My 14 y.o. son is acting out towards me and his siblings. He has been doing this for some time now and it seems to be getting progressively worse and I don't know what to do. When he was 10 years old I had him in counselling and he fed off of the counselor so I stopped the sessions. Without trying to sound horrible, I can't even send him to be with his Aunt and Grandma because we tried that and he got in worse trouble. His grades were bad at first then when he knew he was coming home they got better, and went back down. He was saying hateful things to his grandmother, who is dying from cancer, he got in trouble and had to go to court and do community service. For these reasons he had to come home. When he doesnt get his way he either tells me he hates me, which I do not respond to at all, I just let him talk, or he tells me he wants to go live with his dad, who happened to become part of his life for the first time last year. He has had my husband for the last 8 years in his life and he use to treat him badly but now it is all directed at me. He doesnt care where we are or what we are doing. He makes scenes. He has always been a story teller. To make his self sound better to his friends. But now he is out and out lying. I am the type of mother who keeps my thumb on my children, in the sense that I know all their friends, their friends parents, they are in before dark, they have set chores, all-in-all they are being raised in much the same way I was and they dont run around and they dont ruin other peoples things and outside of him being in trouble that one time they dont get in trouble with the law. He has become very disruptive in school, and is just in general RUDE unless he gets his way. The word NO is a very touchy word with him. I called his school today to talk to the guidance counselor but was rushed because she had other things. I was told to seek help with the juvenile courts, go to parent teacher conferences next week and lastly get counselling for him. Everything that I buy for him he destroys if he gets mad at me, therefore I dont buy him anything anymore. Deep down, I dont want to go to counselling because of what happened last time. We have always encouraged the kids to talk if they have a problem and he will not talk, TO ANYONE. In some ways, I want to say he is simply a brat. In the proverbial sense. In other ways I want to say he is being a typical child. He is my oldest so this is all new to me. Except for the fact that I know what I did when I was a teenager and I know I NEVER acted like this. What do I do? I love my son with all my heart as I do the other 3 children. The only time we get along is when he wants something or if he is sick. That sounds horrible. But it is true. Please any advice is greatly appreciated and needed.
The prior experience with counseling should not dissuade you from seeking professional help. Think of it much as you would any other type of help. If you are dissatisfied with the services of any professional (medical doctor, lawyer, accountant, dentist, etc.), you would discontinue the relationship and seek another person. Your son's behavior is not the behavior of an average 14-year-old, and help is in order. I'd discuss with the clinician the wisdom of turning to the courts for help. Such intervention can be very useful, depending on the circumstances. But you want to be sure to do so as a result of careful planning and deliberation, not desperation.
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