KD2304
Hello. I was wondering if I could get some advice on my son. He is nearly 13. He just does what he wants, he doesn't like to listen, although he says he does. He will stay up late playing games or watching something in his room very late. We ask him nicely, explain things that this is very bad he has got school etc, how this will affect his learning, punish him by taking away his phone and gaming time etc but nothing helps. He just thinks he will be fine. Doesn't care about improving his behavior. He can be banned for weeks, still not improving. It's like he just thinks he will be fine regardless everything else around him. He had been on his own as the only child for years. We did everything for him. He had everything he wanted. Now he just cannot behave the certain way. We talk to him, we shout, loose our patience now to be honest. Don't know what to do anymore. I can't even be bothered to talk to him, as I know he will do the same. I tried in the past and he always do what he wants. Sneak and play at night, don't do much around the house, just argue with his sibling all the time.
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familylives
Hi, I understand that this is a difficult situation. Honestly, this sounds like typical teenage behaviour. He's pushing boundaries, rebelling and testing you as an authority. Teenagers are going to ignore some rules. Consistency is usually the way to go with discipline, backing down can come off as letting them win. However, if he really doesn't seem to care, maybe try other tactics like positive reinforcement or move the games console or computer out of his room if that's possible. You may 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.
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Tiscali.co.uk
Hi   We have the same problem its very frustrating, but its just him seeing how far he can go. We have stuck to our guns and have turned of internet at a certain time, and make sure we call at the same time daily. He has also been spoilt but it does work, its very difficult to see light at the end of the tunnel. Try making some rules with him, let him tell you what he thinks is reasonable, sometimes if you give them ownership they are more willing to get involved. I no how difficult this can be I have written a list of consequences and have stuck to them, dont know if this will work but its worth a try. They feel part of it then and should be more willing to get involved.

  Kathy
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Teresa
I'm really really struggling with this too.  My 12 year old son keeps telling me to go away and leave him alone and stop ruining his life.  Only child and computer games are often only way he connects with friends especially at the moment. Keeps saying he hates his life like this and wants to live somewhere else.  We've also probably spoilt him and given him too much over the years but he's also been much loved and supported. When a friend comes to play he's a different child.  I find the low mood and angry thoughts he directs towards me so hard to deal with and am constantly on a knife edge as to how he will re-act or behave.  Won't do hardly any schoolwork at all - managed to do a couple of the newly introduced online lessons but won't generally engage with the actual work.  If he does get involved with some small thing (such as taking the cat to the vet this morning) he's his old self - fun and engaging but as soon as we get home he's on the PS4/movie/phone and refuses point blank to come off it.  If I try and disconnect appliance or turn PS4 off or say to watch a different movie I get a torrent of abuse and said he'll run away if I keep telling him what to do and keep nagging him.  I know that discipline is needed and stick to guns but how do you find the strength to do that when he's threatening to run away etc.  I know I shouldn't give in but I'm so afraid of what he'll do sometimes that it's easier to.   Dad works long hours and is public enemy number 2 although he has had a bust up with him and stuck to his guns and manages to get him to at least do some small things such as get changed and brush his teeth when asked!  Some people suggest just leaving him alone and feeding him and trying to see the world right now from his viewpoint as it's a huge struggle with no school, limited friends etc.  Others say toe the hard line.... just finding it desperately hard and no-one to turn to right now.  
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Tiscali.co.uk
Hi Teresa,
This is exactly what i am dealing with its very hard isnt it. I am a grandmother so older generation as well, less energy quite emotional.
Somedays I wake him and its great chatting away. other days he is really moody tells me to go away etc. But i think its a lot to do with lockdown, not normal for anyone is you sound like me beat yourself up about it but its not you and they say you only hurt the ones you love dont they. I tend to walk away when he is on one give us both some space. I do explain to him that is not acceptable and will turn of things, and take phone if necessary but its really hard isnt it.

Kathy
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Nick Holas
All of the above are exactly what we're experiencing with our son (about to turn 13). Lockdown makes it worse because he can't do sports and has way too much energy which comes out in agressive behaviour towards us. Nice to know this is fairly common behaviour. He is making the entire family very unhappy at the moment, but is only able to see things from his perspective. Each evening ends with an hour or two long tantrum when we take his phone/screens away and he sometimes damages the house during these tantrums. He has run away a couple of times. I'm looking for a counsellor (online) for him because maybe they will be able to get through to him where we can't. It is very expensive though. 
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KD2304
I hope this won't sound bad, but I am glad other people got similar problems. I had decided on a new tactic. I will be extra nice, I will give him a chance to prove/change instead and already thinking he is going to fail in something. It might just help my mental health. Nowadays I just have got no patience. I just expected him to behave a certain way. Maybe I just need to take a different approach  I don't know.  I will treasure the days he is good, pray for better days. Has anyone in here been through this already and can give us some tips or just reassure me that this is only a phase and it will end???!??! Please. 
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Tiscali.co.uk
Hi     I feel the same way and I have worked with children for many years, but when it yours its different. We have really struggled with him staying up all night sleeping all day etc. But at the moment we take one day at a time I keep a diary so I can look back and see there are some good days what works and what doesnt.
We have also written a list of rules for ourselves he helped and a list for him trying to make sure equal amounts on each. And we are working on a list of consequences, because when you are in the middle of a situation you say all sorts of things eg you are in for a month, then think thats unreasonable, change it and they see it as backing down, Going to give a try we are all doing our best at a very difficult time. But it will end.
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Nick Holas

We spoke to the school counsellor and she recommended a book called “Get out of my life... But first take me & Alex into town”. We found it pretty helpful, if slightly defeatist/depressing about the state of teenagers and the world they are brought up in. Worth a read. Doesn’t necessarily provide the solution but lets you understand what is going on in their head so you don’t take it so personally. 

I have managed to improve things a bit with my son by 
a) enforcing consequences and holding firm despite the lengthy tantrums 
b) refusing to be drawn into arguments. Just state my case and walk away. Listen to what they say but don’t comment any further. Best thing I learnt from that book is that a lot of the time your kid wants an argument because it is preferable to doing what you’ve asked him to do. Don’t fall for it. And don’t let your child bully you into getting what they want. Sometimes if you just go silent and let them rant at you for a bit they eventually run out of steam. I used to apply the same technique to difficult customers at work lol. 
c) you have to pick your battles and let some things slide  I allowed a lot of cursing and swearing to pass by without comment this week  it was only after constant F word and several warnings I took his computer away for 24 hours  

 

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