My DS is getting out of control - too much fb, Internet etc, disrespectful to me and the family, rude, not making an effort at school etc etc. there is no stand out event or situation that has occurred but i can see him slipping in to arrogant, cocky, rude teenager mode .... so next week I will sit down and have a serious talk with him about acceptable behaviour and considering taking his phone etc away for a bit but any time I have tried this before it has created a bigger distance / void between us. Any tips on how to handle this or can anyone recommend books on this subject. Thanks
Oh dear what a pain they are I've been through it and have come out the other end with two well grounded and respectful successful sons if that is of any help,but respect to you and the family must be first and foremost,earn his privilages ie: internet/phone,talk to him as a young man and be his mum not his friend,you will get from him "but so & so does this" well yes they probably do but I am not his mum I'm your mum and this is the best way forward I think and don't raise your voice.(if all else fails lock him under the stairs and let him out when he is 21) promise you it does get better.
We've had some rough patches with our now 14 yo ds, starting when he was 12. We've found that taking stuff away doesn't work, he just digs his heels in and we end up at stalemate.
Instead of taking stuff away we ask him to 'earn' extra priveleges. So if he walks the dog for me after school, he gets extra xbox time. If he loads the dishwasher after dinner every night, I'll put extra credit on his phone at the end of the month. If he can manage half a term without any detentions I treat him to a pizza / sleepover night with his friend and as much xbox as they can stay awake to play.
He's much more cooperative than when we used to punish him and there's a much nicer collaborative atmosphere at home.
I still have to put the hard word on him every now and again when the cocky, arrogant nonsense starts up, but he soon falls back into line when he knows his extras are at stake. I always, always follow through and don't give extras if he's not kept his end of the bargain.
I've read them all. None of them work, unfortunately. My stroppy teenager remains stroppy; my nice one is still nice.
The best advice I ever got though, for teenagers, is "ignore the attitude, praise (or punish) the action".
So if your son is grumpy, obnoxious, stroppy, depressing to be around etc, but he goes to school, does his work, has friends and extra-curricular activities then leave him alone.
If I ask my two to do something, dd with strop, mutter under her breath, roll her eyes and look daggers at me, but she will do it. ds2 will smile happily, say "yes of course mum" and completely ignore the instruction. I find myself getting unreasonable cross with dd, which is very unfair.
Have very few rules, but enforce them with consequences.
And try not to take it all personally. It will pass (eventually).
I read both the "Get out of my life but first take me and Alex into town?" and "Divas and Doorslammers" I think the latter one is probably better or certainly seemed to have more practical help than the other one, although it did a really good insight into why they are like how they are.
I agree to a point that they just are what they are - my nearly 14 year old is a dream so far but my nearly 13 year old is a bite of a trial!! But then, that's the way they have always been anyway.
They recommend not trying to fix everything, focus on one behaviour at a time and rewarding/punishing only that one behaviour based on a pre agreed system. In your case, it sounds like what you want is for him to speak to you in a civil tone, so maybe concentrate on that.
The other big thing is that you need to be praising, praising , praising as actually their self esteem is usually pretty low and needs boosting just the same as if they were younger and that they need the freedom to switch between almost adult and small child on their own terms.
I find that it is actually my own behaviour that is the issue tbh. He faffs about when I am under time pressure and I get angry and we end up getting shouty at each other and I get annoyed because he is rude etc to me........I am aware of this and find that if I can get him to hurry up a bit without getting shouty etc, we actually get out faster and in better spirits!
Nicky and Sila Lee have a book called something like 'The parenting manual - parenting teenagers'. Sorry to be vague.
It's a part of a short course based around their DVD and talking about things with other parents and with your own teenagers. I've only dipped into 'Get out of my life but first can you take Alex...'. The Lees book comes from a slightly different perspective.
I completely agree with the previous three posters.
You might find it useful to read about teenage brain rewiring.
Thank you all for your helpful suggestions. I havent been able to get online for a few days so just cauight up and will def try some oif your recommendations. I am trying to do the 'praise the good' but it can be hard when the bad bits are destructive and hurt other people, which i find totally unacceptable and then reduces us all to a battlefield. Feeling very sad about it
I think it's hard becasue they come out with hurtful stuff and it's hard not to take it to heart and instead just ignore or talk about it at a quieter time.
I find myslef looking for the positives and finding that there are actually quite a lot. Things such as: being kind to animals, being trusted not to take things from people/steal etc, being polite to others outside the house, No drinking, no smoking, no drugs, visits grandparent with no fuss.
I think they feel safe to push the boundaries at home becasue they know they are loved (that's what i am taking out of it anyway) as hard as that can be.
I am lucky in that he knows that he needs to work at school as he would like to have nice things when he is an adult and knows that he will need a job in order to have money to buy those. I am hoping that the hard work and example show to both my two will stand them in good stead and that basically underneath all the bluff and bluster there is still the nice boy that we raised.
I have to say there has been a lot less shouting recently, mainly on my part and the house is relatively calm. We have many, many years to get through yet though so this may be just a pleasant interlude.....
As hard as it may be, you need to be looking for those good things and pointing them out to your son and probably to yourself too!