Consistency is hard business

Leonard, our son, is in his full-blown puberty, and this last since about two years. Good if one knows right from the beginning that all his renitence, this hard-core opposition against everything what the parents do or say, is an essential part of forming his individual personality. Its also good to know that with other adults, friends of us, or parents of his school-mates, Leonard behaves exceptionally well, he is polite, entertaining, funny. But with us, his parents, he uses every moment to show that he feels bored, that we are rediculous and not cool at all. During normal school time this is still tolerable, since we all have our own business and spare-time activities. But it regularily becomes really annoying when we go on vacation. Whenever we had to spend the entire vacations together, 24 hours a day, somewhere on the Cote de Azur or on the Black Sea or in the Bulgarien Mountains or in Israel, Leonard did not wait half a day to let us know how uncool these places are and how envy he is for his school mates who went to Disneyland, Ibiza or Las Vegas.

So his response was very predictable when we told him that I have to do a business trip to Tokyo in March and would like to take the family there. As expected, he started to complain about my offer, arguing that his limitted school vacations he want to spend with his friends at home in Munich. And the planned trip to Japan would not allow him to go to one of his friends birthday party. So I was not really disappointed about his rejection to go with us to Japan for a week, I was rather amazed of how well I knew him. But at the same time one could also foresee very clearly that after some weighing all the Pros and Cons, and in particular considering the cooleness points he might gain at his friends and at Facebook, he would soon start to revise his decision and with a deep sigh and an expression of generous compliance offer us his company for the Japan trip.

Exactly this happened today, 5 days before departure. I have no problem staying consistent, saying “Sorry , too late now, and somebody has to stay at home anyhow to look after Ivo, our dog”. So Leonard became a sort of nervous, when he felt that I have no intentions to take him with us now. And to be honest, I felt somehow satisfied, to found a way now to confront him with the consequences of his unjustified hostility against us. I’d very much like to give him a week time in complete freedom from us to contemplate about how much one will miss in life by blindly following ones gut-feelings.

But I’m afraid that Marina will decline to her maternal emotions, and probably in the last minute book a flight for him, paying 10 times the normal air fare and totally spoil all my efforts to teach our son some social values.





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