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Question
Posted by: Mum | 2004/12/09

Q.

Im fed-up with my teenage son!!!

Hi, im a single mother that has a teenager that just does not listen.He does as he pleases.If i ask him to do work he does not do it.He goes out & comes home late without telling me.He is very disobedient/absolutely lazy/abrupt/rude/arrogant etc.He has written his matric exams & im too scared to even think of what the results are going to be like.His attitude has changed dramatically over the last year.Im so fed-up that sometimes i feel regret bringing him into this world.His does not even want to study.I told him 2 get a job now in December but he refuses, his either sitting at home or roaming the streets with a friend.What do i do...Tell me what do i do??????????????


Expert's Reply

A.

Expert ImageCyberShrink

Oh dear, sounds like an awfully normal teenage kid. Unfortunately, even the best single mom's don't get exemption from this stage. It may be a bit easier to handle in two-parent familes, who can at least share the burden of strugling to manage discipline. I tend towards the tough-love approach, as Paul outlined. He must know he does not have the luxury option of lazing about and pleasing himself. As Kay says, could a male relative of yours, or of your late husband, join in and help at this stage ? While I agree with lulu that the male model thing isnt the b-all and end-all of the matter, it can often help.
IS it possible that, instead of the empting, almost irresistable option of arguing with him, which tends to lead him into further defiance, you try to chat with him about how he feels about the prospect of leaving school, of taking responsibility for his own life now. What does he want to do in life ? WHat are his interests ? J describes this approach very well. Maybe a counsellor could help you to plan and feel more supported.
Surely his friend is influencing him --- that's what friends do, maybe more at this age than any other. Maybe et to know this other boy a bit better, possibly there are ways in which his example could be used to influence your son for the better ( for instance if the other boy has job plans or activities ).

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10
user comments
Posted by: lady nina | 2004/12/10

hi there

tough love is the only answer i have for you

if you can't speak to him then write a letter and make some new rules and what the consequences will be

my mom kicked me and hubby and 6 month baby out of her house when i was 23 and she felt the sameway as you, i was hurt but i had to take responsibility and today she is my best friend !!!

nina

Reply to lady nina
Posted by: Mum | 2004/12/09

No not drugs...but he has started smoking so...infact he now smokes in front of me.Do you think his friend could be influencing him???

Reply to Mum
Posted by: J | 2004/12/09

Excellent question from Flowers, as drugs can play a major role in the change in behaviour.

Reply to J
Posted by: flowers | 2004/12/09

what about Drugs? Do you think he could be into that?

Reply to flowers
Posted by: lulu | 2004/12/09

I suppose everyone's entitled to their own opinions, but I don't agree with the male model thing. Plenty of single mothers bring up decent, hardworking sons without a male present to help. This is not the be all and end all of a boys upbringing. Just my opinion...

I would advise you to first look into the possibility that he might still be mourning his dad's death. Has he been for councelling after the accident? Have you been?

He's clearly rebelling against you and you'll have to nip it in the bud before it gets out of hand. Not saying he's a criminal, but he sounds like an unruly individual, and that only spells trouble with the wrong people in future. A good therapist should be able to give you more insight and advice on how to deal with your wild child.

I agree with Paul. Tough love is the answer here. Sit him down and tell him to shape up and get a job, or ship out. We'll die for our children, but should we really die BECAUSE of them?

Good luck!

Reply to lulu
Posted by: Mum | 2004/12/09

Thanks J...

Reply to Mum
Posted by: J | 2004/12/09

Hi Mum

I agree with Kay, that your son needs a male model.Try getting an older male relative/friend involved in your son's life.
I think your son is faced with fear at the prospect of finishing school and running his own life (which could explain him only acting up in the last year).You have to let your son become his own person and independent of you.
He needs to run his own life, with your support.Try not to harp on his wrongdoings as this will hamper his confidence in running his own life without you looking over his shoulder all the time.
You have to let him know that because he makes his own choices, he has to suffer the consequences of these choices.Howver, you will feel bad as a parent if you just allow him to make choices that are bad and therefore you have to set limits to his behaviour, with consequences for overstepping the limits/rules. Of course, these rules and limits must be reasonable.
If he simply does not want to obey any rules, period then you opt for the tough love rule and even kick him out if you have to.

Good luck.

Reply to J
Posted by: Mum | 2004/12/09

To Kay, im a single mother, my husband passed away tragically in a accident 5 years ago.When i confront my son, we end up in huge argument & then he would ignore me.

I cannot just throw my son out the house "Paul" but if this problem continues i probably will have 2 kick him out.

Reply to Mum
Posted by: Kay | 2004/12/09

From the sounds of it there is no male figure in your home to discipline him? Are you married? Where is your sons father? Regardless of age, he needs to be disciplined or grounded for that matter. Sounds like he does what he pleases cause he gets away with it. Try grounding him or tell him he is not allowed friends over till he cleans up his act.

Reply to Kay
Posted by: Paul | 2004/12/09

You tell him to attempt to get a job, or study and pass every single semester or he must leave your house.

Reply to Paul

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