Teenage son is driving us CRAZY

Shanta - posted on 12/15/2009 ( 22 moms have responded )

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I have a 15 yr old son who has started acting out. My husband and I are looking for ANY suggestions/advice that you an offer. It will be appreciated.

Our teenager is a sophmore in high school and his grades are all over the place! He fails at class work, but excels on ALL tests. He's always talking in class and being disruptive. Getting put out of class, detention, and suspension seems to be the "cool things" to do. I'm near my boiling point. His light bulb refuses to come on. We try to encourage him, involve him in activies, etc...but he's not getting it. He doesn't understand that colleges will see ALL of this crazy behavior and may put a gray cloud on his future...

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Fiona - posted on 12/31/2009

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hi shanta i was having the same problems with my daught recently. tell him this behaviour is not acceptable and give him the rules and what happens if they are broken. but you must stick to it. be firm and consistent. sometimes they do it to impress their peers too. but ou need to repeat it to him over and over and stick to the punishments you have set. easier said i know but thats where i went wrong!!!! new year new start new rules you couldnt get a better time to start enforcing. good luck hun xx

Shanta - posted on 12/30/2009

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My brother works with juvenile delinquents in SC and he told me to reach out to the "Resource Officer" and have him/her refer us to the local authorities so that he can attend the "Scared Straight" Program. I just want him to get a clue of how not educating himself can take him down the wrong road.

Shanta - posted on 12/30/2009

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Thank you ALL for the suggestions. Myson attends a VERY challenging school, but considers classwork to be "busy work." We met with ALL teachers and counselors, with and without him. We have taken the cell away and are awaiting the results. I will also purchase the home drug test, I dont think he's using, BUT I'm not going to be blindsided. I'd rather be proactive and not reactive. It feels good to know Im NOT alone. Thank you all sooooooooooo much!

Cindy - posted on 12/30/2009

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I am in the same exact situation as you are. My son is a 15 year old freshman and does great on tests but lacks when it comes to classwork/homework and turning it in. First, I have come to accept that this behavior is somewhat normal for kids this age. But, I'm not giving up. I would first suggest you determine if your son is staying organized. Staying organized is half the battle and the school supply lists that are requested is impossible for kids this age to handle. Not to mention how many times they may need to go to their locker in between classes with such little time. I have ditched the lists requests and bought him a 3" zip up binder. I put dividers in for each class and marked them as such. It holds a pencil pouch and so much more! He brings one binder to his classes along with any text books he may need. I have him use 2 colored flag post its. One for work to be turned in and one for work to be completed. This seems to be working to a point. As far as the behavior in class I would suggest you communicate to each teacher your concerns and ask them to move his seat. They should know who he chats with and who he wouldn't. My son's teachers have already taken it upon themselves to do this without my request. I have also taken away priveledges to a point. You don't want to take away too much as they will probably rebel even more. I am trying a more positive approach in addition to the lack of priveledges. I told him that I will buy him something he wants (we determine what that is in advance) and that I will buy it for him once I feel that his grades have improved enough to my satisfaction. We will see if it works. I too remind him about college which he does want to go to. Don't give in and don't give up. Although our children don't want to hear it now, they will appreciate it in the long run. Positive feedback. Positive reinforcement. Make sure he knows you are not giving in or giving up. Hope it helps.

Ivy - posted on 12/30/2009

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I AGREE WITH MS.JOHNSON...HE SOUNDS BORED AS IF HE KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TEACHING. GO TALK TO HIS COUNCELOR AND TEACHERS TO SEE IF HE CAN BE ADVANCED TO A HIGHER LEVEL THAT IS CHALENGING TO HIM...LET HIM TAKE A TEST FOR THE NEXT GRADE LEVEL AND SEE HOW HE DOES...

Jeaneth - posted on 12/30/2009

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I feel your pain!! I too have a 15 yr old son and his grades are all over the place and we too have tried to get him to understand about colleges. He plays sports but is always on the border with him being on probation to play. Just recently when he last acted up and his grades were bad, his dad and i told him that he has two options because we just dont know what to do any more. (1) Detention home - if he dirupts the community that is where he would go because we would be not able to control our son or (2) Military School. the Second option can be expensive, but better than option #1. My husband and I told him this and so far he has been holding it down. I even went as far as getting pamphlets so he knows we are not playing around and we mean it. What else is a parent to do?? So i do understand your pain and I sure hope it does get better.

Roseann - posted on 12/24/2009

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Good Luck to you!!! My son is a senior in high school, when I got his first report card I went through the roof...failing 3 subjects. I put my foot down...believe me I know its easier said then done...anyway he was grounded no activities after school except for Lacrosse ( which I knew from talking to his coach that if his grades didn't improve he wouldn't be playing ) There was no going over friends house or having them over the house...no going out with his girlfriend until his grades improved. He never acted out in school...in fact I was told I have raised a very respectful young man...( Respectful to everyone else but me ) It's got to be a teenage thing... you know the know it all attitude...telling you you don't know anything...but when you explain to them, I may not know everything but believe me I've been there before they don't want to hear you...or better yet if you prove them wrong they get very quite and stay away from you.
All I can tell you is it may seem hopeless but it eventually does change. I remember my mother going through the same thing with my brother and as he grew older he turned around. It's just waiting for that too happen, will make your life a living hell.
Believe me I'm 49 years old and I have so much gray hair it's not funny.
Keep your chin up and remember to stock up on hair color...lol.....Seriously Good Luck!!!

Maria Teresa - posted on 12/20/2009

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i share the same thing with my son a 14 yr old sophomore neglecting his studies, his time put more on computers, psp, going around the village with friends. Failing grades in test all his major subjects , a lot of talking and discussing, diplomatic approached we made to tell him to balance his time and give more priorities on his studies, now they were in 3rd grading i will assume lower grades will be in his report card-again, i dont want this things to go all over and his high school academic background will not be fruitful then coming college he will be 'lacking of ',, what the best thing to do? i cannot tolerate this matter and his future is my all concern.

Darlene - posted on 12/18/2009

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sounds to me like he may not be challenged enough...if hes excelling on all test yet classwork seems defecient then maybe you should consider conferencing with his teacher as relates to more challenging assingments.., then maybe he want find time to talk in class or be dispuptive.then become a little more observant as to what his free time intrest are, then find an afterschool activity that build his confidence as to what actually he is able to accompolish with concentration and effort....I have had a positive experience with such, because i have a 16yr old that at an early age was said to be behavioral, and learning disabled..., because i refused to believe what some teachers were telling me, i became my childs first advocate, i started paying more attention to what his behavior was telling me, now he attends Baylor School (one of the top 10 private high schools in the country) he has a 3.89 gpa, and is on the varsity swim team that has won national championships for the past 2 years even recognized by sports illustrated magazine. Good Luck, keep us posted

Deanna - posted on 12/18/2009

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I feel your pain. It sounds like you're describing my stepson, who lives with my husband and I full time. Got a call yesterday that he has been suspended from school for 3 days for fighting now. He already had no life to speak of due to failing grades. No cell phone, no computer, no TV, no social life. Last night my husband had him pack up all his "stuff" from his room and store it in the shop. He can earn it back by following the rules. I know it sounds harsh...but nothing else we have tried has worked. He's just too stubborn.

Leigh - posted on 12/17/2009

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try to get more involved with him and his friends. he wants to be respected as an adult you have taught him what is right and wrong.. let him choose what is right...let him fall down but be there to pick him up. pushing and nagging shuts them down.

his friend will help you understand his behavior. drugs, sex and so on

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Sounds like we are all raising the same child, but this is my secod time around - with my 14 year old grandson. My son was exactly the same way. But he is now 34, is very responsible, has a college degree and a good job, serves in the National Guard, has a wonderful wife and 2 daughters. Somewhere along the way he turned himself around, but I almost pulled out all my hair and what was left was grey. LOL

Louise - posted on 12/17/2009

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sound like you have a son like mine he,s 15 in february and is so backchatty and just think he knows everything even if he is taller than both myself and my husband.I am a nurse who works in mental health and dementia so for me its ok to deal with but as i also have a daughter with adhd my house is often a little crazy.My only advice for u is stick with discipline and bite your tongue when u can iy will all come good in the end and he will thank u for it good luck .

[deleted account]

This is going to sound crazy but have you had him drug tested? Our now 19yr old got into this kind of behavior and we found out he was using. It was a huge revelation to us as we had never had any of our other kids use. He may not care now but eventually he will understand that you only want what is best for him. Also talk to the counselors at school they can be a good resource. We ended up putting our son in an wilderness camp for 6 weeks and then finally into another school altogether to get him away from his "friends".

[deleted account]

my daughter is 15 and tried that crap in freshman year. just got too caught up in what 'everyone else was doing' we still have lots of talks..keep the communication door open and have cracked down on her social life..don't take the cell phone away for a week..that's not enough..1 month will do it for sure. See if he can get extra help after school or have him get into sports...that is a good motivator which will build up self esteem. Sounds like its a self esteem issue.

Teens are like babies..you have to give them extra help and explain everything even though you think they should know all this already? Teens will listen to you for 2 minutes when you are talking..so condense what you say to get it all in.

screaming, threatening, extra chores don't work. talking steadily and in control is the way to go..believe me I want to strangle my teen sometimes and its all I can do to hold back. lol keep reinforcing the consequences..this time won't last forever. and if they do screw up their lives a bit..they will learn to pick themselves up and move on.

Renee - posted on 12/17/2009

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I think welcome to teenagedom....hehehe. No not funny now. I have a 14 year old daughter who worries me so much. She is not allowed home phone, internet, mobile phone, no sleepovers etc.... This has been over a gradual period and after very bad behaviour. But it is still not her fault, I am ruining her life. She is not accountable for her actions. Until she realises to DO THE RIGHT THING... I will continue to ruin her life as she says. Children are constintly testing their boundries... from toddlers who have tamtrums in the shopping centre cause they cant have a lolly to teenagers who have to be in bed by 8:30 because they have school in the morning. Sometimes we have to let them make their own mistakes to realise...OHHH Mum was right...DOH!!!!! The most scariest time of Parent hood so far I think.

Lynne - posted on 12/17/2009

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Ya gotta find what he clicks with and use that to your advantage..I know that sounds mean, but they have to learn that you just gotta do what you gotta do. Then when they do do what they're suppose to, praise and small rewards..not expensive cuz I found that they expect more then, and you get in over your head. Yes, it sounds like he's bored. Good Luck!!

Shelly - posted on 12/16/2009

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My son tends to act this way too from time to time. He is extremely bright, but absolutely hates doing "busy work" as he calls it. He only wants to take the tests and call it good. He does very well on the tests but gets poor grades because he doesn't hand in assignments. The only thing I've found to help keep him in line is just what the other moms have suggested...take away his things until he gets back in line. My son absolutely does not think he can live without a cell phone so, of course, that is the first thing taken away when he acts out or is getting a bad grade in school. We move on from there until he gets back in line...he is 16 now and just the threat of not being able to drive has kept him pretty well in line and getting good grades. Knock on wood!

Yanira - posted on 12/16/2009

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That's definately true. I have a 16 yr old son who is acting out also. First i dont give him what he wants without earning it. If hes acting out in school i dont give him what he wants. Phone, computer, whatever he loves take it away as much as it hurts you. Try son and parent counseling it might help. Goodluck..!!!

Sharon - posted on 12/16/2009

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OMG!!! I feel your pain....my son is a freshman and is driving me crazy too....he doesn't act out in school...but at home, esp. towards me, he is very disrespectful and just hates me....his grades too are all over the place and he is very intelligent....looking for advice as well!

Deanna - posted on 12/16/2009

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Hold your ground!! Taking things away always works with my girls..they will fight me, but no matter how much I want to give in I hold my ground..May take a couple of times but eventually they get it..

Joan - posted on 12/15/2009

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sounds like he is bored in class maybe he isn't being challenged enough?have you talked to him to ask him what is up. explain that you can see that he understands due to test grades ask if he is bored?

good luck

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