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Moms with Teens Moms with Teens

My son is super irresponsible, advise please.

Posted by on Jun. 28, 2013 at 10:33 PM
  • 15 Replies
My ds is not a teen, he is 9. I have a dd and sd that are 14.

My DS is so lazy, I don't know what to do. I have tried taking toys/video games away, time out, grounding him from the outdoors, talking to him, even spanking. Nothing seems to help!

When he was a toddler I had a rule in the house if it wasn't picked up, it went into a tote that went into my closet and every time he would pick up I would give him one thing back at a time. Worked like a charm for the girls, but not him. I would say time to pick up and he would throw his toys in the trash. Because of this, I have never really bought him a lot of toys. Only at Christmas and on birthdays.

I have made him earn the money to buy his own things, he still does not care. He will give his things away and say "I'm just going to get it taken away anyways"

He really wanted a new baseball bat, after a year- that's how long it took for him to earn it, we bought it, he was so excited to get it. That night he didn't put it away and the dog chewed the grip off of it. Let me add she is his dog, that he is suppose to put up at night. We bought it for Christmas thinking that would help him be more responsible. (Its helped a little) The next day he didn't even care about his bat. We paid $160 for that damn thing!

I just don't know what to do. He truly does not care about his things at all. He leaves his shoes and clothes outside, he even lost two pairs of cleats in one week at the baseball park before. How hard is it to keep your shoes and clothes on?? He has also lost his shoes at school before, I had to bring him new shoes that day. All of our friends laugh, but it is not funny.

Any advise is welcome.
by on Jun. 28, 2013 at 10:33 PM
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Replies (1-10):
sfion
by on Jun. 28, 2013 at 10:58 PM
1 mom liked this

My first question is , does he have any ADD/ADHD tendencies? If he does, he just does not see the mess. It just does not register, so punishing him will not work, just make him resentful and depressed (eg"i am just going to get them taken away anyways") I would check out the add thing first. The other thing is:  I am a mother of three boys and I can tell you they are a different breed altogether from girls. My sister has three girls. They do the laundry and clean the house when she is at work. My boys create laundry and mess up the house when I am not home. That is just how it is. He is only nine. Give him some space and less punishment. There is NO way I would make my 9 year old completely responsible for a dog. Give him a job like walking him once a day or feeding him in the morning. Baby steps. Set up a reward chart and give him stars for doing tasks responsibly.(Start slowly, with one or two and add as he gets more confident)  After 10 stars he gets a treat, after 25 a bigger one and so on. Positive rather than negative reinforcement will always win out.

HilbillyMamaof3
by on Jun. 28, 2013 at 11:23 PM
I like that. I feel I am constantly nagging, being negative.

With the ADD/ADHD I took him to the doctor when he was two, at four and at seven. She says basically the same as you, he is a boy.
He does have the symptoms though, but the pedi says ADHD/ADD is over diagnosed and to keep his diet in check- little sugar, caffeine no Red dye #10.

I keep him really active, he is very energetic- sun up to sun down. He can't really keep himself occupied, he needs someone to play with every second (the dog helps with that) I think that is from being the baby though, the girls have always doted on him.

I sat down to make a chart earlier, I think two things a day are good enough my chart was longer but I agree with you. I think I will start with reading 20 minutes a day and feeding his dog. He does these all ready and it will make him feel good to get rewarded.

I don't expect him to 100% care for the dog. He let her out after I had put her up for the night so she could watch TV with him and fell asleep. He actually does a really good job with her and is very nurturing. But I was very upset.




Quoting sfion:

My first question is , does he have any ADD/ADHD tendencies? If he does, he just does not see the mess. It just does not register, so punishing him will not work, just make him resentful and depressed (eg"i am just going to get them taken away anyways") I would check out the add thing first. The other thing is:  I am a mother of three boys and I can tell you they are a different breed altogether from girls. My sister has three girls. They do the laundry and clean the house when she is at work. My boys create laundry and mess up the house when I am not home. That is just how it is. He is only nine. Give him some space and less punishment. There is NO way I would make my 9 year old completely responsible for a dog. Give him a job like walking him once a day or feeding him in the morning. Baby steps. Set up a reward chart and give him stars for doing tasks responsibly.(Start slowly, with one or two and add as he gets more confident)  After 10 stars he gets a treat, after 25 a bigger one and so on. Positive rather than negative reinforcement will always win out.


fantasticfour
by Grumpy on Jun. 28, 2013 at 11:28 PM

 Wow I'm at a loss there.  Is there ANYTHING he cares about?

Txlisa7969
by Bronze Member on Jun. 28, 2013 at 11:46 PM

My son is almost 7 so he is a bit younger, but one thing I have noticed with him that was different than my girls at this age is that you have to be specific when making requests with boys.  Instead of telling him to clean up his mess I have to tell him exately what needs to be picked up.  I also have to remind him of things, a lot.  The previous poster that mentioned ADD/ADHD may be on to something.  My husband has adult ADD and he has to be reminded of things quite often.  I threaten to put sticky notes on his forehead sometimes lol.  If he is an immature 9 especially, he is going to need a lot of reminding and direction still.  I also like the idea of postive reenforcement for him.  Poor little guy already seems to have a negative impression of himself at such a young age. 

Jenn_A
by on Jun. 29, 2013 at 12:43 AM

I'm not so quick to blame it on being a boy. My two boys are generally awesome at cleaning up, keeping their stuff put up, and getting chores done, but so is my middle girl. My oldest and youngest daughters make me pull my hair out! They make messes, never get their chores done, are a pain in the rear! The youngest also can not entertain herself at all.......ADHD has also been suggested to me, and their 'symtoms' do kinda fit, but I also realize that they are very much like I was at their age. I just keep hounding on the chores. I try to make positive times with them, also, and also have learned to let some things go. Their rooms are theirs. As long as they are bug free, I don't care. My youngest is rewarded for spending time by herself. My older girl can not loose certain things that she has saved and bought for herself, other things are fair game! I wish I could say it works, but only margainlly. I'm just trying to keep some sort of relationship right now!

boys2men2soon
by Kimberly on Jun. 29, 2013 at 1:04 PM
1 mom liked this

I agree with the PP's regarding ADD & positive reinforcement.  A chart is a fantastic idea!  

The fact that he doesn't form attachment to material items because he will get them taken away is telling.    To me, that says he knows he won't be able to keep it because he can't help himself.     ADD is a definite possibility.    A diagnosis is based on a questionnaire.  The same questionnaire is filled out by his teacher, himself and each parent.     Tell your sons pedi you want the questionnaire.  Don't ask...tell her you want it and will distribute it to his teacher.      

Some tips:   Lots of reminders!    Think of fun ways to remember stuff.... think of the sing-song One two, buckle my shoe, three four, shut the door.    You can change the words to suit.... but if he learns to use that song to remember what he needs to do, it can be very helpful.




HilbillyMamaof3
by on Jun. 29, 2013 at 5:46 PM
I have a question; you said make up songs to "remember" to pick up. I know with ADHD that the biggest red flag is low grades. Ds will be in 3rd grade and reads at an 8th grade level, and his math is at a 6th grade level as of last Christmas, but I imagine with Math it is much higher now. He was doing the girls math (8th grade) toward the end of the school year, he was also reading a college level Sociology about diversity (he loves Martin Luther King Jr)This is why the Dr says it is not ADHD/ADD.

I'm very leery of medication, which the Dr is aware of- I'm the 20 question mom, lol. But if I knew what the problem was I would be more equipped to handle it properly.

I was not aware of the questionnaire, but will make an appt to ask for it. Thank you.



Quoting boys2men2soon:

I agree with the PP's regarding ADD & positive reinforcement.  A chart is a fantastic idea!  

The fact that he doesn't form attachment to material items because he will get them taken away is telling.    To me, that says he knows he won't be able to keep it because he can't help himself.     ADD is a definite possibility.    A diagnosis is based on a questionnaire.  The same questionnaire is filled out by his teacher, himself and each parent.     Tell your sons pedi you want the questionnaire.  Don't ask...tell her you want it and will distribute it to his teacher.      

Some tips:   Lots of reminders!    Think of fun ways to remember stuff.... think of the sing-song One two, buckle my shoe, three four, shut the door.    You can change the words to suit.... but if he learns to use that song to remember what he needs to do, it can be very helpful.


HilbillyMamaof3
by on Jun. 29, 2013 at 10:39 PM
Lol, of course! He loves sports and to fish. He loves his dogs, he actually has two, but one is specifically his. He plays with his friends everyday, we are cooking buddies and the kid loves math. He just doesn't care about "things" he would rather be outside climbing trees.

He also has a pretty good ego, I don't think he's depressed or sad. He really just doesn't care.


Quoting fantasticfour:

 Wow I'm at a loss there.  Is there ANYTHING he cares about?


sfion
by on Jun. 30, 2013 at 12:00 AM
Here's my take on add/ADHD. My older son of 3 was diagnosed in 1st grade with add. He is now in 10th grade. We did not medicate him, but he gets special ed support. He gets Cs in geometry because it is totally uninteresting to him but has the highest grade in biology in his class ( without opening a textbook or doing any homework) because as he says, "it is SO easy". Marketing is also interesting to him and he also has an a+ in that class. ADHD is tricky.
Low grades can be a marker in elementary school but a more telling marker is inconsistency and disorganization. Have him checked out. If he does score on the add/hd spectrum, at least you know what you are dealing with. My 15 year olds room looks like a tornado ripped though on a weekly basis. It bothers me, not him. He does not see it. He has lost backpacks, books, binders, clothing, wallets, you name it. He cannot help it. But we as parents can give these kids some coping skills and not make them feel badly about themselves.
chrissypea21
by on Jun. 30, 2013 at 12:19 AM

Don't let him go to friends house or anything. If it is so bad that you have to, take away sports! That might turn him around quickly if he likes baseball or whatever enough. You could do things like, if he asks for a pop, don't let him have one until he puts his bat away. Don't let him eat dinner until his room is clean. You could also do things like take the door off of his bedroom. Only let him go in there to get clothes, make him change in the bathroom. Make him sleep on the couch until he can straighten up. My sister snuck out twice as a teenager and the way my parents found out was because she broke the window! So, if you want you could try some of these things...hopefully I helped!!

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