what advice do you have on getting control of your 12 year old son

Stephanie - posted on 12/05/2009 ( 11 moms have responded )

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my 12 year old is hanging with the wrong crowd and getting into trouble on a daily basis. police is starting to get involved. suspended from school and about to go to an alternative school. not listening to me. leaving home and i'm not knowing where he is. sneaking out the house when i tell him not to.. i am stressing and about to go crazy and my attitude at work is getting me introuble.. Please help.........

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Katrina - posted on 04/29/2011

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I really feel for you. My oldest is 10 and I'm ever so greatful for THE BEST BOOK IN THE WORLD. It's called have a new kid By Friday, by Dr Kevin Lehman. His no nonsense parenting tips come from his psychology degree in many areas of psychology, and his hands on experience raising his 5 children with his lovely wife. The main points were - say it once, turn your back and walk away. Kids know what they can and can't do, they don't really need a reminder, and when you walk away it gets their attention. He also says to let reality be the teacher (B comes after A is completed). For instance, if your son won't do his chores or homework, knowing he has to, then the next time he asks to be driven to a mates place you say no - homework and chores come first, then play. He may be after attention and feel for whatever reason (as teens do) that he's not getting enough of it then he'll look for it in a bad way. They also look for a place to belong, and it may just be that he needs reassurance that you're a team (a family). I'm not suggesting these are the answers but I know the difference it has made to my children when I realised my eldest had a severe attitude problem and I believe these are methods that have proven helpful for thousands (according to this book). I wish you the best of luck and hope that everyone's replies have been helpful in some way. Also remember to look after YOU!! When you're stresseed it's gonna show. Us parents spend so much time looking after everyone else that it's difficult to find time, etc to do something for ourselves - but you deserve it!! Especially when things are not so good. Be kind to yourself, and keep us posted.
Kind regards, Trina.

Samoajoe - posted on 04/29/2011

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Military school is an option. Military boarding schools are about more than just giving teens a sense of military life. They are valuable places where teens who are dealing with severe behavioral and emotional problems can get the discipline and personal attention they need to turn their lives around.

GUPPIE - posted on 12/08/2009

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Hi Steph,
www.loveandlogic.com is a very useful site for all educators which include us : the parents.
Both of you need a fresh start.
Many years ago, my husband & I took parenting classes & we found relief very quickly by adopting the democratic approach towards our parenting ways which is based on a contract between you & your child/children. It includes what is expected of him & you to make the household run smoothly with chores, homework etc....but also family fun once the duties are checked.
I highly recommend these classes. The sooner, the better.
My best wishes to you.

Frances - posted on 12/08/2009

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Try putting him in a military school. This sort of school focuse on academics and behavior. It also provides structure . Resect is a biggy with defiant children. It is not too early to look into therapy. Find out what his passion is and concentrate on that. What ever you do don't loose communication.

Rachel - posted on 12/07/2009

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I have a son of the same age who lately has been pushing his boundaries. The problem is that at this age they feel like they are grown ups and should be allowed to do what they want and any discipline is seen as interference. I deal with my son's behaviour by taking away his priveleges (computer, x-box etc) I also try talking to him about where he thinks certain behaviours are going to get him later in life. There is no easy fix to teenage angst and I would always suggest you get support for yourself from friends and family. Good luck.

Jane - posted on 12/06/2009

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Stephanie, I know you must be very worried. A quick story. A woman in a neighborhood nearby was worried that her son was starting to wear gang colors, stay out late and not tell her where he would be. At home was sullen and rude. After taking a Positive Discipline class she started to think about exactly what kind of relationship she had with her son, now a teen.... We talk about Connection before Correction and so she decided to try and just hang a bit more with him when he was around and instead of being the inquisitor, she explored things that mattered to him, his music, concerns, interests at school. He actually started being at home more and then one day she saw a bag of clothes by his bedroom door and asked what it was for. He said to give it to charity that he didn't not want those clothes any more.... they were the gang colors and low rider pants and huge, baggy shirts.... She was beginning to get to know her son again. She was nonjudgemental and curious and above all let him know she cared deeply about who he was.
Jane

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Spank the kid. It sounds like he has forgotten who The Adult is in the household. Also try complete immersion in something positive. Church for example, ie...activities, make him help around the church ect ect..also make him volunteer at local soup kitchens, shelters, and or halfway houses..Not only will he be doing something constructive but he will get to see where bad decisions can get him. I know being a mom trying to establish authority over your male child or children can be difficult esp. when he is trying to find his identity and become a "man", but it needs to be clear that YOU are the authority figure, and YOU run the household not him.

Carol - posted on 12/06/2009

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i am stressing and about to go crazy and my attitude at work is getting me introuble.. Please help.........


Stephanie that sounds awful. I agree with the replies, get help! You need all you can get. Ask his teachers, ask at a local church or youth group or community centre. And pray, pray like crazy (but you've also gotta be willing to listen to God's answer). Can you set aside a weekend to go camping together or borrow a friend's holiday house? Get some time together and show you care about him, not just his behaviour. Whenever you see any good behaviour (even just neutral) give him praise, show him you're on his side to help him through this. I think moving schools is a good idea. Sometimes kids just need a fresh start.

Donna - posted on 12/06/2009

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You poor thing! I think that age is a real bummer... I only have girls but my daughter went through a horrible stage at that age... I agree with your comments about hanging around with the wrong crowd... so we took her out of that school, and when she went to a different school she met a whole lot of new kids... trying to talk to him when he is not in a bad mood,or in one of those defiant moods! I find talking in the car is a good one, as no one can go anywhere, we talked about the future and what she wanted out of it...etc.. like jobs and interests... talk about where he thinks he will be or where his friends will be, ask him what he wants in life... make it specific like job, car, hobbies... talk about respect.. maybe if he has someone in the family he respects maybe a grandparent etc... ask him if he would treat them or do what he is doing to get in trouble .. to them ... it just might make him think in a different light! You need to do this when he is not in a mad mood or disruptive mood though! B Strong xx cheers D

Sharon - posted on 12/06/2009

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Oh damn Stpeh that sucks.



You need help. Help getting him under control. Or at least help making him realise the consequences of his actions.



Talk to your local police. Ask if they have prison/youth detention tour for kids on the verge like him.



Maybe find male adult role models or even older teen role models to show him the error of his ways.



Talk to your boss. Tell him that your son is having an issue and it requires a little extra from you. Maybe driving him to school every day and picking him up or just picking him up to take him to a daycare facility ... something. Where he is watched constantly.



When my stepson got into trouble - I told him if he couldn't be trusted on his own, then he would go to daycare like the smaller kids. Sure as hell, he did it. Got into trouble and off he went to daycare. He called his dad using her cellphone (he took it without asking) CRYING like a baby (he was 13) to come get him. My husband told him "she warned you. I'm not picking you up." Then we got into a huge fight because he didn't want me to take him to daycare, he wanted me to call him at work instead to handle it. Spare me.



We needed our jobs. you need yours. go to the courthouse and ask to speak with a judge, try to be sincere and show how frustrated you are with not being able to find a program for your son (if you can't find any via the school or police).



It sucks and I can't imagine having to do that sort of thing on my own.

Deborah - posted on 12/06/2009

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Sounds drastic but HOMESCHOOL can put a quick stop to his actions.

If he's a latchkey kid then put him in some afterschool program just ask around you'll get results.

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