Teen son getting mouthy and wont listen. Help any suggestions.

June - posted on 10/13/2010 ( 18 moms have responded )

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He just wont listen and refuses to behave. I try grounding says oh well and sending him to his room. He tells me no and make me. This is getting pretty bad. He just has no respect for me. I need suggestions.

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Laura - posted on 10/14/2010

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First thing to remember is that teenagers are learning how to be independent of their parents and WILL test their boundaries, especially if they feel that they are being hampered in any way or if they feel home rules are too restrictive. If teens "feel" like they are being treated as children and not being respected as young adults, they may rebel and start lashing out as they try finding their place in the world and at home. They still require structure in their lives, however, and certain inappropriate or disrespectful behavior should never be tolerated! You need to learn to pick-and-choose your battles with him: Some behaviors are easy to overlook (sloppy room, for example) and some should not be tolerated (violence, disrespect).



Unlike when your son was little, he now knows that physical intervention to correct his behavior is no longer as option for you--he's too big. You cannot "make" him go to his room (unlike a small child that you can physically pick up and take there) and he is telling you this in no uncertain terms! He is challenging your authority because he knows he can now. You need to change your strategy in how you deal with his behavior.



First, I suggest taking a look at a couple of things: House rules (especially the ones that seem to trigger the inappropriate responses), how you handle discipline (what are the consequences for his choosing to break rules) and incentives (rewards) for his choosing to use appropriate behavior or responses to things.



House rules: Every family has house rules! These are the guidlines that spell out parents' expectations for their kids. House rules change (or should!) as the child gets older. New expectations should be added, old ones gotten rid of and responsibilities increased the older the child gets. Re-examine your house rules, paying close attention to the ones that seem to cause the greatest reactions in your son. Consider adjusting those rules, making sure that they are more age appropriate. You might find that some rules are no longer neccessary (get rid of them) and that new rules may need to be added (rules for car use when a teen is able to drive, for example). I would suggest trying to include your son in on this evaluation of the house rules--it would provide an opportunity for him to behave in an adult manner and show him that you respect him as such. Establish "ground rules" for this meeting--no name-calling, show respect (especially if you wish to receive respect!), and use "I" statements to convey feelings and thoughts rather than blaming others. Communication is going to be a valuable parenting tool with him no matter the situation.



Along with the evaluation of the house rules, make sure that you communicate to him what the consequences will be should he choose to disregard the house rules! Grounding him (restricting his freedom) isn't going to work very effectively anymore, most likely because he already feels he's restricted (by the house rules) and because of the fact that you have no way of enforcing it any more! Grounding should be a consequence of last resort--for those choices that he makes which could harm him or others. Otherwise get creative! The consequence needs to fit the infraction and doesn't have to be big either. For example, one rule we have at our house is to empty pants' pockets before putting things in the laundry. My husband had a "flash drive" ruined when it broke in the washing machine. It was his responsibility to check his pockets, per the house rules, and the consequence for him was a useless flash drive. I didn't have to do anything! Teens, believe it or not, still need (and want!) structure. Work with your son on this by communicating your expectations of his behavior, with your reasons if needed. Allow him to make suggestions for changes--this will allow him to feel invested in the outcome of this process. He will be more likely to stick with the rules if he helped change/create them!



Take this opportunity to create an incentive program for him. Whereas a "bribe" is a prize or reward for NOT doing something or for NOT engaging in a negative behavior, an "incentive" is a prize or reward to encourage POSITIVE behaviors or choices. It's a goal for a child or teen to try and achieve. Again, include your son in on this conversation. Ask him what he would be willing to work for as a goal/reward. It could be something as simple as having a pizza party with some friends at your house. You can include certain expected behaviors (show respect, no mouthing off to express anger/frustration, etc) and let him include suggestions for his own behavior AND some expectations for your behavior (this might be something like no yelling when you get mad at him). Once you have an objective (party, for example) then write down the actions he needs to demonstrate in order to achieve this goal and a timeframe (week, month, end of school) in which to achieve it. Figure out a way to keep track of his progress, think "star chart" only something to which a teen can relate.



Finally, if his behavior becomes violent in anyway or his choices include illegal activity, seek professional counceling! This type of behavior is NEVER okay and needs professional intervention. It's best that you initiate the counceling; the other option might involve the law! Of course involvement in the legal system IS a consequence for certain choices and behavior, so reminding him of this doesn't hurt either. In any case, dealing with this kind of negative behavior will take work from everyone but it is worth the effort in the long run! I hope this helps and good luck to you!

Amy - posted on 10/27/2010

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I love Laura Snow's response. Personally, I think she's hitting some excellent points.
The only things I would add: you must be consistent and you must follow through on whatever you say. Otherwise you are setting yourself up for failure. If you take away a privilege or say he can't go to a friend's house as a consequence of his behavior: DO NOT BACK DOWN or change your mind because he apologized, or because you calmed down. Think carefully about your responses--you may even tell him that you aren't going to talk with him about his behavior (when he is disrespectful) because you don't want to react out of anger or frustration, but that there will be consequences later when you have both calmed down. And then be sure to follow through!

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Mark - posted on 12/30/2012

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i know this sit is for mom's but i'm a dad that as a 12 boy that swears at me and my wife has no respect for me or his mom he has hit me in the face kick his mom calls us every name in the book now mind you i am just his step dad and me and my wife have 4 kid's in all he is the oldest what do we do if n/e thing to fix this ????plz help us

Shawna - posted on 12/17/2012

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I have a 13 year old boy aswell and every post is so familar to me, I have done it all, grounded him till his attitude changed sometimes it took a week he got better with the attitude and disrespect so I let him off the grounded but it only last for a few days and he is right back to the attitude and rudness again, so I took his phone away for a day (he hated that) but I know it is one of the things he really wants, grounded him from the computer, nothing last and I am really at my wits end. I also have a 10 year old boy who sees this and is starting to be the same. I need to nip this now....What to do?

Kimberley - posted on 07/09/2012

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And i thought it was me!! Wow,we all seem to have the "kevin n perry" teenagers!! I took the bull by the horns n called "family meeting" i basically said how unloved and sad they were making me feel and all the attitudes,mouth,make me's
, wotevas, Had to stop.I threatened in past to stop luxuries but never followed it through..crunch time came when he said 'u wont,its a threat' and ruddy laughed..so,i sed,not this time,i rang vodafone infront of him and suspended his BBM,internet ....vodafone said they get parents every day doing it...its free aswell...my son tried to click away on his Bbm (annoying sound) and couldnt do anything..he was grovelling all next day...i put it back on that evening..i take their favourite item away now..they knew i meant business when i called a meeting..i was starting to resent being taking for granted..i said,you all want money,want bla bla and all i want is a hug and the odd cuppa lo..i refuse to pick washing off their floor..they wanted to go out..tough...wearsomething else! I HATED myself,cried and beat myself up over it...but....fingers crossed!!!!

Christina - posted on 07/07/2012

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i am in the same position.my son is 13.he was getting in so much trouble i had to send him to live with his dad.when he comes to visit,he still starts fights.i am disabled.i just do not know what to do.

Remy - posted on 10/30/2010

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Make him...if he wont call the police. tell them he is being unruly, maybe they can scare him into listening...in the meantime, get him some counseling. Maybe he doesnt respect you for a reason he cant explain..or ask him. Sit down and have a heart to heart, he just may open up and tell you.

Yvonda - posted on 10/28/2010

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testosterone! I went through he same thing with my boys and now my daughter is 11 and she is starting the same thing..I know it seems like nothing works as far a discipline..but we leaened to just choose our battles and make sure it was something we really felt needed our attention, and then just be firm and consistent..and remember he will out grow this it will just seem like it takes ages! good luck and God bless!

Holly Catherine - posted on 10/27/2010

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I am having a lot of trouble with my 13 year old son mocking and being rude too. It is driving me crazy. He gets grounded, phone taken away etc. he improves for a while, does show remorse but eventually goes back to rudeness. it is really frustrating.

Jodi - posted on 10/22/2010

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My son is the same way. When we argue he is extremely disrespectful. Sometimes I feel like I am at the end of my rope. He is disrespectful to the teachers in school as well. I am at a loss just like you, but I think it may just be the teenager in them. Hopefully it will get better sooner rather than later.

Nina - posted on 10/20/2010

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I never gave my kids any money. They are all old enough to be on their own now. Thank heavens for that. They have their own kids to deal with now. Pay back is great.

Jennifer - posted on 10/19/2010

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There is always something that a kid hates. The thing is to find out what exactly it is and make that the punishment. I have gone as far as to tell my daughter that if I had to, I would go to her school and go to her classes with her all day as punishment. Believe me, she cared about that... she did not want me following her around all day. Peer pressure at this age is pretty strong and the last thing they want is for you to be visible to their friends.

Also, if you give him money..... STOP. Don't buy him anything other than the essentials. If he has a job and he keeps telling you that you can't make him go to his room.... go to his employer and tell them that you will no longer allow him to work for them and quit his job for him. There are things you can do but you have to be willing to do them. You need to remind yourself that without your approval, he can not drive, or have a job. Without money, he can't just do whatever he wants.

Nina - posted on 10/15/2010

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I have twin boys. When they were in 7th grade they grew 12 inches in 9 months. they were then taller than I am. They came home from school one day and told me they don;t have to do what I say anymore. Well I had a wire handkled fly swatter in my hand. I smack each one on the side of thier leg and at 41 now they still do what I tell them.

Janet - posted on 10/15/2010

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I have 2 boys 17 and 14, and I guess I never had this problem (knock on wood), I think it is because when they we little I demanded respect from them, I was a single mom raising 2 boys. I felt if I didn't teach them what respect,manners and good behavior was at a young age then I was going o have problems later as they got older. But since I was able to teach them manners, respect and good behavior, I didn't have the issue of no respect or bad behavior or anything like that. Don't get me wrong my boys are not perfect but I do demand respect from them and if they don't then they can't do the things they like to do. I take away their freedom, the things they like, driving etc. To me if they are not shown at a younger age what respect is, then they will have a hard time as they get older. My boys got to the point where they didn't or I felt like they didn't appreciate me or the things I did for them so because of that I stopped doing the things for them until they show just how much I do for them. And as they got older good healthy communication helps with the respect towards each other. We talk about everything sex, girls, drugs, I mean everything and I think that is key to a healthy relationship with your kids. Good luck with your son and family.

Theresa - posted on 10/14/2010

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Does he have a cell phone, TV, computer, video games. They all need to go away until he can earn them back by behaving and showing you respect. Also if he's old enough to drive that's a privilage too and should be taken away until he can earn it back.

Ariesa - posted on 10/14/2010

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I started counseling for my son he is 16 years old and now the whole family is getting help. One thing they told us don't let him interfer with your relationship between you and your husband. Because you know what they are going to grow up and leave home that means you and your husband are going to be alone. So don't let it get to you get help and know that these kids will push your buttons. And let them know who is who they are the kid and you are the adult and if you are a female with authority. I going to tell you boys don't like it seem as men they don't want to be told what to do by us. My son has been going throught that since he was 13 and it still was going on so if he wants to go somewhere I can so "NO". Because if he can't respect me I don't have to let him go anywhere. Let him be mad because you know what he can't support himself yet and I told mines I will send you to military school. I gave him a year to straighten up. GOOD LUCK and don't let him work on your heart.

Denise - posted on 10/13/2010

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I'm in the same boat as you. My son is 16. mouthy, doesn't appreciate anything and he gets alot. guess we spoiled him too much and now am paying the price. Over all he's a good kid, doesn't drink smoke get into trouble plays in marching band and swimming just rude and sassy. I keep telling hims you'll see one of these days how lucky you've had it and appreciate me n you father,lol can't wait for that day to come. Good luck! If you find anything that works let me know!

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