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Teen Abuses Cell Phone Privileges

Hi J.,

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

Dear Mark,

Sorry about my questions about chores. I jumped the gun after watching your video and assumed that was the same as covered in the written materials without reading through it.

I had a peaceful Christmas without problems with my son over the present concern I had.

==> Wonderful.

My son had shoved the snow to have earned a wireless keyboard with a mouse for only $39. He seemed to be okay with it. He worked, earned it and I spent less money because it was boxing day price. Wow, what a difference. I praised him after each shoving. At the last shoving after we placed the order online, he still went out to shove the snow and even told me that he did it the way I wanted him to do.

Further, I only got him necessity for the Christmas present which was offering him to shop for some clothes. And I even attached a condition to it and that was he needed to take off the remaining foul language in his room before we went shopping. He wasn't happy at all, but did not make a fight about it. He had tears in his eyes, said that wasn't what he wanted for presents and went into his room for a few hours on the Christmas day. He came out in the afternoon and joined the Turkey dinner with my friend's families over. He was polite to everyone. I then discovered that he erased all of the foul language! Wow!! I had tried everything to get him to remove it and even told him to find his own place to live, but nothing had made him do that.

==> These are good improvements!

With all the good stuff going on, unfortunately I am in a challenge right now!!

My son refused the 1-day consequence over leaving his cell phone with me for one day. Now I am issuing the 3-day discipline by taking the internet and his cell phone away. The crime is that my son ignores my request to keep his phone on for me to call him and to answer my calls. I explained to him that I need to be able to get hold of him on his cell phone when I needed to, but he won't listen. I feel this is reasonable parental request, am I correct?

==> Exactly are right on track here.

The challenge now is that my son has refused any disciplines in the past. This time he did not leave his phone with me yesterday AND did not come home last night (no show this morning when I left for work). For your info., not coming home on his own will happened in the past. I made the decision this morning to start the 3-day consequence anyway because I didn't know what else to do with the curve ball he threw at me by not coming home. I took the modem and the house phone with me and I am about to call the cell phone company to report the loss of his phone because this is the only way to disconnect it temporally. I did the research before hand.

Where do I go from here on and what can I expect to happen from him?

==> First of all, I have to say that you have clearly studied that material. I am really impressed with how you handled this situation.

Let him know that the 3-day-discipline starts as soon as he returns home. Also, if you can contact him, tell him that -- if he does not return home immediately -- you will call police and file a "run away" complaint against him.

Do I tell him to come home by the curfew for 3 days in a row in order to get off the 3-day discipline?

==> No. He should be grounded (in the house) for those 3 days.

What else can I offer him to get off? It must have other options because curfew has been problem for long time.

I predict he won't comply by 3 days. So, do I tell him until he does the whatever option, he then can get off it?

==> You may need to involve the police and get assistance from your local juvenile probation department. If he is not going to follow house rules AND refuses to accept discipline, then you have only 2 choices really: (1) you can let him run wild (really bad choice), or (2) you can get assistance from authorities.

You might feel that I should not pick this fight right now because the Christmas has been fine with him. But I have talked with him heavily about the phone issue last a week or so, and it progresses to this point and I don't know how to delay it without sending him the wrong message that I gave up. I thought I would pick a minor issue to show him that I am able to carry through the consequences the way differently from the past. This is important for me in terms of tackling harder issue later like the curfew.

Please provide me with your advise on this challenge. Thank you.

==> Again, you are largely on track -- I can't emphasize this enough.

Be sure to read Ask The Parent Coach on the page entitled "When You Want Something From Your Kid" [session #3 - online version of the eBook]. The information there applies directly to your current situation.


My Out-of-Control Teen

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