Help! I feel like I'm losing my 17 yr old son to rebellion...

Doris - posted on 07/23/2012 ( 1 mom has responded )




I've read the comments regarding getting teens to be responsible and pay for different things like cars, phones etc..and I've tried to impose rules requiring a good balance between responsibility and privledge but my lazy 17 yr old son only wants things his way. I've been battling with him for months about getting a job and pulling his own weight around the house. He just got a 29 ACT score so he's very smart but not acting like it. I think he would rather play in his band than go to college. He will not do chores around the house, except to do his own laundry. He sits around playing X-box and drums. I got him a job at the company I work for and he quit. He's repeatedly used my credit card for game points and annual renewal on the xbox without my permission. This past weekend I was so totally fed up that I took the car away, and cancelled the xbox subscription. He got mad of course, called me horrible names and spent the weekend at a girls house. She says her parents don't care if he sleeps in the same bed with her (she's 19 yrs.old) Her best friend and the best friend's boyfriend also live there.

It seems that the more rules I impose on my son the more I push him away. I don't know what to do anymore. If I give in he doesn't learn anything. any advice


Julie - posted on 07/23/2012




Oh the teen years. What exquisite turmoil. The good news is that if you've raised him well from the beginning with proper limits and lots of love then he'll likely grow out of this. In the meantime there are things you can do to keep some sanity in your home. You're right in imposing rules and holding him accountable. Is his father in the picture and is he living in your home? If so that's great, this is the time when a boy really needs a proper male role model. Turn him over to his dad for a while. Just wash your hands of parenting him and let his dad take over. You'll probably be amazed at the difference you'll see. I have seen this happen with my teen daughter. I was so fed up with her behavior that I just turned her over to her dad. I was amazed to see that he would say exactly the same things to her that I had and she'd actually listen to him and agree with him. Yes it was a bit frustrating but that frustration was tempered by the fact that she was listening and adjusting her behavior. I had to bite my tongue a lot to keep from inserting my 2 cents but that's easier to do when you're seeing results.
A friend of mine has had really good results with The Total Transformation. Her son has Opositional Defiant Disorder, (ODD). She found that using the techniques in this helped a lot. It's expensive but if you decide to order the program you can ask for a discount, or see if you can get it free. They'll sometimes do that.
You also need to continue to impose rules and punishment for wrong behavior. He needs to continue doing chores and acting like a part of the family. Spending the night at a girlfriends house is NOT appropriate behavior and you need to put a stop to that immediately. He needs to see that you are still the one in control in your home. Call the girls parents and ask that they not take him in when he's had a fight with you as that undermines your parental authority. If they're reasonable then they'll likely work with you. If they're not then there may be legal ways around this. You'd have to look into the laws in your area. He's still a minor and subject to your rules not theirs. It's likely though that they'll not be willing to work with you though as they're the kind of parent who lets their daughter sleep with a boy in their home. Since he's a minor and she's an adult you could turn her in for sexual abuse and them in for aiding and abetting. Suggesting that might at least get their attention. Again, you'd have to look into the laws in your area to see if this is possible. If he were my kid I'd want him as far away as possible from that family.

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