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Question
Posted by: mom | 2009/11/13

aggressive teenager

my 14yr old son has become uncontrollable and agressive. he has twice in this last week hurt his 10yr old sister and I fear that if i dnt do anything he will do serious damage to her and himself. I am a single mom and I' m thinking of sending him to his dad, even tho he said he won' t go. I dnt want to lose him but I' m scared for my other 2 children aged 10 &  4. I am even scared for my own safety as he becomes violent towards me...he is way bigger than me and he knows I can' t do anything. I try to ground or punish him but he does his own thing. I dnt want to give up on him but how do I handle this? if I dnt give him his way then all hell breaks lose in the house. Where can i go for help?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

It sounds as though there could be several varieties of conflict as a background here, such as him insisting that he WON'T go to his father. If his recent bad behaviour is in reaction to something happening within your household, it may indeed improve if he lived for a time with his father - but if not, it may not change. And how would he understand such a move ? Would he see it as a punishment, or an attempt to help ? Would he feel you were abandoning him, or that you were including the support of his dad ?
Is any family counselling practical ? It sounds like a situation in which instituting some clear ground rules for behaviour, including a forbbidding of such violence towards others, is needed, but would work best if carefully planned. And there would need to be a record of transgressions and of occasions where he behaved well, with punishments for the one and rewards for the other. And not physical punishments, or you're giving a hypocritical message that physicial violence is OK, so long as it's you being violent !
What does he enjoy and value, that he might get more of for behaving well, but have withdrawn when he behaves badly ? TV time ? games ? Time out to visit friends ?

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: mom | 2009/11/13

thank you so much for the response. We have no issues at home. this started when he started liking a girl who is abusive to her parents.I' ve spoken to her parents. Every comment has helped and I will provide feedback on monday.
Many many thx

Reply to mom
Posted by: Woman | 2009/11/13

When I typed 2 hours, i meant per day 6 times a week. sorry :)

Reply to Woman
Posted by: Woman | 2009/11/13

I believe that you should tire him out completely on a daily basis. He needs discipline in his life, because as you say, he knows you can' t do anything. I think you and your ex should sit together and let him know that from now on he will be busy with physical exercise 6 days a week.

You can let him do karate, yoga, kung fu (where he' ll learn mental and physical discipline), You can also send him for extra chess lessons, swimming lessons, anything, as long as he does 2 hours of physical exercise 6 days a week.

Believe me, at first he' ll be too tired to start his crap, but I KNOW a sensei would sort him out very quickly indeed if he starts any violence.

He is still just a child, and his hormones are changing, and now he' s realised that mommy is not in control anymore. Off course it will freak him out. Remember how you took charge when he was little, and he was naughty or hurt or scared? You need to feel that confidence again.

Reply to Woman
Posted by: Kelly | 2009/11/13

Maybe he' s on drugs?

Reply to Kelly
Posted by: mom | 2009/11/13

please forgive the spelling errors, I' m emotionally exhausted

Reply to mom
Posted by: mom | 2009/11/13

i have spoken to his school councellor and she is trying to help. he chocked his sister and kicke and slapped her, I dont want him to think he got away with it without consequance. I also want to show his sister that wht he does to her I wont tolerate.Right now she feels I' m not protecting her and he is getting away with everything.whne i ask him why he hurts her he just says she deserves it. He doesn' t show remorse.

Reply to mom
Posted by: cybershrink | 2009/11/13

It sounds as though there could be several varieties of conflict as a background here, such as him insisting that he WON'T go to his father. If his recent bad behaviour is in reaction to something happening within your household, it may indeed improve if he lived for a time with his father - but if not, it may not change. And how would he understand such a move ? Would he see it as a punishment, or an attempt to help ? Would he feel you were abandoning him, or that you were including the support of his dad ?
Is any family counselling practical ? It sounds like a situation in which instituting some clear ground rules for behaviour, including a forbbidding of such violence towards others, is needed, but would work best if carefully planned. And there would need to be a record of transgressions and of occasions where he behaved well, with punishments for the one and rewards for the other. And not physical punishments, or you're giving a hypocritical message that physicial violence is OK, so long as it's you being violent !
What does he enjoy and value, that he might get more of for behaving well, but have withdrawn when he behaves badly ? TV time ? games ? Time out to visit friends ?

Reply to cybershrink

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