03-13-2019 11:18 PM
03-15-2019 03:42 PM
Hey there @Calamity14 and welcome to ReachOut.
I'm sorry to hear how things are going with your son. It sounds like things have become a lot more difficult recently, is that right?
Getting some support to help your son is a great step to take. Is there anyone around you, such as a trusted friend or relative, who could help you with your son?
I'm also going to tag in some other members for their suggestions:
03-15-2019 05:28 PM
Sounds like it a really tough time for you. I imagine your son is not in a very good place at the moment either.
It sounds like your son has gone a long way down a certain path and it will take a lot of little steps to bring him back. The good news is there is time for him to take those steps, but frustratingly, he will need to choose to take them, you can't make him.
There is a lot in your comment and let's see if I unpack a few and offer something of my thoughts and hopefully that might help.
"when we find out he has done something wrong or lied he gets angry at us for interfering with his life"
Sounds very familiar. The point of parenting is to interfere with his life and try to guide and help him make the right choices. If you are not interfering you are not parenting .. your observing.
Take this as a badge of pride! Don't apologize for caring and loving your son.
" I want to take him to see a counsellor to talk"
I think you are on the right track with encourage you to continue to concu Would he be open to support from somewhere independant like Headspace etc. They are child focused and the sessions are private (exclude parents). Staff there can arrange phycologists to assist your son deal with any issues he might be acting out. If you bring this up with him focus on how it is private and not involving joint session with his parents.
"I have given him choices and consequences"
This is one of the things good parenting involves. Smoking weed, skipping school and achol are all very serious so make sure the consequences match the choices and are not under or over reactions.
"He sees my reaction as the problem not his behaviour"
Sounds familiar too. At that age they don't have the understanding of the danger they can put themselves in nor the impact of their actions. So naturally when you put restraints around his behaviour he see that as unreasonable.
My suggestion here is to try and make the discussion about the behaviour and why you see it as unacceptable and it has to be relevant to him. His safety, his development, his well being. Avoid abatary things like "I said so", "when I was your age", "other kids your age aren't..." or "it the rules of the house". They mean nothing to him
I am sure you are already working on this but be sure to LISTEN to what he has to say. Just don't talk at him.
My final thought it all you can do is love, support and try to parent them through this tough time.
In the end he will make his choices and even if they aren't the one you agree with all you can do is love him
03-15-2019 09:31 PM
Holy smokes @Calamity14 this is a big issue and I can only imagine your concern and stress. @PapaBill has a great response and I am not sure that I can offer much insight. Fortunately, my kids value their privacy and internet enough that the loss of these work as a good deterrent.
Early adolescence is an important period to target risk behaviour because it is during this time when many risk behaviours are first initiated or begin to escalate. It also means you are not alone in this. Adolescents must cope with
Teens take more risks than any other age groups. Research shows teens know that the behaviours are risky, but they still do it. During adolescence there is an increased interest in peer relationships and peer influence increases. Teens, especially mid-teens like your son, are more sensitive to the rewards of peer relationships which motivates them to focus on their friends in decision-making situations that involve risky behaviour and they are more likely to participate in risky behaviour while their friends are watching. So, this might be why your son is experimenting or developing a substance abuse issue.
As parents we can
However, they can learn and use strategies at home but that doesn’t necessarily mean they will use them elsewhere. Children have two worlds - their home and outside home. Boys (more than girls) behave quite differently within the various groups they belong to and often learn to compartmentalize their lives.
There is a great article Behaviour management for boys By Ian Lillico, who is a boy whisperer, I reckon. He says;
The behaviour of boys should be modified through praise - never through sanction or punishment. Punishment may contain a boy’s behaviour but not modify it. Punishment can actually be a reward for a boy as this can secure his prestige in the eyes of his peers. We must endeavour to catch them doing the right (nearly right) thing and try to ignore when he does things wrongly. Many parents fall into the trap of continually chastising boys and punishing them when they misbehave. However, in order to have a less stressful family life, and to change his behaviour, we should concentrate on positive reinforcement when he excels at being good.
Boys who misbehave can often become heroes in front of his immediate peers. Boys who are publicly chastised both at home, in the neighbourhood or at school, often have a high peer esteem and their poor behaviour often continues to give them feedback - even if we see it as negative. Boys should never be publicly scolded as this tends to raise their peer esteem and, hence, their poor behaviour continues. Public reprimand also severs relationships between the scolder and scoldee as boys are shame-phobic.
As I have said in other posts it is important to prepare for what you want to do. Read, talk, observe information that is relevant. Make a plan (with your partner if possible) and pick a date when you think you will find it the easiest to address your concerns and make a plan with your son. This will also give you time to practise what you want to say, maybe write it down and phrase it in a positive manner. Set realistic, short term goals and be prepared to negotiate. Take time to ensure that you are strong enough to deal with whatever comes next and be prepared to 'follow through' on your plan.
I also use the terms Adult parent and Heart parent with my kids. When we chat, I can relate to their feelings with my heart but I explain how my adult brain can see positives and negatives better than them. That’s how I survived to live this long and why I put my foot down on certain things.
When it comes to boys, consistency and kindness are your best weapons. He does love you and that you care he just doesn't know how to show it and be cool with his friends as well.
Big hugs and good luck.
03-15-2019 10:07 PM
03-16-2019 09:13 AM
03-16-2019 09:24 AM
03-16-2019 04:54 PM
From my ‘stirrer’ personna, I forgot to add that hubby and I like to clown a bit so he uses embarrassment as his “threat”. He jokes that he’s had years to plan all the ways he can embarrass the kids in front of their friends and school. Think any teen movie ever. Once again it’s scary how our kids believe him. Sad reflection? They also know he’d make some great stuff up.
Fear of embarrassment is a great motivator for teens I’d nothing else works. Maybe this is how you get him to a counsellor and then he can complain about you 😬
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