RE: "I’ve had a huge row with my son this Morning..."

Hi T.,

I’ve responded to your email “point-by-point” below.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Please look for these arrows:

I’ve had a huge row with my son this Morning over nothing really. Anyway although I don’t have any concerns over his behaviour outside of home, he's become increasingly idle. Once he reached 16 he was told he had to stand on his own two feet and get a job and that pocket money would finish when he finished school.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>It sounds as though he is somewhat resistant to “standing on his own two feet.” Is there an adult male (who you know very well) that could be a mentor to your son – someone who would volunteer to have a one-on-one relationship with him and help him to appreciate who he is while developing the skills he needs to succeed in the work place?

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> A mentoring relationship will help your son develop work ethics and responsibility, improve self-esteem and attitudes towards school, improve relationships with peers and family members and increase communication skills. This is crucial, especially at an age where children are developing relationships with those outside of their family.

He's done nothing about getting a job, doesn't appear that bothered about not having money, and if you try to talk to him, we get told to shut up. He won’t do jobs around the house and gets verbally abusive to his younger sister, who we are waiting for a diagnosis for ADHD.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>You’ve listed 2 problems here: (1) lack of motivation to (a) seek employment and (b) help with household chores, and (2) disrespect (i.e., telling you to “shut up,” and verbal abuse toward sibling).

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Regarding “lack of motivation” – I believe a relationship with a mentor (preferably a non-family member) would be of great benefit here.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Regarding “disrespect” - You cannot control your son, but you can control the things he enjoys such as telephones, television, toys, games, freedom for activities, junk food, toiletries, favorite cloths, bedroom doors, bedroom furniture, etc. While he may not be willing to work for the things you want, he will usually work for the things he wants. By controlling the things he wants, you can motivate him to change unwanted behaviors. The strategy for this is discussed in the section of the ebook entitled, “What To Do When You Want Something From Your Kid.”

As soon as our back is turned, he has friends in and we end up with the mess to clear up. His room is disgusting, and he tends to leave most of the pots he uses in there till we run out and have to collect them out.

I've tried reasoning with him, and when he wants something, we can get him to conform (that usually only lasts till he's got what he wants). I've told him in the past “no mates will be allowed in” until be behaves, and that if his attitude doesn't change he'd have to find somewhere else to live. None of what I say to him seems to make a difference, and it’s starting to get me down.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Please refer to the chapter of the ebook entitled “Anger Management” for solutions to this one.

I know this is probably a mild problem compared to most, but what can you suggest we do other than pack his bags for him. ~ T.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Please let me know how things continue to go.

Mark Hutten, M.A.


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