A very close friend of mine has a 11 year old son who never shuts up and torments his mother endlessly. She has medical problems and he intentionally tries to irritate her especially when she is in pain like he enjoys making her miserable. He goes as far as punching her in the arm when she has abdominal pain from stomach problems and thinks its funny. When he talks sometimes he is reciting stupid rap lyrics and other times he just talks gibberish I think to hear his own voice. He is angry, doesn't listen is totally disrespectful, cuts her down in front of her friends by telling her she is stupid, he makes rude jokes even threatens to tell lies to her friends to cause her problems when he doesn't get his way. Last night was the finally when she was trying to correct him he told her screw you I hate you and then threw a coffee cup which hit her in the eye. Usually later he apologizes and says he loves her then a few hours later it all starts over again like he wasn't the least bit sorry about it. What the hell could possibly be wrong with this kid? She has tried normal disciplining by warning him first then taking away things he likes and she has gone as far as taking away everything he likes so he has nothing to do and is consistent when she does it and he still keeps it up. I'm afraid since he doesn't respect her she will soon be in physical danger due to what happened last night. Any advise would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Hi there. Well, I"m curious who you are to this woman? Her boyfriend, a friend? Sometimes when we don't live with a family, we don't get the full scoop on what the dynamics are. Does this boy have a father? That can often cause a good deal of anguish and anger in a child when they've been rejected by a parent or have had a parent that is a horrible role model and they've learned various bad behaviors from them. Is dad around? What is the family history? These are important in figuring out what the underlying issues are in this child.
Often we just want to say the kid is bad but sadly, he's often a product of how he is raised. Anger is often a coverup for sadness.
What has the mom done to contain his behavior over the years? Did she take a hands off discipline approach in his younger years? What does she do now to set limits?
I agree that this child can not be a threat to his mother. But I also feel like she needs to remember that SHE is the parent. Respect is something a parent can demand and she should have demanded it earlier on and set boundaries. Perhaps he does have some mental health issues and she did do that or perhaps there were things outside her control that happened in the home resulting in this breakdown in their relationship (IE: back to the idea of a rejecting or hostile father).
Would his mom consider family counseling with him? I think that is the best thing at this point. For the boy to see someone just to talk about what the heck he is so angry about and why he is taking it out on her. And then for them to work together with a counselor to NOW set the boundaries he needs to have in place.
There is a really good book---- "Love and Logic". It's actually a total parenting program and it is really fantastic and great for an 11 year old. It is about letting consequences be the teacher. For example--- an 11 year old boy may play baseball. So mom tells him that if he raises his voice to her or speaks with a disrespectful tone or uses disrespectful words, he isn't going to baseball practice. So, he then tests this and does it. She doesn't have to get angry or raise her voice, she just says "Oh, I'm sorry. I told you that if you did X, that you wouldn't be going to baseball practice. So sorry." And then boom, no baseball practice. He does it again, then same thing, no practice. He keeps doing it, then he is off the team. I doubt it will come to that as if he loves baseball, he's going to adhere to her rule in order to play. This is just an example of how it works--- she'd have to apply it to what he loves. Video games, phone, sports, choir, friends coming over or his going there, etc. Whatever are his favorites are the bargaining chips.
New behavior doesn't happen over night as this song and dance they do is now habit (for both of them). It could take 3 weeks to a month for any new behavior to really take hold.
But don't just see this boy as bad. He is a product of his parenting and home life. OR he has something chemical going on. Either way, it's not completely his fault. Help him--- don't just judge and hate him for it. good luck
For starters I am a friend and thank you for the good advice and time you took to write this it is greatly appreciated. I've witnessed his actions first hand so I have a good feel for how he acts towards his mother. His father was physically abusive to his son and that is the main reason why they got divorced. They have been to counselors before and were told there is nothing wrong with the kid. They are in counseling now which to this point has not been helping. In addition the kid doesn't treat anyone else but his mother this way although I expect that to change as he gets older possibly abusing girlfriends etc. which is not a healthy path to go down. The men he has had in his life have not been respectful of women often degrading them saying they are stupid etc. and he doesn't respect them either. None of the men in his life have been good role models. As far as the disciplining of the child she has done exactly as your describing and she has taken away everything that he enjoys and it doesn't make any difference in his attitude. He acts like he could care less if he never gets his things back. Hes also had issues at school where before christmas he threatened 2 kids one telling him he was gonna bring a knife to school and stab him and the other one he was going to shoot him. The school bypassed the law in this case and called his mother which I feel was the wrong action for them to take. He should have had to pay for the consequences of his actions. I would say that you are correct in the anger being a cover up for sadness. Both for being abused and neglected by his father. His mother is the only person he has in his life that is always there for him which is why it is so hard for me to fathom the hatred he seems to have towards her because without her he wouldn't have anyone who cares about him. She has tried spanking him but he is as big as she is now and she is getting afraid for her own safety because of what happened last night. He's also very demanding and tries to be physically threatening to her telling her to get him things or that he wants what she has just anything to try and bully her. One of the biggest problems I see is that he has no positive male role model in his life thats telling him to respect his mother women should be cherished not abused. It makes me so mad I just wanna choke the kid to death. Nobody deserves what she is going though. At this point how does a single mother regain control and earn his respect? I can usually give some good advise but in this case I'm at a total loss. Again please help!!!!
Hi, well . . . let me say that your anger is misplaced. It goes squarely on his father and all the other men in this kids life that have either ruined things for him or not been there. He's a victim himself and you must remember that. That softness is something he needs because he will get it in very few places.
What often happens with kids that are distressed such as this . . . they are deeply angry (and it sounds like for this kid, rightfully so . . . he got a putz for a dad) that they have one safe outlet. He surely does love his mother but sadly, she is his whipping bag. And also, I'm just going to say that maybe due to the abuse that DID happen to him, he has some issues with bonding to anyone. Including her. Maybe she was very preocuppied with the stress and volatility in the home that some basic things weren't happening during this boy's younger years and either his ability to bond was damaged or he never fully bonded with her. This is sad. And while it makes you angry--------- he is but an 11 year old boy that got shafted when it came to fathers.
On the chance that she is his 'punching' bag for him to take his anger out on . . . I'd recommend that she get a nice, sturdy, quality made punching bag for him. Hang it in the basement or in the garage and let him have at it. I have a son with sensory integration disorder which has made me very aware of the mind/body connection. The physical release of impacting that bag is soothing to the nervous system. It takes what is inside and places it someplace safe--- the bag.
I'd also recommend that the mother go back to the school and talk to the counselor. If this child is teetering on sociopath/psychopath (and while you want to hate someone like that . . . these are mental health issues and it is a lonely life to be afflicted with either, empathy IS required for these souls)-- the school should be aware. Physical threats of violence are unacceptable. And while he doesn't have to actually have action taken against him (if the mother is afraid of that)---- the counselor can perhaps make some recommendations. At the very least, people can be aware and looking out for behavior they need to be on top of from the boy.
I would not give up on counseling. I would not give up on the disciplining. have his mother read the book "love and logic".
I know looking at mom as just a victim seems like something you want to do but in reality, that most likely isn't true. If she is total victim and had no hand in his behavior issues or treatment of her, then the boy most likely has some mental health issues. Either way, it is a sad situation for THEM BOTH.
If you are a new boyfriend, I'd back off. I really would. She needs to parent this boy period without an outside force hating her son. good luck
One other comment on your possibly being a new male in his mom's life, please don't prove to him yet again that men are hard on him, men can't stand him, etc. You do realize you complain about his dad and also say you'd like to choke the kid. I'm sure your attitude comes through and this situation is no place for you to insert yourself. peace and luck to you and this family
complain about his dad's physical abuse is what I mean and then go on to say you'd like to choke him. I know you are just saying it but your clear anger torward him is not what he needs from another man in his mother's life. good luck
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