HELP ME PLEASE-14 YR OLD BOY

Monica - posted on 03/12/2009 ( 22 moms have responded )

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I don't know what to do with my 14 yr old son. He has went from honor roll in grade school to now for the past two yrs mostly d's & f's. He doesn't bring home homework does not do most of his school work. He's very smart I think he thinks it is not cool to get good grades. He has started getting in trouble in school this year never had a problem before. I think he has add or adhd taking him this weekend to get tested, which made him go off which is another problem he seems to be angry alot. Plus now he has a problem with wanting to start fires. I just had a baby who is 6wks old and he keeps saying all I care about is that baby. He won't clean up after himself. I don't know what to do CAN SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME?

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Tracey - posted on 03/13/2009

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Wow! After I posted this I read through all of the postings.  I guess I should have done that first.  His dad is a major cause in his change.  Please try and put some distance in between them until his dad gets himself together.  No child should have to deal with what your son did with his dad and step mom. 



Also you and your husband have to form an united front.  If you continue to jump in and side with your son while he is being disciplined by his father you are creating a major problem.  One that can and will escalate if you do not work together. 

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Terry - posted on 11/11/2014

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I too have experience similar with my now 13 soon to be 14 year old son. I have been told that this is a phase and it will soon pass. I have been on him constantly to keep him on task and will remain so until it has improved. Just stay with it ...

Susan - posted on 02/17/2013

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#1 - get him drug tested.

#2 - this is the age where many mental illnesses show themselves, like depression, and schizophrenia.

#3 - pray for him. And let him know that you miss him. Get a babysitter and go out and tell him you miss who he used to be, and how can we get that back?

Terry - posted on 03/18/2009

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I have a 14 year old too...I have come to learn it is the age. Changes can affect them and cause it to be worse but more than any thing it is hormones, transition. Patience and consistency is critical. I thought my son had lost his mind but as it turns out he is just growing up and at that age their "problems" are all too real and devastating for them and that will add to the issue as well. Hang in there...this too shall pass.

Michelle - posted on 03/17/2009

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Hi Monica I also have a 13 year old boy who use to get average grades and has just been slipping for the last 2 years. He never, ever brings homwe homework I ask him everyday he tells me he not allow to bring the book home and he's not allow to do make-up work. I just went to his school and I have a meeting next week w/ all his teachers. So that may be helpful to do. I am thinking about having another baby and my son is aganist that idea. My son also has ADHD he is on Aderiallso get ur son tested may be the best thing 1 for u knowing and 2 so it can be in his school records. Good Luck!

Renee - posted on 03/17/2009

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Quoting Monica:



Thanks alot of what you said makes since.  His dad & I divorced when he was 1.  His dad moved in my neighborhood about two years ago not a good influence at all drinking problem,beat his wife in front of the kids, and got the cops called on him twice that I know of while my son was there.  He and his wife recently divorced and he is now not so close.  But my son did say the other day that his dad said he would get him something for his b-day and didn't also that he noticed his dad drinks alot.  His step-dad has been in his life since he was 2 but it seems like all they do is but heads, my husband tries to discipline him and it seems like I always end up jumping in and defending my son (wrong thing to do I know).  I bet his dad is alot of the problem but how do I get him to talk to me, I think he craves my husband's attention but it is hard he is in the Airforce and only home on weekends usually.  I can't get my husband to understand he acts out alot to get kind of attention from him.  He is still sweet I see it every once in awhile and I know he says the hurtful things to me because he knows I will love him no matter what.  (that doesn't make it hurt me anyless)  I hate to see him hurting himself by getting bad grades and not getting to play sports which he loves.  Any more advice?  I will ask him where he would like to go or what he wants to do & I will go just him & I.






Thank you!!!!





Monica,



As a parent of a teen girl and also an 8th grade teacher, the two statements I bolded/ underlined above really stand out.  I agree with the others- definitely go through the testing as you described in other posts.  However, definitely follow through with the discipline; even initiate it at times, don't let your hubby handle it all.  Your son needs clear guidelines with well-defined consequences; that's how many things in life work, and the sooner we learn it, the better off we are.



Also, he may be craving your husband's attention as a father figure.  Help your hubby carve out some time, even if it's only a block of a few hours every other weekend or so, to do some "father/son" activities.  Along with healthy, appropriate guidelines, this attention may help him turn around.



Best of luck!

Sarah - posted on 03/17/2009

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My son is also 14, soon to be 15 and there are alot of reasons why we see changes. My son also does not bring homework home alot, but he also knows that if he receives grades that are lower than his potential than there are consequences. I also have worked with troubled teens and have found time after time, they want to be heard and understood with no strings attached. In their mind set they are dealing not only with situations that may be going on at home, but how they are feeling about themselves and realing trying to find out who they are and where do they fit. Unfortunately, for us parents, this is a long road. It is very important that the trust is built between us and deal with all situations on a one on one level. Ask his opinion on things, as hard as it is, pick your battles.

Sheena - posted on 03/17/2009

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Quoting Monica:

HELP ME PLEASE-14 YR OLD BOY

I don't know what to do with my 14 yr old son. He has went from honor roll in grade school to now for the past two yrs mostly d's & f's. He doesn't bring home homework does not do most of his school work. He's very smart I think he thinks it is not cool to get good grades. He has started getting in trouble in school this year never had a problem before. I think he has add or adhd taking him this weekend to get tested, which made him go off which is another problem he seems to be angry alot. Plus now he has a problem with wanting to start fires. I just had a baby who is 6wks old and he keeps saying all I care about is that baby. He won't clean up after himself. I don't know what to do CAN SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME?



Hi i have just read yours, you are not alone,my 14 year old just went through the same thing,he got into trouble with police as he was with a crowd,what i did was spoke to him as well as ground him were he had nothing but books to read,i even got him tested at school as his grades went down,same as you,only nothing wrong,he just seemed to be angry the whole time,i did get through eventually and found out he was still hurting as he lost his dad when he was 11years old to cancer,i have 2 younger sons,he always said i spend more time with them than him,but it is only his way of trying to get attention,it is hard when you have a baby,just show him you care as well,it will take time but he will come out of it,it is really a face they go through,good luck and just remember you are not alone.





 

Paula - posted on 03/16/2009

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I have a 14 yr old son, too. His grades have dropped as well. However, he is very much into music and the band (marching, concert, etc.). He would stay in music class all day if he could. My son is ADD and has a hard time concentrating in school. He doesn't bring homework home either. I have tried everything...getting him an agenda, having teachers sign once he writes down his homework but that didn't last long. He has had this "I forgot" attitude for the past few years. Everything is "I forgot". I, too, do not know what to do so I feel what you are going through. It gets so aggravating because his dad and I know what he is capable of but he refuses to apply himself. There have been a few times where just he and I would have a day together and I would just let him talk. It could be that your son wants to spend time with you so maybe try spending a day together doing what he wants to do and letting him talk about whatever he wants. I had an older woman tell me that it may seem like he is not hearing what I am telling him about school, life, the future, etc. but he actually is paying more attention to it than what I think. It's just that he is at an age where he knows everything so I have to be patient and keep reiterating and reenforcing good morals, values, and goals. As far as school is concerned, his dad and I have decided that until he can bring his grades up, he won't be getting his driver's permit. We'll see how that goes.

[deleted account]

I am a Registered Nurse and what you say about your son is very concerning to me. A few questions...Has he started running with a new set of friends? Have you approached him about using drugs and/or alcohol? Puberty is definitely a beast sometimes....I have a 14 year old boy myself with a 6 year old girl and 7 year old boy.  I would definitely start where you are starting....testing for add or adhd.  If this goes untreated, they tend to get bored in school and you may see the behaviors you are describing, however, my sister started using alcohol/cigarettes when she was 14 and it was a spiral down....my mother was an enabler. I applaud you for reaching out and realizing deep down something is not right. These are our babies no matter how old they get....seeking treatment is the #1 step in the right direction.  Good luck.  I would love for you to keep me posted. I will keep your son in my prayers.

User - posted on 03/16/2009

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you know all this sounds familair to me.. i have a14 yr boy too..and well i am going through almost all the same things..it is as if you might be talking about my son...my son does have adhd. the symptoms or signs he is giving you do sound familiar. but the fire thing is something you should be concerned about..i do think he should see a good  couselor..i wonder if something has happened at school...they say the fire thing is a sign of power.. to compensate for something  that he has no power over.. ie..bullying? or something like that.. i do agree , you need to find time for you and him  to be alone...



so i wish you well.. good luck.. stay strong

Tracey - posted on 03/13/2009

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Hi Monica,



I read your question and just said to myself OMG if one more mother...I kid you not no matter how many mothers' I have spoken to about their sons we all say the same things as the comments listed below.  I have a 17 year old and two more sons coming up behind him and he has definately gone through some phases.  For a minute I blamed myself because we relocated while he was in the middle school and he was one of the new kids in the school.  But there were other things in play there (including racism).  With that aside the only advice that I can give is to talk to him, constantly, even when it seems as though he is not listening.  And do not stop no matter what.  If his dad or another male relative or close family friend is not a role model for him, find one.  Big Brothers Big Sisters program, ensure that there a positive male role model that he can confide in. 



Finally, there is one thing that  alot of my family members do not agree with - snoop.  Sorry to say it like that, but I have looked in his book bag, room and other things while he was not around to ensure there were no outside influences that could of made such a drastic change.  Thank God it was not!  Alot I will push towards puberty and coming into his own.  



Hope this helps! 

Monica - posted on 03/13/2009

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I appreciate all the help.  I just wanted to clear something up I have never bad mouthed his father I figured he would form his own option of his father.  Which sometimes was hard, but now it seems like he sees him for what he is.   I know 14 's a hard age but it seems like there is alittle more to it thats why I thought I wouldhave him tested for adhd/add.  Plus a few of his teachers and his counselor (which I went to school with so I trust her) have recommended having him tested.  He has always been very hyper but never interfered with school so I just dealt with it.



I am going to talk to my husband about spending some one on one with him plus I will do the same.  If he will usually he wants to be with friends or have one along.



Thanks again & I welcome more.

Stephanie - posted on 03/13/2009

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If he hasn't been diagnosed add/adhd by now, that is not the likely culprit.  I'd hate to see you put him on those meds (which are speed) unneccessarily.  First of all, 14 is a tough age b/c of hormones and just general teenage angst.  They want independence but it scares them.  So they do this "I love you, come here...I hate you, go away" because they are caught between trying to assert independence, but still being dependent.    That is all very normal.



High school is hard for all kids, but especially boys.  They don't get hand-held like they did in elem and middle, so struggling with grades is not unusual, either.



I would be concerned about the fires, though.  I think counseling would be in order for that.  Also, you have to figure out a way to get some one on one time with him as mentioned in PP. 



I have a 14 yo son too, he does have ADHD (diagnosed at age 6) and has always been extremely strong-willed, prone to temper flares, etc.  (I also have an 11 yo son with ADHD, a 10 year old daughter (never any trouble at school), and a 9 month old daughter.)  Recently, for some reason, my 14 yo has turned into a great kid, fun to be around.  I think it is because I have been giving him more respect and a simple gesture- I have taken him shopping for clothes and been able to connect with him- seems to have made the difference.



You just have to find a way to connect (without nagging).  Maybe take him out to dinner and just "hang out", no asking him what's wrong, just spend time.  You can't do anything about your ex, so blaming him won't help your son. 



Good luck to you!

Stephanie - posted on 03/13/2009

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If he hasn't been diagnosed add/adhd by now, that is not the likely culprit.  I'd hate to see you put him on those meds (which are speed) unneccessarily.  First of all, 14 is a tough age b/c of hormones and just general teenage angst.  They want independence but it scares them.  So they do this "I love you, come here...I hate you, go away" because they are caught between trying to assert independence, but still being dependent.    That is all very normal.



High school is hard for all kids, but especially boys.  They don't get hand-held like they did in elem and middle, so struggling with grades is not unusual, either.



I would be concerned about the fires, though.  I think counseling would be in order for that.  Also, you have to figure out a way to get some one on one time with him as mentioned in PP. 



I have a 14 yo son too, he does have ADHD (diagnosed at age 6) and has always been extremely strong-willed, prone to temper flares, etc.  (I also have an 11 yo son with ADHD, a 10 year old daughter (never any trouble at school), and a 9 month old daughter.)  Recently, for some reason, my 14 yo has turned into a great kid, fun to be around.  I think it is because I have been giving him more respect and a simple gesture- I have taken him shopping for clothes and been able to connect with him- seems to have made the difference.



You just have to find a way to connect (without nagging).  Maybe take him out to dinner and just "hang out", no asking him what's wrong, just spend time.  You can't do anything about your ex, so blaming him won't help your son. 



Good luck to you!

Shelly - posted on 03/12/2009

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Quoting Monica:



Thanks alot of what you said makes since.  His dad & I divorced when he was 1.  His dad moved in my neighborhood about two years ago not a good influence at all drinking problem,beat his wife in front of the kids, and got the cops called on him twice that I know of while my son was there.  He and his wife recently divorced and he is now not so close.  But my son did say the other day that his dad said he would get him something for his b-day and didn't also that he noticed his dad drinks alot.  His step-dad has been in his life since he was 2 but it seems like all they do is but heads, my husband tries to discipline him and it seems like I always end up jumping in and defending my son (wrong thing to do I know).  I bet his dad is alot of the problem but how do I get him to talk to me, I think he craves my husbnds ttention but it is hard he is in the Airforce and only home on weekends usually.  I can't get my husband to understand he acts out alot to get kind of attention from him.  He is still sweet I see it every once in awhile and I know he says the hurtful things to me because he knows I will love him no matter what.  (that doesn't make it hurt me anyless)  I hate to see him hurting himself by getting bad grades and not getting to play sports which he loves.  Any more advice?  I will ask him where he would like to go or what he wants to do & I will go just him & I.






Thank you!!!!





Monica,



  Ok you just answered the question on what has happened???  Yes your right about jumping in and defending your son b/c all your doing is driving that wedge deeper between your husband and your son.  You need to apologize to both your husband and your son.  They need to find there own way thru thier relationship you can't jump in to save your baby...I had to go thru the same thing with my oldest and my husband and now they are best friends.  You need to allow them to figure out how they fit in each others lives.  As far as you hubby you need to sit down and have a heart  to heart talk with him and let him know that your son needs him more than ever, b/c we as moms can love them and nurture them but when they start going thru puberty we can't do a lot to help b/c we have never felt what they are feeling we have never thought what they are thinking b/c we are not boys never have been never will be...And at this stage in his life he needs your husband to stepup and guide him through all of these thoughts and feelings...But most of all he needs to know that he is going to be there no matter what b/c he's already had one man in his life let him down...Hope this gives you some more insight into a teen age boy and the relationship with dad

Wednesday - posted on 03/12/2009

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Wow, yes, the Dad is a big part of the problem.  My father was an alcohalic and so was his father.  So, one thing your son needs to understand that I is in the blood.  He has choices in life...choices are the ticket with our kids.  The more opprotunities he has to be the man around the house, (because your husband is gone a lot) what if he gave him some responsibility of somekind.   You can try to build up his self esteen by accomplishing someting.  That could be anything. Like writing an essay about his favorite band, just for fun.  You could frame it or send it out as a news letter to family and friends.  He defiantely is starving for attention.  I always had library time on Sundays.   We all go and pick out 10 books to read for the week.  The fun part was watching him pick his books, more and more he started to bring home 15 to 20 books.  And reading them.   Well, all things don't work for everyone I just wanted to share my story with you.



Hang in there and be strong.  I now have a 16 and 2 year old.  You will get through this, just trust in God.

Monica - posted on 03/12/2009

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Thanks alot of what you said makes since.  His dad & I divorced when he was 1.  His dad moved in my neighborhood about two years ago not a good influence at all drinking problem,beat his wife in front of the kids, and got the cops called on him twice that I know of while my son was there.  He and his wife recently divorced and he is now not so close.  But my son did say the other day that his dad said he would get him something for his b-day and didn't also that he noticed his dad drinks alot.  His step-dad has been in his life since he was 2 but it seems like all they do is but heads, my husband tries to discipline him and it seems like I always end up jumping in and defending my son (wrong thing to do I know).  I bet his dad is alot of the problem but how do I get him to talk to me, I think he craves my husbnds ttention but it is hard he is in the Airforce and only home on weekends usually.  I can't get my husband to understand he acts out alot to get kind of attention from him.  He is still sweet I see it every once in awhile and I know he says the hurtful things to me because he knows I will love him no matter what.  (that doesn't make it hurt me anyless)  I hate to see him hurting himself by getting bad grades and not getting to play sports which he loves.  Any more advice?  I will ask him where he would like to go or what he wants to do & I will go just him & I.



Thank you!!!!

Ann - posted on 03/12/2009

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I have a 14 yr.old son to, The problem that I have with my son is that he can be really sweet one min. and the next min. he's so rude to me! I had him when I was 16 yrs. old and I really get super annoyed when he act's like that....I to have seem him be an honor roll student until he started hight school and now is grade's slip alot more...I don't really get to many other problem's with him, I think in your case you have a child that obviouskey is having some problem's whether it is at home, school or both...i think you need to have some quality alone time with your son  and make him feel like you are there for him and really understand what ever is going on with him, not that your not doing that now, I'm sure you love him very very much) I know it is very hard on you, ecspecially having a young baby at home, I also have a 2 yr. old daughter( which I am thankful for that Jeremy love's her from day one) he love's coming home from school and playing with her, when he's not annoyed with me....I guess



Just take it one day at a time, and everything will be OK!



What you don't want is him talking and thinking bad thought's like starting fire's and getting himself in a world of trouble! Is his father around and in his life? Good Luck with everything  and please let me know how thing's are going for you, if there's anything else you need, don't hestaite to ask me. OK

Wednesday - posted on 03/12/2009

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Great commment from Shelly.  Thats exactly what I was thinking.  Puberty may be another problem.  I know with my son 12 to 15 was horrible.  He was a honor roll student, he had a peom published in a National book, and he was kind.  Then he turned 12 and I don't know what happened.  HE WAS GONE.  Now, he is 17 and the young man I once knew.   Listen, talk, understand, share stories of your childhood, and maybe throw in some current examples (new, etc).   You will talk till you are blue in the face and thats okay.  They pretend what you are saying doesn't matter but deep down inside they are holding on to every word you say.  Be what you want them to be.  You can not be one thing and tell them to be another.  I hope I can help you.  I wish these forums were available when my oldest was young.  I read What to Expect When you have a Toddler, Adolescent, etc.  They were great books.  I bet the library will have them.

Shelly - posted on 03/12/2009

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Monica,



  Ok first off what I get from this is he is feeling left out.  Has there been any other major changes going on over the past two years?  It sounds like some thing has happened either at home or at school.  Have you taken some one on one time with him and just talk to him to see whats going on.  I know he's trying to act like the tough guy but trust me deep down in there your sweet little boy still lurks.  You just need to find the right key to open that door he has locked you out of.  Just try taking him out to do some thng he use to like to do and try talking.  If that don't work Is his dad still in his life??  And if so how does he get along with him?  If not is there another male role modle that could try spending some time with him.  He needs to feel safe with who ever tries to talk to him.  I just real feel like something has happened that he has just all of a sudden turned it this child you don't know...Let us know how it goes GOOD LUCK

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