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He keeps on pushing some limits...

Mark

My son (16) is settling back at home fine now but he keeps on pushing some limits. Although he is not shouting at me or throwing things or going out at the moment, he will not listen to the little things. For example, I said I would pay for his summer ball if he cleaned the following rooms for me in the house and he chose 3 task cards. However, some of the details on the task cards he has not completed and the deadline which was set for him on Wednesday last week was to complete all 3 by Saturday night. He completed 1 full, the 2nd (75%) and left out the last (3rd) as it was to sweep up the front lawn. He said he would do that at night so no one could watch him (neighbours). The consequence for not completing all 3 was that I could cancel the cheque on Monday.

Question: Should I go through with cancelling the cheque tomorrow now.

Overall he is behaving much better this past week and there has been nothing but politeness from him and a good mood. Is this what you would call the “not so important things” or should I follow through and risk a possible breakdown again? Or just have a chat with him. I would really value your advice.

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Re: Should I go through with cancelling the cheque tomorrow now.

If you are seeing some improvement in his overall behavior, then you may want to lower your standards a bit for the short term. But tell him the following: "In the future, if you've been given a set of chores to do -- and you do not complete all of them -- then you will not receive the privilege you have asked for until ALL chores are completed."

Be sure to follow through with this consequence in the event he cheats on his chores again.

Also, please review the info on chores in "The Art of Saying Yes" [session #2 - online version of the ebook] – specifically as it relates to putting time limits on chore completion.

Mark

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The Strong-Willed Out-of-Control Teen

The standard disciplinary techniques that are recommended for “typical” teenagers do not take into account the many issues facing teens with serious behavioral problems. Disrespect, anger, violent rages, self-injury, running away from home, school failure, hanging-out with the wrong crowd, drug abuse, theft, and legal problems are just some of the behaviors that parents of defiant teens will have to learn to control.

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