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He has become desperate when he wants to do something and does not have access to a car or cell phone...

Hi S.,

== > I’ve responded throughout your email.

Dear Mark

First off, thank-you for your ongoing support. In reading the letters you get from parents, it is amazing to me that you respond to each individual question. It is clear that you really believe in what you are doing.

You told me to toughen up lately and I have…believe me.

Our situation is that our son has had his car taken away due to skipping classes at school and most recently his cell phone was canceled, as we currently pay for it and his bills have doubled the last few months. He has become desperate when he wants to do something and does not have access to a car or cell phone. (You know, the Boredom thing). He does not have a job so has to do chores for money and that is a struggle.

Question: How do I respond to my son when I tell him no to making an exception to a consequence and he calls me a dumb bitch, and “am I not embarrassed to be the stupidest person alive” ect.......? I currently put on my poker face and tell him that he does not need to speak to me this way, however, this does not stop him from doing this on a daily basis. Is there a better way for me to handle this? He always apologizes after and says he doesn’t mean it, but the behavior continues.

== > Please refer to the strategy entitled “When You Want Something From Your Kid” (in this case, to stop calling you a “dumb bitch”), which is located in the Anger Management Chapter (online version of the eBook).

Question: I know it is not healthy to resent him, and I don’t, however, when he yells profanity at me and then ten minutes later, asks what I am doing today as if nothing happened, how would you suggest I respond? I am confused to the message I should be sending.

==> His yelling, profanity and name-calling need a consequence. Refer to the strategy listed above.

Question: He is constantly telling me his friends do not have things taken away and that he is the laughing stock of the school as he has had his car and cell phone taken away. Of course, I know that he is aware of the consequences for his actions as we have a contract with him. I am sure he does not tell his friends the full story. How do I respond to his comparison to friends and other families without nagging or repeating myself?

== > I wouldn’t respond at all. I could be wrong here, but I’m getting the impression (given your questions) that your son is continuing to successfully push your buttons / get a reaction out of you / get you to engage in “debate” / get your intensity. Simply issue the consequence, then put on your poker face and either ignore him – or take a time out from him in some shape, form or fashion.


My Out-of-Control Teen

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