View Full Version : perfect kid rebelling
I've got a 16 year old, doing great, in 11th grade. He's at top of his class, very good piano player, went abroad on a foreign exchange program this past summer on a scholarship, almost an eagle scout. We're starting to have problems getting him to study, to practice his piano, In short, he's a teen. for example, we give him the car yesterday afternoon with the agreement he'll study and practice when he gets home. When he does, the practicing is blown off. He's conned us! He's hooked up with kids who aren't getting into trouble yet, but who are bad role models. He had a bad 6th grade when we moved into a new school district and he doesn't want to associate with kids from his old middle school. He's with skateboarders and I firmly believe others are shunning him due to him hangiing out with these kids (the kid he eats lunch with is a 10th grader)
How do we use reinforcement to get him to develop new friendships?
And how do we deal with his old 6th grade issues that appear to be interfering with his connecting.
09-27-2004, 07:21 PM
Wow! Sounds like you guys have done very well in the teen parenting game. But your luck has to change a bit sometime, and this might be it; however, that's not such a bad thing if you handle it right.
It sounds as if your son has responded wonderfully to your hopes and expectations for him. At some point, though, it would be normal (and actually healthy) for him to start to buck a bit at these expectations. The key is to keep chatting with him and negotiating these issues. For example, are his behaviors signs that he's burning out a bit and/or tiring of the piano? If so, consider negotiating a hiatus from music in exchange for more responsible behavior.
The friends issue certainly bears looking into. He's been carrying that bad 6th grade experience for a long time. Might he have been "hiding out" in all those great achievements as a way of avoiding resolving that old peer conflict? Maybe a few trips to the counselor could help him to take a look at this. But don't jump in and order him around. He might use pressure from parents as an excuse to rebel further and move more towards the folks you dislike. Use the book "Teen Speak" rules to softly offer him your concerns about his choice of friends.
You've got a wonderful son there. Move carefully so that you never endanger your connection with him. Music or Scouting honors do little for kids who have lost their closeness to their parents.
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