How do I deal with the negativity of my 15 y.o. boy?

Linda - posted on 01/28/2010 ( 43 moms have responded )

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Help! My son is so pessimistic and complains a lot. He constantly makes fun of people and loves the word...gay. That's so gay!! I'm tired of hearing it. He is also very selfish and expects things to revolve around him...I didn't raise him to be rude...Is this a phase?

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Amy - posted on 02/01/2010

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It is a phase. My son will be 18 in 3 months, and I went through the same exact thing. If I never hear that something is "gay" it will be to soon.
Try to get your son involved in family activities. We took our son camping, and also played board games with him a few evenings a week. We just wanted him to reconnect with his family.
It is okay to let him know that you do not like how he is treating the people in your household, and that you love him, but do not like the things he is saying or doing. As far as the selfishness, it still comes and goes with my son. He is getting better, but all teenagers think that the world revolves around them. They do not see beyond their own needs. My son's job is helping with this a bit, but I think that will only go away with age and maturity.
Also, remember to count your blessings, if this is the worse thing that your son ever does, you are one of the lucky. Other mothers are dealing with drug addiction, gangs, crimes, and teen pregnancies. You have a good boy, remember that. Write down the things you like about you son. Let him know what you like about him. It is really hard to remember the good things when someone is being negative. I did this exercise, and told my son all the things he was doing that were good. This helped with his negativity. Some times we forget to praise our kids for what they are doing right when we are smack dab in the middle of the "gay" phase.
Gook luck and remember that this to shall pass!

Amy - posted on 02/01/2010

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Yes, it does sound like a phase. My daughter was saying the same type of phrases.. When she and her friends got tired of the phrase it stopped. As for complaining. That too is something I deal with. I try to catch her being positive and verbally reward her when ever she speaks positively or turns situation from a negative to a positive. This may not work for everyone but it's working for my 14 year old daughter. I hope this helps. Know that your not alone with what your going through. If your a praying Mom I would encourage you pray for your son daily. God Bless

Tracy - posted on 01/30/2010

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Yes, it is a phase, and temporary. How long that is depends on a LOT of different factors. You can help the situation a bit by realizing that he is a teen, and their jobs are to separate from their parents and become their own individual over the next few years. That does not mean you have to tolerate rude, disrespectful behavior, but it seems they don't always think things through at this age. Their hormones are raging, and basically puberty is like a brain tumor for some. Your children turn into people you don't know. Just always show them you love them, allow them their "space", and know it is normal behavior to separate, and to be self centered. My oldest is 18 and went through it, and my 14 year old is going through it now. We try to really lift up the positives, and pick our battles with the negative. It is a fun, and trying time, that is why we parents dread the TEENS:)

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Elaine - posted on 02/14/2010

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My son treats two of his younger sisters terribly at times, especially the 11 year old. Then at other times he can be so sweet to them. It's sad because the 11 year old adores him and looks up to him. Now she is starting to take on some of his negative traits! I have a three year old that, thankfully, hasn't picked up on the negative language (the gay, retarded, and oh yes! swear words, my son prefers to pepper his conversation with.) My husband and I always get on him about that, but he just shrugs it off. I know some of these behaviors are all self-esteem related and some of it is hopefully a phase.

Sharon - posted on 02/14/2010

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I have banned the word "gay" and the word "retarded" in my house. NOT because I'm politically correct but because my children use them to describe everything! There are much better word choices they can use.
My daugher is exactly like your son-it's not a phase-it's a character issue.
Demand that he say two nice things for every one negative. If he is talking about someone, he will say "but he's not even here-who cares. It's the truth about so-and-so...." and such things like that.
Tell him that beginning today-you will do nothing for him that he can do for himself. The world does not revolve around him and I would deliberately inconvenience him at times so he realizes this. Doing these things is having some effect on our 18 y.o. daughter.
I was tired of hearing "all teens are like that". No, they are not-not to the extremes of my daughter, anyway.

Lorraine - posted on 02/12/2010

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wow I read your post and I could have sworn you were talking about my son! He says the exact same things all the time.

Elaine - posted on 02/11/2010

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Join the club! my 15 year old son does those things, plus he is terrible in school and now to top things off his girlfriend is moving far away and he's all depressed about that. Not to mention we moved here about 6 mos ago so he's still making me feel guilty for that! Oh! and throw in all the things like, spending too much time on the computer and running up a HUGE cell phone bill. Yes we do punish him, by taking away privledges but they seem to find a way around them.
Someone once told me, the bigger the kid the bigger the problems. SO TRUE!

Gina - posted on 02/10/2010

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my 15 yr old is doing the same thing
he gets in stupid moods and treats us bad
i have talked to the school councellor and she says its a phase but i think its cause of something he is not saying and is trying to deal with himself
just keep on him about it hopefully it wont be long till he gets over it

Jenn - posted on 02/09/2010

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it is a phase,i'm at the tail end of this now and making great progress. My so has gone tru this a few times since the divorce. I had my dad take my son to what we call the slum parts of downtown to show him how bad he really didn't have things, I also had him spend some time with a friend of mine who is gay and see how he is treated and things that are said. as for the the world revolving around him, fr 1 week i did nothing for him, that didnt wok quite as well as I wanted so I went to the local dollar store and bought paper money and made up a contract and he had to pay me for my services. he did not like having to ask for thing and forking over money even the fake stuff to get my help. after things got better we took some time just me and him to do a few things heliked and had some good talks about how things he saw and heard made him feel and now we have great times just the two of us and also with his sister. stay strong and firm and it will all work out

Barb - posted on 02/05/2010

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Congratulations, you have a healthy teenage boy! He's testing you. My son just turned sixteen and stopped using the phrase 'That's so gay' when I started using it. It lost its efficacy quickly. Spewing is something they must do, so let him. Better in front of you, someone who loves him unconditionally, than his teachers, dean, coach, etc. What does he think people are saying about him? something to consider. Try this: How would you react if that person heard the negative comments you made about him/her?

Kat - posted on 02/05/2010

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I know exactly what u r saying! It may b a phase but it is also them thinking that they are now 18 rather than 15 and yes hello high school does change them! my 14 year old thought he was king of the world running rings around me with his im the boss attitude! I was blessed in the sense that after being held hostage to him and his king of the world approach for 2 years he is now moved out of home.He self placed himself out of the family home ( because from the age of 12 they have these rights) hello !!!! what has the world come too??? But just desserts- he is now living with a church going family and is only allowed to have half an hour internet and half an hour tv each day! Karma

Brenda - posted on 02/05/2010

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Such great advice from everyone! I will have to try it out with my kids! :-)

Linda - posted on 02/04/2010

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Well well how happy am i to read that i am not the only mother screaming for help with a 16 close to 17 year old. I wonder how long this period is going to carry on for çause i was close to murder end of December. After lots and lots of extra love and attention for example taking him to gym every evening (this is no joke because i have an eight year old and a 19 year old in the house as well after whom i have to fetch and carry afternoons and evenings as well!!) but at least i must say one hell of an improvement but still very much on his hind legs and knows all, but yes HARD WORK FOR MOMS it is very much so, God bless u and good luck we are dealing with i think normal kids!!!, no matter how hard and unbelievable this may sound, hang in there. love Linda

Wendy - posted on 02/04/2010

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Blijf positief !! probeer zoveel mogelijk het negatieve te negeren( wat je kan negeren).
Overleg met hem wat hij wil en jij wil. hij houd zich aan de afspraken en wordt daar voor dan beloond. En, hij doet wat je van hem verlangt. rekening houden met de leeftijd. veel succes.

Deana - posted on 02/04/2010

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OMG - my youngest son is 14 and my oldest will soon be 18 and the word "gay" is used A LOT! I guess it's just a phase...but it's nice to hear that mine aren't the only ones saying it! My youngest is also selfish and thinks that everything revolves around him. Frankly, I'm at my witts end! I blame myself sometimes for being too lenient on him b/c he was only 2 when his dad and I divorced...however, my oldest is nothing like him...so I think it's just HIM! I'm looking for solutions also!!!

Melissa - posted on 02/03/2010

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That is excatly how i do it. I went through it twice hopin it would be easier the second time around but i think its harder.i always tell my kids if they want respect they need to earn it and if they want their space they need to show me they are responsible to have it.Iam always checkin up on everything they do.

Valerie - posted on 02/03/2010

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My soon to be 18 yr old son went through the same thing. I read an article once about how to talk to teenagers....in the car!! They respond better to no direct eye contact. I tried that with my son, told him about him being rude, set boundries and followed through with the consequences and now he checks himself before saying something disrespectful. And many on here are right, you have to remember they are teenagers, they think they know better than you and that the world revolves around them...keep them engaged in the family...try doing something that HE likes to do to show that you are interested in him.

Kathleen - posted on 02/03/2010

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so is my daughter very selfish,she complains all the time!! everything is about her!!!

Stephanie - posted on 02/03/2010

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it is their age. They are not sure if they want to be the little boy or if they want to grow up and be responsible men. :) It is a struggle and you just have to take it a day at a time. We use laughter alot around my house. I have two teenage sons. They both can have amazingly bad attitudes. :) We just go with it. I see below that some of them mention making him take responsibility. that is one thing you really need to push. We are Mom's not maids or laundry fairy's. :)

Maggie - posted on 02/03/2010

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lol yes. trust me he will get through it. you might even want to take him down to your local shelter to volunteer. I know my daughter has to get in so many hours of volunteering before she graduates. Does he?

Jane - posted on 02/03/2010

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I've already commented on this way above but I think if everyone remembers when THEY were a teen, they'll know it's a phase (LOL)! As I stated above, my 16 year old son went through this at 15 but his attitude this year is so much different and enjoyable. My almost 20 year old daughter was WAY worse then my son and now, she actually defends me when I tell my 16 year old son he's being snotty....she was home for Christmas and I said that to my son and she said "yeah, that WAS snotty". I couldn't believe my ears...she was the snottiest of all and now she's on mom's side. I was a teenager in the 70's...I thought the world revolved around me....my two have my dna...it did not surprise me at all that they went through this and if ya think back, you won't be surprised either :)

Brenda - posted on 02/03/2010

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I'd swear you were talking about my son! (he's almost 15) He does the same things and acts the same way! The other day he even said to my husband and I, in regards to having an air conditioner in his room when the summer gets here, "Oh, so I gotta suffer and you guys get to have an a/c in your room?!" All I could think was "Suffer?! boy, an a/c is a luxury....and it is 25 degrees out for god sake!".

He is a great kid, but I am tired of all the complaining....the I wants every 10 seconds and the constant fighting with his brother (who is 7). The ignoring of everything I tell him to do until I yell at him for the 100th time to do it right now!!!!! I want an end to the weekly phone calls from school about his behavior.

What I really really want is for him to just have a wonderful life, a happy childhood and lots of friends. Not a mom who is always aggravated by his behavior and moods. Not a big fan of the teenage years. Sad and glad they'll be over in 5 years (I'm not ready for him to grow up and move out!) Wanting to give my mum a huge hug for dealing with 5 teenagers at the same time! How did she ever do it?

Yvonne - posted on 02/02/2010

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You're receiving a lot of good advice on this...some of which is exactly what I would say. My oldest is now 16.5, she also did the "this is so gay" "that's gay" "you're gay" "this movie is gay" thing. I would say it's a "pop culture" phraseology. They outgrow many of these behaviours which often make parents skin crawl. Ditto to the woman who suggested PRAISING positivity. My daughter is a very moody, reacitve personality. She's not as morbid as alot of teens/youth I've encountered but she's had her really DARK moments. It's quite disconcerting. Teenagers are wracked by conflicting emotions, personal identity crises, everything is about exploration & figuring out their surroundings. It's true that parents have to develop a thick skin, or you'll believe you won't survive it. Teenagers aren't as scary as some might have you believe. They are children in developing psyche's that need guidance & reinforcement/affirmation. What they ESPECIALLY don't like is mushy, clingly mommies who are always EXUDING love...they feel smothered or pressured & totally resent that....my daughter got really fidgety (she's not in my care & I have minimal time with her) until we found a balance of affection. Despite her attachment issues, emotional disorders etc., she quickly began trusting my love (there's also parental alientation etc. going on with estranged in-laws & a violentally unstable/deviant ex-husband). I've gotten feedback that she trusts my love; I have the best of the worst of her world. She comes to me in crisis, pain & distress...though I'd love to have the more enjoyable, softer side of her...she's been open, dropped the "gayness" & moved onto other things. I try not to doubt myself...children pick up & reflect on what we might not be aware we are projecting. Just try to stay positive...choose your battles wisely...calling everything "gay" is actually quite amusing....he could be saying or doing MUCH WORSE...count yourself LUCKY :)

D - posted on 02/02/2010

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It is nice to know I am not the only one going through something like this. He enjoys using the phrase "That's so gay"..."You're so gay" etc, etc, etc......4 more months until he is 16....hopefully it will be over by then.

Erika - posted on 02/02/2010

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Oh no i was meaning, i did that with my son. He has stopped but he has his moments where he acts like that still and i still to take things away.
I wish i had advise sorry. Other than i just ignored my kid and it worked for some odd reason, i can only guess my son was seeking attention and when i ignored him instead of yelling at him he gave up and found better things to do. Kids can be a handfull.

Heather - posted on 02/02/2010

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Well I hope it is a phase because I thought you were talking about my son I did not raise him that way either but I am tired of taking things from him and getting no where I also need some advice.

Erika - posted on 02/02/2010

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Yes a phase! I have 16,15,13 and 9. My 15 yr old does that too.
I think they do things that they know people don't want them to do. So by telling them to stop saying gay he is gonna say it more. Sometimes when i ignore my son he'll just move on to something else. It's like they hate the world and every adult. So if you let him know it bothers you he's gonna do it more. I told mine his friends and especially girls are probably embarrassed of him, i think it helped. : )

Dawn - posted on 02/02/2010

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My son is now 30 and what we often found during this time is that it was time for a father/son trip. Fishing, hunting, away football weekend - something where Dad can validate that he is a young man and going to be a right fine one if he will amend some of his currently bad behavior. Sometimes my conversations with my son about how woman see him when he talked or acted rudely made a difference too. He was a people pleaser and if he thought he was hurting someone or appeared to be anything other than a fine young man, he would stop. It was not overnight but it worked. Oh yeah, if you are really brave, you could allow him to point out when you do something that you find inappropriate with his behavior. As long as he does it respectfully, as you do with him, it would help him to see how others view things. Prayers are with you.

Ruth - posted on 02/02/2010

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When my son acted like that I got all sappy and sympathetic. I made him sit down and write down all the bad things going on in his life on one paper and all the good things on another. We went outside and burned the bad list and I put the good list on the fridge. He thought it was so stupid and complained about it the whole time. BUT, after that when he whined I mentioned him needing to do that again...he quit being so whiney around me. It made that phase less miserable...for me!

Nadine - posted on 02/02/2010

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My son is almost 15 and am going through the same process as you! I keep strong by realising that one day he will come back after all the adult males u know arent all like him. If my son doesn't do what is expected of him then first no pocket money and later one by one things he thinks are neccessary to him like computer, internet, phone and mobile phone dissapear until job done and some resemblance of respect back. Only takes a few nights of him have to make noodles for himself for dinner for thr dishes to be done. Unfortunaltely it is a rprocess that I have needed to repeat but he will get it eventually. Just let them know no matter how grunpy and rude they are u still love them even if u dislike what they are doing or saying at the moment. Remember words only hurt if we let them.

Ari - posted on 02/01/2010

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Yes, I think it is the phase of teenagers which we as the parents can't just stop merely as we want. The influences from peers, the presure he has to face in his teens world may bring to certain attitude we sometimes do not wish to. But one thing we have to belive that the power of love we always share for him can't never be wrong to lead them to find his views. This phase is going trough and the shower of mom's love keep shaping the son ponit of view of how to bahave.

Roby - posted on 02/01/2010

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Hello Linda,
I believe that it is a phase, my 15 yr old daughter is finally realizing, "wow" people are not going to stop life for "wonderful" me. Just keep the doors of communication open no matter what time day or night, it works. I learned along with my 17 yr old, that the more I pushed and tried to get her to open up, the more I pushed her away, and the more she clammed up, I was ready to tear my hair out. I have not (or trying to) pushed my other 2 kids as much as I did my oldest daughter. I give them space, I still encourage communication and in time, they have realized that I am not their enemy, nor their friend, but they're mother. Give him time, he will come around.

[deleted account]

with my son , it was definitely not a phase. He is much better & we tried. He is doing as well as he can but he is adopted with Mental Illness.


Good luck--BTDT

Theresa

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Yes definatly just a phase hun, typical teen for these days.
I suggest you get away for a couple of days alone with him, just to redisover each other. Best place is somewhere isolated ie a camping trip where he cant get away from you and cant find something to moan about. ( Though he probably will lol ) I did it with my girls and we had a fab time, and brought us closer together. It should them that mums still know how to act daft and have a laugh.

Lori - posted on 01/30/2010

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I have to agree that its part of being a teen, and somedays it really hard to deal with. I keep telling him its unacceptable to talk back at us(which is more of his issue)Ive been told these tough times will pass

Christy - posted on 01/30/2010

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yea mine been stuck in it for a while, i found out the more we come down own him the worse it gets. so i pick my battles but my son plays sports year round and still his a honor roll, get your son involed in more gives them less time to get into trouble lol we dont whip or beat them either put them own there knees in a corner for 10 mins it embarss them and beleive me you will see a differnce

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Oh my God! It's like I wrote this! The only difference is, my son is 14. We are hoping this is just a phase. What we are doing is grounding him, giving him extra chores, NOT listening to him when he starts putting down other people, and giving him push-ups when he back talks. Hope it works out for you.

April - posted on 01/29/2010

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Gosh I hope it's a phase because we are going through the EXACT same thing, phrases and ALL! Hang in there girl! I'm just glad to know that I'm not the only one pulling my hair out over it!

Shelly - posted on 01/29/2010

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Yes it is a phase but it's one you have allowed him to get into...Want to stop it then put your foot down about him using those words in front of you or in your house and when he continues punish him...When he makes fun of people punish him....And why does he think the world revolves around him because he has wore you down to the point of you tell him yes just to shut him up....Well today is the day you need to stick by NO>>>Good luck and let us know how things are going!!!

Jane - posted on 01/29/2010

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Yep, it's a phase and it won't last long. My son went through that at 15 too....and like you, I hated the whole "That's so gay" statement. My son is now 16 and honestly, it's like a totally different kid. He has a girlfriend, LIKES hanging out with my husband and I and now thinks more positively about life in general. He does still tend to be hard on himself....he always thinks someone is smarter or better but we're working on that. Considering he's a straight A student in honors classes, I don't get the whole "he or she is way smarter then me" but one step at a time. One thing we instituted in our home when we didn't like certain phrases was pay the pig.....we have a metal flying pig bank that when anyone (including us adults) says a taboo word or phrase, we pay the pig a buck. We then use that money for something fun for the family once per year.

FRANCES - posted on 01/29/2010

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I believe it is. Last year when my son was 15 yrs. old he would constantly be rude to his father and I. One thing that I would always have to do is call him on whatever he did. We were always saying no, we were never letting him go places... Always whining. One thing that I do know is that he has always wanted structure. So I have not changed the things that I have always done. Check on his grades, make sure he's at home by a decent hour, still call him by his baby name, let him know that I stand positive, and if I owe him an amend I will apologize. But There Are No Secrets! And He Does Love His Space- I knock before I go into his room!

Donna - posted on 01/29/2010

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In our household it was a short time phase. We explained to him that was not the talk the liked and spent about a half an hour using it on him to his face to see how he liked it and talked to him how he felt. He realized that it wasn't right and stopped shortly afterward. The world revolving around them, well..let him know that he can get off his butt and do some things for himself and you don't have to wait on him. Your his mother not his maid, waitress or wife. Start to have him make acouple of meals for the family a week and help with the laundry or house chores. It doesn't make you a bad person it just gets him ready for the real world. Good luck, let me know how it goes.

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