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SREED177, Family Counselor
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 220
Experience:  I have a Master's In Marriage and Family Therapy, and have been in the field for 4 years.
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Been having big problems with my son

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Been having big problems with my son - over the past year. Getting angry punching the door (couple of occasions) - Telling me in an argument how it was "taking all his strength NOT to hit me" That was the biggest incident - if he tries to intimidate me and his sister again - I will call the police who will either escort him to the local psychiatric center for a minimum 5 night stay (if they assess he's a danger to himself or others). He knows this.


But it's his ongoing disrespect - no respect for my time and not letting me know what's going on. Asking me to pick up him at the last minute, nitpicking and sarcastically criticizing me constantly (as well as the constant caustic, sarcastic and sometimes haughty put downs of his sister - which abates and builds up in cycles) His behavior with me and at home embarasses me and I find myself keeping it a secret from the moms of his circle of friends (some of the moms are my friends) and taking the blame for mix ups and not letting on how badly he treats me at times (e.g. called me scum and says he has no respect for me plus many many other things in arguments). Because I don't want these boys to turn against him - or think badly of him. I mean doesn't this sound like the same thing as when you keep the abuse and poor treatment a secret about an abusive partner? - but instead it's my SON.


There are times when I really want to talk about my son's behavior to some of these friends - I don't so much care about them judging me about my being unable to get my son to treat me respectfully...most of these boys have mothers who wouldn't tolerate for one second the way my son treats me. The one that my son is closest with her boys - they wouldn't dare cross her...she'll just smack them across the face. so she's not much good to me in terms of what advice she could give (because i'm not prepared to do that). My son thinks she's "awesome" - and he respects her...but not me.


I'm more concerned about him being embarassed if his friends find out. Or his friends' moms might not want them associating with someone who behaves like that. I've seen it happen with other kids who'e been 'dropped' from the circle. They might turn against him. I can't imagine if they knew that they would respect him as much any more. I don't want to embarass My son or be responsible for his friends turning against him. I can just imagine his rage at me for telling his friends.


I also find myself not wanting to confront him because he gets so nasty and intimidating and this upsets my daughter I try and protect her. Or at least I find myself waiting for a time when my daughter is not around so she doesn't have to hear his tirades against me.


90% he's fine and pleasant and cooperative and respectful. The other 10% he's pretty bad. Ironically my son himself has no problem criticizing me to his friends and calling me names he would post this on facebook saying things like I hate my f*cking mom. Until I found out and got him to stop. .


Same with his sister. He has no problem telling the whole world how horrible he thinks she is. And how he's this victim of her terrible terrible treatment of him. There's one friend of his who literally HATES my daughter because "of how she treats" my son - she's hardly ever even spoken to my daughter. and Huh? HE"S the one who treats HER badly. He exaggerates and downright lies about her sometimes and what is normal sibling bickering he considers the end of the world and she absolutely MUST respect him and I absolutely must ensure that she is respectful to him at all times.


My son is 16 and my daughter is 13.


He wants a car by the summer and I'm finding him manipulative. Telling me how it sucks that he's the only kid in his school who's not getting helped out by his parents. And that it's a 'tradition' etc etc. Money is very tight but I WOULD help him out...but when he treats me as badly as he does I think why the heck should i help him out?


I'm looking for specific advice on how to get him to be more respectful (telling him to be respectful doesn't work - and besides he'll argue with me over what constitutes 'disrespect' ...denying that his behavior was disrespectful and often resorting to saying 'well (sister) is worse than me - and you don't say anything to her about it!" Always brings his sister into it.


Also, in your opinion is it violating his privacy to discuss his behavior with his friends' moms? If it makes them distance themselves from him - will I be in the wrong for doing this?

Since you son is being disrespectful to you, do you have any punishment for him. If not I think that you should start. Meaning that if he is disrespectful to you, give him a warning to stop and tell him that he continues then you will (punishment). This does not have to be hitting You are his mother so you know the things that he likes and things that are important to him. Some things to take away from him are the tv, video games, car privileges, not letting him go to a party.

When you issue a punishment, you always have to follow through. Meaning that if he says something mean to you, tell him if he does it again you will punish him, then if he does it again. Follow through with the punishment...always, never give him another chance to disrespect you.

Also, since he wants a car. Use that as an incentive. Tell him that you would love to assist him in getting a car, but since his behavior is unacceptable you cannot do it at this time. Tell him that if he stops being disrespectful (name what you want him to stop doing) be specific. Then you can help him get a car.

One way is to have a behavior contract. In this contract you can spell out the behavior that you want him to stop, and tell him that if he does it for 9 months (or however long you want) then you will see about assisting him with a car. You can google behavior contracts for teens and they have several as well as how to do them.

Last, if you want to talk about his behavior with your friends, no its is not violating his privacy. This only applies with professionals. Now you would have to determine if you want to do this because it may make him mad at you. If you are doing it because you feel they may help you, then fine. But if you are doing it to embarrass him, then I would not tell them.

Last, you can also try to get him into counseling or a mentor. Sometimes these individuals can be a person to talk to aside from a parent and they can partner with you to get his behavior on track.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for your thoughts I'll look into the behavior contract.

I think part of me wants to get advice from this group of friends because their kids are so different and part of me hates the way he appears like this super courteous young man who everyone thinks is such an upstanding nice boy who prides himself on being 'principled' and popular, well liked. Yet behind closed doors he treats me and his sister with venomous disdain and cruel words at times.

I feel like I'm aiding and abetting him in a fraud.

That's probably not rational but its how I feel. I don't know why I feel this way.