15yr old off the rails!(14 Posts)
My son is staying up late, not getting to school on time. We have a two hour battle every morning to get him up and to school, late. He wants to be out every evening after school. We agree a time for him to come home, but he ignores it 9 times out of 10. We know he smokes. We think he drinks, too. Not sure about anything else, but he is hanging round with older kids. He has no respect for us. Hates being in the house with us. He's an 'only'. I've learned to not argue with him, as it just escalates and I get upset and frightened. He does have anxiety issues and I'm hoping to get him to a counsellor, if he'll agree. He's extremely lazy and stubborn . Not doing well at school. How can we get through to him?
I sympathise. We've had similar issues with our younger DS - now aged 16. It's not easy.
Different people have different parenting techniques - I'm more liberal. Chose not to 'lay the law down' or threaten or punish. Tried to keep the lines of communication open - tried to always be rational (not shouty) when he messed up. Cast a blind eye to a lot of stuff - always gave him the benefit of the doubt (when he was clearly lying) to show him that we believed in him.,We've been through it all, the whole shebang - trust me - but slowly slowly we seem to be emerging from the horror ... with our relationship still intact. The more liberal strategy worked for us but it depends so much on personalities.
Thank you! That's what we are trying to do, just support him, but it's difficult, when you know they are making bad decisions! So I guess we just keep doing what we are doing and hope he comes out the other side intact! Gosh, I never imagined my son would be like this, and I feel I've been the worst parent ever! ☹️
This is where I think that instead of trips skiing or touring France they should run volunteering trips in Africa or Orphanages and let these children experience real hardships and poverty -
What's he doing when he's up late?
What happens when he ignores the time to be home?
It's not about arguing. It's about clear and consistent boundaries and consequences.
Have similar aged DS and I totally sympathise as its hard to get used to a new normal.
What was your son like when he was younger? Has he always been confrontational or is this a new thing?
I'm just wondering if there is an opportunity over the summer for you to reset things a bit - maybe by getting away on a holiday. I've read quite a bit about teens and some research points to peer influence being a big factor so maybe giving him a break from this could help. My DS was a lot easier to deal with after a few weeks away from certain of his friends.
I agree that you need to try to keep communicating but in my opinion you do also need to set clear boundaries even if he ignores them. And if he lies to you then you need to let him know that you know he is lying.
A teacher friend once said to me that in all the turmoil of teenage years we parents are the one constant that our DCs have to relate to and that made sense to me. Even if he doesn't do it he knows what you expect.
I agree, but how many teens would agree to go! 🙁
If your being judgemental about him and his choices you need to stop straight away. Think acceptance and love.
Stop arguing with him and start empathising with how he feels and ask him how you can help/support. What is he anxious about? What are his worries? In a positive context you can work out several different ways forward and let him decide. You can enable change but he has to make the decision to change. Take it at his pace.
The most important thing this week is bonding with him and making him feel emotionally held. He clearly feels rubbish. Make sure he knows your his biggest fan! Even small things like a pat on shoulder or saying thankyou for taking his mug to the kitchen can help. Offer him complete stability support and calmness.
When he comes in late he often starts his workout in his bedroom. I take his phone off him, but he still stays up late and sometimes doesn't get to sleep until the early hours. We've told him time after time to get a good wind down routine before bed, but he just doesn't want to. I'm sure sometimes when he's out he drinks coke, or energy drinks too!
Thank you, squishedstrawberry4. My husband and I will try that, too. We do try to tell him often how much we love him, but sometimes he just frustrates us so much! We do tell him we are all on the same team and just want the best for him. He's recently had a trip away with his dad, and it's back to school tomorrow! Fingers crossed he goes! The school are being helpful, but at the end of the day they say it is our responsibility to get him there on time!
Thank you, too, agnesf. He was always a stubborn child. He's always happy to ask permission to do something, but gets very angry if he doesn't get the answer he wants. Being an 'only' I guess we have spoilt him, but we did try hard not to. He must also get sick of being the focus of our attention all the time.
GreenTulips, isn't it a bit harsh on the orphans of Africa to be used as teaching material for sulky and possibly out of control teenagers?
How good is that likely to be for them? Always makes me feel slightly queasy when I hear children of other countries spoken of as they were just some non-feeling cardboard cut-outs that can be used for the benefit of westerners.
But then a close relative of mine, and one of the people I love most in the world, started his life in a non-Western orphanage. He is a real person and as a child his needs were very visibly the same as those of other children: being born to parents who couldn't look after him didn't somehow harden him or make him immune to the ordinary needs of childhood.
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