I think I’m finally learning how to get my son to compromise. Okay, I knew how to do this years ago, but it’s always a struggle. He’s 13 and has a very stubborn will – wonder where he got THAT from. I now have an intimate understanding of something my father told me for years while I was growing up: “I can’t make you do it, but I can certainly make you wish you HAD.”
My son decided a month or so ago that he wants contacts instead of eyeglasses, which he’s been wearing for about 3 years. And he wants them BEFORE the start of the new school year, in which he will be entering 8th Grade. (!!!!!) Which is now less than 2 weeks away. I didn’t want to tell him “no” outright, because I remember being his age and HATING wearing glasses. And he’s about the same age I was when I got my first pair of contact lenses. So I searched for a way out of this potential parental quicksand – other than the usual: It’s not in the budget, blah, blah, blah.
Then I came up with a brilliant compromise! We’ve been attempting (with limited success) to teach my brilliant, strong-willed-ADHD-oppositional-defiant-disordered teenage son about maturity and taking personal responsibility. So. I told him that he will get new glasses for the new school year and around his 14th birthday in January – 5 SHORT MONTHS FROM NOW – we will revisit the issue of contact lenses. IF he begins to display more maturity, more personal responsibility – because contact lenses ARE a big responsibility….I mean, you could put your eyes out if you put them in incorrectly!….okay, maybe not, but HE doesn’t know that – pulls up his grades in school, and works on being more respectful.
I suggested he might want to write notes to remind himself that he’s working toward a large reward and what he needs to do to earn said reward. And his response itself was a sign of his maturing: he didn’t argue with me, just became quite for a few moments, and said “Okay.”
Score one for the parent!