08-14-2018 10:54 AM
I have two boys 3 years apart, my older son is 17 years old. A few days ago, him and his younger brother were doing their usual banter / teasing / taunting, it started to escalate. I overheard screaming, I could hear my younger son repeating 'please leave me along' over and over. I went in to see what was happening and because the bantering went to far, my younger son threw an empty container at him, my older son then backed him into a corner so he couldnt get out of and was screaming in his face 5cm away. Totally, intimidating him and very aggressive. My younger son is fearful of getting hurt. I explained to my older son trapping him and being agressive was not the right thing to do and he started screaming at me. F off, get the F out of here, etc and smashed something ont he wall. When I asked him not to break things he was screaming again, F off you are unbelieveable etc. I left to diffuse (I was scared). I spoke to him about an hour later saying it wasnt right, he was just saying its my right to do that, 'I am no **bleep**, I am not going to back down etc etc' then the next morning he wakes up and back to his 'charming self'. Last year he was suspended a couple of times from school, we took him to a psychologist and he did a 10 week program called Stop / Think / Do. I am not sure what to do? To be honest, he scares me and when he gets like this he can upset the whole house. My younger son couldnt manage school the day after, he kept on crying. Does anyone have any advise??
08-14-2018 01:37 PM
Hi @debbiew, welcome to our parent forum!
Thank you for sharing - I can imagine it must be scary to see your son that way.
Sudden mood changes and anger are really normal for teens (particularly boys) that age and it's definitely something that has come up on the forum many times- but that doesn't excuse or make it easy to deal with the behaviour that results.
That's great to hear he previously attended that course - do you think it helped him at all at the time? Was he reluctant to attend, or did he report finding it helpful?
How did the 13yo go on his day off school - were you able to talk to him more about it? Did the two boys have any kind of resolution between them?
It really does sound like you're doing all the right things in keeping communication open, and offering you son professional help if needed as well. You are clearly a very supportive and caring mum.
Hoping others on the forum will be able to jump in and offer some support and/or advice as well.
Looking forward to hearing more about how things are going
08-21-2018 08:14 PM
Hi @debbiew it sounds like you’re facing some behaviour from your son that is frightening and utterly unacceptable in your home. I have also faced that from my 15 year old and it led to some very scary times and sadly, escalated to the point he is no longer living at home.
one strategy we tried to reinforce our expectations was to call a family meeting, and in the meeting we used a ‘talking stick’. Only the person holding the stick could talk. It did stop some discussions turning into screaming matches. I also suggest you try saying things like, ‘ I feel ...when you do/say/act in ...way’. Focus as much as you can on expressing what is acceptable behaviour in your home, and how his behaviour impacts you and others. I used to say to my son that he was a bundle of potential but at the moment his actions were hurting himself, his family and his community.
I know it is terrifying to see such a shift in behaviour in your teen. I hope you can also find a way to put consequences in place for unacceptable behaviour. That’s really important. If he escalates physical behaviour and you feel unsafe at any time, call the police. Your safety is paramount, and in my experience the police are usually very understanding and keen to assist families dealing with sudden aggressive behaviour. Please also alert your school, as possibly there are things going on there which are playing out at home. I always had the attitude it takes a village to raise a child, and I called on teachers, sports coaches, relatives & friends to help. Sadly, our son has had to move out, but that doesn’t mean we stop caring or worrying and doing what we can in the background to try to ensure he has some success in his life.
Best of luck.
08-21-2018 09:41 PM
This notion @Faob_1 is such an incredible idea - "one strategy we tried to reinforce our expectations was to call a family meeting, and in the meeting we used a ‘talking stick’. Only the person holding the stick could talk. It did stop some discussions turning into screaming matches. I also suggest you try saying things like, ‘ I feel ...when you do/say/act in ...way’." it's amazing how such simple tools in group dynamics can become so powerful.
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