Monday, July 19, 2010

My teens are violent...help!

Subject: cant take it anymore!

Question: Recently my 4 kids (2 boys-2girls) have been fighting more. At first I thought it was a small case of sibling rivalry, but this last time my 18yr old son actually fought with my 15 yr old son.

I expressed how much this dissapoints his mother and I and I grounded him. This is the second time according to the other kids that he has hit them, and only when the parents are not home. My 18yr old son actually admitted to hitting them and when asked whats wrong he said that they "get on his nerves".
I told him tough toe nails dude, this is your family and we dont hit.

If he wants to hit someone, hit me. At that he then told me that he cant guarentee he wont hit them, and it does not matter any way because according to him, he's moving out in 1yr. Let me remind you that this kid does well in school and is really nice outside the family, but when it comes to his family it feels like he has no affection for us. He is always fighting with his younger sibblings.

I CANT TAKE IT ANY MORE! I would like any input you can give on how to deal with a teen who thinks just because hes 18 makes him exempt from the house rules and exempt from showing respect to his family members.

Answer: Dear Anonymous,

I can tell you I do not allow any violence in my home and did not when my own children were living at home. If he is 18 and thinks he is exempt from the rules then he needs to know he is welcome to live somewhere else if necessary however, violence or assault on a sibling is still violence. Ask him what would happen if he hit a friend or a stranger.

Remind him people go to jail for assaulting another human being and judges do not let you off because someone is annoying you or not doing what you want them to do. If it is a matter of being teased then by all mean the younger siblings need to understand boundaries and respect others as well or this entire pattern will repeat itself later on.

You may want to get to the bottom of where he learned it is okay to hit someone in his family when he doesn't get what he wants. What gave him the message he can have 2 different set of standards one for family and one for friends?

However as you stated you cannot take it any more and no should you take it or allow it in your home. Every family member not matter how small or how large needs to feel safe in a home.

Home has to be soft place to fall from the world.

Sincerely,

M Kay Keller