i hate you... etc etc
Hi im new here...im raising a 13 year old boy which im finding extremly challenging. He tells me he hates me all the time, mostly after ive taken something off him for being really rude or constantly hassling me over something i have said no to.
I feel like if i say no to anything his constant remark is becoming.."I hate this house, i hate you all, im going to live somewhere else...i hate my life"
I feel like im losing it more with him lately and my patients is wearing out...i swore at him the other night after a long arguement and told him to just f$%@ off...i never react like this usually...id just had enough.
He lost his computor for his behaviour during the arguement and for continuing to go on after i had said no many many times...
now he wont talk to me and hates me and says that "how come you say things that are bad and nothing happens to you, you just go on my merry way with life and I have to miss out on the computor etc"
i apologized immediatly after what i said...but it doesnt seem to mean anything...i know i stuffed up and have now given him something to use against me which diverts it from being away from him...but i know i did the wrong thing too.
Im starting to feel like he really does hate me and that he really would rather live somewhere else.
anyway...thanks for listening
It sounds as if you have gotten caught up in a power and control contest with your kid where he draws you into crazy arguments about your decision making. Get the book YES YOUR TEEN IS CRAZY! out of the library and read it ASAP. I think it will answer your questions for you. In the meantime, stop using takeaways with your son. Those won't work with him. Ask for a truce in the "permission wars" and take him out for a coffee to say that you think that you make him really mad when you say no to things, but that there will be times where you must say no. Ask him how the two of you can get through those situations without world war three. At 13, he might be due for some increased autonomy (later curfew, and so on). Offer to extend his autonomy if he can offer increased responsibility in return (such as curbing his tongue when he's frustrated, or doing more to help out at home). And prior to each decision-making situation, ask him to see if you guys can work things out without a yelling contest.
If things don't improve see a counselor for some family work.
Good luck and let us know how this goes.
Dr. Mike Bradley
Thanks Mike...ive just read through the pdf of your book and feel a little more sain already! ...i think i will go buy it on monday! Im in Australia though so hopefully its in our book stores.
Can i ask a really dumb question...and maybe this will be answered in the book...but if we move away from taking away privaliges, which is what we've been told to do in other parenting books for raising children, what do i replace it with?
I mean i take on board the talking and going out for coffee and i agree i need to do more of that...but if ive asked him to do something or if i say its time to stop doing something and he refuses...what do i do?
are there still consequences for actions?
or is it something else now?
Ive tried for ages to get my son to go to counseling with me and he refuses, says he doenst have 'problems' but im still working on it and trying to shift his view of what counseling is...the school has tried also and he seems to have ways of getting out of it...for instance he says he wasnt told of his appointment til the day after ...not quit sure if thats quite how it happened anyway ill keep trying
Thanks again for your reply i think its started me on a new path...
First, the only "dumb" parenting question is the one you don't ask.
Set up your consequences so that they are rewards he fails to earn, and not takeaways. For example, he might earn his next day's computer use with today's chores.
The book will explain all of this in more detail, but the principle is to negotiate an agreement with him where when he makes bad decisions he lets himself down instead of having you taking away things that he loves, AND so that when he makes good decisions he earns even more privileges than he now has.
The goal is to make the target of his anger (for not earning a privilege) himself, and not you.
Dr. Mike Bradley