== > I’ve responded throughout your email below:
I have 3 questions now with one being the most pressing. That is, do you see my son is going to accept the discipline based on the information I provided?
== > Strong-willed, out-of-control children will rehabilitate themselves when they are ready, and not a minute sooner. They will change their behavior when – and only when – they choose to. The job of parents is not to get children to obey. It is to simply teach them that responsible behavior results in one sort of consequence while irresponsible behavior results in quite another. Oppositional, defiant kids refuse to accept this fundamental reality until they are forced to experience a significant degree of discomfort related to their poor choices. Discomfort comes from parents’ implementation of tough love – and unfortunately, tough love is often tougher on the parent than the child, especially if the parent has adopted an over-indulgent parenting style over the years.
Last night he acted out badly insulting, harassing, shouting at me for a half hour to force me to give him the internet to print math materials or he would not go to school today. I did not accept his reason. I re-stated my 3-day grounding discipline to him.
Please just allow me to show you what we communicated and see how you think of our situation is --very bad, have hope and out of tunnel soon?
In the evening he wrote:
"First things first, you have the phone cord. I plugged in a clock phone with that wire Friday night so wherever you put the phone is where the cord is.
Secondly, it's funny how you're still trying to ground me and powertrip by removing all means of contact from the house. That surely is the way to rekindle a relationship during the final stretch I'm here. Plus, do you really expect me to go along with it? I'm an adult, I think for myself so you're going nowhere besides backwards. Did you ever even consider how I'll do my math + english without daily internet access? Guess not. Keep trying to impose rules on me, before you know it I'm gone and regret will be on both sides. And it's not like they've worked on me, even if I don't contact my friends I'd rather walk the streets than be here."
I wrote back:
"You convinced me very clearly. I found the cord. It was my mistake and I apologize.
It is your choice to walk the streets because I can not tie you down at home. But I want to tell you that nobody would love you more than I do in the world. So, I hope that you choose to make better choices.
You will have the phones and internet back as long as you choose to accept the 3-day discipline and stay in the house the entire time. Let's say it starts 7 pm this evening. You will be ungrounded at 7 pm Wednesday if you com home straight from the school and stay in the house.
Also, next time you choose to violate the cell phone use and prevent me from reaching you, you will choose a 7-day grounding with phones and internet revoked.
You are legally an adult now, so I expect more that you choose to accept responsibilities for your choices. The house rules do not disappear, and there are more rules on your way in your life ahead such as rules from a landlord, roommates and employers. You will choose to improve and do better with your life if you choose to take responsibilities for rules."
== > Great Job! I couldn’t have said it better.
He then acted out badly. He went out 9:30 to get his math printed and said it was my fault that he had to break the grounding. On the way out he said something like: I can see that you are a little apprehensive. Don't worry, I am harmless, I won't harm you, you are my mother. Did he really mean this or would he do the opposite of this one day? He returned home before 12.
== > Of course he acted badly then. He gave you HIS best power trip (I see he is a very good at feeding you eloquent lines of bullshit), but you didn’t cave. GOOD FOR YOU.
== > Keep working the program - I think you are over a very important "hump" now.
The Strong-Willed Out-of-Control Teen
The standard disciplinary techniques that are recommended for “typical” teenagers do not take into account the many issues facing teens with serious behavioral problems. Disrespect, anger, violent rages, self-injury, running away from home, school failure, hanging-out with the wrong crowd, drug abuse, theft, and legal problems are just some of the behaviors that parents of defiant teens will have to learn to control.
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