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This son will just defy me as soon as Dad leaves the house...

Dear Mr. Hutten:

I have read most of your book today. I am almost done, but am quite confused regarding my own personal situation. I know I sent you that long email, but please remember these facts, as they are much harder for me than you realize. I am not trying to say that no one knows what they are talking about, I want you to realize that I need exact instructions on how to deal with my son AT THE POINT WE HAVE REACHED. My husband is gone for days at a time, and my son and I have an very very estranged relationship. If I even asked him to do a chore, to tried to impose a curfew or told him no to anything, he knows he can hang over my head the act of busting up my house. He would just say "F_ _ _ _ you B _ _ _ _ _, make me", grab his keys and walk out, doing whatever he wants. He just literally stands there and says "No." How do I converse with someone like that? He scares me, has hit me once about 5 years ago, and is now 6'1" and a brown belt. (I should have never paid for that), he never learned dicipline there, they taught it, but he used it against me.

In short, since my husband is an airline pilot, I can fly for free. Would it pay for me to have a session with you? An appointment? Would you be able to meet with me, for a while, hear everything I have to say and give me some honest to goodness guidance and sound advice on exactly what to do? I have been dealing with this for 10 years and am on the brink of divorce over it and have 3 more kids to raise. What I am trying to say is that I hear your advice in your book, but for many of your situations (such as imposing chores, or setting guidlines), this son will just defy me as soon as Dad leaves the house. I am stripped of authority, how do I get it back? I know my husband must join forces, but even if he does, how do I enforce it when Dad goes away? Please let me know something more.

Thank you,



Hi A.,

First of all, please do not use this program in “crash-course” fashion. Parents make a huge mistake when they try to shoot for a quick fix by blasting through the printable version of the ebook in one afternoon and then try to implement change. This approach will be the kiss of failure. Simply do one session per week – and be sure to listen to all the audio.

Secondly, I understood from your first email what you particular dilemma is. You are basically parenting alone with a very angry son who has no respect for you. Since your husband is not there to back you up, you must seek some form of outside assistance. I think this should come in the form of juvenile probation if necessary. That’s right – juvenile probation.

Use the strategies as outlined in the eBook. If your son threatens you, destroys property, violates curfew, etc., you should go to your local probation department and file a complaint (whether you get your husband’s approval or not). Then you will get assistance from a probation officer.

Now I’m going to be a bit tough on you:

If you are one of those parents that wants to save her son from uncomfortable emotions associated with his poor choices …if you find the above recommendation to be unthinkable …if you choose to be held captive in that abusive environment with little support from your absent husband, then you are NOT working this program as it is intended. This is a serious matter. You will either make a stand as well as muster the courage to implement change, or you will find a host of reasons why this program will not work – it’s your choice.

Having said that, I trust that you will take things one-step at a time by fully digesting session #1 (and implementing session #1 assignments) this week – and nothing more. Save session #2 for next week. Also email me as needed for any clarification you may need.

Lastly, shift from focusing on all that’s going wrong and how you are being treated unfairly to focusing on how you can begin to take care of you.

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