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He has tried everything in the book...

Hi Mark,

Wondering if you can advise me if what is happening in our house is in the realm of normal with the out of control teen.

We are into the 3rd week and are using the anger control etc. He was grounded last week and came off it on Sunday. Monday morning arrived and by 8.00am he was grounded again for refusing to get in the car to go to school with other contributing factors as well. He was furious! This afternoon he has been highly defiant, the annoying he loves to do towards us has intensified with threats to go along with it. I guess he feels he is not winning and is pulling out all the stops. My husband and I have remained calm throughout!! - amazing -when we are tried to our limits and beyond! He has remarked that the grounding is too harsh, etc etc.

He has tried everything in the book and now refuses to do his homework. I told him that was fine it was up to him if he wanted to fail. He said he can't see why we are treating him like this. I replied that it is his choice if he wants to be grounded - he can decide when he doesn't want to be grounded any more. Is there anything I should be doing differently or are we on the right track.

Thanks for your help (HELP!) From a desperate mother!



Hi J.,

I think you are greatly on track. I’m not sure how long he was grounded last week – or this most recent time.

Just bear in mind that we want to start with the least restrictive consequence first. For example, grounding for one evening with no iPod. If he refuses to accept the least restrictive consequence, then you boost the consequence to 3 days with NO privileges.

Don’t pull out your big guns too soon. Start small …let him decide to choose the small consequence or a larger one.


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