R.A. asks from Houston, TX on April 04, 2008
15 Year Old Son Is Trying to Control
My 15 year old son and I have a great relationship most of the time, but he feels he has the right to tell me what to do sometimes and if I don't do what he says, he gets angry. I have explained to him that I am the adult and am quite capable of running my own life but I appreciate his concern. While I realize he is only looking out for me, sometimes it is downright overbearing. Anyone have any ideas on how to help?
L.W. answers from Dallas on April 07, 2008
Tell the 15 year old son that he is the "child" and you are the "adult". A "child" does not tell an adult what to do unless the adult is in harms way. If he continues to try to control you start taking priviledges away. Sounds like he's trying to manipulate you and has seen a male peer do this to you. Good luck.
J.F. answers from El Paso on April 05, 2008
Hi. My name is J. Ferguson. My husband is Deaf/Blind and doesn't notice a lot that goes on with the kids until after I tell him. I have 3 boys, the oldest being 20 and the other two are 10 and 8. I'm there with you. When my oldest son was just turning 16, he thought he was "the cock of the walk". He is taller than me, strong, built like a pro-football player, and had no fear (notice the past tense): you know how that is. He started getting very smart-mouthed with me and acting like he was my husband - telling me what to do and when to come home. I knew that if I didn't get control of him right then, I would lose it for good. I'm the kind of woman that refuses to give any child that much control over me. No way in heaven or hell. One day, I was chewing him out for something (it's been 4 years, The details are fuzzy) and he bucked up to me and got in my face. We were in the living room at the time, luckily facing our front door, about 3 feet from it. I knew this was my moment of truth. I didn't want to hurt him. I just needed to scare him with a bluff. I got on my best poker face, grabbed him by the neck,(note: I didn't squeeze), with all my weight focused in my legs, I shoved my son against the door as hard as I could. The desired effect was to catch him off guard, and I wanted a loud noise from the metal door as he hit it. My right leg went in between his as he hit the door. I yelled, "I don't care how big you THINK you are. You are still my son and you are still a kid! I am your mother, and I WILL whip your a--! You will NOT treat me that way again! You WILL respect me, AND you WILL do what you are told! I CAN and will hurt you, BOY!" Then I slowly backed off as he put his hands up in retreat and told me, "Ok mom. Ok. I get it. I'm sorry." I never had that kind of trouble again and to this day, if I tell him "Momma said! I don't care if you are 20 years old, you are still my son!" He listens. Bluff your son until he has his own kids to deal with. All it will take is one time if you do it right. Good luck. Let me know how you are doing. LOL
2 moms found this helpful
J.A. answers from San Antonio on April 05, 2008
Pick your battles. I now what your going through. Since there is no man in the house, he feels a certian overresponsibility for you and he is trying to find his place in the world.Giving advice to his mother (authority figure) makes him feel empowered. He needs that to an extent. Children want to be appreciated, even more so when they are feeling powerless. That is a hard age to be, but you want to keep the communication lines open. He wants you to take advice from him and us mothers don't want our children giving us advice because it tends to make us think we are incapable parents. That is incorrect. Children can teach us an are allowed to teach us and are great teachers in humility. I tend to have a problem cursing, especially in trafic, even when I'm listening to Christian music! I allow my ten-year old to correct me even though I know that I should be above a foul mouth.I then apologize. HE teaches me humility, but he still respects me. To shift things a little, maybe do something with just him out of your normal routine. He may just want to be heard awhile and giving advice is a bandaid for that need. Hope this helps. Will lift you up in prayer.
J.S. answers from Killeen on April 05, 2008
Part of this problem is also your son's age. This is generally the time when teens feel like they are adults, but because they are VERY YOUNG adults, they really don't understand what they are doing. Often they feel they have the world figured out, and they do test the boundaries every chance they get, especially with authurity figures. Remember, children test their boundaries from birth until they are actually adults, and sometimes past that. Just because your son is a young man doesn't mean he's not your child. Remind him of his boundaries.
My husband and I are going through some serious problems with his 16 year old daughter who is currently acting like she has the entire world figured out. She apparently "hates" me but I know the root of her anger, so I am not upset with her for feeling like this. Once she is ready to be the adult she is trying to be, my husband and her have some new boundaries to establish. Until that is done, we will have problems.
A.C. answers from Houston on April 05, 2008
R., it sounds like you do have a good relationship with him, as you have insight that he is trying to take care of you at times. Hopefully, you can avoid getting physical in trying to make your point. Be consistent in respectfully correcting him each time you find him trying to control you. You may have to talk, discuss, explain and reason with him as if he was already an adult, since some kids grow up faster these days. If he occasionally makes a good point in an arguement, then acknowledge it, so that he knows you are listening. But you still are the one in charge and you will have to keep reminding him. I think you will be just fine; he is just challenging you. You know we go through that stage of developing as a young adult, where we sometimes think we know it all. You'll survive.
L.D. answers from Austin on April 05, 2008
I've been through a similar situation with my son and took me some time and advice from my older, more experienced sister before resolving it. Your son is at that age where he has his own opinions and needs to voice them, but needs to do it in a respectful way. You need to listen and also respond to him as an adult in a respectful way. If he knows that you are truly listening and considering his opinion (and not agitated) he will be less argumentative even when you don't follow his advice. You have to talk to him about this at a time when you are NOT in the situation or heat of the moment (don't talk to him about this at a time when he is giving you the advice). Explain to him that this is new for you and you are not used to him, your son who is also a young adult, giving you advice but do want to listen to his opinions as long as it's in a respectful manner. Your son has good assertive qualities but only needs some guidance. He needs to be able to voice his opinions but must be done respectfully from a young adult to an experienced one. You need to give him that opportunity to voice his opinion, as long as it's respectful, and if you choose not to follow his advice take the time to explain. These opportunities will probably bring you closer to your son. I was normally old school on this so it does take some getting used to. When his advice is good, when he is right make sure you let him know. I think this is more about him wanting to know that you value his opinions and advice and knowing that you are truly considering them and less about whether or not who's right and wrong. My sister gave me this advice a few years ago; she has 3 sons and 1 daughter, all in their twenties.
M.Y. answers from Odessa on April 08, 2008
Enlist the help of your oldest son to talk with him. He is just probably trying to be the man of the household which comes with the territory of being a male. Enroll him in a mentoring program in your community where there is a male influence and get him involved with you in community service. Do you encourage him to get out with friends and go to church?
All of this could help.
B.F. answers from Houston on April 08, 2008
R. just sit down and have a talk with your son let him know that youre glad that hes concern about you but you are the mother and my all means dont let him control you because he will keep on controling you and then it will be out of control.I know that you love your son but you are still the mother.B. F.
L.S. answers from Houston on April 08, 2008
You had better nip that in the bud right now. I have 2 sons, one is 37 the other will be 24 this month. My youngests Dad left almost 8 years ago and so it began with my son as with yours. We had a wonderful relationship. Now he is still living in my house with his fiance and their 2 year old. Pay no rent , no utilities and no groceries. They don't clean or cook. I just recently told them I was no longer washing their dishes, only mine and the dishes stay in the sink till they wash them. This has been going on for 2 1/2 years. They paid some on utilities at first, but now don't. She works, he doesn't. We have had some real screaming matches to no avail, he just does what he wants. I tell him I don't want him there and she lets him in. I don't put her out because I am not putting my grandson on the street and she has no where to go. Neither one of them appreciate anything. He talks to me worse than you can imagine, calls me names, tears up my house and property. I am so sick of it I can't begin to tell you. I poured my heart and soul into this son of mine and I don't even know who he is anymore. They are suppose to moving out within the month and I will have my peace and quiet and sanity back. I will so sadly miss my precious little grandson. So you need to get it straight who is in authority right now . I pray that it doesn't go that far for you because it is miserable. Believe me. God Bless you and your son.