Defiant Teenage Son

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Nate, Aug 30, 2007.

  1. Nate

    Nate New Member

    Hello, my name is Nate, I'm new to this group. I am looking for some help. I have a 13 year old son that is out of control. He lies and is completely disrespectful to myself, going so far as to say things to me like, "You can try to make me do _____, but I'm still going to do what I want." and then walks away from me. I am at my wits end with this behavior and don't know what to do. When I try to set consequences for his behavior, he moves on to something else. There doesn't seem to be anything that he can't live without. This is taking a toll on my family life. Him and I usually spend most evenings arguing and I don't have time for my other 3 kids, because I am continuously drawn back to him to deal with some behavior. Any help is appreciated.
  2. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi Nate! Welcome to the crowd! Does your son have any type of diagnosis? For example: adhd, ODD, autism, aspergers syndrome, etc.

    There are tons of really experienced people on this board that will have a lot of advise, but it's way easier if they have a history to go with.

    Has he always been this way or is it the Terrible Teens rearing their ugly head? Go up to the top of the page and you can fill in the "My Stuff" stuff that will allow you to list the family dynamic, diagnosis (if any), etc. You want to stay away from the kids real names in the interest of privacy. You can give them nicknames or numbers so everyone will know who you're talking about (4 kids - God Bless you!).

    Is there any type of family history in the mental health/substance abuse arena?

    These are all things that can help!

    Also, pick up "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene, most of the people on the board like it, some don't, but it can give you insight as to what's going on in his mind. It's an easy read - not a lot of technospeak! :smile:

    Talk to yoou later!
  3. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi Nate,

    I have the same question whether he has always been this way or this just started recently.

    I have a teen who is/was very defiant also but she was born that way and her defiance began when she was very young. It took a lot of tough love to get the kind of improvement we now have, although she will never beone to follow rules. I think she believes rules are not meant for her.

    Age 13 is very difficult, they begin to assert themselves and push you to act. We eventually called the police on our daughter when she would not come home or when she became abusive toward us. She had to spent a weekend in juvie when she was 14 but that finally sent her the message that we weren't fooling around. She has her learners permit but although she is 16 she still does not have her license. With all the improvement she has shown we told her that a drivers license is a privilege and until she can control her anger better and she is completely trustworthy she doesn't get it.

    It is my belief that you and your wife need to put down the rules and give consequences to them being broken and stick to it. As he gets older it will be more difficult so start now.

  4. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Hi Nate. Welcome. Sorry you are going through such a tough time right now.

    What I have learned with my personal experience is so much of the battle can be avoided if you approach in a different way. If I yell at my son...he will yell back. I have found a way to approach him that works for us. Not always. Sometimes. But it is so much better than it was. (school has not yet started and that is a big issue)

    The other is you cannot "make" him do anything. If I tried to approach my son and make him do something, he would flat out tell me no.

    Take a walk. time for you. Things get better.
  5. Nate

    Nate New Member

    He was recently diagnosed with ADHD and the psychatrist has put him on Concerta (18 mg). Over the past 4 to 5 years, this behavior has been getting worse. Approximately 2 years ago, we moved in with my fiancee and her 3 kids (Li=15 yrs(f), Lo=13 yrs(f)& H=11 yrs (m). His mother and I have been divorced since he was approximately 1.5 years old, he doesn't ever remember a time when we were together. I have had physical custody of him for the past 7 yrs and contact with his mother has been sparodic, but he does see her a number of times each year and an extended period in the summer. My fiancee works in the mental health field and is a wnderful resource, but she is out of ideas as well. We have tried multiple things to get him to confom, but nothing seems to work, including ignoring bad behavior (something I am really, really bad at) to removing privelages. He truly is a great kid under all the anger and can be a lot of fun. Lately though, every time I try to give him some added responsibility to allow him to do other things, he blows it and I have to remove it again, because I can't trust that he is going to do what he says he's going to do. One of the biggest problems, is girls. It seems that everything has to do with girls. I have forbidden him to spend time with the latest one...mouthy, rude and completely disrespectful to my son, my family and his mother's family. Now, he is telling me, that even though I have forbidden him from seeing her, he will still see her at school and has done exactly that, making the other kids wait for him while he spends time with her at the school. There was a big blow out last night, when I had to go into the school to get him to come out for the car pool. It went down hill from there, to a point where he would look at me tell me no I won't do ______ and then walks away. If I go after him, he runs.

    Thanks for any advice.
  6. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Leave him there. Let him walk home. Call the police if he does not come home. I have told my difficult child that I will not hesitate to call the police. I will. If he does not like our home and our rules he can see if he likes the rules in another home. difficult child had a tour of the Juvenile detention center. They met us in the lobby, told me I had to leave and come back in two hours. A big man that looked like "Steve" from Jerry Springer came and took him away. When I picked him up I told him if he ever comes back here he will be staying. That was two years ago when he was 10.
    Things have gotten so much better. He has changed, matured.

    Hope You can find a solution. Try not to make empty threats.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi. I have a daughter who was into drugs and never listened to anything we said. It started around 12, so if this is new behavior, I'd consider drug abuse/alcohol abuse. Second, I'd get a second evaluation by a Psychiatrist (with the MD) or a neuropsychologist or both so you get a well rounded picture of what is going on. You don't have many years left to help him, and I'm thinking he's defiant due to some disorder. Are mood disorders, substance abuse or suicide attempts a part of the family picture on either side of the tree? Does anyone have a neurological problem (I have a son on the autism spectrum and I'm NOT an expert, of course, but it doesn't sound like that's it to me). I am thinking his crowd and him may be experimenting with drugs, no matter how impossible you think it could be (I didn't believe my daughter would do drugs). As for disorders, something IS going on. It sounds more mood disorder related (ODD is a big symptom of any mood disorder) and stimulants can make the child worse. They certainly won't help a child who has a mood disorder. Furthermore, teens can decide to abuse stimulants. My daughters abused drug of choice were ADHD stimulants. She and her friends crushed them in pillcrushers and snorted them, sometimes alone and sometimes with other drugs. THe source of the drugs was often teens who had or faked ADHD or had sibs with it. She claims she was addicted to them. Not saying your son is doing this, but, at his age, I think you need to consider every option. You may want to do a surprise drug test on him. At any rate, regular discipline methods aren't helping--I'd look outside the box, and definitely get him closely re-evaluated. in my opinion it sounds like a lot more than ADHD. Your family tree tells you a lot--things tend to be genetic. I wish you luck. It's so hard when they're at that age. My daughter used to climb out of her window at night and roam the streets. You don't want to get to that point with your son. She was on parole twice. She did straighten out completely so there is a lot of hope. In fact, she is doing extremely well now! Don't give up!
  8. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

    I found out when coming to this board that many ADHD medications have a side affect of anger. My middle difficult child (10 yrs) was angry all the time. None of my difficult children react to things being taken away and sometimes nothing seems to work, especialy with my youngest (7 yrs). I tried the strict route, I would swear they weren't going to "break me", but in the end, I realized what I was doing was making it harder on all of us. I recommend taking a breather for a bit. If you are normally the one do deal with discipline, why don't you let your spouse take over for a bit? In our house, it was me who was the disciplinarian, so my husband allowed me to be the marshmellow and him to lay the law down. We had a system in place that if they asked him for something, he'd say go ask Mommy. I would either say yes, or go ask Daddy. If they went back to him, he knew the answer was no. If they asked me first and I didn't want the answer to be yes, I said go ask Daddy. The reason this helped is because it allowed me to destress some. Then I could come up with new ways to tackle the rest of the behavior issues.

    A new approach/fresh start always seems to help on our end. Sometimes, for you to be able to let go of the old approach, you need a break. Take some time, let your spouse take some time.

    I'm glad you found the board! There are many parents on here with great input and some sure to make you laugh. Humor is needed when dealing with difficult kids!
  9. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    eeeeeewwwww, a TEEENAAAGER!!! Add the adhd and you've really got your hands full!!! :smile:

    First of all, remember: at the age of 13 they are "contraries" (usually until at least the age of 22 or 23!). Contraries do exactly what they say they won't, say yes and really mean no, and do everything backward (if it was easy (as most teens have the largest "lazy bone" in the world) they would walk, talk, eat and sleep backward).

    As far as the girlfriend goes, I wouldn't sweat it. I think I'd go the ambivilent route. He complains that she's pushing him around, you respond "if that's what makes you happy..." let the phrase trail off and continue reading the paper. Keep doing that: "if that's what makes you happy..." watch the news. If you let him under your skin, he's going to wiggle in there and have a field day. MOST IMPORTANT: Let him always know that when he needs to talk to you (for real) he can. Safely.

    Most kids like to complain "My Mom/Dad is sooooo mean...". Don't give him the satisfaction.

    Also, let his Dr. (that prescribed the Concerta) that these behaviors have manifested if it seems sudden to you. It could be some wierd side effect that you might not be aware of.

    Don't forget: read Ross Greene!

    Talk soon (kids are driving me nuts!!!)

  10. Nate

    Nate New Member

    What do others think about grandparent involvement in this issue? Is this something that I should include them on and let them help me or keep them out of it and make their time free of consequences for behavior at home? Lastly, we have not started the Concerta yet, that comes tomorrow, so this behavior is not a side effect of the medications. I have thought about substance or alcohol abuse, but I'm pretty certain that is not the case.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Nate, I didn't think so either. We don't even have alcohol in the house. We found out daughter was doing it on the way to school when she was really young and then it escalated.
    As for grandparents, do you WANT them involved? Will they support you or work against you?
    Are there psychiatric problems on the family tree?
    Take care!
  12. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

    Well, I second Beth on the sentiment, Teenagers EWWWWWWWWWWWW!

    Okay, if the medications haven't started yet, then it could be typical teen stuff. I don't have teens yet, so I'm guessing. It could also be a different diagnosis.

    I still think you need a break! Take a little time with your other kiddos. Take one of them out at a time and just enjoy them for a bit. Take your wife out too! Come here and vent all you need, there are so many parents on here who know so much and can offer tons of support and great advice.

    I don't have teens yet, so all I don't have much for ya besides a "I know how much it stinks!" a welcome and a smile. :smile:
  13. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    if you add grandparents you have two more adults with opinions on how to handle this. think of that. if they are going to enable him or override you, it can get ugly.
  14. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I involved my dad two years ago when things were really bad. I had him go with me and difficult child to our community police station so the juvenile detective could talk to her (husband was out of town). I wanted her to know that extended family were concerned and wanted to help her. Even the detective was impressed and told her how lucky she was to have a grandparent who was willing to help.

    Several times dad came over when things were particularly bad and husband was out of town. I needed support and she really liked her grandpa and I hoped that would help. He talked to her about her behavior several times and made it a point to do things with her to show that he cared about her.

    I am a big believer in grandparents being involved in their grandkids lives. They can teach them things that they would never listen to us about. The big thing though is that you don't want that bond to be broken so the grandparent needs to make sure they don't push the kid away.

  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I've had two typical teen. That sort of defiance is NOT typical teen and now my son, who has a form of autism, is 14. My two typical teen and my Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) son were/are really nice, fairly well-behaved kids. In fact, in spite of a bad rap, most teens are pretty nice kids. Yes, they may try to smoke or drink a little, and of course they sneak out with boys or girls you may not like, but most respond to punishment and learn from their mistakes, try to do well in life, and have big hearts. Seems one day they're mouthing off (and I don't mean swearing at you) and the next day they're hugging you. My daughter was not a typical teen because of her drug use. Her behavior was really over-the-top. Extreme defiance isn't typical teen. Not caring about anyone's feelings or responding to any discipline at all isn't typical teen. I actually know a lot of moms who have very little trouble with their teens. In general, "birds of a feather stick together." If your teen is out of control, he won't attract nice kids. My daughter's friends used to scare me. I'd forbid her from seeing them, a certain age there's no way to forbid it 100% other than locking them in the house. And she wouldn't stay locked in the house either. Anyways, just clarifying that this behavior isn't typical teen. Take care (again).
  16. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    ant's one side gramma enabled and made him much worse, telling him he didnt have to listen to me. my own mother took his side against me a long time. now she understands.