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hintonrae, Teacher and Youth Mentor
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 513
Experience:  Mother of Three (Teen, Middle School, and Toddler), High school Teacher, Youth Mentor, Tutor, Writer, Family Blogger, MAEd
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My 16 year old son is continually disrespectful, yelling at

Customer Question

My 16 year old son is continually disrespectful, yelling at me and just being all around sneaky. He refuses to tell me who his friends are. I have taken away his phone and read his text messages. He lies to me about where he is going and what he is doing so he can meet up with girls. He says he just wants his privacy. But I feel like he is just using me. I can't take 2 more years of this. All my family is passed away. I don't know what to do.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  hintonrae replied 4 years ago.

hintonrae :

Good morning. I'm sorry to hear this is going on is your family. I hope I may provide some advice this morning that helps, and encourages. It DOES get better, with time, patience, and perserverance. :)

hintonrae :

First, I stay home now with my own children, but I come from a background of teaching high school students and working with youth groups, so I am very familiar with high school boys. It was so interesting to me to watch as they entered into around that 9th and 10th grade year to watch many of them transform into different creatures altogether--at least with their parents, and where their schoolwork was concerned. By the time they passed into the 11th and 12th grades, though, they had usually managed to mature with grace, though, and they were more back to their old selves--only better. It was a phenomenon. Frustrating for the parents, irritating to the teachers, I'm sure confusing to the boys themselves, who were dealing with all of the changes.

hintonrae :

There is a website I like, that actually deals with estate planning (very strange--the web designer I think just reprinted or quoted an article about this particular subject) that calls this phase between the ages of 11 and 16 the "mom-is-something-nasty-I-stepped-in" stage. I think this applies beautifully if you're mom or dad. What you are going through is not an isolated incident. You are NOT alone. I encourage you to read this article--there are elements of humor in it, and truths that I think may strike you, as well as a few ideas for managing the situation. I will encapsulate them here for you:

hintonrae :
  • Realize these are your son's issues, not yours. He has to work through them. You have to step back, and let him do so. It's a maturing process.
hintonrae :
  • Talk less, and act more. (As in, provide a consequence, and give a brief reason. I love the example of this in the article, with the parent's explanation of how the son's failure to do a particular chore resulted in the parent needing to do it, thereby costing them time and money. They earn a certain amount per hour, therefore the son owed them that amount.)
hintonrae :
  • Change your physical vantage when disciplining your son (i.e.--stand above him). This establishes authority on a psychological level.
hintonrae :
  • When they mess up, instead of being all over the situation, aim for mildness and put the ball in their court. "That's a bummer. What are you going to fix it?" Put the responsiblity on them.
hintonrae :

The web address to check all of this out is Ultimately, this is all about your child seeking independence and identity. Another fabulous book that can

hintonrae :

really help is called The Five Love Languages of Teenagers, by Gary Chapman.

hintonrae :

This book explores this need for independence and identity, and how kids start acting out as they start looking for them, and also how parents and kids start communicating differently with each other as kids get older. You know how when your kids are little you show you love them with hugs, kisses, cuddles, reading books....things like that? As they grow into the teenage years, their "love language" changes. They may need us to communicate our love for them differently--in affirming language, perhaps, or quality time, or still with touch, which we tend not to lavish upon them as easily as when they were little. This is a powerful book, one that all parents of teens should read.

hintonrae :

I hope this helps. I wish you and your son the best, and please update me on how things are progressing. Let me know if there's anything else I can provide.

Expert:  hintonrae replied 4 years ago.

Hello, there! I received a message that you were unable to view the chat--I'm so sorry! That is a glitch that occurs every now and again. I hope this switch helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions--I'm here to help.

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