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He threw me against the wall and then threatened to kill me in my sleep...

Hi V.,

==> I've responded throughout your email below:

Hi Mark,

The new rules worked for a couple of days. K didn't sleep after school, did his homework and showed it to me and got off the internet on time. This was nothing short of a miracle, and showed me yet again, how the program really changes behaviour.

Then he breached the internet limit time (I did give him a couple of reminders, so he did this on purpose). Consequence = lost internet access for 24 hrs. Then he wouldn't show me his homework - so his phone has been disabled for 24 hrs.

==> Ooops! Not a good move. This is the beginning of a power struggle.

Whenever a child introduces new problems on top of an existing one, parents should put the new problem in the "deal-with-it-later" file. Please review Q & A - On Discipline [under "The Art of Saying No" - Session #2 - online version of eBook].

Anyway, I am sticking to the rules, and he tried all sorts of things to get me to change my mind (swearing, screaming, saying it was life or death if he couldn't access the internet - mind you, he couldn't explain why). I remained calm and explained he chose to breach the rules, therefore he chose the consequences.

In the end, he stood in my way and when I tried to go past him, he threw me against the wall and then threatened to kill me in my sleep. I calmly told him his bullying will not work, and that he has now lost the phone for 48 hrs for threatening me.

My question is this: do I go to the police to report him? Or do I warn him I will do that if he is violent again?

==> Warn one time, then follow through with calling the police if it happens again. The cops can't do much, but you don't want to model for your son that it is O.K. to engage in domestic battery (which IS illegal).

(He physically shoved me just when I started this program, and he had his phone taken.)

I don't want to give him attention for his bad behaviour, or look scared, like I need police protection.

==> Good move!

If the police start to get involved, he will get a caution I guess, but not much more given he is 15 yrs. He is likely to be scared initially but then his bravado might increase when he realises that they can't do much to him.

Is he more likely to give up this behaviour with consequences that I impose (clearly the phone disabling and internet being cut off is very painful for him), or by involving the law?

==> Stick with your consequences (and use the deal-with-it-later file), but also involve authorities when your son becomes violent.

I would appreciate your advice, and thank you for your support thus far, it has been invaluable in giving me the strength to keep going.


==> You're welcome.


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