What to do with my 15yr old son who won't listen?

Stephanie - posted on 02/09/2010 ( 41 moms have responded )

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My son started high school this year and the year started out great. But now things aren't going great. He's making bad choices and being really mouthy towards me and my husband, He says that I don't listen to him, I do listen he just doesn't like it when I don't agree with his logic. He's failing some of his classes and gets upset with me because I check on his grades and call his school to make sure that he's turning in his homework. I try and take in consideration that he's a teenager. He likes to be the class clown and I told him if he continues to have that type of behavior that one day he's gonna take it to far and get in trouble for it. But he informed me that It is none of my business. Well.... I never raised him to do the things that he's saying or doing, He gets disciplined for his action but it doesn't seem to help. I need some advise, HELP!!

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Jane - posted on 02/09/2010

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I know this sounds weird but it's an old Dr. Phil trick that worked beautifully for my kids. Strip his room clean of everything and anything short of his bed and the essentials for sleeping and doing homework in there. No computer, TV, video games of any sort, his cell phone if he has one...all of it...GONE!!!!!. Now, tell him he now has an F class of living (this is because he's failing classes). When he gets his GPA up to a D, he can now live in the room of a person who has a D class of living and determine what constitutes a D class of living. As well...obviously an A class of living means he has a GPA of 4.0 and he gets EVERYTHING that is not basic living. B class of living may be everything but say, his video games....C class of living...maybe only computer. I don't know what he has or what you would constitute certain classes of living but essentially, what you're doing is making his school, his job. The better the grades (aka, the more money an adult makes), the better the class of living (aka, an adult person can afford to buy more things). I think you get the drift.

My son is in 10th grade, gets all A's. My daughter is in her second year of college, got all A's, which now has her going to college on a full scholarship. It works...but it's hard for you as the parent. You need to be firm and consistent. Good luck!

Colleen - posted on 02/09/2010

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Hi Stephanie, We have been through alot with my son also in his 15th year. Be alert to whether he might need some therapy or have some underlying problems like depression or mood disorders. If friends become a major problem, look into all the school options available. Change schools, do homeschooling, look at specialized charter schools. Special theraputic boarding schools have done wonders for troubled kids, but you really have to research the right one for your child. My child went to the Anasazi wilderness program, it was expensive but worth it. He may be going to a longer more academic/theraputic program this summer.
We began by trying to stop his behavior and take away things, but it really just makes it worse. What he really needs is someone to love him no matter what he throws at you, and that may be exactly the test he is throwing at you. Will you still love me if.... He still needs parameters and the more consistent you are the better....but if you haven't had much of parameters up til now it will be hard. Getting him used to a schedule and rules that allow him to suceed in school, such as a regular routine and a study period that is rewarded with free time / computer time is a great idea if it works still. Do any kind of parental control in the least confrontational way possible, such as setting up time limits through your tv or computer or just taking the internet cord when he is not around. Anything you can do to take yourself away from direct confrontation. When he gets you to act out of frustration or anger, it just gives him more fuel and reasons to act out more. If he's just out to prove you can't make him do anything (be successful in school, behave etc), then there is not much you can do but to love him for all its worth, pray to love him more deeply than ever, and focus on making him feel good about himself and your relationship. He is mostly at war with himself right now and it will take some failure and natural consequences (perhaps a few years of it even) before he realizes many things in his own time. One of the best advices I have had to keep the peace with your teenager is: LET ALL CONSEQUENCES BE EITHER KNOWN OR NATURAL. In other words, let them experience the natural consequences of their choices or let your consequence be as close to natural as possible for the situation (ex: miss the bus - you walk) AND let all parental imposed consequences be known ahead of time or you are asking for war. SO ahead of time say - If you miss the bus again tomorrow, you will walk to school (and alway let it be something you will follow through on). Even when my son ran away for a night, we decided that we hadn't talked to him about the consequences first, so we surprised him and picked him up from school for lunch and had a heart to heart talk after picking him up from school the next day and calmly explained why it was a bad choice and that we would call the police to escort him home next time. (He hasn't snuck out since.) We also gave him uninterrupted time to talk about why he ran away and why he was displeased with us, which we made compromises and apologies on as well. I leave this lengthy response with this quote : "We get so worried about what our child will become tomorrow that we forget that he is somebody today."
Hope some of this helps - Colleen (patience, prayer, love and deep breaths)

User - posted on 11/17/2011

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My son is 18 years old. I disciplined him and was consistent with it throughout his life. I’ve noticed many parents make excuses for their child’s bad behavior when that child is young and don’t discipline them properly. They wait until the teen years to exert parental control over them. My son told me once that his teacher was picking on him and didn't like him that‘s why he got in trouble. I punished him and told him that he had three weeks to make the teacher like him. I never had anymore trouble with him at school. I taught him about God. Yes, religion is a great way to discipline a child if started at an early age. It gives them a conscience and let them know their bad behavior will not go unpunished. I lead by example with how to treat others. I always said thank you and please to him. I complimented him when he does right. Raising good kids starts from birth, it's too late to begin to required them to follow rules once they reached puberty. I never been my child’s friend. I was his mother. Strangers stop me to praise my son. My son is a great person and is off to college.

Tina - posted on 02/23/2010

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Chelle, I am so sorry to hear about your loss...Being the mother of a strong willed child, I am not sure I have any suggestions..My son hates school to, and I found out this morning that they are going to make it a law to start charging the parents a fine when their child misses school, and there could be some jail time...My son has 1 year left...But he also goes to an alternative school where he can work at his own pace...My son has a mouth to,Seems like he thinks he always has to say the last word, this will cause a major fight between us, but he has never cursed at me.Teen agers are so hard, and I am ready for this stage of my life to be over...I just pray that my son will be a productive adult...I know his dad & I have raised him better...We are both very hard working parents, who just want our children to be good adults...Times are so hard...I have been married for 22 years, but have lived the single parent life, (my husband travels all the time) And he & I seem to butt heads over discipline.. He says that I am too hard on him, and I say he is not hard enough...But my son has always been a very strong willed child...You tell him no and he will find a way to do it, and then accept the consiquiences...I have never understood that.. It is like he will have his way one way or the other...I wish you the best with your son, and no you do not deserve to be talked to like that..It sounds like he is going through a real tough time right now, and he sounds like a good kid, maybe he is just trying to grow up and find his way. Sometimes that adjustment is so hard for them..I have 2 sons and a daughter, my boys ahve been hard to raise, where my daughter has been a breeze, but her and I have more in common, with my boys I think they thought I was stupid and was never a teenager..Kids nowdays...I am here if you need to talk...take care and good luck...Keep your head up. And rememner "This to shall pass" My prayers are with you Chelle..

Joanne - posted on 02/25/2010

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I cried and cried over this one. I have a son who will be 20 next month and one who just turned 16. I actually had to speak to a councillor regarding this. I never thought I would. When my 20 yr old was 19 he stole my van and went for a drive. He broke the drive shaft. Not only did he have to pay to repair it but also, was taken to the police station and I was going to charge him. It was a wakeup call. The youngest was the handfull. He always said I was trying to control his life. I explained to him that until he is 18 I am responsible and if he does anything wrong or gets into trouble, it will come back to me. If he doesn't like my rules, (including not getting lower than 60 percent in school) he can pack a bag but because I am still responsible for him, it is not his choice where to go, it is mine and one night we had his bag packed and I was calling social services. He did not like that.
Bottom line, what I have learned from the councillors that fully support me was never say or threaten if you are not prepared to carry through. I have to provide him with food, clothing and the basic necessities of life but having the overpriced running shoes and namebrand jeans is a privalage that will be given when it is deserved. We then made a list of expectations and consequences so we both knew where we were going. And finally, we set aside time weeklly to do something together without fighting. It may be a movie or discussing homework but it is positive time and it worked great. I am nowhere near a perfect mother. It has all been a shot in the dark but I finally am seeing a light at the end of the tunnel and peace in my home.

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Elair - posted on 03/11/2014

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This was very helpful, am a single parent for my two sons but the youngest just turn 15 if a class clown and must have the last say in every thing home and school. am so stress , but I will not stop praying for him and speak positive thing s in his life. I said he want to stop going to school. His father does not shown him much attention or call him often so I believe this is a factor because his cousin have their fathers in their life.

Darlene - posted on 11/02/2013

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He sounds like my 14 year old freshman. It is so frustrating and exhausting. I have been praying and trying not to yell. I could use some help too!

Rose - posted on 03/19/2013

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Your son sounds exactly like mine. I am so frustrated with him that I just wanted to scream. I wish I could be put to sleep until he's 26.

Kim - posted on 01/06/2013

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I have an 18 yr old who is still in high school because he has a Sept. birthday. He is living at his girlfriend's parents' house. I am totally against this epeciallys since she is 16 soon to be 17. He drives her car, not his and then says it's too late to come home. He told me he doesn't have anything in common with me, but I said that doesn't matter. This is where you should live, sleep, and eat.

Any comments, suggestion, empathy???? My heart is broken.

Rowena Cruz - posted on 06/24/2012

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my son is 4th year high school now he like to stop to school because he wants to work ... hes not listen to us and break my rules in the hause sometimes he dont go home he sleep of friend house i dont know why? i try to talk to him but hes not listen of my advice. please i need some advice

Tawnee - posted on 11/17/2011

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Im having the same problem with my 13 yr old....Wish I had an answer for ya...

Anea - posted on 02/24/2010

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Sounds like he is missing a key skill or several and probly would benefit from something like Sylvan.... as for listening try taking him out or have your hubby take him out for coffee or favorite food place, and talk about what he likes now. What he thinks is cool... to share his music or even share a videogame or favorite sport. I have more kids at my house because they know besides my home made chips they have my ear. Honest listening and one on one time is really needed in these years. They are demanding as toddlers but old enough to make choices even if they are poor ones. I have my two teens that are friends cuz I will stop being a mom and just sit and chill with them. My son struggles in school too but when I sit and listen.. I know why and can find others to help him when Mom isn't the right choice. It really works. Sometimes we as parents need to get out of the way and let them make stupid mistakes. They seem to feel pride from learning themselves.... make sense? If you really think a counselor will help you can try it but bear this in mind, If your son doesn't trust this person it could do more damage than good. My kids have sat in a counselors office several times too. My son would sit there and get angrier by the minute, and often backfire in a blow out later. Depression might be an issue... but having tutord and homeschooled.... I find a level of depressoin and frustration also comes from missing basic skills that make the tough things easier to learn in math and english. If anything in the basics wasn't mastered it will cause problems in high school. And at this level they are too embarassed to say anything because of peer pressure. I went through this with my son and one of his friends... they both had huge holes in there education that makes what they were doing in school too hard... yet neither of those knuckle heads would admit it. I found out playing a dice game.

Chrystle - posted on 02/23/2010

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Hi Stephanie,
I am so sorry that you have to go through this, we have been where you are and it does hurt alot. We found out that through the boys and girls club there is some great parenting courses that will help in these kinds of situations. I would have to agree with Vicky it just might be drugs and it may also be the friends he is hanging out with, Hang in there Stephanie, and stay strong. Theres something special between a mom and a son, he will come back, it might be a pumpy road but he will come back to mom.
There is lots of wonderful advice in here, and it gives me a little peace of mind to know that we're not the only ones going though it.
Sometimes we all have to remember that we are not always in control that God has the wheel and it is up to us to let him, and to leave it in his hands.
My prayers are with you.

Vicky - posted on 02/23/2010

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Hi

His radical change in behaviour makes me think he is into drugs. I personally did the same thing years ago, and that was the biggest warning sign. Huge change in attitude towards my parents and my grades dropped. My 14 yr old son also did the same thing earlier this year. He will deny it when you ask. Watch the pupils of his eyes when he comes home and watch his skin. Does he have lots of breakouts? It is these signs that will let you know when he is, if he is.

Now in regards to what you are doing, keep doing it. He is rebelling against you however, what you are doing is the best thing to keep on him.

Marion - posted on 02/23/2010

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Hi Stephanie you might not like what I am going to share with you , Your son says to you
that you don't listen , I was told that to , so for 1 week I didn't listen he soon noticed the difference, making bad choices in one's life, to me it is a learning process . We learn form our mistakes so I'm saying let him make some mistakes , and then be there for him when he needs to pick up the peaces . With his failing classes and being the class clown these two go together , your son want's to be accepted by his peers and being the class clown does this for him as he will be noticed by his peers. Telling him to stop doing this is just like saying I don't want you to have friends. This is my advice let your son make some mistakes and learn from them , let him settle in at his new environment
With discipline, and warnings keep it to a minimum , you can warn your son , but you can also say to him when things go wrong I'm here for you , warning dosen't help he needs to experience it and learn from it not through the people that love him but by his own identity . He is saying and doing these negative things by what he is experiencing in his new environment . Just be there for him when he falls and all your loving discipline
in the past on't forget will once again take place in his life , Don't forget you are his mum and dad who have always been there for him , and will be there in the future as well .
He will always come back to what he knows as they are the root to his identity.

Debbie - posted on 02/23/2010

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15 year old boys can be hard to handle,i had to let my 15 year old level school as he was in a behavouir school and still kept on getting into trouble i thought it was best for him to leave befor he got kicked out he had a job at a pizza place for a short while,sorry i wasnt any help,Debbie

Barbara - posted on 02/22/2010

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Chelle, I have done some work with grieving teens and your son sounds like he is right in the middle of depression brought on my grief over losing his Dad. Anger and acting out is part of it for teens especially. I urge you to get him into some kind of grief therapy group or to a good grief counselor before you lose him. You might want to read Raising Cain too; I found it an invaluable tool in understanding adolescent boys.

Chelle - posted on 02/22/2010

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well i am glad to see i am not the only mother out there with a teenager who has a mouth and won't listen. my son is 15, the last two years have been rough on him he lost his grandmother and his father within 6 months of each other, his life has been turn upside down. but i still do not have to be treated this way, his mouth is awful, he is failing school, i have tried everything to taking stuff away, grounding, no cell phone. i am at a lose right now i do not know where to turn. i am new to this single mom thing i was with my husband for 16 years. it does give me comfort to know i am not alone out here with my son.. he is a good boy he does not hang with the wrong crowd, he does not do drugs or is having sex, he just don't want to be in school or do the schoolwork, and will not listen and talks back BAD. i really am not sure what else i can do?

Sharron - posted on 02/16/2010

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Hats off to all you moms out there dealing with this...I too have a 14 year old son, and he has always been the class clown. This is his first year of high school and his grades are okay, but I know he can do much better. Its the way he speaks to me and his father that drives me crazy. He is so disrespectul and ignorant to me. I lose it on him frequently...I can't help it...I regret it later but just when I feel remorse he comes and does/says something to set me off again. I keep telling my 10 year old daughter to learn from his mistakes and not treat us the way he does....she promises me she won't ....she's still sweet and caring..but from what I have read, teenage girls are also a problem. The advice I have read has helped but honestly kids today feel that are entitled too everything...I lost my job in June and things have been tough, he tells me I'm a loser for losing my job and all I do is sit around the house all day ( I wish). We have worked very hard to get him things he wants, cell phone, Ipod (which he lost) and Ipod touch (which he "lent" to his friend and never got back, he had it for a month)...I promise myself we are only buying him food & clothing from now on. He doesn't deserve it. We are moving 10 hours north at the end of the school year and I'm hoping this change will help our relationship but I'm terrified things are going to get worse because he will have a new group of friends to impress.......

Kathy - posted on 02/16/2010

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Wow, it's a little comforting to know I am not alone in dealing with the issues I have with my 13-year-old daughter, and have been dealing with for most of her life. She is off the chart ADHD and has, and does, all of things that I have read here today. Discipline seems to have no effect on her and it's very frustrating and quite honestly, it scares me. I have also had moments when I had to actually leave the house for fear of doing something I might regret later, as well as my own sanity. I'm so afraid that she will end up finding her way into something that will land her in jail, on drugs, or something else just as bad. And when she doesn't take her medication, she has tried to become physically violent toward my eldest daughter. I wish I could offer some advice, but I havent found anything that seems to work yet. But I do want you to know that you are not alone and have people to talk to and lean on for support during those moments when you're feeling beat down, frustrated, or whatever it is you're feeling at the moment.

Bonnie Jean - posted on 02/15/2010

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Sometimes it is better to be the class clown then the student that might be having learning troubles. Which classes is he failing. Perhaps he is having trouble understanding the material. In writing ask the school to do a comprehensive educational evaluation for him, it is free and it will at least let you know if there is a learning disability or not.
My sixteen year old was the mouthy teen, still is on some days...but after the evaluation I found out he was behind in math, that was why he was failing. I was able to have friends tutor him and now he at least is getting much better grades...
The teenage attitude, alas I pray he grows out of it...lol
I think I am more tired of the discipline than he is.....

Lezlie - posted on 02/15/2010

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Hi Stephanie, It looks like you have got some good advise here from some people. I would keep in mind that after so long of not getting through that Therapy of some sort seems like the best answer to me. I have a 15 yo (he'll be 16 in June) that has had anger issues since he was little. We have done therapy on and off over the last 9 years and have found that the majority of his problems stem from the lack of attention that his father gives/gave him. (His father and I divorced when he was 4) I remarried and my ex made it very difficult for him to show the kind of fatherly love that my son needed. I finaly gave in and let him move in with his father for a trial basis when he was 14. It did nothing for his attitude he came back more indignant and full of himself than before and now thinks it is ok to swear and cuss because he is angry. I have come to the point where taking things does not do me much good for as soon as the punishment time is over he will within a couple of days be back to his old self. I have found a few things that will work. When he breaks things I make him repair them. He punched a hole in the wall and he had to fix. His door got busted off the hinges and he had to help fix it. I was there and showing him how, which I think was really what he wanted was my undevided attention and would not ask for it. We also have physical labor punishment now that seems to be more effective for my peace of mind and it also burns off some negative energy with the kids (I have a 13 yo girl also) He swears and he has to swish with the nastiest, strongest listerine that they have for 90 seconds (helps with the oral care also) He then has to do 5 min of physical excersise for every swear word (my choice of sit-ups, jumping jacks, push-ups, running) If he has to run it is in circles like around the yard or house. This usually works to take some of the fight out of him and make him ready to sit and talk about what or why he is behaving the way that he is. He also came back from his fathers haveing failed 3 courses in 9th grade. I told him that as long as he is passing his classes then he can take drivers ed. So far he has passed all his classes. Some with a low D but he is passing them. If he wants it he will do it. I have also gone through the it is... my room... my life... you can't tell me what to do.. etc comments. My pantent answer to this is "You live in my house and you follow my rules. You don't like them go get a job, your own apartment, and pay your own bills. Then you can be the master of your house and do as you want. Just don't let the door hit you on your back side on the way out. Until then sit down, shut your mouth, and do as you are told or suffer the consequences." My son is 6 foot and weighs just under 225 and I am about 5.7. He knows that he can push me around and hurt me if he wanted. I just make sure that he is scared a heck to try. I have not hesitated to have him speak to some people such as a prison guard, teen detention officers, and foster homes. Just remember that he is a teenager and you need to be firm with the boundries. If you have not or do not set up time that is just for him so that you can do things with just him I would suggest doing this also. He may buck about it but, that is the natural teenage defense mechanism. Also try and see it as to what he is going through as the teenager that wants to be a grownup but yet still wants to be a kid too. Good luck with what ever you do and remember that when you get to the bottom of your rope to let go and pray, for God right there with you.

Merry - posted on 02/14/2010

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Oh boy! I totally understand your position. We had to approach our children very logically. We pay the bills for the lights, carpet, bed, tv, toys etc that 'you' use and the clothes, food 'you' eat. Then they spouted off about calling CPS if we didn't give them stuff. Funny thing, we found a program, called the local Mental Health facility to make sure we wouldn't be violating any laws then implemented the program. It's called Family First. It takes some time to figure out your priorities, but our kid learned real fast that things could change real fast for them. We took everything away: except the bed, one weeks clothes. Filled up a small storage shed they couldn't get to. They had to earn things back. Only one thing a week. ANDddddd they had to bring a progress report home from school every Friday showing that they went to school and had turned in assignments. We did not have to "discilpline" them per say after that. They are productive happy people now.

BillieSue - posted on 02/13/2010

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WOW sounds just like my daughter at that age. I just keep sticking my nose into her business because as long as she lived in my house everything she did was my business. And all teenager sing the song of "You never listen to me" i have 2 more teenagers at home and they say it everyday. Stick to your rules and bounderies reign him in a little tighter. I had to keep my daughter prisoner in my house and they only friend she has was me she learned to conform quite quickly.
keep calling the school check the backpack and cell phone and consequences consequences. Take away his favorite stuff until the grades improve. my rule was no phone no friends no internet and no video games. i hope this helps

Caroline - posted on 02/13/2010

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His stephanie,
My older son went thru the same thing but regardless of what he thought I still made it my business. When he said that to me I told him as his mother had every right to make decisions in his life so I went to school with him and sat right next to him in every class so u can imagine how it went. He was embarrassed. After the day was over I told him I had more days to go he was no mom please so we had a very good conversation after that. Its hard but they need to know you are not backing off once you do other kids influence them and as a parent its hard regain control back. He now is 25 and is a Deacon at our church and preaches the word of God to our youth. Just keep strong and it will be fine above everything always talk to him.

Liisa - posted on 02/12/2010

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I have a son with ODD and ADHD and this year has been a real challenge. Aaron is 16 and I know what you're going through. What I've been doing and it's started working is I found out what his favorite thing is (i.e. playing video games for Aaron) and I started taking it away for things like not going to bed when asked and not going to school. I just take away the cord that connects the Xbox to the outlet. And I'm consistent about it. I don't cave at all. I certainly don't overdo it, but consistency is the key. And finding out what is his favorite thing and taking that away. I hope this has helped...

Jayne - posted on 02/12/2010

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havin the same problem with my son hes 13 changed him schools but it has made no difference

Karen - posted on 02/11/2010

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Whatever you do dont give up what control you do have....once it is gone it is gone forever...dont kick them out, or give up.. just keep showing them the right way and try to keep from going all the way off the road..best wishes

[deleted account]

Keep talking they are listening, although at times it would seem other wise.

The next part is hard , let him hit the wall. Sometimes it is hard.



joan

Tina - posted on 02/11/2010

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Thank you Judith, Things are actually going pretty good with him now...he and his girl friend have gotten back together and he is thinking more about his future. Good luck with your son.

[deleted account]

Establishing oneself as an individual as a teen is so difficult. Each situation is so different. You son is trying to push you away when actually is is screaming silently for attention. Behaviors occur for three reasons: to get out of something, to get something, or to satiate a need. Provided that he didn't have these problems in junior high-- my guess is that he has encountered a level of uncomfortableness in high school that he is compensating for with behaviors that take attention away from his perceived inability to 1) fit in and 2) perform academically. He is angry at everyone and everything: especially you because you are supposed to just know and fix-- but silently. ITs okay-- that is part of being a parent.

I would start with meeting with each of his teachers and seeing where he is in each class. Keep the conversation with him from going: You should be doing better -- Keep it going like-- Here is what we can do to help you improve things in this area. Seek out a guidance counselor. But I say this with reserve. There are two personality types in the guidance counseling: find the one in your high school that is going to spend some time with your son and help him. Not the one who is going to just say "do your work". Usually the younger ones are better.

Try to spend some positive time with your son. Time that you aren't stressed and yelling and dwelling on the negative. Compliment him from time to time. I KNOW. Sometimes I really have a hard time finding things with my own....I want to say-- one more time that I HATE his boxer shorts sticking out... but I smile and say-- thanks for helping with the dishes. -- even if he only did for 5 minutes!

If all else fails-- seek out some professional family counseling. That person will help you learn to communicate clearer and set goals together and spend time one on one with your son. Good luck .

Barbara - posted on 02/10/2010

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Studies show that one of man's basic fears is "being controlled by a woman" and that starts kicking in with boys between 10 & 12 & they just don't want to be bossed by women anymore. That is when the father has to take a very firm hand and instruct the boys that Mama is speaking on his behalf and that the son must do as she asks at home or the boy will answer to the father. There have to be clearcut expectations about the household rules and school behaviour and very consistent consequences if they aren't followed. It is best if the three of you can sit down and come to some kind of agreement about those rules/expectations but you two are still the parents and he is still living in your home. The only thing you owe him is food and a roof over his head---everything else is privilege/icing on the cake and to be earned including phones, computers, cars and/or gasoline for it, car insurance paid for him to drive, ; take away anything you have to if needed to make him understand that until he is financially independent on his own that he will be expected to do certain things. That is simply the way the world turns and it will be the same when he has a boss. If he ends up with a mattress and a pillow on the floor to sleep on, that is his decision. I know it sounds tough but it will be the best thing you ever did for him to turn him into a man; it could even save his life. It is important that there not be screaming, hollering, cursing at him; just calm, set the boundaries and see to it that he pays consequences for not abiding by them. Do not give up on this boy. There is an excellent book too about raising sons called Raising Cain that I recommend to all my friends going thru it the first time.

Natalie - posted on 02/10/2010

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My daughter is 16 and I am having VERY similar issues. When they are growing up, we have to control them. That is a simple fact. However; all of a sudden our worlds are flipped upside down at the teen stage. I cannot tell you how close my daughters and I have been all these years and the pain that the new distance is causing me. The thing that has helped me and her both is that I finally came to a realization (one that I shared with her): "I cannot be responsible for your happiness." They want control. We've had it all along & we have to give it up, which is hard because we don't want them to fail or get hurt...but the bottom line is it is better to give them the ability to make their own choices now while the consequences can be small and recovered from, versus battling for that control until they just "take" it and fail in major ways (jail, drugs, babies, etc.). If my daughter now needs money for a dance or something, she needs to get a job. If she wants to go to a movie with friends, she has to find a ride & be home on time. I have rules. Other than those rules, it's up to her to figure it all out. It's her life. I've realized that her choices are not a reflection of me but a reflection of the struggle that she is going through to find herself. I don't know what's going to happen to my daughter. I only know that I raised her right and I have to have faith that God will look after her. The rest...well... is up to her. The same goes for you. You cannot carry the burden. You've done your job. Hang in there. Don't give up...but don't fight it. We want them to move out at some point and be able to succeed in the world right? Oh, lord help us through it!

Jane - posted on 02/10/2010

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Hmm! Sympathise with those with teenage boys. Mine almot 16 yo is a nightmare, rude, disrepectful bullies younger brothers mercilessly will not listen to basic suggestions(ie.`Use Clearasil daily to clear spots`!) At Christmas he sat at dinner table with close family friends and when I suggested he wait his turn to speak rather than rasie his hand as if in school he mutterd audibly`I`m going to f*****g kill you`
Charming for the lady sitting next to him.! Since then he has threatend me only once. Like Tina Davidson above my husband travels a lot and I am left to discipline which is esp hard when dad gets home ready for fun and does not know about prior bad behaviour. He is constantly angry and is receiving counselling having been suspended twice from school for thumping other people(admittedly under racial

provocation)
I would love to send him away to board as sometimes I despair and I hate his younger siblings witnessing and being upset by this behaviour . However he is highly intelligent(high functioning Aspergers) funny, quick witted, charming and truly gentlemanly and adorable - on occasions and I just know that those are glimpses of the man he will become. At the moment he is a shit but one day things will improve. I just know it. Hold that thought all you despairing Mums.

Judith - posted on 02/10/2010

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I am very glad someone mentioned therapy. We are having the same problems with our 15 yr old son and relied on all the old tried and true methods of disipline. Our son continued to grow more insolent and withdrawn until one day I noticed deep, even gashes up and down his arm. He was so frustrated that he couldn't seem to do the right thing in our eyes, or anyone else's, that he started cutting himself. It's very difficult as a parent to admit that you can't help your child in the way he or she needs, but sometimes it is in the child's best interest to involve a third party. Our son finds it very difficult to talk to us because he is so worried about disappointing us or saying the wrong thing that he stopped talking about the important things all together. The only communication we would get from him was sarcasm and anger. Although he has only been seeing a therapist for about 6 weeks, I have already seen an improvement. One of the things he needed that his father and I couldn't give him was a neutral party to talk things out with and get direction from. Even if he is only told that Hey, Mom and Dad really do know what they are talking about, coming from a third party makes an impression on him that wouldn't happen if it came from us. Don't get me wrong. It is the hardest thing I've ever done to let go of the control over my child and let someone else in to help him. But, if the choice is trusting someone else with his wellbeing or watching him hurt himself because I can't help him - there is no contest. Think about counseling. If it is not right for him, you will know. But if it is, you will feel so much better AND so will he.

Ticy Cherall - posted on 02/09/2010

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Well I don't have a son your age but I do have a son that is going to be 15 years of age and he has had his trials and tribulations as well and he doesn't have a father figure so I had to step it up and well lets just say I handle it my way. Some kids just go through these phases in life and all you can do is pray for him and just keep an eye on him and make sure he isn't doing drugs and if he told you that it is none of your business Im sorry but my son would have been tasting the back of my hand in his mouth, and as far as the dicisplinary action he maybe getting it might not be the right kind, maybe he just needs to go and get into trouble and get grounded and see what it feels like to sit in the house in his room with nothing to do and no where to go while all his friends are out having fun or whatever! Sometimes we as parents just have to sit back and let our kids make their own mistakes and pray that they learn from them. We can't protect them from everything...I"ll be praying for you sweetheart!

Jane - posted on 02/09/2010

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To Tracy - I promise that there is light at the end of the tunnel. My daughter is almost 20 and was, quite frankly, a little witch between 13 and 16 but now, it's like I've gotten my daughter back AND a friend to boot. She's off at college and is doing so amazing that I sometimes can't believe how amazing she is!!!! My son is 16 now and he went through a period at 15 where I was always wrong, he was always right and knew everything...slamming doors, rolling eyes, disrespectful, etc....and now, he's back to being an amazing young man who actually LIKES hanging out with my husband and I. He's always done well in school but now, he's excelling beyond my expectations.

Again...I promise there is light!!!!!

Tracy - posted on 02/09/2010

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Hi Stephanie,
I don't think I have any advise that would help. I am in the situation with my 13 year old son with a girl friend and friends that he treats with much more respect than I get. I am always the bad person and he has shut me out and doesn't want to tell me anything that is going on .There was a time when he would tell me anything no matter what it was. Sometimes I wonder why his dad and I even work to give him a better life then we had or why we bother coming home. I just don't understand the kids now days, if I ever did my mother the way my son does me I would have no teeth today with out any question. All I can do is hope that I will one day see the light at the end of the tunnel before I go crazy and hopefully my daughter will not pick up some his bad behavior issues. I feel bad that she foes to bed sometimes upset because of how her brother is.
I am sorry that I am not able to fix your problems, but sometimes it is just nice to be able to just talk and you know someone else is listening and your not alone. I tel myself all I can do is stay strong.
Until next time thanks for listening.

Anne - posted on 02/09/2010

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Get him to speak to me on msn - will tell him how my son was like him and is now in jail!

Tina - posted on 02/09/2010

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Hello Stephanie, I am not sure that I have much advice, but i am right there with you. My son is now 17, but his attitude started at around 13...I am married and have been for 22 years, but his dad travels all the time, so I feel like I am the only one dealing with his attitude. I have tried everything with him, taking things away, grounding him, everything, but nothing seemed to work..He has always had a mind of his own and pretty much did what he wanted, even with consiquences. It has been a struggle. There have been times where I just had to leave the house, because I knew that I was about to BLOW a gasket and say or do somthing that I would regret. You are right to check on his grades and everything that he does, and yes it is your business. My son found out this summer how making bad choices not only affects him, but the whole family..He does realize now that he is almost grown and needs to make better choices for his future..And honestly I think I see a change in him, your son is at that age that he knows everything and you don't..Bare with him and let him find his own way, he will. Alot of prayers on a daily basis helps to.

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