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Trouble with 14yr old son
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Trouble with 14yr old son

My son is now 14yrs old, and the only thing that he does that annoys me or frustrates me is that he constantly lies, constantley steels out of my purse & any thing that he wants he just takes and smokes and he is only 14yrs old and just found out that he is also drinking as my alchole that I had in my cupboard for yrs is now all gone. I have tried everything counciling, doctors, sending him away from the house to someone else & even try ignoring him but nothing works, whether I punish him, belt him till he is black and blue he still won't stop. He has been caught shop lifting and have gone to court, but just got a slap on his hand and got told not to do it again. He was cautioned before by the police due to steeling from his school (walky talkys) steeling money from teachers but nothing scares him from not doing it. He dosen't do n e school work or bring n e homework home, he constantly get suspended from school for abusve language to teachers but wouldn't dear to swear to me or around me. I am so worried about him as he is different from the other 2 boys (his brothers) he is the only 1 that has turned ot this way. I work hard to give me children the bst and he gets what he needs when he asks for it so he dosen't need to steel n e thing. I am taking him to a sphiochiatrist now and he is doing tests on his brain and doing blood tests but don't realy want him on medication. If anyone can give me some suggestions other then belting and grounding him and even giving him money as i have tried all of that, I will greatly appreciate it.
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You have your hands full and the outcome may not be good. When a child of fourteen engages in such widespread antisocial behavior, the prognosis is poor. This situation will not improve by your efforts alone. Of course you'll have to continue to set limits and ground your son when he violates your rules. I'd suggest you stop 'belting' him - that is clearly not helping and it may be contributing to the problem. Seek help through the court, depending on what is available in your jurisdiction. Many states have a mechanism called Child in Need of Services (CHINS) or some similar name. This allows parents to obtain the assistance of the court in supporting parental authority. Cooperate with the psychiatrist, even if the recommendation includes medication. Sometimes such behavior is symptomatic of a mood disorder and, if so, medication would be useful.
14 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Do you think he could be taking street drugs?  This behavior is typical for someone trying to support a drug habit.  If you haven't already, have your doctor do a drug test (don't warn him) next time you visit.
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Avatar_n_tn
Do u really think so, I couldn't imagine him doing this but he seems to surprise me all the time as I have never been around this sort of things
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Avatar_m_tn
Beating him black and blue as you describe could be one of the reasons for his behavior. I suggest you get some counseling to deal with your issues and it sounds like he could use some counseling too, you could seek counseling for both of you. Beating a child is never appropriate regardless of his behavior and it is illegal ot to metio very damagig to him. NO ONE deserves to be beaten for any reason. All he learns from your inappropriate behavior is inappropriate behavior is OK.
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Avatar_n_tn
I was beaten with a belt as a child and it certainly made me learn my lesson.  Kalio I don't think you telling the orignial poster how to discipline their child is necessary.  Nonetheless, without a doubt I believe your son is engaging in drugs.  Drugs whether it be marijuana, alcohol, or pills without a doubt will bring upon these behavioral problems.  I would certainly take your son to a clinic and have him get tested for drugs to see what he is taking.  Hopefully he is only getting invovled with the gateway drugs which include marijuana, vicodin, percocet, etc.  Once you figure out he is partaking in drug activity you can do whatever is necessary to get him off the drugs.  My cousins grew up doing drugs ever since they were twelve years old, and the sad part is they're all behind bars.  Be careful.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you everyone for your suggestions and help. Kalio1 I have only beaten my sson once and I went to sleep crying after taht wandering what I have done for him to turn out like this. Mind you he did stop stealing, abusing teachers and disrupting the class for a few yrs and then a few yrs later don't know what happened he started it again but I coudn't bring myself to belt him again as I couldn't do it. I will keep you all posted in what the specialist says but I do not know what is his problem as i said earlier there is 2 other boys in my family and they are close in age for eg: 2nd boy is 2 yrs younger then this boy & the baby boy is 15 mths younger then the second one but they have no traites like my oldest, they do tell a little white lie here and there but does nothing like the oldest boy does. And I know that everyone goes through teenage things but not like my oldest boy.
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Avatar_n_tn
Don't feel bad for whipping your son! Spare the rod - spoil the child! I wish my parent's would of whipped me and used disipline . Maybe I wouldn't of been pregnant at seventeen!!! Don't let him go to the mall, or even leave the house for that matter. If he sneeks out - call the police to pick him up. that's what they are for. Tough love is still love! If it's possible for you to do so, go to school with him, treat him like you did in kindergarden because that's what he is acting like! Respect is given to those who deserve it. So are privleges. Make him earn them back. Clean out his room of all modern technology, any type of communication. He will have to earn it back. the same way you earn the money to buy these things. If he doesn't learn now - what will happen when he is 18! I wish I would of listened to my parents. I was spoiled and had to learn the hard way about the real world. Sorry to tell ya, but I think he is using street drugs. A little something called meth. Maybe that's why is slealing things. Think about it. I have been there. It's a hard road. Best of luck to you and your son. God bless!
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Avatar_m_tn
I do understand things are very tough with your son and that parents get frustrated and do inappropriate things at times when they are completely at their wits end, that is why you need some help. Regardless of what others have said it will not help your situation to beat him or hit him at all. It is risky too he will get bigger and stronger and could decide to treat you that way. physical violence is never the answer. Please get some help with all of this, he clearly has behavior issues that are more than you (or ANY parent)can handle alone at this point and if drugs are involved (which you dont know yet) then you need help to figure that out. I raised 3 sons and I know how difficult it can be, I can tell you love him dearly and do NOT want to hit him and you know that will not solve anything. Obviously it didnt work either, his behavior is still out of control, you need professionals who can help you. I was not condemning you but no parent feels good about resorting to that kind of thing and if they do think that is ok, they have major issues of their own. Spare the rod spoil the child thinking is now ILLEGAL and you risk having your kids taken away from you if you engage in that type of disipline. This isnt my personal philosophy, this is the law. You need help and some tools to help you deal with his behavior problems rather than having them escalate. Dont let his out of control behavior make you behave in an out of control manner. The fact that you are asking here and desperate for a solution shows how much you care for your son. Try to get him ( and you) some help before his behavior lands him in juvenile hall or jail.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, I work in a program called Teen Court. It is a state mandated program supported by the federal government and is paid for with grants that come through the state juvenile crime prevention committees.

Most states and counties have this program. Many of the co-ordinators of these programs have answers for undisiplined youth. We actually had a case last night on this. The parents called their counties juvenile officer and reported their daughter. She was charged. She came to our court instead of regular juvenile court. All of the School Resource Officers(school cops)around here know that juvenile court is a laugh for 1st time offenders....kids that are first time offenders get slapped on the hand and get no guidence to improve their behaviors and that is where we come in. We take first time offenders and put them through court with volunteer teens and those volunteers run an actual court case and decide on the sentence. Here is the national site. It contains info on your state so see if your state and county has one.

http://www.youthcourt.net/national_listing/overview.htm

Also you should call the juvenile officer for your county (at the sheriff's dept), ask them who the juvenile officer is and talk to them about what can be done. Ask them if there are ANY programs in place to help with lifeskills. Unfortunately, sometimes you must put your kid in the system...don't do it (charge them) unless your county has programs for them. Sometimes the co-ordinators can just blow your kid out and scare them. Sometimes your kid can join a teen court to learn about why this type of system is needed and how it affects them. My son has been in Teen Court as a volunteer since 11 years old. It has made him see the light. He has had brushes with trouble by hanging with his friends and doing normal dumb teenaged stuff. Understanding what could happen to him because of Teen Court and knowing the co-ordinator personally has saved him. He and I volunteer every other Thursday night for two hours. It has been the best thing that has happened to us.

Good Luck....there are people to help you but YOU must find them. For example....Sometimes the DistrictAttorneys's office doesn't even know we exist. Lawyers don't know about us either. Always go to the County Juvenile officer first....and remember, this is your child, no matter how mad and at the end of your rope you are, they may not need to be in the system. Consider charging your child as a last resort. Sara

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Avatar_n_tn
Sounds like you are in a whirlwind! As I read your post, I wondered what other interests your son has- sports, music? When my son failed to make the competative (435 kids tried out for 12 spots!) highschool baseball team- we immediately sent him to guitar and swimming lessons to fill his after school time. We didn't give him a choice here. We also had him to find SOME club or sport to be a part of in school. He chose tennis but never found a club he liked much. If your son is close to the age to work, you could try getting him a job after school which may help him to develop some priorities and take on a more responsible manner- all of his pay could go direct deposit into a bank account for his "car." In any case, if you can get him into a different group- even if forced- of kids who expect different behavior for long enough, reverse peer pressure may help. I had a friend who got involved in community service and had her other kids and the one she was having issues with begin to help her. She made out like she had to have their help- a family thing developed and the one that caused her such heartache became the one who helped the most. The positive attention from even outsiders made the difference. Just a few thoughts- You gotta love the fact that he chooses not to use the bad language at home- he IS holding onto some respect for home. I would work with that thought.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi there everyone, thank you again for the last 2 people that gave some suggestions, Cheeps thank you for that website but unfortunately that is an american website. We are in Australia and we don't have anything like that here, I was even looking at putting him into a boot camp but once again that is an american thing and it isn't in Australia. I think juvinile court thing would be great if it was here I would even help out for it. and yes I am very proud how he won't swear around the home as well because there is always children here and it also shows that he does have respect for me at least and I am also proud how he has a big heart especially for his little sister. He is 14 yrs of age and today I was looking for my daughter because she was so quiet and found my 14 yr old and my 2 yr old playing outside togetehr on the little bikes it was cute on nice to see, instead of seeing my 14 yrs old on the streets or hanging with the kids that ussually he gets into trouble with.

In the meantime my son is doing great now, I have changed my technics, I have stopped giving him things and kept a close eye on him and started thinking like him. for example the other day he was at my office with me and he walk out and went to one side of the office and then came into the office and got the toilet key and quickly thought to myself what was he doing there and then it dawned on me that is where the smokers of my office goes to have a smoke and that is where all the smoke buts are, so I quickly called him back and I checked him pockets and there is was a cigarette butt, I pulled it out of his pockets and explained to him how discusting it was for him to be picking up cigarette buts and said that he could catch something or ge sick from it. He was upset that I caught him but nothing was said after that. I even caught him going out to the patio out the back in the middle of the night and worked out that he was climbing the fince to get the cigarette butts from next door so now I lock the doors with keys so he can't get out. Hopefully he will realisse that no matter what he does I am going to find out he is going to eventually give (hopefully). But he is being good lately but that is also beause I don't carry any cash with me anymore too. Want to stop all temptation until he gets out of it. What does everyone think?
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Avatar_m_tn
Great going! I think you are doing the right things plus right away he seems to be responding to your boundary setting and you being firm on what is and is not OK behavior wise. Sounds like he has picked up a cigarette habit but he will get over that hopefully. They do that to be "cool" a lot of times and to act grown up. If you keep up your techniques and dont give one inch he will get the clue you wont tolerate his monkey business. There are some great teen parenting books that might give you some good ideas a few helped me when I was at my wits end.I'd pour on the praise when he is thoughtful or does something good. Teens tend to think they are "good" or "bad" real black and white thinking and if they have been roten a t lately this can make them angry and frustrated and feel like they are bad. I'd step in and stop bad behavior immediately like you are doing but I would pay special attention to his good behavior and praise that when ever I saw it. Maybe if he does extra well you could reward him with a bit of cash. Teens love cash! Working some small job could be good too soon, somewhere he will being rewarded for getting tasks done. You sound very strong and determined and that is helping him take you seriously it sounds like. You should be very proud of yourself and also of him. I am sure he will slip up again but that is how teenagers are. Tell him when you notice he does nice things, he might act on the outside like it is no big deal but really inside he is super happy you noticed. I thought my yongest would drive me bonkers or end up in some juvenile place he went sort of nuts when his hormones hit at 14 but he is great now and almost 19. He helped me write this and gave me advice from his point of view. They challenge us so much!
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Avatar_n_tn
I think he still needs counseling, and you need help with limit setting.  You're making a start, but this is a big problem that is likely to get worse before it gets better.
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Avatar_n_tn
Takes your smokes and alcohol.  Are you willing to give those things up so he can't take them?  If you aren't willing, why would you ask him to?  Because?

If a kid is taking things and lying---

1.  he doesn't trust you.  Why would that be?

2.  you drink and smoke.  He definitely will.  He probably has a drinking/drug problem.  Wonder where he got that from?

if you care about your kid, change your act and he probably will too.

go to counseling.
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