Hi, I'm at a loss with my 16 year old son. What do I do about a teenager becoming increasingly aggressive and threatening in behaviour? My ex, his elder brother both have strong mental health issues. I've involved school, gp etc. But he wont engage with counsellors.
I have experienced this issue and its very difficult to handle and cope with.  Knowing where to turn and resistance to your child getting help makes it all the more difficult.  I appreciate the advice I would give may be considered contradictory and the advice may not be the right answer for your family, so I will give my advise but bare this in mind.

One of the first things I would say, is know your rights and obligations as a parent and by that I mean know what you have to legally do to support your child, not morally support him.  There is a significant difference.  Morally you want to support him, as he's your son and you love him.  You want to be there for him and be able to help him when he needs it.  The truth though at this moment, is that he is taking advantage of you and not willing to do anything to make the situation better for you, personally, or as a family unit.  Legally, from the age of 16 you do not have to have your child in your home.  From 16 onwards he is there because you allow him to be! I would make it clear that unless he agrees to get support he is not welcome in your home and he has to leave; this could be by arranging for him to stay somewhere else.  This is an extremely difficult stance to take and there is the worry that he may resent you for doing it, however you know that you cannot carry on the way things are and it is neither fair on you or his brother.  Your mental health issues, not knowing what they are, will worsened due to the stress from your son's behaviour.    There has to come to a point where you stand up and say NO MORE! We've had enough! We deserve a better life!  Everyone is entitled to a life where they are being bullied.  No-one deserves this.  To take the stance, of him moving out, is mentally challenging, to say the least, and you may not feel you are able to do this and he will be resistant and say you, as a parent, can't do that, but YOU CAN if its in the best interest of the rest of the family unit.  Your confidence as a parent may be low, and if this stance is too difficult, or not an option you wish to take then it may be that you need to build up your own confidence, something I had to do! One way of doing this is by think about what you really used to enjoy doing on your own.  Do it again! You may not enjoy it at first, it will take time. Do it away from the home, not because your son is there, but so that you can do it free from the stresses that currently exist within the home environment.  If this is not possible, as I don't know what the issues are with your other son, then just go out with your other son and do something nice together.  The main thing is that you and he need to do at least something that will not only increase your own confidence but your sense of self-worth, ultimately making you a stronger person and stronger parent making it a little easier as it gives you something to look forward too rather than being trapped in the repetitive cycle of abusive behaviour from your son.  

I don't know if any of this will help, but if not just remember that you are not alone! Other families are experiencing this type of behaviour!  I hope some of this advise helps, but if not just remember you deserve a good life, free from abuse!  Your son is being abusive and at some point it has to stop.  Take care and look after yourself.
Hi, I understand that this is a difficult situation. The most you can do is keep trying and hope that it will eventually get through to him. If his behaviour becomes too much to handle you could involve Social Services, they're not just there to remove children from their families, they're principally there to support families and create healthy environments for everyone involved, you can read more about them here. You may also find it helpful to read our articles on teenage behaviour. If you feel you need further support please e-mail us at askus@familylives.org.uk or call our freephone helpline on 0808 800 2222.