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What could I do if my 16 year old son won't talk to me and refuses to treat me with respect?

My son left at xmas to his dad's and hasn't returned home. He has lived with me his whole life. He does not treat me with respect. He is into drinking, drugs and refuses to accept responsibility for his mistakes in life. His dad is not honest and is a bad influence. I miss my son so much but I can't accept the terrible way he treats me. He has not spoken to his grama or aunt in 2 months either because he owes them an appology.


Asked by sinclair1 at 4:40 PM on Feb. 25, 2009 in Teens (13-17)

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Answers (9)
  • Is the custody arrangement written out and/or court ordered? Is he at Dads and mad at you because he is allowed to do whatever he wants at Dads but you have rules? Are the laws in your state such that YOU are responsible for him even if he is refusing to come home? Personally I would call family court and ask if he can be forced home,and what help there is like counseling or juvenile supervision through the court for both of you. It sounds like dads is not a safe place for him to be.....

    Answer by goaliemom93 at 10:33 PM on Feb. 25, 2009

  • You can't force him to do anything (unless of course you want to have him locked away in some juvie type program). As hard as it is you have to let him make his own mistakes. Leave the door open for him to come home - let him know you love him and that you will have him back as long as he is following your rules and stuff. Continue to try to reach out to him - but you can't make him be what you want.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:49 PM on Feb. 25, 2009

  • I have to agree with the anon pp. He is 16 so he by law can choose whom he wants to live with. Just make it clear that whenever he wants to come back and live by your rules he is welcome to. He will most likely realize the mistakes that he has made and apologize for it, hopefully it is not to late. There comes a time in life when you can not control your children. It is hard to deal with but just keep trying to reach out and show him you are there. Later on he will be thankful for that.

    Answer by MAMMA2DYANDTY at 5:01 PM on Feb. 25, 2009

  • i would send him to a boot camp. you have every right and parental obligation to make sure he is raised properly. you could have him committed into a mental health facility. drug abuse is really serious and you don't want to loose him to that. so drastic times means drastic measures. the sooner the better and i wouldn't let his complaining guilt trip you. be strong.

    Answer by melody77 at 9:15 PM on Feb. 25, 2009

  • I think every child gets to that age where they just say to you STFU. I mean right now its not even in his mind he is hurting you. He prob thinks he is so cool cause you let him get away with going to his Dads that was the mistake right there. Allowing him to be disrespectful to you and your family showed him he can get away with it from now on. You have a choice follow is lead and let him stay currently at his fathers. Or you one ask him to come back or drag his ass back wash his mouth out with soap and bend his butt over and wear him out! If that does not work then either let him be. With that said if you let him be. Make sure you close the door on his way out. Cause there will come a day he will need his mother and your door will be closed. He will ponder back to what he did and think if I had listened and not gotten so out of hand she would be here. Or you can always send him to a bootcamp or counseling.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:28 AM on Feb. 26, 2009

  • i was that teen. i was so disrespectful and got into a lot of trouble. i didnt go to school and was kicked out. no matter what my parents said " I KNEW BETTER". yeah then i got into some trouble with the law and got pregnant at 17 so i had to lean on my parents for help. i dont think there was anything that my parents could have done to change me. my mom did call the cops and have me drug out of my friends house but i just got even more mad at her. sending him to bootcamp will probably make things worse unless the judge orders it. so pretty much you are going to have to just let him know that you love him and he can come home. the tuff part of being a parent to a teen, let them make mistakes and learn there lesson.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:11 AM on Feb. 26, 2009

  • A lot of issues with disrespect stem from not enforcing it when they are little. The bad part is that once they are older, then its very hard to go back and start teaching the fundamentals. A 3 yr old that talks back and mouths off and uses foul langauge might be cute, but once they are 16, its not cute anymore. They two are definately related. I know your hurting because you miss your son, but its probably better that hes where he is. If you cannot control him (and probably can't because hes 16 and has been gone awhile) then maybe he needs to learn the hard way. The school of hard knocks is effective but painful for them and for us to watch. He will eventually mature and grow into an adult and likely will come back and make ammends with you. It will probably come at a time where he needs something from you. Its funny how different life looks at 25 vs 16. He won't even be the same person. Just let him know you are there.

    Answer by momofsaee at 2:23 PM on Feb. 26, 2009

  • Obviously you women were pushing his buttons and maybe he doesn't think he owes anyone anything. Maybe you ladies owe him an apology. You all ran him off. That's just shameful. Kids don't refuse to speak to family for no reason so don't come here playing innocent and crying Oh Woe is Me.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:48 PM on Feb. 26, 2009

  • respect goes both ways you have to give it to get it and at 16 he probly feels ( waranted or not) disrespected by you. if dad is doing the same drugs as son it will feel like one big party over there. for the life of your son you OWE him the attempt to bring him home. if you have the athority to do so enforce it! the drugs may be talking! get him into a rehab. an adict is sick and needs help. somewhere along the way he will see you love him and are trying to help him. the respect can be gained but it is a road that is traveld along the way not demanded outright or you will only be disapointed. i have a 16 yr son and we travel that road often and learn together how to respect each others unique perspectives. (i tell him when im feeling disrespected and why and then drop the subject. he will think about what i said and usualy apologize. etc.) as for his mistakes they will catch him soon enough!!

    Answer by allforthelove at 3:34 AM on Feb. 27, 2009