I have a 15, almost 16 year old son that is making me crazy! Almost every day there is some drama with school, friends, a girl he me on the cruise we took, something! He argues with absolutely everything we say. Nothing is ever his own doing or he wasn't really doing anything wrong because he disagreed with a rule. Augh!
He walks around with complete anger on his face because things didn't go well at school, or his friend made him mad. His friend is an 8 year old in a 17 year old's body. He's a nice kid, but a spoiled brat. Obviously, my son is a brat as well. I thought we tried to prevent this. I was WRONG!
He has been lying and doing other things that are wrong. Some of which he has cleaned up. We can't even ask how he's feeling without a smart-mouthed comment. He also asks, "Whut?" when we call him out on his bad behavior with a smart aleck shrug.
His logic is circular. He'll admit that we have reason to be upset but then he doesn't get why we are upset with him because he didn't really do anything wrong. One time he was trying to help a friend and was out past curfew. He got into trouble for breaking curfew, was grounded for two weeks and is arguing that he is grounded for trying to help a friend!
I know teens are supposed to be difficult, but what are parents supposed to do? He's very smart, but only uses his brains to come up with excuses. He believes that rules don't apply to him unless they benefit him in a way that he thinks is good or if they apply to someone else.
My husband and I were both weird teens in that we didn't argue with our parents, get into trouble, or think our parents were stupid. We both went to school and worked. There was no WAY I was going to cause trouble with my parents. They could probably make a drill sergeant cry. My husband was a little more rebellious than I ever considered being, but he did not go to the lengths that our son has.
Thanks for letting me rant. It's been a long night.
My son is 21. I don't see much difference in his behavior when he was in high school and your son's. Now my son has a full time job (he flunked out of college because he was majoring in Partying 101) and is renting a house with roommates. He is an only child who never had to wait or take turns or share his toys or our time. He got just about everything he ever wanted because we had no other kids to support or divide our attention. He has, like many of his generation, a large sense of entitlement. The world owes him because he is alive and wonderful. I love him, but I sometimes don't like how he behaves. He doesn't lie. We raised him to be honest, and honest he is...scathingly blunt.
This is not the young man I raised. My husband and I think he must have been switched with another child when he was about 10 and our son will probably reappear when he is ...about 40.
I make it sound like he is a horror. He isn't! When he treats me with less respect than he should, I try to remember all the good things about him. He is an Eagle Scout and a member of our local Search and Rescue team. He holds a 2nd Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do. He is a certified climber, rappeller and scuba diver. He is musically talented...has played piano for 12 years and percussion for 8. He is very intelligent, built his first computer when he was 11. He is kind to animals. He has an abundance of friends and loves doing things to help people. He treats just about everyone in the world with respect.
I think he says and does things in our presence that he would never do or say to, or in front of, others because he knows we won't kill him. He is doing his best to push us away so he can be independant, while at the same time, he has been borrowing my car while his is in the shop. He's normal...better than most, and worse than a few.
Your son is normal too. We did not do anything wrong while raising our son, neither did you raising yours. Just keep loving him and saying the same things you always have...do the right thing, be the best person, treat others well, etc. He hears it, but you may not see the results for a while. I'm being patient. You should be too.
Today he apologized for something he said...which means I can see some light at the end of the tunnel.
Thank you, SugarFrosted. I know my son could be doing so many great things. When he was young I thought he was going to be a Veterinarian because he is so good with animals and animals absolutely love him.
My husband and I feel like we have gone to great lengths to provide a good life for him and he recently told us that we don't care about him. We both have kids from a previous marriage. There were problems with them as well, one much more than the other. They have started their own lives and have been out of the house for a while. So that kind of makes our son like an only child.
Thank you for responding. I hope things continue to go better for you and your son.
Michele, your son sounds like a mirror image of my 16 year old son. ARGH
My kid is an expert at circular logic and just wears me down. If he does not become a lawyer, I think he will miss his true calling.
The kicker is that while my son (when angry) is so disrespectful to me with snide comments, the parents of his friends tell me how wonderfully polite and respectful he is. What I need to do is somehow get his ugly behavior on video and show it to him at a later time. I think he would be mortified. We both are extremely hard-headed and are cut from the same cloth, which is why we butt heads so much. Thankfully, my other two teenagers aren't like this so I don't blame myself. LOL
One day he will no longer be a temperamental teenager and we will be great friends...that's what I keep telling myself. LOL
Big hugs to you, from one mentally-exhausted parent to another.
I have an 18 year old I'm ready to kill. yes, Kill.
as soon as school is out in May he has to pack his bags and go. every night a new drama....we ask him to remove his jeans from the kitchen table and we are riding him too hard....could we get off his back? he will get to it when he goes by the table, its all about being efficient. then there is the yelling at me.
why do they come into the world so darn cute and cuddly and turn into butt heads?
I'm feeling your pain girl.
Wow, I must be really LUCKY. I have three boys ages 16(17 in aug), 14(15 in jun) & 9(10 in jul). I've never had a problem with any of them at all. My 16(17 in aug) still talks to me about everything. He still even asks if he go to a friends house before he leaves. If I say no, he says ok and leaves it at that...no argument at all. The only problems I actually have is when they fight with each other and then it's not even that bad, they stop when I tell them to. Sometimes I just let them go at it to see what will happen...They usually stop before it gets physical and they just walk away. then 15 minutes later they are friends again..
I'm very sorry for all your teenager problems. I hope they get better soon!
I think maybe god gave me good kids because I don't have the patience for bad ones.
Wow, I though only girls went through that stuff. My daughter is 17 and is a total monster. My husband and I never even as adults yell at our parents, leave a pile of stuff behind expecting everyone else to clean it up, and constantly does everything possible to annoy the entire family. When she's 18 she has two choices: straighten up or leave! I don't want to be bother any more. She has lacked nothing at all. I've taken her to Mexico on cruises, everything. All she wants is more, more, more. I have sacrificed everything to give her the best and I am tired of being crapped on! She has to go. As a child she was so sweet and considerate, not the monster she has become. How did this happen?
Since he wouldn't listen I wrote him a rather long letter to tell him how I'm feeling about things and some examples of a truly rough life. I told him that both my parents had had horrible childhoods on the hard to believe order and how my life hasn't been the easiest and none if us has turned to hiding from reality with alcohol or other means. My parents had it really rough and still don't drink or smoke. After describing their lives very briefly, I asked if any of his problems could compare.
In the letter I reminded him of the difficulties I had while growing up and even as an adult. I have plenty of reasons to try to drink my troubles away but I don't. I told him that I considered this a cop out and cowardly.
I let him know that I have always loved him and always will. I also told him that if his attitude didn't change that things were only going to get harder for him.
We haven't had a strong word in four days. His attitude towards us is friendly, he working to bring up his grades, and plans to start looking for a job. For each thing that he improves I tell him "Thank you" and give him a hug. I don't know if it was the letter because he won't comment on it or if something else got to him. Either way, I'll take it!
Thank you everyone for your support.
Michele, parenting is not easy. It takes a whole lot of effort and patience. First thing I would advice is to find different ways to improve your relationship with your son. Yes, it takes a while but if you start from there-- the wait will be worth all gems and gold. Writing the letter is one step away; You are doing great! Remember, creativity is the key. The more creative you are, the faster it gets.
Also, don't always assume that he's always wrong or lying, even if he does it all the time. Yes, he missed his curfew but what did he do? Did he help a friend worth enough to miss his curfew. Next time, calmly ask him why he is late and that he should (again in a calm manner) let you know that he is going home late so you don't have to worry. The trick is to set aside the frustrations. Because if you always show him how frustrated and angry you are, you will just make him more irritated, even if he knows he is wrong.
Back when I was a teen, I remember my mom crying infront of me. I don't recall what I've done but I do remember that it rang a bell in my mind. She has cried plenty of times until it had finally hit my conscience. Don't be afraid to show him your emotions. If you feel like crying, don't hide it from him. You probably think that he doesn't care, but deep inside, he feels the pain and sometimes it comes with guilt.
Once you have a better relationship with him, I'm pretty sure that it would be a lot easier for him to listen. You can't really change your son, you will just have to guide him the right direction and its up to himself to change his own ways.
I hope things get better at home. Just remember, "don't ever give up on someone that you can't go a full day without thinking about".
Take Care =]
Okay, my kids are little, so I haven't gone through any of this yet, but whatever, I read the parenting books, and they all say that your teenagers will resent it, but keep setting the rules for them, it is part of their growth to fight those rules, but they need to have them.
And what I think I will hold onto when my kids are rotten teenagers is that their brains are actually messed up. I forget the exact details of it, but the way a human brain develops, when it gets to the teenage years the logical decision making area stops and decision making heads over the the emotional area. That is why teenagers are so reckless and make such bad decisions. When their brain finishes growing, they can become logical again. I also tell myself this when my kids are having a tantrum, "probably just their brain growing again".
Also, I treated my mom far worse than I would have any other adult. She always said she would rather have kids who were bad at home and good everywhere else, and I guess she got her wish (I wasn't EVIL bad, but snarky and attitude bad). Part of that is a comfort thing -- you are comfortable with your family, so you can show your worst side. I am also someone who HATES being told what to do, to the point that if you tell me what to do right before I was going to do it anyway, then I don't want to do it anymore just because you said so.
And personally, if the kid really was helping someone in genuine need -- e.g. vehicle stuck, then I wouldn't ground him for missing curfew. But I don't know what the circumstances were for you.
Anyway, good luck, and remember, eventually you will get to CONSTANTLY tell your kid, "You deserve that" when they have difficulties with their children.
Raising teenage boys...such a challenge!
It's a wonderful thing that you are seeing your son surely still has a tender heart. I did find that trying to make issues about the issue and not make it personal really helped. For certain things, we found it necessary to make a contract to agree on what we expected. We did this when our kids got their license, got a cell phone, etc. In order to have this privilege, here's the deal. And then, the consequences were only about breaking the rule.
I think that is key. Don't escalate the situation. If your son suddenly blows up or is unreasonable, do not meet him there emotionally. Normally, they won't continue to escalate if you aren't helping to fuel the fire. Practice speaking calmly. Practice walking away calmly.
John Rosemond said something that I think is so important. The person who gets in the last word is NOT the winner. He or she is simply the person who spoke last. Don't be afraid to let him have the last word. Your word carries more weight when you don't argue. State it calmly and leave.
I have a heart to be an encourager. I've heard that encouraging someone is finding a bud of goodness or hope and encouraging that to come to full bloom. I've tried very hard to think about what the principle is that I'm trying to stand on and who it is I want my kids to be. I try hard not to have rules with no important purpose, I try to not make it personal, I try not to escalate, and I try to be pleasant and loving and lighthearted whenever I possibly can. If nothing else, it helps my blood pressure!
I have no idea what it is like to parent and raise a child.
However, I am 15 myself, a teenager, and can offer my viewpoint from a teenager's eye.
Neither my brother or I would ever dare talk back to our parents. Nevertheless, my mom and I often get into disagreements... but we've learned to just take deep breaths and calm down before re-evaluating what happened... once everyone is calm, it's easier to work things out.
Whenever my parents buy me something nice, or "spoil me a little", they remind me that they do it because I've deserved it (i.e. working hard in school, active in clubs, etc.), so I have to work for something.
And rebellion.... I'm not much of a rebel, but I think it helps that I have firm but understanding rules. If I'm going to be late home, I have to call.... Also, teenagers will be teenagers. We'll test boundaries and limits, but you have to maintain them.
As far as your son's stress... you could encourage him to find an outlet to relieve it (if not already). Just being able to vent in some way can help out a whole lot.
I hope I'm able to help. Again, I'm just your son's age.... but that's how I see things behavior-wise.
I won't even tell you the horrors my parents went through with my 2 older brothers. I think they aged my parents beyond their years.
I was the saint though.
I saw this sign years ago and thought I'd tell you what it said
Being the parent of teenagers, I now understand why animals eat their young.
Sick and twisted, but I guess it could be a funny statement that could apply here.
Thank you for all of the input. It has been very enlightening. He has been much better since I wrote the letter. I also got a dog for him that is very loving and energetic. He got to help pick out the dog from the shelter and he is crazy about her. He's also learning that the energy she has can cause problems that he has to fix. So far it's been a good thing. He talks to her and lays on her while watching TV.
It appears that my original son is returning. He has only been disrespectful a couple of times and those were very minor.
Thanks again for your help and for letting me vent.
I'm glad I read this. My son is almost 15 and boy oh boy!! I was the same as you in regards to I just never dreamed of saying anything to my parents that would be rude or disrespectful. I think it's a different time and not all of it is good.
I just posted in another thread about my 8 year old DD too!! I've been a stay at home mom for coming on 9 years and have in the last 2, went back casual/relief. I think my kids take more time and energy now than when they were little!!
The weirdest thing my son does, I think, is after we tell him how great he is doing or whatever, he almost immediately goes and does something stupid!!!