high school senior failing, doesny care violent when disciplined no rationilization

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Barbara - posted on 11/23/2012

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Hi Carol,

I'm glad I may have helped in some way - we all are living through a difficult time in our kids development and they have the hard part of fitting in at school, trying to decipher if our rules have any merit for them and 'acting' the part of grown-up even tho they are still kids. I do care. Everyone matters, moms, dads and kids.

I'm glad he's in counseling and that mom and dad are going too. It really helps. We've been through a several sessions and it helped me put my daughters mood swings and outbursts into a different perspective. I still blow it now and then, but we are in a completely different place now that we were a year ago. It is exhausting and when the counselor brings something into discussion that is hard to discuss or appears the opposite of your personal values it is frustrating to try to integrate a new way of thinking and balance it with my own views on parenting. The bottom line for me is always: 1) unconditional love, and 2) honesty. Keep at it, your son is worth what you are doing now and later the benefits will show. The see-saw emotional roller coaster will still make life unpredictable, but that is a small price to pay for his future and your long-term relationship. Have a great holiday weekend. You are all in my prayers.

Barbara

Carol - posted on 11/22/2012

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Thank you so much for your reply. It helps to know someone cares. I tell him daily I loe him, wrote a letter telling him I want to help and love him no matter what. He is seeing his physchiatrist for ealuation and we nee to keep a journal of his moods. My husband and I are going to go to a marriage counselor. I am trying everything, bit it is so exhausting, sometimes I feel I cant take it anymor, but I am still trying. Thank you again.! \ carol

Barbara - posted on 11/12/2012

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Hi Carol,

No one can tell you what to do, we aren't living through this. I know the one thing my daughter (15) fears most (I've seen it on her face book page) is that I will leave and abandon her. She has engaged in some of the behavior that you are talking about, screaming, calling me names, refusing to do anything that I ask, failing two classes in HS, claiming she will come home 'when I feel like it'. My daughter isn't ADD and doesn't take any medication. Since your son is on medication for his ADD, it could be the medication is creating problems for him, the wrong dosage, the wrong medication that upsets his body chemistry. I'd suggest having him see his medical doctor to have some additional blood work done. He may rebel at this also, but at least it's a proactive step you can take that isn't as severe as moving out. Hubby is probably just as confused and upset about this as you are and reacts differently because of his emotional programming. Your son is in a lot of emotional pain right now, he's hurting and he knows he's dropped the ball, can't pull himself up alone and is facing adulthood with all of the scary feelings of a kid, can't cope. Have you tried to engage one of his friends to see if anything is going on at school that is a problem? Talked to any of the teachers at his high school to see what his attitude at school is like? Check with the school counselors, teachers and staff, they may have a different picture of your son. I'd drop the disciplinary actions for a time, try to engage him in 'honey, I love you' talks and open the door for him to talk to you. If he has a job, I'd even be tempted to talk to his boss when the kid isn't there. Try to provide a safe place for him right now, don't leave unless you have to, don't threaten to throw him out, he's in a very vulnerable place, feeling lost, alone and scared to death. When my daughter was small, she would run to me with things that upset her or scared her screaming "MOMMY!" I view some of her outbursts as doing just that now, screaming foul words (because they know them as teenagers) but reacting to something that is scaring or upsetting her. I 've tried to discipline her for the foul language and it backfired. We had a long heart-to-heart this past Saturday, and I realized she was that 6 year old kid again, screaming 'MOMMY!', only using a different word because regardless of how much they need their parents, they don't WANT to need their parents as teenagers. When I handle this outburst with compassion, she responds positively, when I've handled it with discipline, she reacts with more anger and more volatility. I don't know if this will help you, but it has been an invaluable insight for me. Her grades have improved, her demeanor at home has improved hugely, she knows she CAN come to me without judgement. Send him a card through the mail (not email) that tells him how much you love him (pretend he's still 6 or 7 when you write it to make it easier for you). Get back in touch with your own positive feelings for him by looking at his baby pictures - how much did you want to protect him, nurture him, love him? Even when I'm furious with my daughter now, I table the discussion until I've cooled off, open up the scrapbook late at night in bed, go through those baby pictures remembering when they were taken, how much I loved her and wanted for her. I've spent hours going through those pictures until I can get back in touch with the positive loving feelings I have for her without rancor about her current behavior. It helped me to put her frequent teenager obnoxious behavior into perspective, realize this is another (though very unpleasant) phase of growing up. Transitioning into high school after junior high was a major issue for her, your son is transitioning into a whole new phase of his life, adulthood. Remember how scared you were when you turned 18? I was. I was scared about how I would handle adulthood, what would I do with my life, what I would become, didn't want to make any mistakes or even missteps without realizing that life isn't a perfect process, but a process that throws us curves, and we sometimes screw it up and make mistakes along the way. Forgive him for being a mouthy teenager, start over tomorrow from a whole new, compassionate, loving, accepting perspective and see (after a few weeks have passed) if he starts to respond differently to you. It may take longer, his grades may not improve immediately, but it sounds like he needs to know you still love him, accept him and realize he is battling fears about his coming adult life. If you've threatened in his hearing to leave, he may be feeling tremendous guilt and terrified that he has caused this. The change may cause dad some curves, may question what the 'heck are you doing?' Loving my son the only way I know how. I hope this helps a little. God go with all of you,

Barbara

Carol - posted on 11/11/2012

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We have had counseling, but the problem has gotten worse. He sees a psychiatrist and is taking medication for his ADD. He lashes out at me, swears, puts words in my mouth, tells me to shut up, screaming at me. his father is very passive and follows through with nothing. I feel so alone, I think I need to move out of the house, because I recieve no support. I can hardly afford this, but I can not say one word to him without him yelling at me. I have done everything I can think of for him and in his mind he thinks he is being treated unfairly, even though he is failing all his classes, is disrespectful, thinks he can do whatever he wants. If I could afford a disciplinary boarding school, I would send him, but I think I have to leave, or I will loose my sanity.

Barbara - posted on 11/11/2012

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They can't rationalize at this age, they're too driven by other demons, hormones, peer pressure, etc. Get him/her counseling asap. Social workers will come into the home to provide counseling services to teens and their families. Expect to participate in these sessions.

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