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What can I do to mend my relationship with my 13 year old son whom I have verbally abused in the past?

I need help. I have verbally abused my 13 year old son in the past. This was on and off due to my frustrations with him and my husband who both have ADHD. I have apologized to him but I think he has lost trust in me since it was repeated at certain times. My son is more focused now although he still needs discipline as he gets older. My husband in turn has just started taking medications for his ADHD. My husband and I have gone to counseling but we didn't finish. There is also verbal going on between the two of us. What can I do to bring my relationship with my son in a happier level?


Asked by Anonymous at 9:54 PM on Apr. 30, 2010 in Teens (13-17)

This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • Have you concidered attending counceling with your son? REally the best thing you can do to repair the damage, is to change your ways and offer understanding and love. We all screw up as humans, I doubt anyone who has said a harsh word to their child ever imagined they would ever do that, and most would not view it as abuse, but a harsh word can cause more damage to a person then a slap acrossed the face. Make sure he understands how much you are sorry and regret your actions, then ask him to help hold you accountable to your change... this way the change is personal to him. He is a part of it, and as a child in the years of transition to an adult, you asking for him to help keep you accountable shows that you are acknowlaging that transition, it also shows him an effective and mature way to resolve conflict that he will hopefully use latter on in life.

    Answer by daughteroftruth at 10:13 PM on Apr. 30, 2010

  • i can not imagine abusing my child on any level. i do not know what to say to you. other then i feel very bad for your child. as a parent you are suppose to be the ONE to understand your child no matter what. even if it is hard.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:05 PM on Apr. 30, 2010

  • Anon, she's trying to fix it. She's taking responsibility for her mistakes and trying to make them right. You're human and you fuck up sometimes too. Get off it.

    OP, all you can really do is rebuild trust. You do this by consistantly showing that you have changed and that you want things to be better. Spend quality time with him, one on one, be there for him, and never do it again. Eventually, if he can forgive you, he will start to trust you again.

    Answer by Ati_13 at 10:14 PM on Apr. 30, 2010

  • Positive feedback is key. Because he may have heard alot of negative things, he will want to hear you say he's done well or a good job on something. It doesn't have to be big. Maybe praise on how well he did on a homework assignment and tell him you love him. He needs to hear it. He really wants your praise and approval and wants to feel that closeness with you. At that age, we see our kids as angry when really they are frustrated and just want our love and approval. He may not be able to tell you in words how what he has experienced has affected him so he expresses anger. A psychologist is wonderful at helping provide an objective opinion so we can help our kids. Everyone makes mistakes. We can't go back and undo them. BUT, we can make better choices.

    Answer by lawmom27 at 10:27 PM on Apr. 30, 2010

  • Family therapy will go a long way to help the healing process.

    Answer by rkoloms at 8:02 AM on May. 1, 2010

  • There is fantastic information on adult ADD/ADHD here



    Answer by rkoloms at 8:03 AM on May. 1, 2010

  • well first off I will say it if no one else does. Verbally abusing your son is worse than beating him...its the same if a woman is getting beaten up by her boyfriend. I have been abused verbally in the past, and i would have rather hit then put down constantly. He is going to grow up extremely bitter if you dont get help now. My concern is that you said you started therapy but then later stopped, so how is that you trying to mend a relationship with your son? I do however think it is good that you are noticing that you have done this and want to change, however...wanting and doing is a different thing. If you mean what you say and your sorry and want to make a better relationship with your son, then get him help as well as you. and as far as you and your husband, how is that helping your son? If your still arguing and putting each other down this is the way your son is going to grow up. you have a lot of thinking to do.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:59 PM on May. 1, 2010

  • honestly,nothing..
    those things you have said to him will sting him forever...

    Answer by pisces_chick89 at 2:20 PM on May. 1, 2010

  • YOU need to go to counseling to learn how to deal with your frustrations in dealing with your child and husband. It is NOT their fault that they have ADHD. Also, counseling for your husband and son is needed to help them learn how to deal with the issues of ADHD that aren't helped by medication. You have done irrepereable damage to your son by emotionally abusing him, that is worse than pysical abuse. Bruises and broken bones heal, verbal injuries stay around forever. They will affect his relationships with others and in time, with his own children. Aplogoizing isn't going to do anything. You already caused the damage. You have done it repeatedly and yet have not gotten any help. Do it now before he completely hates and resents you and there is no chance for a relationship.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 11:22 AM on May. 2, 2010