Struggling with my teenage son

by Leah
(Moncton NB, Canada)

Hi Sara,
I just had a particularly traumatic morning with my teenage son. He had decided he was not going to school and I of course said that yes he was. He then refused to get dressed and I literally had to drag him into the car. I don't have family support and his father is not involved which I also feel he is angry about. This last year has been an overwhelming struggle for me as he has become more and more distant and rebellious. I also have a three yr old daughter that I am raising on my own and I fear sometimes our arguing between me and her 13 yr old brother will affect her. I pray that things will get better. I guess I am feeling very alone in this struggle and am looking for any advice inspiration that may help.

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Boys... NEW
by: Ask Sara...

Wow! Bless your heart! You are doing the right things, but I am sure it's killing you. I had the similar son challenges.

See if you can get the truant officer to help you proactively. Especially if it's a male. What about a guidance counselor or a principal? Sometimes kids need to know that the expectations are universal, and not just something mom is making up.

When my son missed the bus he had to go to bed 15 early, and get up 15 minutes early for every time. So...back to back morning problems would result in a 30 minutes earlier time to bed and then 30 minutes up earlier in the morning because clearly he needed the extra time. He could earn a return to regular by getting his butt in gear. Find an approach that works for you...and enforce it.

I was also concerned about the arguing and the impact on my daughters. During calm times, discuss it with your son. Is this what he wants to teach his sister relationships are like? Is this what he wants her to think is a normal interaction with a boy? Appeal to his "big brother" side, and his role model aspirations.

Check out my teen pages and my blog articles are similar topics. Hang in there...you're doing it right!

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