Our expert says:
Adolescence / becoming a teenager is like a disease that happens to all of us - and many an excellent child becomes difficult and hard to handle. Where the parents have already set clear, simple, and reasonable rules, with clear consequences to keeping or breaking the rules, this phase of life is usually much less troublesome. As you've found, hidings, though tempting at times, don't work. Withholding something the kid wants when they break agreed rules, does work - yes, stopping pocket money ; confiscating the cell- phone, no privileges to watch TV for a week, - it all depends on what is most important to the child, what they value. And it needs to be very clearly discussed and explained. "If you get one more demerit from the school, or if you don't do your homework, or if I get any complaint from the teacher, you will lose your cellphone for a week / not be allowed to watch TV for a week" and so on. It works even better if there are good consequences to keeping the rules -if you get no demerits next month, then you can xxx ( something he really wants ).
Also think when his behaviour changed, did anything else change ? Did he go to a new school, or to a new class ( maybe a problem with the new teacher, or some bad kids in class leading him astray ? Is he being teased or bullied at school ? Maybe the teacher has noticed something relevant.
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