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5 Bumps

How to handle disrespectful 17 yr old?

I have a son about to turn 18 in a few days. He is a senior in high school and has always been very stubborn and challenging. Lately he has acted very disrespectful, mouthing off and talking to me like he owns the place, using foul language, saying he is 18 now and can do whatever he feels like. I accidently picked up the phone line at our house to call someone not knowing he was already talking, and he yells for me to get off the phone. I didn't even have a chance to apologize. But excuse me, who pays the phone bill?!! I believe in mutual respect and him following the rules until he moves out . How do I let him know this behavior won't be tolerated (yes, I told him and also grounded him from the phone) ? That doesn't seem to phase him . He still has another year of school and then will join the military. He is setting a bad example for his little brother too. He and his father do not get along so I try not to involve his dad unless it is very necessary because that only escalates the behavior.

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Asked by Anonymous at 2:18 PM on Aug. 2, 2012 in Teens (13-17)

Answers (15)
  • I work in a high school and see this a lot from kids that were help back a year from starting school... it always come back to haunt them in their Sr year!!

    Sit down with him and have a heart to heart.... tell him you need him to act 18, not 8!! Seriously... go off just to two of you ang talk (in a non-confrontational manner) about stepping up and acting like a man, not a boy. Don't yell, don't threaten (it will work against you)... just talk to him about it. It's amazing what kids this age can step up and do if they feel like you are working together, not against each other!!

    Answer by Crafty26 at 2:24 PM on Aug. 2, 2012

  • I have no idea. My kids aren't that age. I hope someone has some good suggestions. As for what I would do if I were to have a 17 Y.O. now acting like that (easy for me to say because I don't), I would probably remove the phones and other things I deem privileges and let him earn them back by showing respect for what he has and all you do for him. I don't know if that's realistic or not, but that would be my first thought.


    Answer by QuinnMae at 2:25 PM on Aug. 2, 2012

  • He wants to be a man and be able to have control of his surroundings? He can pay rent and get his own cell phone. He can also buy a car and pay his auto insurance and gas while he is at it he can contribute to the groceries as well... He can sign a contract about this rent and in it can be how he treats his 'land lord' in order to not be evicted. Live by your rules and you support him or live by his rules and get a job.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:26 PM on Aug. 2, 2012

  • less talk more actions taken - I'd take his privillages away for anything he does unacceptable, 1 by 1, until he'd realize there is nothing left; try to be unpredictable so as he gains more respect to you (from fear, feeling kinda on a moving ground), change rules from day to day, but always keep your words promise, unless you're prone to forget, i'd try to keep him running for me not around, and be full of slogans that could stick in his head (if it was my son). fully theorethical

    Answer by kujus04 at 2:26 PM on Aug. 2, 2012

  • Good luck to you. I also have a soon to be senior who is sometimes like that.

    Answer by mompam at 2:31 PM on Aug. 2, 2012

  • If he's 18, then tell him he can live by your rules or find his own place to stay. Does he have a job? Is he paying for his own cell phone? His own auto insurance? He needs some responsibility to help him grow up or he's going to have an incredibly tough time in the military!

    Answer by missanc at 2:31 PM on Aug. 2, 2012

  • I'd tell him that in his own place he can make his own rules. If he stays there,he lives by yours

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 2:35 PM on Aug. 2, 2012

  • When my boys were that age and acting out we clarified the rules they had lived with all their lives. Our house, our rules. You don't like my rules?...Don't let the door hit ya where the good lord split you. I did not and will not tolerate disrespect in our home. Foul language was always a major offense. When they acted out phones, TV and car keys went off limits. At one point we took everything out of our youngests room except his bed, including the bedroom door. That's what happens in my house when you sneak around, lie or majorly break trust in some way. That same child is now a college graduate, owns his own home, has been married for 3 yrs, has a great job and a wonderful wife. He calls me or emails me at least once every 3 days just so I know they are okay.

    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 2:37 PM on Aug. 2, 2012

  • Well, I can tell you what his TI would do to him for mouthing off like that. Drop and give me 200 (pushups). Count each one out and apologize with each one ~one, I'm sorry for yelling SIR! ... two, I'm sorry for yelling SIR! Or, one, I have no phone that is mine to yell about SIR! ... two, I have no phone that is mine to yell about SIR!

    Depending on the TI's mood, the next thing will be a nice 5 mile jog. In 108 degree weather or a thunderstorm.

    Later that night he may well (along with his entire squad who will then be majorly ticked off at him) get rousted from his bunk for another jog, an inspection, or latrine detail.

    I agree with sitting down for a one on one talk, but I also agree that he is in for some major heartache if he doesn't grow up some before joining the military.

    Answer by Farmlady09 at 2:48 PM on Aug. 2, 2012

  • Time to start treating him like an adult. Adults pay bills. He is not acting right take all his privileges away. Make him get a job. I would tell him "you are not grown tell you finish high school". If you pay for a cell phone for him. Take it away, computer/Internet take it, if he has a tv in his room with cable/satellite take it.  When he asks why you did that.  "Because you are and adult now. Buy and pay for it all your self".  About the house phone. Tell him from now on when I need or have to use the phone and your on it, you will get off it or I will hang up on you.    I have already been though this with my DD's. I told them go buy my rules or move out, sense you are and adult now.   Make him get a job and pay you rent.


    Answer by louise2 at 3:05 PM on Aug. 2, 2012

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