My teenage son will not listen

United States
June 10, 2009 6:10pm CST
My son just turned 15 years of age and he continually lies to me and does not listen. He basically tries to do whatever he wants to do. He is continually grounded. My ex is not in the picture. He lives in NY and rarely sees or even talks to them. I am at my wits end and not sure what to do anymore. Any suggestions? I appreciate whatever advice worked for you. Thanks!
4 responses
@SusanLee (1920)
• United States
11 Jun 09
Somebody shoot me, my sweet child has turned into  - Teenagers can try anyone's patience.
Well, if he's grounded indefinitely for the time being, I would sure come up with some fun chores for him. Something I can follow through with. I might even go as far as making a list of his last three or four transgressions, put a reward next to it, and on a day when your off, give him the first one, but make sure you can pull up a chair and supervise him doing it. I'd go so far as having a nice cool drink handy and a magazine to read. Be prepared for whining, bellyaching, dragging out the chore. It's true, you cannot exhort your will over his, you can't make him stop lying, and stuff like that; But you can sure apply some nifty consequences for the behavior. Just don't apply consequences thinking it's going to modify his behavior because the chances are it won't. You said, and I quote 'I try to talk to him all the time. he knows what to say to make me think he will do the right thing but yet he does the opposite.' [i][/i][u][/u] That is the sign of a manipulator, I know because my oldest had it down to an art form. They know just what to say and how to say it to get what they want in that particular moment, giving no thought to the consequences. Take a lawn chair outside and relax while he's cleaning the gutters (If you have gutters that is) There are all kinds of ways to get even with them for being snots without abusing them in anyway. Only have him do these chores when you are there with him. He's going to want to negotiate, you need to smile, listen to what he has to say, then hand him the toilet brush. Hug him and tell him you love him, then escort him to the linens and tell him it's time to change all the bed linens and make up everyone's beds. grab some suntan lotion, your straw hat and work on your tan while he's scrubbing out all the garbage cans in the house, including the yard can. Lets not forget the flower-beds that need weeding. And remember, it isn't going to modify his behavior, but it is going to give you a sense of satisfaction. Also, make sure you're home when he comes off his grounding. He's going to want to go somewhere, follow-up behind him, don't really expect him to go where he tells you he's going. If he goes there; fine and good. If he doesn't, have a nice reward waiting for him when he gets home.[i][/i] like mopping the kitchen floor. Also, don't expect perfection when you give him these chores. Their way of thinking is, 'if I slop through this, she'll get aggravated, do it herself and I can go do what I want to do' It isn't necessarily doing the chore to perfection, but more perfecting the discomfort from the chore. Now if your son is disrespectful, aggressive, belligerent, and 'in your face disobedient' you're not going to be able to go this route. In that case I don't know what to tell you. I always told mine, if they bowed-up at me, or ever drew back at me, they better kill me because I had a cast-iron frying pan that I would not hesitate to use. Of course I wouldn't have, but they didn't know that lol. [i][/i]
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Jun 09
You ROCK!
@SusanLee (1920)
• United States
11 Jun 09
Oh, something I forgot. Never, ever, ever use emotional blackmail on your teenager. First of all it's a sickening and tacky thing to do. A parent who uses guilt on a teenager is nothing but a manipulator themselves. It's wrong. I have seen moms, who didn't know how to deal with their teen; get on a pity-pot and make it all about themselves. It becomes all about this grown-up, mature adult, and I use the word mature loosely. 'Oh, whoa is me, little Johnny why won't you pick-up your clothes and put them in the clothes basket?' Did you teach him to pick-up after himself when he was little? 'Little Suzie, I give you anything you want and nothing makes you happy, you leave everything laying around for the dog to chew-up' Have you ever NOT bought the brat something she wanted? 'I just don't know what I'm going to do Billy, you talk so disrespectful and mean to me.' When he started that crap did you give him a good smack in the head and dare him to do it again? Grown-up, mature adults need to realize right from the start, when our off-spring come into the world, it is all about the off-spring. We teach them right from the beginning that when they cry, we jump. For some reason we forget to wean them off the 'It all about me' mentality.' Then, when they become the equivalent in size and maturity of a Mastiff puppy, only with the temperament of a badger, we decide we need to make them behave and be obedient. Talk about too little to late. Parents should never use manipulation in any form. Just put it out there in no uncertain terms in a way the kid can understand, make them repeat it back to us so they know, that we know, they understand. And never set up consequence we are not going to be able to enforce of follow through with. It's us against them. They are moody, emotional, sullen, irritating, lying, whiny bags of raging hormones. They walk around looking like human beginnings when in actuality their little demons set about to drive their parents insane. As you can see I can go on and on about these creatures we would lay our lives down for. Bottom line, Use few words and a lot of determination, and do it all with a smile and a whole lot of 'I love you, now take this bucket and get to work on the outside windows, don't crush the flowers unless you want to weed them out after you've stomped them'
• United States
12 Jun 09
I wish I had thought of this when I was dealing with teenagers. Excellent plan.
@jugsjugs (13045)
10 Jun 09
I have got a 16 year old daughter and a 17 year old daughter who both have the same attitude as your son.We tried grounding we tried not letting her stay at her friends as she was walking the streets early hours one morning on her own.In the end i had to think what i was doing when i was her age and in the end i found that she was getting to hate me as all her friends were getting invited to places etc and she was loosing her friends which was making her so sad it was unbareable to see.I sat my 16 year old down and i told her if i trust her and she lets me down once that would be her lot and she could live with her dad.She is never to walk the roads /streets on her own,she must never get in to trouble with the police and all the time to keep me informed of her movements and if she is going to stay at a friends i want to speak to the parent of that friend.She used to lie all the time to me now as far as i know she is not telling lies anymore.If his friends are allowed he look at you and think it is you being nasty not letting him do the same.My daughters and myself have a better bond now and im more like a mum and afriend now to them than just the mum.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Jun 09
I am so tired of being the police. I am always the bad guy since it is only me. My daughter is well behaved and 17 years old. I have had that talk with him but he keeps doing the wrong things and making the wrong decisions. It is so frustrating. Thank you so much for posting
@jugsjugs (13045)
11 Jun 09
Good luck and keep your chin up.
@kryzell (921)
• Philippines
10 Jun 09
I believe that being a bit rebellious is normal to teenagers. This is the stage in their life wherein they want more freedon...and they gain more confidence in their thoughs and decisions. I would'nt want to tell you to leave him make and learn from his mistakes. However, allowing him to learn (and hopefully not the hardway) is an option. I don't have a son of that age, but my younger brother is a year older than your son...and he is also driving the whole family crazy. He won't listen to me, since I am only a sibling...and my mom can't control him too. If only my father is still alive, maybe he'll realize that there's someone in the house that has authority. But you know what? A lot of times, it helps to make him realize the consequences of his actions. And he is not someone who has a lot of pride... those times, he'll always accept his faults and apologize. I suggest you have a mother and son talk. I am not sure how bad the situation is... but helping him see the consequences instead of nagging and preventing him from learning from his mistakes might not help much. Just a thought though...
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Jun 09
Thanks. I try to talk to him all the time. he knows what to say to make me think he will do the right thing but yet he does the opposite. I will keep trying though. Hopefully something will sink in soon.
• United States
12 Jun 09
I have 5 children. I wasn't sure I wanted to keep them when they turned into teenagers from those sweet children they were before. However, that was not an option, so I muddled through. My main strategy was to make our home teenager friendly. I fed their friends and made them feel as welcome as I could. I think it helped. No strategy will give you smooth sailing, you just have to do what you can and pray they'll come out of this time without completely messing up your life. Try to remain calm and keep repeating yourself, because they usually come around eventually.
• United States
12 Jun 09
All his friends like me. I go out of my way to be nice and include them in our activities and have them sleep over at my house. He tells me to stop trying to be their friends. I take them to hockey games, basketball games, etc. The way I figure it if they are hanging out at my house I can watch over and always know where they are. Well now I told him last night that he cannot do sleepovers but he can have sleepovers until I can trust him again. So what age did they finally start understanding and start behaving? Thanks for your post.
• United States
12 Jun 09
I had more to say, but my daughter and husband were calling me to breakfast and I left out half of what I wanted to say. My husband and I live with our youngest daughter's family. We're working together in these hard times. Remaining calm is hard, but the calmer you can appear, the better. He's lied, you know it, confront him, tell him the consequences, wait for him to run down, tell him the consequences, wait for him to run down, as many times as it takes. It's really hard to do, but it will work as long as you stick to the consequences and don't let him off. Be sure the consequence is something you're willing to actually implement. If you let him off, he'll just keep going and doing the things he's been doing. Try to think about any good things he's done. Sometimes we get so hung up on the bad things they do that we forget about the good things they do. However, sometimes you just have to think about how it could be worse. That is what I did when they really got to me. Try to find fun things to do with your teens, and try not to dwell on the problems. I tried to take it one day at a time.
• United States
12 Jun 09
It depends on the child. My 2 youngest were a piece of cake after the 3 oldest. The oldest is a girl and she was difficult beyond her teens. The oldest boy started coming out of the worst of it after he turned 16. My middle child, a girl, didn't come out of it until she was about 20.