Hi Jo and everyone,

First I would like to thank you Jo for your show. It works wonders with my girls, they even watch it with me sometimes. The problem I have is with my (step)son. I have raised him since he was three and in my mind, he is my son. At the moment there is no respect towards me, and sometimes to his mom as well. This seems to have been going on for a couple of years, but it is getting worse.

I have been told that it is a phase and that he will grow out of it, but I cant wait until he is twenty to realize that the boundaries we are trying to place on him are for his own good. For the most part, I believe him to be a good kid, he doesn't drink or do drugs, but when he is at home he takes pleasure in disrupting the family. We have tried numerous things to bring him in line, but he doesn't lift a finger around the house to help when he is there, he refuses to keep his room clean (probably the same for all teens), doesn't listen to simple things, like not eating after a certain hour. We have gone so far as to put a lock on the pantry but he breaks into it with butter knives, when we had a padlock on it he would continually pull on the door until it came out of the door frame.

I try hard to keep my cool, but sometimes it does come down to a shoving match. I just don't know what to do as it is putting a strain on my marriage and I am afraid his sisters are going to follow suit as monkey see, monkey do?
Any help is appreciated.

Hi,

Raising teenagers is about clear lines of communications and respect. To appreciate that, remember your kids are not full-fledged adults, however they aren't nine years old either. But, we both know that becoming physical in a shoving match will not resolve it, rather it will hinder the relationship you have with him. Boundaries constantly need to be changed and if it has been a while, as he is now older and may be feeling some constraint, now maybe a good time to reevaluate.

As far as I see it, it's a give and take situation. You trust him and you give him more responsibilities and he takes the initiative to prove that he can act like a mature teenager. Breaking padlocks off of pantry doors isn't acceptable adult behaviour, but putting locks on them isn't really the answer either.

This is what he needs to know: you will enforce consequences if he disrespects his home; you will follow through without losing control; you will give him the opportunity to choose the day that he will respectfully clean his room and you will allow him to voice his opinions (even if you don't like what he has to say) in an amicable way.

If you listen and compromise (your wife and his mother need to be on-board as well) even when he gets a little bit cocky and thinks he can throw his weight around as this is to be expected, but how you deal with it needs to be unpredictable as your son knows exactly how you will act. So change it up so that he has no choice but to change as well.

Best wishes,
xJo

Share this:

More in this category: Teaching Values » Exaggerating » Tantrums » Selective Hearing » Aggression » Are We There Yet? » Terrorism – How to Talk to Our Children About It » Encourage Reading » Keeping in Touch When Away » Discipline » Winding Down Tips Before Bed Time » Stepmom Struggles (Fake Cry) » Stalling Over Mealtimes » Child Anxiety » Sleep Transition » Work and Home Balance » Peek-a-Boo » Let’s Talk About Sex » Confidence for Pre-School » BACK TO SCHOOL » Encouraging Children to Come Out of Their Shells » Spring has Sprung — Let’s Get Active! » Meet the New SAHM: the Work-From-Home Parent » Kids Talk About Love » Turning Winter Blues into Sunshine for the Children » Spending Holiday Time with Family » Change the World, Give Back » Zero Tolerance Bullying » The 10 Dos and Don’ts of Back-to-School » For Playdates & Parties, Don’t be a Helicopter Parent » Disciplining Other People’s Children » Making the Most of Your Summer with the Kids… » Children and Accountability » Settling In Nicely » One With Nature » Valentine’s Day » Charging Into 2015 » 10 Holiday Questions (and Answers!) » Practicing Gratitude » Balance On the Work and Home Seesaw » And So To Bed… » Ready for Nursery » A Time of First Milestones » Eating Habits » HAPPY FATHER’S DAY! » When is YOUR Child Considered Potty Trained? » Child Abuse Prevention Month » Excerpt from Jo Frost’s Toddler Rules » With Love » The Art of Being » Holidays on a Budget » Dealing with Life Transitions » Halloween Crafts » Who Needs Sleep? Everyone! » How Much Attention Should We Give Our Kids? » Young Girls and Self-Esteem » Anxiety, Depression and Teens » A Personal Note About Food Allergies » Gay Parenting » Eating Out with Kids » Flu Season » Plan of Action » Baby, It’s [Getting] Cold Outside » Encouraging Your Child’s Social Skills » Medical Alert » Planes, Trains, And Automobiles: Travel Tips for Children of All Ages » Father’s Day Activities » A Mother’s Day for YOU » Limiting Your Child’s Screen/Tech Time » Letting Go: Mother, Not Smother » Getting Sexy Back After Baby » Introducing A Babysitter » Jo’s Tips For Being Penny-Wise This Holiday Season » Adoption Month » The Importance of Sleep » Parenting Solo » Stay Cool » Household Chores » Jo Frost’s Confident Toddler Care Book Excerpt » How Do I Play? » Jo’s April Editorial » Jo’s Editorial » When Technology Is Ok » Do You Know What Your Children Are Reading? » Calling All New (or soon-to-be) Moms & Dads! » Jo’s Three Nursery Golden Rules » “We Never Have Sex Anymore!” » How your child behaves is your responsibility » How to deal with your Toddler » My son has a problem in the toilet » My 15 month old son will not sleep » My 4 year child is telling me “I hate you” » Work with your baby’s body clock » Starting fresh for the New Year » Twelve Thoughts for Christmas » Naughty chair/spot correct way? » A New Mom To Be » Baby waking too often » How much sleep does she need » Pick me up! » DESPERATE for help!!! » Three year old daughter won’t let others help » How to get my five year old son to stay dry all night long » How to explain death » No more nappies?!!! » Need to Pack On The Pounds.. » Getting my 2 1/2 year old in his car seat » guilt trip or more serious? » My 12 month old doesn’t like to nap in daytime » Time Out Follow-up » Tummy time! » How do I best help my 18 month old to STTN? » My son won’t use cutlery » 6 year old Reader » Getting my 2 1/2 year old in his car seat » Child won’t drink from sippy cup or cup… » 3 1/2 month old’s sleeping difficulties » Ouch!! » Transition to a new room » Fear of bed time » 10 months – too young to sleep through? » Is it too early for reins? » 3 year old and new puppy » Toddler forcing himself to vomit » Potty Training » I’m a nanny and need help!!! » Help getting my 18 month old to talk » How do I know when to start weaning?? » 3 1/2 yr old daughter wont stop SCREAMING!!!! » Naughty Step Becomes a Game » TEEN IN DESPRATE NEED OF JO’S HELP!!!! » Please Help! » Daily Routine » STUDY HABITS » Paci still a problem » 4 1/2 month old: Should he be eating? » Three-year-old son sleeps only in our bed »
Read previous post:
Summertime … and the livin’ is easy

By now, your kids are probably out of school and headed off to day camp, sleep-away camp, making plans with...

Close