Michael is extremely sensitive, which he gets from me. He also has a tendency to shut off his sense of responsibility when he’s done something wrong. He is just as quick to laugh at or tease someone else when they mess up, which he quickly dismisses as okay or justified because they laughed at him—even if he was the one who started it all. He never acknowledges his own responsibility when it comes to receiving consequences. Nothing is ever his fault. Someone or something else is always to blame. Always. I took away his birthday party this month because he kicked Tucker in the face. So, the other night when I caught him hurting Tucker again and asked him why, he said because Tucker made him lose his birthday party. He refuses to accept the thought that his action, his choice, to kick Tucker is the reason for the consequence. But Tucker pushed him down. That’s still no reason to kick a puppy in the face. I truly don’t know how to get through to him to make him see how he is the one who is wrong.
So why is he hurting the puppy? If he had a younger sibling, would he vent the abuse on the other child? Not that that would be okay, but I have to wonder if that would be the direction he would take. My older brother used to beat the crap out of me and my younger brother on an almost daily basis when we were growing up. I remember getting punched in the stomach by him for no reason. Would Michael do the same thing? Dale who is heading on fifty now, still refuses to see when he’s done something wrong. I worry that Michael will end up the same way!
How do I make him understand and accept his responsibility in his consequences? I can repeat the same things over and over to him and even make him repeat the reasoning back to me, or write it down twenty times, but he will still disassociate himself from the punishment. He still refuses to accept any blame for his actions. I’m so tired of beating my head against this brick wall! I know he can be good. I know he can be very loving, kind and considerate. He’s so brilliantly smart and always does great with his school work.
And I understand he’s hurting because he feels like he only has one friend—but I know that friend and he’s a good boy, so I’m happy that they’re friends this year. One good friend is all you need. He doesn’t need to be the most popular kid in class, especially considering the standards for which other kids judge you to be the most popular. I don’t want him to be shallow, or materialistic, or to be cruel to other kids who don’t seem to ‘measure up’ to those standards. I want him to appreciate his own self-worth. One friend or fifty friends doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t appreciate who you are yourself.