Yet Another Mom Problem

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by ghall, Nov 14, 2007.

  1. ghall macrumors 68040

    ghall

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    #1
    So, my life is back into the crapper again, after a string of awesome days. I overslept this morning, and now my TV, Wii, Laptop, and iPhone Edge service have been confiscated by my mom until she feels like giving them back (which could be tomorrow, it could be a month from now, there's no telling). I'm 18, and these things are legally mine. Could I just get them back and move to my dad's or something? Of course, I'd have to clear it with my dad, but would it be possible? I'm fed up with my mom's insanity, and the lack of positive reinforcment I get from her. She scolds me for doing poorly in school, but when I do stuff right I get nothing. I feel like nothing I do can please her, and if I don't try she gets all pissy. Now I know why my dad and her divorced.
     
  2. phungy macrumors 68020

    phungy

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2006
    Location:
    FL/NY/TX
    #2
    The problem with parents nowadays is that only bad behavior is noticed which then leads to punishment while good behavior is left unnoticed and not reinforced (as you had stated already). If I remember correctly, you paid for those items which are legally yours. You should take them back.
     
  3. davidjearly macrumors 68020

    davidjearly

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2006
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    #3
    Lets get some perspective.

    It depends who paid for the items. If you paid for them using your own earned money and you have receipts to prove it, then yes they are legally yours.

    However, going down this road is likely to get you on a slippery slope. For example, your mother likely owns your bed, your clothes (or some of them), most of the food you eat, and the house that you live in. Therefore, its probably not the best idea to start a contest with her.

    Have you tried sitting down and speaking to her about this, without making it all about how to get your personal belongings back? Your mother is likely doing what she feels is in your best interests. I would appreciate if my mother was still around to look out for me, so try thinking about it from her point of you. However, if there is something you feel she could do better (e.g. giving you more credit where it is due), talk to her about it respectfully.

    HTH, David
     
  4. ghall thread starter macrumors 68040

    ghall

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    #4
    Well, my grandmother gave me the TV because she got a new one, but I worked hard for a whole summer to save up for that laptop, and while I recieved the iPhone as a gift, I pay the monthly data plan fee. I just don't know how you propose I take them back.
     
  5. bartelby macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    #5
    You're 18, not 8.
    Stand up to your mother. The laptop is yours, as you paid for it, take it back.
     
  6. ghall thread starter macrumors 68040

    ghall

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    #6
    But she doesn't own my non-essentials, and that's the problem.

    I've tried being civil with her, but I can't do it anymore. She's being too unreasonable.


    Easier said that done. What do I do?
     
  7. .JahJahwarrior. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    #7
    Are you paying rent?


    If I was your mother, and I was letting you live in my home, and I imposed some rules on you, and you agreed to them (by living there, I think you could say you agreed. :) If you didn't agree, you should have left), and you broke them, then she has the right to punish you.

    And if I was your mother, and I was renting you a room, I could impose some rules, but I don't think that what time you wake up would be one of them. The rules would be more like "no open flames, no pets without written approval, no noise louder than 60 db after 11pm, and you room needs to be kept clean enough that the Fire Marshal doens't complain."

    Best way to get your stuff back: talk with your mom about the household rules. Apologize, be very contrite, and then draw up a list of reasonable rules and have both of you sign them. It would work in your favor if you offered to pay rent in order to prevent her from suggesting rules about your bedtime and waking time.

    FWIW, my parents had an "up by 8am" rule this past summer. As long as it seemed ike I had gotten up, they were cool with me sleeping in till 9 or so. I didn't pay them rent, so if they had wanted to punish me for breaking the rules, they could have, and I'm not certain I would have any legal recourse, as Ia greed to their terms by continuing to live in thehouse.

    If you really want to get your stuff back without making any concessions (the rule of reciprocity, suggested by Cialdini, says that you are likely to draw up a reasonable set of rules with your mom if you make a concession--one concession is likely to dra another. It also says you'll do even better at making reasonable rules if you send your mother a flower the day before, and if your first list of possible rules is somewaht extreme, in its bias towards yourself. Don't make it too extreme, like "I can do whatever I want at any time of the day or night with anything of yours or mine, and the house will belong to me, and your car too, and I can play with fire all I want to and you can't do anything about it." but more like "There will be no curfew." You will then concede to maybe agreeing to be in by 1am, and up before noon, with the option for extensions for extenuating circumstances.) then you should take her to small claims court. Personally, I'd pull a Cialdini...
     
  8. saltyzoo macrumors 65816

    saltyzoo

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    #8
    1) Grow up. Get a job. Get an apartment. Be happy.

    or

    2) Grow up. Stop expecting other to solve your problems. Work out your issues with your mom. Realize that "non-essentials" are just that and not something to get emo about. Be happy

    or

    3) Do nothing but ask total strangers what to do with your life.
     
  9. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    The Dallas 'burbs
    #9
    I don't remember a lot of rewards for good behavior growing up, and I think everything was just fine with that. Sure I got punnished when I mis-behaved (at least when I was caught), but never got rewarded for following the rules.

    Think of it as a lesson in how the world really works. Once you get a full time job, you will be raked over the coals when you screw up big time, and no one will ever say a word of appreciation if you're doing your job well (it's even worse if you do tech support work when you get verbally abused when things don't work but when you bust your butt to keep things running smoothly no one ever thanks you).

    If you're living there rent free and not paying for food/clothes, you have to live by the established rules. You may find the punishment severe but complaining to strangers about it on a message board isn't going to help the situation. As mentioned before you need to approach your mom as a landlord with a level head. Do not ever use the "it's not fair" defense. Explain that you know you broke the rules, if there was a very good reason for it, explain it (preferably if you have witnesses). Explain how you think the punishment is too severe for the infraction and negotiate a lesser punishment (less confiscated stuff) with a deadline on when the confiscated items will be returned to you.

    I assume you are in HS (graduating in May/June?) if not, you always have the option of moving out on your own into an apartment, or if you are going to college the dormatories (if offered).
     
  10. jaydub macrumors 6502a

    jaydub

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    #10
    I moved out when i was ~18, and it was a smart decision. For me, it wasn't a matter of freedom (or lack thereof), it was a matter of just realizing that I needed to start my own life.

    It wasn't easy. My first apartment was a 1br 600sq ft place for $575/mo (this was 12 years ago, mind you). You can likely find a room for rent on craigslist or something, but that's up to you.

    From the "family" side of things, my suggestion would be to do whatever is necessary to stay civil with your mom. Don't say anything you'll regret, because sometimes those things can never be taken back. Just pick yourself up, do your best to start your own life, and move on.

    Good luck!
     
  11. vanmacguy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Location:
    Not where you live.
    #11
    First off, I don't know how old you are, but I will say (being much older than you) that people rarely act unreasonably for no reason.

    She's your Mother dude. Not some witch off the street. She wants the best for you no matter how it seems.

    Don't start talking about your possessions because you have no leg to stand on.

    You know how to behave and you know how to act around people. Don't be told what the rules are, be a responsible human being. Make allowances for living in someone else's house and just do what you know is the right thing. We all know what constitutes bad behavior, and you make a choice to do the right thing or to not give a damn.

    And certainly don't throw the "well I'll just move in with Dad" threat out, that'll get you nowhere.

    Do the right thing, always and you'll come out on top. People here can't help you, you'll just get some idiot telling you "it's your stuff, be a man" and that's crap.
     
  12. ghall thread starter macrumors 68040

    ghall

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    #12
    I'm not looking for a reward, I just want some sort of verbal encouragement. I feel like I get it from everybody except the one person who's opinion matters most, my mom.

    I'll try your ideas, but my mom isn't the easiest person to negotiate with.
     
  13. vanmacguy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Location:
    Not where you live.
    #13
    Take a look at these forums. People rarely come on here and post about how great things are. It does happen but we normally hear about the problems.

    I've been married for more years than you've probably been around and encouragement is not something that's normally bandied around. It's a fact of life that pretty much the only things you'll hear about is when you screw up. Understanding that fact comes with age I'm afraid.

    And personally, I'd drop the term negotiate too. It's not a business deal. Figure out what the rules are and follow them. Done.
     
  14. ghall thread starter macrumors 68040

    ghall

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    #14
    1) I'm still in high school. I don't have time for a job that will pay for an apartment.

    2) I don't expect anybody to solve my problems for me, it's called advice. I'm not getting emo about my non-essentials.

    3) I don't. I'm trying to get an outside perspective. I do talk to people in person you know. What do you think I do when I'm not on MacRumors?

    There's a huge difference between a web forum, and someones mom.

    I said my mom. I could care less who else encourages me. My mom is in her 40s and her mom is still encouraging to her.

    Actually, I was thinking more of an agreement between two warring nations when I used the term 'negotiate', but you're right, not a great word. Though I do follow the rules 95% of the time. My mom's punishments are very inconsistant.
     
  15. Mr.Noisy macrumors 65816

    Mr.Noisy

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Location:
    UK™
    #15
    It's a well known fact, Mom's are a pain in the Ass to negotiate with,
    You may feel she is pushing you,
    Your Mom may feel your a rebel without a clue,
    But some parents believe you learn through loss which is whats happened,
    The best thing you could do, Join the army, at least you will learn to get your hairy arse out of bed in the mornings :D

    When she's gone, passed away, you will always miss her, always remember the tongue lashings, and always love her,

    p.s.
    Words of advice: Stop your mom watching super nanny, you will only end up sitting on the naughty step ;)
     
  16. saltyzoo macrumors 65816

    saltyzoo

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    #16
    Ok, so much for my attempt to get you to think for yourself.

    1) This option was to make the point that if you really want control of your life, take it. It's obvious from your OP that you don't want this option, therefore you need to learn how to be happy with the alternative. I could have added another option even more obvious than this and said "commit suicide", which would have the same point. You could be fending for yourself - or dead. Your life isn't really all that bad in comparison to those options is it?

    2) In this point I stress the term "grow up" again, because it really seems to apply. I'm not intending insult, your at that age where it's tough. You want both to be "grown up" but also to not have the responsibility of being grown up. Doesn't work well, and guess what, it probably drives your Mom so crazy she's not sure what to do. If you think it's hard being you, you should feel what it's like being a single Mom to you. But you need to realize that you made a mistake and your Mom is your Mom and you need to grow up and learn how to deal with both of those things. Secondly within this point I'm trying to explain to you that your "things" are not that important for you to be happy (or not "in the crapper"). You can allow your happiness to be defined by them, but you don't have to. (By the way, don't screw up and she won't take them away, obvious, but needed to be pointed out apparently) Think about it. What kind of person requires the things in your list to be happy?

    3) This point was to try to drive home that this is something you need to figure out for yourself. Between the "can I go to my dad?" and the general tone of your OP it looks like you are looking for someone to "fix" the problem for you. Ain't gonna happen. You're going to have to learn how to be happy with what really isn't a "crapper" situation in the big picture of things, or if you truly want the independence you claim you deserve, move out and earn it. I don't know your real situation, maybe you should move out, but I rather doubt it. More likely you should be taking your lumps for screwing up and not getting so upset about the temporary loss of "crap" that you have trained yourself that you can't be happy without.
     
  17. lexus macrumors 68000

    lexus

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2006
    Location:
    Depends Greatly On The Weather
  18. ghall thread starter macrumors 68040

    ghall

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    #18
    School computer. :p

    Edit: Also, the wifi on my iPhone still works. ;)

    It's not just 'my crap' that's the problem, it's my mom, and everything that she does. It doesn't matter if I have my stuff or not, I'm not happy with my relationship with my mom.

    BTW, I can think for myself, if I couldn't I would just blindly follow whatever people say. I take what other people think, and make my own decisions.
     
  19. saltyzoo macrumors 65816

    saltyzoo

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    #19
    Well, that is a problem. Unfortunately, even with hours of discussion, nobody here is going to understand your relationship well enough to help much. All I can say is that there's no magic fairy that makes Mom's perfect or gives them all the answers. She's probably more confused than you are.
     
  20. Virgil-TB2 macrumors 65816

    Virgil-TB2

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    #20
    positive reinforcement (usually)= weak and useless

    You should perhaps count yourself lucky.

    It sounds like you are already well adept at chasing the carrot of approval that your mother holds/withholds for/from you. This is good and you will likely be a success in life as a result.

    No one brought up with lots of "positive reinforcement" and constant messages about how "special" and great they are, has ever amounted to anything.

    Check out the life stories of any seriously successful or "game changing" individuals (great thinkers, philosophers, etc.), and you will find mothers and fathers like your own. Picasso never had it easy nor did Einstein and look how they turned out. On the other hand, an entire generation (or two!), of coddled "special" kids has not produced a single great artist, scientist or thinker of any worth.

    You will hate what your mother does now, look back on it with fondness later. You will possibly do the same thing to your kids later on, without even realising it.

    :)
     
  21. Jasonbot macrumors 68020

    Jasonbot

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Location:
    The Rainbow Nation RSA
    #21
    I feel like I'm in the same situation. A few weeks ago she came back from France and I greeted her all nicely when she came back but for some reason she got annoyed with me when I asked her some random question about something I asked her for.

    She's really confusing and I can't understand her. Sometimes I feel she just tries too hard for me a falls short of her own high standards and then takes it out on me. Luckily she's in Japan now so I've got some breathing space living at my dad for a bit.

    Another thing, my dad lives 5 minutes away from my school but my mom protests that I'm not allowed to walk the 5 minute walk through a safe residential area to school and that my dad should drive me to school. I've been walking anyways.
     
  22. MarkCollette macrumors 68000

    MarkCollette

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2003
    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    #22
    Right when she got back, the first thing you asked her was if she brought you back something? Wow.

    "Hey Mom, great to see you back. By the way, did you pick me up that ..."

    I just can't understand why someone would be annoyed with such a transparent lack of caring.
     
  23. jaydub macrumors 6502a

    jaydub

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    #23
    I keep reading this and suddenly I feel really old. :D
     
  24. ghall thread starter macrumors 68040

    ghall

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    #24
    I was thinking the same thing but I didn't want to say anything.
     
  25. sgarringer macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    #25
    You're 18 years old. Someday you'll look back on this and realize that these things you care so much about today don't really mean anything.

    When I was 18 my parents got divorced. I stayed with my Mom, as she got the house in the divorce. I had a school project which involved building a car powered by a spring-rat-trap. She refused to let me work on it because it would make too much mess (glue, cutting, etc) that she claimed she'd have to clean up. We got into an argument about this, with my insisting that I be allowed to work on it for school. She made a comment about my cousin who had committed suicide a few weeks prior, suggesting that if I didn't like her rules I could move out to my grandma's farm and follow in his footsteps. I got so upset that I punched a hole in my bedroom door, she called the police, and I was arrested. I was let out two days later, and packed all my stuff (with the police standing there) and had to move out. Mind you, I was in highschool at the time. She allowed me to keep my car (which I paid for) but anything else (bed, clothes, etc) were hers and I couldn't take them. I only was able to pack the few possessions I owned and things I had gotten as gifts.

    Now, look at the situation you explain. You overslept. You probably missed school, work, or something else because of this. In the real world, oversleeping is not an option, and you need to learn this. I am in complete agreement with your mom on this one. How about you let me know when she does something like makes fun of a friend or relative of yours who committed suicide, or doesn't let you work on a school project... I was grounded from the family computer for all but 4 days of my entire childhood, and do you want to know the reason why? Because once I didn't take off my socks before coming in the house. Yes, we were required to take off shoes and socks and put on a fresh pair of socks to avoid tracking anything in. I didn't do this once, and when confronted I said I thought the rull was b*ll-s*it. I was grounded for the rest of my life from the computer. I didn't have a TV.

    You're spoiled. Suck it up, grow a pair and become a man. Learn your responsibilities and DO THEM.

    And you know what else? I've been out on my own since the day I turned 18. Despite what you might think, I thank my mom for forcing me to grow up. I see my friends who are in their late 20s who still live with their parents, in the basement. I'm 25 -- I own my own house (well technically the bank does, but I make more than the minimum mortgage payment) own two cars free and clear, own numerous macs, PCs, an HDTV, loads of audio equipment, am respected and depended on at my job. Sure, I could be some loser complaining that I have to get up out of bed at a specific time. But when you are 18 and have to go to a truck shop to shower before school, it seems like there are more important things to worry about.
     

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