Tough love does not work for me

Panzy - posted on 03/23/2016 ( 7 moms have responded )




I have a 14 year old son who as any teenager has become very secretive, rebellious and broody; not that he was a saint earlier but now he out rightly negates my authority, snickers at me, tries to challenge and make fun of my rules. I have come to a point where I could not take his disrespect any longer and left him to stay with a friend for couple of days, but no remorse at all, in fact he is enjoying the TV time, chatting with the friend and knows that I will bring him home today as tomorrow we leave for a short vacation to water park in Alberta. I have been debating to leave him with the friend, but it would not be fair to her , besides the trip to Edmonton was planned for his spring break and as for me and my partner we would have rather gone somewhere else. Both the days he stayed away from home was a punishment for me as I was being tormented by the feeling of guilt, failure and confusion. Please advise:(


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Dove - posted on 03/24/2016




Not all teenagers are like that. Some teenagers actually respect their parents and the rules (even if they don't always agree w/ them).

Tough love might actually work for you... if you used it. He lost nothing by being sent to your friend and gained the knowledge that he pushed your buttons to the point that you couldn't deal w/ him any longer.... That's actually a very good way to get him to keep acting like he has been.

Sarah - posted on 03/24/2016




Panzy, I have actually gone through with the room stripping. When my now 19.5 year old son was 15. He was just what you describe. I had handed down some consequences and he played it cool, like he was daring me to really follow thru with discipline. It was a huge hassle, but it was worth every single ounce of effort and minute of time. He had a mattress, a flashlight, pillow, blanket, a school uniform and pajamas. No door, no lamp, no furniture, no phone, no computer- nothing but shelter and food. I have three younger kids who were witness to this action and I have never had to even come close to repeating the punishment. You gotta find something that matters; and shipping him off to a friends house is not something that matters or something he'd like to avoid.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 03/24/2016




As the others have pointed out, tough love works, as long as you DO IT...

Jodi - posted on 03/24/2016




This was your idea of punishment? I'm sorry, but this is NOT tough love. THAT'S why it didn't work.

Here's what tough love looks like. You strip his room of EVERYTHING except the basics (a mattress, blanket and some basic clothes), you remove his door (if he wants privacy, he can go to the bathroom), you remove all privileges, you ground him from going out, and you make him earn back all of it.

With regard to the vacation, yes, you can still go on vacation, but he can sit out of all the fun activities until he demonstrates some respect. Four walls in a hotel room gets pretty damn boring.

Raye - posted on 03/24/2016




You can't control your kid, so the "punishment" was to send him to a friends house? You need more than advice on a forum, you need parenting classes. Learn these concepts: Rules, consequences, and consistency.

And what do you mean by "Tough love doesn't work for me". Doesn't seem like you've tried it, so I can only assume that it means you don't know how to actually show tough love. Well, then you will have a disrespectful kid that will turn into a disrespectful adult. If you can't teach him proper behavior, you will be miserable, he will be miserable, and any relationships and kids he has will probably be miserable, too. THAT's what you should feel guilty about. If you continue not parenting him, not having boundaries, and not teaching him that there are consequences to his actions, that would be the failure.

Ev - posted on 03/23/2016




I agree with Shawnn. By giving him to a friend for a couple days was a vacation for your son. He got to do whatever he wanted to do. I would also advocate taking all the things from his room he does not need outside his bed, some clothing, and maybe a desk and chair to sit and do homework at. Has he not had consequences before for his actions and talk? And is your partner his father? If not, where is dad in all this? Maybe go on the vacation yourselves and leave him home with dad with the set implication that he not have access to the fun things, tech, and other things while you are gone. He needs to learn now he can not run over people like this as he is with you!

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 03/23/2016




Be a parent, stop feeling guilty for BEING a parent.

Foisting your kid off on someone else as "punishment"? That wasn't ANY punishment for him. What WOULD be a great punishment is to cancel the holiday, and STICK TO IT. During that time, he can do chores, be under restriction, and learn how to be respectful.

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