his moped and dinner at the H.S. Football game  his JROTC crew was presiding as security for), and came to the conclusion that indeed he was responsible.

 

When I discussed my suspicion with Fix his immediate answer was that since money was taken then the punishment should fit the crime and we should take money in return. Money in the form of Drummer Boys birthday cash. I should also take his moped keys for a period of time not determined.

 

While the birthday person is the one who receives the gifts, it is my view that the reason we celebrate a birthday is to celebrate the person and their place in our lives and to show our love and appreciation for them by the gifts we give.

 

I refused to use his birthday gift as discipline and requested other options, and in fact wanted the four parents to discuss it. Big came in preparing to leave for an appt. I asked if he had time to talk he said he really should be leaving…. Fix got upset at that response and left the house to return to his apt. leaving the discipline in my (our) hands.

 

I called Drummer boy in and discussed the matter with him, letting him know I had a lot of circumstantial evidence and that I suspected him of wrongdoing. It took 30 minutes of me sitting silently and waiting for him to come to terms with his deeds. But it paid off.

He was able to finally look up and look me in the eye and admit to the deed AND to apologize. This was a HUGE step for this boy given his history. I knew what I did from here was going to  mean more than a discipline. I needed him to see that I knew how hard admittance was, that I was appreciative of the apology and that what he had done was wrong and carried a consequence.

 

In my mind, since he took the money to buy something he wanted, a fitting consequence was to do without that thing which he purchased and then some. So he was grounded from all computers for a period of 90 days, the term of the online membership. I also logged in to his account, changed the account address to my email and changed the password so IF he tries to use it at a friends house he can not access it. I also advised him, that upon employment in the coming weeks, his first paycheck will be dedicated to making sure I receive compensation for the funds taken.

 

Also, driving his moped is a privilege, one given out of trust. Since he told me he was using his moped for purpose A, and in fact used it to commit his dastardly deed, he has lost his moped for a period of 4 weeks. And finally, just because I have begged him to do it for 3 weeks…. I have restricted him from going anywhere until his room is clean to the Mommies standard.

 

These punishments may seem light to Fix, but I am of the opinion that it suitable. I will say this. If Drummer Boy had not admitted to wrong doing and had not apologized of his own accord then I had other consequences in store, along similar lines, but more tough.

I needed to reward his honesty, not tear him down and yet offer a discipline that was painful and would convey to him that his actions were out of line. I think I have accomplished that.

 

We as humans are not meant to remain the same. We are always evolving and changing.

And as painful as it if for those who knew me before to accept, this is me now. And I hope in the end I am a better me.

I hope that I have become the kind of mother my children need me to be. I hope that I am able to impart messages to them that conveys my love, and teaches lessons that they can take into life and be strong, healthy and honorable adults.

 

One thing I have learned in my journey is that not everyone gets healthy messages. And sometimes it takes a persons  entire life to overcome the negative messages that they were taught as children. And some people are never able to.

 

Temptress

 

“One hundred years from now it will not matter what your bank account was, the sort of house you lived in, or the kind of car you drove; but the world may be different because you were important in the life of a child.”

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7 responses to “Messages

  1. Juniper says:

    Temptress,

    I think you did just fine. Seems fitting enough to me. 90 days no computer, 4 weeks no moped? Shoot, when I was a kid, nothing would have happened except mom’s obvious disappointment.

    It does seem fair that a birthday gift is a birthday gift, and that this is a separate thing from the punishment which was given is a good thing.

    Again, I think you did great. Also, I’m glad to see you all writing again, I miss your stories.

    –Juniper

  2. cherrylavender says:

    After reading Fix’s account yesterday, I was leaning towards not enough punishment was given. After reading your account today and the admittance and apology coming out, I agree with you completely. It is very difficult, even when you are caught, to admit that you have lied and broken trust. I have literally sent my son back outside to come in and start a conversation over again after he was lying to attempt to get out of trouble. When he came back in and told the truth, I rewarded his honesty. That lesson has stayed with him for years. I think if Fix would have stuck around and heard and seen the exchange he might feel differently.

    Happy Birthday Drummer Boy!

  3. I think the punishment, though perhaps a tiny bit light, took a correct turn in NOT affecting the birthday.
    It is tempting to come down hard on theft, because it can become a pernicious problem. Tempering punishment with justice is a much better goal, and I think it was done admirably in this case.

  4. givesgoodemail says:

    I think the proper punishment was meted out. Birthdays are indeed celebratory, and shouldn’t be marred by being punished. (Smartly punishing theft is tricky, because theft can become pernicious.)

  5. Highlander61 says:

    Did YM ever pay back the $20? It seems to me that if he harmed you that amount he is then responsible for restoring to you the amount that was taken.

    BWS

  6. A Friend says:

    Wow. Different strokes for different folks. You, Fix, all these comments come from a different world than the one I live in. I would tell him how disappointed I am that he took my money and how totally uncool that was. Living with someone I can’t trust just doesn’t work for me so please knock that shit off right now. Then I would tell him in no uncertain terms to pay me back immediately or as soon as he acquires any money from whatever source. I wouldn’t take his birthday money but if he needs to take it to pay me back that’s fine and dandy. What I want to do here is encourage this kid to take responsibility for his action. That’s great he’s sorry. I’ll accept his apology and accept my money back. He made a mistake. Let him fix it and move on. End of story.

  7. Liza says:

    Its impossible to parent and the whole world just agree and say you are the absolute guru of rightness and please the masses, so really, everyone should work with what they have best learned works for the particular family in question. I say if your young one learns his lesson and in the process does not feel degraded then you have a success. In our house there would have been no birthday money for theft no matter if it was a day before. Actually we discussed it and we would be more disapointed that the child did not see fit to ask since the birthday bonus was looming so near. But yes, we agree that despite it being a household tradition and a celebration, there would be no additional fundage given out for the child who took money.

    We miss your stories here too, gives us so much insight and topics for discussion! All our best, South Texas Quad

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