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Kid issue; what to do?

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There's no other way to put it: my kid totally gamed me.

He's in 9th grade. His Biology teacher is letting kids earn up to 50 extra credit points by bringing in paper towels, markers, Kleenex, and so on, 10 points per item. Okay, so it's an easy way for a kid to pick up 50 points, and though I'm somewhat troubled by the need for kids to supply basic materials to school, I'm not so troubled that I wouldn't want my kid to get the 50 extra credit points. He's got an A in the class so far, but it's a low A; I think of this as insurance.

Since today is a holiday for me, I offered to drive him to school today with extra credit items so he wouldn't need to carry them on the bus. He liked this idea, so we stopped at Target last night to get the stuff.

I drove him to school this morning, and he wouldn't take the bag of stuff with him! Told me he didn't have time to take it to the Biology classroom (he did). He said he'd take it to his Dad's (his dad drives him to school every Tuesday and Wednesday). I told him if he didn't take it now, he wasn't going to get to take at all, and that he'd be paying for these items, too, out of his allowance.

And still, he got out of the car without them. Had I not been in the drive-through lane ("toss your kid out of the car and go!"), I'd have followed him into school, I think!

He simply used this to get a ride to school, and I'm really ticked off about it. Hurt, too. He gamed me.

The child in me wants to get revenge, but darn it, I'm the adult, and I have to act like one, as much as I'd rather not!

At this point, I'd be happy for him to learn to have more respect for my time and efforts; in the long run, he needs to develop a sense of integrity and not take advantage of others. What would you do in my situation?
37 Replies (last)
Dock him the cost of the gas and your time out of his allowance?  cab fare, so to speak?

that said, I'd give anything to have my daughter living with me again and I'd get up an hour early to take her to school just to spend an extra 20 minutes with her....


Maybe he was just too embarrassed to take the things into the class.  They get like that when they are in high school. 

To be honest I did the same thing.

Had the opportunity to earn extra credit by bringing in clothing items for a clothes drive.  But when I got on the bus the kids started teasing me for actually bring the items in.  I left the bag right there on the bus!

You made me laugh with your story. 

I don't know everything, but I know what I know.


teresa, that's why we got to school early: so he could take them to the Biology classroom before going to any of his classes. He wouldn't have had to carry these things on the bus nor to any of his classes. I was trying to account for the embarrassment factor, even!

nomo, thanks! Docking him for the ride strikes me as a good idea, and more reasonably adult than having his head shaved when I take him for a haircut this afternoon! (The last haircut I'll make him get; I told him one more before he turns 14, and then after that, it's up to him, or to his dad if his dad is so inclined.)

But don't think I wasn't giving the head-shaving some serious thought.....! :-D
Im not exactly sure why your so upset???? So what he wanted to get a ride to school instead of riding the bus....No harm in that is there? Maybe with it being monday he is tired and just wanted a break from the bus we all have our bad moods and bad moments. No different for a child........If he was embarrassed about bringing the bag of items into school I would say that is also normal. Saying he 'gamed' you as you put it really isnt anything I wouldnt of been even slightly mad at.
can't speak for athena, but if it was me...

I don't appreciate being manipulated and lied to - if he wanted a ride to school, he should have just asked directly and said why.  But to say that it was to take those items to class for extra points when REALLY he was just tired (or whatever) - that's disrespectful.

When you let your kids get away with treating you like that, you're teaching them that it's OK to treat you and other people like that.  You're teaching them that it's OK to deceive someone to get them to do something you want them to do when you have another motive.

So I would address it.  I've had similar situations arise with my daughter where she asks me to do something but doesn't tell me the real truth behind it.

I will do anything for my daughter. But I do expect honesty and respect.  If she wants me to trust and respect her, she needs to treat me the same way.  She mainly did these sorts of things when she was 13-14.  Those were our rough years.
Different opinions here, I dont see this as being disrespectful I see this as being a child trying to use a bit of child like manipulation.....We all have done this as kids and its all a learning process. If you make huge deals out of everything your child does then your child in return isnt going to ask outright they are going to wiggle out of it and try to make it seem something else so they dont get into a huge discussion..........

When my kids try little things like this I usually laugh they laugh back the proceed to actually tell me whats going on they dont hide it when I ask but if they did I dont think its a capitol punishment for them to hide a bit from me that isnt neccesarily going to hurt anyone. Like a ride to school=) was your day off. i would just ask him why he didnt just ask for a ride instead of lying about it.

maybe something is going on when he rides the bus. or maybe he just hates riding the bus.

revenge? you wanted to be a parent right?

i am just confused on why it would make you mad that you drove your own flesh and blood to his school. i mean there is a mom missing her boy on this site...i just dont understand why you are mad. you shouldnt charge your kids to raise them. they didnt ask to be brought into this world. punish his ass for lying...yeh. but charging him money....i just dont think thats right.
Angie & Curses: Athena is angry because he lied. Never a good thing to allow or overlook in your kid. Regardless of the circumstances.

Athena: I would charge him and still donate the stuff. They probably do need it. If there was indeed an event he was trying to avoid on the bus, I would try and find that out from him...regardless, I understand where you are coming from.

I would have a real heart to heart with one of my kids. I have their back, in all things, as long as they tell me the truth.
the child in question is in high school and, imo, old enough to be respectful

my daughter is almost grown and has turned out great, so I guess my parenting skills were ok

curses, what type of punishment do you think is appropriate for a high school student?  I think that punishment should be relevant and effective. When my daughter ran up our cell phone bill with over $300 in texting charges, you better believe it came out of her allowance.  I split the cost with her.  I explained to her that I needed her to stay within the limits of our plan.  The next month it was $350.  So I took that out of her allowance too and called the phone co. to have them turn off the texting feature on her phone.

 How can a person learn the value of money if nothing ever costs them anything?
We finally had to go with an unlimited texting plan, Nomo, we went to that when we realized what a phenomenon this texting thing is..

But yeah, until then, my boys paid for their texts...
How does a child wanting a ride to school but didnt want to bring the stuff in that was bought something that goes down to who is rasing whose child correctly? So he lied there could be many reasons why and instead of flying of the hangle and charging him for things why not have a discussion after school about it. It could be the bus he might have trouble with kids who knows at that age?????Just because one person believes one way doesnt mean someone elses is automatically wrong.....Im just saying.
I don't really have any advice, just sympathy!

My DD is also in 9th grade and there's a big change in her this year. She's become very self-absorbed. She doesn't think about how things will impact the rest of us. I don't think she's doing things deliberately or maliciously - it's just she's so wrapped up in her own insecurities right now, she forgets everybody else.

For example she forgets to call once she knows her schedule, calls last minute just expecting me to drop everything to pick her up for a ride, thus creating a logistical crisis because she's not the only one in the family with transportation needs - we only have one car - not to mention I do have a job and my own work schedule. ARGH. Can you tell I'm frustrated?

But I've also noticed that when I get upset because she's failed me (which is frequently lately) she becomes even *more* insecure and filled with self-doubt, thinking she can't do anything right, which just compounds matters. So it's a catch-22 for me.

In my heart I know she's a good kid. I think this is just a stage we need to ride out. Hopefully it'll pass fast!!!!

Meanwhile, your son said he'd take the stuff in on dad's day. Just a thought but, could it be that he thinks his dad needs the supplies more than the school does?
They made a special trip, bought the stuff, and then he decided not to bring it in... whatever the reason, he can't be allowed to take advantage like that.

Honesty was our only hard and fast rule. What good are you without your word, for Pete's sake?
removal of prvlges.

that cell phone thing..OH YEH..that would of been a charge..i would of taken it away too. i wouldnt of split it in the first place.

i would make him take the stuff back to the store and get to stand in the return line and tell him if he wanted a ride he should of just ASKED.

i just think you should look into why he lied before doing anything.
but yeh...make him stand in that annoying return line. lol
thats priceless.

jen: Self doubt can be conquered with accountability and measurable results. Track what's happening in an objective & positive way, perhaps with a diary, and talk to her about it. She's not letting you down, she'e letting herself down.
god you people must really forget what its like to be a teen.

they are not idiots. just tell her strait up you cant drop everything and yeh it sucks..but she need to work out a plan because of the one car. thats just the way it is. shes not a failure because she is just learning to be responsible and thinking of others..and "letting herself down" a kid will read that as:
angie, I was responding to your statement above

If you make huge deals out of everything your child does then your child in return isnt going to ask outright they are going to wiggle out of it and try to make it seem something else so they dont get into a huge discussion

This suggested to me that you thought my suggestion and approach was wrong and that therefore my child would be more likely to lie to me.


  • I would not have made a huge deal out of being asked for a ride to school.
  • I will make a huge deal out of being lied to and/or manipulated.
And my daughter knows this.

I am talking about my experience and my understanding of it.  If you disagree that letting kids get away with manipulating DOESN'T teach them to manipulate, or if you think manipulating is perfectly OK, then yes, we will agree to disagree on that.

I kind of know athena, so I knew that she would talk to her son about it and find out, as best she can, if there's something else going on that played into this. She's an extremely smart and very caring mom.  But she's not used to being manipulated and so it caught her by surprise. 
Honestly Nomo I dont care how you are anyone else is raising their kids on here. All I care about is my own. and you saying blah blah blah you have very successful kids let me inform you my kids are also honor students and very nice kids. It can take different ways in raising kids to turn out the same decent product. There is no right and wrong its what you feel is right!

I was raised in a home that my mom would not of made a huge deal about me asking for a ride to school even if I didnt want to take in the bag of junk it wouldnt of been a 'revenge' time on me. It would of been mom asking me the night I got home what was up. I seemed to of turned out ok I run a business with hubby we are productive ppl and Probably was not raised the slightest way that you were. So snack on that ms nomo=)
Re#16: My kids never responded that way. They responded well to the idea that adulthood and personal responsibility go hand in hand.

And it is not my job to remember what it's like to be a teen and cut them's my job to equip them for the challenges they will face in life and teach them how to self-monitor.
Athena asked for suggestions, and people are having a dialogue here. Nomo stated very clearly that her ideas were her own and she was, at no time, declaring herself all knowing.

No need to be rude, Angie, just sayin'...

After all...I'm certain you weren't brought up that way :)
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