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16 year old is very angry toward me lately after finding out about his dads lengthy prison sentence.

16 year old is very angry toward me lately after finding out about his dads lengthy prison sentence.

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Annalo

16 year old is very angry toward me lately after finding out about his dads lengthy prison sentence.

I’ve been trying to give him space and haven’t been hard on him because I know he is going through things but there are some things or should I say times where I don’t hold my tongue. He is very nasty and tells me when I discipline him that he can’t wait to get away from me and I make him the way he is(angry). Since his fathers sentencing he has gotten worse. What can I say or do to make things right? He is getting older and he wants more freedom but I’m afraid to allow most things in fear he will end up down the wrong path like his father. Am I punishing him for his fathers mistakes or am I doing the right thing by being a concerned parent and staying on top of him
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TOM-RO

Re: 16 year old is very angry toward me lately after finding out about his dads lengthy prison sente

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Hi @Annalo welcome to ReachOut, thank you for sharing and reaching out to us. I am sorry to hear that you and your family are going through such a difficult time right now, I can really hear how hard you've been trying. It can be so hard when kids direct their anger at their parents. We have no idea where it's coming from, and sometimes they're not sure either. I'm wondering if you have tried any Counselling support or chatting with a psychologist for your son?

 

While all this is happening, I am also wondering if you have been doing anything to take care of yourself? Such as self-care, talking to someone close to you or speaking with a professional? It's important to take care of yourself during difficult times. Helplines such as Parentline can be great places to start, what do you think?

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PaulSSmith

Re: 16 year old is very angry toward me lately after finding out about his dads lengthy prison sente

The combination of having to accept his father's absence, followed on by resentment and a feeling of being judged by others (for his father's actions) can lead to some deep insecurities.
There's will also be a feeling of envy at having to be amongst others who will be talking about their fathers in a more positive light.
This can result in a young man feeling bitter and becoming very angry.
It's difficult because it's as though you are serving a sentence as well.
The worry is placing a burden on your shoulders because you seriously fear that the lad will follow in his father's footsteps.
Your are a concerned parent, trying your hardest to direct a young adult away from a life of crime.
Are you punishing this young man for his fathers mistakes? The answer is....No....You are punishing him because you fear he'll do the same.
Deep inside, you fear the prospect of him following in his father's footsteps.
You are trying to help and there's no straight forward way of handling this. What can you do?
There is an option worth considering.
This young man may share the same characteristic traits of his father. A reason for your concern.
The anger, the frustration, the lack of trust, the yearning for adventure and a hidden intellect.
There's a constant desire to express that 'pent up' energy. What happens to a bored, frustrated young person who can't channel that energy into something constructive?
With time on their hands, a mixture of negative emotions and boredom can lead to behaviour that is not always in their best interest.
Does the lad have a job? Go to college? Do sports? Night classes? Have other hobbies, interests?
If the young man shares the same traits as his father, boredom (due to lack of stimulating activities) will be a considerable enemy in your quest to help him.
Tell the young man exactly why you are imposing these restrictions on his freedoms and explain to him your fears.
Try not to be threatening or 'giving an ultimatum' just yet.
The temptation to say...."If you want to live under my roof, then......" Will only result in him storming off in a bad mood.
It's worth raising the issue of counselling for his anger. Though it may be a challenge encouraging a sixteen year old to agree to this.
An option worth considering. Try to encourage the lad to do activities outside of home to encourage focus and channel that energy towards positive goals.
This could be an incentive to relax your restrictions and allow him more freedom.
The young man will soon become a fully fledged adult. In future. He'll be responsible for his own decisions. Whatever anyone else says.
It's a huge worry for you. However. There's only a certain amount of help and encouragement you can give.
Whatever help you provide. However many different suggestions or sources of help you turn to, there's only one person who can really help. That's himself.

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