this kid is the love of my life..my first born..my hopes and joys...but right now i could kill him!
as far as what to do? im going to take his computer out of his room, take his xbox away and threaten his phone (will do that, so its not an empty threat).
i just cant believe he did this! i was such a rebel as a teen, so this does not surprise me in teh least (he does NOT know that), but i cant live with him treating me/our family this way.
counseling may be in order, but thus far he has downright refused (how to you drag a 6'2 15 yo to an appt.?).
any advice..more importantly, any "ive been there and it gets better"???
Scary as it seems, your ds really can do whatever he pleases. You can only control what you do and how you will respond. I find that at this age I make requests and suggestions, and kiddos generally do what I hope that they will do. There are boundaries, but they are generally imposed by nature, the law, etc.
Absolutely it will get better. They really do grow up and go to college and get married and get jobs and have kids whom they love and care about.
Be kind to yourself, there are no right answers and be kind with him while he is growing and learning. It all works out very very quickly.
he behaves like most teens around here (unfortunately) with most of his time spent on the computer or playing xbox, or with his friends. he's captain of his basketball team at school but other than that is a lazy kid. he does his chores 1/2 way if that and is always complaining...but never has sufficient $$$ kwim?
he just has it in his head that he shoudl be able to do whatever he wants to do. i know the hormones are going crazy with him, but this is unacceptable. I have to be able to tell him that he can not go out and have him not do that.
im at my wits end with communicating with him..ive read all teh books (too many too list) and taken parenting classes..none of that is helping right now.
i konw i need to be nonemotional when he gets home (he has still not come home...he's enjoying his weekend with his friends b/c he knows he's in deep when he comes back)...its just so hard sometimes.
He does have to know his boundaries - what I have done in the classroom and what they have told me are two different things (I know everything about the kids which disturbs me most of the time)
The kids who's parents force them in, rebel harder however if you keep asking questions, make time for the two of you and do things together, he will eventually open up. My parents have always been open with me, I know more about them than I think most children wish to know. They have told me about their sex experiences, drugs, life and they've always been honest. So I've always been honest in return.
Perhaps you need to require him to be picked up at a certain time from a certain place? I know that when students stay late with me at school for set building (I'm the theater teacher and we build sets at night) the parents are either with their own kids, or the kids get picked up by their parents not friends, or the paretns that are there drive them home. In other words, they are with an adult the whole time. And I have recruited some of the bad kids to particcipate to get them from doing bad things with their time. It's been working great and the paretns appreciate it as well.
Either way, I'm sure he'll keep doing what he's doing just because he knows it bothers you.
im sorry..we just need some guidelines here..he can't go out on school nights...he needs to follow some rules re: drinking, drugs, etc.
He may disobey me but he has to see there are consequences to that disobedience.
I'd start just by sitting down with him when he gets home, and letting him know that this is a serious issue, and why. Was it that you had plans later? Why did he need to come home right after the movie? Did he assume it was not a big deal to just hang out with friends afterwards, or was it a power issue? If you knew where he was, why was this a problem?
Anyway, I'd set down your concerns and your needs, and ask for his input. For example, I ask that my daughter always have her phone with her, so that I can contact her, and that she lets me know if she's going somewhere new (like from the movie theatre to a friend's house) and how she plans to get there. We both put plans on the calendar, so we don't get our signals crossed. Once you both are talking, you can come up with a plan detailing each of your responsibilities to the other...
Single mom to Rain (1/93) , grad student, and world traveler
he did some things that were irresponsbile and in bad judgment (nothing totally serious...but stuff that could get serious if left unchecked). so he was told he could not go anywhere.
in his world, he should be able to do anything he wants without any restriction. even i cant do that...so i dont see why i should let me 15 yo do it and not worry about it.
some examples of what he did prior to being told he couldnt go out (there were a few) are: 1. he had matches in a "fort" he's building in the middle of our woods. i dont trust him/his friends not to burn the woods down and he was explicitly told not to have fire out there. 2. he ran electricity to the fort without asking permission. 3. he took a very good TV out to the fort - the fort has no top...the TV is a $300 TV...get the drift here? also, there was a DVD player, old sofa and several DVDs out there. not good judgment 3. using profanity when addressing me.
im sorry..im all for communication but his refusal to cooperate with the family and with me esp. is unacceptable. his refusal to follow rules and take "no" for an answer is somethign our family cant live with.
when your teens dont obey the rules, do you just let it go? do you just have a talk and then its over? what if they consistently disobey the rules?
Originally Posted by aisraeltax
when your teens dont obey the rules, do you just let it go? do you just have a talk and then its over? what if they consistently disobey the rules?
I think using poor judgement is pretty common with teens... sometimes I can't figure out how my daughter could possibly have thought that something was a good idea.It helps me to remember that bad judgement is typical, so what I need to focus on is building in safeguards and approaching problems from a solution-oriented perspective, rather than in a confrontational way.
I love that my daughter has her cell phone, and I've told her repeatedly that she should call any time she's unsure about an idea, and that I won't freak out and I will try to help. I want her to see me as an ally...
If she dragged a TV out to her fort, I might approach her with something like, "I noticed that you moved the TV out to your fort. I'm worried that the TV will get damaged out there by the rain, because your fort has no top." Then I might suggest alternatives, like getting a smaller TV for $10 at a thrift store. With the electricity being run out there, I'd do pretty much the same thing - share my concerns and suggest a solution (maybe a heavy-duty extension cord). I'd also ask that check with me before bringing any more things out there that aren't just his... and if he sees you as someone who will help him try to get what he wants, he will check with you. If not, maybe you'll need to poke your head into the fort every so often and ask him while he's out there - I do this with my daughter's room, which is like a magnet for stuff.
Basically, kids who are feeling resentful towards you won't try to work with you, and kids who feel like you're trying to help them get the things that they want will. Of course no one gets everything they want, and I know my daughter understands that... but it's natural to try to arrange your world in ways that fit you.
Single mom to Rain (1/93) , grad student, and world traveler
With teens, it is time for them to feel like they have some of the control. What if you had a sit down with him and tried to create a set of rules for the family that everyone is happy and comfortable with. In our home, check in times are 3, 6, 9 and 12. That doesn't mean that they have to come home, they just need to check in. At this point in their lives and certainly when they start driving, I really can't tell them where to go or what to do. But, drinking and driving, for example, is unacceptable. If there is drinking going on at a party they want to go to, then the car doesn't leave our driveway. I won't forbid the party, but I will keep the car keys. Hopefully they will not choose to be drinking underage anyway...but I can't make that decision for them.
If you work together on creating groundrules, then your teen is more likely to follow them, because he feels some control in his own life.
Regarding the fort - I agree with pp, have a sit down and come up with some solutions to what you see as the problem. Maybe your guy truly doesn't understand what the issues are. Purchasing his own TV (battery operated so that no electricity is needed) could be a good option. If the household tv is borrowed, perhaps it could be rented to your teen which would ensure that if it become ruined due to weather, you would then have money to purchase a new one.
I am a little bit confused. It sounds like you have a really good kid- good grades and basketball indicate that he handles responsibility well. Same friends for years - probably you know them well. So, why is he gone for the whole weekend?
Could you just go get him and explain that you have been worrying and that you miss him? Maybe you could welcome him with lots of love and empathy and then really talk to him about what is going on. IMO this is a great opportunity to have a fresh start because he will be assuming that you are going to lay the hammer to him, but instead you will show him that you understand where he is coming from...
You could even apologize to him because although you have been a teenager, but you have never been the parent of a teenager. You are learning too, and you hope he can understand that and forgive you if you come on too strong at times.
When he uses profanity with you - just tell him that you expect to be treated with the same respect you give him and you will be happy to talk with him when he treats you with that respect. Then walk away.
All items taken to the fort the belong to the family - he needs to find ways to earn money for those items. If necessary you can sell his xbox, etc. to pay for those items. Hopefully he will choose to either pay for them or bring them back on his own.
Good luck during this time. It really does sound like he is a good kid.
none of the books i have read have helped me deal with the attitude that he feels like he should be able to do whatever he wants and i shouldnt ask questions.
another example is his freaking out when i require phone numbers and to be able to talk to other parents about his spending the night, etc. In HIS mind, he's already an adult.
If he wants his freedoms. Find a way to give them to him within reason.
IE: If he wants to go out without you checking up on him, tell him it is time he chipped in on rent. Time to get a job and pay a % of the bills. And then he will be treated like an adult when he has the responsibilities of an adult.
If he wants to drive when he turns 16, he will pay for his own insurance. If he wants gas, he will pay for it, if he wants a car, that is his problem. He is an adult, and he will need to buy one himself.
You can modify that any way you see, but if he wants to be treated like an adult in the question of his authority on being able to do what he wants, then he should learn the other side of being an adult, which is having the responsibility to do what you are supposed to do.
Oh, and throw in there 'if you fail at these things, your rights and privilages can and will be removed, I can take your car, your toys, your liscence. Oh and that thing called drivers ed? Since you are an adult, you wouldnt want to take that at the high school.... you would really rather take that at a private school out of your own pocket'
things like that. but then again, I haven't parented a teenager, I have only been a teenager. but in my experiance if they want to be treated like an adult there is no way to make them go back to being a child, part of development probably and not everyone goes through the rebelious stage the same. But take it full board and treat them like an adult 100%, unless they mess up.
just an opinion, feel free to chop it up as you need.
it a delimma...on the one hand, he wants to be an adult..on the other, i have all these responsibilities toward him (giving him rides, allowing sleepovers to unlimited # of kids, providing $$, etc.).
I called the program where i took the parenting class (it was Active Parenting of Teens and i thought it was really good), and htey have a class about learnign how to control your emotions. I can't remember the name, but its essentially a class teaching teens how to use their emotions to empower them to regain control, learn to negotiate, etc. Unfortuantely, the class doesnt start until the end of April, which is unfortunate. but he WILL be in that class.
I have removed his computer and xbox from his room. His xbox is hidden but his computer is in teh family room (where it should have been in the first place). He is allowed to use the computer for a few minutes a day, but not like he did. He still has his cellphone. He has to come home alone every day after school right now (there is usually NO day that he is either not at some friend's house or has a friend over).
These are big deals for him. They are big deals for me too. I don't like denying him things but i also can't sit back while he goes down the road toward destruction. Allowing him to walk out of hte house on Friday night and he not coming home until Sunday (he spoke with his dad and step dad so i know where he was and he was safe), but that is just something i cant allow him to think is "OK".
I also have a 14 yr old boy, but he is severely physically handicapped, although he asserts he is becoming a man and will try to throw people out of his room or take off in his wheelchair while telling people off, like his aid at school.
I've been havng a lot of issues with my DD too, though they are slowly working themselves out - for now. I posted in the gentle discipline forum hoping for some help.
he's home and being nice b/c he wants to go somewhere this weekend. at least i have that. it breaks my heart when i have to withhold something from him. i just wish he could get control of his feelings to want to do whatever he wants all the time. he has this attitude that since he's 6'2 and mistaken for an adult all the time that he shoudl be one. well...uh...no.
Grades? Straight A's.
Friends? Same ones most of her life.
We've gone back to basics and it has really helped. We reviewed house rules. We talked about responsibilty and privledges. And then made some changes here and there.
All chores and homework to be done right after school. (there are only two chores, bedroom and dishes or folding laundry- those rotate on a monthly basis)
Only 30 minutes of computer time per day unless there is homework to be done on it.
Only 30 minutes of phone time per day.
No name calling. No backtalking and no talk like listed above.
She can go out two nights a week with friends. She can also go to youth group if she chooses.
Extra nights out may be possible but require asking at least 24 hours prior to going out. (mainly because we have a large family and people going here and there all the time.
One hour of free time each night. Go for a walk, watch a movie, etc.
Once we were clear on these things, it improved so much. Especially after she knew she would be able to go out those two nights unless there was something drastic to change things.
Teens can be dang frustrating! But I remember feeling so lost... Too old for a lot of things, not old enough for others. Just kind of stuck in limbo. Add in hormones, life, etc.. And you having a melting pot of turmoil.
and he did say f&*k you last friday which is somethign i just cant tolerate.
So far, she has been following the rules very well. She loves being able to go do things with friends and get out of the house so she does not want to lose that. She is very social - the phone and being with friends is very important to her.
I also reward positive behavior. I make sure I say thank you for anything she does to help and for getting her chores done right away. If I am out and see a little nail polish, eye shadow, toe socks or some silly thing she would like, I pick it up for her. I make sure to tell her why I am appreciative of what she is doing.
One thing that helped when our oldest ds, now 21, was a teen was to get a notebook we could write to each other in. He hated talking about poblems or issues. But writing did not bother him. So we would write back and forth about things. Major issues required face to face, but the little things we could hash out in our spiral folder.
Hope this helps a bit..
I also can relate to your scenario of establishing rules and ds having a hard time following them when it comes down to it. IE- last Sun dh & I went for a walk. When we got home the car was gone. DS came home a few minutes later. I explained to him AGAIN that the rule in our home is that he must ask to drive (unless it is an emergency) every time. If we are not home & he can't phone us, he can't drive. Okay, rule repeated. Later that afternoon DH, DS2, & I went to dinner (DH1 elected not to go). When we came home, the car was gone. I called him & told him to come home immediately. He did. I explained that I felt hurt and angry with him for taking the car AGAIN after I respectfully repeated the rule to him just a few hours earlier. He seems to just not give a S&*T, ykwim? For now, I have suspended all of his driving priviledges indefinitely. The places he took the car to on Sunday are less than a couple of miles from our home so it wasn't like he went somewhere I wouldn't have let him go to, but he at least has to respect the basic rule. However, when I reminded him of this when he got home, he yelled LOUDLY at me so I just told him I wouldn't be speaking with him for the rest of the night because I can't handle it when a person addresses me this way.
I can so relate to that attitude of wanting to do what HE wants to do. This is a tough one and the "sitting down and talking thing" may work for some, but doesn't do that much for us when the moment inevitably arrives when he wants to do something that we don't agree with.
What I'm trying to do now is not WORRY so much. He is his own person and he will have to be the one who deals with the consequences of his actions. I processed this with my friend whose 15 year old ds is doing similar stuff who talked with a friend/mentor & her basic advice was to back off and trust the good things about your kid.
I've also found that when my kid does something obnoxious (like the car thing above), he & I process best when we've both had time (usually the next day) to calm down.
Oh, and another thought (I know this is somewhat rambling. . .)- we live in a liberal community where many kids have cars they can use whenever they want and can come & go as they please. I think that sometimes kids who have rules rebel because they set the standard against these kids with no rules (not bad kids, just no rules). My son thinks he should have no curfew because he is 17 1/2 because none of his friends do. We usually require him to be home by 1 or 2 (earlier if he has the car), but last week he came in at 12:40 (on time), but I think he left again and borrowed a bike (there's a strange bike in our garage) and came in whenever. I asked him about this and he claimed that he brought the bike home for a friend and that it had been there since the afternoon before and that he had NOT left after coming in at 12:40. I said okay as I really can't disprove him, but I do know for sure that he has left after curfew on other occasions. I'm not willing to stay up all night guarding my house, but I don't feel our rules are unreasonable. On the other hand, I'm not willing to just let him come and go as he pleases.
If you've made it this far, thanks. I just never ever thought parenting a teenager would be so HARD!!!!!!
what is with teh yelling? i do think its a boy thing (they have such a harder time expressing their emotions).
im going to MAKE him take this class at the end of the month..i know he wont be happy about it and will yell but im waiting until its almost starting before telling him so i can reduce my "torture" time (thats what i call his nagging to do somethng when he cant or nagging to not have to do something).
i think alot of kids around here have no rules, but im just not comfortable with that. and i dont believe what he tells me anyway, b/c ive talked to a few moms and things aren't the way my son portrays them sometimes.
im trying to take it one day at a time, but lately there have been too many times where i just say "go away..or go to your room..i cant talk to you". i never thought i would say that to one of my kids, but i really cant take being screamed at, being told i was crazy...i lost it...i was being ridiculous, kwim???
I truly hope you can find some answers to your son's behavioral issues. I would be firm, firm, firm, and not stand for any disrespect. Maybe you should lock the door if he doesn't want to come home on time? That is not fair to your family if he doesn't respect the rules. I also really like the idea of making him pay rent in exchange for being treated more like an adult. G/L, Mama!
|I recommend everyone with a teen read the book How To Talk So Teens Will Listen & Listen So Teens Will Talk. The authors show how you can be firm without alienating your teen. I found it very helpful.|
|We do occasionally have issues w/her not doing her chores or not doing them all the way. When that happens we ask her how we are to trust her judgement away from home if she cannot complete the basic responsibilities she has here. Not completing her chores, or not doing them correctly/or in a timely manner result in loss of privliges and/or more chores.|
thanks mamas...for posting yoru experiences..it helps me to calm down and realize im not alone.
i cant wait till this class starts..i really hope he doesn't put up much resistence to going to it, although i dont have too much confidence of that.
yesterday he yelled at me, told me i was crazy and ridiculous, and then asked to go somewhere after school today. i said NO! well he's been out of school for 2 hours and is not home. im just not sure what to do. put the baby in the car and go get him with him kicking and screaming (remember, 6'2 kid..not like i can drag him home), or wait for him to get home and take more things away. i cant take his clothes away and soon that will be all he has left.
did anyone see the news about a woman who chained her dd to her? they were caught when the mom got pulled over for speeding or some other traffic violation and they were chained together. i would NOT do that and do NOT think its the solution, but i can kind of see whats in her mind. the mom said the dd would run away if she wasn't restrained. thats so sad, isnt it??? i have tried so hard to provide for ds1 and give him whatever he has wanted, but to also teach him responsibility, etc. and now b/c he can't be physically restrained (he's always saying, "Im 6'2..there is nothign you can do), then i have no control. and if i ground him or take things away, im making his life boring. and there is so much that he throws up to me if i try to have a conversation..its never ONLY about his behavior and how its unacceptable..he wants to bring up his brothers, mistakes made in the past, etc. etc.
thanks again for sharing your stories..i really don't know what to do. i don't want him to go live with his dad...that woudl kill me, but i have NO control over him (obviously from 2 weeks ago and now again today).
Are you and your son's dad and stepdad all on the same page? Does he treat them with the same disrespect?
You are dealing with some really heartbreaking issues. My husband and I were foster parents to a teenage girl. It was different as we didn't have the life long relationship with her as we will with our sons. BUT, it was so hard when she was disrespectful and lied. And on some level, he knows boundaries are your way of showing you love him.
|I was going to ask about the dad, too. If I have trouble, I have Dad back me up, but he lives here, so that is probably alot easier for me.|
ds1 has been told he will have to go live with dad if he doesn't start behaving at home, but G-d, that would be so hard for me not to have my kid with me, yk?
i am hoping the class at the end of the month (how to control your emotions, etc.) will be helpful..but im also gearing up to hear the screaming and yellign that is going to come from his learning he has to take it.
and as far as today goes, he is really good at manipulating his stepdad and called him at work to ask if he could go home with a friend's mom b/c he had to stay after school for Spanish help. ok, lets see if i can explain this. I am HOME with his baby brother, but i didn't get a phone call. He told his stepdad that he couldnt get in touch with me (if i see he has called, i call him back, so whether he could get in touch with me that minute may be true, but he didnt call after school again). So, of course his sd said he could stay and go home with the mom. the thing is that 1. he was told to come home (i woudl of course have made an exception to the school thing and picked him up there); and 2. he went to a friends house that is miles in the other direction of school. never mind he wasnt supposed to go there anyway.
so, another sit down (he HATES those) tonight when his stepdad picks him up b/c im not gonig to get him. I am really at a point right now where i need his stepdad home when i talk to him. I literally say "help me" to his stepdad when im talking to my ds1.
jeez...and this isnt a kid who is into drugs, alcohol or smoking!! i can't imagine dealing with any of those issues, but that is what i am trying to avoid, kwim???
and im exhausted!!! not from teh babe, but from the teen!!!