Defiant 16yo

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by charmwood5, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. charmwood5

    charmwood5 New Member

    Hello, I'm new here and am at my wit's end with my 16 year old son. My son is beautiful, scary intelligent, extremely athletic with a promising future in football and track, funny, everything you would dream a child to be. He is also however, lazy, defiant, disrespectful, skips school, backtalks horribly bad, cusses, won't do school work, etc. He is hateful to his younger sister which just breaks our heart. He is from two parent home and we've done all we can to try to resolve this. He's been to psychologists, psychiatrists, pediatricians, tried medications, therapy, etc. We've taken away privledges, tried to kill him with kindness and nothing seems to work. He is throwing away a chance at a wonderful future. He's so smart he could be anything he wants but he won't put forth a bit of effort to do the school work. Nothing he does on the football field will help a bit if he's a discipline issue. We love this child unconditionally and he is surrounded by loving grandparents and extended family. Does anyone have suggestions? I would be so grateful!
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I guess I don't understand what this means. Is he adopted? If he is that intelligent, is he being challenged enough at school? Is he in a gifted program or has he been accelerated? There are so many questions, I would like more information before any of us can be of much help. You mention psychiatrists, psychologists, medications, etc. Can you give us more details on diagnoses, medications tried, comments from therapists, etc? One you have given us more info, many of us might have some helpful information for you.
  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome Charmwood,
    Glad you found us although sorry you needed to. It would help to know if he has a diagnosis from his psychiatrist. I do understand how frustrating this can be. My easy child/difficult child is very similar. She is 17 and very bright. She could succeed in whatever she would put her mind to but she is also lazy, defiant, talks back, and won't do much, if any, homework. She is also very hateful to her younger brother (who has caused her a lot of grief).

    We have her see a therapist and she sees a psychiatrist. She takes anti-depressants. Not much has helped her. She had a chance had a full paid scholarship and lost it. As a parent it is so hard to watch this. I'm slowly (and not happily) coming to the conclusion that she is going to have to learn the hard way. I wish I could offer more advice but know that you are not alone. Hugs.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    It would help us if you told us more about him, his early development, his personality, any problems in the past. Are there any psychiatric disorders on either side of his genetic family tree? Right now, we don't know enough to really give too much help, but I'll try.
    If he suddenly changed, especially if his grades went down and he has changed his friends, I would think of drug use. That's often what the answer is when the child used to be a great kid and no longer is. Sixteen is a huge age for drug abuse and the kids often hide it so well (my daughter did) that you have no clue. And many of us say, "Not MY kid. He has no time. We monitor everything. There is no place for him to use them."
    Not true. Teens are clever.
    Until you find out why he suddenly switched his behavior, there is little you can do to make a child that age listen to you. You can take his cell phone, his driver's license, everything he owns (we did), but there is no guarantee that will help. It didn't change my daughter's drug use.
    in my opinion you should spring a surprise drug test on him, but they aren't 100% accurate either. Some drugs don't show up.
    I hope you find the answer soon, and, trust me, I've been there/done that and feel your pain!
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    TeDo, I take this to mean that this child was not adopted or fostered from a broken home, or any other obvious issue people normally assume when they see this sort of behaviour. He is their son, both parents are very much in evidence, and yet these problems are there.

    Charmwood, has he ever had any evaluations? Any hint of diagnosis? Read around on this site and find out more, you might get some ideas independently of people's responses.

    Welcome. Sorry you need us, but glad we can be here for you.

  6. charmwood5

    charmwood5 New Member

    We never really got a diagnosis. They pretty much said he was just being a kid. And of course, he knew how to play them so that when we got in there, they looked at me like "Um... there's nothing wrong with this kid! He's great!"

    His early development was totally normal. 10 pound baby, no illnesses, no mental illness in either of our families that I'm aware of. Well, I was was treated for anxiety and panic attacks in my early 20s. Any connection? He is the middle child, older brother, younger sister. All of my children are unique and special in their own way. If we've treated him any differently, we did it unintentionally. He's always had a really dry, almost adult sense of humor. I had a teacher in middle school tell me a couple of year ago that he would say something and she would die laughing. She said the kids would all just be sitting there and she and Reed woudl be cracking up. She said "I just got him"

    I've seen so signs of drug or alcohol use although I'm not so naive to think it couldn't be going on. I've asked him and and he vehemently denies it. I will watch closely though. As crazy as this sounds, I even asked my husband this morning if he thought he could be on steroids. He's a really big 16 year old. About 6'3 and close to 215 pounds. Very muscular. My husband says he seriously doubts it. These problems have been going on longer.

    We have an appointment with his pediatrician this morning. His dad took him but I wrote up a long essay detailing his issues. He's talked to Reed before about these issues. They tried him on Concerta but I really don't think it's a focus issue. I'm really prone to lean more towards depression of sorts.

    Thanks for everyone's insight. I will update later today!

  7. Frazzledmom

    Frazzledmom Guest

    Welcome although sorry you're here. My son sounds very similar to yours. How is your son outside the home. People rave about my son but at home he is HORRIBLE. We're currently dealing with very unrealistic goals and ideas. I think he truely believes that people will be good to him (feed him, give him jobs) because he is good looking and smart - why work for anything? He wants the entire family to move to Florida because it's warm and he likes it there better! He REALLY thinks this is a good idea! Of course he's also going to make millions with less than a high school diploma. For someone who is smart....

    The only red flag I saw was your anxiety. I think anxiety in teens can really look like anger and defiance. They just don't know what to do with those feelings. While sometimes it's a bit over the top for me, there is a lot of good stuff in the Love and Logic series. I really think natural consequences is the only thing that works. The problem with some of these kids is that they get by on their charm and don't face natural consequences until the consequences are really serious!!

    Keep coming back, these folks know a ton!
  8. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip


    One thing you said stood out over all the rest - that he knows how to play people. My SD, Onyxx, is really, really good at this too. Someone else here said something ages ago about just assuming their child was lying unless they had independent proof otherwise... And I've started to adopt this. So far, it's worked pretty well with Onyxx and it's beginning to work with my SS, Jett, too.

    How long has he seen each person? because sometimes I think they bamboozle the people for a while, then when the difficult child gets comfortable... WHAM. And the person is looking at you going - but? what? huh? I don't understand!

    I agree that we should probably know more... I can't really say much other than that... But welcome!
  9. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    I would ask the pediatrician to drug test him. It sounds like drugs are a very real possibility. I know from experience that as a parent who grew up in the 70's, I thought I would know if my son was using drugs. I had the right antenna and experience. Kids today have ways of hiding it and it is much easier to miss than you think. Look at the behavior, the apathy, lack of interest and friends.... and volatility of mood. Those are signs of drug use even if you do not see any evidence.
  10. AHHUM

    AHHUM New Member

    If you suspect drug use for even a SECOND, do not second guess yourself. DO NOT be afraid to search his room. There are so many out there that won't show up on a regular urine test.

    Spice (sold as incense) has simalar effects as pot.

    Ivory Wave (sold as bath salts) was on the news last night. This stuff is more addictive then meth. A drug court judge interviewed stated he has never seen anything like it in over 2 decades on the bench. Using this stuff for 2 weeks shows the same signs of someone who has been on meth for a year.

    Mucinex DM (green box), and other cough/cold medications, also used as a way to get high. Research Robo-Tripping.

    All these are currently legal, have devastating effects and do not show up in drug tests.

    And then there is Pruno - is a powder or pill you add to water or fruit juice & will turn into alcohol in a couple days, the longer it ferments the stronger the alcohol content, marketed to teens & available on the internet.

    Am new here myself, but have, unfortunately had to take a crash course on this kind of stuff.

    Listen to the responses & read the boards. Much help, assistance & support found here.

    Sorry you had to find us, but welcome. (((HUGS)))
  11. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    are his school problems new? Has he always struggled in school? Did you ever have neuropsychologist testing done on him?