It’s been awhile since I posted anything personal, and I apologize for the digression. Let’s just say, it’s easier to try out different subscription services or do little book reviews for you than it is to put my personal biz out there. But I will be brave, march onward and tell you about some of the crazy in my house.
I only have one son, so I do not claim to speak about all boys in general, just my own 13 year old. If you have more than one son, this might ring true to only one of yours, or zero. I don’t know and again am not claiming to be an expert on boys. More of the opposite, in fact.
This week, Gryphin got in trouble for SPITTING and yelling out the bus window. Spitting?? Who even spits? And he was that crazy hooligan child yelling out a bus window at random people on the street. I was mortified, when the bus driver was telling me about this horrendous behavior. Yes, I know, he didn’t get into a fight and actually hurt someone. But that’s just disgusting and I do not even know how thoughts like that would go through someone’s head, much less, my son. He had to do extra chores, and isn’t allowed to sit on the couch for a week. Random punishment, yes, but it puts him in his place, and I have to get creative with him. Clearly.
So that’s just the beginning of this story, an intro if you will, to give you a snapshot of Gryphin. This story happened about 6 months ago, when Gryphin seriously starting going through puberty. Voice changing, growth spurt, pimples, awkwardness. And my little kindergartener spy told me that Gryphin had his phone on the bus. It’s not a phone with service, just an old iPhone that had very little trade in value, to play music and games, and it was not supposed to leave the house.
When Gryphin got home later that afternoon, I asked him where his phone was. The trickster went to his room and pretended to get it from in there. So then I told him that I knew it had been on the bus that day, and he admitted it had been in his pocket. Phone confiscated. It didn’t occur to me until the next morning, that I should probably look at the phone. When I saw it was passcode protected, I knew I was in for a super fun day.
Before school, I asked him for the passcode and asked why there was a passcode in the first place. He claimed it was to keep his sisters off his phone and messing up his Minecraft nonsense. Okay, cute story, but is there anything on the phone that should not be on there? He vehemently denied that I would find anything bad, so I knew, I was going to find something bad.
First, the passcode he gave me was the correct one. I was nervous he was giving me a fake one, but he did not. I checked YouTube first, and thankfully it was clean and only had dorky gamer videos. The same was not true when I went to Google. He had been Gross Googling, like lots and lots of searches that were super disturbing to read, knowing my then 12 year old had typed them.
Thankfully, he was not home when I made this discovery. I had time to calm down and plan how to handle it, instead of reacting right away. I had to make a couple phone calls to other moms, for them to both talk me off the ledge and reassure me it’s normal. Pornography is so much easier to access than it used to be. Magazines are a lot harder to come by than a freaking search engine on any phone, tablet or computer that are all over the place in our over-privileged world. #firstworldproblems
When I picked Gryphin up from school, I asked him if he would like to apologize for anything on his phone, which was now definitely no longer “his.” Nope, he kept on his lying game face and said no. I knew he was going to play it that way, so I told him that when we got home, he’s going to need to get his bible and a notebook. I had Googled myself, while he was at school. I found around 50 verses that relate to pornography and how the body should be seen and treated. I gave him the list of verses and told him he needed to right down each one.
I checked on him after a little bit, and he had 6 of them written down already. I asked him again, if he had anything he needed to apologize for doing on the phone. He hung his head, and confessed to looking at things on his phone that he should not have been searching for. I was glad he had decided to stop lying, but of course I made him write out the rest. The more he could see what he did was wrong the better.
I like to wait for Tom to be home for big shiz like this, so I waited for him to be there too to have the talk. It’s a slippery slope between letting him know it’s normal to be interested in things, but also that it’s not appropriate to Gross Google. I don’t want to be responsible for any future sexual weirdness or shame. But I also don’t want a pervert for a son. Super confusing lines here. So we had a talk about what he did, and how it’s wrong, and how those girls are someone’s sister out there. Just trying to give him some perspective outside his weird hormonally charged body.
There are parenting moments both parties will never forget, and we had one. We made Gryphin stand in front of us and read aloud his Google search history. He was so embarrassed and pled several times to not have to say it out loud. Nope, you have to do it. It’s a lot easier to type something, but when you read it aloud, I feel like the weight of it is so much heavier. And guess what? It worked.
Now, six months later, I feel like that super awkward time is past us. He’s still awkward, for sure, but it’s better. Like he’s figuring out how to control the hormones. And maybe this wouldn’t work for all teenage boys, but it worked for mine, so I wanted to share for all you boy moms out there. Raising boys to become respectful men someday is a huge deal, and I don’t take it lightly, clearly.