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Old 03-14-2017, 12:43 PM
 
778 posts, read 517,081 times
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I know that this isn't going to solve your problem, but.....


There SHOULD be a "rent a drill instructor " company. Made up of retired USMC gunnies, with well developed attitude removal capabilities . Of course it works best if the kid is shipped about a thousand miles from home.... with no change for a collect phone call home.


After about 4 weeks....the kid is either going to shape up, or go "over the hill " and never come back.


Either way, you win. ...sounds of quiet chuckling in the background.... fade to black.


Maple Guy.
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Old 03-14-2017, 12:45 PM
 
Location: SoCal again
16,030 posts, read 12,814,885 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkb0714 View Post
He is 13. Many perfectly wonderful, clean, hardworking men were weird, smelly, lazy 13 yos and it has nothing to do with who their biological fathers are, and everything to do with development. My brother is now pushing 30, when he was 13 I don't think he ever changed his clothes from Friday morning until Monday morning. He was gross, his room was gross. The only rule for the room was no food in there, and we better not be able to smell anything with the door shut.

Fast forward a year, he realizes girls don't like smelly boys, and he changes his ways.

Yes, and there are the others who live in their parents basement forever, 300 lbs, not working, covered in dirty dishes.


I wouldn't take chances and wait to find out which type he is.
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Old 03-14-2017, 12:49 PM
 
Location: SoCal again
16,030 posts, read 12,814,885 times
Reputation: 31311
Quote:
Originally Posted by mapleguy View Post
I know that this isn't going to solve your problem, but.....


There SHOULD be a "rent a drill instructor " company. Made up of retired USMC gunnies, with well developed attitude removal capabilities . Of course it works best if the kid is shipped about a thousand miles from home.... with no change for a collect phone call home.


After about 4 weeks....the kid is either going to shape up, or go "over the hill " and never come back.


Either way, you win. ...sounds of quiet chuckling in the background.... fade to black.


Maple Guy.
How about a summer boot camp for kids?


Summer Camps for Troubled Teens | Crosswinds


Tough Love Camps for Troubled Kids - Teen Boot Camps


That'll teach him. And if he doesnt change afterwards, threaten him with the same one next year.


Maybe not tell him beforehand (nor his mom), what exactly it is. Surprise them with the sign up at a summer fun camp
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Old 03-14-2017, 01:37 PM
 
419 posts, read 230,207 times
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I like the rent-a-drill-instructor idea. LOL But all the "boot camp" tactics in the world won't help if mommy keeps crying foul. At the end of the day she has final say as to how her son is disciplined.
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Old 03-14-2017, 02:03 PM
 
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It is not the job of a 13-year-old to save his mother's marriage by obeying his stepfather. Even the worst-behaved kid is not a mooch for taking for granted parental financial support, and if a stepparent is enlisted to help with this, that is the responsibility and decision of the parents, not the kid. If he is sent away somewhere, he will always believe his mother chose her new husband over him - and he'll be right.

Kids test their parents' love by being unloveable. Parents properly respond by punishing the misbehavior but continuing the love. OP, you can't pass this test because you haven't known this kid for very long and aren't bonded to him. I can't see how this marriage is going to work.
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Old 03-14-2017, 02:07 PM
 
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Also - sending this kid to a camp for troubled kids will provide him with a network of criminal and drug-addled peers. This is not what he needs.
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Old 03-14-2017, 02:38 PM
 
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He's not unusual for a 13 year old. Many are as smelly and as lazy as they can get away with. And many a teenager (especially boys) will spend hours playing video games.


The kid is not a demon so my advice would be to stop blaming all your frustrations on him. This is within the realm of typical teenage behavior, he's not necessarily doomed to a life of crime and/or deadbeat dad-hood.


If his behavior is getting in the way of maintaining friendships or attending school I'd say it was starting to be unusually problematic.


I agree his mom could stand to be stronger with him but it really isn't your call to make. He is not your son. Yes it's incredibly frustrating to have this going on in the house you pay for but that's why blended families are hard.


If you find your wife's parenting choices unbearable that's between you and her. Maybe marriage or family counseling is what is called for here. But that's where your work lies IMO... getting to some parenting philosophy the two of you can live with, or at least to a place where you are comfortable with her choices. I don't believe the son is your problem and I don't think you should open up any discussion by suggesting parenting strategies to "fix" her son.
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Old 03-14-2017, 03:09 PM
 
12,704 posts, read 9,959,474 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Des-Lab View Post
Agreed. In fact that's what I had in mind. Another example would be mowing the lawn. It took him a few months (!!!) to learn it, but now he does an acceptable...not great....but usually acceptable job of it. But that opened a whole new battle: getting him to empty the bag when he's done. I told once....twice....ten times. One day, I finally decided I'd had enough and told him that if he put the mower in the shed with a full bag again I was going to empty the bag...straight onto his bed.

The mother was horrified and gave me the third degree. I agree, this would be a drastic step. Which was my point. To get his attention. After the first ten times for the exact same thing failed. Not to be a jerk, the way she interpreted it.

Oh and yes. I do pay him an allowance. For the hour or so a week he does an at best tepid job of helping out.



I acknowledged that in my OP. But even by those standards, this seems pretty bad.



Neither does he. At least not that I'm aware of. If there's one silver lining to any of this, is that he's perfectly content to just sit there and game/watch TV all day. Which means he won't be exposed to any of that. That's fine for Friday nights and weekends, but what about the rest of his life?



True, but I haven't known them that long either. Have to start somewhere.




This is more-or-less the approach we are taking now. This is not a matter of what he should or should not be doing per se. It's about the fact that he doesn't do anything AT ALL unles all but literally dragged into into it. Through lots of repetition. It's beyond micromanaging. It would be easier and faster if I did it myself and perhaps maybe he's even banking on that. but I'm not gonna play that game. I'm not going to be supporting a perfectly able bodied freeloader for much longer. I'm. Just. Not.



I am frustrated and feeling a sense of no control. If that means I don't like him, well yeah. Right now. I don't. But if I didn't CARE, then I wouldn't be reaching out for help; I could've simply kicked them out, taken my home and life back, and be done with it. That I haven't-at least not yet-ought to speak volumes. Ending the relationships is a desperate, last resort when all other feasible options have been exhausted and it's become an irreparable impasse. Not a first. Being involved in the schooling should be a manifestation of that. It means I actually care about his short term academic success and how it will have a direct long term affect on his life success.




Thanks. This is probably the best response I've seen so far.



I think it's both: he's lazy *AND* addicted.
It sounds like all of you perhaps ought to sit down together at a family meeting - and it is important to stay calm. Even if you haven't had problems with this yet, it is good to prevent escalated arguments and it does sound to me like some resentment is building up in there. So let's not wait for it to happen. One of the best de-escalation tactics I have heard of is to deliberately avoid raising your voice, albeit somewhat counter-instinctually. When someone shouts at you - don't shout back - in fact, the single best thing you can do is actually talk softer than you had been, perhaps almost to the point that they can barely hear you. This will de-escalate the scenario. The tendency to talk louder than the other person(s) with whom you disagree is hard-wired into us, but if you can suppress the instinct it works wonders!

Having said this, once you can open the lines of communication, then express these concerns to them, while everyone is present. In particular, tell them that video game addiction is a real thing, and ask if he wants help breaking away from the situation. I know the tendency for many modern parents is to try to take things away as a punishment instead of a supportive measure. But if you do this you will create tension and resentment. The goal should be to convince this 13-year-old that his access might need to be limited, and get him to agree to it first, not to just take things away. He must first learn to recognize his own addiction. Always politely be willing to consider what he has to say, and what both of his biological parents have to say, when applicable.

Threatening to dump grass clippings onto someone's bed is....let's be honest here....a very snappy response. We all do this from time to time, but somebody has to set an example to all other people in the family...by being civil. Then they will be civil as well.

If he doesn't dump the grass clippings out, you can perhaps threaten a 50% paycut, or even a 100% paycut, if he gets any money or allowance. This is a civil response, and teaches the important life lesson that if you want to be paid you have to do the job, and this means you have to do all parts of the job. Mowing the grass is a composite task, the actual mowing is only part of it, and emptying the mower is also part of the job. If the mower is not emptied, then the job isn't being done.
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Old 03-14-2017, 03:48 PM
 
Location: SoCal again
16,030 posts, read 12,814,885 times
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Originally Posted by forum_browser View Post
Also - sending this kid to a camp for troubled kids will provide him with a network of criminal and drug-addled peers. This is not what he needs.
What DOES he need in your opinion?
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Old 03-14-2017, 03:49 PM
 
12,704 posts, read 9,959,474 times
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Also, about the homework thing - I'll tell you from the perspective of a postsecondary student with very supportive parents, that it IS possible for a 13-year-old to be self-motivated. But this happens only when they view you as a supportive resource, not as an overbearing authoritarian figure. Slowly, over the next few months, ask questions to get him to think about the consequences of his actions. For example, act interested, but not critical, and ask him what he wants to do after high school. Does he have some idea of a career he might like? Then ask him if he knows what degrees are required for the job he wants. Ask him what it takes to get accepted into college - what do the admissions officers look at? Ask him if he wants to get any scholarships, in order to avoid having a lot of debt. (If he doesn't know what that is, give him the example of someone you know, and tell him what lifestyle sacrifices they had to make in order to pay their college debts.)

THEN ask about what it takes to get the good grades he will need to get there. If he already knows how to do things, but just isn't doing them, try to act puzzled and ask him why he is not doing his homework, and ask him if he really believes that his plan is doable if he continues to fall behind. Don't demand he do things or you will punish him by doing X...that creates tension and rebellion and might make him shut off your advice in the future. He has to conclude this himself, not be "threatened" into it.

Don't nag, but to ask, on occasion, if he thinks he is on track to getting into the college (or job) that he wants, and ask him why or why not. The goal should be to stimulate him to think for himself, not to try to do his thinking for him.

I know from my own experience that 13 is not too young to learn to discipline yourself based on your long-term plans. It can absolutely be done....if you approach it right. That is what my parents did to me...and I got through school without any debt....this is what self-motivation can do!
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