Ungrateful, Disrespectful Attitude

Brandi - posted on 04/01/2014 ( 46 moms have responded )

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My 13 year old daughter is constantly being unfriendly and negative. Unfortunately its not just her age. Despite being raised in a God loving, home by myself and my mother (my mom and I are both very laid back and glass full types) she continues to be negative, selfish and extremely ungrateful. She doesnt want to go to church or do anything that causes her to keep commitments. She will claim she doesnt like or or doesnt understand anything she doesn't feel like doing. Its very upsetting and emotionally draining. Any ideas?

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Heather - posted on 05/02/2014

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My daughter will be five in a couple of months and she started doing this ALREADY!! So now I plan one day a week for just her and I to do something fun that is all about her, even if I hate it. We bake, play outside, go to the park or go shopping. No matter what we do I make those couple of hours about whatever she wants and don't throw my opinions into it. I let her make a mess, get dirty or buy something stupid. She loves it. I think it is about having the freedom to make the decisions just for that short time is just liberating. I can't believe she was having such bad attitude problems at such a young age- but let me tell you- BEST decision I ever made. She has so much more respect for me when I stop being so controlling and realize, she is a person too, even if a very little one.

Bluejeansbbyg - posted on 10/31/2014

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This morning, my 15 year old son informed me, very matter of factly, that I was stupid, incompetent and a hypocrite. This is how it started. He was late getting ready and we missed the bus. He claimed that it was because he could not sleep because of "that crap music" that I was playing all night and so he woke up late. I was playing Mozart and practicing the piano until about 11. He's in band and plays the bass clarinet, so he knows the value of classical music. So that doesn't fit. He has been milling about, miserably for almost a year now, maybe more. It has been very difficult to even hold a conversation with him. I keep hoping it's a phase. But this morning, on the way to school I asked him why he is so miserable and grumpy all of the time and he said "only when I'm home". Upon further prodding, without considering how hurtful his words were he said it. I asked him to give me examples of me being a hypocrite, but he couldn't remember any. I then informed him that if I was so incompetent, I would not have been able to take care of us as I have for the past ten years by myself. He also said it's not just me but a lot of his friends are stupid too and the reason he gets such good grades is so he is put in higher level classes so he doesn't have to be around "idiots". He's a freshman, taking a Jr level honors math class among other honors classes. Another time, when I told both of my boys that I wanted to have dinner with them at least one night a week because I miss connecting with them, this one that I am talking about very callously told me that he will do it but doesn't really want to. When I asked him why, he said that I'm just not the type of person that he wants to hang out with. It is very hurtful for me to hear these things. My boyfriend said that I should punish him by making him do more chores, but is punishing a son for being disrespectful and claiming that he doesn't like me the thing to do? This is disrespectful, arrogant behavior. What are your thoughts?

Mekaila - posted on 07/31/2014

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hello...im a 14 year old so im only a year older...maybe shes going through way more than you expect.....you just need to sit down with her and tell her she can tell you anything..i know when i was 13 and even now i cried myself to sleep sometimes because of self hatred stress at school bullying etc...and my parents have no idea they just thing im being selfish when i lock myself in my room for hours at a time

Cheyenne - posted on 05/01/2014

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I was that way when I was younger...now that I am older I have apologized to my mother and explained that I never meant to hurt her.

My suggestion is show her what a cool mom you are, not just a hovering mom the is getting in her business....because that's what her view is. One Saturday take her shopping. Ask her to leave her phone, ipod, electronics at the house and you do the same. get back to the basics just you and her no one to get in the way. while talking to her don't pry into her life, be simple ask if she wants to control the radio(you get a sense of the music she is into now), let her pick out her clothes do offer "what about this?" she will automatically hate it, take her to eat, show her to drive for the first time...she will open up just let her do it... praying for you and I hope I helped!

Christiane - posted on 04/01/2014

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We will pray for you...i'll also pass on your prayer request to my
"small" group (my Bible study group which meet every Thurs. a.m.)
remember that teenagers today face more evil than we did when we
were kids...it is a very sinful generation and difficult times we live in today
and our kids need us on our knees every day. Glad it helped a bit.

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Ali - posted on 04/19/2015

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Hi. I'm actually not a mother, but am posting on my mothers profile. I would like to let you know that for us this age can be confusing... There is peer pressure and standards we have to live up to.

First of all... this issue has nothing to do with religion. In general, I still hate going to church, but I pray almost everyday. Forget about that excuse... your daughters issue cannot be blamed on it.

I suggest listening to her... hearing her out. Ask her her opinion, have a one on one conversation, and just talk. Listen to her opinion before you say anything. often times girls like this just need a mom who is willing to let her cry on her shoulder, not yell at her. If she is not willing to talk, don't force her. Let her know that you are there for her. Sometimes she may just want to be alone.

ALSO, NOTE: Moms often believe that taking away a phone or something of value will help the situation. This is not true. It will just make us resent you more. Sometimes a girl needs her phone so she can text her friends, who will help her through a situation. DO NOT GO THROUGH HER TEXTS. If you think your daughter will pour her heart out to a mother who doesn't respect her enough to give her privacy, you are wrong. She will talk to you once you show her that she can trust you. Just because she doesn't, that does not mean that she does not. Often girls need to learn how to deal with similar situations alone.

I could go on and on about this topic... so let me know if you have more questions! This is just some of what you should do...

Lillian Angela - posted on 04/17/2015

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Oh my!!! I've got a 2 year old and Im 25 he hears my dad saying cuss words...because my dad comes all the time I hit him on the ass,still doesn't work,It is not his fault tho,He's seen his Aunt Annabae, twerk...and he does it it's not that he's exposed to things that but my oldest Renee she has her boyfriend Jason over and she does everything in front of his baby face and I'm ticked just tell her to straighten up her attitude or, tell her things like...Knock it off or you better watch it or do family activitiesthat involve things with getting closer and improving her behavior...Because once she's 18 she'll disrespect worSe

Habisa - posted on 04/11/2015

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I feel extremely sad for you as a mother I know what we go through starting from birth.. It would kill me to even imagine for my boys to be rude to me one day..But what I suggest for you is not to give up disciplining her while she's still young..I know it not easy to taught love your child but think about it this way what do you have to lose. I mean you're already miserable towards her behavior. Set up a straight line about the rudeness and disrespect. You as a mother deserve better. No mother should put up disrespect from their child. Do whatever you gotta do to let her see you mean business and keep talking to her explaining why you're doing it. How much her actions hurt. Even if she don't get it today she will one day. Think of what makes her most comfortable phone, iPhone, iPad tv. Friends visit etc..Take it awaaay and explain to her why keep talking to her..Always be available to talk and explain your actions..Talk and talk about painful labor...hours of sleepless night time feeding after birth..And all you demand is respect.. I hope this works.. I wish you luck and hang in there sweetly 😊

User - posted on 04/07/2015

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Sounds like a teen to me. I don't feel religion has anything to do with this. Kids don't want to be miserable or unhappy. No one does. Parents jump at the thought that it has something to do with their parenting when most of the time just has to do with what the teen is dealing with and feeling alone. When we give our opinions especially positive it gives them the idea that we think we are better than them. Listening to them is huge. And the best responses on this site often come from teens themselves other than parents who think they know best. Just my opinion. Best of luck to u. These r tough years. But everyday is a new day.

Alex Kurtis - posted on 03/30/2015

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Hi! You've gotten alot of feedback but I don't think it'll hurt to put mine in. No, I'm not a mother, I'm a teen, to add on to not having much to do with this site, how about I take away the added I'm not a female which you seem to be asking about.


Alright, I know myself at that age, I was very difficult to deal with (still am) though parents seem to forget that us younger people can still deal with stress, even if its over something most would consider silly. Now, something else I'd like mention is at that age, freedom is precious... I haven't had alot if freedom since I was 10, I wish I did. Alot of my disobedience has been what I believe to do with freedom ( it is something my mother is working on) at 13, yes commitment is important but it shouldn't be forced, during this time you should be trying to figure out what you're willing to commit to. Main thing that should be committed to I'd school though xD

I hope my post wasn't too confusing, I'm very much tired and wanted to join this site to give my opinion ( someone who sees many posts about my kin; the teenager)

Jodi - posted on 01/10/2015

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I realize every situation is different, so I'd like to share the approach I have taken with my three sons who get especially more grateful as they get older. You said you're a glass full person, and very optimistic. I applaud you for your attitude. In my own experience, though, I have found that the few times I attempted to enforce that perspective on my children, it only alienated them. Children, like all people, need to feel validated. Their pains are very real, and for parents to act like life is a poppy field is not realistic, and so our children think we lack depth and get frustrated. They haven't gotten through trials well enough to understand that they are temporary, so they don't know, yet, how to share in our optimism. Life is difficult. It has to be, otherwise, how do give glory to God for salvation, redemption, and wisdom? When my sons come to me about their struggles, I acknowledge their feelings, and I give some breathing room for them to mourn... really just a minute or so, but it's long enough that they know I'm processing what they said. Then when the moment feels right, I gently, quietly speak to them of hope. I often share with them how I experienced similar, and I let them think on the pain I must have gone through. Then I tell them how God used the experience to make me stronger. ..or to help me recognize His goodness. My sons are growing in gratitude daily, and I am so blessed. As parents, as we request the wisdom to change ourselves first, our children will follow, and it would have seemed so easy. God bless you, my lady.

Sheila - posted on 12/25/2014

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My daughter is 18 going on 19 in feb , she decided in feb 2014 to live with her dad because she didn't like my rules , so now iam paying childsupport Til she 21 years old , I've done everything to try to have a relationship with her but nothing I do is working , bought her a 2006 car and she told me to come get it because it was dirty , we surprise her with it while she was out of town so didn't have time to clean and was letting her use my nissian at the time to get a job that she never has , and to drive to high school , so I got my car bak and gave her the paid in full car and she got mad and told me come get it , so we did , now she didn't even spend christmas together 😞

Michael Ray - posted on 12/11/2014

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I'm not sure this can apply to her age at this point, but when my oldest began having attitude problem around age 7, I instituted the yes mam/sir rule which also came into effect for my youngest as well.

Before the attitude, I was against the whole making kids say mam and sir.
Now, it's a must.

It took a week or so of reminding, and occasionally still but it did make a major improvement.

In this house we have very few rules, but when you have the right rules, you need very little.

1) If it's not yours....don't touch it.
2)Say yes mam/sir, and do what your told.
3)Don't talk back or complain, just do what your told.

That's the big three for us.
That doesn't mean I don't teach kindness toward others. Because I do. But I also teach them to stand up for themselves and others. And I ramble lol.

I hope this helps in some way.

Wanda - posted on 12/08/2014

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I don't believe punishment is the correct thing at this time. 14 is a year of finding ones self and if you r not a supporter you will be rebelled against. There are ways to make things work with ur child and it starts with talking to her in a caring way and without I told u so and do as I say. She is not a possession. And you can learn that from listening to her thoughts and respecting her decisions as long as they are safe. It can be such a contoversial time as they seem to change overnight...scary for a mom and scary for her. But you want your child to make good decisions through her life so start respecting her choices and guiding her through in a more respectful manner.
We as parents think we know what's best for our child. But do we? Maybe we don't. Ask her. And go from there. It may be a simple answer that can be fixed on both sides.
If she is feeling safe and loved she will still show independence but she will ask for your opinions and actually respect u. Best to u both.

John - posted on 12/04/2014

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I feel for your kids. Yeah thats what she should do. Basically alienate her daughter and CONFIRM thats she is her daughters enemy. Don't try to be understanding FORCE your daughter to behave how she thinks she should thats defintelly not gonna make her daughter resent her.

John - posted on 12/04/2014

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Accept the fact that you have a thirteen year old and dtop trying to get her to conform to your ideal life expectations?

Cheryl - posted on 11/30/2014

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Chores are a part of being a family and I didn't tie allowance to them - when everybody helps everyone has a little more free time. The world does not reward laziness, nor should you. I tied allowance to grades and behavior.

Cheryl - posted on 11/30/2014

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I had a simple rule of thumb at this age: Be helpful, respectful and trustworthy and your life will have a big backyard and low fences (freedom). Be a snot, expect that the world or your parents) owe you a living, and drag a huge sense of entitlement behind you on a rope? Expect a back yard the size of a postage stamp with an electrified fence around it. Privileges are not a right, they are earned. Some time in her room when friends are out doing fun things is a great way for her to decide how her attitude is working for her. Be consistent, and don't threaten anything you aren't willing to back up.

Marilyn - posted on 11/21/2014

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Hi, i truly believe that being laid back, easy going, friendly are some of the things that we dont need as a parent. We need to be over that with trying to be friends with our kids. They need to be taught that they are to respect parents, grandparents,elders, and such. BUT, this begins when they are small when you can still give them a swat in the pamper. This task will give them the knowledge that they need to respect their Mother, Father, Grandparent etc. I am not trying to belittle you qualities, however, you need to ensure that your children need to be taught to respect others, starting from a young age. Trying to teach them this when they begin high school won't go. By that time they have an image that MOM, DAD, etc are easygoing they wont do anything, so I can do anything I want and they wont say anything. The time to teach them is when they begin to walk with the word, NO !!!

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Bluejeansbbyg - Chores is not the answer in my opinion! It is SO hard being that age, it really is. We all forget that. Just be patient. He will come around. Be there for him and encourage his opinions.

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I am now 24 and the mother of a beautiful little girl, but when I was her age I was SO angry and mean to everyone, especially my mom. And as Mekaila posted earlier, it was because things in my life, especially at age 13 were HARD. The insecurity, the HORRIBLE bullying online (even if you are 'cool'), the stress of school, etc. You must remember that she is only 13. Everything feels ten times heavier on her because she isn't able to handle it all yet. Offer to let her pick something she wants to do every week. Whatever it is, let her do it. Whether it's go ice skating, or go see a movie, or go play video games, she needs to be able to have a free outlet where she can forget about everything else. And you have to be able to be patient with her because she is still young and adjusting to her feelings. She's not mature enough yet to step back and realize what she is doing is hurting you. I apologized to my Mom once I got older, and she will come around too. But if you are patient, the road will be easier.

Hannah - posted on 11/14/2014

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I'm 17 and I went through a phase like this. I was on here to ask a questions to mothers to help my mom and stumbled upon this.
You child is at the age where she is going to start having to make her own decisions and if she is doing this, then it is on her. What you need to do is be there for her, love her, correct her, and pray.
I was like this. I would tell my mom I wanted to hit her, I was having sex, cutting myself, and was a mess. Then one day God hit me. I can't remember what happened but HE just showed up and brought me back to him. I am not the same anymore. Though I feel like my mother failed in some places, it was ultimately God who pulled me back.
The areas I would have liked my mother to be more so in where with telling me no, raising me on true Biblical standards, being a good example, telling me she loved me and showing it, and being more in my business. The times when I was upset, sometimes I wanted her to show up in my room and hug me.

Sometimes forcing your children to do something can make them pull away, but sometimes allowing them to do as they please can make them think you don't care or can make them never go back to it.

Just pray. Be a good example always. And love her

Anna - posted on 10/20/2014

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Reading Carol Tuttle's blogs has been very eye opening for me to be able to understand where my children are coming from. I would also recommend her book "The Child Whisperer".

Courtney - posted on 08/31/2014

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I'm going through something similar with my 12 year old and I agree more or less with a lot of the responses you have gotten already with one exception, if she is treating you badly I would walk away until she can come and speak to you with some respect. I am a stickler about being respectful of yourself and others and I believe if I allowed my children to talk to me without respect shows them that it is OK to be treated badly and it is OK to treat others badly, and that is not something I am OK with. Oddly enough, my kids catch me and make me show respect also, which is nice to see because I know they feel that it is their right to be treated respectfully. :) So as everyone else has said talk to her, be open and available for her to talk to you, etc. but I would also make sure that there is mutual respect.

Carrie - posted on 08/27/2014

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I feel for you. Our 9 year old has a very explosive temper and says she doesn't know how to control it. I spent many hours this summer being painfully patient while she calmed down enough to tell me what was wrong. We are thankful our neighbors one both sides of us are older and a little hard of hearing because she is LOUD. Our teenage son agonizes through it too and it upsets him how nasty she is too me when she is going through "an episode". We decided to see a counselor so she can have someone from "outside" the family mediate to help her.

Leslie - posted on 08/15/2014

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Well, she's 13. Teenagers are crazy hormonal, im sure you remember how you were emotionally in highschool, I know I do! Talk to her and ask her whats wrong, create an open dialogue that's judgement free. Many young people don't like going to church for a period of time, I didnt grow up in a church but joined a youth group when I was 14 and that actually got me into the church experience. As far as religion goes stay away from "forcing" her to participate or punishing her for not doing so, you'll find that kind of approach will cause resentment and more then likely push her away even further. Hope you get things sorted out and try not to look at her behaviour as a problem, but rather as a symptom of a problem you don't understand quite yet.

Tatiana - posted on 07/21/2014

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Take all her beloved possessions from her and limit her on her free time with friends. Make her do chores that a strength building to your family. If she doesn't respect you, she definitely doesn't respect herself because the only way you can respect others is by respect yourself first. Honestly, make sure she isn't sexually active, because that is one of the major life changing events that happen and depending on her social status at school, it can make you or break you. Believe me I know. I was one of the girls who kept my head up high, knew everyone, knew everyone's business and could break anyone if necessary. Girls who were rude at home would show out at school for attention and believe me- they got it. Just the wrong kind.

Try getting her into an activity you know she likes with an instuctor/mentor who has the same beliefs as you.

Just don't be lenient. You cannot be her friemd right now.

Heather - posted on 07/18/2014

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my son has been like this all his life basically it turned out that he really did not understand i would put her in counselling to make sure there is not a underlining problem

Sarah - posted on 06/06/2014

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My daughter will be 9 this month and is going through the same thing. I have cried myself to sleep over her more than I've cried over anything else. I think puberty has a lot to do with it. They literally can not control their emotions and their outbursts. That part of their brain hasn't developed yet and although it's a great reason or even excuse it doesn't help us moms know how to deal with it. I'm a single mom to her and my son who will 7 a few days before she turns 9. I can't just take a day to have special Mommy Daughter time. I try to always be open and honest with her and I always admit my own mistakes. If I loose my temper, which happens more often than ever lately, I tell them I need a time out to control myself and I come back and ask them for suggestions on how to stay calm. It helps us reconnect after a fight. You know you've raised her to be a better person and I bet if you ask around she is showing the goodness that she has learned in other places. Girls are tough, I know I was, just don't ever stop showing her that you love her and I wish you the very best of luck at maintaining your strength and patience. It's SO HARD to do.

Kerry-ann - posted on 05/22/2014

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I think that u should have a talk with her, cancel all the spirits of anger and have a real reason with your daughter, sit her down and speak to her nicely, in her room where ever her comfort zone is and have that talk, she is going through a stage and she is going through something and she needs that comfort, teenagers don't just rebel, they rebel for a reason.
So ask her about things that are happening at school, see what u can find out, but she might not talk to u that easily, u might need to give her time, but be inviting so she would want to tell u whatever it is that she is going through. Prayer is very good but don't just pray, for God helps those who help themselves . Also dont allow her to be disrespectful towards you, you need to be stern but gentle, don't be afraid to ground her and don't scare her away from God, most Christians use God to scare children for example "God is going to let u burn in hell, if u do that", just an example, God is a spirit that u want near, that u can feel comfort and love from, tell her God loves her and u and grandma loves her, let her know that u will always be there for her whenever she need u. But, don't be a push over, be assertive and nice, God Bless. Maybe she even needs a hug

Orionorion5 - posted on 05/02/2014

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I pray with all my kids. And ask them what do ou want me to pray for. Then we pray together. Then i pray with my husband or sister on what the child wants me to pray for. Reading a few chapters by my self then praying has been helping the peace in our home. I also lay bible on tjere pillows where they are at school. Only when they are giving me problems. Its always opened to psalms 7.

Orionorion5 - posted on 05/02/2014

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Pray for her. I pray for my step daughter and mom in law. They are both self focus and unhelpful with hurtful words. It will help you also. Other wise you will continue to think about how dare them. Believe me its hard to pray for difficult people. But there the ones who need the most love and forgiveness. Dont let anyone steel your joy.! We shine like stars of the universe. When we dont gumble.

Monique - posted on 05/02/2014

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Well I'm going through the same thing with my thirteen year old daughter… for a very long time.. Ihad her doctor refer us to a mental health doctor.. I also have a 12 year old son he has behavorial problems since he was eight… then later the school and doctor said he has ADHD disorder…. Google up or watch a video on you tube about behavorial disorders like bipolar disorder or ADHD disorder… I have so much I can tell you about my experience over the years… I could write a book whewwww…. Its very stressful I know…. But do tell her doctor about her mood swings!!!

Anna - posted on 04/15/2014

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I have 13 year old son and found out that the only way to be respected is when you give respect, love and spend lots of time together showcasing the desired behavior.

Brandi - posted on 04/01/2014

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You have NO IDEA how familiar this sounds and how much your words helped. Ive currently spent 20 minutes in prayer over this, doused her entire room with holy water, and downloaded the power of a praying parent. Your right in all you said. Thanks for the kind words and please pray for us!

Christiane - posted on 04/01/2014

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Brandi, i have the same problem with my 12 (soon to be 13) year old boy.
We faithfully attend Church every Sunday and always have. My son used to go to Sunday school until two years ago. But when he got to Middle School he found it all boring (along with most things at that age) and refused to go. We fought him tooth and nail (at that age you can't just shove them into the car all you can do is take things away or try to reason...that doesn't work well they are not hearing). It became a source of discord every Sunday morning to the point of getting sick to our stomach. We got to Church all right but we didn't feel like being there by then. The compromise was to let him sit with us during the service instead of going to Sunday school and take him for donuts before the service (that was his request...again the kids tell the parents what to do). But sometimes a little compromise goes a long way. He's an only-child and they usually have strong personalities. We are thankful to the Lord that he is a good kid and works hard. Even if he tunes some of the service out I'm sure he can't help hearing!! We found that praying about it every day helps......talked to my pastor's about it and lots of God fearing parents experienced the same problems with their kids. One of my pastors even had one son tell him, when he turned 18, that he would no longer put up with all of this.....Some kids will do exactly what they are told and others will give you aggravation. It doesn't help that most of the kids today DO NOT attend Church at all since the parents only go on holidays...peer pressure plays a part, if the friends do not go why should they? The Bible says that the devil constantly seeking to devour ...that is his mission in this world. Our fight is against the devil. But God is stronger. It's hard enough to get your kids to conform when the parents go regularly imagine when they don't go themselves. Continue to provide a loving home; talk about God as much as you can, pray a lot as a FAMILY, continue to attend Church as often as you can, read the word of God in their presence, and ask God for his guidance. Most kids go to Church because they are told to, only when it means anything to them "personally" will they go willingly. All we can do is show the proper example ourselves and pray for our children. God has his own time (not ours) so persevere. Most of us need the experiences of life to come to the realization that we need God (kids don't see the need). Also, the Bible says that the father is the "spiritual" leader in the home so it's even harder when there is no father to show leadership in this area. Keep praying!!! Prayer moves mountains.

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