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It’s WAR

War has broken out in our house. It’s not Modern Warfare 2 Call of Duty. 

That’s the problem!

Son (almost 16 years) has been fighting with My Englishman all weekend. They’re like two lions skirmishing for the leadership of the pride. Grrrrrr! Son isn’t going to win. I know that, My Englishman knows that, I suspect son knows that. It’s all about the blasted PS3 that I bought (mea culpa) for the Christmas before last.

Why oh why did I buy the %*^(* thing?

In my defence it seemed like a great idea at the time. It promoted family bonding as we all got together to battle it out on Guitar Hero (if you play guitar irl don’t try Guitar Hero it’s bloody frustrating!), and Little Big Planet. It was a great tool for whiling about the cold dark first Christmas together.

Now of course, Son is on the final countdown towards his GCSE’s. He has 41 school days till his exams. He has coursework that he’s missed the submission deadline for!

BY EIGHT MONTHS!

Not suprisingly we have (the parental ‘we’) become extremely anxious. As we tell him, repeatedly, every day – FOR HIM!

We have tried everything. Cajoling, bribery, hard-line deprivation…. the parental guidance magic box of tricks is almost empty. We have instigated the very last resort.

We have child-locked the PS3.

We are that mean!

The intention is that we will allow him to get back into it once the coursework is completed and study is done, but there is that glimmer of tempation to just leave it permanently locked out.

All weekend son has spent hassling us.

‘If I just finish one piece of coursework. One good piece of coursework could you please turn the PS3 on?’

‘No! I’m working, your Mum’s working. We don’t get rewarded for our work. Sometimes I sit at my desk for 9 hours and I don’t get a break’

‘You can’t expect me to sit at my desk for 9 hours!’ Horrified look. This kid has not studied the gulags obviously.

‘Mum, he expects me to sit for 9 hours without a break’

‘When do I get a break? What’s my reward for doing the coursework?’

That’s when it all goes just a little bit pear shaped.

My Englishman who’s new to this, starts to mutter about sending children down chimneys and selling match sticks. I start feeling like ‘the worst mother in the world- depriving her child of  food, water and PS3!’ (Which of course is the button he was searching for!) Son turns puce and thundery.

‘Look Son, where’s the list of coursework and the deadlines?’

Son reaches into his bag and pulls out five squares of scrunched up paper with spider droppings on them. My careful engineer Englishman looks horrified. I avert my eyes.

The horror the horror! Don’t make me look!

One piece of science coursework is about the Big Bang theory. Proving it!!!!! We try to explain that this is not really GCSE level. Even Stephen Hawkings didn’t submit it for his coursework (he didn’t did he?). To no avail. For quite some time long lean son stretches out pathetically across our bed and explains how he did all the work and then lost the book/paper/piece of scrunched up notepaper that had the reference citations on it. He needed to either find that bit of paper or solve the Big Bang theory. Either or!

My Englishman and I patiently listened. We tried not to look at each other. My Englishman (he who actually understands nuclear physics!) carefully suggested that we need to reframe the work. I – the English literature graduate. I know nothing. Like Schultz! – suggested we do a timeline of different theorems.

Do you see the problem?

It took five minutes after he’d left the room, huffing and puffing, for me to realise ‘we’ didn’t haven’t to do anything! We’ve done our GCSEs and equivalent. Dammit we’ve done years and years of University courses and essays. (Yes, ok I did leave all my essays to the last second…but we’re talking about son….)

So please, Mr Headmaster, make it stop! I’m counting down the days till the war ends. Until the exams are over. Until the happy joyous sounds of mayhem and murder ring through our little home again.Until son’s face is shining with that sense of accomplishment that only comes from doing a good day’s work, passing his exams and annihilating the baddies.

I’m counting down until the peace is restored and Modern Warfare Call of Duty 2 begins.

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by Dunechaser

Me, ever the pacifist.

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  • http://www.muddlingalongmummy.com/ Muddling Along

    Blimey – I mistakenly thought it got easier as they got bigger … hope it all gets sorted without you losing your sanity

    • vegemitevix

      Teenagers are as stroppy as little uns. But you can’t pick them up and put them in time out!

  • http://newdaynewlesson.com/ Susie @ Newdaynewlesson

    Nope just gets worse! Had that and still have that battle with the kids.

    I just gave up and they are going to have to learn their own ramifications. Of course we set our foot down about certain things, but we stopped fighting them head on.

    The best tactic I have found is to calmly ask for a discussion with said son and tell him you understand he is overwhelmed and frustrated. That you as parents are also overwhelmed with your concern for him because you know he is capable. Then asks what he suggests the solution would be. Ask him to put himself in your shoes and come up with some solution on how he would deal with this situation. You may be surprised. When I tried this with my kids and punishments-they were harsher on themselves than I ever would have been.

    Hang in there. In 20 or so years you will be laughing when they rip their hair out with their own kids-lol!

    • vegemitevix

      That’s a great idea! He prides himself on being mature and just doesn’t get how immature he’s being on this one. Problem is he is an extremely clever kid and I want him to be able to get into the right course so that he can get to the ‘Master of the Universe’ lessons! I know he has to do it himself. I also know he gets one chance to do it properly.

  • http://www.kidstart.co.uk/livingwithkids Liz (LivingwithKids)

    I feel your pain. Call of Duty has been a major bone of contention in our house.

    I wish they’d come up with a new way of testing kids. One that didn’t involve their mums having to nag and nag them to revise until they’re hoarse.

    • vegemitevix

      Seriously over it! Have you watched Call of Duty, the latest one? It is so incredibly violent. We’ve made it house rules that he is not allowed to have it on if the girls are in the room.

      Don’t know about education system. The course work seems to be more of a problem than sitting the jolly exam, for boys at least! I’ve been really disappointed that the school really doesn’t seem to have a whether he is on top of it or not, nor have they communicated to us that he’s behind.

  • Liz (LivingwithKids)

    I feel your pain. Call of Duty has been a major bone of contention in our house.

    I wish they'd come up with a new way of testing kids. One that didn't involve their mums having to nag and nag them to revise until they're hoarse.

  • muddlingalongmummy

    Blimey – I mistakenly thought it got easier as they got bigger … hope it all gets sorted without you losing your sanity

  • newdaynewlesson

    Nope just gets worse! Had that and still have that battle with the kids.

    I just gave up and they are going to have to learn their own ramifications. Of course we set our foot down about certain things, but we stopped fighting them head on.

    The best tactic I have found is to calmly ask for a discussion with said son and tell him you understand he is overwhelmed and frustrated. That you as parents are also overwhelmed with your concern for him because you know he is capable. Then asks what he suggests the solution would be. Ask him to put himself in your shoes and come up with some solution on how he would deal with this situation. You may be surprised. When I tried this with my kids and punishments-they were harsher on themselves than I ever would have been.

    Hang in there. In 20 or so years you will be laughing when they rip their hair out with their own kids-lol!

  • vegemitevix

    Teenagers are as stroppy as little uns. But you can't pick them up and put them in time out!

  • vegemitevix

    That's a great idea! He prides himself on being mature and just doesn't get how immature he's being on this one. Problem is he is an extremely clever kid and I want him to be able to get into the right course so that he can get to the 'Master of the Universe' lessons! I know he has to do it himself. I also know he gets one chance to do it properly.

  • vegemitevix

    Seriously over it! Have you watched Call of Duty, the latest one? It is so incredibly violent. We've made it house rules that he is not allowed to have it on if the girls are in the room.

    Don't know about education system. The course work seems to be more of a problem than sitting the jolly exam, for boys at least! I've been really disappointed that the school really doesn't seem to have a <insert rude word> whether he is on top of it or not, nor have they communicated to us that he's behind.

  • http://www.eggscreamandhoney.com/ Eggs, cream and honey

    My 11 yr old son really wanted COD for Xmas but we decided not to let him as we felt it was way too violent. But kids in his class have it so he plays it at their houses. We struggle with getting him off the games he has. It’s a constant battle so I feel your pain. Can’t imagine what it will be like when he’s 16. My daughter did her GCSE’s last year and I think the stress of them was harder than the actual exams. If that makes sense! I too longed for the summer when it would all be over. Good luck and don’t give in! He’ll thank you for it later.

    • vegemitevix

      Thanks Heather, I have tried reasoning with him this morning and he seems a little better and not quite so determined. He ended up with about 15 minutes on the COD last night whilst I was cooking dinner and that seems to have calmed him.

  • hadavis1966

    My 11 yr old son really wanted COD for Xmas but we decided not to let him as we felt it was way too violent. But kids in his class have it so he plays it at their houses. We struggle with getting him off the games he has. It's a constant battle so I feel your pain. Can't imagine what it will be like when he's 16. My daughter did her GCSE's last year and I think the stress of them was harder than the actual exams. If that makes sense! I too longed for the summer when it would all be over. Good luck and don't give in! He'll thank you for it later.

  • vegemitevix

    Thanks Heather, I have tried reasoning with him this morning and he seems a little better and not quite so determined. He ended up with about 15 minutes on the COD last night whilst I was cooking dinner and that seems to have calmed him.