I also want to add, good for you for seeking out counseling!! Take care of you, it's the best way you can be there for everyone else, honestly. :)
Expectations of teenagers - Page 2
Well, I don't think he is changing, he seems to be regressing in maturity. I gave him ten dollars allowance on Saturday, he had cleaned the kitchen and done some chores. Today, which is Tuesday he wants more money to go to a game. I said no. He starts yelling at me and telling me I am ridiculous and ten dollars is not enough money to do anything. So I said, get a job. To which he yells, "I'm trying!" Is coming home from school and sleeping two or three hours and watching t.v. "trying?"
Anyway, he seems to be feeling really entitled and acting and speaking disrespectfully (other behaviors I won't get into for the sake of keeping it short), but I am changing. Not being manipulated anymore, not willing to tolerate ugly talk and yelling. I am thinking I may need to stop handing out money altogether. I truly believe if a kid were really motivated, in my area, they could find work. There are dozens upon dozens of fast food restaurants alone.
Raising teenagers is exhausting, and I am learning that extreme self care is vital to be able to get through it.
My kids are 16 y.o. and 12 y.o. and I really need to visit "Preteens and Teens" more often. This is a great thread.
Your son's reaction is almost predictable. =) You've changed your game so he's pushing back. He's had it pretty cushy for a while so of course he wants to protect and maintain it. He will, hopefully, come around.
But the other behaviors, like speaking disrespectfully to you, are definitely related and addressing them might help with the chores issue, and the taking you for granted issue.
How to do that? I'm not sure; I have a similar issue with my son. He does occasionally speak disrespectfully to me (though my dd doesn't particularly). My response is to always, each and every time, acknowledge and counter it. "Hey that was disrespectful, you don't get to talk to me that way."
I think even if your ds doesn't precisely change his ways it's good for you to keep it up. He might be stubborn but it's really important for you, the most important woman in his life, to insist on being treated respectfully.
I think 'extreme self-care' is a good point. My dh is the oldest of a large family, and while his parents are good, kind people, they never really got it together. His mom is kind of emotionally fragile and there was always a baby to take care of, so if dh wanted clean clothes he had to do it himself. He's been working since his first paper route, when he was 12 y.o., that's how he afforded his first car, a wretched piece of junk that he was so proud of. :D
He was given almost NO extras. Anything fun he wanted he had to get it himself, or do with out. Today my dh has an excellent personal work ethic. Unfortunately he likes to give his kids all those things he didn't get to have, so they're a bit spoiled in that regard. The comparison and contrast, I think, is really stark and obvious.
My long-winded point is that your ds, all your kids, really, would probably benefit if you were too busy caring for yourself to do things for them and instead started expecting a lot more from them. And it'll be difficult.
And really, I'm not one to speak. Don't get the impression my kids are super-responsible hard working kids. They're pretty spoiled and lazy.
Another thought. I had some success when I stopped asking, especially asking them to do stuff for me, when i took it off me. When 'no tv on school nights' became a House Rule, instead of me nagging them to turn the tv off and do their homework every afternoon, they cooperated much more. It was pretty dramatic.
Similar with dishes. When I made a chart and stuck it on the fridge indicating whose turn it is to empty the dishwasher and whose turn it is to load and clean up, they cooperated more, argued less. Putting the chart up is actually pretty important, apparently. Keeps it fair in their heads, and the authority comes from the chart, not me.
This might not be as effective with a sixteen year old, but it's worth a shot.
No advice just commiseration. But I think I will follow your example & make sure dp & I take good care of ourselves.
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Neonalee, I wish I could just reach out and give you a hug, this is so hard to experience with a child that you love. This rejection from them....even if it's "normal" for a teen it is just so...painful.
Journeymom, your posts are full of wisdom, so very helpful and practical. I LOVE the idea of just making things a house rule, and need to commit to just doing this. I have done it on a few things and have considered when an issue comes up, just posting a note about it on the kitchen bulletin board. For instance, if you plan on going to a friend's home (spur of the moment) it is a HOUSE RULE that you must come and ask or at least text and ask for permission.
I have always been concerned with being a "good mom." Yesterday, after yet another heartbreaking exchange, I decided to drop that goal. I am going to be me, the best me I can be. And I am going to work at having good relationships with all my children and being a parent and a person that I am proud of. But many teen's ideas of a "good mom" are just...really not. They seem to want a lenient, cushy friend who will give them whatever they want and prevent them from experiencing any lack or discomfort. So not what I am about anymore. My goal is to gently guide toward responsible adulthood while caring for myself the best I can. Hopefully the end result will be good.
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