Any advice would be helpful. I know there are lots of mothers of teens on this board.
My nephew is 16. He has been suspended several times this year and last for skipping school and having respect issues with the teaching staff. He gets C's at best. He speaks to his mother in a horrific manner. Yes, SIL has let him away with a little too much in my opinion over the years, and it's all caught up to her now. They have a very open relationship - he tells her most everything, and as a result, she is very soft with him, as she worries that going hard on him will drive him away. Dad is in the picture, but his parents are separated, and even when they weren't, BIL had no backbone when it came to dealing with the kids.
The kid really does have a good heart - I've known him all his life, and he has decent values. He has been known on occasion to cry about hurting his mother's feelings. Trouble is, he just doesn't care about school, about getting into trouble, or being respectful of SIL. She is my best friend, and this is killing her. She has tried reasoning, pulling on his heartstrings, punishment, ignoring the behaviour, and so far none of this has worked. He has already been to counselling as well, and he made it into such a joke that it was obvious that it wasn't doing anything but burning a hole in his parents' pocketbook.
I don't know...I don't have teens yet, and I don't have any advice for her. I am worried about her. What do you think, mommas of teens? Any wisdom that I can pass along? Anyone been there, done that?
Certified Crazy™ Wife to my Spiderman husband (Aug '01)
Super proud Momma to DD (Jan'00), DD (Apr '02) and DS (Jun '04)
Always loving and missing our Baby James born sleeping at 19 weeks (July '03).
This won't immediately help her son, but your SIL should see a child/family counselor by herself, if her son won't go. The counselor might have insight into why her son hurts her, and might have suggestions for how she can repair her relationship with her son. This strikes me as the bigger priority, as his disrespectful, hurtful behavior informs the other problems: skipping school and getting suspended . How he treats people (mom, teachers, girlfriends, employers, future children) will affect him for the rest of his life. He can eventually recover from bad grades, if he wants to.
He's probably incredibly angry, probably at her. He needs to learn how to express his anger at her without being destructive.