I am lost and I need help please

Victoria - posted on 08/29/2010 ( 38 moms have responded )

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My son turn 12 this year and I am having a big problem with his behavior on asking him to help around the house with out having him blowing up at me. What can I do ? I feel a times I am losting the batter with him.

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Aliska - posted on 08/30/2010

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Don't buy into the argument/yelling etc. This will get you both upset and potentially saying things that you don't mean. As hard as it is when he is rude to you when you ask him to do a job, remain calm (on the outside at least) and just repeat what you want done and the consequence if it isn't done and then get on with what you are doing. Let him carry on and tell you he's never going to do it etc. Remain calm while he rants and if he starts arguing about why he shouldn't do it, why it's unfair etc just calmly repeat what you want and the consequences for not doing it. Most likely he will storm off to his room. Leave him be and give him time to calm down. More than likely if you give him space he will back down and do what you want. Don't make a big deal that you won when he does the task allow him to save face a little. This worked with my son. If I argued back, the argument would continue and worsen and we would both say hurtful things. If I remain calm, he has his rant, backs down and does the task. Believe me it is hard to stay calm as they can say hurtful things at that age.

Lizz - posted on 09/09/2010

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I think there are two things that need to be addressed. If he has an angry reaction to you "asking" him to help out, maybe its the "asking' that is the issue. Remember you are his mother and you have the responsability and authority to set the rules. You dont have to 'ask'. Every household has rules and when children get to be an appropriate age there are house chores. It is what it is. Stay firm. He can certainly participate in a discussion to come up with chores he can or should do around the house but once they are understood he has to take care of them. This is a small lesson that will go along way for when he is an adult. I'm sure there are a lot of things you dont WANT to do but you do them because thats life. The second thing you should consider is where and when did he learn its ok to disrespect you. Are there other siblings that he is learning from. Are his friends disrespectful to their mothers? You want to get him away from bad influences and nip this in the bud so to speak because it will esculate. Good luck to you!!! Dont give up.

[deleted account]

the next time he blows up about having to help simply tell him if he doesn't want to help then you don't want him using anything that you have paid for. Take a trash bag into his room and put EVERYTHING into it except his clothes and his bed. Everything else comes out of his room. Take his phone from him, ipod, game systems, computers, etc. etc. etc. When he can show you that his attitude has changed he can earn something back. If his attitude gets nasty take that item away again. Explain to him what you expect. Let him know the disrespect, violence, and laziness will not be tolerated anymore.
Keep at this no matter what. I promise it will work.

good luck and god bless

[deleted account]

Sit down and have him help you work out a plan for the chores he should be doing around the house. Then write it up like a contract sort of thing between everyone involved.
Help him decide on what the consequences are for when he doesn't complete them and together choose how much time he has to complete them/ deadline.
This will give him some ownership and then you can calmly remind him when he starts to get angry that he helped make these choices.
You can even include a clause for consequences of when he explodes for you reminding him. Or that since he will have it written down (get a big calendar or something to post it on in the kitchen or on the fridge) you won't remind him and he cannot get angry if he procrastinates or forgets.
It will help him become more responsible for his actions as well as a sense of control.

I hope that helps!

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Yovette - posted on 09/11/2010

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don't I no just how u feel. Not that I got results but maybe after talkin 2 him with a fair warning and exable time start takin away his preveldges(tv,computer,telephone ect u get the hint but stay firm in your decision

Lysistrata - posted on 09/11/2010

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Try to keep things really structured so he knows exactly what to expect, what he will have to do and the consequence for not getting it done. For example helping with laundry, if he doesn't help he has to wear dirty clothes...so not cool in middle school! Making a checklist of duties along with a time frame might help a lot. No one likes to be nagged all the time. You might for example give him a morning duties checklist he can check off every morning, everything has to be done by say 7:30 am if not then logical consequences follow. Then he either does his duties or gets stuck with the consequences, no nagging and fighting has to occur. Make sure you are always consistent and fair with the consequences and never let him off the hook, but be nice and encouraging about it. Say for example, " I'm sorry your friend Joe can't come over today but you cannot have someone over when you didn't clean up your room. I know you'll get it done, we'll make sure Joe comes over after you've got it all done." Nothing negative, include a positive encouraging message that lets him know you have confidence in his abilities and you trust him to do the right thing. Eventually he'll start living up to your expectations.

Kristen - posted on 09/11/2010

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My son just turned 13. He has a bad temper and always blows up with the littlest things. I tried to be calm, but I soon argue back. It just makes it worse. I made a list of chores for both of my kids and deadlines. I guess it works most of the time, but sometimes I have trouble in how to ground them because neither one of them do anything to take away. I would make a list and set down the ground rules.

Melissa - posted on 09/11/2010

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you know I have the same problem to!! I am at my wits end, i am glad it is not just me. I have tried reasoning & then bribing (i know i shouldn't) but I am at my wits end also.

Caroline - posted on 09/10/2010

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this things you begin early and make it fun for the two of yo then assign him with chores that he should do then reward him at the right time

AMY - posted on 09/09/2010

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I am right with you! However, my son is much worse! He is very disrespectful to women/ teachers/ anyone in authority! he sees all kind of doctors and it is doing no good! I dont know where to turn anymore? Adhd/ odd/ anxiety disorder...HELP I cannot afford to send him to a special school/ program for kids with these type of problems.

Tina - posted on 09/08/2010

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Hi Victoria- At his age he is likely trying to excert some independence- and being told what to do and when to do it is crimping his style.
I agree with Nicole K.
You should make a list of all the things that need doing around the house...Think Vacuuming, Changing Sheets, Loading and Unloading the Dishwasher, Clean up, Folding Laundry...and the list goes on and on...have him pick 5 things on that list (Or whatever seems reasonable) that he feels he can pitch in with...CRAPPY CHOICES are better than NO CHOICES. This way he will feel like it was sorta his idea. Make sure not to meddle with the way he does his choosen chores- that's a quick way to put him on the defensive.
Make a calendar of what day he will do the assigned items...

Good Luck!

Kathy - posted on 09/08/2010

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When my kids give me a hard time about doing the jobs I give them, I tell them if they don't do the job without giving me grief, they will get more jobs to do. They have gotten to rake the yard, sweep the driveway, all kinds of extra activities. I have a 12 year old boy, they are kind of lazy too. Good Luck

Mindy - posted on 09/08/2010

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My son turned 12 in May. I had the same problem with him. He is getting much better now. We use allowance. If he complete's all his chores with no complaints he get his allowance and when he does start with the attitude I don't get argue back or fight. I simply send him to his room and don't allow him to watch t.v or anything while he is in there. Of course he storms off and cries and slams things but I don't give in. When he cools off I explain why he got in trouble. His attitude is definately changing. Slowly but definately changing.

Kazumi - posted on 09/05/2010

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FIrst of all, if your son not wanting to do his chore is the biggest problem you've got then you are a lot closer to the light at the end of your parenting tunnel that you think. Give your self a pat on a shoulder. However, him talking to you disrespectfully I wouldn't condone.
My kids are older but I remember things like this..
I realized that I have to let my kids know that I am serious when it comes to discipline. I remember when my daughter was in elementary school her friends came over and made a big mess. I told them that they are not going outside and play until the mess was all cleaned up. My daughter immediately told her friends that "what she said is always going to happen so we better clean up if we want to go out and play".
I'm not one of those crazy mean mother but I never made an empty threats. I was also not a mother who fought every war either.... you have to pick a battle and follow through.
Remember, normal 12 year old aren't thrilled about helping their mother around the house.

Jacqueline - posted on 09/03/2010

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when he asks for a ride somewhere, money for a movie, or for you to do something for him give him the same attitude he gives you. Let him know that in life you can't crap on people and expect good things in return. Works for me!! I have one 15 and one six

Erin - posted on 09/03/2010

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always remember when he is yelling, if you speak softly he will have to lower his voice in order to hear you, people who get out of control and yell want you to get out of control also then they look normal. He is in a transitioning year and is most likely trying to find himself. It is normal for boys to have some issues around this time. Sit down and talk to him about what is bothering him, let him know that if he doesn't want to talk to you there are lots of people that he can talk to to help him through, a pastor, a teacher, an uncle, aunt, grandparent etc. I do agree with the last post, if he has a hand in writing the rules and consequences he will be more likely to follow through. The list needs to be lined out so that it is predictable, if the list is always changing he won't know what to expect and that can bring a lot of frustration to boys especially. They like to seem big and tough but really they need structure and predictability! Hope this helps!

Carmen - posted on 09/03/2010

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My suggestion is to make a chart up for him about the rules and regulations you have in your household, Then either write down or explain to him the consequences of his actions and whats expected of him. If he complice then maybe you can start to reward him with something, like allowance. But if you start off with this suggestion that I'm giving you, you have to be consistant. You have to remember children like a structural environment. It's all about the consistancy. Good luck and keep us posted...

Elizabeth - posted on 09/03/2010

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best thing i can recomend is a book called Scream Free Parenting by Hal Runkel. An awesome book that gives you a bigger picture to work towards. I loed it and it was an easy read. good luck!!!!

Jennifer - posted on 09/02/2010

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My son will be 12 in November. He does have his moments, but I am from the old school, and started his discipline out early. We have learned to talk and have conversations, instead of yelling. It does neither of you any good. Let him know that you are the adult, and watch who he hangs out with. I know that there were a couple of boys that I asked my son if he would consider doing without, due to their behavior. I gave him a choice, and he had to make it, or he would be the one with the consequences. Learning to pick battles is one MAJOR thing I truly had to learn. If not, you will be going at it night and day. Pray for him, and I will pray for both of you. Keep me updated, I look forward to hearing back.

Lydia - posted on 09/02/2010

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I have a 12 year old daughter and the minute she gives me attitude I take away something she really loves like her computer or phone. be sturn make sure he know whos is in charge, if he still acts up bring him to the police station and give him a scare.

Marisol - posted on 09/02/2010

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At 12 teens are hard to deal with, they are trying to discover who they are! I would sit down over lunch and have a talk about things that are bothering him and as a parent just listen...and try to understand how they feel.. then say something like hey I noticed that we need to work as a team in doing things like chores and so on... let them know that a they will be rewarded for chores and if chores are not done then things like cell phone, Ps3, games will be taken away...

Therese - posted on 09/02/2010

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I agree to a roster & deal being signed etc.

Remember, you are the adult & try to stay calm (can be the hardest thing)

Bend on the positive stuff but not on the negative ie: 'A privilage like screen time such as: TV, Internet, PS3, Xbox, DS etc...(Which, by the way, you didn't purchase as a alternative to the family doing their fair share ) is available only available after set chores are done. Good luck

Kimberly - posted on 09/01/2010

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I also have a 12 yo son and a 23 yo son, both very different personalities, Thank God. My oldest was more like you described, My youngest is more of a whiner. I recently read the book "A New Kid By Friday" it has worked wonders. I'm not on edge and he reaps what he sows. Another good resource is James Dobson's 'How to Raise Boys'. I read it when my oldest was young. Boys have testerone surges every 30 seconds, that actually short circuit their brains, starting as young as 10. Thats why we have to repeat ourselves a million times "take out the trash' They actually can't hear or respond during a surge. It will help you understand the changes your son is going through and how to deal effectively with them. I'd like to encourage you. This is a wonderful time in a boys life. They are so full of adventure and humor. The stages that follow aren't nearly as fun as the current one you are in so please take time to enjoy the fun times. It won't be long until the next stage of separation and independance comes along and you will miss having the confrontation you have now. Remember always "What kind of man do I want my son to become?" and begin treating him like that man. They have to believe it to become it.

[deleted account]

I agree with Dora. There is probably more going on with him than you know. This was my experience with my oldest son and found out too late that he was on drugs and that was only part of the problem. I wish you luck. My best advice is to seek help before it's too late.

Helen - posted on 09/01/2010

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try linking his pocket money to his chores - if you do this you get x amount etc. he will soon realise that a few weeks without any money that he may as well do his chores

Rachel - posted on 08/31/2010

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This can be really stressful, but I think that children need to understand that they need to do chores as it will help them to be more self sufficient in the future. You have to be the parent and take charge. His behaviour must be checked and you need to find out why he is behaving this way. Talk to him, his teachers and find out. One question though, where is his father? I only ask because if he is around and you are his maid doing everything, your son sees this behaviour as acceptable and will follow suit. If he is not around then you need to help him understand how his helping out is important and why. Hope this helps.

Lika - posted on 08/31/2010

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Keep on him, being gentle and available while still being firm and sticking to your guns. Get him to open up to you, and if it doesn't help, seek a counselor.

Michelle - posted on 08/31/2010

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tough spot, Nicole gave some great tips! Good luck, be strong! Do you have other people (i.e. a Dad/or dad figure) in his life. I get teh best back up from my kids Dad (my partner). Also there are great family counselling places that work on a sliding scale for families, sometimes it's nice to get them to talk things out with a third party that they are not allowed to blow up at....

Grace - posted on 08/31/2010

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Reward him... Try to make it a bonding exercise. that might work. Don't boss him around. And most importantly, talk to him

Alison - posted on 08/31/2010

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It's best for both of you to have him help around the house. I agree, you should talk to him about which chores he should take care of and come to an agreement. Then you have to be the mom and follow through.

I remember, as a young teenager, my friend's mom would make a list for her every Saturday. She had to do those chores, then she could go do what she wanted. My mom, on the other hand, expected me to do whatever task she asked me to do, then come back and ask for more until she decided she didn't need me anymore. As a teenager, I longed for more independence and freedom. With my girls, I will imitate my friend's mom for sure.

Natasha - posted on 08/31/2010

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Pull him aside and speak with him. Don't accuse him of not doing anything because he will take on a stand-off position. Set up his chores with a reward system. He shouldn't get an allowance with his chores done for the week. If he continues to neglect his responsibilities, start removing privileges such as his video games, internet time, TV, etc. He's becoming a teenager and will fight against what he's not happy about but that is no reason for him to still get what he wants without putting in the work to deserve it.

Good luck!

Monica - posted on 08/30/2010

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Hi Victoria, you have to stay firm with your son. If he doesn't do his house work, he doesn't get to do what he wants to do later. If he is suposed to clean his room and he does not do it, he doesn't get to go to the mall and hang out with his friends. Stay firm and consistant.

Dora - posted on 08/30/2010

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Sit down and try to talk to him. If he comes off angry there may be something going on with him outside of the household that he has not shared. Don't just assume he is being a fresh kid because he is blowing up at you. There may be something more going on with him. He may be lashing out as a cry for help.

Michelle - posted on 08/29/2010

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Give him an incentive to get it done, if he doesn't do it then he doesn't get the incentive....with my son who ADHD and ODD we constantly use the reward program for us it is money my son gets so much money for every thing he has to complete in the week if he doesn't do something we deduct sometimes he ends up owing us money but normally he will make his full allowance and sometimes do extra to earn more. Incentives work wonders with kids who aren't quite old enough for a job but want spending cash.

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