Wednesday, August 25, 2010

15 year old son is being rude


Knowledgeability Clarity of Response Timeliness Politeness Nomination?
9                         10                           10            10            Yes

Questioner: Noura

Subject: My teenage son

Dear Kay,

my name is Noura and i'm egyptian living in a middle eastern country with my family.I don't wanna take much of your time, so i'll get ot the point.My problem is with my 15 year old son,Adam.My son has a very very bad temper!he gets tense with any comment given to him(whether from my husbamd or myself).

He wasn't always like this, i might add.He began to get like this from about 4 years(a little before he got diabetes mellitus).Even though he's like this, he is the most kind-hearted person one could ever meet,(our pet cat loves him more than anyone in the family) and he is polite with our family friends,relatives.etc, even though he has times where he gives his father and i harsh reponses and talks back alot.

He's not the kind of boy that smokes or does otherwise..His schoolwork is just fine, and his grades are excellent, thank God, even though his teachers say that he gets hyperactive sometimes in class.

This wasn't the case with his older sister(she's currently living abroad for college).She didn't give me any hard times like the ones adam's giving me.I don't know where i went wrong with raising him;all his needs were and are met, and he does everything he wishes(within certain limits, ofcourse).He plays karate(has a black belt),plays on an electric guitar and goes to a very respectable school(and has lots of friends), so i can't think of anything that he may be missing!!

I know i've kept u for a long time, but this is a problem that has been causing his dad and i lots of confusion and worry.

Thanks for your time.

Answer: Dear Noura:

First of all you are not taking up my time as this is what I do with my time. You are most welcome to have posted here, although I am curious as to how you found me in a middle eastern country! So glad you did.

As for your son. I am very concerned that you are being so hard on yourself for how your son is behaving towards you. Everything you write here says he is otherwise very polite and gives you very little problems otherwise. So you must have done many things very well to have a son like this and this brings me to my next point.

He is 15 years old. He also is not your daughter so please do allow yourself and him the freedom not to EXPECT he should be just like his sister. They have lived different lives and are different people.

Now, teenagers are at a developmental stage where their brains have two major tasks to complete in order for them to grow successfully into productive healthy adults. The first task is to learn social skills with the same sex and the opposite sex, (thus why they want to spend so much time with their friends) and the second task is to seperate from their parents. (Yes, this is the good/bad news). Your son sounds to me like this is his SAFE way of showing you he is a seperate human being. He is most likely being less than wonderful to you and your husband because he feels SAFE with you both and knows once he is grwon up and gone he will still be cared for by you both.

Children who are often too good and doing well in many other areas will show their rebellion by being rude to their parents. I am not saying this should be tolerated however looking at what your definition of rude is will also help. Some parents have NO TOLERANCE for anytype of responding when a child is spoken to and this definition is often hard for an opnionated teen to live up to. Also we as adults need to make sure we are not showing them how to behave this way in our interactions with those we are married to or live with on a daily basis.

One sure way to get him to change his behavior is to make a big deal over him when he does talk to you the way you want him to, a bigger deal than when he is not talking to you nicely. Positive reinforcement is always the best policy for producing more of the behavior you want him to have for himself.

Again, feel good you have raised two children who have turned out to have practically no problems. This is not an easy job by any means!


M Kay Keller

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