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My 15 year old son, nearly 16, is the rudest most disrespectful

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My 15 year old...
My 15 year old son, nearly 16, is the rudest most disrespectful kid I know. He talks too much and doesn't listen!!! He might not even make it through summer school, which is only 9 days long. He's already behind credits and may have to go to an alternative ed. program.   He's my third child, the other 2 aren't perfect, but I never had these kinds of issues with them. I'm at my wits end with what to do with him. He dabbled with marajuana last summer for a few months. He was cutting class and stealing, but we got passed that and he was much better. Then he had stupid issues with a couple of classes and failed, his fault. I don't seem to have a lot of control over him. He doesn't really care. I really don't know what to do with him.

Desperate,

jb
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Parenting
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Answered in 4 hours by:
6/26/2009
Parenting Counselor: Cher, Teacher replied 8 years ago
Cher
Cher, Teacher
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 21,477
Experience: Extensive Experience working with Children/Teens; M.A. Teacher/Tutor 40+ yrs.; Parent of 2
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Hello,

From your description of how your son acts now, and of things he's done in the past, I think it would be a good idea to have him start seeing a professional counselor/therapist, experienced with working with teens, who can help identify the underlying reasons for his actions and behavior, and offer ways in which he can help change for the better.

Regarding his not listening to you, and having trouble in school, have you ever considered that he may have learning disabilities? This is not something to be ashamed of, as many student have these problems. Each person learns in a different way, and not everyone learns successfully in the same manner, so if any learning disabilities are diagnosed after testing, this will be an advantage, to knowing how best to teach him and have him assimilate the material.

You, as his parent, will also learn best how to reach him with words, and if he's found to have dyslexia or attention deficit disorder, medication may be recommended by his doctor, to see if it makes a positive difference.

It's not that uncommon for a teen of this age to dabble with marijuana, but as long as you know he now has no access to it, is not smoking it anymore, and has no 'extra' money to buy it, YOU are doing YOUR job as a parent.

He cares, but you have find the best way to reach out to him and to reach him, so he can tell you/show you that he cares.

Try to find a counselor who works with teens, in your area, and start him in therapy. You might accompany him on some sessions, and he might see the therapist alone, as well.

I hope things improve for you and your son, soon.

Cher
Cher
Cher, Teacher
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 21,477
Experience: Extensive Experience working with Children/Teens; M.A. Teacher/Tutor 40+ yrs.; Parent of 2
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
I paid $300 to take him to a pshycologist when he was about 13. He said he was borderline AdHd. He took medication for a few months, but said it made him feel weird and he didn't want to take it anymore. I didn't feel right making him take a drug that made him feel weird and I didn't notice a big change in behavior or performance. He admits he's just LAZY and doesn't feel like doing the work, but can do it if he wants to. In fact I just told him about trying it again and he got upset with me and doesn't want to talk about it.
Parenting Counselor: Cher, Teacher replied 8 years ago
Hello again, and thanks for your reply and your accept.

I'm glad to hear you had him evaluated by a psychologist a couple of years ago. Was the medication that made him feel weird, Ritalin? If so, that and other medications for ADHD do have adverse side effects in some teens, so I agree with your decision to not make him take it anymore, if it made him feel uncomfortable. However, either a different class of medication, or regular therapy should have been substituted for it.

He may 'admit' he just is lazy and doesn't feel like doing the work, but the underlying cause for him feeling lazy could be the ADHD and/or other learning disabilities. He doesn't succeed at doing the work, so he doesn't feel like doing it/gives up easily, and feels this is laziness, when, in actuality, it really isn't. Once he's shown the right way to do the work, given the right strategies for a person with ADHD and/or in the particular way he learns best, XXXXX XXXXX feel 'accomplished' when he finishes an assignment and this will give him confidence to move on to the next one. That's the main thing now--getting him to feel confident about his schoolwork and as a person. At this time, his confidence is lacking, so he gives up; once he sees, gradually, that he CAN finish assignments and he CAN do his work and start bringing his grades up, he'll WANT to do the work and continue to succeed.

I think he may learn better in a 'one to one' or small group situation, with a tutor. Try to get him into a program through his school, where he will get extra help to make his work more 'understandable' to him, and now, over the summer, have him work with a private tutor or one from the school, who will determine the method through which he learns best, XXXXX XXXXX work with him to improve his study skills and provide him with the tools to use on his own, during the next school year, so his grades improve.

You are doing all the right things! Communicating with him, telling him to keep trying, that's all very encouraging, but what he is hearing is, try again, you failed last time and the time before (not that you're saying these words, this is what he's 'hearing'), so perhaps if these words came from an educational professional, he will respond better. You keep on encouraging him, and when he gets upset with you for suggesting trying again, tell him that you know he has it in him to do well, and you're only trying to help, so get him to tell you what he feels he doesn't understand--take an actual assignment and ask him to show you what he doesn't understand; talking it out will be helpful.

This is the best time/age to get him on the right road; make sure he doesn't have access to extra money to buy marijuana (or any more serious drugs), and as long as he knows you haven't given up on him, this will help him try to do better, but definitely getting him 'outside' help (outside of the family, from a professional in this field) will enable him to improve in his schoolwork, so he doesn't want to give up so easily.

You also might want to look into 'alternative' schools in your area, because if he's in public school now, he might be 'falling between the cracks' and not getting the amount of help he needs on an individual basis, because there just isn't enough staff or funds. Ask around, look in your phone book, and see if there is a school you can send him to, where they have smaller classes, offer one on one help, and this will make it easier for him to graduate High School and learn according to his abilities and how he processes information.
Getting him tested again, at this time, would also be a good idea.

Cher
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