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Dr. K
Dr. K, Psychiatrist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 358
Experience:  15 years clinical experience in all areas of psychiatry. Holistic and practical approach.
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Yesterday we had an argument with my 15 yo son because he told

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Yesterday we had an argument with my 15 yo son because he told me "shut up". This is not something common or acceptable in our family and he knows it. Anyhow, recently, he periodically shoes some attitude and each time we are going through long discussions and arguments. He says "Sorry, I didn't mean it. I'm just short temp. Don't pay attention, try do not talk to me when I am not in mood."
Honestly, I understand him, I can be and I am patient, but I can't stand the rudeness to the parent under any circumstances.
Should I ignore his rudeness, pretend that nothing had happened, and give him a time to grow up, or I should look for some solutions?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. K replied 5 years ago.
Great question.

If this was a one time incident, there would be nothing wrong with taking a "wait & see" approach. You don't want to make mountains out of molehills.

However, if this is a pattern of rudeness, you should address it & look for solutions. It sounds like you have already tried taking to him, but try again. Maybe take a different approach...instead of asking him directly about the rudeness, check in with him to see how his life is going.

At his age it can be a normal part of human development to start attaching to peers more than parents. Also, this is an age that can be very stressful socially & academically.

Even if you take a gentle approach to checking in with him, he may not feel comfortable opening up to you (which is normal for this age). In this case, it wouldn't hurt to have him evaluated by a professional psychologist or psychiatrist with experience working with adolescents. Always try to find the best referral possible.

If you choose this route, phrase it as "Let's go get help together to work on our family communication." instead of "I'm taking you to a professional to be checked out b/c you're broken and need to be fixed." This way, he doesn't feel like you're pointing the finger at him.

I would also talk to his teacher, principle, & guidance counselor to get there input & see if any of these issues are manifesting at school.

Also, make sure to try to engage in positive activities with him...find out what he likes to do for fun & do it with him.

I always tell my patients to learn some formal relaxation therapy. By formal relaxation therapy I mean yoga, meditation, or similar methods.
These methods are proven by sophisticated studies using brain scans (CT, MRI, EEG, pet scans) to improve brain function. You guys could take a yoga class together, for example.
I hope this answers your question. If not, please let me know what clarification you need. Good luck & take care.
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