Knowledgeability Clarity of Response Timeliness Politeness Nomination?
10 10 10 10 Yes
Comment: thank you for your response you did helpe see some things i was not seeing before i was just so upset with his behavior i did not think of what may be the issue to cause it….
Subject: out of control teen
Question: In the past year and a half my fourteen year old son has changed dramastically. We were very close and talked about everything now we cannot be in the same room together because it is a fight. no matter what I say he has to say something back just to have the last word.
I am a single mother and his father is not in his life at all I truly do not know if this is some of his issues or not. He blames all of his actions on me everything that happens to him is my fault. when it comes to him getting into trouble he becomes irrate and screams and yells and has even cussed at me and states he hates me.He has also stated that he hates his sister and would like to kill her or to see her die. His only concern is his friends as if he has no family unless he wants something. I am to my last straw with him I have no idea on what else to do.
Answer: Dear Tammy:
Your 14 year old son has changed dramatically in the last year because his hormones have shown up! However, rude and disrespectful behavior is not allowable especially because you are a single mom.
It does take two to tangle as the saying go so let’s start with you first. You are the adult and the parent in this relationship. Having the “last word,” is not important. So he gets the last word in? What does this matter?
It is not important whether or not he gets the last word in because this is not a take hostage situation. This is not a contest between the parents and the children. He has opinions and he is asserting them. HOW he asserts them is more the point. Whether or not he asserts them to you as part of the conversation without emotionally abusive statements is what counts.
His blaming everything on you perfectly normal. This is all part of growing up. The good news is you are almost done, the bad news is this isn’t going to be easy.
All this anger he has inside is obviously coming out and heatedly. What is going on to make him so angry? Does he feel left out at home or school? Is something going on at school? Is he being picked on or harmed in someway?
These are questions he maynot welcome you asking him until you build this relationship back up from a negative place to a more positive place.
Here is how we do this.
1st You need to catch him doing something right and let him know you are pleased, proud of him, think he is great in a positive statement.
2nd You need to do this daily and as often as possible.
3rd Find something you both enjoy doing together. Make sure it is something he really does enjoy and is not doing just to please you. Then spend some time doing this activity.
4th After you and your son have spent some fun time together then ask him what is making him so angry? Ask him how his life at school is going. Then be PREPARED to LISTEN, JUST LISTEN and Listen some more. NO giving advice unless he asks you, no lecturing no matter what he says, just spend this time listening to him. When he is finished thank him for trusting you. Then spend some time alone thinking about what you heard.
Often single parents (and I have been there) have no clue how much pressure these young boys are going through at school. We think girls are the only ones who feel the peer pressure about their looks, friends, clothes, sex etc….
Often when teens are giving their parents problems they are actually angry about what we don’t know. We don’t know lots because they don’t tell us. (They think we know anyway or should know anyway!).
The reason they don’t tell us is because teens have 2 major developmental tasks to complete.
First they need to develop peer relationships both with the same sex and with the opposite sex. Sometimes they practice these skills alot and drive their parents crazy because it seems like their family isn’t important. They are only distracted right now, you are still the most important relationship in their life.
Just so you know he learns how to be a man from his father and he learns how to relate to women from you. So this is your opportunity to teach him about how to relate to women.
SECOND teens are suppose to separate from their parents into separate human beings. They find ways to keep you at a distance not to reject you but to separate from you. Sometimes when parents and children are really close this process can be very painful kind of like separating co-joined twins but an emotional separation.
Now for the emotional abuse, you need to let him know he can communicate with you and you know he is growing up and is becoming an adult however he needs to communicate his feelings, opinions and values in a respectful manner. Which means no put downs, blaming or shaming.
If his mood doesn’t seem to lift then possibly a trip to your health care doctor maybe necessary to see if he is suffering from depression. Try the other suggestions first but don’t delay if nothing works.
M Kay Keller