One of the issues we have been dealing with increasingly since The Boy hit puberty is his over-the-top need for privacy. He could be watching Spongebob videos on his iPad, but he just doesn’t want me to see what he’s doing. Every time I open the door to his room, he scrambles to hide what he is watching or working on. If he is drawing something (usually a Sonic-related cartoon), I cannot see while he is working on it. Not until it’s finished.
The other day, The Boy wanted to print from his new-ish netbook, and it didn’t have our printer added to its list yet. I knew this was a simple fix, but The Boy was adamant that he knew what I was up to, and didn’t want me to access his computer. I assured him repeatedly that I wouldn’t open his current program, I just wanted to go to the settings panel and add the printer.
He turned into a cornered animal, raising his voice, escaping from me (I wasn’t trying to hold him anywhere, but I was trying to talk to him in one spot), with a few threats and name-calling thrown in for good measure (I was a “liar”). I dropped it for a bit, allowing him to regain his composure, all the while talking to him about the best ways to deal with his anger, and that name-calling was always mean.
And then the switch inside his head got flipped, and he handed me his computer and all was well. Total time invested? About 20 or 25 minutes. I’m glad it ended well, and I can only hope that these episodes will decrease once I prove that I am not a liar, and can be trusted not to invade his privacy. This ultimate need for secrecy is a tough one to get used to, though. I’m still trying to wrap my brain around it.