Mouthy and out of control teen!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by ifonlyparent, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. ifonlyparent

    ifonlyparent New Member

    As I sit here in tears, I was thinking to I the only mother dealing with this? Hopefully I can find some help or someone who can genuinely say that they have been there and doesn't judge.
    I am a stay at home mom of two. My husband is out of town alot so I am home to deal with the craziness most of the time. My son will be 14 next month and my daughter is 9. They are complete opposites!
    My son is currently failing his classes. Not because he isn't smart but because he says he doesn't care and he doesn't want to do the work. When I try to help him, it turns into a HUGE argument, him being completely disrespectful and hateful to me saying awful things and ultimately he wins with just being sent to bed.
    He is out of control at home and is now on a behavior plan at school because of his bad attitude about education.
    He was diagnosed with ADD in first grade and ODD in 7th grade. I am on the verge of giving up. My daughter is completely stressed out and has started to have nightmares.
    Anyone have any suggestions on getting this situation under control. Life is awful in our home right now!
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Stop trying to force him - you've already found it doesn't work. Instead, be like the door he is slamming his weight against tat suddenly opens. When you stop pressuring him he will stop resisting so hard.

    He has to own his responsibilities and the sooner he realises this, the sooner he will have a chance to turn tis around. If you can successfully drive him to do his work this year, then he will simply be more resistant next year, as well as another year older and closer to independence.

    A book we recommend here for this sort of behaviour management - "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. It helps you get what you want form your child, by letting the child take control (and responsibility) for his own decisions.

    Welcome. Sorry you need us but glad we'e here.

  3. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    welcome to the board!

    Part of me agrees with Marg and part of me doesn't. There are many kids who respond to "hands off". There are just as many who would love the "hands off" vacation and wallow in nothingness for as long as possible. In my opinion, it's a matter of finding out where the motivation has gone and why.

    couple questions for you - when did his "lack of interest and motivation" in school start? It's easy for add kids to loose interest in school. Does he have an IEP that give him and modifications or accommodations in the classroom? Things like sitting close to the teacher - the teacher quietly reminding him to "stay tuned", extra time for certain assignments, oral assessments, etc.? Sometimes our kids brains are wired a little different. It's sometimes just a matter of finding out where the wires are crossed.....

    What are the consequences of disrespectful behavior in your home? I've got three words for you - consistency, consistency, consistency! As our elementary school kids move into the middle school years, respectful behavior needs to already have been ingrained. What happens when he speaks to you this way?

    Has he ever been tested for any lds? I know my son's frustration at school was related to some slight lds that actually aren't an issue much anymore because he had supports in place (in the form an really good IEPs). Once the lds were discovered, some of the teaching methods were adjusted and thing began to improve.

    Finding the motivation for our teens is important as well. Does your son see a therapist regularly?

    I really suggest the book Marg mentioned in her post. "The Explosive Child" is a fabulous read for those of us parents who deal with challenging kids!

    Again, glad to have you as part of our membership family.

  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Sharon, what works (when the opposite clearly does not) is a controlled hands off, not total absence of hands. It's like the ay you stand there, hands at the ready to catch, as a baby begins to toddle for the first time. If you never let go of the child, he never learns to walk. But if you don't hold your hands near ready in case he falls, then he could be injured or fall down stairs. It's a matter of changing approach, but still with balance and monitoring.

    Never anarchy.

    But it is important to emphasise this. I've seen people make the mistake of switching from over-control to total freedom, and that is not good.

  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    The teen years are rough. Please take comfort in knowing you are not alone now. Over the years many of us have found great comfort from the CD family. You might read through the posts to see how others have survived. Our viewpoints are obviously not identical but then again our experiences are exactly the same either. Welcome. DDD
  6. If you don't "do" school well, you may hate it and ultimately refuse to perform.

    My difficult child is constantly in trouble for one thing or another, the other kids don't want to hang out with him, the teachers are fed up with him ... why would he want to go there with a positive attitude and perform well? He's also emotionally very "young" for his age, so he's a fish out of water. All day, every day. It's incredibly wearing.

    When you're an adult and you have a bad boss or a sufficient number of mean co-workers, you eventually quit and find a new job. Children don't have that option, so they "quit" in a different way. Or, as an adult, you suck it up because you need the rewards (income, career advancement in which you satisfy your revenge fantasies, what have you) but a child doesn't have that perspective. We generally punish children for NOT sucking it up (loss of privileges, electronics, etc) but they don't have the tools for long-term endurance. Some children begin to self-medicate with alcohol or drugs, start cutting, or develop another horribly inappropriate tool for dealing with their pain. In a very real way, they don't have the tools to find better tools!

    Not sure what kinds of docs your child is seeing, if he's on medication, in therapy or what, so perhaps he has someone who is trying to explore his feelings. It's easy to say "have more empathy for your child" but you may be down to the last pea in your dish as well. If so, this board is a great place for support. You're definitely not the only parent going through this. I've picked up some good ideas here. Yes, some of the ideas just aren't going to work in our family and some I can't see working anywhere for anybody, but root through them and see what you can pick up. You're not alone!
  7. ifonlyparent

    ifonlyparent New Member

    Thanks to all for your suggestions and I will definately check into the book.
    Our son does have a therapist, is on Concerta and Zoloft. Not sure the Zoloft is working honestly.

    We have tried everything for him in school. He was recently tested in school and we are going to go over those results with the principal and psycologist who did the test next week. He seems to use school as more of a social time than education time.

    As far as discipline, honestly, nothing has worked to motivate him to act better. Mind you, we are not asking for a perfect child. We are not asking for straight A's or even A/B honor roll. Anything above a C- would be nice.

    He is very disrespectful with me. For example. last night during a heated argument and his awful words to me, I smacked his mouth. I am not proud of it but grounding doesn't work, we have taken away every electronic and toy and no privileges are allowed. He told me that he hopes I go to jail and get raped when I am in there. He said he wants nothing to do with me and hates me. I am the worst mother ever and he hates his dad too and wants us to leave him alone.
    It crushed me.
    I don't even know where to start with discipline with him because everything is currently in play.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I believe you've tried everything and nothing works so far because I had a daughter who was the same way. I don't have any suggestions, but I offer my empathy.

    I would also wonder if he is starting to use recreational drugs or drinking? That was a big problem for my daughter and, although she is so bright she may be gifted, she didn't care about school when she was taking drugs. I felt lucky when she graduated! Keep us posted :)
  9. 4timmy

    4timmy New Member

    Hang in there. My difficult child is 12 and swears that school is only a prison...... Marguerite, thanks for the reminder not to pressure.
  10. Loony Smurf

    Loony Smurf Member

    oooh i think you have my daughter's twin! She's 14 too, she's on day 3 of another ISS today for a dress code violation that she escalated to calling the teacher foul names. so far this year....20 referrals to the office :rolleyes: she doesnt do homework, says it's boring and she can pull a B without doing it. sadly she's right. Social hour...yup that's all school is to her. she's failing Gym cause she doesnt like to change at school, failing computers cause typing is hard. and boring. Boring is the word of the day, along with retarded.:sigh:

    She's in 8th grade, and she will actually tell everyone: "this year i dont care. they never make anyone repeat grades here, i dont mind suspension cause i can just sleep and read and grades dont matter in the long run...Next year is high school. I'll work then."

    She was my sweet little 9 yr old that was a straight A student and momma's helper...

    I totally hear you :consoling:
  11. Canadiangirl

    Canadiangirl Guest

    Hi ifonly
    I have not replied to may posts but do spend a lot of time reading the posts and getting ideas on how to deal with my ADHD/ODD Girl of 14. We are in a calm place at the moment so things are good for us but I felt compelled to chime in here.

    My daughter was pretty much out of control and on a very bad path from the time she was 9 up until early this year (finally diagnosed with ADHD, medicated and school change last year). She was taking Adderal for the ADHD but caused stomache aches and lack of sleep to the point she refused to take it. We then found Vyvanse which she said has made the biggest difference in her life. She will say thank goodness we found it because it has helped her be who she wants to be. From where we were to that is absolutely amazing.
    Another thing that has really really helped is that I have learned (on the advice of my sister who is a teacher in a very large class with many difficult children) to "Do Not Engage". This was very difficult to learn and is still very difficult to continue to do but I found with the ODD (I do agree this is not necessarily a true diagnosis but a symptom of an underlying issue) that if you do not look at your child while you are talking to them they will respond better. The eye contact seems to get her going if she wants to get into an argument.
    Also be prepared to walk away many many many times during a discussion if you need to. As well the second I see her esculating I shift my eyes and if that does not work I walk. Also keep your voice extremely calm at all times (this is the really hard one). I am not saying any of this is the magic solution but I will say that she use to rage for hours and hours almost daily and the combination of the above has her melt downs to 1-2 a month and they are lasting minutes.
    I am sure that this is not the end of the issues with her but we are in a calm period so I can reflect right now.
    Welcome to the forum - it has been a real help to me
  12. family mum

    family mum New Member

    Hi. First off, most of us have lost our cool at one time or another so I wouldn't worry about a one-off slap to the face, but I would try sticking hands in back pocket when he is getting wound up to give yourself time to think before you react.

    my son is same age, and for a while he just wouldn't do any homework. I went back to some old tricks that I used when the kids were younger and that helped. I established a homework period when all children must be working ( not long 30 minutes up to 60 if you think he can handle it) set a timer. I established a homework zone that had everything there. (pencil case, dictionaries etc. and reading material) My son had to be at the zone for the prescribed time whether he decided to do homework or not, whether he claimed to have homework or not
    Often he would start by saying that he wouldn't do homework and I would answer, "fine just sit there or sit there and read." Slowly he decided to do some of the homework. Sometimes he would choose to stay and finish after the timer went, sometimes he closed the books up faster than I could blink.

    I usually stayed in the same room and told him that I was available to help if he needed some but I don,t sit at the zone unless he asks me to. (His zone was the kitchen table, usually I would have my back to him because I was cooking, this way he felt my presence but not that I was watching him.

    Welcome and good luck.
  13. family mum

    family mum New Member

    Oops, i thought this was a new thread from today. it was right at the top of the thread listing, just ignore me.
  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Easy mistake. We get a lot of resurrected dinosaur threads. I guess it's because even with difficult children, there's nothing new under the sun!