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My 16 year old son never wants to go to get his haircut...

-->Mark, I have watched the on-line course and have been following all of your instructions. My 16 year old son never wants to go to get his haircut. I usually let it go, but has been months since the last time it was cut and at that time it wasn’t cut short because he was having a fit about it. Today I told him (with my poker face) that I was taking him to get his hair cut and he said no he wasn’t. I told him that if he chose to ignored my request, that he would choose the consequence of grounding and losing his cell phone for 24 hours. He refused to give me the cell phone. I told him that he was still grounded and that the 24 hours didn’t start until he gave me the phone. He said he wasn’t giving me the phone and then said that he was going out to his friend’s house because he has all summer to be grounded. I told him if he refused to ignore my request for the 24 hour grounding and no cell phone that he would choose to be grounded for 3 days without anything. He walked out the door. My in-laws pay for his cell phone. I called them and told them to cancel the service for the time being. My question is, was that a good thing to do, or should I have waited until he comes home tonight (if he comes home) and let him give me the phone? He is very dependent on that phone to keep in contact with all his friends.
Thanks for all your help up to this point.

Hi V.,

Re: My question is, was that a good thing to do, or should I have waited until he comes home tonight (if he comes home) and let him give me the phone?

I think you handled this situation just fine, however...

Some parent-child issues fall into the "pick-your-battles-carefully" category. Those would include:
  • piercings
  • clothes
  • haircuts
  • messy rooms
  • etc.
I'm guessing you have bigger fish to fry than worrying about haircuts (although I'm sure the issue is an important one for you). Many unwanted behaviors, including some that disturb parents, tend to drop out on their own, especially if you don't overreact to them and reinforce them with a great deal of excited attention.

I'm not saying that you absolutely should not fight this haircut battle -- but you may want to consider saving your strength for the more important issues.

Also, please refer to the following post in the Q & A blog on When to Ignore Child Behavior.


1 comment:

jfstiltz said...

I recently had as imialr experiwnce with my 16 year old son. He refused to give me the phone walked out the door and said he wasn't staying in my house with my rules. I called the police and had him picked up as a runaway. The police officer brought him home and sat him down and gave him quite a talking to. He had him hand me his phone, told him he would obey the rules of the house and was legally expected to listen to his mother. He was also told if he was picked up again he would be taken to juvenille hall where there were some real thugs and then he'd really appreicate the great life he had. I was apprehensive about calling at first, but it turned out to be a great decision.

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.

Click here for the full article...


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