My guy's 10 year-old son, who normally just visits for the summer, has recently moved in with us. Boyfriend is fighting for custody of him and things are looking great, but the child's behavior? Not so much.
Some background: Son came from an awful environment. His mother was neglectful, left him with her folks for weeks at a time, and didn't call him all summer (until she found out he was staying). Even now, she calls maybe once a week, but then makes promises she can't keep, like saying she'll e-mail him and never does. She constantly makes promises to him, like saying she was moving here, then nothing came of it. She's a very manipulative, argumentative person, and Son has picked up some of the latter traits.
He's been living with us for only 4 months, so I know it's new, but there has to be something we can do. Son likes to argue about *everything*. Whether it's the spelling of a word, the capital of a state or doing his homework, it has to be an argument. We've tried everything - arguing back (duh, bad idea!), calmly approaching (honey, this doesn't need to be a big deal. we don't have to argue about this.), choices (you can either continue on this path and go to your room, or we can turn it around and have a good time together), just sending him to his room, logic and reason... Some things work a little, but he seems to enjoy bickering.
To sum up, Son just seems like a very angry kid. It's sad, because there will be a stretch of days where he's *wonderful!* He can be so sweet, kind and caring...but at the drop of a hat, he's rude, argumentative and *extremely* disrespectful. That's the worst part - the complete rudeness and disrespect - and there's no way to get him to see how rude he's being. He just argues more.
What do we do? We've tried so many ways and it's getting to be too much to handle. We want him here to have a better life, not to keep re-living the same arguments and awful environment he came from. Please help! Thank you!
Try not to expect a quick change. It really has not been very long since he came with you and ingrained patterns don't change overnight. Read Lynn Clark's book SOS Help for Parents and follow his guidelines about managing behavior.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.