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Carol Kryder LMFT
Carol Kryder LMFT, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 808
Experience:  APA Board Certified, Diplomate,Substance Abuse Professional, 20 years family therapy experience
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I can't even pretend that my feelings aren't hurt. My

Customer Question

I can't even pretend that my feelings aren't hurt. My teenaged son who has generally been a good kid flew into a rage and threw his sandwich at me. He had been told to pack for vacation and had been fooling around and not getting it done for two days. Two days in a row he'd had friends 'mysteriously' show up at the house two days in a row after being told there would be no socializing till packing was complete. Friend #2 was sent home in a cab on my son's dime. Then my son lollygagged over snacks watching tv. I insisted that my son get back to business...packing. Thus the rage and the sandwich. All this in front of his grand parents, my parents. I don't know how I did it, I guess anger and adrenaline, but I lifted my son up and told him he will not disrespect me, and he will not behave this way in our home, he will never throw anything at me. I told him me needed to leave, immediately. He went outside and kicked a dent in my car and left. I later filed a police report, and had the officer talk to him which seemed to help.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Carol Kryder LMFT replied 7 years ago.
Hello and Welcome to JustAnswer. Your question is not closed until you are satisfied. I am happy to assist you with your question.

No, this is not normal. It is normal for an 18 year old to think he knows everything and since he is an adult can do whatever he wants. It is normal for him to blow off his parents and grandparents. However, his disrespect, and violent behavior indicate to me that he has very poor coping skills for his feelings of resentment against you. That is why he shows passive aggressive behavior and when pushed, breaks out into a rage.

Please talk to a family therapist about this; it will not get better on its own. Both you and your son need to compromise a little here, and have more respect for each other. Now that he has crossed the line, you will lose him unless he learns better ways to communicate and makes better choices.

I wish you and your family the best.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Should we have allowed him to try life on his own to see what we were talking about? We did allow him to join an acrobatic gymnastics team-he's really wanted to join after seeing his younger sister compete-hoping that that will give him a positve physical outlet. Also the gym coach is very fatherly toward his athletes and seems to really like our son. I could be wrong but I think he needs another caring, role model. All his grandparents/relatives just seem to send cards on holidays,or give him rides here and there but no personal relationships. After talking with the friends of ours who had outbursts as teens, and are now respectable adults, I was more willing to give a second chance. However, I am not willing to compromise on anything physical (throwing things) smoking or alcohol if he is going to live here. I am going to look into therapy, but I'm afraid to find out how costly it will be.
Expert:  Carol Kryder LMFT replied 7 years ago.
Hello again:

Yes, a positive role model would be a good idea for your son. I agree that you must draw the line at violence, and if it is a rule in your home, smoking and drinking. Just understand that he is at a stage in his life in which he is striking out on his own, and anything that is opposite of what he is being taught at home is likely to be very attractive to him. That is why an outside role model would be so helpful right now.

As for letting him try life on his own, it is a splendid idea as long as you back off and don't try to control him. Let him make choices and experiences the consequences of his behavior. You also should NOT say "I told you so." Don't make this into a power struggle. You will not win even if you win.

Best to you.
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