My 10 Year Old

Updated on December 14, 2006
B.M. asks from Danbury, TX
13 answers

My 10 year old son is getting to where he screams at me, he won't do anything i ask him to do. He tells me all the time i am mean because i wan't him to do his homework and take a shower before bed. i am just trying to raise him right , what am i doing so worng?

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answers from Dallas on

Kids, and adults for that matter, sometimes use anger to mask a low self esteem. He is at the age where he might not be feeling very confident with girls, sports, friends, school, etc. He might feel like you dont understand him and so now he has no one that does. It happens to lots of kids his age. I would calmly punish him for his rude behavior, but when he is not in trouble spend a lot of time complimenting him, including him in things, asking and being interested in his life, helping him find things and areas of his life that give him pride. One thing I will be doing with my daughter soon is giving her more responsibility. Not to catch her not being responsible, but to give her pride in her accomplishments. So instead of me telling her to shower before bed, it is written down on her list of things she needs to do and it is her responsibility to do it. If she does everything for the week, she gets a reward, like dinner out with me. Which is a reward for everyone really.
Actually, I think I will write out her responsibilties right now. :)
Good luck!

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answers from Shreveport on

Hello B.,
I have an 11 yr old son. and I want to do all the things right with him as well. Your doing nothing wrong !!! Unfortunantly that's the age where they are really starting to test and see how far they can go.
I want my children to be able to say anything to me but they must do it in a respectful way. When my son starts yelling at me I firmly remind him that I do not speak to him that way and he will not speak to me that way. Respect for respect. If he say's I hate you or I am the meanest mom because I won't allow it, I allow him to get it out as long as he is respectful in doing so. After he has calmed down. I go to him and say "You said----and I felt this way about it." or I say "You said this to me and it hurt my feelings. How would you feel if I said it to you?" HE needs to know that his words can hurt and when he realizes that he usually apologizes. When he apologizes I reinforce that I want him to be able to speak to me but with respect. I want to hear his side or his argument and if he presents it in the right way I might listen and realize that I could try something different for one night.
His temper tantrums and yelling has decreased alot and he tend to talk to me more.
Best wishes in finding out what works for you and your son.




answers from Little Rock on

Stay strong and hold your ground. I see so many (even some of my friends) wanting their children to like them instead of respect and love them. You set the rules and the concequences. He gets to learn to abide them and become a good person. He dosent have to understand why at this age. He'll get it when he has kids.



answers from Houston on

The problem here seems like a lack of disipline. I wish my 8yr would raise his voice to me, he would be picking his teeth up off the floor and his lips. There has been times where he would test the waters but i give him that crazy mom look and he get some act right. You just have to be stricter, dont ask him to do his homework you tell him to do. Kids are not suppose to have options, i know i didnt when i was young, my mom said do something i did it no if an's or but's....Your son is still young so you can still control this issue, but dont let this continue b/c once hes a teen you will really have problems.



answers from Houston on

First, you're doing the right thing by getting ideas in the area of how to help your child be a better person and be more respectful.
I have a son that at times, likes to try to be the boss. I have to regain control and enforce a punishment for his choice to be rude or disrespectful. I've removed toys, tv priveledges, computer time, play time, and everything else that he enjoys. The only thing he could do is read and he had to eat in his room and not be allowed to be around other members of our family. I know it sounds harsh, but it gets his attention. SO, in order for him to get his priveledges back, he has to first show me that he can be respectful by appologizing properly. Not just the "i'm sorry", but the whole three step appology. "I was wrong to be rude to you because it was disrespectful, I'll do my best not to do that again, and I'm really sorry for what I did/said"
Then, he can have dinner with us. And each day he can get back one little priveledge given that he does chores or other helpful things around the house without being told. Such as taking out the trash, picking up the baby's toys, feeding the dog, scooping the kitty litter, putting away the dishes, etc.
I award them at the end of the day for the following day because he has to prove that he's worthy of having such a luxury such as tv.
Oh my, I sound like boot camp mom. But, IT WORKS for me.
I wish you all the luck. This is a very hard age and I'm sure that you're going to do fine.
If there are three things I can tell you, it is be consistent, do what you say you'll do and follow through with what you said.
Loads of luck for you.



answers from Houston on

You are not doing anything wrong-don't second guess yourself. Kids are VERY preseptive and maniputalive- your son can and will pick up on your feelings of confusion. He is coming into an age of independance and testing. If he see's you're second guessing yourself and vounerable he will take every chance he can to use that to his advantage. Hold stong and firm. Let him know firmly that you make him do these things because you love him and it's your job as a parent but it's unacceptable for him to scream at you.

Good luck. Stay stong- this too shall pass :)



answers from Houston on

Children test parents all the time and this one sounds like yours. He's pushing your buttons to see how far he can get. I have the same problem with my daughter. She whines when we tell her to bathe, clean her room, do homework, etc. Whine, Whine, Whine!! I had a teacher conference with all her teachers today and my daughter also attended. Her grades are low and all of us know that she can do better. Having her in the meeting was a realy awakening for her, because the advice to her came from all of us and not just from MOM! Best of luck.



answers from Little Rock on

been there and done that. i have come to the conclusion that the best way to survive is to outlast them. the more you response to the outbursts the more they can escalate. the rules are homework and a shower before bed. mom has rules she has to follow and so do children. the oldest person in the house is the one to set the rules. like it, great, don't like it, so sorry, that's how it is. or it can really get rough when he gets to count the ceiling tiles in his room for a few days. mom's a saint for a while after that. just assure him that you love him, want the best for him and right now that best is to do what mom says. from there, the roller coaster begins, so hang on and try to enjoy the ride. when they get older (twenties) you can remind them how unpleasant they were and everyone will laugh about it. friends, sk



answers from Houston on

You are doing the right thing, but it is so hard, but we as Moms have to be the boss and not let our kids be the bosses



answers from Fayetteville on

Dear B. M,

Have you taken him to the dr to see what is wrong . sometimes a child would be hurting and does not understand how to explain it to you . if there was something bad has happen or something that might have scared him. he only knows what he thinks is right and that is to yell at you hopeing that you would help him out . i woulod take them to the dr and see what they say if they say he needs to go talk to someone that would total understand him.



answers from Houston on

Wow, some angry responses here. I am a divoriced mom have two boys 11 and 9, both right at this age so I really understand your pain. I have had this very conversation with my kids within the last 6 months... try it.

First off though, all lets be realistic here, I had to stop hitting my kids when they got almost as big as me and laughing when I spanked them. That was about a year and one half ago. Unreal as it may seem, these guys are starting to develop independance and these are the first stages of teenage years. They want to be treated with respect and like adults even though they don't behave in a way to deserve it.

Sit down with your son at a time that you aren't fighting. Discuss with him that we all have rules and conditions in life that don't necessarily make us thrilled but it still needs to be done.

Example: I don't WANT to go to work, but I have to so I can pay for our house and provide him with clothes and food and his video games. These things are a product of my effort and doing things I don't really want to do so I can provide the home we live in and the things we enjoy. (Or stay home so we can have a nice home and I can spend time with you etc.)

Now discuss specifically what he has been fighting about... Show him the the outcome of his efforts and what it means.

Example: Your homework is to teach you. Your schoolwork is preparing you for a time when you will have a job and provide for yourself and later your own family. If you don't learn and develop these skills now you won't be able to do these things in the future. What sort of life will he have with no money or home? The more education you have the better job you can get and the more money you can make. If you have bad school grades now you won't be able to get into some of the best colleges and this will affect how much money you can make as an adult. (Everyone needs math and reading to just drive and go grocery shopping!)

This conversation opens lots of doors... you are showing him that you are thinking beyond the here and now, you are thinking about him as an adult with a family already. He wasn't thinking about the future, he is thinking now. He also sees that you do things you don't want to do, just for his and your own benefit. So you do things you don't want to do. This shows him he isn't alone in his issues and that part of this is for his benefit. Also by having this conversation calmly and making it a real conversations with his questions and full interaction you are treating him more "adult".

Next share with him your coping skills for not being enthusiastic about certain things.

Example: My boss gives me busy work, and I think its stupid or that it will be thrown away and a waste of my time. I have choices... I can do it, I can argue, I can not do it. Discuss the likely outcomes of these three options. Which is faster? Which is likely to make me look bad? Which is likely to get me fired? What is the future like in each result?

Next discuss the arguing factor and stalling. More time and energy is usually spent getting out of work than just doing it. And on top of all that usually you also get punishment and ruin the rest of your day.

The last thing to discuss is respect. At this point you guys should have a good calm and healthy conversation going. Discuss respect and what it means. Discuss why it is wrong for him to yell and call you names. Ask him how he would feel if others do that to him. Discuss trust, and how its earned and built. Be honest about your sacrifices for him and all the things you hide to keep him safe and happy. Let him know that you do your best and expect him to do the same. Let him know that you have done everything as best you can and that earns respect and trust and you expect it be given.

Now going forward have more adult conversations with him. You need to stop looking at him like a baby and "Because I said so" is never the real and correct answer, its just easy. If you are pressed for time, respond to his demands with a thought provoking question (Why do you think you think I want you to do XYZ?). Ask him to write down 5 reasons why you think you are asking this of him and come explain them to you in 15 minutes (or when you are done with what you are doing). Let him know when you are disappointed and lose respect and trust. Also let him know when he gains some of your trust and respect. Let him know when you are proud of him.

I actually was having a really bad day when my kids chose to challenge me. I cried and told them all about my bad day and how many things I was doing and thinking to try and be happy so they would have a good day and how upset I was and I was hiding it before they yelled at me. It was really eye opening for them. I think kids really believe that being an adult is easy and that when they grow up they won't do anything they don't want to do etc. At the end I said I didn't feel like finishing dinner and for them to eat something they could put in the microwave or a bowl of cearel and went to my room. They were shocked.

I think showing them that we all do our best is really important. We talk about bad days on the drive home now, me and them. Its really brought us alot closer. This all being said they still occasionally fight with me, but its not as bad as it used to be and usually is a sign that they had a really bad day at school or didn't feel well. I usually try to discuss their bad day with them as time permits and encourage them to not let the person continue to ruin the rest of their day and they are in control of that now. I also use the concept of "pass it on" when talking about negative feelings, don't pass someone's bad day on to other people, let the bad stop with you and only "pass on" good things.

Last thing, let the kids help make the other rules and understand why they are in place. My kids fight about bed time, they go at 9 and I had to show them on the internet where it says that people under 18 need 12 hours of sleep and then helped them do the math on how much they were getting... only 9 hours... showing them they already had a big break and we definately couldn't push bed time back because it wasn't healthy. They still ask but don't argue much when I say no again cause they already know the answer.

Let the kids help put punishments or rewards in place for violating or following the rules. Also encourage them to come up with some of the rules themselves.

Example: My 12 year old brother lived with me and when we called a meeting to write down rules and punishments he insisted on some rules of his own... I was sort of surprised and said we could all discuss suggestions and think about it. He came up with two things that REALLY bothered him and made him angry... 1) If one person is doing chores everyone has to do chores, meaning I couldn't sit around and have him do stuff while I was relaxing. 2) Being punished with chores no one else wanted to do, like scrubbing the toilet. We agreed with some excpetions, scrubbing the toilet was rotated monthly so everyone got a fair share but it was a regular chore not a punishment. We set a specific time on Saturday to perform the major chores for house cleaning and we all did it at the same time. Punishments were time away from friends, no video games, and removal of soda from his diet. Those were the three most important things in his life! It was really good and he followed the rules and punishments without fail (Happy to report he is a fine responsible young man now!).

I hope some of this helps. It works with my boys and they respect me alot more and talking with them and reasoning with them has gotten so much easier. I hope it works for you.



answers from Baton Rouge on

Hi B.,

Mi name is M., I have two boys 20 and 19, and one daughter who is 17. I'm only 42, and sometimes feel 60. Let me ask you this: Is there a Father in the picture? If so, the two of you have to be consistent in your discipline of your son. 10 year old boys will push you to your limit. I don't know what your philosophy on child-rearing is, but ours got a pop on the butt when they dis-obeyed. They got two chances to do what we told them, and if they did not respond, there was punishment involved. Now, I consider myself to be educated and sharp, and I know there are many parents out there who do not believe in spanking. My husband and I are not among those people.

YOu cannot let your child "wag the dog". You have to let him know that you are in charge at all times. As much as we love our children, and it is sometimes so much easier to just give in, trust me, you must be consistent. He'll hold a mexican stand-off with you. I'd sit across from him on the couch and stare at him, until he does what you tell him to do. If he does not, don't send him to his room to "have fun". Don't let him watch T.V. Make him read a book, put him in time out (even though I found that to be a joke) when I tried it. YOu must never ever let him think that you are not in charge. You can be a loving and generous, compassionate parent, but you must let him know WHO IS BOSS. It may take awhile, but I absolutely WOULD NOT LET HIM YELL AT ME. PUT SOAP IN HIS MOUTH, IT WORKED FOR ME, WHEN I SAID A BAD WORD TO MY PARENTS. THE PROBLEM WITH OUR SOCIETY TODAY, IS THAT WE WANT TO BE OUR CHILDREN'S FRIEND. WE CANNOT DO THAT. I TRIED IT WITH MY THIRD AND LAST CHILD. I HAD TO BACK-TRACK WITH HER IN HER SOPHOMORE YEAR, BECAUSE SHE THOUGHT SHE COULD TALK TO ME ANYWAY SHE WANTED TO. BELIEVE ME, I'M RIGHT. SOME OF YOUR FRIENDS MAY DISAGREE, AND MANY CHILD PSYCHOLOGIST MAY DIS-AGREE. BUT I HAVE TWO AWESOME YOUNG SONS, WHO ARE BOTH IN COLLEGE.They both have jobs, and we even started making them work in High School, even though money was not the issue. My daughter has turned very well, also. THEY PLAYED HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL, THEY WERE POPULAR, AND THEY RESPECTED THEIR ELDERS. THEY ARE RESPECTFUL OF ADULTS, AND THEY SAY YES MA'AM AND NO SIR. CALL ME OLD-FASHIONED, BUT THIS METHOD- WORKS. ALSO GIVE YOUR SON JOBS AROUND THE HOUSE. DON'T ALWAYS REWARD HIM WITH TOYS OR MONEY. A GOOD WORK-ETHIC IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT TOOLS THAT YOU CAN TEACH A SON OR DAUGHTER.





answers from Houston on

My 9 year old informed me that she hated me due to the fact she had to work on her spelling words. I informed her that she would have to move in with her father because I can not live with someone who hates me. I also informed her that her dad and aunt are only fun on the weekends. During the week the two of them are just like me or worse. She did think on it,while I acted like I was going to pack her bags. She soon had a change of heart.

Your son is testing you and finding out he can say things to hurt you. Let him know if he keeps it up there will be a price to pay. Take away a game for awhile. (Really take it away.) Or keep him from doing what he really loves until he sees that the hurtful words hurt him more then you.

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