The House Rules
In a follow up of my post earlier this morning, Finding the Inner Strength to Do the Right Thing these are the conditions that I wanted to talk to Emily about last night that she absolutely refused to even look at.
Option 1 – Live at Dad’s House
To continue to live here you must be willing to accept ALL the following conditions.
(1) Follow a simple weekly schedule that will allow you to complete the following tasks,
- Get up in time for school, including having breakfast
- Have the appropriate clothing for the weather
- Have everything you need for school that day.
- Set aside time each day to complete homework and projects so you can stay ahead of timetables and due dates.
- Complete and hand in ALL assignments.
- In your bed with lights off at 11pm, phone turned off at 11:30pm asleep by midnight (ideal goal).
- Monday through Friday nights you come home after school to complete job list, homework, etc…
- All homework finished you may hang out with friends, home by 10pm.
(2)Tell the truth. Do not steal. Respect your yourself and the other members of our family.
- Lying cannot be tolerated anymore. You need to be honest with yourself and with others, this past Friday showed me clearly how easy and natural it is for you to spin a tale and lie directly to my face. You have broken and damaged that trust and it needs to be rebuilt over time.
- Do not take from others and earn what you need. You will be given the opportunity to earn money via a chore chart every week. You will not be given money by me anymore for any reason. You also need to pay me back the $100 in Uber charges from the past ten days.
- We will talk to each other in a respectful manner. When we have an issue, we will talk about it, have a discussion and come to a conclusion together. All problems will be resolved in this manner.
(3) There are to be ZERO drugs and alcohol used while living here, this means on the weekends when are hanging out with your friends. This is a ZERO tolerance policy moving forward.
You have watched me struggle with this problem for too many years, it was one of the factors that pushed us apart. If you continue to smoke weed it will keep us from drawing back together. It is a dangerous addictive and damaging drug for a developing mind. Yes the Canadian government will legalize it next year, but they will also place restrictions on it who can use it (age related) and the penalties for driving while high, etc.. These already exist for things like alcohol and cigarettes. Once you reach the legal age for these substances then you are free to with as you please.
(4) We will find you someone that you can talk to about the issues that you are having in your life. Above and beyond your school guidance counselor who will help you with school related matters. You need someone to talk to about all the baggage that you are carrying in your life.
- Your relationship with me, how you feel about things, what you felt like over the past four years, and over the past two years especially.
- Social pressure and anxiety that you may feel.
- Depression, negative thoughts and emotions and better ways to deal with these feelings as opposed to internalizing and keeping things to yourself.
- In the last few weeks with everything that you have gone through, I don’t feel you have opened yourself to anyone fully yet. Even when I talked with Shy’s mom she told me that she never got the full story from you. I cannot even begin to tell you how opening up and sharing all the baggage that I have been carrying over the past several years has weighed me down. By sharing my stories and experiences with sometimes complete strangers has given me such a strength I cannot put into words. I suddenly realized that so many of us carry around this baggage that we do not need to all by ourselves. This is my support system…
- Amber McCauley – the family therapist I’ve started to see
- Jason Mackenzie – runs the men’s support group that I joined on Amber’s recommendation. It has about 200 members all over the world and all struggling with different issues. They is such power in numbers and every time I have shared a piece of me, I have felt the love and support come back a hundred times over. This past weekend I shared the story of Uber and lying and stealing, and I had 28 different responses and opinions.
- Jodi our next-door neighbor. She is an incredibly giving woman and does tons of mentoring and giving back to her community. She delivers food for Wheels on Wheels, she mentors parents that have special needs children. Both of her children suffer from autism and HDSD and require full time assistance, yet she still makes times to give back as much as she can. Including reaching out to me this past summer and has become a very close friend.
- Ryan Lewis, my best friend has been instrumental in talking things out and being a sounding board for each other. We would talk/text daily for a few months encouraging each other with our goals of quitting weed. He is such a genuine person who has strong values, the same outlook on life as I do and has been there to listen in a very nonjudgmental way. It was the reason that I enjoyed playing golf so much this summer as those afternoons were spent having fun and talking about ways we could improve our situations. He has such strong connections with both of his parents and spends much of his time these days helping out both his mom who runs several business in Northern Ontario (landscaping, FedEx delivery, etc.. she showed him some tough love when he was younger and getting into trouble, and to his Dad who lives in Newmarket and is bound to a wheelchair taking him to and from the doctors on a regular basis, helping with his medications, setting up his new place and so much more. I don’t know of anyone that gives back to his parents as much as he does right now.
And I look to continue to expand this circle as much as I can. I have made several other contacts in my men’s support group and I will be starting a 26-week Master Mind course with 10 other men starting in January. This involves a 75-minute weekly phone call that focuses on mental health, financial security and physical and spiritual well-being. There is so much more to this course and it will help take all that I have learned recently to the next level.
All of this has only come from my ability to be open and not afraid to share all that I have been struggling with in my life.
(5) Be a member of this family.
And by that, I mean you are free to do whatever you want in your free time as long as you are following the conditions laid out above and below. We will plan outings to the YMCA, I will be having movie nights, I plan of getting a working Wii for the kids for Christmas and will start playing Mario Kart. I want you to be included, and I want your input on things that YOU want to do and like doing. I want you to develop an interest or hobby that I can support in anyway needed, in terms of paying for it, driving you to and from, helping you find what you are looking for, etc.… Channel some of your time and energy into something that you want to do, just for you.
(6) Get a job. It is time for you to put together a resume and start looking for a part time job.
- It will provide you additional money above and beyond what you can earn from the Chore Chart.
- It will start to teach you some aspects of responsibility and develop a work ethic, working with others, etc…
- It can lead to new friendships and new opportunities in the future.
- Start to become more active, exercise not only your mind but your body as well. This is entirely your choice as to how you would like to proceed with this, the easiest perhaps is to join us at the YMCA when we go several nights a week and walk/run on the treadmill. The kids will be starting a Hip/Hop dance class there on Mondays in December, they will continue their swim lessons on Thursdays and we most likely one other night of the week as with the winter schedule they have increased the amount of child mind hours available. Megan has really enjoyed going and you will quickly see the benefits as well.
- We will talk weekly on how things are going, evaluate how things are going and talk about making adjustments as needed.
I agree to the above conditions of living here and will do my best to uphold and follow through. I also understand that I will make mistakes along the way and will need help from time to time. I will not be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help when I need it.
________________________________ Emily Dillon
The Benefits of Option 1
I will pay for your monthly cellphone bill.
I will pay for a Family subscription for Apple Music.
I will drive you to and from school (as I can and may not always be available, especially when I return to work in the new year). If you miss a class then you will be on the bus for the rest of the week.
You will receive a monthly clothing budget of $100 for your needs. Dad will take you shopping on Wednesday evenings if you need something from the mall.
Additional money may be earned via the chore chart, once jobs are completed to my satisfaction. Transferred to your bank account each Friday.
You will be allowed to have friends over to our house on Friday nights including sleepovers as you see fit. (On Saturday mornings to Sundays you will visit your mom’s house for the rest of December.) In the New Year if you have been able to follow along with the plan we will discuss the option of you going out to friends’ houses.
I will drive you to and from work (as I am able to based on other family needs, swim lessons, etc.), to job interviews or whatever other work related tasks you may require.
You may your TV and Bell cable box back into your bedroom, following the conditions set up with your cell phone. Off by 11pm.
I will be open to talking about additional benefits of living here that are discussed when we sit down and talk each week (The drive to and from Mom’s house is a perfect chance to do this… you get the drive down on Saturday and Megan can have the drive home on Sunday)
I agree to the above benefits for Emily living at home and will let Emily know if and when something needs to be altered.
___________________________________ Edward Dillon