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  1. #1
    New Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    How to handle rebellious son?

    Hello! I need help. I have a 16 yrs. old son that I think is being rebellious to us. We had given him everything he wants but in return, he quit school, would normally go home at 5am or 6am. I talked to him repeatedly but he never changed. Please advise me.

  2. #2
    Dear mumof5,

    Firstly, I want you to draw hope from the fact that it is very normal for teenagers to rebel. For most teenagers, this is just a phase. What has your relationship been like with your son over the past year?

    It sounds like you are particularly struggling to communicate effectively with him. There are some excellent gentle parenting books which may be worth you reading to help you with communicating with your son in a way he will listen to and without getting angry. I would recommend 'How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk' by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish and also 'Screamfree Parenting: The Revolutionary Approach to Raising Your Kids by Keeping Your Cool' by Hal Edward Runkel.

    There is a great link here by the gentle parenting doctor Laura Markham on Staying Connected to Your Teen. Research has showed that, in order to have a good relationship, we need to have at least 5 positive interactions for each negative interaction. Positive interactions can include a: smile, pat on the back, word of praise etc.

    It is important to keep fostering your relationship with your son even though you are finding his behaviour difficult at the moment. Praise the positive and ignore as much of the negative as it possible. At this age teenagers need to be allowed to express their independence but they do still need to know where the boundaries are. See if you can talk to your son about this; explain that you will make the boundaries as wide as possible (e.g. he can have the friends he wants to back to your house, he can choose what he wants for dinner on most days, he can have an allowance to spend as his wishes) but that he must still respect the boundaries (e.g. attending school and getting back at an agreed hour). If you can, talk about how his respecting this will allow you to trust him more and so lead to him having more independence. Try to involve and engage him in this conversation, problem solving how you can encourage him to attend school again etc, without 'laying down the law' which he will naturally want to rebel against.

    In his article on 8 Ways to Raise a Moral Child Dr Sears offers some interesting thoughts on parenting teens. He also covers the importance of staying connected to them, even through rebelling behaviour.

    I like this quote about how parenting teens is a whole new way of parenting but still stands on the principle of attachment.

    'As we well know, a hallmark of adolescence is resistance. Just as crying exercises a baby's lungs, resistance exercises adolescents' abstract reasoning skills...No longer able to physically contain or comfort them, our only hope is to stay in touch...rather than trying to prevail or curtail, we need only strive for connection itself.' Jennifer Marshall Lippincott

    I hope some of these links help you in your relationship with your son. Remember, you are not alone; most parents of teenagers have been there at some point.

    Warm wishes,
    Last edited by ljmarsden; 30th October 2013 at 06:17 AM.

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