Seeking Parents Advice on Rules for My 15 Year Old Son.

Updated on April 20, 2016
C.U. asks from Edison, NJ
28 answers

My son has in general always been respectful, kind, hardworking and grateful. After recieving his iphone and entering into the texting, facebook world everything about him is changing. Friends are the main focus. Typical teen stuff parents are idiots, knows all the answers etc. What concerns me is his disrespect and feelings of entitlement. We have had a family meeting with him laying down some rules an guidelines. Some of them: phone must be given to us by 10pm on school nites, 10:30pm curfew. No going out with friends on school nites, sunday or before a meet/race. If he sees his friends on a Friday then Saturday he is in. Must practice 30min. a day (plays violin and viola), Must help around the house and clean up after himself. Politeness: say goodmorning, goodnite, please thank you. Be respectful etc.

He feels this is all too strict, especially the phone rule. After this meeting he would mock the rules. Salute me when I asked him to do something. Tell me that the rule of the phone is ridiculous.

Last nite we were at my neice's church. My son and his cousins are playing for her wedding. He forgot something and I started lecturing him on it. He said under his breath but loud enough for me to hear and his two cousins (19 and 16) "F" you. This was unbelievable to me. After telling my husband we decided to talk him about it . He denied saying it and then said he was justified and feels he did nothing wrong. We took his phone and computer away.

Are we going in the right direction here? Any suggestions on how to get our "nice" guy back.? Are we too strict? What do other parents of 15 year old boys do?

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So What Happened?

Thank you for the overwhelming response. I should clarify a few things. I did loose it with him but at a whisper. When he dropped the Fbomb I took him in a seperate room off the church and quietly let him know we would discuss this later.

He has gone into to phone withdraw this holiday weekend but we had a pool party with his friends and their families at our home. We wanted to get to know the parents more than just a few minutes during drop off and pick up at homes and during games. We thought hosting a party would help with that. So he was able to hang with his friends.

Not having his phone has given him the time to read again. My son used to read every night before bed. Phone texting late into the night stopped all that. He has been reading all weekend. That I love.

School starts tomorrow and we plan on giving him the phone tomorrow as he gets on the bus. We will enforce the phone goes to Dad by 10pm rule.

The computer is still off limits. Not sure what to do about that. We are looking into ways to disarm facebook so he can use his compurter with out being distracted by pop ups.

Thank you to the woman with the AT&T calling advice I will definately look into that.

Before the FU episode we had discussed the rules from our meeting. Brendan was okay with all but the phone curfew. He felt that was too strict. I asked him who he admired and we would ask their parents. He could not think of anybody. I told him I would research it and that is what prompted me to find this website.

I thank you for all of your comments. I do feel better about the direction I am headed. It is a hard road but we will get through.

More Answers



answers from Boston on

I'm not a parent of a 15 year old, but I am a high school teacher, so I have now had experience with just about 600 15 year olds, if not more (wow, that makes me feel old).

Honestly, I think that the FU came about from a serious need to save face in front of his cousins. While it's not acceptable, it's totally understandable. I'd apologize to him for calling him out in front of his cousins, and I'd ask him to apologize to you for being rude. Sometimes the hardest thing that we can do is admit to our kids that we did something that hurt them, but I honestly believe doing that builds the best relationships.

I agree with many of the posters that the rule about only going out Friday and not Saturday seems a little arbitrary. Why did you put that rule in place? The 10.30 weekend curfew also seems pretty severe. Many kids would say that's like telling him that he can't go out at all, as he can't go to the late movie is friends will want to go to, or his friends will have to leave someplace early to get him home. Is it about keeping him safe? Make rules about drinking, or letting you know where he is, instead of just saying a certain time.

Also, the "politeness rule" is a tough one. 15 year old boys grunt. It's a fact of life. I mean, obviously please and thank you should be hammered in by now, but do you really want to battle over good morning and good night? He'll be out of the house so soon, and he'll grow out of this stage, why fight?

As for the phone, believe me, I totally get this battle. It's virtually impossible to get them to turn their phones off for a 55 minute class! Still, I think that the rule feels a little arbitrary. What is the point of the rule? Do you want him to finish his homework? Sleep through the night? Not spend a fortune on texting? Make rules that support him making good choices about those things, rather than simply saying 10pm. I like the idea that the phone stays in the kitchen while he's sleeping (a lot of my students wake to check texts in the middle of the night, and that's just not healthy). Also, you could give him a set amount of money for texts and above that he has to pay himself. As for homework, it sounds like he's a good student. If he continues to get good grades, his phone probably isn't a problem. If his grades drop, give him a specific GPA he has to reach for him to get his phone back.

The number one thing that I've learned as a teacher is that kids respect strict, as long as they feel that it's fair. They like to know what the rules are, why the rules are in place, and what the consequences are. As a teacher, I'm pretty tough, but my students always say that I'm fair, and that's more important. My guess is that your son feels like your rules are unfair - he's being "punished" for normal teenage behavior.

Good luck. I'm not looking forward to the teen years.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I don't know if this will help at all, but when I became a teenager I had very few rules. My mother's guiding philosophy was "you can have as much freedom as you take responsibility for." So if I was responsible -- and I was -- I had a fair amount of freedom and autonomy.

Other than that guiding principle, my only real teenage rule was that my mother needed to know where I was. I didn't have a curfew, but if I was at a party and we all decided to go to Perkins, I had to call her (even if it was past midnight) to let her know.

We did have household/family expectations, of course. My sister and I had to do our homework, practice piano, and do chores around the house.

I loved the way my mother made me feel independent and respected. I didn't do anything stupid so as to keep her respect (and my freedom). Maybe there is a way you can make your son feel independent and respected, too? It might be a way of turning things around so he isn't so resentful.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Asheville on

You'll get through this, but is it disconcerting and stressful when things like this arise. As I read your post I noticed I was having the reaction of this is a lot of rules and perhaps a it really does feel like a 'laundry list' to your son. It's a real balancing act at that age. (Isn't it always!!) They are wanting to grow up and we want them to. They want more autonomy and we want that for them. We have life experiences that they do not have and we try to set guidelines based on our what we have learned. So many kids don't have that kind of support and guidance.

You may be doing this and I suspect you are, but don't forget to reinforce all the positive in him. Let him know that you respect his point of view but his behavior is only reinforcing the need for putting down your rules. Perhaps its a time also to consider finding some common ground and a midpoint. It might help him to see that you are willing to be flexible and model for him that he needs to be too.

If he sees friends on Friday, why not Sat too if he has his practicing in and housework done? What about Sundays? I understand wanting the good mornings and thank yous etc rather than grunts, but I think sometimes they need a little space. There's a lot going on inside they are dealing with whether they are conscious of it all or not. Hormones are kicking in. It's a natural reaction that when force is applied, resistance goes up and it sounds like that is happening here.

Underneath your son sounds like he has firm values and a firm foundation. That's so important. It's still there but gets clouded over at times and it can be heart-wrenching to feel like its all fallen apart. It hasn't. Some flexibility on your part may be warranted to help him see that you are willing to meet him and hear him but that you'll both have to do your parts in finding a balance that works.

Hang in there. It won't last. But sure is no fun dealing with!!!!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Wheeling on

Rules without relationship lead to rebellion. It sounds as if you do love him, but HE has to see that, too. (I must say, tho, that I would've probably gotten more hot and made some drastic changes more than you did! LOL) He's old enough to let him have some input. Ask HIM what HE thinks is reasonable, and all three of you agree on a plan of attack for his disrespectfulness (and your rules don't have to agree with his! LOL)

God bless & good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

As long as he kept the "f*** you" under his breath, let it go. Tell him you'd better not ever hear that out loud.

Since he in general has always been respectful, kind, hardworking and grateful (your words), I think you would benefit from loosening up the controls a bit. He sounds like a good kid, and I think you would benefit a lot from trusting him more. It's amazing how kids will live up to our trust in them, when given the chance.

I found an essay my son had written in 8th grade. The topic was his parents, or parenting. The line that really stood out (and he's an amazing writer), was where he wrote that the best thing about his parents was that they trusted him to make good choices. And guess what -- he has. I have minimal rules, and the proof is in the pudding. Two sports, debate team, straight A's. Oh yeah, and now a job. He has to learn to put down his own phone at night so that he gets the sleep to tackle all these things. That's a life lesson we all must learn. How many of us keep the tv on late at night when we really need our sleep?

Your son's a good boy. I say loosen the reins.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

The F-U needs to be punished, but I agree with him that the phone rule is too strict. Then again I'm a little bias because I'm still technically a teen (Almost 19) and know that I would HATE having that rule with my parents. Do you trust him? If yes, then get rid of the phone rule. Or say something along the lines of if he ever gives you a reason not to trust him then that rule is coming back into play.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

All good responses. I also want to add, a young man should be made to at least FEEL like he was part of the process. Include him in these decisions. Also let him know you know he is going to follow these rules and if you see that he "keeps it together" you will discuss, maybe tweaking it a little.. The tighter you hold on the more they are going to resent and pull away.

Let him know you heard the FU and you will not stand for that. Ask him how he would feel if some kid on the street said that to his mom? So why would he think a wonderful son like him who wants responsibilities and freedoms should be allowed this type of behavior?

Grades and practice must be kept up, but let HIM decide when and how.. He needs to learn how to make his own schedule and keep up with his responsibilities.. In 3 years he will be in college and will need to to know how to make these decisions. This is good practice. We have a friend who's child was always first chair in band (Clarinet) and the first time she was moved down, the girl was mortified.(you know band kids,, they all made a big deal that this girl was not 1st chair for the first time.. Peer pressure!). Her mother reminded her that she had not practiced like before, so what did the girl expect?

The going out more than one night a weekend needs to be looked at on a time by time basis.. Our daughter attended a high school with wonderful activities going on almost every night yes, school nights..

She learned that if she wanted to attend lots of these events and activities, she needed to stay on top of her grades and projects.. On Thursday or Fri nights were the football games. Sat/Sun nights school concerts, plays dance performances, community service.. During the week clubs, tutoring, meetings. so many things..

Most of the kids that were involved in all of these things were also in the National Honor Society.. They were excellent students who had learned to juggle their time, but still make their studies the most important part..

I liked the way my mom raised us.. She gave us our freedom with an understanding if we could not handle it or abused it, she would take it away..

She told us she trusted us, knew we were good girls and would make good decisions.. We always tried to prove her right, cause she could snatch that freedom away anytime she felt we were not living up to her standards..

Today Alisha M asked about her tween.. check out my further examples of my mothers way of parenting teens..

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I agree with Vickie. One thing that I would add is that I don't take the phone away at night from my 15 soon to be 16 year old. My expectations as far as school for her are very clear so I don't know if she turns it off or on silent every school night or what but I have had no problems with her being tired or not wanting to get up for school in the morning or with her grades. He needs a little room to start being mature and making good choices. I'm not sure why he can't go out on both Friday and Saturday so that part sounds a little strict. Hopefully you can meet on some middle ground which may require you and your husband to loosen up a bit but it may be worth a shot. If it doesn't work out you can always put your stricter rules back in place.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

The FU does need to be addressed and they lie about not saying it even more so...maybe no phone for a week or a grounding.

I would tell him that during this grounding you will be watching him closely to see how he handles the punishment. If he can control his behavior/attitude/level of respect for you and dad...that you are considering making some changes to the house rules.

My parents were also the kind of people to give me freedom letting me know that once that trust was broken getting it back would be very very hard if not impossible. They had a short time to make me ready to leave the nest...they gave me rope...lots of rope but I never hung myself. I liked the freedom.

Ten-thirty curfew on school nights totally right on...totally reasonable. I do have trouble with the only going out one night on the what if he goes out both Friday and Saturday nights, if you know, where he is, who he is with, and when he will be back. (Right there that is where the phone come in very handy...he can call or text...we are leaving X's house and going to the pizza place/movies/to hang out at Ys house now...I am on my way home...etc etc etc). I would even consider letting him go out on school nights too if he is home by curfew and keeps you posted on where he is...especially if it is a school activity, game/play/concert.

Of course to have these privileges he will have to follow the house rules, do his chores, be respectful, and keep his grades up. the practicing the instruments as another poster said will correct itself if he cares about his position/chair in orchestra. I hated being below a certain chair in band and would practice it is not like I was going to be a music major in college or receive a music scholarship. It was a great thing to make me a well rounded person not a life occupation.

Yes, save the lecturing for when you have him as a captive audience...where you more mortified he said F you or that he said it in front of an audience of his cousins??

Oh, the phone on school nights...maybe have it docked/charging in your room or the kitchen by midnight...he isn't going to bed at 10:30 is he? Let the phone go to bed when he does...

You only have 3 years to get him ready for the next step in life...let him taste the freedom...I don't think he will want to lose it once he has it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I tend to be pretty lax, and I think everything you are doing is very reasonable (granted if I was a 15 year old, I wouldn't like the phone thing either, but I don't think it's too strict). The only thing I would have done differently is not have the one night in rule (no going out on saturday if you go out on Friday) - not saying that's too strict, but just that I would have been right there with you on everything else.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

When you wrote: "We have had a family meeting with him laying down some rules an guidelines," I understood: "We don't trust you and we are telling you, even though you're almost an adult, what to do." It might be worth a try to try the family meeting in a different way. Sit with him and explain why you are upset, and see if he can come up with his own guidelines that you will also be comfortable with. It is true that the center of the brain that is in charge of planning ahead and realizing what MIGHT happen as a consequence is not fully developed, but there's no reason not to help him predict the consequences of his actions. As some posters wrote, he has to show you that he's being responsible, but if he continues to not follow his own guidelines or is being unacceptably rude, you will have to reevaluate the guidelines. Check out "How to Talk So Kids will Listen, and Listen so Kids will Talk" and the teen version: "How to Talk So Teens Will Listen and Listen So Teens Will Talk." I hope you can come to a happy medium with each other!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

hi sorry but you need to relax a little and compromise with him,, if you want him to respect you,,you need to back off. Yes i can see why you have those rules but having him in on a saturday when he sees his friends on a friday is a bit too strict. teenage boys need a firm hand but if you go too far you'll end up losing him. And yes your phone rule is ridiculous only take it off him when he skips his curfew or he'll get a new one and hide it on you and it'll be redundant method of punishment i hope my opinion helps you

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Albany on

You sound perfect to me only I would have embarrassed my son had he said that! Think about when we were teens. It's a vicious cycle. Stay in control and one day he'll realize you were right and did what was best for him. GREAT phone rule btw!!! Now is the time (if not already) that teens experiment with the opposite sex, drugs, etc. Yes not all but those with rules will be the least likely to get into trouble in my opinion.

Btw, to get the nice kid back, remind him he has to show you he is responsible for you to trust him and as time goes on, give him more freedom. Mocking you/the rules, being disrespectful, etc. is going to result in LESS freedom...not more. It's like the comercial for the mature cheese how they keep checking off not ready when it's a smart a$$ vs. ready when it is polite.

Good luck. We aren't there yet but I have 4 boys so you have me thinking but we tell ours now they have to earn freedoms and whatnot and do so with how they behave. Politeness, following rules, etc. = happy parents = happy child.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Augusta on

My answer would to be take the phone away like you did. If he can't respect your wishes and rules, then he needs to know that you two are the parents and what you say goes. Do you remember when he was a toddler and he would push his limits to see how much he could get away with? I believe that is happening again. He is testing you. So you definitely need to show him that he will not get away with disrespecting you. I have some friends that have a 12 year old daughter, and she is not allowed to see or talk to her friends outside of school, so, no, you are definitely not being too strict. I know I probably wan't much help, but I wish you the best of luck!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I do not think you're being too strict at all. I have a 15 y/o son myself and although I'm not going through this yet - the funny thing is, I am hoping his social life will pick up. He's home too much in my opinion so I guess I should be grateful and be careful what I wish for. I think your son needs the boundaries and being disrespectful to anyone is just not an option. However, it does sound like normal teenage stuff and he's got to test the boundaries. He will eventually be glad that you cared enough to give him some rules. To avoid the drama and the constant arguments, set the ground rules when you're not in the middle of an argument - sounds like this is what you've done. Let him know the consequences. Follow through with the consequences and don't engage in battle. He'll know that he can avoid the constant nagging as long as he is following the rules. If he starts to show signs of being more respectful, make sure he knows that he can gain some of his independence back as reward. This too shall pass. Don't give up and don't let him wear you down! You'll both be so glad you didn't give up on him.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

From what you said its not to strict, what I would reconsider is lecturing him infornt of his friends... He was embarrassed, so he just verbalized (quietly). You may need to talk to him about changing the wya you speak to him now, he is now amlost an adult (saddly) and wants adult like things, so bot h of you need to change while he bridges his childhood to adulthood... Talk to him (alone) about how he is feeling. Consdier family counseling if it gets worse. he sounds normal and dramatic....

best of luck


From what you said its not to strict, what I would reconsider is lecturing him infornt of his friends... He was embarrassed, so he just verbalized (quietly). You may need to talk to him about changing the wya you speak to him now, he is now amlost an adult (saddly) and wants adult like things, so bot h of you need to change while he bridges his childhood to adulthood... Talk to him (alone) about how he is feeling. Consdier family counseling if it gets worse. he sounds normal and dramatic....

best of luck

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Buffalo on

I would have taken that phone (and anything else I could get my hands on!) so fast his head would have spun! He is a teenager, and a certain amount of that behavior is expected, but NOT that much! All kids go through that phase of thinking they know it all, parents are dumb, etc... but your job as a parent is to enforce the rules. Someone once told me if they say they hate you, your doing it right! Looking back, I see how I acted w/my mom. As a mom myself now, I see it as a good lesson. I can see both sides. If my mom hadn't keep the rules, it would have ended in disaster! But I wish she would have told me things a little more on an equal level. If she had told me why the rules where, then I might have felt better. It's hard to find the right balance between child and adult for both of you. Maybe you and your husband can reexamine the rules and make a few changes? You may have to give a little to get a little? Just decide which ones are NOT negotiable and stick to those. Safety and respect issues are important! My Sister in law is in a similar situation w/our nephew. He has been in trouble w/the police because they just threw up their hands and said he doesn't listen to us! After the police incidence, they actually still took him to get his license! Well, he was just in trouble again. We are waiting to hear what happens this time. I say stick to your guns now, he'll thank you later! Also, a system of rewards/punishments might be effective. Like if he follows the rules he can earn extra time out or on the phone/computer. If he doesn't do what he needs to then he looses time. (Just a suggestion.) Also, I agree w/some others that he reacted to being lectured, esp. in front of others.(It doesn't make it ok for him to speak that way!) Again, it's that balance thing! Stay strong, and good luck!



answers from Boston on

Your not to strict , I think your right on point. With him say F U he would never get the iphone back thou. He would have to settle for the cheap free phone without texting on it. He also would not get it for at least a month and it would be taken away as soon as he got home because he would be grounded for a real long time. And for mocking you his curfew would be 7pm every time he does it He also would be using the Library for homework......No computer for him for a long long time.

I just read below and a mom made a great point. If you have to lecture your son about anything. Do it privately and not in front of anyone. That is kind of a demeaning to him. And he does sound like he is a good kid. The only add punishment would be saying the FU.



answers from New York on

I have a 15 year old son too and the texting, Facebooking and IM'ing has taken over a huge part of his attention span. I knew he was texting well into the night keeping him from much needed sleep. We also laid down some of the same rules. My phone plan, AT&T, has a feature for $4.99 a month that lets me limit the times that texts can be received/made. You can customize it as often as you like (on line) and it accepts up to 15 numbers that won't be blocked (like mine and my husbands). Son was not too happy about it but I really could care less. Do you know that the 15 year old brain does not yet have the center that controls reasoning fully developed yet? It doesn't fully develop till their younger 20's! I know it's hard too believe that a 15 that is shaving, taller than you and has a deep voice isn't fully "cooked" but it's true. That fact makes me feel justified in being the voice of reason especially when I know better. I pick the battles so not everything is up for debate. I'm sure he swears about me to his friends but didn't you when you were 15? Anyway, keep setting limits and keep a watchful eye. I make sure he knows that the phone he has was primarily given to him so I could maintain contact with him not his friends. He knows that he must respond to my calls/texts w/in 10 minutes or the phone goes away. I know my son will come through his teens and "love" me again. I see it in the little things he does do (an occasional hug, compliment on cooking etc.). It all lets me know he is still in there somewhere! Hope this helps.



answers from New York on

I wouldn't tolerate being cursed at by by teen - and I do have a 15 year old, but not a boy. You asked about other 15 year old boys. The rules and expectations should not be different for a girl. My other big issue is that your son first said denied saying it, and then felt justified. He lied. There should be some punishment for that. "F you" is directed at YOU and that's not something I'd tolerate. It's fine for him to think that in his head, or after you walk away for him to say to his cousins, "What a b*tch" - you can't control that. He's entitled to think what he wants of you, but needs to speak with respect
That said, this sounds like your son is a responsible, respectful and well behaved young man. Does he forget things all the time? If not, lighten up. Was it really necessary for you to lecture him at a wedding, in front of his older cousins? How embarrassing for him. Even if he didn't say it out loud, it's no wonder he thought it in his head.
Rules are important, but it's also important to remember who he is and how old he is. Why does he need to be in on Saturday if he's been out on Friday night? What does he need to spend Saturday doing? The key to parenting my teen is that I remember that in 3 years, she will be away at college. I will not be there to know if she has her phone on all night, if she goes out every night of the week, if she practices her instrument if she's taking any music classes.
At this age, it is all about the friends and social aspect, and about learning how to set their own limits and figure out how to manage their life, and if you manage every aspect, he is not going to learn
You talked about this "family meeting" where you laid down rules and guidelines. How much say did he have in this? It's not a family meeting if all family members do not get a say. He is too old not to have any voice in family meetings or to have his opinions taken into consideration. If he has been doing a good job, then he should have the privileges that go along with that.


answers from Norfolk on

My son is just starting middle school, and the school district has a cell phone / electronic device policy - you can bring them to school, but they must be turned off and locked in your locker during the school day. The first offense (of a phone ringing in class) and the child gets detention, the phone/device is confiscated and a parent has to come pick it up in order for it to be returned.
I REFUSE to open this can of worms any sooner than I absolutely have to.
Is he paying his phone bill? Does he have a job to support it? It's a privilege not a right. He needs to know where his bread is buttered so to speak, and his friends to not feed him, clothe him or put a roof over his head. His cooperation and good will earn him perks. And if he thinks it's all BS, start taking him round to recruiters now, because you can sign him into the Army at 17 with parental permission. A real drill sergeant will be all too happy to turn his attitude around for the remainder of his teenage years.



answers from New York on

It seems like everyone is rude at fourteen fifteen, especially when they have so much back up from their text messages--they feel invincible. When my patience is stretched by our fourteen year old girl, I remember those days when she said, "can I help with that" and all her creative activities. When I can smile inside it helps to keep a balance in my perspective. One of my colleagues this summer who is now in college shared with me how she noticed in retrospect that she was very mean to her mother in high school. Then, she thought her mom was overly strict. Now, in college away from home, she sees those friends who were so free are still home doing nothing. Her life is moving forward. She and her mom are best friends she says. I hope this happens to me.
Our daughter says things like "none of your business" refuses to clean her room and is only concerned with hair and followers on the web. But inside? I hope to learn about what's going on this budding adult. They must learn that their tough attitude will not hold up out there; maybe the only way is to find out when they speak to their first boss like that. Hopefully they'll be over this before then. Good luck and hang in there.



answers from Denver on

My kids are still little, but even at this age lecturing doesn't work. Usually they're so mortified on their own for forgetting what ever it is they needed, there's no point in me making it worse for them. I can't imagine it works any better on teens.

I'll be honest, your rules seem very arbitrary. Maybe read Love n Logic for teens to get some better ideas on how to trust your teen and how to manage them rather than over-parent. GL!



answers from New York on

From what you said its not to strict, what I would reconsider is lecturing him infornt of his friends... He was embarrassed, so he just verbalized (quietly). You may need to talk to him about changing the wya you speak to him now, he is now amlost an adult (saddly) and wants adult like things, so bot h of you need to change while he bridges his childhood to adulthood... Talk to him (alone) about how he is feeling. Consdier family counseling if it gets worse. he sounds normal and dramatic....

best of luck



answers from Jamestown on are not being too strict. You are doing good. He's lucky he didn't get popped in the mouth for saying the "f" word. I'd take his phone away for a month and ground him for a week.

From the age of 13-15, boys are trying to find their place in the world and in the family unit. They are no longer our "little boys" but are not men yet. They get confused and act out. They want their independence but still want mommy and daddy to do everything for them. It's a tough time for them in school too..with peer pressure and finding their place on the popular "food chain", they try all sorts of things to fit it...with the wrong people. They know we love them regardless of what they do so they will test the waters.

Stick to your rules and if you get a few "I hate yous!" or "You're ruining my life!" know you are on the right track.




answers from Rochester on

It is always difficult to make judgements in these situations but my intial reaction is that you are communicating and structuring the rules nicely. Maybe you should involve him with the rules and discuss and plan thise rules together. (We often do this in the classroom at the secondary level.) Also, maybe sign a contract with him. By the way, who paid for the phone and computer? I have a 16 year old who basically set his own schedules for everything and if he is tardy for school, he suffers the consequences with his coaches and teachers. We tell him we expect high grades and will not pay for sports outside of school if the grades drop. Phone? When he gets a job, he can buy a phone, we refuse to purchase that for him. He has no computer but has access to the 3 at home. He does swear occasionally and never in front of others not in the immediate family. I find kids often express themselves with vulgarity andw e continue to work on that. BUT he is drugfree and on honor roll so we think we are doing a good job! You are not too strict!



answers from Dothan on

First off no you are not being to strict. A child at any age should respect his parents and as long as he lives in your house he should follow your rules. Cell phones are a privilege not a right. If he wants to throw a fit then turn it off all together. He will probably hate you for a while but if he wants it back then he needs to show a little respect. Honestly this goes for just about everything.. from rights to see friends to electronics. Take it all away! All you have to supply as a parent is food, a roof, a bed, clean clothes, and a place to bathe. Everything can go.. make him earn it back by doing chores and being respectful.. one item at a time. Remember you are teaching him to be an adult and as an adult we earn everything we get. Nothing is a given.



answers from Dallas on

I would go on lockdown to show him how much worse it can be if he chooses after the FU. Take everything away includiung going out for at least a week. Then slowly give him back one priv. at a time as he earns it by being respectful and following house rules. I think your rules are reasonable. I am not sure what he does when he goes out so I am not sure about that. I have a 14 year old and she doesn't go out yet nor will she for a while. But, if you mean going to friend's houses with parents there I am sure he is fine. I wouldn't limit weekends with his friends as long as he is doing appropriate things and is supervised. Encourage him to bring his friends to your house. Go pick up movies for them, order pizza, and give them space when they are around. Don't allow him to treat you disrespectfully without big consequences. Because it will get much worse. Good luck. I know it is hard and I don't envy you. Hopefully it will get better. If you have to get drastic to get his attention you could diable his FB account :)

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