My 11 year old son is out of control

by Carisa

I'm a single mom with two kids. My son will be 12 in December and his behavior is out of control. He is already so far behind in school because he refuses to do his work. When he gets home from school he leaves and goes to the skatepark.

Today he said he wasn't at the skatepark when I was telling him he should have been home doing his homework instead at the skatepark. When I asked him where he was, he told me it was personal and refused to tell me. A few days ago he told me not to worry about him and that I didn't need to always know where he was. This is just a small part of the issues.

He is getting violent with my 15 year old daughter and actually hit me back when I spanked him the other day. He's been in therapy, didn't work. He's been on medication, made it worse. What do I do? I feel like my only option is residential therapy and it makes me sad.

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11 Year Old Gone Rogue
by: Ask Sara


I am so sorry you are having difficulty! I went through this exact problem with my son. It is stressful, worrisome, frustrating, and maddening!

I don't have enough information to give you a solid plan, but I can give you some points to evaluate.

First, you need to make sure that your son is just at the skatepark. Do your best to rule out drugs, gangs, or any other form of mischief. The fact that he doesn't really want you to know where he is raises a flag.

Spanking is no longer going to work. He needs a system of rewards and punishments such that he has a little control, but the expectations are clear. At 11, he should still qualify for a formal after school program. At eleven, he should still qualify for a daycare program. She what exists in your community, or what clubs/sports are available after school.

Why did counseling not work? If he didn't connect with his counselor, consider trying another one.

Is there a man in your son's life who can speak with him. A friend, older, responsible teen, coach, teacher? He may accept his responsibilities better if they come from a fellow male.

Enlist the help of the school. A team approach is definitely necessary for success.

I actually spoke to the local police department and to a judge. Both had some great insights and suggestions. Consider giving it a try.

I am working on a new program, it will probably be called, Are Your Kids Driving You Nuts? I will be doing a free call in the week or so. Sign up for my mailing list by selecting one of my free gifts. And/or, shoot me an email at With a little more information, I'll give you at least one strategy you can implement.

Here's the silver lining. My son is now 26. He works full-time, he's in school, and he's a great dad to his 2 year old son. As he looks back he tells me that he should have done his homework, and he has no idea why he didn't. Rest assured you aren't missing some obvious magic bullet, and it is highly likely your son will turn out just fine. Getting through this very challenging period will be key.

Good luck!!

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