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What works effectively, disciplining ur 12yr old son?!....

My son has only seen his father once, he has talked to him on the phone a numereous of times. He continues to feel his head up with dreams. My son is a AB&C student. For the last few yrs. He has gone to an engineer school, he is very good with his hands & he's business minded. But there's a flip side to all this. He doesn't like to be told what to do, he doesn't admit to when he is wrong, he goes back & fourth with me, always telling me in wrong & when I take thgs away or tell him he can't go outside. He starts to cry & yell, he gets destructive. So then when I get the belt' he run out the house & starts to circle my house sayn hes going to call the police & tell them all my business.

What should i do?

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Asked by Anonymous at 4:39 PM on Sep. 14, 2013 in Tweens (9-12)

Answers (14)
  • well those things sound like 12 yr old behavior-basically. He's starting to grow up and has his own opinions and of course he get mad when you tell him he can't do things- or when you "tell him what to do" he's 12!
    I mean, do YOU like to be told what to do? Do you like to be told "no"?

    he gets destructive how?
    and really? a belt? and you expect him to what...stand that and say okay mom, you can hit me with that. Do YOU want to be hit with a belt?

    sounds like you two could maybe benifit from some counseling together...


    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 4:46 PM on Sep. 14, 2013

  • try asking him to do things instead of TELLING him to do them. Give him a time frame to work with for getting them done.
    conseqences that don't include violence on your part
    also don't forget to let him know when he's made you proud or to thank him when he's done something you asked of him

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 4:51 PM on Sep. 14, 2013

  • Engineer school at 12?
    Maybe I am missing something, please explain.

    Also, you are the parent he doesn't have to agree or like it. A belt at 12 is a little much, let him cry about it. Walk away and leave it as it is, if you ground or take away just do it.

    Answer by luvmygrandgirl at 4:55 PM on Sep. 14, 2013

  • "When I get the belt" is where this all clicks into place. You NEVER spank with a belt or any other implement - thats abuse. No winder hes reacting the way he does!
    I'm a proponent for spanking, with your hand on the bottom between the ages of 3-8 or so. 12 years old is too old for spanking.
    Counseling for both of you would be extremely beneficial. With my 13 yo son I use grounding when needed (which is like almost never, once in the last year for telling his sister to shut up)

    Answer by missanc at 4:58 PM on Sep. 14, 2013

  • If you are hitting a child with a belt, he should call the police, I am not going to sugar coat it, it is abuse.

    Answer by 2kids2dogs2cats at 5:05 PM on Sep. 14, 2013

  • Okay, he does something you find unacceptable, and you take something away or tell him he can't go outside. Fair enough. He starts to cry and yell. Not very mature, but still, his feelings are his feelings and his reactions are fine. As he gets older, hopefully he will learn to moderate his outbursts. No reason to hit him with a belt, if there ever is a good one, which I'm not convinced of. So then he gets destructive. What does he destroy? Is he in danger of hurting you or himself? Can you take him by the arm and maneuver him to his room where he is safe, and where anything he destroys is his, and he'll have to endure the consequences he inflicted on himself? If he's utterly out of control, can you keep him from hurting himself? Hitting him with a belt when he is angry and destructive, that won't ever de-escalate the situation.

    Answer by Ballad at 5:57 PM on Sep. 14, 2013

  • I recommend you check out a book called "How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk." It's been in print for 30+ years and should be easy to find via public library or (of course) on I've seen it in local bookstores, too.
    The key is in how the PARENT responds to the child's reactions you describe (not liking being told what to do, not admitting to mistakes or errors, arguing points with you, taking issue with your treatment of him.) This book, or the book Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) by psychologist Thomas Gordon (which is an even more comprehensive book that covers the same kinds of communication issues but also addresses constructive, effective discipline), gives parents more options than your knee-jerk reaction to your child's protests or dissent. When you think about it, as charlotsomtimes pointed out, you probably CAN understand why he doesn't like being told what to do or told No.

    Answer by girlwithC at 6:07 PM on Sep. 14, 2013

  • You also probably don't appreciate his tone or HOW he says what he says at these times, and likely react to it hoping to discourage the behavior. This escalates things, as you later describe.
    If you could improve the situation so that his communication or "message" (the emotion behind his impulsive words) was heard & accepted/received, instead of primarily being lost (missed) or ignored/overlooked because of your focus on the rude manner in which he expresses them, you would be changing the present predictable pattern in an important way. Learning HOW to hear those very primitive, provoking statements & "translate" them to acknowledge WHAT they are communicating will give you a way to "hear" him instead of resisting/rejecting him (because you're taking issue with how he speaks.)
    This isn't the same as ignoring or "letting it go." That's because when you use reflective listening, you're MODELING more mature communication back.

    Answer by girlwithC at 6:09 PM on Sep. 14, 2013

  • The two books I mentioned will give you a variety of examples of HOW to respond to upsetting statements, retorts & reactions from your child. Each of those examples are counter-intuitive examples for most of us, because they embody HEARING the communication, rather than REACTING TO it (and essentially rejecting it.)
    This makes a big difference in how situations unfold (and changes "what happens next.")
    It always starts with the parents. It's our job to regulate our own emotions, in order to manage our children's dysregulation & help them learn self-regulation. Kids can't learn emotional regulation if their emotions are rejected, punished, or resisted (because of "how" they communicate them.) In that situation, people either learn to repress their emotions (which sets them up for pressuring their children to stuff THEIR "unacceptable" feelings, later!!) or they are stuck in patterns of angry raging & venting.

    Answer by girlwithC at 6:16 PM on Sep. 14, 2013

  • I think that if you are the tyoe of person who uses a belt on her son, you need to go into counseling for parenting classes. This has nothing to do with his father, but it does have to do with YOU.
    He is right you know, he would only have to tell a teacher that you used a belt for CPS to be called.

    Answer by Dardenella at 8:20 PM on Sep. 14, 2013

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