Dear Mr. Hutten:
I cannot tell you how excited I am to begin implementing your parenting techniques. I just ordered the Online book, and have read up to page 30 (end of Session #1).
I have to admit, it was nice to read that I am not alone in this "battle" with my son. He just turned 15 last month, but his attitude and demeanor started to change in February/March, when he met his girlfriend... His grades started dropping (he had been an A/B student until this point). He failed a semester of Spanish, then a semester of Biology; didn't care about anyone else, has ONLY cared about himself, but yet, he cannot accept responsibility for himself. Like you stated, he blames EVERYONE else for his actions. So, yes, everything I have read so far, I can truly relate to.
My son is in counseling. I wonder now if that is where he needs to be. His father and I are divorced (have been for 10 years - I remarried 3 1/2 years ago). My son has issues at his dad's, with his dad's girlfriend. Dad likes to take the girlfriend's side on everything. I have always been the disciplinarian, dad has always been the "toy" and the "giver"... I do know that my son has been hurt by his dad's actions and the fact that dad never stood up for him in certain instances at their house. So I wonder if he has some deep down hidden anger. If he does, isn't that something that he really needs to talk to a counselor about, so he can overcome what he feels? I'm very confused about counseling now.
When my son first started to fail in school, he was grounded for a full marking period - 6 weeks. In hopes that would get his attention and he would pick his grades up. He was grounded with NO privileges, had to sit at the kitchen table, on a hard wooden chair, no t.v., no phone, etc. He passed the next marking period. BUT... started failing again the last semester. So, in all, he sat for 18 consecutive weeks at the kitchen table, without privileges. And unfortunately, he seems pretty proud of that.
The thing that brought me to this point, and prompted me to find you online, was the fact that he had snuck out his bedroom window (2 days before we were to leave for vacation, mind you), and my husband had to call me at work and tell me my son wasn't home. I immediately left work to go back home. He went to his girlfriend's house (big surprise). (he also admitted that this was not the first time he had snuck out the window, he had been doing it quite frequently). But later admitted to me that the girl AND her mother, both lied to me when I called to see if he was there. Needless to say, he is once again grounded. Obviously, I don't have any respect for the mother now, and I am not thrilled with the daughter either. The whole family has been a bad influence on my son, and I hope these issues are also discussed in your book. I thought if I limited my son's time with the girl and her family, that would be better than the argument/fight I would be in for by telling him that he was forbidden to spend time with them at all. Like you said, I can't control him.
I feel like I have been doing the majority of the things stated in your book. Except for the "poker face". That one tends to be a little difficult for me. But I have remained calm during our "talks". I have already figured out that I get absolutely nowhere with my son when I raise my voice. I fall under the "Indulgent" parent category, and my son would fall under the "Scapegoat" category.
I'm sure I will be in touch with you again, during this process, asking for help, guidance, etc. I would like to thank you for putting your information/experiences together in a book for us parents who are dealing with out of control teenagers. I feel a bit of relief already, just after reading the first 30 pages. I will follow your instructions, one session per week, and will prepare myself for the "it will seem worse before it gets better" period. I know it's a struggle, but he is my child and I love him to death. I would/could NEVER turn my back on him. As parents, we have to take the good with the bad, and I'm hoping this is as bad as it will get, but I won't hold my breath...
Again, thank you, and I look forward to our home life getting better with the help of your step-by-step book.
(A desparate mom)
Be sure to watch ALL the Instructional Videos that are in the online version of the eBook.
I can see from reading your email that you will have some areas to work on.
Online Parent Support