My 12 year old is angry and disrespectful-what to do?

Rebecca - posted on 05/10/2012 ( 6 moms have responded )

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I'm not sure what to do. My soon to be 13 year old has been angry since his father and I divorced 3 years ago. It seems he blames me for the divorce. He worships the ground his father walks on. He will say stuff to me like "I hate this house," "Can't wait to be with daddy over the summer," gets smart when I ask him to do something or when I or his brother ask him a question. I've tried to talk to him about this but he won't talk. Says he hates everything and everyone. I asked him if he feels he needs counseling. He says he doesn't. I've grounded him when he has outbursts. Taken stuff away. He will pound on the walls of his room, he has raised his fists to me. I talked to his father about this and his father said he is fine over his house and is even helpful. He talks about his fathers girlfriend and how great she is but God forbid I have a boyfriend (which if I do, he does not stay the night when the kids are here). This child gets mad even when I ask him to do a chore and does it half-assed. Yelling (of course) does not help. I'm not sure what else to do. Help?

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Laura - posted on 10/22/2012

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I have a nine year old; been divorced for 6 years and the nonsense, attitude and being disrespectful to me, the mother and custodial parent, is terribly breaking me down. Nothing I do satisfies him but his father can do absolutely nothing with him and not buy him anything and in my son's opinion "my dad's the best" and "you're mean!" ... Then the "I want to live with dad" starts and I get very close to packing his bags. His b-day was this past Friday and all the gifts I got him WERE WRONG and everything his dad and dad's girlfriend gave him were PERFECT! I feel like I'm in competition and I am not playing that game.



Therapy and all has not helped ... my son comes home after his every other weekend visit with his father more rude and disrespectful from the last time.



Also dad is now engaged and oh boy in my son's opinion "the 2 of them are the best thing since sliced bread" ! I know I'm doing something wrong but after today, I have basically shut down ... I'm mentally exhausted from my son being so disrespectful to me. What can I do? I am also very tired of people saying that this how kids act ... well, in my day, I'd get a crack across the rear end plus some if I ever disrespected my mother! BTW, there is NO co-parenting with the ex-husband at all. He has a deep hatred toward me because I called for the divorce plus after he assaulted me 3 1/2 years ago in front our son, I obtained a Final Restraining Order against him. What can I do ... I hate to think to change the custody arrangements .... :-(

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S. - posted on 05/10/2012

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No it's understandable you don't want to dump that on your son, like I said just a thought.
Seems to me your ex is just seeing it as a part of life, wonder if he will see it the same way if he dose live with his dad and starts doing the same to him ( which he will eventually)

Rebecca - posted on 05/10/2012

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Well in response to telling him why we got divorced, his father was a liar, cheater, ignored me, closet drinker (which the kids did find his stash of empty bottles before), almost OD'd twice and a bunch of other issues we had. I was by no means perfect but his issues could no longer be tolerated. I really don't want to dump that on my son and I know if he confronted my ex, he would lie his way out of it. Also, I have no idea what my ex has told him about me. I have discussed with my son about living with my ex. At times, he has said he wants to and then he will change his mind. My ex lives in a one bedroom apt. and my son has to sleep on an air mattress in the living room. I have thought about asking him again if he wants to live with his father. His father has said he has addressed his disrespect towards me but that he acted this way toward his mother when he was his age and that "dad was cool and mom wasn't."

S. - posted on 05/10/2012

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Can the dad show you are united in your parenting and tell your son he will not tolerat such disrespect to the woman who gave him life! I'm just thinking if he want listen to you maybe he will listen to his dad!
I have a nearly 13 year old girl and I can tell you that the kick off on chores and half-assed thing is normal, if she half- assed dose anything I simply make her do it again, I also ask her if I should half do jobs for her? Like shall I half preper tea but leave it raw? Or shall I wash her clothes but not dry them? I don't care if she "hate me" for doing my job shes a teenager that's what they do, however under NO instance should he ever raise his hand to you! And you and your ex needs to deal with that.
I'm not sure why you and yours ex split up, but maybe he needs some answers (if you can go there with him) just a thought it could help maybe.

One last thing I have loads of nephews and I'v found that they have all gotten horrible for a year- a year and half around the age of 13 and then turned back into there normal selves again two of them had gotten brave in this time and squared up to there mothers to which they both got put on there backsides quickly and never dared again. Girl's horrible spell seems to last for years and I have 3 of them :(
Good luck

Louise - posted on 05/10/2012

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I think Jodi is right. Let him live with his dad to see that he is not missing out on any thing. If he does blame you for the divorce he will display a lot of anger towards you. Speak to the father and ask him about long term custody. He needs to experience long term with dad to realise that you are not doing a bad job. Living with someone full time is completely different than nipping round for the week end or staying in the summer. I think this is going to be your only option for him to settle down. He cant stay where he is with that anger brewing inside him eventually he will lash out at you. He has to come to terms with the fact that divorce is not anybodies fault. A break down of a marriage is not always down to affairs and abuse. Two people can just grow apart.

Ask him if he would be happier living with dad, if he says yes try and be supportive although I know inside you will be heartbroken. You have to remember you are doing this for his sake. He will come back a happier and settled young man, eventually.

Jodi - posted on 05/10/2012

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Is there a reason he can't live primarily with dad? It sounds to me like the current arrangement may not be in his best interests, but I just thought I'd throw that out there.

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