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I recently found myself living with a 17 year old lawyer

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and two elderly grandpartents who...
I recently found myself living with a 17 year old lawyer and two elderly grandpartents who are intimidated by him. I am the boy's uncle. He has been repeatedly informed that swearing profusely during sports events, video games, etc. will not be tolerated, but the grandparents are afraid of him. He gets very angry at media of all kinds. In the past, before I was here, his anger has erupted into kicking in an air conditioning vent and punching holes in the walls. He has been verbally threatening and abusive to both of them. He has gotten away for many years by arguing (with anger) and denigrating both grandparents until nobody remembers that he did anything wrong they are just so angry. Until last night, he has never seen fit to confront me in such a way, but when I addressed him on his language and yelling, he decided to let me know it was his constitutional right to say whatever he wanted. Of course, this did not sit well with me.

His tone was condescending, his air was of superiority, and he was simply very mean. I did not like this ugliness. I walked into it a bit. I told him I could easily put my fist in his face because that is exactly how I felt. We went on about threatening a child and how his grandparents had called the police on him 3 times. He never moved from his couch, though, and I never actually made any threatening movements, either. He went on and on about everything, and I did my best to keep some simple themes. I reiterated that he was a minor and that all I had asked him to do was stop yelling and swearing. I explained that it was offensive to my mother and that this was her house. Of course, he said he would not stop, that he was not afraid, that I didn't even live here and who was I, and that he could do whatever he wanted. In action, he did stop, he insisted he would hear no more and put on his headphones, and he remained silent for the rest of the evening.

My question is, where do we go from here? When he wakes, I expect to confront him again. I feel it was successful that he finally stopped hiding his true face from me, that his anger was redirected, and that he did, in fact, do what I asked him. Nonetheless, I fear that not revisiting this would be like trying to ignore an elepant in the room. It might lead to worse things. My hope is that he is calm and we can discuss what the problem is.

I intend to put forth that he knows he did wrong or he would not have tried to lawyer himself out of it, to bring up that his behavior is ugly and alienating, and to suggest that when he is this angry he find some other outlet like going outside and running or something. Of course, that is my intention. I fully expect that he will try to rile my anger and that I will not do as well as I intend. I fear that I will, in fact, not be a match for this little lawyer, and that he will come away without any path by which he can redeem himself in the eyes of his grandparents and me. Worse, I have no idea what that path is, to begin with.
Submitted: 5 years ago.Category: Parenting
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Answered in 54 minutes by:
3/31/2012
Parenting Counselor: professional_Alison, Child Care replied 5 years ago
professional_Alison
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 78
Experience: Degree in early years,16 years experience in childcare
Verified

professional_Alison :

Hello there, may I help you?

Customer:

Hi. the screen said to go forward. I take it you have read the question I posed?

professional_Alison :

This young man is totally out of control and somone has to do something as he behaviour is completely unacceptable and unfair on the people he lives with. You need to put the ball in his court and give his some choices. I.e to live in a house happily with grandparents etc there needs to be some control and respect otherwise he will have to look for somewhere else to live..his choice. It may be best to write this in a letter that way he cant become confrontational and will have time to think about what you have written.

professional_Alison :

This young man needs a firm hand and to realise that in order to be treated as an adult he has to acti like one.

professional_Alison :

Please accept if you are happywith my answer, let me know if i can help you anymore.

Customer:

I agree that it is unfair, but it has to be worked on, too. These ultimatums have already been delivered. My dad was given the option to send him to some sort of juvenile facility, but he chose not to. The boy is really smart, generally a good kid, but this is lurking underneath him and it is ugly. I don't think a justice system would be any better with him. I grew up in this house too, and I quietly felt exactly the way he expresses. Of course, I had the good sense to be civil. Is there any way you can think of to redirect and correct this behavior?

professional_Alison :

does he do any classes to re direct his anger, sports etc? This could help

Customer:

he does go to the gym

professional_Alison :

your other direction is to explain to him that you under stand how he is feeling and often felt the same, let him know you are there for him to talk whenever he needs you

professional_Alison :

that is to be encouraged then.

professional_Alison :

would he be happier if he moved out, does he want to is that the reason for his anger?

professional_Alison :

does he work or study?

Customer:

he is in high school, but has no job

professional_Alison :

At the end of the day you can only help somone that wants to be helped would he benfit from a part time job and independance perhaps

Customer:

I think I just wanted to check to see if I was way out there, get an outside opinion. It sounds like you would go further than I would in this situation from the get go, but I am going to keep moving forward on this and see where it goes.

professional_Alison :

you sound to me like you are doing everything possible to support this troubled young man. Keep trying dont give up. good luck!

Customer:

thanks!

professional_Alison :

no problem, contact me again if you need anthing

professional_Alison
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 78
Experience: Degree in early years,16 years experience in childcare
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Category: Parenting
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