Worried about my 15 year old son(11 Posts)
My husband and I have always had a different approach to parenting, with me always trying to be the disciplinarian and him being really laid back (he had a pretty tough childhood and didn't want that for his boys). He spends the majority of time with our sons as he teaches at school.
Our eldest son is 17 now and he's turned out absolutely fine, very academic, has a calm social life (tends to go to the park, etc) has just passed his driving test.
Our second son is 15 and he just seems to be a bit out of control. His language is appalling, he's constantly talking about girls and his triumphs, is downright cheeky to his father and causes trouble in all of his lessons. His father doesn't seem to do anything to discipline him either and I just don't know what to do. Anything I say to him just seems to bounce off him. Does anyone have any advice?
His behaviour is very normal. It just feels a bit more shocking because your elder son is sailing through adulesent years.
He is transitioning into being independant adult. They do this by challenging parents and being rude.
Your husband isn't too far away from how to deal with it.
The talk about conquests is prob 20% true 80% bravardo. He thinks it's cool to boast but doesn't realise the result is he looks a numpty.
I would tease him a little. Say something like after he's boasted "ok mr hot stuff , its sausages for tea". If you react like omg that's disgusting , he will feed off your reaction. Just ignore.
Also ignore the swearing , grumping and not doing as asked. Lots of people will tell you to go in strong. This will make it worse and all communication and relationship will be lost. There is no need to swear etc if there is no reaction.
Once this new way of being with him him has become the norm then you may be able to talk about school.
As dad teaches there he I assume can tell how bad the disruption in class is. He may not want to intervene as he teaches there and that is not a normal pupil school norm. He may want your son dealt with as others would be.
Don't dictate to your son about his school behaviour but ask why he does it. Mucking about is an avoidance tac tic. May be if he talks to the school councellor may help. This may help him make sense of his emotions at home and school.
Please get a book on it. Like. Get out my life but first take me and Alex to town. It will help massively. Good luck.
Thank you for your response, it's very much appreciated. DH is definitely going about trying to ignore it, laughs with him and does tease him a bit and he gets along with him a lot better.
I know he is concerned about the disruption in class though, not so much in his lessons but in other members' of staff. I spoke to one of his teachers and she says she thinks a lot of it is down to the fact that he's a lot smarter than the other children so he acts out, which doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I don't completely understand why that would be an issue.
I personally think the biggest problem is he's very popular in his school, he plays in a band with his best friend and I think he lets it go to his head. Think you could be right about the bravado bit, trying to impress people etc.
Once again thank you so much for your response, I will have a look for that book!
I'm pleased it helped a little.
During adolescence your son will have a better relationship with your husband. This is also norm. They just talk about stuff , rugby. Football etc. no feelings involved. Just facts. Women talk feelings , ask questions and mums are the same sex as girls (which adds to the confusion). Ignoring mums is the best option because of all this.
Give me a toddler any day !
Quite honestly it sounds like he is behaving badly at home. You are not a doormat, you are his guide and allowing to behave as he wants at home is rather weak, not much fun for you and the rest of the family and a fairly massive sacrifice just because you don't want to risk a breakdown in communication.
We have been through difficult teen years and have managed to have clear boundaries while maintaining good communication.
If he doesn't do as you ask and you just sigh, why are you surprised if he doesn't do as he's asked at school?
Be kind, maintain humour, respond openly to questions (i.e. say, gosh, did he? What happened then? How did you feel?, rather than god, that's awful, the teacher must have been furious). I would recommend how to talk to teens so they listen and listen so they talk. You can acquire the basic idea in an hour's reading - it helped me a lot. Do not get angry and shout, do not overreact, give yourself time before you impose a sanction, think it through.
Our house is rather transactional - no, I'm not taking you to x/giving you y or lending you z because you haven't emptied the dishwasher.
There are things you can relax on and things you need to maintain. One of the things you need to fight for is respect for you and the rest of the family. There will be slips of course. If you tell him to go and do something and he does it in bad grace, swearing under his breath, let it go.
Ask his teacher to let you know when he has been disruptive in class and then set in place a clear sanction. For example, we had a system where a negative report from the teacher meant no computer time all evening. Every time.
Your DH sounds like he is being very soft and lazy about parenting him. I think you need to realise that your bright, popular son has many strong assets that will serve him well in life, if he is guided and taught how to behave by you.
You have to focus on your relationship with your son. I'm sorry but it is complete nonsense that he will naturally be closer to his father.
He may feel like his big brother is the 'good one' and so messes around as he tries to find his place where he is No. 1.
The things you say to him that are heartfelt and true will have an impact on him. I can remember a couple of conversations I had with our teen (and we did not have it easy) when something hit home. He can remember them too - they were pivotal moments.
Good advice above.
I find that the odd moments you get on your own doing something together (usually doing/going to do something for them!) can be really great for a bit of a chat and finding out what they really think. But you have to keep it as light-hearted as you can. The odd comment/question can elicit useful information and an opportunity for you to remind them/put a different point of view, etc.
To be honest, I don't see a lot of him as he's at boarding school the majority of the time, so the only time he does get told what to do is when he's at home. That's why it's been a particular issue this past week (half term). It's shocked me how much he's changed in the past two months he's been away.
I like the idea of a transactional household, that's a really good idea, but he never really asks for anything, nothing in particular he wants. He's rarely home anyway as I mentioned and when he is he's planning to head out with friends and gets himself about.
I kind of disagree about the part about controlling behaviour over communication though, sorry. My niece was a very difficult teen and her parents tried to focus on keeping control. They lost communication completely during her late teens and now she doesn't speak to them and says she hates them, and it breaks their hearts. So I think you have to know where to draw the line which is why I would be very cautious about using that method having seen it go so wrong.
I'll have another talk with his teachers and see what they say. Thanks for the advice.
All 5 of mine are now teenagers () and your post did make me think about a stage DD1 went through. She was preceded by DS1 who was a bit of a golden boy, clever and good, and I think in a way DD1 reacted to that. May be with comparisons to your eldest he's trying to establish himself as a person especially if your DH is at his school ('his' life!) as well. Upsetting for you I know but it will pass and is quite normal
Thanks kellyandthecat, really good to hear from someone who's had a similar situation and it passed! I think it is an awkward situation for him having his father around at the school and I certainly don't think that helps.
Thank you once again for your response! It's appreciated
Do you mind me asking what you mean by controlling behaviour over communication as a method?
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