Any advice on what to do wit hmy son?

Next time he tries this, hand him the phone and the number for CPS and tell him to knock himself out.

Jesus tapdancing Christ on a pogo stick. The kid does not have a god damn mental illness because he throws temper tantrums. He is 13, and behaving like a fucking asshole, because that’s what 13-year-olds are for. The OP is dealing with it like a conscientious and responsible parent should. He’ll get over it.

No advice, just alot of sympathy.

I have a 13 y/o son. He’s chosen the sullen route. Yep, we have alot of fun around here…ooh, boy, the fun we have!

It sounds like typical kid stuff, but all at once. He probably didn’t actually mean most of it, but didn’t know how to stop the drama bus and get off. I’d say talking to him about how to deal with emotions like anger would be a good thing. Give him some tips and techniques, like counting to ten, for example. If that doesn’t do it, call in a pro. Someone neutral to talk things over with may be easier for him to accept.

friedo , I did not say he had a mental illness. But some people with mental illnesses behave in the manner described in the OP. Neither you nor I have ever met dragongirl or her son, and cannot say whether he does or does not have any sort of mental illness. I don’t see why you’re so bent out of shape just because I mentioned the possibility.

Another vote for typical 13-year old behavior. I’ve always been a fairly laid back person, but as a teenager I was always pissed off at home, erupting into a rage at my siblings and parents over (in retrospect) the most stupid, trivial slights. I was also hypersensitive to the smallest injustice – trying extra hard to be consistent and fair with your son may help, even (or perhaps especially) over minor things.

I think you mostly just have to weather it out and keep handling it just as you did in this case, with firm clear boundaries that don’t shift in the face of a meltdown. Don’t take the meltdowns personally – he doesn’t actually think you guys are monsters. He’s just 13. It’s a tough age.

Sorry, no advice- but your son sounds an awful lot like my son did at that age. He’s basically become a different person since he started high school a couple of months before turning 14- and I like this one a lot better.

Another thing occurred to me - it almost sounds like he’s acting the way kids act when you bring a baby into the house with an older child already in it. Dare I say that he actually sounds kind of scared, a little jealous that his younger sister still gets to be a kid, and kind of reluctant to get pushed into the world of adulthood and responsibility?

That is somewhat how I run my house. When my 14 year old got into the habit of spending a great deal of time in her room the Mrs and I started feeling a bit like her slaves.

She’d come out for dinner and return to her room when she was done.

We told her she needed to help when we made dinner and it was her job to help cook and clean up. That worked for a few days but pretty soon she’s back in her room all the time.

We started sitting down to eat without her. We wouldn’t call her and let her know when food was ready. We’d eat then put it away and clean up.

“Where’s my dinner?”
“At the store still I expect. What did you buy to make for dinner?”

She had to figure out something to eat for dinner that night.

It sort of gets the point across that the house is a community. Parents play the role of working and bringing home food and the kids should play a role as well. Even if she can’t help with dinner I fully expect her to try and help.

It worked like a charm.

I think in the OP’s case the kid needs to understand he has a role. He messes up the swing and then can’t be bothered to fix it. Let him know perhaps one day you can’t be bothered to do his laundry, buy him clothes or fix him dinner. That very night don’t bother to fix him dinner. Repeat the very same lines to him “I tried but I couldn’t do it”. and “I don’t have to. You can’t make me. I don’t have to listen to you”

Then walk away.

Well I’m the lone supporter of corporal punishment on the board–but what the heck, I’m stubborn too:

Give him a thwack on the back of the head and stand there with him at the tree till he fixes the damn thing. Talking is nice–but only if the other person is willing to use their brain too.

You probably never were a 13-year old boy, were you?
Because if my mom did that to me, I would have packed my stuff and ran away immediately.

I like FeatherLou’s approach :

That just might work.

By the way I am not against corporal punishment, but you have to be very careful when to use it.
In a case like this it would most likely have an adverse effect.

It so easy to get sucked into a power struggle - you have my sympathy.

In your situation, I might have calmly told my son that his privileges were suspended as long as the swing was out of commission and walked away. That way, he decides how long this situation lasts … 5 minutes, 5 days, or 5 weeks. Gives him power over his own consequences - win win situation.

Best of luck and a few prayers too :slight_smile:

:::mom of 12 year old daughter and 13 year old son - hormone central!:::

Two books by Gregory Bodenhamer that should be mandatory reading for all parents:

Parent in Control , aimed at the younger ones.
Back in Control , aimed at the teens.

You don’t have to read PIC first, but it helps if you do. Read these books until you can quote chapter and verse, and implement his strategies. Two of his favorite words are “Regardless” and “Nevertheless”. They work an absolute treat.

I can’t recommend these books highly enough. I wish I had known about them before we first started having problems with my stepson instead of finding them long afterward.

Was 13, but never a coddled 13. If I was being stupid and got a swat for it, I understood very well that it was a loving swat because I was being stupid and deserved it, and certainly not the end of the world.
An more importantly, by the age of 13 so flagrantly doing something like in the OP would never have occured to me or any country kid (stealing peaks at pornography however…)

That’s good, too. Mom doesn’t have to keep on him or keep on fighting with him - there’s no fight to have any more.

While all teenagers don’t get like this (angry, rebellious), his behavior isn’t too out of the ordinary for a teen. I was definitely like that at 13.

One suggestion I have: he needs to be punished the first time he contradicts you or disrespects you. Make a list of things he likes, and take one away for a week every time he does it. Possessions work well for this–video games, etc. He needs to learn that he doesn’t get five chances before he gets punished. Even one act of disrespect is inappropriate. And, if he gets nailed the first time, every time, he’ll realize a lot faster that you’re serious about what you say.

That was the only thing that worked on me at his age.

Re: corporal punishment–this never worked on me. It just made me feel humiliated, so I got even angrier, and I acted out more.

Besides, there are more powerful ways to shape his behavior. I think kids really hate losing things they enjoy more than they hate getting a smack that isn’t even hard enough to leave a mark (which I assume it wouldn’t be, because if it did, that’s abuse or verging on it).

You can’t MAKE kids do any thing, but you can sure make them wish they hadn’t.

I would have been peeved about the tree/swing thing – but I would have been seriously pissed off about having to drag him home after he ran away. You can’t have that! What if you would have just let him go “to cool off” – some weirdo could grab him. Can’t do that. Can’t have a scene in the street either – some one is libel to call CPS… What to do? You don’t seem to have the upper hand here. He is not afraid of you or any thing you can do. You do not have his respect. We have to involve dad in this? I say (and I know that I am going to get it for this), you should have SMACKED him the first time he tried to demonstrate his superiority. And he needs to know that if he crosses you, discipline will be swift and sure. You don’t need to call daddy. “Son fix the swing you broke” is all you should need to say – if he doesn’t - he knows there is going to be HTP (hell to pay). And god knows he wouldn’t run away, because he knows that after he gets it from you he is going to get it from dad too.

I am not saying turn him into a cowering little dog, I am saying be judicious – teach him which side of the bred has the butter it, he bucks you -(authority)- now, and gets away with it, where is he going to be in 10 years when his boss tells him to do something he doesn’t want to do?

It seems to me the problem is that he doesn’t respect your word – and at this age its only going to get worse. I would say start taking control NOW before you start getting him dropped off at your house at 2am by police cars, bad grades and a total disregard for personal responsibility sets in.

Let the sparks fly…. :eek:

That would’ve been my vote! Seriously!

Background: I “inherited” my Number One Son when he was 14. I made it clear from the beginning that yes, I’m “just” your stepmom. As your stepmom, I may wield less power than your “real” mom or dad. However, you live in my house, and you abide by my rules. Or else what, you ask? No, dearest, I’ll never lay a hand on you. I will make you wish for corporal punishment, though! (I only had to get in costume once to walk him to the bus stop to prevent skipping school. “Costume” consisted of a seedy nylon leopard-print bathrobe, purple terrycloth PJs, fuzzy bunny slippers, curlers, and a yellow bandana tied babushka-style. It was five dollars well-spent at Goodwill, let me tell you! And, when #1 was about 15, he was given exactly one chance at shrugging off curfew. The second time he was a half-hour late getting home, I called his friends’ homes, had no luck, and called the sheriff’s department. #1 reached the house a few minutes after the deputy appeared to take my report. Lucky for me, the deputy was a very, very understanding fellow mom: She took #1 aside and explained to him that, if there were ever a next time, she would take his scrawny butt in custody posthaste.)

All “I’ve been there” examples aside, I think plenty of others have offered good counsel – your son sounds pretty typical of his hormone-crazed age, you’re right to calmly enforce the rules, and good luck! If it helps, he will eventually understand your position. I spent several years, though, cursing #1 with the Mother’s Curse – “I hope, someday, that you have a child just like yourself!” #1 is now a big proponent of safe sex, since that curse eventually escalated to “septuplets just like you!”