Cognitive Dissonance

My ex calls me bitching about our son’s attitude problem. I have no frame of reference because he doesn’t have an attitude problem when he’s with me. She says (among other things) that she’s going to send him to boot camp to get straightened out. I think she’s out of the ballpark. “Do you remember being a teen ager?” I ask. Did you have to be sent to boot camp to get straightened out?”

“No, my mom sent me to my father’s house and that straightened me out. She didn’t have no problem with me after that!”

“How old were you then?” I ask.

“I was fifteen at the time.”

Long pause. She must have forgotten who she was talking to.

“(name), I met you when you were 17 and you were skipping school, smoking weed, and having sex. How then were you straightened out at 15?”

“But wait. The difference with that and this is because-”

I have no further questions.

The thing is I agree with her goals. She doesn’t want our son to get into trouble in school or go out and get some girl knocked up. But I don’t agree that fabricating your past is the best means to that end. By the time a kid is 15 he ought to be able to understand a rational argument. It would be more effective than setting yourself up as a paragon of incomparable virtue.

16 Responses to “Cognitive Dissonance”

  1. R says:


  2. Jeremy says:

    That is just a beautiful exchange. 🙂

    So you’re not worried about your son at all?

  3. guy in the UNLV jacket says:

    Stupid babies momma

  4. Mexigogue says:

    I’m not alarmed at him showing an interest in girls. That’s normal. I am, of course, concerned for his well being and I want him to make the right choices. And since you can’t reasonably follow your kid every step of the way that means providing info, insight, and keeping the lines of communication open. If he hooks up with a girl I want to meet her too. Then I’ll rip her from him and bogart the pu**y and he’s safe from trouble!

  5. R says:

    You’re funny, but I’m glad you’re not my dad. 🙂

  6. Jeremy says:

    Then I’ll rip her from him and bogart the pu**y and he’s safe from trouble!

    And you get stat rape. That way everybody wins.

  7. Mexigogue says:

    Not if she’s 16. That’s the legal age of consent in Michigan.

  8. Jeremy says:

    In that case, stealing your son’s women is HOTT. Crush his manhood while getting you some.

  9. Phelps says:

    Dude, you missed the perfect argument. “So sending you to your father’s house worked? Shouldn’t you maybe… try that? Maybe being a shitty mother runs in your family.” Stupid rubs off. That’s the best reason to get him away from her.

  10. Mexigogue says:

    When he does good stuff like acing his classes she chalks it up to the positive power of her bitching at him. When he does bad she says it’s because I’m too lax with him at my house because I don’t yell at him. How can you argue with logic like that?

  11. Jeremy says:

    How can you argue with logic like that?

    Blunt force.

  12. You should go get you a big stick and give that boy an a$$ whippin. Nothing straightens kids out like an old fashioned beatin.

  13. R says:

    Fuck yeah!

  14. Jenn says:

    I typed this super long comment, then decided it’d be my next post.

    I just wanted to commend you. I know I’m only “hearing” one side of the story and only pieces of it, but in my opinion, you’re right.

    There’s nothing wrong with teaching kids responsibility without bitching at them about it.

    It’s like someone yelling at someone about being overweight. Yelling at them that their fat and being harsh about it vs. being supportive if they workout or in a diet.

    Anyhow, I remember 15. My mom was never strict or never bitched at us, but she did sit us down and talk to us about what it was we were doing and let us know if we had hurt her. Because she wasn’t strict, we didn’t want to do bad things, because we only felt bad and like we were taking advantage of her. Of course there are things I’ve done that she’ll never know, as I’m sure my son will do. But we all turned out okay, for the most part, and I’d say that most of it is because of HOW she handled us.

    I hope your ex remembers 15 is the age where we thought we knew it all and wanted to “fit it.” Lots of change going on there.

  15. Mexijew says:

    You could always tell the ex-wife that since he never acts up when he’s around you, maybe it’s just *her* parenting skills that are, shall we say, ineffective, and that maybe if she was a better mother there wouldn’t be a problem?

    On the other hand… just from the description you posted, she doesn’t sound like much of a winner anyways, so I say tell her to go to hell and die already. 😉

  16. Mexigogue says:

    Oh, haha, my title scrawl wasn’t in reference to her. I don’t want her to die, just to get laryngitis. The title thing was a reference to someone else but I can’t say who because it might be interpreted as a threat (although I characterize it as a statement of wish). Hint, it’s no one who has hit the blog yet.