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Old 10-23-2007, 02:15 PM
 
1,472 posts, read 1,454,925 times
Reputation: 550
Default 15yo son very disrespectful to mom

Hi,
My son is extremely disrespectful to me, his mom. He readily admits he has no respect for me. I have been the best mother I could be.

He is also an Honor student who is very responsible in doing his h/work, getting to the bus on time, etc. There are NO problems with academics whatsoever. It's primarily his behavior towards ME that is the problem.
Everyone in the outside world whom meets my son, has nothing but nice things to say about him and how nice of a person he is.....just as a sidenote.

He finds every chance he can to pick a fight with me. He instigates until a normal conversation about how it's a beautiful day-turns into a debate then a full-blown controversy and then full-blown fight. He seems to strive to HURT me every chance he can.

He does have his very nice and good days-and when they happen, I am very appreciative. We were very close as he grew up but he also has been a very strong-willed child and difficult in ways like he was always quite argumentative as a child and now worse into teenhood. This was very trying for me as a young single mother-which I was single until I married my current husband 7yrs ago.

He makes our home environment very tension filled when he behaves like this. I would say he has an 'outburst' to me atleast once a week. It is often brought on when he doesn't get his way or when I have a differing opinion on some topic we might be nicely discussing, he always manages to bring it to that negative level where it then leads into a controversy and then before I know it wham! he's full-blown mad now.....and downhill it goes.

He aims below the belt and tries his hardest to intimidate me. He curses and sometimes gets in my face. He then calls his father whom we separated (were never married) when my son was 18mo old...and bashes me on the phone to the dad, saying awful things and lies to help his cause-in his locked room-for me to hear and the father I am sure readily agrees with my son. The dad is just as bad verbally towards me, when he gets angered. But son is never around for this, it's usually via a phone call between the dad and I.

My husband has been and is a very respectful person so my son has seen this since he was 4 (when I met husband)...so no bad influences here.

Sometimes he gets violent and hits things in his room with the door shut.
My husband is a police officer. My son never/rarely behaves like this when my husband is home.

It's time to call for tough love. Can some of you give me some tips on appropriate tough love? Do I cut off my son in that he will get no more 'niceties' from me, like rides, $, favors, special hot cookies at night as a snack....etc? Where do you draw the line as far as if the situation is a 'tough love' situation?

Last night after one of his temper flares/outbursts of anger to me, I made him the normal 3 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for him to eat today before his Freshman FB game so he'd have some protein/energy for the game. Well, when I spoke with my counselor briefly on the phone today, she said 'NO way, why did you make him those sandwiches when he can do it himself and after he treated you that way?? You need to use tough love!!' That's what she said to me.

Honestly, I am confused. To me, making him the sandwiches are my job as his mother and one of the basic things that I am required to do for a kid of mine. This is where the tough love line is a little fuzzy to me....can someone clarify on how to tell if and when it's time to use TOUGH LOVE or not?

Thanks! I am just sick and more so....tired of the abuse.
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Old 10-23-2007, 02:44 PM
 
Location: Chicago
2,481 posts, read 8,582,820 times
Reputation: 783
A few suggestions:
Tough love. I would totally agree with your counselor, you should not do things for him unless he earns it. No rides, no making food, no money, etc. He is 15, he can make sandwiches himself and in no way, should you be giving him special hot cookies (or any cookies), favors, sandwiches, rides, money, etc. He also has learned that he can treat you however he wants, and you will still do whatever he wants. That cycle has to stop. Make it clear to him (you can even make a contract) outlining exactly what you will and will not do and how he can "earn" these things back. He won't buy it at all at first, but stick with it.
Also, if he chooses to try to engage you in a fight, walk away and ignore. He is getting what he wants: a rise out of you. Don't give in to that.
If this doesn't work, the two of you can try family counseling to figure out what this is about. He sounds angry and he takes it out on you because he can get away with it. It sounds like you have been really nice and supportive, but you need to try the tough love.
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Old 10-23-2007, 02:51 PM
 
Location: FL to GA back to FL
878 posts, read 2,849,311 times
Reputation: 390
Twowolves,

I feel for you as I have a very strong-willed argumentative now almost 20 year old son.

His teens were tension filled at our home. We finally sat down as a family with my husband taking the lead. He said that I was his wife first and then my son's mother in this case. He said that I would no longer be doing my son's laundry, making his lunch, or making things comfortable in our home as long as he was making things difficult for me.
At 15 your son needs to know that he cannot walk all over you.

This maybe difficult for you, but you must stop enabling him.. As long as he disrepects you, you should not help to make his life easier. Tell him that you don't mind doing nice things for him, but you are getting nothing in return. Let him know that you are both in a give and take relationship and all you do is give and it stops now. Tell him that you will not tolerate him destroying any part of your home or he is responsible for fixing it.

So, stop doing his laundry, stop making him his pregame snack, his cookies, money and anything else that makes his life easier until he proves himself. Trust me, he will learn quickly how lucky he is to have you.

Good luck!
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Old 10-23-2007, 05:40 PM
 
383 posts, read 749,163 times
Reputation: 168
When I was fifteen, I thought I was the smartest person on the planet and my parents were total morons.

I still think my dad is a total moron, and rightfully so. Not going to get into that right now. But I have been very disrespectful to my mom, not only because I thought I was much more intelligent than her but also because I loved getting into fights with her. I guess it was a good way to take some fustrations out of my life.

Your son is probably doing the same thing, he has a lot of pent up energy that he isn't unleashing at high school or football, and saves it for you. He also thinks he is smarter than you, so when you argue with him he thinks you are a complete idiot. Been there done that.

Maybe try not to get into intellectual conversations with him, or conversations at all if he can't discuss issues maturely.
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Old 10-23-2007, 05:59 PM
 
Location: Marion, IN
8,192 posts, read 19,069,847 times
Reputation: 6620
My sister in law's son is the same way. She refuses to do anything but cater to him and it is getting worse. We were there for a visit over the summer, and I let him know that if I heard another hateful thing come out of his mouth I was going to pop him in the mouth. He managed to keep it to himself for the remainder of our visit, but as soon as we left he was right back at it.

My sister in law feels the same way you do-that mothers are supposed to do for their kids. This 15 year old can not even be bothered to get his dirty clothes into the hamper or make himself a snack when he gets home from school.

He does not respect her because she has not made him.
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Old 10-23-2007, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Kingman AZ
15,380 posts, read 22,197,456 times
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Wife and I began raising our[her] 15 yr old g'son a couple of years ago[3 actually]....one night he was gettin chewed out for something,.....and he was gazing off into the distance and totally ignoring her...I got up.....quietly walked across the floor....grabbed him beneath the ching and demonstrated just how far a human neck will rotate... I said [in a VER soft voice] "You little M/F.....[cause at that age they know all the words and are shocked when WE do] when your grandmother speaks you WILL look at her....Listen to her...and acknowledge her...do I make my self clear? He said "yeh" so I said WHAT? He said Yes.....I said YES WHAT? He finally said Yes Sir.....he has NEVER showed either of us the slightest disrespect since then and is a MODEL kid and will definately make something of himself.

The moral is.....ya gotta show em whose boss.....period.
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Old 10-23-2007, 10:36 PM
 
2,141 posts, read 5,249,923 times
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My nephew is exactly the same way. My sister in law (single mother) hired a behavioralist to come to the house for sessions and this is what he concluded and recommended. My nephew has "Defiant Disorder". For reasons unknown to any of us, he NEEDS to manipulate others in the house. He also derives joy from causing his mother emotional turmoil and by getting the adults in his family to argue about how to control him. He also loves tormenting his 11 year old sister (he's 15)

The specialist said that they have to lay out ground rules in the house. One of them for instance is no swearing. If Steven swears at his mom or anyone in the house, they are to "shut him out" of the family. That means that they will only speak to him when they are giving him direction such as "it's getting late. you better get to bed". No idle chit chat, no small talk, no arguing, nothing else. They're supposed to instill the silent treatment like this UNTIL he writes a hand written apology letter for his actions. He typically writes the letter because kids with this disorder are verbal and love to argue, particulary when the don't get their way. Their arguing skills can be channeled into good and children such as these teens make great attornies, lawyers, etc. later in life - if they channel this skill postively. They are usually intelligent kids, but unfortunately they have a behavioral disorder.

So tough love, but silent tough love is the answer. Kids like this want you to scream, holler back and get all riled up. This is how they manipulate you. It's their goal. You have to take that satisfaction away from them and you not reacting to him and "shutting him out" until he aplogies is the key. When your son treats you with disrespect, you're supposed to tell him, "I'm not going to speak with you right now" and calmly leave the room. Even if he has a fit, breaks a chair, etc. You should only speak to him again if it's to remind him to do a chore, get ready for bed, etc. OR if he returns to the room calmly and is ready to speak to you calmly and politely. If he breaks any of your ground rules of the house, then a hand written apology letter is in order. These "rules" have to apply to everyone in your family - even people that you may not live with, such as his aunts and uncles. It's imperative that it's consistent and done by everyone in the family. It takes awhile but it does help. My nephew is also very respectful at school. He's only like this at home. He's lived with his mom, sister and grandmother and it's a loving home. No one can figure out why he's this way but he is and the counselor said that it could years to figure out why. So since he's 15, we need to tackle this problem before he reaches adulthood because there is a chance then that he will treat others outside of the house in the same way and that could lead to criminal activities. So we're working backwards by treating the behavior first and perhaps finding out the cause of it later.
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Old 10-23-2007, 10:39 PM
 
1,352 posts, read 3,161,881 times
Reputation: 550
Quote:
Originally Posted by dynimagelv View Post
Wife and I began raising our[her] 15 yr old g'son a couple of years ago[3 actually]....one night he was gettin chewed out for something,.....and he was gazing off into the distance and totally ignoring her...I got up.....quietly walked across the floor....grabbed him beneath the ching and demonstrated just how far a human neck will rotate... I said [in a VER soft voice] "You little M/F.....[cause at that age they know all the words and are shocked when WE do] when your grandmother speaks you WILL look at her....Listen to her...and acknowledge her...do I make my self clear? He said "yeh" so I said WHAT? He said Yes.....I said YES WHAT? He finally said Yes Sir.....he has NEVER showed either of us the slightest disrespect since then and is a MODEL kid and will definately make something of himself.

The moral is.....ya gotta show em whose boss.....period.
KUDO'S 2 YOU
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Old 10-24-2007, 06:11 AM
 
Location: Orlando
8,183 posts, read 11,073,948 times
Reputation: 49382
Wow, after reading this, I tried to imagine two things...
1) Me talking to either one of my parents this way....believe me I would have had to pull myself off the wall cuz that's where I would have ended up. I got grounded once for saying the word "crap."
2) My son talking to me that way.....different wall same result.

My son tried once to talk to me that way and I asked him...why do you think it's ok to talk to me that way? He thought about it, hung his head and apologized.
All I can say it's a good thing he didn't do it when his dad was home....I would have had to patch the wall.

The key thing I read was...that your ex talks to you this way. It looks to me like your son is emulating his dad. His dad is showing a very bad example on how to treat women. Your son is at a very impressionable stage right now.
Make him accountable and get your husband to back you up. He wants to act like a "man" treat him like one. Quit waiting on him. Tell him if he doesn't like the way you do things he can do them himself.
Good luck sweetie...you're gonna need it.
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Old 10-24-2007, 06:14 AM
 
Location: Michigan
853 posts, read 1,273,156 times
Reputation: 441
You sound like my hubby lol....
he actuelly told our oldest once and right in his face (hubby was piod!!)
* in 2 years we can/will take it outside dont you ever treat youre Mom this way!* this was after he jumped in my face pushing me away .... while walking away.
hubby 300 lbs- kid 110 lbs......
Kid calms down,, never had another episode.
You have to be in controll. Do not let them get away with it, or it will get worse. YOU are the BOSS!!!




Quote:
Originally Posted by dynimagelv View Post
Wife and I began raising our[her] 15 yr old g'son a couple of years ago[3 actually]....one night he was gettin chewed out for something,.....and he was gazing off into the distance and totally ignoring her...I got up.....quietly walked across the floor....grabbed him beneath the ching and demonstrated just how far a human neck will rotate... I said [in a VER soft voice] "You little M/F.....[cause at that age they know all the words and are shocked when WE do] when your grandmother speaks you WILL look at her....Listen to her...and acknowledge her...do I make my self clear? He said "yeh" so I said WHAT? He said Yes.....I said YES WHAT? He finally said Yes Sir.....he has NEVER showed either of us the slightest disrespect since then and is a MODEL kid and will definately make something of himself.

The moral is.....ya gotta show em whose boss.....period.
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