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13 year old boy behaviour

13 year old boy behaviour

Prolific scribe

13 year old boy behaviour

I have been here before asking questions and I really appreciate the support. I am really struggling to comprehend and deal with all my sons defiant rude behaviors. He takes off. Has been truanting from school is mixing with a bad crowd. I am a single mum but dad has care 50/50. In the holidays we decided he could spend more time with his dad and it would take him 45 mins away from the not so good influences. That worked for a week and now he has hooked up with an undesirable in that town. He has gone from a really nice kid to something alien like. Have others had it start so young and come out the other side. I’m so concerned this is it for the next five years and if so how on earth are we going to cope. So stressful and I work full time and has a 17 year old daughter about to start the HSC that doesn’t need the stress. Any ideas anybody
Parent Community Champion

Re: 13 year old boy behaviour

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Hey there @lizard0812

I'm so glad to hear that the forum has been a good source of support for you.  Heart

What you're experiencing with your son sounds really difficult - must be so hard to see your son change behaviors in such a short period of time. It sounds like a super stressful time for you right now,  and I hope you're getting support for yourself - through friends or family - counselling is a good option too. 


One thing I will say is that his behaviors now, do not necessarily show how he will be for the next 5 years, or even the next 1 year. Whatever is happening for him now, may only be a short time response to something - managing one day at a time might be less overwhelming way. 


Have you been able to talk to him about why he's behaving this way? 

I'll tag a few members as well that may be able to offer some insight and support! @Dad4good @Schooner @Chalke5 @taokat @sunflowermom

You can also call the parents line on 1300 1330 52 (in NSW), the full list of numbers by state is here  - they are able to offer confidential support and practical advice for parents. 


Prolific scribe

Re: 13 year old boy behaviour

Hi @gina-Ro thanks for the reply it is hard very hard actually my every thought is consumed with what’s going to happen next what if he continues truent school etc etc. we can’t give up on him but he continually promises us things will get better and he turns around and does behaviour a the very next day. Is always remorseful and sorry which helps a bit. We are waiting to see a psychologist through headspace we have seen some private in the past but the good ones always end up leaving and if a teenage boy doesn’t connect they won’t talk. He tells us he has no friends although he has a couple of really good mates but they go to a different school he went through primary school with them. He has very low self esteem which is also a worry. We are trying to guide him in the right direction but it’s hard when he keeps bucking the system. Punishment doesn’t ever seem to work and im not sure that is the answer really. It’s like suspension from school the only people it upsets is the parents it does nothing for dealing with the problems and it doesn’t upset the child. Last two suspensions my son has had he has had to go to work from 6-4 with a local builder and loved it lol so not really a deterrent.

Re: 13 year old boy behaviour

Hey @lizard0812, thanks for sharing that with us. How do you find time for yourself and the rest of your family during this? I ask as I imagine being consumed with what is yet to come must be very exhausting. You've mentioned struggling to find a consequence that is effective for your son and yourself as a parent. What do you think would be helpful in this situation? Finding a long-term therapist sounds like a really good start and you are so right in that the connection is really important Heart
Prolific scribe

Re: 13 year old boy behaviour

@Taylor-RO it is so incredibly exhausting and I’m also working full time. I’m never feeling like doing anything my poor daughter 17 is very understanding but I do feel guilty. I just want it all to stop I’m so stressed and anxious and the school holidays aren’t really helping either. I don’t know what the answer is or even if there is one but I do know feeling like this 24/7 is horrendous
Community Manager

Re: 13 year old boy behaviour

Hi @lizard0812,

This is such a stressful situation for your family right now Heart I can imagine the length of these school holidays must be so challenging when your son is home for extended periods of time without the structure of school. These 6 week holidays over summer are such long periods to watch him so carefully too- I can hear just how much these behaviors he is experiencing are taking a toll on your wellbeing tooHeart Do you have a support system you can lean on too? Friends, family or professionals? With the level of stress you are under right now, your wellbeing is super important too Heart


Reading over your posts, I just want to acknowledge the energy and love you have given to guiding your boy towards safer choices- he is very lucky to a mum that cares to much about his wellbeing and is doing everything to find some answers. It takes a lot of courage to reach out and we will always be here when you need to chat Heart


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Prolific scribe

Re: 13 year old boy behaviour

Jess1-RO thanks you so much for your beautiful words and support. it is more stressful than my marriage break up three years ago. I have some good friends whom I talk to at times which helps a bit. I just want my normal happy life back and I’m so far down I have convinced myself that Is never going to happen. I just keep assuming the worst. It’s such a horrible way to feel. I really miss my beautiful caring boy. I still see him occasionally so hopefully that is a plus
Prolific scribe

Re: 13 year old boy behaviour

Hi @lizard0812,


Edited 12/1/19. 

My son at thirteen started similar behaviour to what you describe. 


Unfortunately it has continued and he is now 16, not living at home and has a Family Violence Restraining Order against him to protect our family.


From my experience, firstly look after yourself. Keep doing things to help you remain functional and sane. It will affect you. I would recommend being honest with whomever you work directly with, your boss or direct supervisor. Keep them informed and up to date. My approach has been factual without making too much of a drama about it. I have used work as a distraction sometimes, with a focus that has increased my productivity to balance the downtime’s. Keeping your management in the dark will not assist your situation.


I would not try to hide what is going on with close friends that offer support. It is surprising when you are honest just how many friends or colleagues have had problems of some nature that they share. 


For him, do nothing for him that assists, supports or reinforces the bad behaviour. 

The best word is do not enable his behaviour. Do not accept any disrespect toward you. My son started being particularly unpleasant toward my wife for no apparent reason. In hindsight, she was prepared to accept too much and did not tell me of the extent he was being unpleasant. I feel this may have emboldened or empowered his early bad behaviour. Have really firm boundaries. 


Put it in front of him opportunities to make better decisions, as often as you can.

When he makes a bad decision, let him take the consequences for it. 

I recommend not excusing it. If you have wifi, get a device such as Parent Power, to ensure you put clear limits on access to social media etc. I feel that with my son, access to social media only fed the bad behaviour. It seemed he was sharing strategies with others he met on line.  


There really is no clear strategy or road map here. So some of what I say above may work for you. Some may not. Do what works for you and feels right for your situation. Get advice and support where you can, but remember you are the subject matter expert, ie your son. 


Most important of all, put your health and well-being first. If you are in good shape and remain functional, this is the best way to help him. 


I keep a diary of events that had occurred with him. However, I have also started a diary of what I call the “book of good”. I write down each day, something that has made me smile, laugh or simply made me feel good. There is so much crap going on, it is important to find and focus on the laughter, fun, love and joy you can find.


All my opinion only, I hope some of this helps.  

Prolific scribe

Re: 13 year old boy behaviour

@Orbit64 I’m so sorry you have been through such a horrible time. I’m hoping it doesn’t continue that long I’m not sure I would cope.

I can’t seem to find anything I like doing at the moment because I’m consumed 24/7 but stress and worry. Even when he is doing well I worry waiting for what’s next.

We still see our beautiful boy at times and he is always very remorseful and sorry when he does stuff so that I’m hoping is a good thing. We all just want the best for our kids and nobody can ever tell you how hard it can be. Good luck with your boy I hope it improves
Prolific scribe

Re: 13 year old boy behaviour

Hi @lizard0812,


I strongly recommend finding things to do that can help you. They may only be small things, but you have to find them. If you fall apart, your ability to help and assist your son really suffers. 


There are some great posts on this site for self care strategies. I would start with a short list of a few things that can cheer you up, that do not take long, but you can do daily. 


A few of mine are:

  • early morning walk with the dog daily
  • a cup of special tea, each day. Stop and enjoy it. Do nothing else. 
  • sit in the park, even if it is for 5 minutes, listen to the birds
  • stop on the way to work, have a cry and get it out of you system
  • find a funny tv series and watch a show each night, it can remove all the other stuff floating in your head and all you think about is the show for 30 to 50 minutes
  • Do something enjoyable with weekly drudge activities. Eg when you shop, stop somewhere on the way back and chill out for 10 minutes
  • remember to laugh manically. Even when everything seems to be falling apart this helps. There are nerves in the top of you cheeks that activate the feel good hormones in your brain if they are activated for 30 secs to 2 minutes. This is great in the car. You can do it even if you feel like crap. Laugh like a maniac for 30 secs to a minute and see how you feel in a short time. If not, think Joker. Your cheeks are not getting high enough. The thought of the person in the next car wondering what the heck is going on with you should also be enough to make you smile. 


I’m sure one of the moderators will point you to one of the self care topics. Good luck on this journey. 

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