29 answers

Dealing with 12 Year Old Son's Behavior Problems

Hello, I'm looking for suggestions for disciplining my 12 year old son with ADHD. He's usually a good kid but he's been having problems latly at home and at school. This has never been a problem before, but in the last 3 or 4 months, his attitude has really changed. He's mouthy at home and at school and recently have been getting in trouble at school for this problem. He has never been like this in the past (besides normal kid attitude at home once in a while)We've tried grounding, taking things away, taking privlidges away, everything that we can think of. I'm running out of ideas and losing my cool by this point. We have began seeing a counselor (as of two weeks ago) but we are totally at a loss. Does anyone have any suggestions for me?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

First of all I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for such wonderful idea's and great concern! We are mainly taking things day by day right now. He's is going to continue see the counselor and we have recently seen his other doctor and he increased his meds. We are trying more of the reward system. We are normally very family oriented people, but latly things have just got so off course. I'm very lucky to have such a wonderful family! My husband (my son's father) is wonderful in every way. He has been spending more one on one time with him too. We have always told our son that he can always come to us with anything, no matter what. I like to keep the comunications lines open between us. I know he's just getting to that age. His hormornes are raving, and all this "weird" stuff is happening to him. Hopefully everything will iron out. I just keep praying every day and repeating my serenity prayer. I do have his school and teachers involved. I have to say that they are WONDERFUL!! I couldn't ask for more support from them even if i wanted too! Anyway thanks again to everyone who took the time to repond to my need! Have a wonderful day!!

Featured Answers

My advice is to also see a nutrionist. Processed foods are a big factor in behavior issues. Diet is a hard thing to change so I think a nutrionist to guide you and maybe a supprt group. Best wishes!

1 mom found this helpful

Have you tried a positive reward system with him? As a teacher, I've found this can be helpful at home and at school. You could set up a chart for him - give him a sticker each time he is polite and doing what is expected. You could even make it in time incriments (for instance if he is polite and responsible for 15 minutes he gets a sticker) Then come up with a goal of how many stickers you expect him to earn (let him help decided) in a week and come up with a small prize - he gets to choose what to have for dinner, can watch an extra 30 minute tv show, or gets a small toy. Also, is he on medicine? If so, he may need to see the doctor for a new/different dosage. 12 is a growing age.

Hope this helps

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Try talking to the child and see what has changed. Drugs and molestation sometimes can cause these changes in a child. Look at who he has as friends, now. Try rewarding good behavior and not just punishments.

1 mom found this helpful

This is perhaps not the whole solution, but talk to him and listen carefully. Tell him you don't understand why this is happening,and how it makes you feel including the sadness you have over not being able to help. Ask him if he could help you understand the problem. Sometimes this happens when some kid says something that's really hurtful and your son has no defense against it so he just expresses his hurt by being nasty. You can't tell unless he has the guts to expose his hurt. But you must talk to him, remind him of the good kid he is and that he is greatly loved. Ask teachers if they know of anyone at school who has been giving him grief. Talking to teachers can also help them have a different ( more understanding) attitude. It's like how can we help and work with this M., instead of what do we have to do to this kid. Blessings on your efforts.
Nelda C.

M. of 5 grown kids and teacher of music.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi L.,

As your son enters puberty, everything is going to be exacerbated tenfold. I just encourage you to hold steady with your boundaries. Make sure they are something you can consistently enforce. Continue to go to the counselor, but make sure the counselor has a similar set of values as you! Not all counselors are alike! Get ahold of "Boundaries" by John Townsend and Henry Cloud. Best book I ever read for myself and dealing with relationships around me. Read this first and then get the companion book "Boundaries with Kids". If you try to read the kids one first, you won't have benefited from the first book which helps you see why YOU need boundaries and how YOU need to go about setting them. Finally, PRAY, PRAY, PRAY. Seek the Bible's wisdom too.

God Bless!
D. D. - mother of 16 year old son, 13 year old son, 9 year old daughter - I'm trying to practice what I preach! Yikes!

1 mom found this helpful

You should ask him why he is having trouble. I am 12 years old. I have adhd and bipolar 2 and more. My father hates me and i met him at ten. he left at ten and a half. And i know that the only person to talk to is not some theripist hired to be nice it's you. My mom started talking to me and i have been with the now and then normal kid attitude as you call it. so go to his room and tell him how u feel about and care about his problems. Then ask about his problem. He will open up edventually

1 mom found this helpful

I did not have ADHD as a child, but did start acting out at almost the exact same age at school. I did it for one reason, I was being picked on. In 5th grade a boy moved to town and started picking on me, kids that had been my friends since Kindergarten were suddenly his friends and calling me all kinds of names, I was over weight, but it was never an issue until he made it one. I started acting out at school toward the end of 5th grade and continued until 10th grade where I finally met a girl that was the same size as me and we wore each others close, only she had always been popular because she was athletic, and she had confidence, her confidence rubbed off on me and I stood up for myself. Then I was a bit of a bully, which I feel horrible about now, but it was weird being on the opposite side of the table. I was being teased so much I didn't want to go to school in Junior High(Middle School) we had swimming in gym class and this particular boy was in my class, he was a football player as were all the other boys in my gym class, an their Coach was our teacher, I would be sitting there in my swimming suit, minding my own business and this jerk would yell some horrible mean thing at me and the coach would be standing right in front of me and not hear anything, I decided I would rather spend the day in detention than put up with the Teacher ignoring me being picked on, and my Mother and I had so many meetings with the Principal and that stupid Coach, and he always denied hearing anything. My Parents were considering transferring me to a private school, but didn't really have the money. Talk with your son ask him if there is a reason his behavior has changed, I was always honest with my parents and we always talked about stuff, I know that is what the counselor is for, but he might respond better to you just talking with him, kids that age are horrible to one and other, especially if they realize that you are different. Hope this helps, feel free to share my story with your Son,if someone is picking on him it would be best for him to confront them now in a non-physical way to avoid having years of pinned up frustration. I still have very strong feelings about it and can't say that if I saw that coach or that guy I might not just punch them in the gut just for fun, and it started when I was 11 and ended when I was 16, and I am 31 now. So it really is best not to keep it in and not to just stand by and take being teased either, if that is the case. I know you asked for help with discipline, but maybe you should make sure he is the one that needs discipline, because the Coach I told you about was failing me in gym class because I refused to suit out for swim class because his football team was teasing me so much. The F is why we had to meet with the Principal, he made the Coach let me stay after school and make up Gym class but I missed out on one of my favorite things, I have loved to swim since I was 5 years old, still do, but because every day that kid made fun of me and then eventually half the class was making fun of me, I let them get to me and I missed out on the joy of swimming everyday.

1 mom found this helpful

I am a 36 year old mom of two boys 11 and 14 with ADHD and needless to say it can be and is challenging. Both our boys are on meds (which has been a struggle trying to find one that really works and getting insurance to cover it) anyway, I think you are doing your best with the discipline, you just have to be consistant, say it and stick to it. My 11 year old have become very mouthy this past year and we just have to keep reminding him how disrespectful it is. I am very strict and need to be, we have a lot of structure in our home and it helps, routine is good and chores, they do have a few chores and if not done they are punished (usually taking playstation or sports away) that has worked pretty good for us, they won't be perfect, but who is?!
Hang in there!!!

1 mom found this helpful

It sounds like your son is starting puberty. I'm reading a really great book called Raising Boys Why Boys are Different--and How to Help Them Become Happy and Well-Balanced Men. Between six to thirteen is says that the father is the key figure in the boys life. It also has a story about a father who had a son diagnosed with ADHD. When the father started spending more quality time with the boy the ADHD symptoms disappeared and the boys attitude changed. So maybe he needs a little more male guidance in regards to authority figures. I am by no means trying to say that your husband is not an active role model in your child's life. I'm also not saying that spending quality time with his father will make the symptoms disappear but I don't think it would hurt to have him spend time with his dad. You didn't mention the dad so maybe this isn't the case (in your blurb about you though it says that you are happily married) so I'm assuming.

Then it talks about how around 14 boys are starting to become men. They need mentors who are up for the job and that they can trust. You need to trust the mentor as well.

1 mom found this helpful

L., You may want to consider doing some research on how diet can affect ADHD. As an adult who has ADHD I have learned to adjust my diet when I start to have problems. Protein plays a very important role. I think it could make a huge difference in your son's life!

1 mom found this helpful

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