Sorry but I'm new to mumsnet so please bare with me. I have tried for so long to deal with this but I now need some kind words of wisdom... I have a 13 yr old son & 10 yr old daughter and my husband works away from home during the week. Over the past few years the relationship between my son & daughter was deteriorated and it is obvious that he is extremely jealous of his sister. My daugher is very much an "up &go" kind of person and will take part in just about everything and anything however her brother is more reserved and will never push himself - he has had far more opportunities but he just won't apply himself. Both my husband and I have done everything possible to encourage him and we are now even holding our daughter back so she doesn't overtake her brother. They obvioulsy argue like an old married couple too ! Since starting year 9 at secondary school my son has become even more distant with me - everything is fine at school and he appears to be doing well. I've noticed that he is telling me things that I want to hear and sometimes lying about more important matters. I have always told him that I can deal with the truth but I can't stand lies and I have made it clear that I was really disappointed that he has lied to me. He promised that he would tell the truth but I think he was only syaing what I wanted to hear again... This morning he ended up embarressing his sister infront of one of his friends who had called for him. When I questioned him away from his friend about the comments he made he just replied "its pay back for what she has done". I stated that I wasn't happy with the way he treated his sister and there was no reason to show her up infront of his friend. I told him I would be conviscating his phone for 24 hours because of his behaviour.He then stormed out of the room muttering something. I called him back into the kitchen and he pushed the kitchen door with such force that he cracked a pane of glass in the door and then before I knew it he stormed towards me. He barged his shoulder into my chest with such force that it winded me and I was gasping for breath. It came as a complete shock and I still can't believe that he would do such a physical thing. He comes across as such a gentle natured boy but more and more I'm starting to see a different side to him. I know I could never leave the two of them together and I just don't trust what he would do if his sister upset him in any way. I still can't believe what he did to me this morning and I just don't know what to do or how to deal with the situation when he comes home tonight.
Betsie - and notknowing - the first thing to say is DON'T PANIC. It is a terrible, terrible shock when this happens, but you CAN deal with it
Teenagers being violent to their parents is much more common than we know, IMO. It is such a huge taboo that people very rarely talk about it, but when you start talking, you suddenly find all sorts of friends and acquaintances admitting it happens/ed to them too.
Most teenagers who lose control and get violent only seem to do it once. With any luck, this will be the case with your son. If this is a one-off, here's a suggestion of what to do...
- Talk to him. Make it clear this is a Very Big Deal. If there is no other violence in your house (eg no adults or older siblings etc are hitting him) then you can straightforwardly say that you absolutely will not tolerate physical violence in this house. It is a place for people to be and feel safe.
- If there has been other violence, then this is the moment for it to stop. You'll need a family meeting at which you announce that from now on, there will be no more violence at all - for the reasons above.
- Tell your son (or the family) that from now on, if he (anyone) is physically violent to anyone else, you will call the police. Mean it. And do it. If you ever do have to call them, it is very, very likely that you will only have to do it once or twice - most children are so shocked, and it sends a very clear signal that you mean business.
- Don't be afraid of calling the police - everyone who has posted on the Teenagers board reports that they are really good at dealing with young teens who act violently towards their parents. In my own direct experience, if you call 999, they will come, they will take you seriously, and they will not arrest him unless you want them too, or unless someone is seriously injured enough that they require hospital treatment. But always remember, you do not call 999 to punish him or as any kind of 'mind game' or empty threat - you call them because you need back up in making your home a safe, violence-free place.
- Make sure he pays for the broken door - working it off is probably a good idea.
- Talk to him about anger management. He may need some help with it. Family therapy/counselling may help you all. Ask your GP.
- In this situation, the main concern is not punishment. It is making it crystal clear that violence is absolutely unacceptable and will not be tolerated again.
If on the other hand this is not a one-off situation, and your DS is often violent towards you or other family members, then a lot of the advice above still applies, but you will need further support. Come and join us on this thread for lots of practical advice and support from people who have been through, or are still dealing with, similar problems - people who understand, and will not judge.