Lost….

Lost….

Hi, I’m a 41-year-old mother of four kids.  My two oldest live in Upstate NY. With me are my two youngest who are 13 and 12 years old. My 12-year-old is at a stage where he talks back to me. He curses at me and hits my 13-year-old daughter. I’ve been basically a mother and father to both my younger children so I don’t know if all his anger has to do with his father not being in his life. I work a lot in order to provide all their needs so it’s not like he doesn’t have everything. In fact, I even took his Xbox away because all he wants to do is to be locked up in his room and play. I thought by taking that away he would straighten up a bit, but that hasn’t worked! I’m also a Christian and assist at church a lot thinking that would even help, but neither has that changed his attitude. I’m to the point where I’m ready to give up and send him to live with his dad, but I don’t want to make the same mistake I did with my oldest son. Can you please help me? I don’t know what else to do and who to turn to. Thank you!

CONSIDER THIS:

  • Not being able to control your kids can make you feel frustrated and ready to give up on them. You are a strong and caring mother for making an effort to discipline them the right way even though it must be difficult for you.
  • Kids need more than just material objects and the bare necessities to grow up to be healthy, happy adults. You may benefit from spending meaningful time with them doing activities they enjoy and from paying attention to their feelings more. Show them how you feel without irritating them because kids tend to shy away from grown-up emotions.
  • You can spend time thinking about their feelings. Try to understand how your kids feel by thinking about what it’s like to be them. Read books and articles about psychology if you’d like. You can also see a family therapist. If you do this make sure you all are open and honest, otherwise there will be resentment.
  • Since your son is disrespectful to you in some ways he may feel misunderstood as teenagers normally do. You can try approaching him in a nonjudgmental way and tell him you’ve been making a genuine effort to figure out how to get along with him and his sister. You may also want to ask him how he feels about not having his father around. He may need to see a therapist to learn to cope with this.
  • You’re right to be bothered by the fact that your son hits your daughter and does other unpleasant things. Teach him to respect his sister so he can grow up to be a good man and respect women.
  • By never giving up on learning how to take care of your children the right way you’ll be highly likely to get along with them in the future. If you don’t make the effort you’re making now they may grow to resent you for not caring enough about them. You’re smart to care now because many parents don’t.
  • You can find ways to commit to helping yourself and your children. For example, you may enjoy writing about it in a daily journal.
  • In order to prevent yourself from making the same mistake with your younger son as you did with the oldest one, you need to change your behavior. If you can’t figure out the situation always remember to do the right thing.
  • Your son may want to visit the Teen Central website himself to read about any problems he may have.
  • Sometimes technology can have negative effects on kids’ attitudes and overall health. You can try teaching your kids better habits by having them read books, volunteer or join a group sport for fun among other activities.

HELP YOURSELF:

  • If you keep growing as a parent in what ways could your positivity affect your children and yourself?
  • How much might it bother you later on if you don’t grow as a parent?
  • In what ways could you be a good example to your children if you continue on your journey to becoming a better parent?