Have Mental Health Questions? Ask a Psychiatrist Online
Thanks for asking JA. It is very admirable that you are taking care of your grandson and that you have an understanding what he is going through. I work with 14 year olds and they usually do not want to talk about their feelings. One way to change negative behavior is to give him a lot of praise when the negative behavior such as disrespecting you not present. You can tell him when he talks to you in a pleasant way that you really like the way he is talking to you. When he is very angry and said something disrespectful you can say something like " I see that you are really angry right now, (sometimes naming the emotion calms teens down). Count to ten take deep breaths... Then say in a calm voice. Is there something I can do to help? If he continues to be angry and disrespectful say "I will not tolerate for you to talk to me like that". Take a deep breath and wait for an answer if he does not calm down remove yourself from the situation and go to another room. When things are calm talk to him and asking him if he wants to talk. Set some rules with him and also set the consequences of breaking those rules. Remember the consequences have to fit the behavior. If you take his computer away when he screams at you take it for a few hours and give him the chance to make things better by proving that he can change the behavior by telling you what he did wrong and what he will do to improve the behavior. Remind him that you love him but you do not like the behavior. Keep loving and firm and open. Some of this behavior will change and he will come around. I would also suggest that you tell him that you don't think that something is wrong with him but you understand that sometimes teenagers need to talk to an adult who is not their grandparents. Share stories of how difficult it was to be a teenager when you were a teenager. I hope those suggestions help. Maybe therapy for you to cope with your grandson will help also. Please let me know any other spefic questions that you may have.