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Director of Child Psychiatric Unit
Director of Child Psychiatric Unit, Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 746
Experience:  PhD in Psychology, Director of Child Psychiatric Services, Mother and over 20 years as a counselor
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My son just turned 19 years old and has become very disrespectful

Resolved Question:

My son just turned 19 years old and has become very disrespectful. His mother and I were having a conversation and he was next to us listening in. But as soon as his girlfriend called he left the room to talk to her in private. We didn't think anything of it until he slammed the basement door closed. I took offense to that and simply opened the door back up and my wife got upset because I didn't just leave it closed. I feel like this is my house and he doesn't have the right to slam things around, not clean up, obey simple rules or whatever. My wife on the other hand knows it's wrong but feels like we should just leave him be. Can you please give us some clarity on this type of situation?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Director of Child Psychiatric Unit replied 5 years ago.

You and your wife really need to be on the same page as far as what will be tolerated. I suggest you sit down with her and decide that, and then present it to your son. If he can abide by that, then he can stay, but if not, maybe he needs to learn how to be responsible for himself.

 

When one parent gives in over and over, it creates bad behavior. And one parent cannot exact discipline on their own. You and your wife have to come to sort of agreement as to what will be acceptable and what is not.

 

Your son is old enough that he can respect your rules or live on his own. It's one way he will learn to repspect you.

 

What are your thoughts?

 

XXXXX XXXXX

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

We've sat down and did all the above exactly the way you've stated it. But he continues to disobey the rules and she continues to tolerate it. For instance, whenever I confront him about something he’s repeatedly done wrong after stating the rules over and over again and giving him very gentle and polite warnings of the consequences. “Jo, you know what I said about not cleaning the bathroom up.” Then I come with a strong commanding voice ----sort of military strong but low in tone and using some body language because I’m much larger than he is. Then he gets up and does what I say but with a lot of back talk under-the-breath, “Maaaaan, watch, I ain’t scared of you” and so forth and so on. Then mom steps into the room in a meek, mild, teary-eyed manner like she’s afraid of what he might do and starts chastising me for my way of discipline when like 4hrs ago she agreed that that was what we needed to do. So whenever there's a new situation with him like he wants money to go shopping or anything, he'll go to her. Without any pre-conditions or anything she’ll give him what he wants and then I’ll step in and ask her, “What did you give him that for when he didn’t take out the garbage” and then she’ll start screaming and yelling at me. Or, in some instances get naïve and bubbly-eyed with me and say, “Oh, I didn’t know just leave him alone.” So here we have arrived because she wants to hear what an expert has to say.

Expert:  Director of Child Psychiatric Unit replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for following up. Like I said before, you and your wife really need to be on the same page as far as what will be tolerated. I suggest you sit down with her and decide that, and then present it to your son. If he can abide by that, then he can stay, but if not, maybe he needs to learn how to be responsible for himself. When one parent gives in over and over, it creates bad behavior. And one parent cannot exact discipline on their own. You and your wife have to come to some sort of agreement as to what will be acceptable and what is not. Your son is old enough that he can respect your rules or live on his own. It's one way he will learn to repspect you.

 

Maybe the two of you can't do it on your own, and you'll have to seek the counsel of a professional mental health worker.

 

Many times, one parent triangulates, or forms a sort of alliance with a child, against the other parent because of marital problems. Then, the child's behavior becomes the issue, not the marriage. Whomever you choose to see, make sure they are well trained in marriage, couples and family dynamics.

 

Nancy

 

XXXXX XXXXX

Director of Child Psychiatric Unit, Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 746
Experience: PhD in Psychology, Director of Child Psychiatric Services, Mother and over 20 years as a counselor
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