Need Help with 16 Year Old boy...Attitude

Updated on January 22, 2007
T.S. asks from Cottage Grove, WI
10 answers

My son will be 16 in a few weeks and he is getting completely out of control. He is disrespectful to me and my husband (his step-dad) he sneaks out of the house, is getting into fights. I'm terrified he's headed down the wrong path. His "real" dad is out of the picture. We've tried everything...Therapy, medication (which he refuses to take) support groups, taking everything away, grounding, you name it, we've tried it. Last night he threw me to the gound. I'm absolutely torn apart. I have 2 other kids that are mimicking his behavior and I'm at my wit's end. Has anyone else out there gone through this? If so, do you have ANY suggestions??

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So What Happened?

Hi everyone... I just wanted to give you all an update. First of all, I want to thank each and every one of you for responding. I feel so isolated and alone, and every time I received a response I felt a little less alone. So Thank you all for responding!
Nothing has really changed here in the house. I did try to contact his dad in St. Louis, and I asked him to take him. He was a complete jerk. He basically told me that I created this monster, that I raised him, and it's my problem. He doesn't want him at his house, ruining "his" children. It crushed me. He's never been in his life and I really thought he would step up to the plate and help, but no luck there. I've pretty much taken every privaledge away from my son and won't let him take driver's ed until he cleans up his act. My husband and I went to counseling tonight and they reminded me that I'm not a terrible mother, which I really needed to hear. My mother hasn't helped much either, she seems to think I'm way to hard on Cody. I'm just getting hammered left and right from outside sources. My husband and I decided that if there is any more violence on my son's part we are contacting the police...tough love. I can NOT put up with that, and he needs to know he can't do that. I definately don't want him to grow up to be an abuser so it needs to stop now. I will keep ya'll posted. Thanks for keeping us in your prayers and thoughts, it means so much to me! Tami

More Answers



answers from Minneapolis on

Since you used up most of the common disciplinary ideas.
Try calling Totem Town see if you can do a tour or they have group sessions there, I don't know if outsiders can sit in on the sessions. Or maybe call juvenile court or something see what they suggest. Ask your school principal too of ideas.

My son seemed at one point too much for me to handle....I thought I had lost him to the point of no return. But miraculously he came around and he's a very nice man.....everyone looves him. So there is hope too.

Good luck......there's a light at the end of the tunnel
somethimes it just takes them to just grow up.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Well of course I am sure your son is going through a difficult time himself with peer pressure and things of that nature, however he has no right what so ever to lay his hands on his mother. I suggest you get him out of the house, get him help send him somewhere where he has to counsel and such. Being abusive to you is just not an option. I don't know for sure what places there are out there, but when I was growing up I was having trouble and refused any kind of help my self, so my mother put me in a crisis center where I got professional help and then later went into a foster home and had extensive counseling. My parents were divorced as well and my father was out of the picture. I would sneak out, fight, lie and be super disrespectful to my mother. I am guessing he may have some underlying issues that he needs to deal with. You only have two years before he is old enough to make the choice to not get help so I think the sooner you seek out a facility or something of that sort the easier your life will be.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Prarie St. John's is a behavioral hospital. The staff offeres many diffrent ways of helping trouble youth. It might be worth looking into.

here is the link to the different locations. I wish you the best.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I know you said you've tried therapy, and you've gotten lots of great advice here. There is definently an underlying issue here. His real dad isn't around, how does/did he get along with his step-dad? I'm sure it has something to do with his real dad not being around. Do you know if he is taking drugs?

I think you really need to sit down with him and have a heart to heart, tell him how much you love him, and how proud you are of him, but you are very concerned about where he is headed. Let him know that any more physical violence will resort in the police being called. Remind him that he is setting the example for his little brothers, whether he likes it or not. Talk to him about getting into therapy, he needs to find the root of his problem and get past it.

I'm sorry you are going through this, and I hope you can find something that works for your family.



answers from Minneapolis on

Hi T.,
There is a place called "The Bridge" and what they do is kinda give both the parents and teenager a cooling off period. Its a short term (2 days) crisis center and what they do is access your child's needs and give you some better resources to check out. They also recommend if you think he's doing drugs is to get him tested. There's a place called Drug Testing and Background Check and their # is ###-###-####. There's also a place in Minneapolis called Minneapolis Dept of Health and their # is ###-###-####. I also recommend that IF he EVER touches you such as he did by throwing you to the ground, you NEED to call the Police. He needs a wake up call and before it just gets worse and needs to know that it isn't right. He will do this to his girlfriend or wife later in life if you do NOT send him a very clear signal now. The number for "The Bridge" is ###-###-####. Give them a call and ask them questions. It's not a locked facility and he is not forced to stay there. The lady there said teens tend to stay there just because they ARE willing to listen to them.They talk to him and really try to figure out the best "need" for him.

I wish you luck and I sympathize with him about his bio-dad but it's not an excuse to act out like that. Some tough scary love might be in order here T..

J. N



answers from Green Bay on

how heartbreaking, i dont have any answers that will magically make your son see the light however i was a rather defiant teen myself and pushed my mom and step-dad to their wits end!Looks like you got a lot of great advise but i just wanted to share this with you.... After a grounding and then yet anouther night of sneeking out we (my mom and I) got into a very heated argument and although i never got physical with my mom i may as well have punched her in the gut with the nasty things i said to her. my mother was hurt, BAD, so instead of continuing the fight she just walked away (and most likely went to her room to cry) a few days later i found a note on my bed... i was crushed to read how much i hurt her, she wrote about how much she loved me, how worried she was, how she was scared to death of what was going to happen to me, she laid everything on the line in this letter ( including the possability of having to send me away). I still have that letter and never ever talked to her in that way again!! I did not become an angel but i did straighten my act up i dont think i really knew how much it was hurting her untill she wrote that letter and i loved my mom very much as im sure your son does too. Sometimes teens wear blinders and cant see anything but themselves, i remember feeling like my parents were picking on me, just not understanding me.... me, me, me. I hope this helps a little bit. If nothing else its a way for you to be totally honest with your son in a non-confrontational way. Good luck and please let us know how things go.
Prayers to you- L.



answers from Green Bay on

Hi T.. This must be heart breaking for you. We never think, when we start a family, that we could face a rebelious teen one day. It's an extremely helpless feeling and I really feel for you.

I have four daughters. The two oldest, 18 & 15, have never given me any real trouble...However, I had a VERY rebellious older brother. He threw my father over a coffee table once in one of his rages. The main culprit was drugs.

I would very seriously consider having him tested for drugs. If the test comes up positive, have an intervention then put him in a teen specialized rehab immediately.



answers from Minneapolis on

I had a cousin who went through a troubling time such as this. There could be various reasons as to his outbursts. The start is, you have to find out what they are. Also, if you have a family member who lives out of state or in the country, try sending him there during the summers. My cousin ended up in Montana ever summer at a program for kids with anger problems. They live off of the land, work in the forests. It was great for him. Gave him something he loved and looked forward to. Look into these programs. Be aware of the military ones though. Make sure you can find one that is recommended by other parents or a well known counselor. I dont know the Montana ones name since it was over 20yrs ago, but you might find some online. Good luck and hang in there. L.



answers from St. Cloud on

I'd ask him if he wants to move out...this has to come from a peace from inside you not all your terrible thing we learn as a little one is not to give your hands to anyone...manners keep them to yourself...ya if you have to do it, do it to yourself. get him to have people in his room,talk to him 'bout gettin a small job, sounds like he has to much time and maybe is really bored...doesn't he want a girlfriend? with his reputation it maybe undesirable. Oh well it's his loss. Not yours.



answers from Milwaukee on

Dear T.,
I feel for you. Your son should never have done that to you.
My one son was starting to get like that.The first thing you need to do is talk to your sons docter. Ask him if he could do a routine physical on your son. Ask him if he can do a urine test to rule out drugs or alcohol. your son doesnt have to know thats what the test is for. Be honest with the dr. tell him what has been going on. Make an appt. with him yourself 1st so you can tell him what is happening. He might have some really good advice. The next thing you can do is change your house rules. When your son starts to yell or be disrespectful tell him in a calm voice that is unaceptable.
Even if you have to bite your toung off, just keep it in anon judgemental tone. If he wont stop in that same tone say when you want to TALK to me. come back. You said you tried all the punishments, what about the praises.Kids his age still need them too. Even if its little. Thank you hon for putting your shoes in your room. Wow you brought that f up to a d! maybe next time it will be a c. Sometimes a kid who acting out needs something positive said to him or about him. We turned our whole life upside down. the computer and tv go off at 830pm.
only on weekends can it stay on till 1000pm. We have family game night. Invite their friends over to play too. Maybe you can go out once a week to eat or monthly,whatever your budget allows. If it is monthly try to do a family thing too. like bowling or minature golf. swimming,going to a carnival. Take him out by yourself. tell him you dont like what is happening to all of you lately. What can we all do to change it. then listen to him. We still have our ups and downs but it is getting better. It takes time. Oh yeah another of our rules is
they have to let us know where they are at all times. If my kids dont come home at night or call or leave a note. they know I have no problem filing a missing person report. If he sneaks out. tell him he better leave a note of where hes going.
Also whats out there thats so important that he needs to leave the house. Just talk to him,listen to him,confirm that he has real self worth not only to you but to himself as well! God bless you T.,I pray that God puts his healing hands on your family,and changes come strong and quickly!!! sincerly K. F.

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