My son turning 13 - HELP!!!

Cindy - posted on 05/13/2009 ( 8 moms have responded )

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My son thinks I am the worst mom ever... I must not tell him what to do. He bangs around in rage, screams back at me when I ask him to do something and says I love my 10 year old daughter more than him. He wants to go to boarding school or be adopted... I know they only words. But words can hurt. What should I do???

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Maria - posted on 05/14/2009

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Unfortunately, kids go through that stage no matter how much it hurts! Mine told me he hates me! Now, we still have our differences, but only because he's pressing his own individuality, like all teenagers. And like all kids, from adolescent to teens, they get overly emotional and every little thing is magnified. Get passed the hurt and firmly reassure him that you love him as much as his sister even if he insists on believing otherwise. Get him to talk in a more calm and subdued manner, so he's no always on the defensive and less likely to attack you.

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Heather - posted on 05/17/2009

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Hang in there. When my son turned 13 it was like flipping a switch. He slammed doors and pouted all the time. He has grown out of it for the most part. He's only 14 but the slamming around has stopped.

Just keep loving him and try to be patient. Remember his hormones are doing a number on him. Remind him that it's not OK to act like that and have consequences for bad behavior. You'll get through this.

Sandra - posted on 05/17/2009

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I have 3 boys, ages 15-20. Having a teenager is like having a 2 year old, only more so. They are pushing to grow up - just like when they were 2. Their brains are not connected to their mouths and a lot of times they can't control what comes out of them. He's probably horrified sometimes at what he has just said. When he is calm, make sure that he knows that you love him and will always love him. A lot of times they don't think anyone could love them. Lay down some ground rules. He needs to speak respectfully to you, and when he can't he should go away until he is ready to be respectful. Anything he breaks in anger he needs to fix - using his own money. It really helps to find him an outlet for all that unfocused anger. With my oldest it was karate, my middle one would go to his room and play guitar very loudly. Whatever works for your son. As much as you can, let him make his own decisions, but if you feel strongly that something isn't safe, don't be afraid to say no. Try to set up a routine, just like with a toddler. When my kids come home from school, it's empty lunch boxes, have a snack, and then homework. They know better than to ask to play video games, or go anywhere until their "work" is done, but it took some firmness for them to get it. They need to know that adults finish their chores before they play and teens need to as well.

Teenage boys grow very fast and I think their anger is often hunger - that's why the snacks right after school. If they are running around at lunch they probably aren't eating as much as they should.

Don't worry, it doesn't last forever, so take a big, deep breath and wait it out.

Azucena - posted on 05/13/2009

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Unfortunately at this age that is the opinion boys get and there is nothing you can do. First of all, if your kids hate you (or at least say they do), dont take it personal. They dont know how to express how they are feeling and they may feel that you dont understand them which is normal part of their development. That doesnt mean that you have to take his temper tantrums and let him disrespect you. You need to set some clear bounderies and consequences for his behavior. Let him know what you will or will not allow and dont budge from that. Sit with him and talk to him about what he thinks may be a fair consequence for different actions that get on your nerves and then stick to them. He cant complain about you being unfair since he came up with them in the first place. Another thing you can do as well is bribe him. It sounds bad but its not really. Offer him something for his good behavior and make sure you do it and soon enough you will have one motivated 13 year old. You can also try that with your 10 year old daughter. She may need some prompting but it can work for her as well. That way he sees you are treating them both the same and he cant complain.

Spending some time together is also important but you may find that he is more interested in other things other than hanging around with mom. So find something you both like to do and ask him if he would like to do that some time and wait for him to ask you.

Beth - posted on 05/13/2009

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I learned to pick my battles with my boys at that age and ever since. Letting them make some decisions about their own lives and pointing out consequences they create from their decisions can help them become more independent (in a good way). Their hormones are telling them that they should be in control but they really aren't. Praise them for the good things as much as they'll tolerate. Keep them physically active and well rested seems to help. Adolescent boys need 10-12 hours of sleep every night!
My youngest is 15 now and much better now. All three have become more considerate and independent in a positive way.
Give him a little cool down period after a blow-up and then try to let him know that you are hurt. DO NOT scream or rage back. It only makes it acceptable for him to do the same.

Shermika - posted on 05/13/2009

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words do hurt!! he will feel this way because he knows how to get to you. Ignore the comments. When he knows they affect you he will use it to his advantage. He'll come around.

Cindy - posted on 05/13/2009

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Thanks Mandy... glad I am not the only one out there, and yes - I forgot about the street story... I had that too!!! I will try do something with him, but he very seldom wants to join us. He is always playing sport and wants to be with his friends. I need to be more strict, but not sure if now is the right time. Worried it may all be too much and that I push him away even more...

Mandy - posted on 05/13/2009

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Firstly, maybe make sure you are spending enough time with him, without your daughter. Secondly, he's at the age where he's not sure if he's a boy or a man, and will grow out of it. Words like that do hurt, I hear them regularly too, my son says he'd prefer to live on the streets :-(

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