How do you deal with a 15 year old.....

@Katlady2 (9920)
United States
December 9, 2007 11:18pm CST
.....that is getting too independent and big for his own britches? The 15 year old that I am referring to happens to be my own son. As if I didn't need any more stress added to my life, my son and I ended up getting into a great big argument today. It all started when my husband, who is the kids' stepdad, asked my son to bring down the Christmas lights and help put them up. My son brought down the lights, and then very pointedly and rudely told my hubby that he didn't want to help him. (Before I go farther, I need to mention the fact that my kids and hubby clash an awful lot, sometimes because of the kids, and other times because of the hubby....it's a major source of aggravation for me, as I'm sure you can imagine) Anyway, I then asked my son very nicely to go and help put up the lights. Well that started a great big snit fit! He stomped outside, slammed the door and proceeded to go to the side yard and grumble and grouch. When I went and asked him what the deal was, he slammed back into the house, which did not set well for me at all. To make a long story short, he got so upset when I tried to explain that I am to be respected in my house and so is my hubby, that he stormed upstairs calling me a "stupid f*****g b***h" as he slammed his door. I think it's a good thing he wasn't in front of me when he said that because more than likely he would have been picking himself up off the floor. The whole thing reduced me to tears (it really was that bad), and it shot my blood pressure sky high. About 20 minutes later, my son went into the living room as hubby was trying to console me. I ended up telling them both that I just can't take it anymore, and that they need to work this out and get along from now on. Maybe I was in the wrong, but I also told hubby words to the effect that if he and the kids couldn't start respecting each other, he would be out the door in a heartbeat. I won't give up my kids for anyone, especially in situations like this. After they worked it out and talked for a while, I went to my son and told him that I wouldn't hurt him for the world, and that I just wanted the same kind of respect from him that he has been asking of me. He actually burst out crying (and so did I), wrapped his arms around me in a big bear hug, and we both apologized to each other. Then he actually apologized to my husband for telling him he didn't like him. We talked some more, and now I think we have it all worked out. I even made my son pinkie swear that we wouldn't let this type of thing happen again. ;-) So now, on to my question....do any of you have some suggestions as to how to deal with teenagers when they are in these kinds of moods? I happen to think I'm a pretty darned good mom, but even the best moms need help every once in a while. Thank you all for letting me vent yet again. And I'm sorry this is so long winded and detailed, but I just had to get it out. Big hugs to everyone!
5 people like this
12 responses
@whyaskq (7532)
• Singapore
10 Dec 07
You have my empathy but I can only offer you my moral support. Your description sounds very familiar when I was in my teens. Whenever my mum ask me to help with taking, moving or shifting things, there would be some harsh words, even when she started off nicely. At times, she would be in tears. I do feel bad but I just cannot help it. The stubborn streak in me just wouldn't oblige. She often ask me to help when she knew I was busy with something else. She says all it takes is few minutes, but I know the few minutes could add up to hours! I am not too keen to spent hours on it. Until today, the argument could happen at times because I feel she is not being understanding enough. Perhaps your son and hubby need some time together to "build" their rapport.
2 people like this
@Katlady2 (9920)
• United States
10 Dec 07
I wish that would work. But from what my kids tell me, and what my friend's son told me today, my husband tends to be very controlling and threatening when I am not around. But hopefully he (hubby) has taken to heart my statement that if he touched my son or daughter, he would end up in jail. I know that sounds harsh, but I feel very strongly about it. I'm trying very hard though to keep in mind that it's teenage independence kicking in along with all the rest of the drama going on. Thanks so much hon for sharing with me.
1 person likes this
@whyaskq (7532)
• Singapore
11 Dec 07
Any possibility he is trying to "illustrate" his authority when you are not around? Some man are just like that :P
1 person likes this
@Katlady2 (9920)
• United States
11 Dec 07
I'm thinking that BOTH my husband and my son are trying to "illustrate" their supposed authority when I'm not around. And it's not making for a very pretty picture at the moment.
@luluwow (165)
• United States
10 Dec 07
He sounds like a great kid! Also a rather typical teen that is searching for his independance and boundries. You know-- don't swet the small stuff. Next time you want him to do something that is not really that important - like help with the tree- let him go. maybe ask if there is something else he would rather help with. Give him choices and help him make his own decisions. That shows you are respecting him and realizing he is growing up and he will respect you in returnAs for your hubby.. make sure he always acts like and plays the role of the adult. Seems like a lot of men try to compete with their children, especially if from a different marriage.
2 people like this
@Katlady2 (9920)
• United States
10 Dec 07
Thank you so much for your wonderful advice hon. I've been trying that, and it works...at least for me anyway. Now, getting my husband to act like the ADULT with the kids....that's going to be a tough one. Sometimes I swear I have three kids instead of two, and it drives me up the wall at times!
@luluwow (165)
• United States
10 Dec 07
ha! I know what you mean about having 3 kids instead of 2 most of the time. What is it about men? Ahhh~ but thats another story entirely! have a great day!
1 person likes this
@carolbee (16241)
• United States
10 Dec 07
What you are experiencing is common with most teenagers. They rebel, argue and want to be adults and fight authority from parents. I think you handled it very well and am glad things are worked out temporarily. This sounds to me like your son is angry with you for marrying your current husband. He is probably trying to justify in his own mind why you didn't stay with his dad. Maybe he's thinking life would be better if he was with his biological parents living in the same household. Respect has to be earned and it sounds like you are on the right path. Never doubt your mom abilities. The teen years, as a parent, takes so much patience, patience and more patience. Some teens never get it but think they are few and far between. We raised 3 daughters and they were all teenagers at the same time. How I survived is anybody's guess. Wishing you the best of luck with your situation. Have a nice holiday and keep your chin up, Mom.
2 people like this
@Katlady2 (9920)
• United States
10 Dec 07
My son and daughter have always wanted me to get back with their dad, but it wasn't an option considering how lousy our marriage was. And I know that has affected both of them and their views of my current husband. But on the other hand, they are seeing my husband as someone that doesn't really have the ability to effectively deal with certain situations and they don't respect him because of it. I think it's pretty much a catch-22 situation at the moment, and at times it just stretches my nerves way too thin. Thanks so much hon. I appreciate your help.
@carolbee (16241)
• United States
10 Dec 07
I certainly understand your circumstances. You had to also think about yourself if the marriage was unhappy. Kids don't always put those life changes in perspective. Hope your holidays are peaceful and happy.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Dec 07
Just get yourself a bottle of asprin a lot of time on your knees giving your child the gift of prayer . Keeping up with the trends or the times . Remaining firm with rules of the house to be followed . For sadly you got a bumpy road ahead of you . Mine is now 21 and I am still working on him to get rid of his childish ways. #1 Ill be praying for you and your child
2 people like this
@Katlady2 (9920)
• United States
10 Dec 07
I most definitely have been praying over this whole situation. It's helped me so much too. Thanks for the advice, and for the warning too hon.
@sid556 (31003)
• United States
10 Dec 07
I was in this situation with my ex whom I also had a child with. It seemed that he and my other girls from a previous marriage just never got along and I was always in the middle and being expected to choose sides. He pressed their buttons as much as they pressed his. I hate to tell you but I never figured out how to deal with it. I ended up leaving. My ex would get so very disrespectful toward me if I took their side (and oft times they were right) and let's not forget that he was the so called ADULT. I went from loving him very much to just needing to escape all the turmoil. He had two teen sons of his own from a previous marriage who also lived with us. He had a mountain of patience for him which did not exist when dealing with my girls. I disciplined my own girls but when it came to his sons, I felt that was his place. I really had no problems with his sons. If they disrespected me, I calmly tried to work it out between them. If the problem persisted, I told him and let him deal with it...simple. His kids got away with things that he would blow up at my kids for. I don't know. After that, I just didn't let any guy get close to my girls. It is very hard to blend families.
@Katlady2 (9920)
• United States
10 Dec 07
You are so right about it being very hard to blend families. I really hope it doesn't reach the same point that you got to, but I have the sinking feeling that it just might go that far. I can't afford to have all this stress anymore, especially now that my blood pressure is continuously bordering on being high and I have to take medication for it. Thanks so much for sharing what you went through hon. I really appreciate it.
@DJ9020 (1596)
• United States
10 Dec 07
Oh, you must have missed the memo - it is a teenagers sworn duty to cause the most stress to a parent they possibly can!!!! But really, I understand totally. My problem is mostly with my 20 year old daughter and my 15 year old daughter, who fight like cats and dogs. My 20 yo has recently moved back in with us since she is (very) pregnant. After the last big blow up between the two, I, like you, was in tears. I told them it was tearing me up to see two of the people I love the most fight so much. Since then, things have been better. Not perfect, but better. I fully expect more arguments, but maybe things will be better for you guys.
2 people like this
@Katlady2 (9920)
• United States
10 Dec 07
Thank you for sharing with me hon. I'm really hoping that this gave both of them a reality slap and woke them up finally. But it's happened before. It gets better for a period of time and then...BOOM!...it happens all over again. Keep your fingers crossed for me hon. (And I think I just let that memo pretty much float by me on the breeze. LOL)
@gabs8513 (48715)
• United Kingdom
11 Dec 07
Wow Sweetie did all this happen after we put the Phone down when you said you had to sort things?? Goodness me All I can say is that it is the Hormones and he is at the Age where he thinks he is an Adult buthe isn't I really hope that the Talk has helped and of course that it will not come to it that you have to show your Husband the Door Big Hugs to you Sweetie And you should not have said you had to go I could have rang back and I could have been there for you Sweetie Love you
1 person likes this
@Katlady2 (9920)
• United States
11 Dec 07
Yes hon, it happened immediately after we hung up. Honestly, if you had called back, I probably wouldn't have heard the phone...that's how long the problem went on. A friend of mine tried to call and I didn't even hear the ringing of the phone. I looked at the time on the caller ID and she had called right at the worst point too. Plus, afterward I went outside and cried on both of my dogs. Buddy even got in my lap and hugged me....and he's HUGE! Visualize that for a good giggle. Hehehe Thank you so much for being here for me hon. You are a bigger help to me than you think. Love you.
1 person likes this
@gabs8513 (48715)
• United Kingdom
12 Dec 07
Awwwwww Sweetie I knew it was bad because you had to go I just wish I could have been there to hug you to And Gissi had just cheered you up to Hey he was still mad at me when we went to bed hehehehe I hope that things are ok now and that you are better
1 person likes this
@Katlady2 (9920)
• United States
17 Dec 07
My son keeps telling me that we're ok now and that he's not mad. But he didn't come to visit this weekend, and I haven't heard from him. But I'm not going to push him. I'm thinking he is taking the extra time to cool off. Hopefully he will come visit next weekend and for Christmas. In spite of having his father's nasty temper at times, Micah really is a cool awesome son...I wouldn't trade him for the world. I just hope he realizes that and how much I really love him. Love you lots hon.
1 person likes this
@alamode (3073)
• United States
10 Dec 07
I'm so glad it worked out well, for all of you... you really DON'T need any more stress! When our son was that age, he sounded pretty much the same as yours. Granted, we didn't have the stepfather issue to deal with, but he did feel that we favored his sisters. I told him we did, because we got little argument from them, and plenty from him! After a particularly nasty argument, I told him that we were going to work on 'reciprocity'... when we did more than the required for him, he owed us! If he needed money, or a ride somewhere, etc., he would pay us back in equal value. $5 was an hour of work... MY choice. An hour of our time was worth an hour of HIS. He had to fulfill his part before the next time he required help, or there was no guarantee he'd get it from us. I believe it put him on his way to a better work ethic.
@ersmommy1 (12600)
• United States
10 Dec 07
What a wonderful idea. My mother did something Very similar.When I was 16, and working, she started charging me rent. I knew how much of my money was going for each thing, (granted much less than the actual cost.) I know I ended up valuing things and her a lot more. I did give attitude, but far less. I believe it helps us as kids and adults to focus. Hopefully the same will be true when it is my 4 yr olds turn
@Katlady2 (9920)
• United States
10 Dec 07
That is such an awesome idea. I think I just might have to give it a try. But I think it might be a bit difficult considering that my son lives with his father most of the time. But I'm sure I can come up with some pretty good ideas. Thanks hon. Hugs!
1 person likes this
@alamode (3073)
• United States
10 Dec 07
Smaller tasks would work... just so he learns that your time is as valuable as his. You're a good mom... it'll all work out well!
1 person likes this
@kurtbiewald (2628)
• United States
11 Dec 07
no, I don't have to even deal with 15 year olds and I know I'm lucky cuz they are bad
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@Katlady2 (9920)
• United States
12 Dec 07
Yes, they can be. Thanks so much for stopping in hon.
• United States
11 Dec 07
I am so happy to read your words to your husband. Your a great mother to put your kids first. I have my share of blow ups as well. My daughter in a whole is a sweetie pie. She is suffering as people tease her about not having help from her father. I have to say when he used the words he used. I would have gone up those stairs and kicked the door down. Then I would have proceeded to bust his mouth wide open with a spatula or large kitchen spoon. Your thinking Oh my goodness not me. Well guess what. My daughter would not in her wildest dreams curse at me. Kids get way out of hand and saying sorry just won't do. Feeling the repercussion of it will help him not say it again. Your way is best for you and good work on your son. It sounds like they may not have been ready to have a new dad.
1 person likes this
@Katlady2 (9920)
• United States
11 Dec 07
Believe me, if the stairs weren't so steep and my back didn't hurt so much all of the time, I would have most definitely gone up and introduced him to the floor real quick like! And actually, that's the first time he has ever used cuss words at me. It shocked me as much as it angered me. Plus it hurt too. But looking at how his stepsister acts at his dad's, it's not really a big surprise. He doesn't have the best role models in that house. I'm just hoping that things remain calm around here. My blood pressure is lousy enough as it is! ;-) Thanks so much hon.
@secretbear (19464)
• Philippines
11 Dec 07
hi kat! ^__^ i'm glad to hear that you have settled things with your son and hubby. teenagers are really hard to deal with. i have a nephew who is at his teens, although he is not that harsh when he talks with elders, he's a problem in a way that he rarely helps in the household chores and to think that he doesn't go to school. he stopped coz he didn't want to continue studying and he just wants to play basketball, be a bum, and grow chicken! it would have been okay if he wanted to grow chickens that can be sold after a few months. but no. he is currently taking care of two roosters that can be entered in cockfighting! .
1 person likes this
@Katlady2 (9920)
• United States
11 Dec 07
Your nephew sounds like a very lost kid right now. I hope he eventually comes around and sees that his life is going straight down the tubes at the rate he's going. Good luck on that one hon. And thanks so much for sharing with me. Hugs!
• United States
11 Dec 07
could it be that you son feels jelous of you husband?...i mean that would be a good reaosn why he says he doesnt like him and doesnt wana help him with anything? mabey spend more one on one time with your son,talk about things and get them out in the open, im sure your son will be more open to talk to you when your husband is not around..
@Katlady2 (9920)
• United States
11 Dec 07
That could very well be possible. Sometimes I even think my husband is jealous of my son as well and doesn't like me giving my time to him. I'll get to the bottom of it all soon I hope. Thanks so much hon.