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Is he just being a teenager

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Is he just being a teenager


Is he just being a teenager

I have a 13 year old son who is being very trying over the past few months.

He has been caught snooping around a neighbours house late in the evening. (this has happened when supposed to be at a friends house.)

another time, he asked if he could go to a mates house, but instead spend the night riding his bike around the town and ending up sleeping in the local football club, along with two other kids and drinking beer.

Last night he was supposed to be at the  football club on dinner duties, but instead stayed outsde with mates.

This morning I caught him hiding behind the house sucking on a Vap, told him to go to school, walks out and 10 minutes later hes back to get his bag, goes again and then I find him hiding in the bushes by the house.

tell him to get to school and I lose my **bleep**. I am so frustrated with all these happenings over the past months and I cannot get a handle of it.

he has had all his privileges taken away and has been grounded each time and is still grounded now. But I am at my last teather (just finished yelling and crying for the last 20 minutes and ending up locking my self in the room)

This is not good for him or me... Any thoughts?


Re: Is he just being a teenager

Hi @natasha1987 

So sorry this is happening to you . It must be  very worrying to see your son exhibit behaviours that are troubling and puzzling .  It is difficult enough just to watch these things happening constantly . Then you get upset and feel out of control so you end up in ugly conflict with him , which hurts you both and further adds to the stress and tension . This must be awful .

You have come to us for support which shows you are a caring and loving parent and want the best for your son . There is help out there so don't despair. Acting early is a great strategy to empower you to create change .

You asked is he just being a teenager ? I would say that snooping around in bushes and  vapping  (  cigarette vaporiser ? ) late at night when he has said he is at someone's house at 13 is not ok , whether this is just being a rebellious  fun seeking teen or not . He has a duty to be where he says he is and you need to know why he was snooping . What was he up to ? Is  he doing something illegal ? There are a lot of questions to ask here .


Some food for thought : 

When did this behaviour start ? Was there a trigger ? 

What has happened in the past that may be contributing to changes in his behaviour ?  

Negative behaviour  is triggered by negative thinking , your son very well may have some issues and experiences he has not been able to process properly yet and this is his way of coping . He may need your help or someone else's help to access these thoughts and feelings .

Try to get him to talk to someone he trusts and respects if he won't talk to you . If not try to get him to see the student wellbeing counsellor at school or go to the GP and get a mental health care plan to see a Psychologist.

Better to get onto this early , problems get bigger and behaviours become more self sabotaging if we neglect to act on it sooner rather than later when the  issues become overwhelming and behaviours entrenched. 

If he says he doesn't want see anyone , force him to go , he may sit and say nothing for a few sessions but the counsellor will have skills to draw info out if him and if they build a rapport over time , he will reveal more across time . 


 There is a parent coaching program here at Reach out . Sorry I don't have the link but check out the website page for it . It may help you with further strategies . 

Let us know how you go . Best wishes to you . 



Parent/Carer Community Champion

Re: Is he just being a teenager

Hi there, there are some similarities with your scenario and what my family has been experiencing over the last 18 months with our son who is almost 15 now. We have had all sorts to deal with. I have binned at least two vapes and explained over and over that there is no knowing what is in the solutions that are sold, although formaldehyde is a common ingredient. Extremely toxic. So try to get that message through. 

The lying about going places is also our experience. My current strategy is insist on a contact phone number of where he will be. I am taking the stand that I do not want to harass his 'mates' by calling them, but that he has a habit of refusing to answer our calls, so if there is a family emergency I want to be able to contact someone who can get a message to him. My husband has also shown up at places in the morning when we have been able to track him, and picked him up. 

My strongest advice is be firm, fair and friendly. Believe me, there are times when I desperately want to 'lose it' with son as I am frequently treated with such disrespect the mind boggles. Of course, everyone who knows son outside home thinks he is marvellous. 

I recommend the counselling on here. I know it is somewhat formulaic but I took something away from each session I have been able to apply with some success.


i know it is hard, but try with all your might to keep your voice calm. Use lots of "I " statements. Eg I am disappointed when you don't complete the chores you promised you would do. I am disappointed you don't walk the dog anymore. I get worried when you refuse to answer my call when it is about dinner time and you're not home yet on a school night. etc. For some reason, when I use them, son is disarmed, and I often get an apology. A few weeks ago I would only get a "F'*** you", so that's progress  I guess! 


All the best. 



Prolific scribe

Re: Is he just being a teenager

Hi @natasha1987, I'm sorry you are going through this traumatic experience.  I had similar issues with one of my boys and I remember having to physically drive him everyday to school and when I could I would pick him up. Also he used to sneak out at night and my husband I drove around the streets and knocked on friends doors to see if he was there.  It was a terrible time.  He was 15.  I had to keep a very close eye on him and tried to keep him as close to me at possible.  I knew who he was hanging out with and when I tried to talk to their parents or get them on side, they were very dismissive.  In the end I decided my son was my responsibility and the only one I need to worry about.  He is now 18 and still has difficult with authority but the novelty of defiant and sneaky behaviour has worn out.

Star contributor

Re: Is he just being a teenager

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Hi @natasha1987 Sorry to hear that you have been having such a hard time with your son lately, and that it has had such a negative affect on you.  It must be really worrying and stressful.  There must be a reason for your sons behavior - as I don't believe this is typical teenage behavior.  It is so hard to keep things under control when you are faced with such stress, so getting help early would be beneficial for you both.  


Keep up with the consequences for bad behaviour, no matter how hard it gets to enforce.  @motherbear  and @Faob_1 offer some great suggestions.  The counselling they are referring to is the ReachOut coaching for parents. It is very practical and offers tips that you can use straight away. It's free and many parents have found it useful when struggling with issues with their teens. The link is here if you'd like to check it out. It's free, done online and over the phone and is very flexible.  Hope this helps..

Super contributor

Re: Is he just being a teenager

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Hey @natasha1987 I just wanted to concur with the other parents on both points, that this is a really hard situation and that coaching can be really helpful in just getting some strategies to get you back from the end of your tether. It's also completely free. 

Coaching won't magically disappear everything but they can help you feel more confident about your responses to his behaviour and less angry about the effect it's having on your lives.

 I'll give the link again too, if you click here it will take you to the coaching page.  


How was the weekend for you guys?

Active scribe

Re: Is he just being a teenager

I’ve definitely had challenges with my kids, but something that has worked well for me is to take the time when they make a mistake and use it as a learning opportunity.

I think many parents forget how important just listening and being interested is.  All you have to do is make your kids feel like they’re really important and be interested in their lives.

A great way to bond is by learning together too…