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Parenting Issues Message Board


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Well, like you said, he is hitting puberty. My little brother just hit it a few years ago and he, too, thinks he is better than our parents, specifically our mother. He doesn't really want to talk to her and when she asks him any questions he acts like she is annoying him very much. Altogether, he is not a bad kid.

He's normal. You are entering the "teenager" stage. And I'm sure you've heard the horror stories . . . Yes, many of them are true. Some are probably a bit exaggerated. But, it is a rough time for teens AND their parents.

Let me reassure you of something first. It probably won't last forever. Granted, you get those few kids who rebel and the parents/kid relationship is never the same, but, odds are, in the end, it will be okay.

It might be a very rough time, but it sounds like your son is trying to find his own person. It's not easy because you have so much going on in your life. People are expecting good grades from you, good behavior, you want to have lots of friends, you want to explore the world and test boundaries, and all the while you have all this peer pressure. And don't forget all of the feelings and emotions, even in males, that swirl around non-stop. Your body is changing (sometimes not how you want it to i.e. acne) and you can feel so mixed up. It seems as if it will never end.

And one of the last things a teenage boy wants is to look like a "momma's boy." Trust me, a lot of ridicule can come from that. So, you mentioned that it was worse when his friend came over? His friend can now attest that he is not a momma's boy. And it's "cool" when you are in charge of your parents.

And your right, all of this is still not an excuse for acting how he is acting. But, it really does make it hard for him. You must remember that he is struggling with his life just as much as you are struggling with him.

One, make sure he knows he can talk to you. But, don't force it. If you force it, your not going to get the meaningful talks you want. Ask him how his day was, but don't push for details -- you can accept a "fine" or an "okay." Give him that space. Feel free to take away that space, however, when he wants to go out, for example. Continue the "who, what, where, what time" etc. He'll hate it, but you still have to protect him and make sure he isn't doing bad things. You just have to learn to give him the right amount of space as he develops into his own person.

Also, pick your fights. Some things he will do will bother you. He will probably try to annoy the heck out of you. Don't let him. Let go of the little fights that will push you two apart. When the big fights come, and they will, do what needs to be done, like a punishment, and stick to it. And I mean that -- stick to it. The first time you don't, you give him a reason to cling on to the hope that if he yells, screams, fights you, etc. that maybe he can get out of it again.

Which brings me to this also: Punishment is a good thing. Your teenager might not agree with you, I sure didn't, but it is a great tool. However, your son is going to do A LOT of things that seem to warrant punishment. There are some times when you sitting him down, talking to him about it, and NOT punishing him (the first time . . . the second time is fair game) will do a lot more than actually punishing him. But it will be up to you to decide which are good times for that. . .

And one more time, let me reassure you that it will get better. Maybe not for awhile, but it will. I knew plenty of guys, that when they got to 11 or 12 grade, many more in college, they are getting over that stage. Eventually, you will become "mommy" again and get those bear hugs and have meaningful talks. It will just take time. And some tears.





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