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13 Year Old Son won't listen
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13 Year Old Son won't listen

I have a 13 year old son who will not listen to anything I tell him.  We live with my parents right now because I left his father last year who is not really in his life anymore.  I know he was upset about that but he will not do anything.  He tells me what he is doing and fights me every step of the way.  My boyfriend has told me that we are going to have issues with this as he won't put up with my son disrespecting me or him.  He thinks I spoil him and give in to him too much.  I do give in a lot of the time because I really don't want to fight anymore.  My son yells at me constantly and then just goes out and does what he wants anyway.  He won't listen to his grandparents either.  I have told him he is to call me everyday after school and he doesn't want to do that either.  I am trying to get him on track now by not allowing him the freedom he wants all the time.  Am I too late?  Can I stop this behaviour?  I think this might hurt my relationship with my boyfriend who I love dearly and I don't want it to but I am concerned for my son very much and I just want him on the right path?  What can I do?  I can't take his phone away because I need him to have it when he goes out so we know where he is and can get a hold of him.
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Avatar_m_tn
  Geeze people,
the initial question was, "I have a 13 year old son who will not listen to anything I tell him".  And the response is ditch your boyfriend?  How is that going to solve any of her issues?  If classictic gives up all aspects of a normal life, she is still going to have all of the same problems.
   The problem is her relationship with her son.  If she continues on in the same pattern, all of the boyfriends or nonboyfriends in the world won't matter.  Granted she will probably have more time with her son - who is now at an age that really doesn't want mom hanging around too much.  Yes, the boyfriend complicates matters.  But the important part is how to work with a 13 year old boy who is starting a whole new chapter in his life.  It's a really important time.  
    And Classictic,  I am still curious as to how he does in school.  It does make a difference in how you work with him.
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13167_tn?1327197724
Would he be open to a teen support group for adolescents whose parents have divorced?  You don't say in your profile where you live,  but you could google teen support group divorce and come up with a list of local groups.

I know you are relieved that his father is out of the picture but your son isn't.  He's hurting and feeling abandoned and unloved.  

I really think he needs positive things to do,  and positive friends - can you find a summer karate or basketball camp or something that he is interested in?  

I think also you need to put your boyfriend's opinion on the back burner right now.  Boyfriends seem to never like their girlfriend's teenage sons.   The only positive thing your boyfriend could do right now is to love and respect your son and do stuff with him that they both enjoy - not backbiting you that your son is now out of control.  Is he willing to nurture your son?
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Avatar_m_tn
  Lots of good ideas mentioned above.
The other problem is when you said, " I do give in a lot of the time because I really don't want to fight anymore."  Unfortunately, this won't cause any behavioral changes.  Basically, because you want to avoid fights, you are also avoiding the leadership role.  He is still at an age where he can be directed.  The key is the word "fight'.  
  You don't fight.  A fight implies an ongoing struggle for power.  You simply don't engage in that struggle.  You set a rule that is fair - and its all right to have his input.  And if he breaks the rule there is consequences - just like at school.  The consequences should start easy and escalate.  You don't want to ground him for a week, because what do you do when he breaks the rule again.  
   So you first need to decide what you want to happen.  If he starts disrespecting you (since it's probably during an argument), the discussion is over - he loses.  If he can't argue with you politely, then he loses that chance.  The phone deal sounds like it is important to you.  How about letting him text you instead.  Or you call or text him.  
Anyway, pick one or two things that are really important, set up the ground rules and follow them.  Consequences will have to be short loss of privileges.  I used to tell parents to buy their kid a computer - just so they had something to take away.  Now adays there seem to be a lot more choices.
   By the way, how does he do in school?  If he is doing well and teachers don't complain, it means that he is used to following their rules and he can do the same for you.     Good Luck!
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973741_tn?1342346373
I'm upset.  I'm upset for all the kids that have parents that divorce and then are subjected to the thoughts and criticism of mom's new boyfriend or dad's new girlfriend.  It is just so unfair.  Divorce is hard on a child!  Acknowledge and accept that.  That doesn't mean he can be rude but I wouldn't be with a man that said "WE" are going to have problems with him because "I won't tolerate" this or that.  I'm sorry.  That would be the end of my relationship.  My child comes first and "I wouldn't tolerate" some new man in my kid's life speaking about him that way.  I think your kid needs you and what he does NOT need is this new man in his life making it more difficult than it already is.  That is my honest opinion.  Get rid of the boyfriend and stick up for your son.  Then, you'll earn your son's respect when he sees that his feelings matter and you put him in the position over a new boyfriend.  Call his father and ask him to be more involved in his life as well.  And make that happen.  You owe it to your son.  Good luck
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks so much... I really value all your opinions... I don't want to put my BF on the back burner right now because he is right in a way.. I do give in and I shouldn't ... He will not allow my son to disrespect me and I agree with that.  They get along fine and my BF really likes him and my son likes him fine.  My BF just will not put up with him treating me badly. We are all going away in September together along with his son.  I just need my son to understand his limits and when I say he needs to come in at nine, not to ignore me and come in at 10 and then just tell me he didn't want to come in at 9 so he didn't.  My parents spoil him rotten and I have told them a number of times to stop but grandparents will be grandparents and they continue to do so.  Do I have to pull tough love on them too?
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Avatar_f_tn
I would never put my BF above my child and my BF knows this.. My son is first and foremost in my life and always will be.  I was just stating that he is noticing that my son is being disrespectful and does not like it.  His father is around only occassionally and will not take a stand on anything.  My BF is actually very good with him and takes him places and gets him involved in community stuff and volunteer work.  So what specialmom said is untrue I stick up for my son when it is called for.  But I also call a spade a spade and when he is out of line I call him on it and I will accept my BF calling him on it as well as he is the only good male role model he has in his life right now and he just wants him to respect the both of us.
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973741_tn?1342346373
I think the best course of action for boyfriends and future step dads is to stay out of discipline.  That is a long standing rule in family counseling when conflict arises between a teen age son and a new man.  He can have conversations with you in private and play a support role in the child's life.  

I don't think that a child has a right to be rude, disrespectful or break family rules.  I do think they have a right to be upset at divorcing parents, dad deciding he doesn't want to be around much, and mom's new boyfriend complaining about him.  He's probably got a lot of emotions and acting out is not uncommon in this situation.  The support group is a great idea or a counselor would be helpful for him to sort it out and to be heard by someone.  

If your son is all of a sudden treating you badly as you've drastically changed his life, don't you think it has to do with his anger, frustration and hurt about that?  And if he was disrespectful and rude prior to this, then it has to do with your lack of setting appropriate boundaries beforehand and it will take time to change.  And YOU should be the one to do that and not a new man that he can blame for it.  

I know you are taking this the wrong way and I don't mean to sound critical of you.  That is not my intent at all.   I'm just trying to give you a different perspective on this that might help you over come the problem. Overcome the problem for real and not just make it happy so your bf is appeased.  Again, I know you don't like what I'm saying but I worry for your boy.  I think he has had it rough.  I don't know you, him or the circumstances so I am just writing in response to what you write here.  Just know that I really hope that it works out in a happy way for ALL involved.
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Avatar_f_tn
Yes I think it has a lot to do with my ex and I splitting up and the fact that his father isn't in his life as much anymore.  He blamed me for a long time for leaving his father although he knew it was the right thing to do and is happy for me now that I am no longer sad.  I don't mean to take it the wrong way with what you are saying and I do know that what you say is correct.  I am just trying to get a perspective on what to do with him.  I know it has a lot to do with his age and what is going on in his life right now.  I am trying so hard to make things easier for him to adjust and I think that I may be giving in to him too much because of what happend and now he is taking advantage of me.  I talked to his father tonight and explained what is happening and low and behold he is taking him this weekend and promises to have a chat with him.  
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Avatar_m_tn
1) You were very irresponsible in that in less than a year after the breakup you have a new boyfriend and he has met your son.  Big hairy screw up there that breaks almost all behavioral rules.

2) Dad is apparently not in his life?  Kids need their dads particularly if they have ever lived with them.  It amazes me as I have talked to many parents many who did not know I knew both of the divorcees at how often desperate dads are driven out of their kids live because mom feels uncomfortable or emotionally or economically threatened that the child may want to go with dad.

3) You have for almost thirteen years had this boy near the archetype of what he knows as being of manhood and have in lees than a year essentially said those traits are all worthless.

4) Not your fault but I really wish grownups did not justify everything they do to allow for their wants and needs above their child's.  I have seen people put more thought into buying puppies.
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Avatar_m_tn
Ditch the boyfriend until your son is older or get a new boyfriend.  If you get married you already have 4 people who are going to all be sabotaging this relationship.

Preferably just date and wait a couple years before you introduce the next one to your son.
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Avatar_m_tn
  Geeze people,
the initial question was, "I have a 13 year old son who will not listen to anything I tell him".  And the response is ditch your boyfriend?  How is that going to solve any of her issues?  If classictic gives up all aspects of a normal life, she is still going to have all of the same problems.
   The problem is her relationship with her son.  If she continues on in the same pattern, all of the boyfriends or nonboyfriends in the world won't matter.  Granted she will probably have more time with her son - who is now at an age that really doesn't want mom hanging around too much.  Yes, the boyfriend complicates matters.  But the important part is how to work with a 13 year old boy who is starting a whole new chapter in his life.  It's a really important time.  
    And Classictic,  I am still curious as to how he does in school.  It does make a difference in how you work with him.
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Avatar_m_tn
Given that the son has 3 to 4 years before he can end up dropping out of school and that the boyfriend has more decision making power over the boy than the mother does, the father after 12 years of being with the family is now out of the male childs life COMPLETELY...


By all means... what nugget of wisdom can be bestowed from an educator in the top school system in the country from a country that has the best third world education system.

It is vaguely possible that the relationship with the mother will never be repaired, likely even.  
But I am curious as there is no limit to posting space, if you could be so kind as to give BOTH good in school and bad in school scenarios.

BTW Isn't california where the kids who pointed fish stick like guns at each were arrested, the kids were arrested for putting gum on desks, and sexual sensitivity training was ordered for the 5 year old who was arrested for kissing a classmate on the cheek and running off?

I have to admit I have been approaching this from a classical perspective and not from the cultural perspective of the state that has given our country so much of what has made the American family so much of what I currently admire in dumbfounded shock!
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973741_tn?1342346373
I'm going to just answer back to the post made to me-----------  I'm glad you took my words for their intended purpose which was only to help.  I think we are all just human and trying to do the best we can.  Sometimes it is true that OUR choices affect the behavior of our child.  I don't hear anything that sounds like a disorder or mood issue but instead that a family has been in turmoil, a boy may not have been guided by his mother as much as he should be in terms of behavior, and he may very well be angry, hurt and in emotional pain.  Why I think the idea of "ditch the boyfriend" comes into play is because he is an aggravating factor to helping your son.  That is really how I see it.  He needs to be nothing but someone in the background.  Or this problem will escalate.  I'd date your boyfriend and he can give you private input and be a supportive positive background person.  Then I'd consider that support group and a mother/son therapist.  I'd set limits and boudaries and make it a reward type of system so it stays positive.  I'd watch how you talk to him as well and  model what you want to see.  I'd ante up the communication between the two of you and reassure him always that he is your number one and you will always side with him.  He will want to believe this and it will help your relationship. If a Sept trip is going to be stressful on your son and he is not emotionally ready for it----------- please do not go.  It just isn't worth it.  
Remember the rule------------  and it is what about 99% of therapists believe when the dynamics are such as this-----------  your boyfriend should NOT be involved in his discipline.  That is your job. Never forget that.

As I said, I'm only trying to help.  Your boy sounds like he is in pain to me.  I wish you all the absolute best.
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Avatar_m_tn
   Boy, if you think our school system is messed up, you should see what our legislature is like!
  I agree with specialmom.  Discipline is your job.  And it is a job.  I've worked with over 2,000 thirteen and fourteen year olds the last 15 years.  Discipline is not easy with this age group.  Its even harder when you get conflicting ideas from grandparents, boyfriends, etc.  I do know that kids of this age have the ability to differentiate their actions between say two different classrooms of teachers will very different styles.  That is one reason why I asked how he was doing in school.  If he is having similar problems - then as specialmom suggested - he probably is in a lot of pain, and may even need some professional help.  And for that matter, if he is doing well - kids of this age really don't do well with change and that complicates the matter even more.
     Anyway, I think we all agree that the ball is in your court.  
     Develop a plan of action and run with it.  Good Luck
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Avatar_f_tn
OK people.. wow who would have thought one question could have spurned so much controversy..  Holy crap!  My question was about my son not if I should be with my BF or not as Sandman2 put it.. Thank you by the way.  My BF has never disiplined my son EVER... when we talk about this it is between us at my BF's house never in front of my son.  He does not want to overstep his bounds he just gives me advice.  I have known him for over 30 years as a friend and we got together after my marriage split so yes my son knows him and they like each other.  

On the whole my relationship with my son is great.. he is a good kid normally and does well in school.. Like sandman2 said he just doesn't want to hang around with mom anymore he is too busy with friends.  I just wanted to know how to get him to stop mouthing off at me and telling me what he is going to do instead of asking me if he can do it.

I never thought it would snowball into this discussion about whether I should have a BF or not.  Yes my son's happiness is the most important thing in my life and I would never do anything that would cause him anymore distress then he is already going through, but my BF is good for both of us, he keeps me calm and happy and he is good and fair to my son.  He has a disabled child from his marriage that we see all the time and he is a great dad to his kids and tries to include my son in everything we do together.  My son does not always want to do what we do but he knows he is always welcome..

So people please do not keep telling me to get rid of the BF, he is not the issue here.

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Avatar_f_tn
Your comment

"Dad is apparently not in his life?  Kids need their dads particularly if they have ever lived with them.  It amazes me as I have talked to many parents many who did not know I knew both of the divorcees at how often desperate dads are driven out of their kids live because mom feels uncomfortable or emotionally or economically threatened that the child may want to go with dad."

is completely false... I do not feel uncomfortable or threated in anyway that my son will want to go and live with his father..  I left his father because he is an alcoholic and an abuser and I needed to take my son out of that environment so I did.  When we left my son saw him occassionally then my ex just went his separate way ... away from both of us.  He calls my son sometimes but does not see him very much.  I didn't want to get into that here because this was about my son's behaviour not my ex's.  My son no longer has to put up with my ex's moods and for that he is calmer, but of course he still misses his father.


You say that
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Avatar_f_tn
You say that my BF has more decision making power over my son than I do which is so far from the truth.  I don't know how you got that with what I said.  All I said was he thought I was giving in to him to much and would not allow my son to disrespect me or him.  No one but me has decision making power over my son.. he is my son..  
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Avatar_m_tn
Let me rephrase it.  Your BF is in the father spot, his decisions carry more weight in some regards than your son, most adults do it that way on a subconscious level and if you think about it yours have to.  He was briefly put in the position of being man of the house after his father the abuser (did you know that is the most common line used in divorces whether true or not) who has been throughout his MOST formative years been his role model was kicked to the curb.

Now keeping in mind most psychologists say to allow a year of adjustment for BOTH the divorced person and the child you didn't do that.   In addition a person starts getting used to the idea of leaving someone about six months prior to doing so which is why the one left is usually in emotional shock and ineffective for a while.

You put your son in a position where he has the archetype of behavior from his dad which after thirteen no doubt horrible year you all of sudden found the strength to walk away from.

So he has 13 years of you being ok with the behavior until you found the strength to walk away on your own, hopefully not after meeting up with someone while in a relationship.  Trampled over his mourning period which at his point psychologically is already the equivalent of having two deaths, three if you moved out of the area, introduced him to your new male archetype you want him to emulate (four deaths) and wonder why he is having problems!  Mentally this kid just had a whole family die!

Now you got involved with your boyfriend quicker because he seemed familiar, comfortable even?  If so then he probably has the same latent tendencies even before he was put in a testosterone match with your son.  Because that is the trend that almost no one breaks without counseling.

I do hope my conclusions make more sense?
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Avatar_f_tn
OK seriously.. I am not going to get into a discussion about my marriage and whether or not he actually abused me.  I was never ok with his behaviour it just took me a long time to stop being afraid to leave.  I did not meet anyone else, I did not cheat, lie, steal or anything else before I left.  My son and I discussed what we would do before we left and then we left..  There is no testosterone match.. there is no I can **** farther than you matches, they do not yell at each other, they are polite to each other all the time.  I was just saying when I talk to my BF about how my son treats me sometimes he doesn't like it.  He never says anything to him and tells me it is my job to disipline him and he will not interfere but will not sit back and watch him disrespect me or him and will speak out if he does in front of him. Which he never has yet.

You sound very bitter towards women who have custody of their children and I don't really care why.  Yes I left my ex and I am not apologizing to anyone for it.. not my son and not you... I need to protect my son from growing up in an environment that was potentially hazardous to him.  I didn't want him to think that it was ok to treat women like that and we talked about that all the time.  So  yes I kicked him to the curb and the curb is where he belongs.  This discussion was not about my ex only about what I can do to stop my son from taking advantage of me.
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Avatar_m_tn
Get your son to counseling he is already past the stage where he would have picked up abusive behaviors from your ex.  After a certain age it IS about your ex because you have half the chromosomal and behavioral training already in a resting potential with your son.

Honestly I don't care why you think I am saying what I am look past what you want to read and be offended by and read a little bit about boys, abusive behaviors and the imprinting of behaviors on children.

Children do not have a reset button everything we do is etched upon them as behaviors and/or feelings.  Logic carries a lot less weight when it comes to how people are programmed.

And no I am not bitter towards women per se. I have just known too many kids who were abused because a mom persisted in making the wrong choices.  Particularly my son who was sexually abused.  

Psychologists do not make there recommendations SOLELY to get published ya know.

Be Blessed
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