Every parent wants their kids to be smarter than them. We don’t procreate to give birth to humans that will be as
big as idiots as we are. No, we want bionic children. Kids that will grow up to better, smarter, stronger, able to get an 800 on their S.A.T. Verbal in a single bound. That said, no parent wants their adolescent to treat them like they’re a moron. Sure, your child is smarter than you. You’ve been working tirelessly for more than a decade to ensure that happens, but you’re still their life support system so respect, gratitude, obedience and common courtesy are required.
I have a son who was having some problems coming to grips with the fact that he wasn’t Master of the Universe. He had gotten a little disobedient, a whole lot surly and stunningly smart mouthy. I decided it was time to show him who the real Master of his Universe was – me. To do so required that I go all 21st century on him. The old school parenting of being grounded and additional chores wasn’t going to cut it. I would attack him on his home turf – technology. My goal wasn’t just a behavior turn around, but to create an adolescent that would be in shock and awe of my maternal powers. I used each techno-punishment throughout a several month time period. To do all five at once might lead to your son building a pipe bomb in your basement. So, do be careful.
Ring-tone Barbie: At my son’s middle school no one can whip out their cell phone until the final school bell. As if choreographed by Dancing With the Stars as soon as the bell rings every kid simultaneously turns on their cell phone. I, one night, as my son slept blissful unaware of my evil doings, changed his ring tone to “I’m a Barbie Girl, Living in a Barbie World.” I made sure I called him right at 3:01 when he would be turning on his phone. There for all his classmates to hear was Barbie singing her theme song. When my son got home from school he was red faced and furious that someone had messed with his phone and (Oh my!) embarrassed him. He thought for sure it was his sister. I had to correct him and point out that his phone humiliation was brought on by me as punishment for his surly behavior the night before.
Playstation vs. 4 Wheel Drive: My son has taken all the love and affection he used to have for me and given it to his Playstation. I used to be his favorite thing in the whole wide world now I’ve been replaced by a video game console. One very trying day I threatened if he didn’t get off his butt and clean his room I would run over his Playstation controller. Now, my son knowing I abhor wasting money didn’t take me seriously. After all, I had bought the controller so he figured I wouldn’t want to run over it. There was a flaw in his thinking. Early in the week I had been to Goodwill where, surprise, I found a whole box full of video game controllers. The controllers were clearly marked as broken, but that served my purpose just fine. I bought one for a buck and took it home for future use. As my son was continuing do the lazy I sneaked up to his room, took his working controller, put it in my closet, and then went downstairs holding the Goodwill controller in my hand and saying, “That’s it. I’ve had enough. I told you I would run over your controller and that’s what I intend to do.” I then sprinted out to my car, put the Goodwill controller front wheel adjacent and then got in the car and put my foot on the gas. Crunch. My son was in tears. I’m sure if I ran over his little sister he wouldn’t cry, but flatten his Playstation controller and bring on the waterworks. The tears made me cave in pretty quickly. I told him that it wasn’t his real controller, but that if he didn’t clean his room it might be next time. His room was spic and span in record time. He even re-organized his bookshelf and cleaned under his bed.
My Pink Pony Hearts Texting: When your son spends more time staring and jabbing at his phone than listening to you one has to take extreme measures. I, in an attempt, to get my son’s attention signed him up for a variety of on line clubs that are age appropriate for the five and under set. Part of being a club member was getting daily updates from your favorite pony etc. Behold his displeasure upon receiving message after message from the likes of My Pink Pony, Little Apple Dumpling and the Twirling Ballerina. He wanted the messages to stop immediately. “They’re trashing my phone!” he wailed. “Other kids at school can see them on my screen,” he groaned. I told him I would un-enroll him from the sites as soon as he did one weeks worth of chores and homework without being asked and/or reminded.
Facebook Hijacked: Why did I get a Facebook account? Because my son has one and I use mine to check up on his. After one evening of experiencing a super smart mouth exchange I went into his Facebook account (yes, I have his password) and did some snazzy status updates like “I love my Mommy!” Then I went to my account and posted on his wall gems like “I love you too smoochy snuggles!” complete with baby pictures of him. You know the ones I’m talking about – the bath tub baby pictures. He discovered what I had done after his phone started going crazy as he received LOL after LOL and the occasional WTF texts from his friends. Oops, sorry son.
The Game Changer: This was my masterpiece. My moment of glory when I think my son finally realized just who he was dealing with. While he was at school I went into his room and went rogue on his Playstation 3. I logged in, hit access game history and deleted his gaming log for his second favorite game. For those of you uninitiated what this means is that all the levels he had worked through would be gone. He would be starting again from the ground up. I erased hours and hours of video game playing or as my son so painfully put it “his entire career on that game.” When he discovered what I had done he was shell shocked. He couldn’t “believe I would do that to him.” I pointed out I had picked his second favorite game, not his first which was really very generous of me. But more importantly, I said, “I couldn’t believe I had a son that would behave in the manner he had the day before. It as was if he had erased my entire career of parenting.” That gave him a point to ponder. He was quiet. Then he apologized to me and I regally accepted his apology and said, I hoped he had learned his lesson and then some. His reply, “Mom you scare me, like a lot.” My comment as I leaned in to kiss him on the top of his head, “Perfect. Then my work here is done – for today.”