So I get a call yesterday morning from Corey's band director. It seems my 13-year-old angel has been a bit on the disruptive side lately (who would have imagined that). She filled me in on at least 3 different occasions where he had to be sent into the hall for talking and making noises that were interrupting the class. Once, she even had to take him to the office for a visit with the counselor. During this visit, Corey evidently expressed his desire not to be in band anymore. She even described a couple of instances where he had shown disrespect to her (oh no, not MY teenager!). I apologized to her for his behavior, explained that we don't tolerate that, and promised to discuss it with him. Then, I waited on the edge of my seat for him to get home from school.
We really don't tolerate disrespect. It seems that so many teenagers these days don't have respect for anything or anyone, and it infuriates me. And to hear that my son was acting that way...well, it sure doesn't make me happy. I have been suspecting that his interest in band was waning, and planned to discuss it with him at the end of the school year. But when the instructor calls, plans get changed.
So he makes it home, and I call him out to the back patio. The beginning of our conversation went something like this:
Mom: So, you want to tell me what's up?
Son: With what?
Mom: In band. What's going on with you?
Son: Umm...I had to go out in the hall because I accidently made some noises.
Mom: Accidently? How do you accidently make noises?
Son: (I honestly don't remember what he said here. I was trying to get over the accidently making noises thing.)
I explained to my 13 year old angel the importance of sitting still and paying attention so as not to make any "accidental" noises. Then we got into the discussion of being disrespectful:
Mom: Did she get on to you for talking with the other trombone players?
Son: Hope was asking me a question about one of the signs and I was telling her what it meant.
Mom: And did she ask you if you were finished with your conversation?
Mom: And what did you say?
Son: I told her no.
Mom: Was that the right way to answer her?
Son: I was still talking to Hope!
So I explained to my 13 year old angel that the correct way to address his instructor was to say "Yes, ma'am", then shut your mouth. And the conversation continued with me asking him about his future in band:
Mom: Are you ready to get out of band?
Son: I don't know.
Mom: It's ok if you are. I know sports is your thing, and if you don't want to be in band next year, that's fine. Do you want to get out?
Son: (Pause)...yeah, I guess.
Mom: I'm not trying to pressure you to quit. You're not getting out right now in the middle of the year, so you don't have to decide right now. But you think you don't want to do it next year?
Son: I don't know...
Oh, I'm so confused!
I finished the conversation by laying down the law. I made him surrender his iPod and phone, telling him I would check back with the band director at the end of the week and see if his behavior had improved before giving them back. Oh, but he had a better suggestion. He said, "It makes more sense to call her at the end of the week, then take it away if I don't do better." I'm so weak! I agreed to do that, then made him write "I will show respect to my teachers every day" on the front and back of 2 sheets of college-ruled paper. (Do teachers still make kids do that?)
Why do I feel like this scene will repeat itself over and over again for the next few years?