(Closed) Help, Terms and Conditions: Am I missing anything?

posted 7 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 18
Member
1516 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: City, State

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@Payless:  One thing I am concerned with is your brother will be attending 3 high schools in 4 years (I am assuming he is a sophomore). While I think you and your husband have nothing but the best of intentions for your brother, your mother needs to stand up and be a parent for once in her life. She is the one who needs to figure out how to keep your brother in the most stable environment so he can finish high school with minimal disruptions. 

Post # 19
Member
1117 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

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@Payless:  That would definitely help! that way he would know what boundaries not to cross. I wish you all the best in caring for your brother, I really hope that this time will be very beneficial for him!

Post # 20
Member
1998 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

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@Payless:  I think those are mainly very reasonable terms! I was a very well-behaved teen, never in any serious trouble (other than bad grades at maths but not from lack of trying) and my upbringing was even stricter in lots of ways. I like to flatter myself that I’m a pretty okay adult now so no long-term damage! 

I do have a few suggestions though. Maybe think about extending the curfew to 10 pm on weekends because I think it would be reasonable for things like going to see a movie and maybe consider changing his “electronics” rule too, he might need his computer for homework at a later hour too. 

I completely agree with seeing a tutor if he gets a bad grade. Losing a privilege for getting a bad grade from lack of studying sounds reasonable too but sometimes you really try hard and just can’t get a good grade. I’m not American though so maybe that’s not the case there, I just think it’s something worth considering. If he tries hard and studies and gets a bad grade anyway, I don’t think if would be fair to lose a priviledge, it would be better to give him a hug and tell him not to give up.

Oh, and have you thought about introducing awards for good behaviour too, not just punishments for bad behaviour? For example, when he aces a difficult exam, he’s allowed to stay out an extra hour on Friday or something else he really wants. My brother uses this approach on his kids – they’re small (1st – 3rd grade) but they turn from little devils to little angels within seconds when he promises them they’ll be able to stay up longer on Friday watching cartoons if they do this or that 🙂 

 

Post # 21
Member
1776 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I would love to see you start the conversation by saying something like “I know you have had a really rough time recently.  I want this to be a chance for you to start over fresh.  Mr. Payless and I are here to help you make good choices and to help you succeed.”  Aka, try not to dwell so much on the past, but look forward to the future and making things positive 🙂 

Post # 22
Member
36 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: December 2012

As 16 is the relationship age, perhaps anything about dating could help

Post # 23
Member
970 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Banff, Alberta

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@Payless:  I like that he has to earn the priveleges. Will he be hanging out with the same problem kids or do you live in a different area? Maybe you should meet his friends?

Post # 24
Member
970 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Banff, Alberta

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@Payless:  I wasn’t allowed to go out with any friends my parents hadn’t met or approved of. The only time it even came up was when my boyfriend was caught attempting to steal cars. He ended up in jail, I didn’t need my parents to tell me we had to break up! 

Post # 25
Member
11518 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

I think, personally, that you should try and start out on a more positive note.  The ground rules, at least to me, sound like you’re expecting the worst from him.  I feel like you should give him the benefit of the doubt.  He’s coming to you from a crappy situation.

Brother, I understand things at home haven’t been great, we’re welcoming you in to our home, we’re hoping this can be a new start.  

1. you are responsible to keep your room & bathroom clean, you will do your own laundry and help with dishes.

2. we eat as a family during the week unless other plans are discussed in advance

3. curfew on weekends is 9:30 unless alternate arrangements are made in advance

4. you have to go to school, and do your best.  If you are having trouble with a class, we will get you tutoring.

Indicate that if he doesn’t follow those rules, or gives you reason to not trust him then things will become more strict.

I think getting in to judging his clothes and his friends is pushing it.  If you find he’s falling in with the ‘wrong crowd’ address it then.  Buy him presentable clothes but don’t try and change who he is completely  – it won’t work.

 

Post # 26
Member
3552 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

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@MsGinkgo:  +1 to everything she said.

You mentioned that your brother has always been very respectful to you and your DH, so why not start with the assumption that that is how he will behave vs how he behaves with your mother? Give him the benefit of doubt. I would definitely not present him this list as it is currently worded it is very negative in phrasing and sounds pretty draconian. I agree with pps who suggested sitting down and coming up with the ground rules together. As a 16 year old I think I would have been much more open to being treated like an intelligent almost-adult with input rather than handed a list like a child.

In fact I remember several instances of being treated as an ignorant child in highschool and it made me feel resentful and not inclined to do what I was told. The worst one was after I came back from my first year at college to attend my FI’s sister’s graduation. At college I was treated as an adult. Before the graduation ceremony Fiance and I wanted to check out the school because the addition they had been building the year before was done and we wanted to see the end result. A member of the administrative staff scolded us like we were small children for wanting to go inside the school and it really rubbed us the wrong way. I have never gone back to my highschool, despte the fact that FI’s mother works there and I still to this day have never seen the completed addition.

I think treating teenagers with respect is really important because a lot of the time they are still treated as children when they feel like adults.

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