How can I get peace back in our home with a 16 year old boy

Vickey - posted on 10/29/2012 ( 2 moms have responded )




My son is a great kids outside the home. He gets outstanding grades and has a part time job. He does not drink or do drugs. What he does do however, is drive everyone in our home absolutely crazy. He is the most disrespectful person I have ever met, he torments his 14 year old sister, abuses the dog, doesn't listen to a word I, or his step-father say, trashes the home, never picks up after himself, refuses to do chores, refuses to adhere to any rules or consequences and bullies everyone. If I ground him, he just leaves. If I tell him to go to his room, he refuses. If I take something away, he makes my life a living hell. And now, he has begun to get up in my face and act as if he is going to hit me. He WILL NOT stop either. The torment goes on for hours and happens nearly every day. It is not fair for any of us to have to live like this. I am at a loss on what to do. He has committed no crime, so the police will not get involved, his father is no help, nor do I have help from our families. I don't want to give up on him, but I just can't take much more of this. Nobody is happy and there is hardly ever any peace. Looking for any advice I can get. I just want peace back in my home.


Bobbie - posted on 10/29/2012




For some reason teens never come right out and say what is bothering them. Their feelings are a complete mystery and you can't read their true emotions through all the walls of anger, frustration and other outward signs that leave the wrong impression.


You can't treat him in the same way as you did at a younger age. He is a different person, a more mature person. As a parent you haven't faced this age before. Read up on teens and how they think. There are so many articles on the web. I simply put the words "why teen strikes out at family" and received a full page of articles on family dynamics and how to resolve conflict.


Teen boys are sloppy, appear to be lazy for the most part and yes, they do move through a house leaving trash, dishes and piles of laundry in their wake. Understanding him and finding peace at your house will mean finding less fault with him in his daily set routine. He is going through a lot of emotions, physical transformation and those hormones challenging him just as much as he is challenging you.


Kids that feel under a great deal of social stress at school can act out at home. They aren't out to hurt their loved one, rather, he can feel safe at home to take it out on you and others to release that stress and gain back some of the power he looses when he is at school. I am 100% sure that he feels misunderstood at home and at school. Good grades are not a measure of his social standing and what he is subjected to by other students in the way they view him.

Resolution to the communication breakdown

~spend an evening observing him through fresh eyes. As you are doing this mentally note how many negative things you say to him. You will get a good feel as to what is really going on within the dynamics of the family.

~find little bits of time to simply communicate with him in an easy laid back manner. Say things like. "So is everything good with you"? Open ended questions make them think. THEN, this is important, give him time in silence without moving to another subject. Wait to hear something from him. The effect of this new listening skill is immediate in changing their behavior. While you are observing him, also observe how much positive interaction you have with him. Is his sister, dog and your husband taking up all your time? Do you find yourself simply barking at what he hasn't done, or has done again that upsets you rather than connect to him with banter and chat? Many kids who need more attention seem to revert to the actions that gain them the attention, good or bad. If he was always a good kid when he was younger but didn't get much attention, he has connected bad behavior with you dropping whatever you are doing and making eye contact with him and giving him your focus. You may think only young children do this but boys love their mothers dearly and the connection and the need to have them love them unconditionally and give them lots of attention is not something they stop needing.

~If it hasn't been working then stop doing it and try something else! Try asking him in a parental request for his cooperation, just what he feels is a consequence for the big things like breaking curfew. You have to let the other stuff go. Not the physical contact, the torment to the dog and his bulling of his sister.

~To change the dynamics you will need to change your power struggle into a feeling of being empowered in your own home no matter what he chooses to do. You say he makes you life hell if you take something from him. That is just learned behavior. He has learned that he can wear you down and that he can make you change your mind by him challenging your emotions. CORRECTION/CONSEQUENCE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HOW YOU FEEL. A correction should be the same whether you are mad, not mad at all or he gets upset at you and wants to scream, kick and yell at you from across the house. When you don't relent. When you take back your calm in control power to parent him / rather than react to him you will find a different kid in your house.

Be sure to read up on articles such as signs that your child is being a bully at school

here is an excerpt from one I found........

Signs of being a school bully

What if your child is the one doing the bullying at school? It can be just as devastating to this child's future as well. Statistics show that children who are bully's tend to exhibit other negative behaviors as well (stealing, vandalism, drug use, etc). Some possible signs are as follows:


Likes to be in power

Lack of empathy towards others

Low self-control

What to do if your teen is a school bully

No one likes to think that their child may be a bully, but if you are faced with that situation there are some things you can do.

Talk to your child - Find out if there are things going on in your child's life that may be prompting this behavior.

Seek help - Arrange a meeting with your child's doctor or mental health professional. They are the people best prepared to deal with this type of situation. Children will usually open up more to someone other than a parent.


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