Someone – Vicki? I can’t find the comment now – asked this one. I asked him. He said yes, he knows, so I asked if he knows because we keep telling him, or does he know it for himself. A little of both, he said. I think he realizes he’s disorganized, but figures it’s just a basic feature, like being thin and blond, not a choice. Not something he can or should work to overcome. He used to shrug and offer “I’m just lazy” as an excuse for not cleaning up after himself. Heh. No, I didn’t let him get away with that one. So he stopped trying to use it as an excuse, but he didn’t stop being lazy.
So there are two possible explanations for what is going on here, in my extremely unprofessional, huge vested-interest, totally subjective Mama view. One: he genuinely does not give a rat-butt about losing his stuff, flunking out of school, living off his parents forever (SO not gonna happen), and basically being a failure by current social standards. Or two: his self-esteem is so battered by the constant criticism from parents and school authorities that he’s retreated into a kind of learned helplessness, where it doesn’t even occur to him that he can do anything to change his situation. The therapy is supposed to help with that. I don’t pry too much on that, usually just ask how it went. I should probably set up an appointment to talk with his therapist soon.
One problem with Ignatz is that he really takes the criticism on board, but not the praise. I know that one all too well: my dad was very, very critical sometimes, but also sometimes nice. My mom was nothing but supportive. Guess which stuff I internalized. So I understand where he’s coming from on this, but it makes it very hard to do any kind of balanced discipline. We do praise as well as criticize, but he doesn’t hear or remember the praise.
Oh, and? Another coup in his project to supply everyone in town with a key to our house. Yes, he lost his house key again. Third time. And this time his wallet was attached to it, with his insurance card in it. I thought, if I attached the key to a chain wallet, and he could actually fasten it to his clothes, that it would be harder to lose. It’s things like this that make me really paranoid. To lose something that’s big, and chained to you? That really takes effort. Not to mention that he didn’t even let us find out about it for nearly a week.
Yet again: argh.