14 year old boy.. HELP...

Anne - posted on 03/21/2014 ( 2 moms have responded )

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I am a re-married mom of a 14 year old boy. Since he started highschool he has started to become very disrespectful to myself and his stepdad. He has been skipping school and is failing 3 of his courses this semester.My son gets very angry when confronted with situations. He got very upset when I took his cellphone away the other night because he wouldnt go to bed at 11 on a school night. Is it normal for a 14 year old boy to act out with such anger? Is he just trying to gain his own independence? My husband says its not normal but I disagree to some degree. They just don't see eye to eye on anything these days. My husbands 19 year old daughter moved in with us just last year and since then my son and husband have had so much conflict. I am at my wits end. She is his princess and my son is the devil to him. I know he is not following all the rules but my husbands rules are very strict. I am the one trying to try to get them to understand each other. If they don't then I may have to leave. Any suggestions???

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Dee - posted on 03/21/2014

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You and the step-father need to be on the same page as far as discipline and consequences. Your son is upset with the changes he is experiencing in his household and clear boundaries (before you have an issue) are very important. Ultimately, it is YOU who has to discipline, not his step-dad as you are his bio mom. He really can't be stepping in unless it is a rule you both have agreed on. Same with his daughter- he needs to be the one advising her.
I would start taking your son out for mommy and son days....take him shopping to the mall for guy clothes, gagets...to a restaurant and allow him to choose his fav dish. Boys talk more when you are doing "things" with them, rather than just sitting down and talking to him. Go places with him- do things- he is looking for extra attention.
I also would be showing up at his school and checking in with his teachers. If he is not going to school, take him there in the mornings. He may be grumpy about that, but tell him education is important. Right now, he doesn't see long-term- no 14 year old does.
Don't brush this off as regular teenage behaviour, also don't rush to paint him as bad or the evil one (if your husband is doing this, you really need to address that, the two of you together- privately with him).
I would suggest family counseling. It could really help.
His issues are not school related....they are family related. He is just upset, frustrated, angry and probably figures if he is going to be labeled as the bad kid, he might as well be the bad kid.
Let him know that he MUST go to school and that you will support him in helping him with his assignments.
Also, see if you can get him into a local youth group at a church. He needs to have some good friends who are not prone to skipping and some activities after school that encourage him to do fun things with his time.
As far as taking away his phone, that is an appropriate punishment. Be clear though for how long depending on each infraction.
I have been through the teenage years with boys, more kids to pass through this phase soon.
Do not allow you or your husband to engage in battles- especially screaming matches or verbal name calling- ever. Tell him that you will talk to him when things are calm. Never respond in anger.
The teenage years, especially the age of 14, are very difficult. He has had to enter high school and now navigate his new family.
Connect with a guidance counselor at his school and his principal. Work with his teachers closely- you should work with them as a team.
Give your son a hug every single day...as many times as you can. He'll flinch and go ick but honestly..this kid is crying out for help. If you intervene now, he'll be less likely to make a permanent habit of skipping. All the best.

Sharon - posted on 03/21/2014

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I would say it is normal for your son to be rebellious as he is trying to have some power and control over his own life. Do you remember feeling any of that when you were in your teen years, just being tired of rules and being told what to do? Friends can play an important role in your kids' lives - but in my case, one of my children was the bad influence on others. Eventually, she grew up and to this day has chosen a life style that I don't agree with. When she was a teenager, she became rebellious, started shop lifting (no need to), started being promiscuous, and when she went away to college she lived as a second wife to a married man with his wife's encouragement. The man and his wife eventually got a divorce, my daughter married him and they now have a little girl of their own. However, we are not close in proximity or relationship wise. My other two grown children were basically respectful and for the most part, followed our rules, - curfew, etc. We remain close relationship wise. Whether or not your husband is a stepfather, the same disagreement can happen when it is the biological father. I heard the Chinese symbol for stress is two people of the same gender and the same size living under the same roof. I don't know if that's true or not - but I do believe children start wanting to be in control of their own lives - even though we know they are not capable of making appropriate choices. Do you have family meetings around the table to discuss these things so your son can give his honest opinions and relate how he is feeling and what he wants without being interrupted, put down or yelled at?

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