51 answers

10 Year Old Defiant Son

I am so desperate for any advice from other parents of 10 year old boys. My son is not at all respectful of my discipling him, he doesn't care what I threaten him with. He is afraid if I say I am going to go get dad though. I just don't know what to do to get him to understand that what I say goes. He also says he doesn't care if he fails his classes, although we have treatened punishment and offered incentives to doing well. He will do good one week and the next doesn't care. I guess I would just like to know that there are other moms out there with my problem. I am so frustrated with him now, I know he is smart he loves to read but has a hard time with other subjects. He is happy as long as things are going his way, as soon as that changes he is willful, defiant and stubborn. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you so much for all the advice, I am in the process of implementing one of them to see how it works, it is as much a lesson in control for me as well since I am not so patient. We will see how it goes, thanks again

Featured Answers

First off, threats DON'T work. Stop talking and act. As soon as he misbehaves take away a privilege. Then DON'T say anything else. Don't argue about it. Just do it and walk away. You end the power struggle.

5 moms found this helpful

Sylvan learning centers.
Talk to school administrators to see if they've noticed anything going on that might make some sense out of his behavior.
If there's something he'd really like to do, make him earn it and stick by it. Example: my son wanted to do karate. I got him in it, was there on the sidelines and saw what was said, how he did, etc. I used those on him at home. Disruptive in class, push-ups. Disrespectful in class, push-ups. I started implementing push-ups. It's a positive discipline issue. It's a time out, per se, but the physical part of it will benefit him. If he can't do it at home, don't take him to class.
For instance.

5 moms found this helpful

My defiant son will be 9 next month and I've been dealing with this behavior since kindergarten. (He's my youngest of 3)One book I really like that I haven't seen mentioned here is "10 Days to a Less Defiant Child" by Jeffrey Bernstein.

I definitely agree with those who said you need to follow through with consequences and be consistent. Don't make threats that you can't or won't follow through with.

Good luck! My thoughts are with you in this difficult situation!

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I feel your parental pain so to speak. I have three kids, two of which are boys ages 15 and 9. Being 10 is a difficult developmental stage, there's a lot happening in that brain of theirs. I have a number of resources for you to help you get through this.

The first resource is for both you and your son. It's a website based on the theory of multiple intelligences. Your son can take a fun and easy online test that will show both of you where his talents and gifts are. This might open a little window of understanding for both of you once you see where his natural abilities lie. After he takes it, have everyone in your family take it. Here's a link to the website where you can take the test http://www.bgfl.org/bgfl/custom/resources_ftp/client_ftp/...

The second and third resources are books for you to read. The first one is called, "The Wonder of Boys." The author is Michael Gurian. This phenomenal book will help you understand how to parent into the male culture. You, as a woman, are in a completely different culture and can get frustrated trying to parent and guide him from outside his own culture. The second book is called, "No: Why kids of all ages need to hear it and ways parents can say it." The author is a local U of M professor, David Walsh. This book will give you some practical ways to discipline.

The last, and best, resource I want to share with you is Tina Feigal. Tina is a local parenting coach. She is Kare 11's parenting expert and an author. Tina's website is www.NuturedHeart.com and she is the founder of the Center for the Challenging Child. I know Tina personally and highly recommend her.

Hang in there Mom, I know you can do this. Parenting is tough but you're not alone. Continue to reach out for help, build your parent community and learn from others and the experts. Best of luck to you!


12 moms found this helpful

Another great book is,"How to Behave So Your Children Will Too" by Sal Severe. It is really about sticking by what you say to your kids, as well as, being more aware of how you react to things. It has helped alot in our house....It also helped me to understand that explaing to your children on a regular basis that they have a choice in how they behave, however, they also will deal with the consequences of that choice, is powerful and empowering, even to a four year old.

11 moms found this helpful

I used to be a teacher before becoming a SAHM and disciplining can be a very difficult thing to do. From my experience I learned that telling children expectations often works really well and threats usually mean nothing. Kids know if you really mean what you say or if it's an empty threat. Tell him in 2-3 step directions what you expect of him. If he does everything then he reaps these rewards, however, if he fails to do it then these are his consequences and you must follow through. And, this is the most important thing, don't argue with him. You are the parent and he needs to know that. If he tries to argue then tell him it is not up for discussion and end it right there. Don't get trapped into his battle that he will start. If you do, then you have lost control and he wins again. Also, don't worry if he doesn't like you because you are setting rules and boundaries. Someone told me that around this age if your kid doesn't like you then you are doing your job. If he likes then you are not being a parent. Our job is to teach and to lead not to be a friend.

10 moms found this helpful

I'm a mother of 4 kids. One boy, three girls. My oldest is 31 and my youngest is 18.

In my years of child rearing, I found that the key to good behavior is consistency. If you make a rule, make them follow it ... all the time. No 'well, maybe just this time'. Also, as everyone else said, follow through. Don't make threats you aren't willing to live up to. Threats are, in essence, promises. 'If you do this, I'll do that.' If you don't follow through, you are breaking a promise. I have gone so far as to say, "I told you that if you did that, I'd have to punish you. I can't break a promise." Kids crave guidelines. It proves your love for them. Even though they sometimes don't like the punishment(and they would never admit they like rules) , they will love you even more, because you cared enough to enforce the rule and.... keep your promise. When he is grown, it will make you so proud to see him using the same thing with his own kids. I see my daughter raising her kids the way she was raised. She gets comments all the time, about how well behaved her children are. These growing up years are so short. Make them pleasant.. be consistant and follow through. Good Luck mom!

8 moms found this helpful

Hi J.,
I also have a 10 year old son who is sometimes disrepectful of my disciplining him. What has worked for me is taking all the emotion out of it. I don't let him see me getting upset by his rudeness and as hard as it is I try not to raise my voice and just matter-of-factly start to take away priviledges..."Ok, you will not be having screen time today." The end. There is nothing more said or discussed. If the behavior contiunes, there are more consequences. The book that I read early on was "One, Two, Three, Magic". It has helped tremendously with behavior issues with all of my children and seems to be the most effective and "nicest" way to discipline and get results (at least for our family) I think Washburn Library actually has a video of it. It might be worth checking out. We also did some counseling with a wonderful child therapist which helped alot with my son's ability to control himself and manage anger and just things that were troubling him. It was very low key and helpful. I think this age is hard, especially today. The best thing I've found is to stay out of the agrument mode and keep calm and confident and follow through. I usually give a warning or two and that's it. The discussion ends and there is a consequence. Good Luck.

7 moms found this helpful

I've recently read _Boys Adrift_ and _Why Gender Matters_ by Dr. Leonard Sax and they've given me a lot of insight into how to work with my son and how to make choices for his schooling, etc. He's only 5, but I think there some things stay the same regardless of age. Both would be worth checking out - I think that we (moms) tend to expect our sons brains to work the same way ours do.

Follow-through is the biggest thing that will make any discipline strategy work but it's not easy. I found myself in the same place yesterday - I was threatening and not getting the desired result, and then I realized I just needed to give up on getting cooperation and enforce the consequence. I was being just as willful and defiant as my son was by holding out for his cooperation!

7 moms found this helpful

Hi Jess,

First of all, I think your problem is the constant threats. NO MORE THREATENING. But if you do threatened to do something, DO IT. If you don't, you're sending the wrong msg to your son. He will not respect you. Do not tell him you're calling his dad. You need to make sure that he learns to respect you w/out "I'LL CALL YOUR DAD" ThREATS.

Also I don't believe in incentives. You're sending another wrong msg. What do you think is going to happen if you don't offer an incentive? The day you don't pay, THAT'S IT. He's done listening, he will not deliver. No more incentives. As doctor Phil once said to a mom facing the same problem as you "TOTALLY Stripped his room of all those goodies he has and we'll see then. As he starts to listen more you'll put back one goodie at a time. Very s lo w l y...

The thing here is that he needs to earn what he wants. Starting with listening, following the rules and respecting. He's only 10-- he needs to understand that you're the parent.
Can you imagine what would be like later if you don't straightened these issues now...

Also tried to spent more quality time with him. Once a week make it "son and mommy" day, and the following "dad and son" day (find a sitter for your daughter). Don't go a day w/out saying "I LOVE YOU" these three little words are so very imporatnt to a child. They need to hear this everyday.

Have you ever watch Suppernanny. Watch.

Good Luck,

L. ;-)

P.S. May the lord bless your family.

7 moms found this helpful

You and your husband need to sit down with him together and discuss it. Having a weekly "meeting" works out GREAT for us and our kids (12 and 10). Your hubby and you need to have a united front, set the rules and punish when rules are broken. No exceptions. No "threats" should be involved if the rules are set and consequences given when the rules are broken. Taking away privileges works wonders for our kids. My daughter (12) absolutely HATES it when we take her TV and/or computer rights away -- she tends to stay in line! :)
Also, it sounds like your son is carrying a lot of pent up anger. You may want to try talking to him about that anger or seek a counselor for him. Better to stay on top of it now so he doesn't become a very out-of-control teenager.
Good luck!

7 moms found this helpful

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