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I am at my wits end with my 13 year old son...how do I get him to listen, follow directions, and move faster?

Regardless of how early I get him up, he can't be ready in time to go to school. He goofs around and when asked to stop (whatever he is doing), he doesn't listen. It's not just before school it is everyday, several times a day. He has several quirky behaviors that annoy me and that prevent our family from getting things done or arriving to destinations on time. I have done everything conventional and unconventional to extinguish the behavior and/or to motivate him to be more timely/efficient, follow directions. I am at the point of sending him to military school. I am sick of discussing the issues with him and I am sick of hearing "I'm sorry, I won't do it again" to have him turn around 2 minutes later "doing it again". Help!!!!

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Witsend49

Asked by Witsend49 at 10:29 AM on Oct. 9, 2013 in Teens (13-17)

Level 2 (6 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • my son has always been SO slow...I just keep on him until we leave...
    and i started getting him up a bit earlier so he has more time

    what do you mean "quirky behaviorsthat annoy me" ?
    charlotsomtimes

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 10:32 AM on Oct. 9, 2013

  • Hmm, well, military school might be a tad bit extreme. Has he faced any logical consequences for being late? Let him serve detention if it comes up at school. Or, if you're going someplace fun and you don't want the whole family to miss out, for every minute he delays your leaving, make him sit out of the fun activity for a minute when you get there.
    Ballad

    Answer by Ballad at 10:48 AM on Oct. 9, 2013

  • When it's time to go, send him to school as is, even if he's still in his pajamas. I've done that a couple of times with my oldest. He now gets dressed quickly in the morning and is ready to go with plenty of time to spare. He's had to walk out the door with no shoes, or only half dressed before.
    Rosehawk

    Answer by Rosehawk at 11:23 AM on Oct. 9, 2013

  • maybe you should have him evaluated? You didn't describe his other behavior, but what could it hurt?
    2kids2dogs2cats

    Answer by 2kids2dogs2cats at 12:22 PM on Oct. 9, 2013

  • He's 13 what exactly do you expect? I'll get back to you on this one if I get a chance.
    2autisticsmom

    Answer by 2autisticsmom at 12:49 PM on Oct. 9, 2013

  • Natural consequences. Explain to him that the whole family has to be ready to leave at this time. If he's not ready, he stays home. When irs time for school, he goes just as he is. He will learn how to modify his behavior to be more timely but talking to him only isn't going to cut it. He needs to see what his behavior is causing
    Nimue930

    Answer by Nimue930 at 1:26 PM on Oct. 9, 2013

  • You should make it a habit of starting with him early, this is something they eventually out grow....
    older

    Answer by older at 9:41 AM on Oct. 10, 2013

  • If he immediately "does it again" after being told not to, this sounds like passive-aggression. I'd consider feeling him out or openly discussing with him possible resentments and perhaps aspects of powerlessness that particularly effect him. You might also research symptoms of depression and weigh them against your son's behavior.
    welltrainedmom

    Answer by welltrainedmom at 6:36 PM on Oct. 13, 2013

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