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post #31 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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Re: How to Handle Teenagers and Disrespect

@heartbroken50, the rides would hit mine where it hurts too. It's something he needs from me for sure. I think your natural/logical consequences sound great, I'll look for more opportunities like that. We've had our share of loud complaints about dinners too. I tried a year ago to set up a reward system where the boys had to earn everything extra, like trips to trampoline park, etc. by completing their chores without complaint. It turned into more complaints from teen about how ridiculous it was to have a chart system. My husband agreed and wouldn't really go along with it, so I gave up.

@EleGirl, I will try to be more direct and leave the subjective stuff out. I see where that was my mistake, as @crocus pointed that out too, that my son really didn't know what that meant.

He also gives me dirty looks repeatedly every time I take a drink at dinner or any other time he's near by. He criticizes me for swallowing too loudly. And my ankles pop in the morning and he repeatedly criticizes me for that- "Do you have a disease? That's really not normal." Over and over. I tried to talk to him about it by explaining that many people have that, are like firecrackers, in my yoga class. I tried finding humor in it, like "Well, it must be nice to move through life perfectly soundless." I finally told him that if he didn't let it go, he'd have a consequence. So now he just gives dirty looks and shakes his head and he might do a grunt. Every day. It is very frustrating.

I feel like I live with an abusive husband, only it's my kid.

@arbitrator, I am going back to staying consistent with the consequences. Thanks for sharing your experience in how that helped with your boys.

@Satya, YES to the relaxation techniques. He needs it. He has done EMDR therapy and it did wonders for him. We've done Headspace meditation app and it was great. But he has a very full schedule with school/travel sports so time is very limited in what he can consistently add. And it would be another thing for me to have to work with him on. He has volunteered in the past and it didn't go well because it was me getting him to do it, not by choice. I finally let it go. I'd love to make it a requirement but it would fall squarely on my shoulders and likely lead to more push back at this point.

@dubsey, very helpful, as that absolutely would send a very clear message to my son because sports are his most favorite thing in the entire world. However, I guarantee my husband would not support me in benching him as it would humiliate him in front of his teammates. And I would need that support because before and after, my son would push back very hard. I'm not afraid of my son, but I would suffer as much if not more than him because it would cause problems with husband and son. It would take massive strength on my part to pull that off, so I guess I need to dig deep? I could go to the coach, who would support me.

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post #32 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 10:47 AM
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Re: How to Handle Teenagers and Disrespect

@Jessica38

Ditto the congratulations on your talk.

Many years ago, I was recommended a book on another site, it was of great help giving us common sense answers about where to draw the line and what we needed to let go.

You can read the ideas in the introduction here Boundaries with Teens: When to Say Yes, How to Say No - Dr. Townsend

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post #33 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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Re: How to Handle Teenagers and Disrespect

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@Jessica38

Ditto the congratulations on your talk.

Many years ago, I was recommended a book on another site, it was of great help giving us common sense answers about where to draw the line and what we needed to let go.

You can read the ideas in the introduction here Boundaries with Teens: When to Say Yes, How to Say No - Dr. Townsend

Best
Thank you for this! I've read Townsend's Boundaries in Marriage and found it very helpful. I've read so many parenting books and most recently, The Awakened Family, but so many don't seem to help. My son really does best with boundaries, so I think this one would actually be very helpful. Downloading it today!

Ps. I forwarded link to husband and asked him to tell me which format he'd prefer because it would mean a lot to me if he'd read it too

Last edited by Jessica38; 04-20-2017 at 11:00 AM.
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post #34 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 11:09 AM
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Re: How to Handle Teenagers and Disrespect

Like JLD, I have 4 boys (two of them are adults now). I've always gotten along with them, and over the years we've had lots of fun and laughs. But one thing they know not to do with me is to be (overly) disrespectful, because they know I'll come down on that crap pretty hard.

Unfortunately, they sometimes feel freer to talk to their mom harshly. The thing I've found that's worked the best in that situation (I've had to do it twice now) is a Come-to-Jesus meeting where I get in their face a bit and tell them that she is my wife, and there's no way in hell that they're going to speak to my wife that way. In that instant, it's irrelevant whether she's their mother, I'm simply not going to stand for the woman I married being treated that way, and to their credit they got the point immediately.
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post #35 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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Re: How to Handle Teenagers and Disrespect

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Like JLD, I have 4 boys (two of them are adults now). I've always gotten along with them, and over the years we've had lots of fun and laughs. But one thing they know not to do with me is to be (overly) disrespectful, because they know I'll come down on that crap pretty hard.

Unfortunately, they sometimes feel freer to talk to their mom harshly. The thing I've found that's worked the best in that situation (I've had to do it twice now) is a Come-to-Jesus meeting where I get in their face a bit and tell them that she is my wife, and there's no way in hell that they're going to speak to my wife that way. In that instant, it's irrelevant whether she's their mother, I'm simply not going to stand for the woman I married being treated that way, and to their credit they got the point immediately.
I admire that you stand up for your wife to your boys (men now). While I admire my husband for his patience and calm, I do wish he would do this, especially to our oldest, who really does believe he is my equal. Maybe I should just ask my husband to say this?
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post #36 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 11:50 AM
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Re: How to Handle Teenagers and Disrespect

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But it's happening more and more. And it is all directed at me. My husband doesn't get bothered when our son is disrespectful so I'm on my own here. I need tips, please.
1) Buy a barrel

2) Put it out on the front lawn

3) Text his friends to come over

4) Throw all his stuff into the barrel

5) Pour lighter fluid on it and ignite.


He'll never disrespect you again.

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” - Maya Angelou
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post #37 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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Re: How to Handle Teenagers and Disrespect

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1) Buy a barrel

2) Put it out on the front lawn

3) Text his friends to come over

4) Throw all his stuff into the barrel

5) Pour lighter fluid on it and ignite.


He'll never disrespect you again.
I believe it. Problem is, I don't have back up from husband, who would likely get upset with me for destroying his property.

He went through a phase of door slamming so hard it would shake the entire house. I warned him that if he continued to do it, we would remove his bedroom door. He did it again and I unhinged his door. He was so embarassed when friends came over that he begged us to put it back on, which my husband did. He never slammed a door again.
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post #38 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 12:28 PM
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Re: How to Handle Teenagers and Disrespect

Do you remember what you were like as a teen?

I have 3 sons. All grown men now. I'm very proud of them. There is a list of things to remember when dealing with a teen.

01. What do you want your relationship to be in 10 or 15 years from now?

02. It's temporary. Whatever it is it's temporary.

03. Hormones.

04. You and he are both going through the same thing. It is part of the pain of separating of one functioning social arrangement into two.

05. Always keep in mind that there are things you can say or do that you can not take back. You can get past it but it is always there.

06. Make them be responsible for their choices.

07. You need to earn respect from your children. It is not given. Children sometimes grow up thinking that parents are servants.

08. They hate being dependent on you until they understand that it is the best thing that ever happened to them.

09. You are their teacher. They are what you teach them to be.

10. Killing them will get you in trouble.
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post #39 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 12:52 PM
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Re: How to Handle Teenagers and Disrespect

My boys are 25 and 27 now. I think I've just blocked out a lot of their teenage years

I am a huge believer in natural consequences. So if we're in the car and they start in on me, I stop and they have to get out and I drive away. If they don't show up to pick their sister up after school and instead go to the mall and get high, I confine them to their room until they come down and then find out where they got the pot and call that friends mother and tell them and also tell them that if their son supplies my son with pot again I will be calling the cops. If they don't come home by curfew and won't answer their phone that I pay for, I go to the friends house where I think they are and bang on the door to wake everyone up and see if they are there and when I find out they are I take them home. If they have a party while we are away and one of their friends breaks a window I get that friends phone number from the cell bill that I pay (after calling several of their other friends to find out who it was) and harass them until I get my window replaced. If they won't get up for school I blow an airhorn at them.

Those things actually happened. Only once. They HATED when I involved their friends. I think I might have briefly been known as psycho mom. Or maybe not so briefly. Oh, and I still pay for the cell bill (I get reimbursed now), and they damned well answer me if I call or text them too

People don't get a free pass to cheat just because their marriage sucks.

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post #40 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 12:56 PM
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Re: How to Handle Teenagers and Disrespect

Oh, by the way, discipline was pretty much up to me because the kids were from my first marriage and the boys didn't develop good relationships with their stepdad till after the teen years were over. My oldest son and he actually got into a fistfight once.


People don't get a free pass to cheat just because their marriage sucks.

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post #41 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 01:01 PM
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Re: How to Handle Teenagers and Disrespect

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My boys are 25 and 27 now. I think I've just blocked out a lot of their teenage years

I am a huge believer in natural consequences. So if we're in the car and they start in on me, I stop and they have to get out and I drive away. If they don't show up to pick their sister up after school and instead go to the mall and get high, I confine them to their room until they come down and then find out where they got the pot and call that friends mother and tell them and also tell them that if their son supplies my son with pot again I will be calling the cops. If they don't come home by curfew and won't answer their phone that I pay for, I go to the friends house where I think they are and bang on the door to wake everyone up and see if they are there and when I find out they are I take them home. If they have a party while we are away and one of their friends breaks a window I get that friends phone number from the cell bill that I pay (after calling several of their other friends to find out who it was) and harass them until I get my window replaced. If they won't get up for school I blow an airhorn at them.

Those things actually happened. Only once. They HATED when I involved their friends. I think I might have briefly been known as psycho mom. Or maybe not so briefly. Oh, and I still pay for the cell bill (I get reimbursed now), and they damned well answer me if I call or text them too

LOL.. I did the air horn thing once too! Worked like a charm but it traumatized the dog so I've been afraid to go there again. My boys still have a lot of trouble getting up so I'm just very firm that if they don't get up they will have to walk since I'm only making one trip (we don't have bus service). That usually works. Occasionally I break out the Megaphone as the dog doesn't mind that as much!
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post #42 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How to Handle Teenagers and Disrespect

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My boys are 25 and 27 now. I think I've just blocked out a lot of their teenage years

I am a huge believer in natural consequences. So if we're in the car and they start in on me, I stop and they have to get out and I drive away. If they don't show up to pick their sister up after school and instead go to the mall and get high, I confine them to their room until they come down and then find out where they got the pot and call that friends mother and tell them and also tell them that if their son supplies my son with pot again I will be calling the cops. If they don't come home by curfew and won't answer their phone that I pay for, I go to the friends house where I think they are and bang on the door to wake everyone up and see if they are there and when I find out they are I take them home. If they have a party while we are away and one of their friends breaks a window I get that friends phone number from the cell bill that I pay (after calling several of their other friends to find out who it was) and harass them until I get my window replaced. If they won't get up for school I blow an airhorn at them.

Those things actually happened. Only once. They HATED when I involved their friends. I think I might have briefly been known as psycho mom. Or maybe not so briefly. Oh, and I still pay for the cell bill (I get reimbursed now), and they damned well answer me if I call or text them too
You know, this is SO helpful because anytime I've even remotely involved a friend (like telling my son in front of another kid I was taking that he can use his $ to pay for another pair of jump socks at trampoline park because he didn't want to look for the pair I already paid for the previous trip), he gets this horrified look on his face and later tells me his friend thought I was "ridiculous and that I couldn't even afford $3 to buy him a new pair of socks." And I start to wonder if I'M crazy or if I could have handled that better because now my son has no interest in working with me to improve our relationship.

It's stuff like that. I hate to keep harping on my husband, but he actually has no issue with spending $3 to buy a new pair of socks, so he thinks I shouldn't either since we share our money. But it's the principle, the fact that he can't be bothered to look for a pair I've just paid for.

So thank you. I'm no longer going to second guess myself when son (and husband) acts like I'm terrible for embarrassing him in front of friends.
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post #43 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How to Handle Teenagers and Disrespect

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LOL.. I did the air horn thing once too! Worked like a charm but it traumatized the dog so I've been afraid to go there again. My boys still have a lot of trouble getting up so I'm just very firm that if they don't get up they will have to walk since I'm only making one trip (we don't have bus service). That usually works. Occasionally I break out the Megaphone as the dog doesn't mind that as much!
Can I co-parent with you?

I'm just not sure how I'm going to get through this with a husband who really does feel very differently about parenting. "If you try to control them, they will rebel." "It's tough growing up." "Boys need their freedom." "We just have to get through the next five years." "All teens are like this." "Teens aren't supposed to be polite." "There were many nights where I didn't say a word to my parents at the dinner table." "It's just going to suck for a while." "Everyone else on the team gets a ride to practice last minute. They all find ways to make it work, so we can be on call too."
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post #44 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 01:09 PM
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Re: How to Handle Teenagers and Disrespect

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So thank you. I'm no longer going to second guess myself when son (and husband) acts like I'm terrible for embarrassing him in front of friends.
Embarrassing them in front of their friends is a very powerful tool. My sons bring incidents like those up to this day.

You know, if your husband isn't going to support you when you put your foot down, tell him that he can handle ALL the discipline all by himself for the forseeable future. Then every time - EVERY time - your kids want or need a ride somewhere or money or you get a call from the school or WHATEVER, HE has to handle it HIMSELF. Go on strike, if you will.

People don't get a free pass to cheat just because their marriage sucks.

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post #45 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 01:14 PM
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Re: How to Handle Teenagers and Disrespect

Mr HB does not back me up at all.... he mostly sees it as me stirring the pot and creating drama. It's very frustrating.

Recently, my 15 year old was supposed to have a friend visit for the weekend from out of state to attend a local convention together. My son was particularly mouthy toward me the week prior, actually F-bombed me which I will not tolerate. And then refused to even apologize as I was being difficult. Mr HB did not back me up at all. The weekend in question Mr HB and my other son were away attending a college weekend, so I would be home with the other two boys and the friend all weekend... needing to provide them rides all weekend... AND my work schedule is busiest on the weekends.

I was so upset by his behavior and lack of remorse that I made him call his friend to cancel the visit, and also made him work to earn the money to reimburse his friend for his bus ticket and convention admission. Mr HB thought it was too harsh, but Mr HB wasn't going to be there to cater to him all weekend.

I so wish he would just do what @GTdad described and stick up for me. I have asked him to say those very words SO many times. He just won't
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