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16 year son over reacts if I try to implement rules

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16 year son over reacts if I try to implement rules

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16 year son over reacts if I try to implement rules

My 16 year old son gets very angry and over reacts (I can hear the aggression in his voice) every time I try to ask him to go to bed or do his homework etc... or if I lay down some ground rules about going to parties etc....

An example of this is we were in the car and on the radio they were discussing the fact that you should turn off you screens (phone, iPad, tv, laptop etc...) at least one hour before going to bed. Now my son is always complaining that we usually make him go to bed too early. He says he lays there for hours awake after it is lights out. I suggested to him that he get off his screens an hour before bedtime to see if that helps him go to sleep. He then went into total defensive mode and over reacted. He said that I am trying to isolate him from his friends and that all I want is for him to study and not socialise or talk to his friends via social media. He then went on to say it is my fault he has to be on social media because I wom’t let him go to parties with alcohol without making him look like a fool by wanting to speak to the supervising parents first. It is the same argument and he brings up all these issues weather I broach the subject of bedtime, homework (or lack there of it being done) or parties.

He turns everything back around on me and says it’s all my fault then threatens to delete all his social media and isolate himself from the world because he says it is the only way to keep me happy. This is definitely not true, I try to reassure him that that is the last thing I want him to do. I have tried compromising with him such as instead of not letting him not go to parties where there will be alcohol, I let him go on the provision I call the supervising adult first, or negotiate a bed time that is inbetween what I would like and he would like, or suggesting he perhaps try turn off screens 1/2 an hour before bed instead of an hour. No amount of compromising is good enough for him and he is very nasty, bordering on aversive whenever I bring up or suggest something he doesn’t agree with. He is like this whenever he is told something he does’t want to hear. His total distain and lack of respect towards me is wearing me down and I am very reluctant to try implement boundaries any more with him. He has gotten into my head and I am beginning to question my worth as a parent because he is always telling me everything is my fault and that I am trying to isolate him from his friends. He has it in his head that all I want to do is lock himself in his room and study and sleep. All I do is ask him if he has homework, I don’t really say much more than that apart from I request he doesn’t have his phone in his room when he is doing homework because I know he will be distracted and chat on social media instead of getting on with the job.

I fear he is on the brink of either going through with his treats and isolating himself or that he wlll just take off and not tell us where he is going or when he will be home. He is so hard to read and predict what he will do. I feel I have no choice but to just let him do what he wants or he will totally cut me off.

Does anyone have any advice as to what I can’t do to try have a more healthy relationship with my son?
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Re: 16 year son over reacts if I try to implement rules

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Hi @needadvice77 and welcome to the forum. Thank you so much for sharing with us - I can guarantee there will be many parents who relate to your situation, myself included! 


My daughter will be 16 next month, and aside from her mental health issues, she's a very hard headed, strong personality who likes things to go her way. She tries to guilt me into not asking her to help out around the house, by blaming me and often being really rude and derogatory towards me. 


It sounds like you're doing everything a great parent does, so you're bound to annoy your son! It's very reasonable and responsible of you to check he's doing homework, set a bedtime, and talking to the supervising parent at parties. You are so right that having screens right before bedtime does affect everyone's ability to get to sleep. It is exhausting though and you sound like you're feeling like you're getting nowhere so what's the point. Trying to parent when you're feeling like you're getting nowhere does bring you to the point of resignation, I can completely relate to where you're at. 


It's so easy to say, but try to tune out your son's banter about blame because he's simply trying to get his own way. They figure out our buttons pretty quickly! 


It's great that you are trying to compromise. As the parent, I think that's something you can come back on. Remind him that you were willing to compromise, but by his own choice he decided not to compromise, so gets the original set bedtime or whatever it may be. I always bring it back to choices with my daughter, as she does have responsibility ultimately for the choices she makes. When she throws threats out there as your son did about deleting all his social media, I would say to her that that would be up to her and a choice she would be making herself, as that was not what I had asked of her. Those are facts that can't be argued!


My daughter ran away from home because she got angry that I was telling her to wash up after she'd baked in the kitchen, and as she said later, she didn't want to wash up. She came home again. They give us a hard time, but they still love and need us - and what we offer haha (internet, power to charge devices, shelter, food etc!). 


ReachOut offer parent coaching which I am going to see if I can do again, as I need help with similar issues at the moment. It's a free service that works with you to come up with practical solutions to your specific situation, and I highly recommend it. You can read more and find the link here. It's done over the phone and online and is very flexible. 


Let me know what you think!