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Jen Helant
Jen Helant, Child Care
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1386
Experience:  I have my bachelors degree in psychology. I worked with children. Since then I have raised and still raising 3 wonderful boys.
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I have a 12 year old grandson who has become defiant and will

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I have a 12 year old grandson who has become defiant and will not do his homework. If we try to get him to do his homework. He gets upset and will kick doors and tell everyone he hates them. He knows how to do the work. He is not a problem in school. His in school quizzes are good marks. But he will not turn in his home work and gets a zero for a grade. He is not disruptize in school. What can you suggest?

I am sorry what is happening with your grandson. I understand how frustrating this must be. Since he does good in school this tells me he is capable of being good and doing what he is supposed to do when needed. Therefore the reason why he does this at home is because he is allowed to and may like the attention. Children like attention even if they get positive attention sometimes they strive for more even if it is negative. They do this subconsciously.

The first step is to not allow him to behave this way. The parents need to set some ground rules and not let him be in charge of the situation. He feels he is in charge and this is why he thinks he can do this. As I said in school he would dare do this because he knows there will be consequences. He may be too old for time outs, but that does not mean he is too old for discipline. His parents can take his privileges away if he behaves in this manner. There is no need to scream, yell, or get angry. The parents just need to be firm and serious. Let him know that if he continues that behavior he will get something he likes taken away (whether it be a thing or something he likes to do). He needs to know that there will be consequences for his actions. The key is to be consistent with this. Do not allow him to get away with it one day and the next day no. He will play on this. If he sees he does not get the attention he is looking for and there are consequences for his actions he should then stop. It may not be overnight, but it will happen. Sometimes it takes time to see results, but let them know not to give up.

Next, when he is in a good mood they can try talking to him as to why he does this and explain to him why this behavior is not good. They can also let him know how proud they are if him in school and that he is doing wonderful. Have them try to get on his level because by doing that he may open up if there is something bothering him. The key to this is to have these talks at the right moment. Don't do it during the tantrum, but have these heart to heart talks in private at quiet times when he is his best.

I wish them well. I know its hard to be a parent, but staying positive and not giving up will show results. I wish you all the best.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for getting back to me. We have tried several times to talk to our grandson when he is in a good mood and he agrees but then something will set him off. I will relay the information to the parents and get back to you.

That is good that they talk to him, but in the moment he probably can not handle himself. It would be best to keep the negative consequences, so he can see he needs that his behavior will not be allowed. This may set him off more in the beginning since he will be upset. Things sometimes get worse before they get better, but don't let that make them want to give up. If they past the beginning phase they will see an improvement.

It was my pleasure to help and again all the best to them!


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