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"You said things will get worse, and they have..."

---Hi M.… please look for my comments throughout your email below:

Thank you for your previous email. I know you said things will get worse, and they have and I am not sure where we should go now… Our son is 17 years old and has just recently had more behavioral issues….we have had them all along but now they are getting more out of control and it is starting to have more of an impact on the entire family.

We have been working on assignments 1 and 2 and things were good for a while until yesterday. House rule is he is not allowed to sleep over at his girlfriend’s house and curfew is at 11pm. He went to an 18 and under club and was suppose to come home after (we knew it might be later than his curfew) instead went to his girlfriend’s house and when we called at 12:30 am her dad said he was asleep. My husband went over to get him to come home when things got bad and my husband threatened to call the police. Her dad intervened and our son left reluctantly.

Situation worsened at home and he won’t let us even say anything to him…even after a suggested time out on our part. We did not yell or raise our voice and we used a poker face but he won’t even look at us. How do you get your child to let you get a word in ... he just keeps talking and yelling…we get “shut up, I’m not talking to you…I don’t care and I hate you… I’ll walk out and you will never see me again…”

---Actually your son was right, you should have shut up (no offense). What I mean is, he knows what the rules are, and he knows he violated a house rule. There is nothing that needed to be said …and nothing that should have been said. When these situations arise, do not do any of the following:

  1. Explain your decision
  2. Defend your position
  3. Attempt to “reason with” your son
  4. Lecture (e.g., trying to “get a word in”)
  5. Argue
  6. Display any emotion whatsoever (e.g., anger, frustration, irritation, worry, concern, fear, etc.)
  7. Fall for the accompanying manipulation strategies that your son is likely to employ

…if we tell him a consequence is that he will not get his cell phone then he says “Oh well, you will never here from me again”.


Do we tell him that is his choice?


Now I can’t even get the consequences in? Does he have to acknowledge that he heard the consequence?


How can we change house rules at this point…he left already this morning 5am to go to her house and said he would be back at 11pm. Those were the past house rules…do we impose a discipline anyway? When do you involve the police? Please let me know what you suggest I can’t live like this and I don’t want to push him out the door but I guess that would be his choice? Thank you for your time.

---I can see that your son successfully accomplished the goal of getting you to chase your tail.

Please refer to the strategy entitled “When You Want Something From Your Kid” [Anger Management Chapter – Online Version of the eBook]. This is the technique you’ll need to use in the future. If you need any clarification on this technique, do not hesitate to email me again.

In a nutshell: State the house rule and the consequence for violating the house rule. Then let him make the mistake of violating the rule. Then implement the consequence.

Hang in there. I think you are beginning to see a bit of success, even though it’s not traceable at the moment.


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