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Advice please (a bit long)

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Here is a summed up version of what is going on. My oldest son who is 16 now has started this last couple months or so with a horrible attitude to everything. Now it just seems to get worse. Started off with a little back talk or sassing here and there, and has now blown up into yelling and hitting stuff. I have tried and tried to figure out what was and is going on with him. But he is one of those kids who just doesn't open up to anyone.


Now recently he did miss 8 days of school due to some issues that were going on. Well it has been way over a month now and he still has not gotten all his work turned into his teachers and has been on the down list weekly. But still wanting to keep doing all the activities he wanted. I have asked him why this work is not done and I keep getting excuses and more excuses. Well I put my foot down last Friday and told him he would not be going to this youth convention next week if he was still on the down list. Also he would not be able to do wrestling this year if he could not get off the down list or had a note from his teachers stating he was close and working on getting off the down list. Well nothing has been brought home and he is still on the list. I feel horrible about taking his wrestling away from him, he does awesome at this and really looks forward to it every year. But I don't know what else to do. I am not sure what is going to work to get him to see how important it is for him to keep up his grades.


A week ago I took away and turned off his cell phone. He knows that one of the conditions of having his cell phone was that without notice we would ask for the phone to check and make sure he was not doing stuff he was not suppose to. Well this last time he got very very defensive over it, he put a lock on his phone so no one could open it. At this point I told him that if he needed a lock on his phone then that tells me he is hiding something. After he kept telling us he did not have anything to hide he did unlock the phone. As he was unlocking it he deleted as much as he could before handing it back to me. Well he was not able to delete his internet history. Well I found pornography on there. Not some simple stuff either, it was sickening. After seeing this I decided it was time to shut the phone off since he could not be responsible with it. Also I am not going to be the one who pays for/ supports such behavior.


When he gets upset lately, which seems to be any time anyone asks any thing of him, he will hit the walls and doors as he walks by them. Not sure where this physical behavior has come from. I am honestly at a loss right now. I don't know what else to do, say, etc. So here I am asking for help. i know I am not a perfect parent, but I try my hardest to do what is best for all my kids. It is just his attitude and actions right now are making it really hard on everyone else in the house and family. He is very negative to all of us if we don't do what he wants right then and there. Please help.

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I didn't see any mention of your dh in any of this. What does he think/say? My first instinct is to say that your dh needs to understand that one of his primary responsibilities is to shield you from abuse by your older children. Not just physical, but mental/emotional also. My teen son spouted off something nasty to me one day and my dh immediately let him know in no uncertain terms that no one was talking to HIS WIFE in that manner.


That said, it sounds like your son is suffering a guilty conscience. When people, particularly teen boys, are guilty, instead of dealing with their guilt they prefer to lash out at those around them. It's easier than looking inward. I don't know what your beliefs are, but if it were my son, I wouldn't even attempt to deal with it until I had taken him to confession and spent some time in prayer myself. I would also try to get my son to talk to one of our priests outside of confession for spiritual direction.


I think you may need to apply something similar. Your son has experienced something that has hurt his relationship to himself and the rest of his family. He needs you to help him find his way back to himself, his authentic self. In some ways, he needs compassion.


That isn't to say that he doesn't also need discipline, he does. He needs discipline and recovery simultaneously. :grouphug:

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My ds is only 12, so I have no experience to share with you, but I wanted to say that I think you're doing the right thing by limiting his privileges and taking away the cell phone. It sounds like he needs a reminder of who's in charge, and you're giving him exactly that.


I don't know what to say about the nasty behavior, except to ask if he might be upset or depressed about something, or if someone at school is being mean to him. If this is a new attitude, I would try to find out what triggered it. I know it will be tough if he's not a talker, though.

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