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Thread summary:

Parents seeking advice on raising 16 year old son, good kid, unmotivated to do chores, how to raise a teenager, parenting strategies

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Old 07-28-2006, 02:21 PM
158 posts, read 742,180 times
Reputation: 60


Originally Posted by mrshvo
I disagree, and not disagree.
Right now, at the age I am now (33), I consider myself to be an equal to my parents. I have grown up, put MYSELF through college, acquired my careers, am raising 2 honor roll children, and have made all the right decisions. I am a grown up, and a responsible one at that. I have gained insight and knowledge and have a good head on my shoulders, so yes, I consider myself to be an equal to my parents, and would hope they consider me an equal.

With that being said. I do not consider my children my equals. They are children. Anything they do I am responsible for until they are adults, and most children remain children until they're in their 30's!! (just because a person is of an adult age doesn't make them behave like an adult). Children need the time to learn how to make the right decisions, and it is the parent's job to help guide them. How can they be an equal when they are not knowledgeable? When they are still dependent? When I still need to raise them, school them, help them to see that even though I am being a b*tch right now in their eyes when they become my equal they will understand why I was so and thank me and then be that way to their children, when I clothe them, feed them, love them enough to punish them for the mistakes they are making because they don't understand that they can't do what they want to do because they are too young to understand the consequences...they are not my equal. Hopefully I will raise them well enough to be my equal. They will be my equal, and maybe I will sometimes need to go to them for advice and I will look up to them. But as of right now, they are my children, I do control them to a certain extent, and I look forward to the day when they will be my equal. But not until they grow up. AS they are growing up is not that stage yet.
Sure, but I don't think i said anything different. In fact, I agree with exactly what you said. However, your POV is directly opposite of the POV of the other two posters.
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Old 08-11-2006, 10:05 AM
Location: PSL,FL
421 posts, read 337,668 times
Reputation: 87
Default 16 yr olds

Be grateful that so far so good with no trouble and tell him often how proud you are of that. Ask him if he loves you, if he says yes, say, then can you please do the few things i ask of you? Say, am i a good mother? If he says yes, say, then please do the few things i ask of you. Tell him that families all contribute to the running of a house. Never ever pay a kid to do what they expected to do...in my opinion, that breeds contempt as then the kid "expects" payment there after.
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Old 08-12-2006, 08:20 AM
Location: Boonies of Georgia ~~~~ nuttier than a squirrel turd !
1,950 posts, read 4,659,267 times
Reputation: 2247
I agree with you. I don't think he should get paid the few household chores he is asked to do. I'd rather see him do the chores, and give him money to do things.It takes all of us, together, to run a household. Nobody is going to pay him when he is out on his own. (Which according to him, is in 2 years) Ha HA LOL. How many of us had said that !! I was out at 16 but came home by 17. The one thing I have always pressed with him and his father, is we say " I love You" alot, after every phone call or everytime you leave the house. You just never know. And he has no problem with it even around his buddies. He sees most of his friends from broken homes who have an absentee parent that they don't see at all. There is no doubt about love, but sometimes we don't like eachother very much (typical).
Its Daddy that the soft one. And when I say "soft" I mean cushiony. Dad does step up when he feels my son is wrong. But I often find my son going to Dad first cause he knows dad is a teddy bear. Dad often says "what did mom say" and it ends it all.
In todays day and time, quite frankly,I don't know what is wrong or right. I just know what I believe. You may be equal or better in terms of finace or education, but I don't think parents and kids are equals. (previous posts, won't name) and like my mother always told me, you'll see when you have your own kids. Boy it hurts to quote the things that made you crindge when you were a kid. But they were correct.
We are off doing last of school shopping today. Ah, another fight about what size pants he REALLY is. I hate seeing these boys boxers above thier pants !!! At least I finally got that dang beeny thing off his head. Can't wait to get to Georgia, moving out to the woods !!! He is anxious, but I am quite curious how he is going to act when it all SETS in. All in all, I think getting back away from sooo much crime and conjestion will help him return to the fishing fool he once was.
And yes I am VERY thankful that he hasn't been in real trouble, he spends alot of time at home with us. One of his friends got arrested for being with the wrong kid at the wrong time. We preach about that. Last night his friends all went to a party and he came home (10 p.m.) because he knew there might be some things he shouldn't be around, and that the one kid driving would most likely have a drink. So eventhough he tries to push his weight around, (6'1" 170 lbs.) he is a pretty good kid. One day we will be friends again. I can already see changes.
For instance, he has been wanting a bird. Just so happens his friends mom has a cockatoo that she is willing to GIVE him cage and all. Well we went to spend some time with this bird last week, all was going well, then out of nowhere this bird became CUJO ! I never laughed so hard. This bird was chasing him to bite him. Drew blod and left bruises. Then yesterday he went back and same thing, nice bird for 30 minutes, and CUJO came back. i about fell off the couch, when my son said he didn't think he was ready for that bird. OH MY an adult decision ??? I think we will try a cockatiel for now.
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Old 08-13-2006, 12:50 AM
Location: PSL,FL
421 posts, read 337,668 times
Reputation: 87
Default 16 yr olds

All a parent can and should do is give guidence and discipline. some parents allow thier kids to get out of control and that just paves the way to troubles. Our son was brought up without drinking or drugs or violence. He detests kids that indulge and stays away from them. He is a total leader, not a follower in any way. He likes himself and has no desire to hurt himself or anyone else. Parents and kids, no matter at age 16 or 40, cannot be equal, it is written, HONOR THEY MOTHER AND FATHER, not the other way around.
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Old 06-27-2007, 05:10 PM
1 posts, read 3,076 times
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Hi, am new to site. Step-dad of 15 yr. old boy, been helping raise him since he was 5. His sister is 13, they are like night and day. She helps clean, cook, set table, wash dishes, do laundry, walk dog, take out garbage, etc.,etc., mom and I do same...the only one NOT helping ( unless it's himself ) is the boy. Getting him to do ANYTHING requires repeating ourselves constantly.
On more than numerous occasions the rest of us end up doing whatever it was because he ignores us or does it wrong so we won't ask him again.
He enjoys the food, the clean clothes and all the other perks of our household
but never has anything nice to say and goes out of his way to insult us all.
The 13 yr. old says please, thankyou, can I help, or she just up and does it on her own...NO complaints from her or about her. Being nice to him is not working and being strict has little effect. I hope this is just a phase...
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Old 06-28-2007, 02:35 PM
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
1,906 posts, read 6,124,096 times
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TheQBaby: And how funny you say we try to be friends w/ our kids. I just ( 5 min. ago) got done telling him (and have been telling him for years)that I WAS NOT HIS FRIEND and that it was my job as a parent to be the disciplinarian.

ReadytoMove: I agree with theqbaby. I never feared my father I respected him. He was the parent, I was the child. I looked up to him. Many people that are in their 20's now come from an instant gratification era....Ipods, computers, cell phone, always having to have it now...... Parents's that maybe gave in to things because they were a little bit busier trying to make a better life for their children, giving them too many choices.

BigJoeAndSandy: Hi, am new to site. Step-dad of 15 yr. old boy, been helping raise him since he was 5. His sister is 13, they are like night and day. She helps clean, cook, set table, wash dishes, do laundry, walk dog, take out garbage, etc.,etc., mom and I do same...the only one NOT helping ( unless it's himself ) is the boy. Getting him to do ANYTHING requires repeating ourselves constantly.
An old thread renewed. Hope it's all relevant still. Ironically, just yesterday my 17-year-old daughter was telling me about her summer school class -- she has to take two classes to make up for her being abroad for a semester. Most of the kids in the class had failed and are kids who normally act up in classes.

My daughter told me that the teacher said that there would be a different "structure" in the class starting today, and my daughter said he meant it like he didn't think the kids liked structure. And then she said "But kids really WANT structure! We think we know a lot but at the same time we really do need an adult to give us structure. We do better with schedules, and lists and being told what needs to be done -- but not in a mean way." I thought that was rather insightful on her part.

She is a teenager, however, I raised her from the beginning to have structure, rewards and consequences, responsibility, etc. I've always told her that I am "friendly" with her, but her friends are her peers -- I am her parent and as a parent my role is to guide her into adulthood.

This is a very transitional age and I find myself doing a balancing act. On one hand she wants to be treated younger (like she'll want me to tuck her into bed at night) and other times she won't let me hug her or get too close in front of friends. She's part child and part almost adult. It is strange to see, even though, obviously, I was 17 once, too.

She also has expressed to me that although she'd like to have a lot of the fancy stuff other kids has, that she is glad that I haven't handed her things because it has made her appreciate what she does have more. If I need to get her to do something, I may have to repeat it, although she has said it is easier with a list -- and other times she just goes and does it herself.

I use every opportunity I can to point out common sense decisions that are made on a daily basis. If she gets out of hand, she knows a consequence is imminent. But she's used to it. As a kid I would give her a consequence for something -- such as taking away gummies for a week -- and she quickly learned that not following the rules ended up in something she didn't like. It got to the point where all I had to say was, "Do you want a consequence?" and she'd shape right up. The catch was, I did not allow loopholes. Kids know when they are getting away with stuff and WILL take advantage of that.

And as a step-parent, it will take time to establish guidelines. My advice, as both a parent and social worker, is to make sure that the rules of the house are very clear, that there are designated consequences to actions, and that they are consequences that you WILL follow through on -- nothing like "You won't be able to go on that field trip," or something that you know they really will do anyway. Be sure you are honest about your consequences (nothing physical, unless it's something like exercise), and follow through. The more consistent you are, the more trust you build up. It's ironic that consequences can build trust, but they can. As a kid realizes that what you say is what you mean, they will develop respect for you. Flip-flopping will make it a disaster and you can be sure the kid will find ways around it.

I am building on new skills for my daughter -- making her look up specific information that I would normally find (although I have already found it, but I want to see if she can find it, too -- things for college in this case). She also has an ultimatum to get her driver's permit (weird, but she doesn't want to get it, but I want her to learn to drive with me around instead of some friends).

These are strange times. On one hand they are still kids, on the other hand they are emerging adults. They are confused, too. I combine fun kid stuff with her (went to a water park recently), and also adult skill things (learning to drive, finding out college info, and she's been doing laundry and cooking for years now).

I also sneak onto her websites and message boards -- she knows I do it occasionally, but it really helps me to know what's going on and I will tell her when I see something objectionable, and we will talk about it. She'll say, "MOM, how could you look at that???" and I'll just say, "As your mother, it is my job to be sure you are safe and that what you're doing is appropriate for your age." And then she'll thank me for seeing what was on her mind because she didn't want to say it to me -- and that gives us a chance to talk about things. So, I give her freedom within the reins of structure and the knowledge that I am still watching for her.

I also try to tie in subjects at school with real life things -- such as with her taking Physics next year, I've started talking about energy fields and how they impact us and that she will be learning some of these laws of nature -- how we set up a WiFi for our computers in the house and we can use the computers anyplace because they pick up invisible signals. These conversations often lead to interesting insights.

She is an only child, by the way. And she's a girl -- but girls can be difficult, too. I always maintain consistency and never flip-flop. That has given her the security to know that if I say I will do something, she knows I will. It also lets her know that if I tell her I love her (even if she balks at it right now) that she can shine inside because she knows that's true, too.

Raising a teenager is hard work. I often wonder about people who have never had kids -- I didn't have my daughter until I was 42, so I had a long time without a child. It truly is transformative. Our kids are also our contribution to society. So, set your guidelines, make them clear, don't say anything you can't follow through on, and continue to give them structure. Also, keep repeating that when they turn 18 that they are adults in the eyes of the law, so it's important to keep that in mind. Kids at 18 are not fully matured however the laws says that they are adults, and if they do get into legal trouble, it won't be juvenile hall for them. And above all, let them know you care about them, even if they wrinkle their nose and act like they're not listening -- because I can assure you that they ARE hearing you!

It's one step at a time, little baby steps, but consistently forward steps. Good luck to all of the other parents of teenagers out there!
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Old 07-05-2007, 12:41 PM
3,634 posts, read 9,229,895 times
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I just cant read anymore. You need to stop getting angry, stop nagging, stop crying about it. They are all adults and can understand simple consequences and rules. Ok you may have to write them down.

First, you are being mooched off of because you allow it. Rule: Tell the boy he can eat with the family once per week or once per month or no more, whatever. Make a family decision. Tell him you need to know ahead of time and how far ahead of time and if he does not tell you, send him home. He HAS A JOB, he is not starving, he is mooching and getting all the rewards.

If you let him have dinner, then DONT COMPLAIN about it. You made that decision and need to quietly live with your own consequences.

You spend too much time catering to your son. Give him the rules and expectations clearly with no yelling, arguements, etc. Tell him the consequences. Then FOLLOW THRU and let him learn what happens in the real world.

Get a lock for the refrigerator and a cabinet door. This will elimate most of your food complaints. Post the meals and feed them enough and let them get their own snacks. Goes for husband too.

Bet you are doing all their laundry, house cleaning and cooking. Your son can do his own laundry with the rules posted by the machine. Remember consequences. No laundry done, no shirts, no mom running to fix the problem.

Stuff not picked up, goes in box in garage for donation or him to find. Dont go running to find him things he has misplaced.

Rules not followed figure out what he values like a cell phone and remove without arguement from you until he fixes whatever is wrong.

It is basically a relationship issue. If you have been the doting mom and holding it all inside, he is getting all his needs and wants met and only you seem to have a problem. Make it his problem not yours. He wins just by ignoring you.
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Old 07-05-2007, 02:33 PM
Location: California, again...
232 posts, read 745,416 times
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Sweetana and Wisteria,

Those were beautiful posts and spot on. I have a 20yr old and a 6yr old. I have also raised several of my husbands children from a previous marriage.

Parenting is not about getting your way all the time or being obeyed no matter what. That is what slaves do, not independant, free thinking, self-responsible individuals.

To many of the posters: have you actually sat down and had calm, meaningful discussions with your children?
When a child is very small, "because I said" so is a legitimate response to certain situations. It becomes necessary to explain a bit as your child grows so that they can learn from your decisions.

Is this always easy, no. Is it the right thing to do, yes without a doubt.

From the time my oldest was a small girl, I explained to her that she is responsible for her own behavior and actions. I have explained to her that she always has a choice. She tried in typical childish fashion to bring up the old, "what if someone has a gun to your head". I have explained to her through nights too numerous to count, the decisions she makes are hers, as is the responsibility for those decisions. She may not like the choices she has, but they are hers to make. (In the above scenario: she can choose to comply and maybe not get shot or she can choose to fight it out, perhaps being injured or worse. The decision is still hers to make.)

Please understand I am an advocate of children having responsibility. Your childs boss will not nag at him/her. They will give a pink slip, end of story.

I used to go on to my daughter about punctuality, telling her that no employeer would tolerate frequent tardies. She has proved me wrong, in that not only have her last two employeers tolerated her tardies, the last one promoted her! How can you argue a point when the rules that apply to our childrens generation are so radically different from the rules that applied to us?

All you can do is apply rules fairly and consistently. Do not let your frustration with what you perceive as lazy or disrespectful make you into a harridan. While some of these children are lazy and disrespectful; I would wager most are simply trying to keep afloat in a world where the rules are changing daily and no one is sure what the rules will be tomorrow.

Take a breath, write out your thoughts, have a calm no nonsense discussion with your kids. Let them know you understand their confusion over what they face but that in your house these are the rules and they will always be able to depend on that staying the same. Most of all let them know regardless of how frustrated you are you love them.

Last edited by Vesper; 07-05-2007 at 02:42 PM..
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Old 07-05-2007, 07:06 PM
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
1,906 posts, read 6,124,096 times
Reputation: 2601
Sweetana and Vesper, thank you for your insights. I just want to add that I do work at a Juvenile Hall, so I am acutely aware of what happens to kids who are not cared for, and who are not given proper boundaries and consequences. Kids really DO care about having rules, structure, boundaries, rewards and consequences. It helps them to learn about choices -- they learn that when they make a good choice, they get a reward of some sort, even if it is just a good feeling inside because they aced a test. If they make a bad choice, it could be something like what my daughter did -- bleached her hair and it was like straw! She had to go through redying it, having it constantly trimmed of all those strawy ends, she felt awfully silly, and she's had to grow it out. I think it cured her of destroying her hair like that.

So, rewards and consequences don't have to be big things, or expensive, or so so special, they are natural rewards and consequences, and that is how we end up living as adults -- with our own rewards and consequences. By starting as kids with them, they begin to incorporate that concept into their psyche so that they can think ahead of time about the choices they make.

I have to admit it is a huge responsibility to raise children....but to me it has been the most rewarding. It is absolutely amazing to see this little baby turn into a being with a personality, and although they are their own individual self, your guidance helps to form who they are.

Oh, and here's something I do nearly every morning with my daughter, which has turned into a cool and special ritual for us. We talk about our dreams on the way to school (I drive her there on my way to work). I have done dream interpretation for decades now, and she is fascinated by it, so it is a great way to talk about things that are on her mind. Frequently the dreams are easily interpreted, and it will tip me off to how she feels about certain things. As she describes something -- like an event in her dream that a person she had a bad encounter with appears, but she manages in this event to succeed, she realizes that she has the power to be strong and to turn things into a positive. Just little things, but very interesting and useful. So, if you have any interest in dreams, it's a fun way to engage your children in conversation because most kids find dreams pretty interesting, too, and it's a great conversation starter!

Good contributions here, and I hope it helps those who are seeking some guidance with their kids.

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Old 07-05-2007, 07:13 PM
Location: No city lights here
1,280 posts, read 3,847,633 times
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mine is the same age ....... similar situations ...very .. she helped take care of her Grandmother and recently lost her as well........

4.0 gpa .........no skipping ...no trouble... does what is expected MOST of the time ..hangs at home or with friends ..... "book club" pretty old fashion what I would of been called a geek for doing ....but hey that is fine with me............

we bump heads a lot lately

something I tell myself .. PICK YOUR BATTLES........ figure out what ones are worth fighting .. if not let them go ..this age is too crazy ..they are dealing with hormones ........and being a teenager ...... At that age I more than bumped heads with my mom ........

I didnt read all the way through about fear - I dont like this saying at all! children are real live people too .. they need our respect and in return we will get theres. I feel its a earned respect issue ...

Good luck!
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