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How to get a teenage son to see the error in his ways?

Since getting into middle school (he's 14, 8th grade) he has become defiant, argumentative and obnoxious to everyone in the family. He doesn't listen and do what he is told to do, even when he asks for help. I want to be an example of non-violence, but getting "hit" is the only thing that he responds to anymore and it scares me.

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Asked by Anonymous at 11:39 AM on Aug. 27, 2010 in Teens (13-17)

Answers (9)
  • hitting him will probably just make it worse.

    Answer by PURPULbutterfly at 11:41 AM on Aug. 27, 2010

  • There is definitely a well defined line, but I believe in a well deserved spank.

    Answer by SabrinaBean at 11:43 AM on Aug. 27, 2010

  • He needs to have set rules and consequences. My son was headed this way and I went one time to a counselor. The counselor said I had gone early enough and I needed to set up a structure that my son could not deviate from. And there had to be consequences for bad behavior. He told us to try this before calling him for another appoinment (he said he was not going to waste our money) and call him back if I ever needed to. We did as he suggested and it worked beautifully. We also made sure he got plenty of praise for doing things right and we tried to do something with him at least every other week. A family outing of some sort doing something he liked......bowling or whatever. Best wishes to you.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:47 AM on Aug. 27, 2010

  • He's just as hormonal as a girl his age. The girls slam the door and cry. The boys get aggressive and defiant. Set the rules for him, take things away when necessary,etc. If nobody fights back with him, he can't fight. I don't argue with the kids. I'm right because I'm the mom so and that's it. I don't have physical violence toward anyone in the house and we live in the country so they can walk out...but where are they really going to go? :) I think it's not very effective to ground a kid but let them keep their phone...they still talk to their friends and gripe about you and how mean you are. :) I don't have perfect kids by the way. One has gotten hersef in trouble w/the law, etc. but she's gotten a little older and she's near perfect. If you want an instant fix you'll need a brain transplant w/a 35 yo man's brain. :) Just keep hanging in there. Not fighting w/him doesn't = giving in to him.

    Answer by RentaMom at 12:04 PM on Aug. 27, 2010

  • We are having the same issues. I feel he has lost all respect and has no sense of responsibility. We have started a few things that are working...first, we use what is most important to him as the punishment tool...XBox...the first thing to go when he is disrespectful or irresponsible. The 2nd item would be the phone, though it hasn't gotten that far.
    We have also let him know how much we will help him out towards the purchase of a vehicle next year...nice tool to use.
    We also set up a chart where he can earn get so much each day for Chores, Behavior, and Hygeine (self, room, and cleaning up after yourself)...that gives him something to work towards in a positive manner. He has even decided that any money he earns off the chart is to be put up for his car. And we nipped homework right away. Any missing assignments will result in 3 days of no XBox; since he was likely playing it when he WASN'T doing homework.

    Answer by niknik78 at 12:56 PM on Aug. 27, 2010

  • Teenagers are at a point where they are trying to pull away and want to start having their freedom. The first thing to do is set the boundaries and lay out the rules now that he is a teen. The rules need to change when they get to be a teenager, to allow for more freedom and indpendance. I have three rules that encompass pretty much everything and they work. The other thing that works is when setting the boundaries and rules, you explain why and the importance of it. There is a reason we have rules for our children and they need to understand its not because you're trying to control them, the more you try to control they more irritated and angry they will become. Hitting them and yelling will probably not work well, just make them more angry and feel like you don't care how they feel about things or their opinions. I would suggest a serious sit down conversation, my house is harmonous since we've done that.

    Answer by blessedwboysx3 at 1:45 PM on Aug. 27, 2010

  • Oh and you may want to consider reading the book "7 Things Your Teenager Won't Tell You: And How to Talk About Them Anyway "
    Our rules come from this book and it provides great examples of how to institute them...Stay Safe, Keep In Touch and Show Respect. When the rules are broken you utilize consequences to drive the point home.

    Answer by blessedwboysx3 at 1:47 PM on Aug. 27, 2010

  • I know that it is obviously personal preference, but I would never condone hitting with my own children. Teenage years are notoriously the most difficult so I reckon you just need to lay down your ground rules and stick to them. He may be getting older but he is still only a child and, as his mother, I would just stick to your guns and enforce your rules and punishments for breaking them.

    Answer by SarahBel at 4:38 PM on Aug. 27, 2010

  • [part 2]

    What I think would really help would be to have him find something that he can use to relieve his stress. Somewhere to go to relieve all of his stress. These things can be things like television, a basketball.... etc.

    my suggestion is a computer. Though it doesnt make much sense, a computer is a very personal object and if he had one then he would spend more time on that than being up your ass. Also if you go through with that and get him a computer, don't be an ass about what hes doing. Don't moniter him, don't check what he's doing, as then he'd feel as if you had invaded his privacy, but not only his privacy, but what is relieving his stress..

    Excuse my language but i hope i have shed some light on the subject. Dont be too hard on him, perhaps even let go a little bit. He probably would like it.

    Best of luck,


    Answer by patskewl at 7:39 PM on Aug. 31, 2010

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