Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Oppositional Defiant Disorder and ADHD

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Out-of-Control 14-Year-Old

Hi Mark

I need help...

My son is 14 and I am finding it extremely difficult to live with him...a lot of the time he is disrespectful and rude, he has told me in the past that he can do what he wants and a lot of the time he does...When he is getting something or things are going his way he is nice as pie but if not... who knows??? We do have some good times, but it feels like most of the time there are problems...When he was on a curfew he was home a lot in the evenings we enjoyed cooking together and sometimes he helps around the house especially if he wants money.

He has stolen money from me, stolen bottles of alcohol, he has been taken to the hospital twice for being inebriated. He has been out for days an end without letting me know where he is...He even stole my car one night... One time along time ago he pulled a knife on me, he has smashed in our front door...he has scratched graffiti into lots of doors windows, etc... around our apartment. He has torn up photos of my husband and I and personal photos of my husbands.... and it goes on and on...

Is it wrong to ask him to leave home at 14? Part of me wishes he would go to live somewhere else and then I feel sorry for him as I am all is has... sometimes I want to run away from home....He has been to the refuge a couple of times.

It is Sunday night and he has just come home for the first time since Friday morning. I reported him missing to the police & the Department of Community Services on Saturday morning. I have taken his new shoes away and there will be no TV, Telephone or Computer for 3 days...

I find it difficult to know what to do re: discipline as I would like to say no money for 3 days but then what does he eat for lunch? And how does he get to school? I recently bought him a bike and he has been riding it to school, is it appropriate to take this off him as well during this grounding?

Only 10 days ago he was out late in the night against my wishes …he was followed and sexually assaulted by a man...we reported this incident to the police, etc...This doesn't seem to have affected him as far as going out is concerned.

In the last year he has had over 100 incidents with the police. He is currently on a suspended sentence and probation for some recent charges of malicious damage and breaking into a car, etc....As I am sure you can imagine it causes a lot of tension in the home, my husband who is not his father he gets angry with me because he thinks I am too soft...My son tells me he doesn't want my husband to have anything to do with him, he says he is not his family...they have had problems with aggression and fighting in the past...I want peace and harmony in our home...

An example that happened this evening is my son arrived home as I mentioned earlier I asked him to come into the kitchen to talk to me he said no you come here...I asked him again he said the same thing...My husband got angry with me because he said I need to pull my son into line. I understand were my husband is coming from but when he gets angry with me it just causes more friction and it's too much...

My son's relationship with his biological father is fraught and conflictual. We don't have any other family in the same state...

Please help...



Hi S.,

Your husband is clearly sending you the proper message. I’m going to be a bit tough on you here, so please do not get upset with me. To cut to the chase: You’ve obviously spoiled your son rotten – and now you’re paying the price. But it’s not too late.

Please go through the Online Version of the eBook – and listen to ALL the audio (if you’ve already gone through it once, then do it again, because the eBook has most of the solutions to the numerous problems you’ve listed in your email). Do session #1 this week (along with session #1 assignments), do session 2 next week, and so on.

Re: your husband’s involvement. I’m going to be tough on him now: You, S., have to be the sole disciplinarian. Your husband needs to (a) stay out of your way and (b) keep his mouth shut. He’s not helping matters - in fact - he’s making a bad problem worse (I’m sure he would agree). If you will toughen up a bit, then he will not feel as frustrated, helpless and angry about the whole situation.

Bottom line: I’m on the same page with your husband here. You must get serious with these strategies or you may end up losing more than you son.

Mark Hutten, M.A.

My Out Of Control Teen: Help for Parents


Unknown said...

Agree with the above. Ive always been a strict and consistant single parent and my 14 yr old son is disrespectful and defiant. He has adhd and they now say ODD. I have had parent specialists, peer specialists, AFY, therapists in my home daily for almost a year and whenever it is just My son and I he is verbally abusive. He lives to intimidate me and does sometimes push me. I have tried every tactic possible and not one has worked with this child. Iam ftightened and they will not remove him fr my home. He doesnt do drugs and he goes to school (failing everything because he refuses to do his work/homework) so he's not bad enough to be removed. When i call the cops they lecture him and when they leave i get verbally assaulted. I hate my child

Jodie Sark said...

My 14 year old son verbally abuses me along with everyone else in the house on a daily basis , he is really a good kid the school br!GSM how good he is he don't get in trouble they actually told me that he is very popular in school , he has a learning disability and has always had a hard time in school , but with the school and I working hand in hand we got that figure out , he curses at everyone about everything if it gets too loud he gets mad and lashes out , him and his 19 year old sister are constantly going at it the two of them have filthy mouths , and it doesn't help much when I have a 10 year old son and a 4 year old daughter that have to listen to all of this garbage daily , him and his brother get physical with each other and I always have to get in the middle and hope that I don't get punched by one of them ..... I'm so lost and don't know what to do I have tried in so many ways to make them all happy and I just feel like it's a lost cause .... HELP PLEASE.

Unknown said...

my 14 year old is out of control, l found out he smokes marihuana,he's grades are falling, he Skips school, is rude to me has destroyed he's room 3 times. l try talking to him but it doesn't work l want to do things with him he doesn't want to .taking he's phone away doesn't work anymore. l have him in therapy any suggestions what else l can tr

Aliya R said...

Oh my god. I feel for us all. It is so terrible that u ladies have been reduced to such levels, that we as mothers never fathomed possible. This is crazy, and I am in the same boat. I have no idea how i got here, or why. Sending all the best of thoughts and wishes and prayers. I was really hoping to read at least one comment where things are getting better or at least a real resolution, although it seems hopeless, as we all realize these boys are CHOOSING to behave this way, and if they have the choice as to whether they would like to be our sweet boys whom we feel we've lost so long ago, or the mutants to which they have transformed, then i doubt any "resolution" or process is likely to help, since it seems ours are missing that vital area in the psyche which we refer to as a "conscience"... if any of them possessed one, none of us would hv found our way here... Im really hoping we will all look back on these days, and just be able to chuckle, having endured the impossible, and lived to see our boys grow in to the men we always dreamt and beleived they were... hey, i can dream right? The secret!! Lets just beleive it, see it, and speak it in to existence!! Lol, if only..! Hopefully ive brightened ur day, if only for a smidgen of a second☺. Chin up ladies.. we got this.... we endured labor damnit! Ive decided im going to give him a taste if his own meds... he wants to get "gangsta" on me!?? Time for me to take myself back in time, and drudge up that bitch i thought i put to sleep, from my late teens, when i had something to prove to the world!! I can be JUST AS HOOD, lets do this!!!!!

GDOBSSOR R said...

You obviously never disciplined him as a kid. His complete lack of boundaries and failure to understand the word 'no' goes beyond normal teenage attitude and limit testing. He's out of control and dangerous.

You're still worried about discipline that'll work. You worry about him going without lunch if you don't give him money. NEWSFLASH: He can make his own lunch, put it in a lunch box and take it to school. It's not hard. Buying a canteen lunch is a privilege, not a right. Second newsflash: If he's stealing from you to get alcohol, the money's obviously not going where it ought to be. You're enabling him.

As for moving out at 14: In New Zealand, you can move out at 14 with parental consent or 16 without. But, the parents are still responsible until age 18. So, if he gets into trouble, you could be answerable. I would personally stop being scared of him hating you and get tough. Curfew, three to seven day groundings with everything taken away, if he leaves the house without permission, call the cops. If he steals your car or money or alcohol, call the cops. File incorrigibility charges if you have to. If he hits you, call the cops and file domestic violence charges. Don't give him access to things like the liquor cabinet, car keys or purse. Support the cops if he gets into trouble with friends. Let their parents know. It's really harsh, but your son needs a serious wake up call.

GDOBSSOR R said...

Ignore the rudeness. If he destroys his room, tell him he can fix it or live in filth. Call the cops if you catch him with cannabis, alcohol etc. If he skips school, find out where he is and either call the cops or the local truancy officer. I would also get together with other parents in town and press local businesses to adopt a policy of not allowing school children during school hours, and if they see any, calling the police or truancy officer.

GDOBSSOR R said...

Get him assessed for autism. A lot of that is normal teenage attitude but I'd be worried about him hurting the ten year old.

Anonymous said...

You are not alone. I feel this very same way about my son. God i feel like i wrote this and i am so sad that i feel a bit better knowing im not the only one dealing with this. So maybe you will feel better knowing also. I hope it gets better for you. Im praying for both of us.


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