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earthsister
earthsister, Parent
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 141
Experience:  Home Child Care Provider, and mother of 4; two pre-teen boys and twin baby girls.
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17year disrespectful curfew violating child that is being raised

Customer Question

17year disrespectful curfew violating child that is being raised by an overworked mom. Has a 14yr old sibling with ADHD and heart trouble home is a battle ground. How does one get him to conform or follow rules.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Dr. L replied 2 years ago.

Dr Levang :

Hello,

Dr Levang :

I would like to help you with your question.

Dr Levang :

This sounds like a very frustrating situation...and a huge drain of energy.

Dr Levang :

In my experience, punishment doesn't work. Period.

Dr Levang :

I would encourage you to go to the following website and read some of the parenting tips - they are fabulous for staying in charge of your family.

Dr Levang :

www.loveandlogic.com

Dr Levang :

They also have a wonderful audio tape (which you probably get at your local library too) called

Dr Levang :

Hormones on Wheels by Jim Fay

Dr Levang :

Your 17 year old is getting alot of attention for his negative behavior. What needs to happen is that the focus gets off him and on to other more productive things.

Dr Levang :

Right now it is like the tail is wagging the dog. Do you understand this point.

Dr Levang :

He is taking all the energy and life out of the family.

Dr Levang :

Do you have any idea why he is being disrespectful and violating rules?

Dr Levang :

Is he jealous of his younger brother? Is he angry about something?

Dr Levang :

At 17...most kids are in this battle to gain independence from their parents, yet they know they are still dependent on them for food, shelter, and so forth. So there is this internal battle. During this period of time, kids are also undergoing tremendous changes in their brain. In reality, the brain is rewiring and what we see is an inability to make good decisions, impulsiveness, erratic behavior, rule breaking and the like. We see these things not because the kid is trying to be hurtful or irresponsible, but because the brain is changing.

Dr Levang :

We used to believe that raging hormones was the culprit. But now we know that its about the changes occuring in the brain.

Dr Levang :

This is not to say that your son is off the hook for his disrespect and rule breaking. I am just giving you an explanation as to why this happens.

Dr Levang :

Teens need structure, rules and boundaries. That you son is not willing to be respectful of the rules you set for your family certainly is an issue. And...as you have said...the yelling, arguing, pleading and getting others to talk to him has done no good.

Customer: I have not been able to save for his college his father has never been there. He feels I favor the youngest and I' do not punish the youngest when they gave a disagreement. What should I do?
Dr Levang :

So...I encourage you to go to the love and logic website and look at their material. I find this to be some of the most helpful parenting information available.

Dr Levang :

I also encourage you to ease up on the punishment. Your son is not a bad kid. He's more than likely a normal teen who is trying to understand who he is in the world. That he is pushing against the rules you set is frustrating and upsetting for you. Still...putting more controls on him, clamping down even harder is not going to work. You've already tried that and gotten no where.

Dr Levang :

In the love and logic method...consequences are tied to the behavior. The parent runs the home...not the kid.

Customer: Besides the web site I shod let hi
Dr Levang :

Do you feel that you favor the youngest?

Dr Levang :

Is he easier to parent...and so things are smoother for you?

Dr Levang :

Because of your work, has your oldest had to take on some parenting responsibilities for his younger sibling?

Dr Levang :

I'm just wondering if he feels that he has to do more, work harder, and so forth.

Dr Levang :

The website will have the audio tape I suggested as well as other materials.

Dr Levang :

It appears that you are offline right now. When you come back online I will be notified.

Dr Levang :

We can continue chatting then.

Dr Levang :

Thank you.

Customer: Initially yes. The you vest now can fend for himself. He does chores but feel the you vest chores are easier. The older child is not consistent. The younger child had been the most trouble until his s bool changed and he has improve. I stil do my fair parenting share. My workis what is suffering. At this time.
Dr Levang :

Tell me about your work and how it is suffering...

Customer: I leave work to pick them up. I have to come back later at ten pm to Finnish what I can I am behind got my first verbal reprimand by my boss. I could not get a much needed raise because of the need to sort out the issues at home.
Dr Levang :

I am sorry. That sounds like a really tough situation. No one likes to get reprimanded!

Dr Levang :

Did you tell the kids what happened at work and how the issues at home are having a negative impact on your work?

Dr Levang :

Perhaps if they knew the consequences they might make more of an effort to get along and to help you out.

Customer: Yes and behavior is yet to change.
Dr Levang :

Are they fighting with each other too?

Dr Levang :

Or what is going on?

Customer: No they rarely fight.
Dr Levang :

Well that's a good thing!

Dr Levang :

So is the issue mainly that your older son breaks rules and is not consistent in chores. And the younger one has ADHD and that causes attention problems and he has lots of energy and needs structure?

Expert:  earthsister replied 2 years ago.
Good morning, I would like to make a suggestion if I may. Your 17 year old is nearing adulthood. Soon, he will be able to relate to your experiences with your job. I say, give him a head start. Many places will hire a 17 year old, including retail shops, fast food restaurants, and many other places. When I was 17, I got a job at the YMCA as a Youth Counselor and as a Babysitter. It is important for your oldest to learn some responsibility and how to help out and be of some support. Him getting a job should help him to stay busy, help him to feel responsible for something, and the extra money should help you all. Help your 17 year old to see that he is the man of the house (seeing that no father is around), and that you need him to help take care of things (that means helping to take care of his brother also). Show him as often as possible that you trust him, and give him responsibilities (not just chores) that will help encourage him to begin to mature into a man. If you need any further insight or have any other questions for me, please do not hesitate to ask. I wish you the best!
earthsister, Parent
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 141
Experience: Home Child Care Provider, and mother of 4; two pre-teen boys and twin baby girls.
earthsister and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Adviser Mills C.C.D. replied 2 years ago.
I would also like to help. First things First...You. This is putting you under a great deal of stress, and I am very sorry that you are having trouble at work because of this. I also have a 14 year old Asberger and ADHD child. I see that the "battleground" is affecting you and your youngest. I would plan each week ahead of time, around your work schedule and your children's activities. Make Two nights a week required family meal time, or at least one if that is all you have because of schedule.Even if you don't have time to cook, sit down with a pizza..throw in dessert, and you got them! Tell him to be at that dinner. Then focus on the structure of everything in your home. The ADHD child needs structure. But, what I am going to say may surprise you. Let your youngest help. He can also have a great influence on your oldest. Reward him weekly with points towards something he really wants. Keep a rigid schedule with him. Things will calm. There is not a 17 year old in the world, that LOVES to do their chores. But, they do enjoy having some sort of responsibility. Find something they have in common and get the youngest to ask the oldest to teach him. Lead him into becoming a mentor for your youngest. He is most likely in with the wrong crowd, find him a local program where he can use his strengths. I am sure he has many because you are so attentive to their needs. Start to reform your family...Starting by taking care of you. Remembering to breath. Take a hot bath. I know you are busy but remember you have to be strong and healthy to mend these issues. Then start with the youngest using the methods I stated above. You will find your oldest falling in line, once he sees that you feel better, are happier and the younger one is starting to calm. He has a great deal of stress on him. And he is acting out. The most important thing as a parent is making sure he is safe. So change the surroundings around him and he WILL follow suit. He will not be able to resist the structure and smiles that you guys find by reconnecting. Try him volunteering like I said above...if he loves animals...call the shelter or a vet...if he loves to sing...theater..not sure what he loves...whatever it is...get behind him 100 percent. He will learn that his little brother is looking up to him. JUST REMEMBER YOU. To save your sanity...breathe and pick your battles. Only fight the most important fights...safety of him and others. Other than that give him a little room. I hope this helps! I wish we could chat, if you have anymore questions let me know. With you feeling better and the youngest calming after what I have suggested I see your battleground becoming a beautiful place for your guys to grow to beautiful men. Its hard being the mommy and daddy, do not put to much stress or pressure on yourself. You are doing the best you can do. :)
Expert:  Adviser Mills C.C.D. replied 2 years ago.
Noticed your question is about to expire, did you need anymore help?
Expert:  Adviser Mills C.C.D. replied 2 years ago.
I just saw that you accepted your answers! I am happy that you found some help from some wonderful experts. I sometimes find myself worrying about situations like these after I read them. Hope everything is getting better:)

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