If you can't make it better you can laugh at it. ~Erma Bombeck


Friday, August 29, 2008

Why don't they make a pill for THAT??

They seem to have developed pills to modify just about every nuance of the human condition. Too angry? Too sad? Too happy? Gotcha covered. Tired? Hyper? Apathetic? Piece of cake! Anxious? Confused? Fearful? Easy peasy! Have a pain in your head? Your back? Your foot? Your pinkie? Take two and call me in the morning. But what about that most dread malady: PAIN IN THE BUTT PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVELY DEFIANT TEENAGER.

Come on, you recognize this. It's typically characterized by the repeated phrase, "Yes, Ma'am." followed by the total disregarding of whatever the request happens to be. Conversations with afflicted teens go something like this:

Mom - Girl, please remember to turn off your lights, TV, radio, fans, and lamps (all of which are on virtually all. the. time. if she's in the room) when you leave the house.

Girl - "Yes, Ma'am."

Mom - Please don't leave your dishes on whatever surface you are nearest when you finish eating. (Think couch, almost finished cereal, and two dogs. Not a pleasant thing to awaken to in the morning.)

Girl - "Yes, Ma'am."

Mom - Please ...

Girl - "Yes, Ma'am."

..."Yes, Ma'am."

..."Yes, Ma'am."

Does this sound familiar to you? On the surface they sound like the kindest, sweetest, most compliant and cooperative creatures ever to walk God's green earth. Upon closer inspection, though, every day you find the lights still on, the dishes still wherever, the clothes still on the bathroom floor, the whatever still being done or not done day after day after day after FRIGGIN DAY!!! And all of it accompanied by a sweet, polite, smiling, "Yes, Ma'am." I, personally, am to the point that if I hear that syrupy sing-song "Yes, Ma'am." one more time, SOMEBODY'S HAIR IS COMING OUT! What does it take to get them to put feet on that damnable response??

One would think that pharmaceutical companies would have JUMPED on this by now! After all, it is an ailment that, in one of its many and varied forms, effects every parent on the planet. It even has its own definition in the Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia. Go ahead. Click over there and read it. I'll wait.....


So what'd ya think? Did you notice that line about "A person with this disorder may appear to comply with another's wishes and may even demonstrate enthusiasm for them. However, the requested action is either performed too late to be helpful, performed in a way that is useless, or is otherwise sabotaged (why didn't they add IGNORED here???) to express anger that cannot be expressed verbally."? Sounds familiar, huh!?!?

And anger that cannot be expressed verbally? Really? I'd actually rather be told that she didn't want to do whatever, and why, so that we could discuss possible alternate solutions before I have threatened to take her phone away for noncompliance. I'm not TOTALLY unreasonable. There have been a few times that I've been convinced to change my mind. Maybe then there wouldn't be any anger that needed expressing!?!?!?!

Did you notice the "Treatment" section? Therapy. Yep, it says, "Counseling may be of value in helping the person identify and change the behavior." May be of value?? MAY??? MAY???? Try, NOT!! Been there and done that so many times that the damn t-shirt is now ripped to tattered shreds and is being used to firmly secure my wrists to my waist so I don't beat her to a bloody pulp!

So now, with no hope of a better life through chemistry (Thanks, Cousin Howard! That's such an accurate phrase!), I'm forced to come up with my own treatments for this disorder. Here's a list of possiblities:

1. Boot in the Butt (BIB) - Apply pointy tip of right cowboy boot to posterior region of afflicted youth. This may provide only temporary relief for the patient, but will provide immeasurable pleasure to the caregiver. Note: having a criminal defense attorney on retainer might expedite the caregiver's release from post-treatment incarceration, but a cost/benefit analysis shows that it would damn near be so worth it as to be cheap at twice the price! (No, I wouldn't really do this but there are sure days when it's fun to daydream about!! LOL!)

2. Buy out - Offer to pay for compliance. Note: Ensure that compliance has been achieved BEFORE tendering any cash. Prepayment will only result in the drastically increased necessity for additional BIB treatments.

3. Ostrich-ization - This was the counselor's advice. Ignore it, it'll go away. Quit asking. Quit worrying. Quit caring so much! Way more easily said than done!

4. Treatment in Kind (TIK) - Start responding to their requests with, "Yes, Dear" and then promptly do something else. This will provide a great way for you to stretch those creative thinking muscles that have been long deadened by the tediousness of day-to-day life with PIBPAD teen.

5. Prayer - for patience. for peace. And a time warp that rapidly moves us to the day when THEY have their own teens and we can sit back and LAUGH OUR OLD, KNOWING BUTTS OFF!


  1. I don't know.That is a good question.Another good question is...Why don't they make a pill for the totally insensitive,tantrum throwing,meltdown having,hitting,biting,NO Mama saying terrible 2 yr old?

    Oh well at least they make pills for me to be able to deal with it LOL.

  2. My responses to your possibilities:

    1. Careful, this one may result in an increase in the anger and defiance.

    2. Warning, this may cause said youth to come to expect more and more payment as time goes on. Perhaps you could set an amount she will get if she follows through every time. Then, if she doesn't follow through, subtract a set amount from the total for each infraction. (see also possibility number 7.)

    3. Hmm...did that counselor have children? If so, where are they now?

    4. This may get the response of, "You do/don't do it!".

    5. Be careful how you pray! Try praying for the patience to deal with your current situation. If you only pray for patience, then even more trials requiring patience may come your way.

    Wow, I'm super critical aren't I?

    A couple more possibilities (for you to pick apart):

    6. Make the consequence fit the crime. Ask her what she thinks would be fair and decide together what the consequences should be. Be sure she understands the consequences ahead of time. (i.e. If she leaves on her lights, then cut the power to her room for a set amount of time. You may have to padlock your breaker box for this one. Or, have her pay for a portion of the electric bill.)

    7. Fine her for infractions. This could also fit in with the consequence them of number 6.

    8. Require her to make eye contact and repeat back the response.

    Don't you wish she was a toddler and you could just take her hand and walk her through the steps?

    Hang in there Damama! We love you!

  3. Oops! That was supposed to be theme of number 6.

  4. Thank goodness I'm past the toddler stage that Sgt talked about and not yet to the teen stage you're talking about (well with the boys anyway)! So far my boys are well trained, here's hoping they stay that way and my daughter becomes as well trained and stays that way! LOL :)

    Good luck!!

  5. "Call your health care provider if you or your child has symptoms suggestive of passive-aggressive personality disorder."

    What, for every teenager?

    Keep up your spirits love, it is possible to survive adolescence, even of a female teenager.

  6. WEll I am just edging to this behavior with my 12 1/2 boy. It is troubling most times. I will give all those a try. Personally I like #1.

  7. WEll I am just edging to this behavior with my 12 1/2 boy. It is troubling most times. I will give all those a try. Personally I like #1.

  8. Oh thanks for reminding me to take my medicine! Now maybe my two "yes ma'am" saying little blonde boys will survive the night without the BIB treatment!

  9. Gosh, I wish i got a calm "yes ma'am" and noncomplience instead of the description SgtSudsWife gave... and I get that from a 9yo boy! Surely they make a pill for him! ...Or maybe it's just me that needs a chill pill!

  10. SSW - I'll deal with my type of problem ANY DAY. LOL. Hang in there!
    Brandi - 1. With the girl it could also result in me getting my rear end kicked, too! LOL!
    2. We tried lots of variations on paying for performance. She couldn't care less about money from me because she has her own job now. Good thought, though. 3. Actually, it's really not as bad advice as it sounds. Sometimes we (ME) get so wrapped up in wanting things done when and how we want 'em that the resulting tunnel vision causes misery for everyone. Sorry I wasn't clear about that... It's a matter of picking my battles better. 4. Do as I say, not as I do! JUST KIDDING!! ;o) 5. AMEN ON THAT PRAYER THING!

    And NO you ARE NOT super critical. As always, you are warm and caring and I love you for it!

    6. The ONLY consequence she cares about is the cell phone. And I use that often. Asking her thoughts is NEVER a good idea because the answer is ALWAYS that I just should leave her alone. The power outage thing might work if it weren't for a certain soft hearted old man in the house. LOL 7. Yes it does fit right in with #6 and with my response to #2.
    8. I do that most of the time... and she responds with "yes ma'am" afterward. GRRRRRRR.

    LOL! As the old preacher said about his favorite bible verse... It came to pass. Than God this will too.

    I love you, too! xoxoxo

  11. Nut - (love that name! LOL!) Enjoy it while it lasts cuz Hurricane Teenager is forming as we speak! LOL!
    Dragonstar - Wouldn't the insurance companies just love having to pay for all THOSE calls! They'd break their knecks rushing to get the exclusion clauses written and published.

    Thanks for the kind works. Coming from you, I know they are spot on!
    Vanessa - Good luck. It's gonna get worse before it gets better... sorry to have to say. ;o)
    Brats' Mom - ROFL!! You're welcome!
    Lisa - Threaten to make 'em all sleep in the same room in the new house. That'll fix their snotty little wagons! LOL! And if that fails, self-medication is ALWAYS a viable option. ;o)

  12. This post reminds me VERY much of something I read years ago, titled (something like) teenagers deserve teenagers for parents.

    There was this young gal who wanted some $$ to buy a new dress for the prom. Mom said, "Sorry, honey, but I just bought a new dress for that, and there just aren't enuf $$ available for both of us to get one!" Daughter makes just an awful face and cries, "Moomm! We're both going to the same dance?!? Eewww!"

    Later, Father's looking at his son's report card and criticizing his low math score. Son says, "Dad, that teacher's just horrible. He doesn't know the first thing about how to teach math!" Dad returns, "Nonsense! I had him last year, and he was great. Now, get upstairs and study!"

  13. LOL When they create a pill for that then we can give it to my daughter who's new favorite word is SORRY said so sarcastically that there is no way in heck she means it. It's said after I asked her for the 3rd time to clean up, turn the lights off, do your homework, take a shower...you are telling me this does not get better with age? LOL

    Love you!

  14. LOL When they create a pill for that then we can give it to my daughter who's new favorite word is SORRY said so sarcastically that there is no way in heck she means it. It's said after I asked her for the 3rd time to clean up, turn the lights off, do your homework, take a shower...you are telling me this does not get better with age? LOL

    Love you!

  15. My 3 oldest became human, responsible, etc. by age 14. Daddy told the kids we would start charging them for every item of clothing on their bedroom floor that was not dirty before they dumped their basket and walked on it. To many things that were still folded were coming back to the laundry.
    I also pay for jobs performed shortly after the request was named. Not always, but classical conditioning works well. My oldest son, 14, cleaned the boys room without being sked yesterday. None of his brothers/room mates helped. Therefore, next payday Tom gets the computer game he wants and his brothers do not get to use it. He also knows his password for my new pc and his siblings do not know theirs. He has unlimited pc access, the younger kids accounts are set for 1 hour between 3 and 8 pm only...

  16. I have one that will say "Yes Mom" and then not do it, and another that says "No" but sneaks back and does it when we're not looking. Which is worse??


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