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How to outsmart ds- advice please

25 replies

Justgivemeasoddingname · 11/07/2018 23:16

Ds nearly 13, is getting so cheeky and "smart", rude and upsetting. Tonight he's tired as had a friend for a sleepover last night but that's no excuse- it's the reason though. I've taken all his electronics and he was just really rude to me just now.
What do you do? What can I do? Unfortunately his friend is coming tomorrow which I cannot cancel (parents travelling for a funeral) otherwise it would be cancelled.
His contempt for his sister is upsetting, and rubbing off on her who is now showing signs on younger dc. I've obviously not dealt with it enough. I am now upset with myself for letting it get to this. He was cross one day last week because he got a row (can't remember what for) and tonight I noticed he'd stuck post-it notes over dd's face on school picture, snapped my pen in my office, unravelled some ribbon sitting on the dresser, taken dd's charger and thrown it under the tv cabinet- stuff like that.
He'd come down for dinner and was really rude to dd as she got the last of the juice. Slammed his cup down so I removed it and told him to leave the room, he put the bottle of juice down on the counter so hard it fell over- told him to go and have a shower and come down when he was prepared to be civil. He returned ten mins later, no shower, I told him to go for a shower and not to come to the table as he was too rude and I don't want to eat my dinner with him. He left and slammed the door. We finished dinner, he came back down in pjs after having a shower and had his dinner. After that he spent the next hour or so in his room. I got the other dcs to bed, he was on his bed on ipod. I asked for all electronics, and told him to go to bed. He said he'll bring his ipad down. I went down. He went in to bathroom. I shouted what are you doing? He said brushing my teeth. I said bring ipad. He said I'm on toilet. I went up and asked where his ipad is I'll get it myself. He said it's in here. Disagreement went on for a minute then I said pass it out which he eventually did then really slammed the door. I came down. FF 5 mins, went up to speak to him re attitude and general cheek and behaviour towards dd etc, he listened for 2 mins then rolled his eyes said whatever....will you just go? Just go. Will you just go now?? I then realised he still had his school computer- hidden under his duvet he'd pretended he'd been reading. He just talked over me so I've just walked away.

I feel liek he's getting one over on me. He's getting the upper hand. He's smart enough. I feel powerless and don't know what to do. What is an effective way to discipline??

Help me please. Dh is abroad and it's so hard alone.

OP posts:
snitcheryoo · 11/07/2018 23:26

Unplug the WiFi, pour wine and relax

Singlenotsingle · 11/07/2018 23:32

Back in the day, mine used to play their "music" too loud. If they didn't turn it down when told, I used to turn the whole house electricity off. That was before the days of iPads though!

HughLauriesStubble · 11/07/2018 23:36

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FannyFifer · 11/07/2018 23:42

All bad behaviour from teenage son in my house is completely related to how much time he is online, gaming or whatever.
I have now put setting on where he can only be online for 2 hours a day.
We had tears & raging initially but 3 days in hes like a different kid.
Has even said himself he feels better.
Take back control.

SunshinePaddles · 11/07/2018 23:51

There are apps that you can install on laptops, tablets, iPods etc that you can control from your mobile phone.

I use one called OurPact so when DD is not allowed electronics such as at bed time or if they have been confiscated for whatever reason I deactivate the devices on my phone.

I know it sounds mean but I tend to just leave the electronics with her if they have been confiscated for poor behaviour but deactivate, so she can see what's she's missing out on but can't use them.

Another option is disabling WiFi but unless you only disable on your son's device that punishes everyone.

Other than staying strong and implementing consequences and sticking to them I'm not sure what else you can do.

Justgivemeasoddingname · 11/07/2018 23:55

HughLaurie I suppose over the last year he's become more miserable, but then he turns 13 in a month so I suppose it's normal but I am so hurt by his attitude. So probably a year, steadily getting worse.

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Justgivemeasoddingname · 11/07/2018 23:59

The wifi isn't really the problem, I wonder if I'm not getting my point across so well.
I have wifi control- for each device on the router, so I can block each item individually. It's great. They don't usually get more than 1 hour at a time, each day, so i don't think that's the issue either. And to be fair, he was outside all day, cleaning his bike with a friend, went for a scramble, only came in after friend went home and that was our dinner time so it was perfect timing really.
It's the attitude and contempt he has. He has absolutely NO time for dd 90% of the time- and when the 10% raises it's head, the whole house is a wonderful pleasant place. The other 90 he is either not in the same room as dd, or winding her up.

OP posts:
Apileofballyhoo · 12/07/2018 00:05

Have you tried talking to him in a more adult way? E.g. when Dad's away we all have to pull together, I know it's hard being the eldest and the younger ones can be annoying, I know I don't have as much time to spend with you as I'd like, I know you miss Dad when he's away...

Some of those behaviours you've described seem to me to be very attention seeking, and frustrated. Mostly I would think he feels disconnected from the rest of the family at the moment. I would look into other ways of teaching him and reaching him rather than escalating punishments/consequences.

There's a book called Raising Boys or something like that, I think the author is Steve Biddulph. It might be useful.

Apileofballyhoo · 12/07/2018 00:07

Is DD close in age? Did they get on better when they were younger? Does she behave better? Is it always DS causing the problems between them?

Justgivemeasoddingname · 12/07/2018 00:17

Ballyhoo thanks, I have, he's actually a very mature child, I have considered that part of the problem is that I have had the habit of treating him like, or allowing him to act like, an adult and I think this because dh is away lots. He almost slips in to his position- slightly. When you say it's hard being the eldest- I think although he does say that, he actually thrives on being the eldest as he thinks he's some sort of authoritarian at times- he tries to tell the other dc what to do and frowns upon stuff they do.
Attention seeking, this is something I need to consider I suppose. I am a WOHM and spend every minute with them- because dh cannot. I really don't think it is but I need to think about this.
I read Steve Biddulph's book when ds was about 4. I loaned it to a friend who lost it. I should get it from the library again- I do remember it being informative.
There is 2y 8m between the he and dd. She's a typical girl- I suppose quite annoying at times! They're very different characters. They got along fine until about 3 years ago and they grew up and became quite different- they didn't fall out, they just spent less time together as they became different.

OP posts:
PickAChew · 12/07/2018 00:19

Don't play games. If you're plotting to outsmart him, you're turning it into a battle.

Justgivemeasoddingname · 12/07/2018 00:22

If they have a fight or disagreement, it's because ds has either purposefully annoyed dd or feels he can have an opinion on something she has done. He'll pick up on something she's done wrong, or something she likes/does/has etc, none of his business. Or he'll just simply wind her up. Then she'll be upset and he'll just turn it in to an argument, or something like that.
Basically, when ds is in a good mood, and want to do something with dd then everything is good. So, most moods of the home depend on ds. Same with travelling, if he's keen to discuss something with her, or play a game with her (or younger ds), all is good, otherwise there will be some disagreement about she's too far over/she farted/ she's got too much stuff on the floor/her window's open and it's cold or you know, whatever, it's just dependent on him.
FFS where have I gone wrong?

OP posts:
Justgivemeasoddingname · 12/07/2018 00:25

Pickachew, I more mean I feel I have no control over his attitude tonight. I did read recently our job as parents is not to control our children, but to teach them how to control themselves and I totally agree, so I don't mean I want to control him, I mean I don't have any ace card- how do I discipline him? How do I appear to be a very "together" person and rise above it, while dealing with it? I really feel I've reached my limit with behaviour and I don't actually know what to do now.
I really don't want a game- but I do want to be his Mum, not his equal. We are not equal.

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MollyBloomYes · 12/07/2018 00:28

I don't think you have gone wrong-the fact that you're worried shows that you are aware and trying to resolve things. Please try not to beat yourself up.

I'm not going to offer loads of advice because I'm not parenting teenage boys (yet, that joy will come in a few years). However, I have three brothers and can assure you they were all vile during teen years. All excellent people now. They do get through it and you obviously want to help and support him to do so. I'm sure you'll get loads of advice (and have done already), I just wanted to offer a bit of a handhold Thanks

Justgivemeasoddingname · 12/07/2018 00:46

OhMolly thank you. He was, and still is, a wonderful child. I am immensely proud of him- smart, intelligent, handsome and all the things a mother thinks of her son, and he was such a pleasant, easy child, the type that everyone adored, so perhaps that was so easy, this is now a challenge?? Maybe it's the contrast I find so hard?? I thought he would be the one who wouldn't be like this. Maybe I just need to grow up!! I just don't have the wit to be a grown up at times like this- but I'm 40!!

I just want an experienced mother to tell me what they did that stopped their kid in his tracks and said "Woah"!!! I might be scared he's having the last laugh.

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Apileofballyhoo · 12/07/2018 20:14

He's definitely not having the last laugh. What happens when he rises DD? As in does she get upset or does she just get on with things? How is her behaviour towards him?

When my nephew was 13 he got very upset one night - his sister couldn't sleep and he was trying to help her and that just annoyed her further and she started to cry with frustration. He told me he often felt he got the blame for things because he was the oldest and his sister's side was listened to first when there was some kind of disagreement...

It seems a lot of the behaviour that is upsetting you is centred around how he treats his sister. Other than that are there other things he does that are unacceptable?

1sttimeunicorn · 12/07/2018 20:28

Sorry you’re going through this. I have some thoughts not sure how useful but here goes. I have some experience of working with young people in tricky frames of mind.

It sounds like maybe it would be beneficial to spend some time with him and your DD doing something they both really enjoy, but that involves talking to each other, and is outside or just somewhere you’ve not been before.

As he sounds very bright, it could just be that he’s bored and so maybe an outdoor activity involving problem solving. Or perhaps a new physical activity that all of you have never done and you think he would excel at - what about a trip to a local climbing centre? (You mention he likes scrambling?)
Then you can praise him loads, especially if he communicates well with DD, but praise in an ‘adult to adult’ way, if you see what I mean.

Respecting you, and his sister, and the family home etc, I think it all starts with self respect, some self belief that he’s a ‘good person’. As others have said, try to speak to him like you would another adult who you respect, it should encourage him to speak to you in the same way.

Regarding the slight deviousness... you could just try giving a 50/50 choice. You can have x for another 30 minutes, but no x (something he enjoys) - his decision. So this way he stops trying to trick you, he feels more in control of what is happening, and he is the decision maker.

Hope things get better soon.

duckfuckduck · 12/07/2018 20:33

No point going up to talk to him after you’d just ticked him off. That was never going to end well.

Disable devices from the router if that’s your thing punishment wise.

And do listen to him about his sister.

But end of the day, don’t try to out smart him. He’s not on a level with you. You’re the boss. Take control.

If it’s just eye roll8ng I’d ignore tbh.

Justgivemeasoddingname · 14/07/2018 23:10

And tonight he's put soap on dd's tooth brush!!!! Angry
What now????

OP posts:
Apileofballyhoo · 15/07/2018 00:47

Joke gone wrong?

Bananarama12 · 15/07/2018 01:12

I have 3 siblings and we all fought like cats and dogs through the teenage years.
Honestly my mum paid no attention to it (poor woman).
Now all in our 20s and they're my best friends.

SeaToSki · 15/07/2018 01:43

Dont sweat the small stuff, save your fire for the big things. But being rude to you counts as a big thing (being rude to sister doesnt).

If they have fallen out give them 2 mins each in turn to explain what happened with all three of you standing in a group and no one is to interrupt. Then pass judgement, and that judgement can be - I cant believe you are getting upset over this, everyone just take a break from each other.

Ban any child from going into another child’s bedroom without knocking first and being invited.

It sounds like you have the electronics under control, but make sure they are all downstairs for the night. There is alot they can play without wifi and smart kids can get around the wifi blockers by setting up a fake vpn (I think its called)

Give DS extra privileges because he is the oldest, and also extra responsibilities. Talk to him about that frequently.

Chat about how dealing with hormones is hard, and how it can drive you into a rage/make you sad for no particular reason. If he is getting crazy cross about something, just ask him “do you think you are having a hormone rush?” If he says yes, then he gets to pause and head to his room for some chill time on his own until he is feeling more in balance, at which point he gets a reset with no penalty.

If he is ranting about something, dont try and solve it. Just umm, ahhh, wow, what happened next. He probably just wants to vent and then will figure it out himself.

Good luck

Justgivemeasoddingname · 15/07/2018 16:37

Thank you seatosky that helps xx

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wanderings · 16/08/2018 18:02

He told me he often felt he got the blame for things because he was the oldest and his sister's side was listened to first when there was some kind of disagreement... This rings very true with me. I'm older and sometimes I felt I was blamed more because of it. But I do admit to also playing the authoritarian card because I was older.

Encouraging him to walk away from a situation with his sister might help; and praising him if he does so. But brief his sister as well, so that she doesn't sneer "Ha! You lose!" to his receding back.

Outsmarting won't work: he'll know if he's been "outsmarted", and if his pride gets the better of him, he'll up his game, turning it into a battle.

Milan05 · 29/08/2018 11:24

It is hard to outsmart a boy of this age, I know because I am a boy of your DS's age too. And if you outsmart him he will improve his techniques and you will end up being outsmarted by him. Try to avoid outsmarting, as I said above he will finally outsmart you and if you keep trying to outsmart him this will turn into a war which will damage your mother-child relationship.

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