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Bad language

(16 Posts)
patienceofsaint Thu 12-Feb-15 20:56:52

I've posted once (I think) here before several years ago when everyone was very helpful and am now at my wit's end with my soon-to-be-16-year-old DS in year 11. We've had a lot of fights since the start of the school year when he decided to give up on schoolwork. He turns a corner for a few days and then goes again. He's been exhausting us, and his school have, I think, already gone above and beyond the call of duty in trying to get him back on track. However, all that is actually an aside. We've struggled for years with him using language we find unacceptable. This evening in an argument about how behind he was with his art work he yelled at me "F**k you, you b****h! That really had me floored and I've been speechless all evening. I'm astonished he thinks that is an acceptable way to speak to his mother. The fact that he doesn't think it warrants an apology means I'm now unable to speak to him. I'm just stunned, furious, disappointed and tearful. Am I behind the times? What to do? Grateful for all and any input.

Heyho111 Thu 12-Feb-15 22:39:38

I think you are over reacting. It's words said when you have pushed every button he has.
A teens brain is trying to become an adult and independant. To do this the brain makes them feel hatred, embarrassment and anger towards their parents to help them distance themselves from them. The brain also makes them want to push boundaries and fight against rules. This is to develop self help stratagies.
Shouting, talks and sanctions don't work for some teens they actually make them worse.
This is going to be hard to do but ignore the swearing it's only words. Why so upset ? Ask him what his plan is to study and do art. Let him do his own studying. If you push him he will do the opposite and stop working. My son did nothing until the last term. That's no joke. I realised nagging etc made it worse. He had to work it out himself.
Treat yourself to the book. Get out my life but first take me and Alex into town. It will help you enormously.

patienceofsaint Fri 13-Feb-15 09:08:11

Interesting. Thanks very much for the book tip. I will certainly read it.

He is an average student but had huge ambitions to be an architect but then decided to give up on schoolwork at the beginning of year 11. We gave up nagging him before his mocks in the hope that poor results would shake him up. The results were bad (several Us, Es and Ds, also a couple of Cs and a B) but had the opposite effect. He completely threw in the towel. A combination of a humiliating (for him) Parents' Evening, some pep talks from a teacher at school, a family friend and us seemed to have him back on the straight and narrow but a lot of it turns out to be lies; he is still way behind in several subjects and is compounding a heavy schedule of CAs, coursework and exams over the remaining three months with mountains of catching-up and CAs he has to retake. This is when he becomes a monster. I omitted to add that he also pushed me to the ground yesterday. Not as bad as it sounds but still...

So we are about to embark on several days skiing over half-term with a teenager who is behaving like a monster, doesn't deserve such a treat, cannot afford the time off and should be at home catching up. Our younger teenage daughter just wants a happy family holiday yet we're all dreading it and feel he has ruined it for us before we've even left.

titchy Fri 13-Feb-15 09:23:31

Ok well while I sometimes find heyho' advice somewhat lassez-faire she's pretty much spot on here.

I think pushing to to the ground is WAY worse than a few swear words tbh. Swearing is just an outlet for his anger and frustration, just the same as poo-poo head was when he was three!

He is clearly HUGELY stressed about his GCSEs, so I'd suggest a pragmatic approach - English, Maths and three or four others he puts his energies into and forget the rest. Hopefully that'll help and he can actually manage that. And better to get 5 B or C grades than 9 E grades. Take the pressure away!

patienceofsaint Fri 13-Feb-15 14:23:22

Thanks Titchy.

If he's hugely stressed he's not showing it. His school mates all tell him they're doing no work so he doesn't see he needs to. I've explained that they wouldn't tell him even if they were - unless times have really changed and it's now no longer uncool to be seen to be a swot... Furthermore, what others are doing is irrelevant, fact is HE is behind. I have taken your advice and am already ensuring he concentrates on English, Maths and Science as they are important subjects, also Art since that's what he wants to do for A' level. I'm already liaising with his Geography teacher to see if we can downgrade him to a Foundation paper where he will have a better chance of getting a C.

Funnily enough what he said to me and the push to the ground is EXACTLY what he'd always done to his younger sister and I'd never done much to address it writing it off as sibling squabbles I should simply ignore. Knowing that, I ask myself if it's really okay to brush it under the carpet now he's done it to me. Surely he can't get away with thinking there won't be consequences?

chocoluvva Fri 13-Feb-15 15:22:06

I'm sorry you're having a difficult time.

IMO he needs to get professional help with his anger. Shoving you and your DD around is not normal behaviour. Don't be angry with him, but tell him that you are going to get help for him to control his behaviour as it is dangerous and frightening.

Any chance he's taking drugs?

Heyho111 Fri 13-Feb-15 15:27:46

That's a really interesting discription of my advice. I prob do sound like that. I have had a teen who really pushed the boundaries in every way. Sex weed alcohol bad attitude. List goes on. I did the hard line - sanctions , taking privalages away etc. it escalated till we were all on our knees and it was a horrible house to be in.
I read the book and a light switched on. I stopped reacting to the shouting swearing and even physical out bursts. I walked away. Sat in my bedroom and screamed inwardly. I also stopped trying to fix stuff. Like when d complained about exams I just agreed said they are c**p and walked away. Overnight our lives changed. She calmed down, studied at her pace and talked a little. Don't get me wrong we still have the odd strop but it's non. Comparable to before. I then used the same stratagies with s. It was so hard as the urge to nag is all consuming. But it's working. He did nothing for gcse's for 18 months. Failed mocks dreadfully. Then after Easter hols the light switched on and he got his finger out. I hear such hard line approach on here. I nearly lost my relationship with my kids. I was a mother but got to be a mum again. I just get worried that others could end up where I was.

chocoluvva Fri 13-Feb-15 15:51:30

Heyho - I usually agree with your advice too. But pushing women and girls to the ground...?

Heyho111 Fri 13-Feb-15 15:59:40

My d was physical with me. The rage inside her was overwhelming. It stopped straight away. She has now said a year on how awful she was. She can also see that how I dealt with her changed and that helped her to calm down.

patienceofsaint Fri 13-Feb-15 18:32:23

Drugs crossed my mind but I don't think so for a couple of reasons a) he has lost several of his friends to drugs (i.e. he won't hang around with them any more b) we drove him to a New Year's party but when he saw the "druggie crew" out on the drive he asked us to drive on and didn't go to the party. It has meant that his social life is pretty sad/non-existent these days.

My DD is the one with real anger management issues. I let it go for years but finally decided to do something about it and took her to go and talk to the GP. We've been referred to the school nurse for the next step. It's a long wait. DS's anger management only got bad about 3 years ago. There are times when the shouting in this house is just unbearable. I'm sure that if everyone could get their tempers under control we'd be 80% of the way there.

chocoluvva Fri 13-Feb-15 19:01:45

I used to be a shouter. It was awful. One day I decided to stop. The other members of the household would quickly make themselves scarce and I was ashamed of myself.

Mindfulness/meditation classes helped a bit - not that I learnt to meditate but the encouraging reminders of the leader to stay calm for the sake of everyone were (slightly) helpful. I don't shout now.

That's all well and good but physical stuff is IMO in a different league. Somehow you all need to find a way to talk to each other.

Fwiw I'd try to lay off talking about the school situation. The pushing people around is more important in my amateur opinion.

I'm sorry that's not constructive advice. Teenagers are very difficult. I hope you get some more replies to your post.

patienceofsaint Fri 13-Feb-15 19:56:58

Well done for overcoming your shouting. I go to yoga classes, and try to remember to practice mindfulness but in the heat of the moment...

Anyway, it's all helpful advice and thank you. Talking it over with my husband this evening we've realised we've all got to sit down and discuss the shouting and anger management in this family. I'm not sure how we can all manage to get it under control. Yes, I completely agree that pushing people around is a more important concern. I've never been concerned about school results but since he's currently running the risk of not even making the grade to stay on at 6th form I am worried. To me, when you've got 3 months to go you just stop arguing and being an idiot and you pull your finger out. Evidently, it's not how he sees things. It's bridging that divide which is the problem at the moment.

chocoluvva Fri 13-Feb-15 20:15:01

I understand your worry about his school stuff - I'd be very worried too. But if you've tried talking to him at length and he still isn't applying himself, it might help the situation to stop talking about it - if you can bring yourself to do that. (DS has just done his (Scottish) mocks - same age as your DS. When he gets in from school I have to make a huge effort not to greet him with, 'Have you got your chemistry results yet?' etc. He doesn't put much effort in either.... The teachers go on about it, some of his friends talk about it, his parents talk about it IYSWIM.

God it's such a worry. shouldn't be, but it is

patienceofsaint Sat 14-Feb-15 09:25:40

Your advice is absolutely sound and I'm trying hard not to talk about it but his laissez-faire attitude has consequences on the rest of the family, e.g. we only found out 2 days ago that he is massively behind on his Art project work, the deadline is the first day back after 1/2 term. It involves visiting a gallery, picking an artist, writing on a particular theme, taking photos, getting postcards etc. We're going to the mountains in France so instead of a day's skiing I will have to take him to visit the local museum and try and cobble something together. A day really isn't enough to do the project any justice and I would rather not have to be standing over a stroppy teenager monitoring his school work. However, if he doesn't complete this unit he fails it and Art is meant to be his best subject and is what he wants to do for A' level. At the moment I can't get my head round being completely hands-off and watch him throw each of his GCSEs one by one. It's quite astonishing how self-destructive humans can be.

titchy Sat 14-Feb-15 10:57:38

At the very least you should make sure he finds out where there is a suitable museum, how to get there etc. it really has to be his responsibility. If he fails, well, he fails and he'll have to look for alternatives at college. In ten years time all this will have sorted itself out whatever route he ends up taking - it's a long game remember!

patienceofsaint Sat 14-Feb-15 14:08:31

Funny you should mention college smile We got him to submit an application for college as a back-up option. A letter arrived the other day, he opened it and didn't say anything to us but left it lying around on the hall table. The letter is for an interview next week when we're not here and he's done nothing about notifying them he won't make it. Oh joy!

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