10 Strategies for Dealing with a Defiant Teen

Mother and DaughterAdolescence can be a difficult phase in life to navigate. Defying the wishes of their parents (or other authority figures) and testing limits is a normal part of growing up for teens. Youth are trying to figure out who they are, establish their independence, and express themselves. Unfortunately, in some teens, this process can cause them to act out in an angry, argumentative, spiteful, or rebellious manner. But, just because it’s normal behavior, doesn’t make it acceptable. To keep the peace in your home, parents need a strategy to deal with a teen’s defiant behavior.

Today’s blog offers 10 strategies for the weary parent to handle a defiant teenager:

1. Tie Privileges to Good Behavior.

What your teen might consider as necessities are really privileges that they should have to earn. Electronics, money, driving, and time with friends are all wonderful things that your teen may be allowed when they are behaving appropriately. While you should try to keep the link positive – for example, telling your teen that they have the opportunity each day to earn more privileges with good choices – these privileges should be taken away if your teen calls you names, refuses to comply with house rules, or engages in some other disrespectful behavior.

2. Avoid Repetition.

For some reason, it seems like most parents, at one point or another, resort to repeating themselves. Nagging your teen, or reminding them over and over that if they don’t do something they will be grounded, usually does not work. Many times, it just encourages defiance and steals your authority. Instead, give directions one time only, offering only one warning, and then, follow through with a consequence. It is the fastest way to achieve compliance while also maintaining a more peaceful household.

3. Enforce Consequences.

Once you have decided what limits and/or rules are important to you, stick to them, and establish specific consequences for breaking them. You absolutely must follow through in enforcing consequences to see change in your teen’s behavior. Do not ever threaten a consequence that you will not enforce – your teen will call your bluff, and, when you don’t follow through, you will lose your authority. If your teen doesn’t comply, provide the consequence in a calm manner. For example, you might say, “You didn’t clean your room like I asked you to, so you won’t be allowed to go to the movies.” Or, “Since you came home late tonight, you will not have access to the car this weekend.”

The other important key in this area is not rescuing your child from the consequences of his behavior. This will only encourage further defiance. For example, if he backtalks a teacher, do not call and make excuses for his behavior or try to lessen his punishment. Instead, talk to your teen about how he should make choices that work in his favor rather than choices that ultimately make him unhappy.

4. Have a Plan.

When your teen acts defiant, the situation can become very emotional. Your teen may be angry and their behavior can, in turn, make you angry. Unfortunately, emotional gut reactions generally do not help calm the conflict, so it is best to create a strategy beforehand. Plan out what you’re going to say to your child ahead of time, before she acts out again. Deliver your message in a simple, clear, and calm manner.

5. Praise Good Behavior.

Offer your teen a compliment or simple thank you when you see them making a good choice or doing something you asked. You might say, “Thanks so much for cleaning your room without even being asked.” Your compliments (as long as they are not sarcastic or over-the-top) will encourage your teen to continue to do good things. If you are always on his back about what he does wrong, he will end up feeling like he can’t do anything right, so why bother? Acknowledge the small steps they take in positive directions.

6. Teach Problem Solving.

Despite what your teen may say, they usually do not prefer to deal with their problems alone. As a parent, you are your teen’s teacher, coach, cheerleader, and disciplinarian. Part of your role is to teach your teen how to solve their own problems. You can read our previous blog Teaching Problem Solving Skills.

When things are calm, you might say, “This behavior won’t solve your problem—it will only get you into more trouble. So, how can you solve this problem differently next time?” Listen to what your teen has to say, and suggest ideas if he can’t come up with anything.

Additionally, it’s important to realize that, sometimes, defiance is really a symptom of an underlying problem. Don’t just assume your child is being defiant when they refuse to do something. Perhaps they don’t understand their classwork, so they refuse to do their homework, or perhaps they are afraid of speaking in public, so they refuse to prepare their project. You might need to help them develop a new or specific skill to address an underlying problem.

7. Focus on One Behavior.

If your teen is acting defiant in a number of different ways, it will be difficult and exhausting to try to address all of the problems at once. Instead, choose one behavior that is bothering you the most and begin to plan the steps you will take to improve that behavior. For example, if your teen is disrespecting or cursing at everyone in the family, not doing their homework, and also breaking their curfew, you need to decide which of these behaviors you cannot live with or seems most detrimental to their safety. When you have enforced consequences for the first behavior and it is under control, then you can move onto the next most bothersome behavior.

8. Pick your Battles.

In all honesty, many family conflicts are not worth your time and energy. It’s important to decide (with your spouse) which battles are worth fighting and which are best to let go. Avoid power struggles. Many times, teens will use petty arguments to delay having to comply with rules. Instead, concentrate only on battles that truly need your attention to protect your teen’s well-being. By avoiding minor disagreements, you create a more peaceful environment for your family, which can actually give your teen more confidence to approach you on more significant issues.

9. Stay Respectful.

Youth often come across as rude and disrespectful to their parents, teachers or other authority figures, which can be incredibly frustrating. Unfortunately, many adults respond by being rude and disrespectful back, but this is not constructive. As the adult, you must model behavior you want to see. Regardless of what you “preach,” if your teen sees you respond disrespectfully to them, then they will assume that disrespectful behavior is appropriate.

10. Get Support.

When our teens act inappropriately, it becomes easy to think we are bad parents and feel disappointed or even depressed. Do not buy into these negative thoughts or isolate yourself. Instead, find someone to talk to, whether it’s a therapist, support group, friend, or a trusted family member. You will be surprised how much better you will feel when someone simply listens to you.

When Defiance Has Gone Too Far

When disobedience begins to get out of hand, lasts longer than six months, is excessive compared to what is usual for the child’s age, and/or starts to affect both you and your child’s social and educational life, then it may be a problem that needs to be addressed. Children who struggle with excessive disobedience for over 6 months should be evaluated by a psychiatrist or psychologist. One possible diagnosis could be Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), which is a condition in which a child displays an ongoing pattern of uncooperative, defiant, and hostile behavior toward people in authority.

Final Thoughts…

Remember what you were like when you were a teen, and have empathy for your son or daughter. The adolescent years are a time filled with rapid change, mood swings, and growing independence, but it does not have to be a time of war. So many people talk about the difficulties of raising a teenager that many parents approach the adolescent years as an ordeal to survive. But this is still your child, and he or she needs you. So while you should stay alert for problems, you should also stay focused on the positive. Enjoy the unique person your teen is becoming.


  • just needing to vent too, i have a 16 year old and 14 year old. Our home is a peaceful home, my wife and I don’t argue, we don’t drink or smoke. We are not strict people either and try to discuss issues as they come up with our teens. My older one is a pretty typical teen, a little rebellious and moody, but nothing we can’t handle. He is by nature a “rule follower” and does well at school, teachers and his coaches like him. Our younger one has been a challenge since about age 2 LOL. He does have ADHD and mild ODD. He’s been in and out of the principals office since about 4th grade (he’s now in 8th). Most of the stuff was pretty innocent, arguing on the playground over a game of tetherball, etc.. stupid stuff. Middle school has literally been exhausting, he discovered vaping and we have been struggling with this for the past 2 years. He vapes nicotine and marijuana. My wife and are constantly playing searching his room, we drug test him frequently and monitor his time outside of school. We dedicate a ton of time keeping him on a good path. We’ve used behavior therapy, and therapists, …yet he always reverts back. Most of his behavior is somewhat typical, he’s tried to sneak out, we’ve caught him him a few times. Yet he doesn’t really do that anymore. It’s really the vaping that is driving me nuts. He is extremely crafty and finds ways to smoke undetected. I feel we have kept him off vaping at time for a few months, then he goes right back. He has even bought then re sold to other kids to make money. All of this happens at the school so some of it is out of our control. We are doing everything we can to keep him from making poor decisions. Sometimes I feel that I am spending so much effort and that its not even worth it, so big deal if he vapes? I just don’t want that for him. His grades are pretty good A’s/B’s and a few C’s. He lies to us when asked about things, and seems to do what he can get away with. Parenting teens is the worst. Just exhausted, will this ever end? Will things get better? When? At what age do they start to make good decisions? Will they? Just wish I could fast forward through these teen years.

    • If your kid is getting good grades and is still in school then just overlook the marijuana and vaping. I smoked weed all through school, college and university and got a top degree and a good job.
      My son has completely dropped out of school and hasn’t been for the four final years of school. He will have no qualifications. I would love it if he just smoked weed and got grades.
      Basically chill out on him unless he’s getting in serious trouble.

      • I respectfully disagree. Overlooking something that is both destructive and illegal for the sake of peace of mind very rarely works out. I am glad you did well in school while smoking weed.. I think we both know that the times were a bit different then as now the “its just a little weed” mindset is what is being used to justify hitting a cart all day everyday. Kids are smoking carts because it typically does not smell like weed so it’s easier to get away with. However, in the post its not the weed that I am keying in on. Its the disrespect, the lying, and the sneaking around IN ORDER to smoke. That is the very definition of addiction.

        There are certain truths about life that people tend to overlook. One of the most important, yet most ignored, is the simple fact that the ONLY thing we can control in life is the manner in which we react to things. Structure, rules, consistent consequences, and follow-through are crucial when navigating a 14 or 16 year old who thinks that they are an adult. They say things like.. “You can’t tell me what to do!” or “If you would just leave me alone… everything would be fine!” or “I am NOT addicted.. I can stop anytime I want.” yet when they get in over their heads…. they immediately need “mommy” or “daddy” to come rescue them. Of course as loving parents… we do just that! Over and over and over again. I mean who wouldn’t right?

        I have been a clinician working with teens, and adults who are addicted for a LONG TIME. I can tell you this… just because a “therapist” says it?? does not make it true! There is a movement in the therapy world of “unconditional positive regard” which was designed as a foundation of building rapport and respect with your clients. However, it has now been warped into a mindset of affirmations, hand holding and singing Kumbaya. For anyone that reads this… simply because you have an alphabet behind your name and a pretty piece of paper on your wall does NOT mean you know what you are doing. It means that you passed a test.

        I am far more interested in what WORKS rather than what is presented in a text book, or by a professor who has their own agenda. Give me what WORKS and I will do that. What has worked for my clients over the past 25 years is Love, Consistency, Structure, Consequences, and Rewards, to shorten a very long list. The most important on this list is the spelling of the first one… Love. Somehow today’s parents have been told that you spell love like this…… D O O R M A T! “Well to love my child is to not cause them stress.” To that I say “B S!” To love your child is to A… not be their friend first… be their parent first! B. Talk to them the same way when things are good, as when they are bad. C. Have rules and enforce them. All actions have consequences… consequences can serve us well… or consequences can serve us poorly.

        I have read a lot of “They will hurt themselves if I say no!” Yup! They sure will… why?? because they know it scares you to death and you will cave in to them. “I will run away if you take my phone!” … so we cave because we don’t want them to run away. Think of the way that sounds… “I will run away from my home, my stuff, my food, my clothes, and the people that love me the most if you don’t give me what I want!” The cognitive distortions going on here are very deep and will not be cured by caving in. So what do you do?

        Support them with your words and actions first. “I love you and you know that, I always will, and you know that too! However, loving you does not mean I stand around and let you do whatever you want when ever you want it…. that would be a “buddy”… I am not your buddy… I am your parent!” “If you run….. well that is your choice. However you need to know that running when you are a minor is a crime. The police will be called, and when you are found.. you will still come home to the same rules and expectations, consequences and rewards.” “If you hurt yourself because you were told no…. 911 will be called, you will be taken to the hospital, most likely will be held for 72 hours against your will, for a psychiatric evaluation…. and when it is all said and done… you will come home to the same rules, expectations, consequences and rewards.” These statements may seem harsh…. but they are absolutely necessary! The message has to be conveyed that “Although I love you more than life itself, because of that love, I am going to hold you accountable for your actions.”

        When this type of interactions vs. accountability is implemented… its hard at first… they buck it like a bull at a rodeo. However, when you hold them accountable consistently… in my 25 years of working with parents… it does level out.

        I have said a lot here… I did not intend to go on this long, however, I just have to speak up when I see the encouragement of allowing our kids to do something illegal simply because its easier for us.

    • Only advice I can give you is to not own their problems. Do some self care, alone with your wife as well. Disconnect a bit because if you don’t, it will feel like you are drowning, and you are also giving your 16 year old authority over the household if you feed into his problems. Unfortunately, It probably won’t solve the issues, but you will feel more at peace and a better parent to your other child. Keep him busy, and discipline by simply disconnecting cell, video games, electronics, etc. Avoid yelling or demanding how you want them to behave. They will make their own decision either way. Positive environment will help. He may also be struggling with something that is going on mentally. Ask if he is okay, and how he is feeling. He may need Intestine Outpatient Program, Partial Hospitalization, or even Residential Treatment Center. I know this probably sounds extreme, but it’s better to look into these programs then for him to hit rock bottom and possibly too late. My son went to Juvie, then house arrest, then probation. He is also been into two IOP programs, and been to residential once. He needs a lot more work, but he has really came a long way. I also thought, he may just get out of it, but I wish I would’ve made that decision earlier so he didn’t have to get in trouble with the law. Or maybe it will just click for your son, he may not see it now, but he will see it later. Good Luck.

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  • I am really struggling with my 15 year old daughter. She’s got the typical teen mindset of “I know everything and can take care of myself – I don’t have to follow your rules.” When she’s skipped school, broken curfew, or been over the top disrespectful towards me, I’ve tried all the usual consequences – taking her phone away, grounding her, etc. But, she threatens to kill herself if I take her phone away (and I know she has already engaged in self harm), and she’s run away when I tried grounding her. It makes me feel helpless – like I can’t enforce consequences if I don’t want something even worse to happen. I’ve tried to engage her in coming up with her own consequences – like “what do you think would be a reasonable curfew and what would be a reasonable consequence if you break it?” She seems to feel respected when I engage her in the process like that, but she refuses to be reasonable in the input she provides. For example, she thinks she should have a 12am curfew on school nights and if she doesn’t come home by that time, I should just deal with it – no consequence. I explained that’s not reasonable, and if she wants to show me that she’s as mature as she says she is, then she needs to be realistic with the discussion. I tried compromising with her, but only got her to back down to 11:30pm and if she’s late, she only has to come home 15 minutes earlier the next night. She also says she is “ungroundable” because she’ll just run away again if I try to ground her again. I’m just really perplexed on whether being more forceful with rules and boundaries (ie “tough love”) will do her any good or just push her further in the other direction, but I also don’t want to be overly permissive and let her do whatever, because that won’t help her grow into a responsible adult. I’m hoping to find some suggestions on here for alternative ways to help her. There must be some other way to foster my daughter’s independent spirit, while also helping her to understand the importance of rules/boundaries and being respectful.

    • I have no answers, just wanted to reach out and tell you you are not alone. We are in this same situation with our 14 year old. She has self harmed to avoid consequences. She has snuck out in the middle of the night and as of lately has resorted to sneaking people in in the middle of the night while we sleep. She tells us our life will be less stressful if we stop caring and just let her do what she wants. She says it’s her life and she should be able to make all her own decisions. Nothing we say or do works with this child. Recourses are few and far between. I hope things get better for your family.

      • My 15 year old with learn disabilities will not do ad. She told she is. Bigger stronger and more. Vìolent i dont no wat. To do

    • I can relate to all of these comments! A 14 year old daughter with ODD (that I feel has had a bad temperament since birth) its frustrating, disheartening. When it doesn’t matter how I approach a situation, they always end the same, in an all out war. None of you are alone♥️

  • I know that what’s going on in my house with my 13 year old daughter is not as bad as some of the stories I’ve read, but all she wants to do is talk back to myself and her father. I have to say I’m part of the problem. When she starts in with her I don’t want to do it, I get mad and yell and so does her father, but ever since she has been hanging out with these girls from school they tell her that they hate all men and it’s gotten my daughter to say she doesn’t like her father because he is telling her what to do. She says she has no privacy which is not true. We try to do the very best we can and it always starts out as talking but it always ends in a fight. It has gotten worse since we have had our son. She has a younger sister that is starting to act the way she does and she says she hates her. She doesn’t hit anyone but she has started to stab herself with pencils and when I take them away and tell her not to do that she starts scratching herself. I don’t know what to do because I don’t want anything to happen to her. And when she starts doing things like that I give in because I don’t want her to hurt herself. I don’t know what else to do. My husband and I found this forum and we are going to take your advice and hopefully it helps. It is destroying my husband’s and my relationship because she pits us against each other. Please help!!!

    • Hi Melissa. We are having a terrible time with our son. And I can tell you we have not handled it well so based on my experience of what doesn’t work I can advise you. (Turns out my son is on autistic spectrum so doesn’t respond to ‘normal’ parenting… but anyway, this will apply to all). Make sure you are united with your partner. Agree in advance what is and what isn’t acceptable. Don’t argue with each other in front of your daughter. Always remain calm in the face of your daughter’s rudeness or aggression. If she talks back and is rude, it is often best to just ignore it, or deflect it with gentle humour. If you bite back it will just escalate and you end up with a major problem arising from something trivial. Sometimes it is best to just walk away. Or just say nothing and provide a minimal response because they soon run out of steam if there is no response to their rudeness/anger.
      I wish I had followed my own advice because things have got worse and worse for us – I have a temper myself so when my son tries to push my buttons he often succeeds.

    • Hi, Melissa and all.
      I have been struggling with my son for 6 years. He is now 18, very tall and very strong. I am considering se ding him to a group home.

      My advise is that all of you send your children to partial hospitalization and/or call Perform Care ( NJ) to start services, such as in home therapy. I belive we all suffer abuse from our children. The earliest the intervention, the better.

  • Reading these comments is heartbreaking. I am having problems with my 13 year old and I believe it is due to the stressors of traveling between two homes (his father and I are divorced). He is disrespectful, doesnt follow directions like clean up after himself, clean his room. He shrouds his disrespect in wanting to ask questions to “clarify” my instruction, but that turns into an argument because he doesnt want to understand, he just doesnt want to do it. We go through this daily. I am exhausted. This isnt as exhaustive as what many of you have described, but I know my child. My heart is broken and I am deeply annoyed, sad and angry. I dont want to be around him. I start off saying what I need to say to him calmly-but firmly and then mess begins. Ive taken his phone, and whatever other privileges-but the behavior continues.

    • Hi , hope you’re doing well . I know that it can be really difficult for you to deal with your child seeing that you and he’s father have split up but you need to continue trying to be there for him . Its easy for us as parents to react negatively towards our children because of how they treat us but if you stop trying then nothing well change , take it step by step and start by being aware of the things that trigger you to prevent you from making the situation worse.

      It’s a slow process but with time you’ll continue to see results , you could also try to ask his father for help as well because it looks to me that he might have a bad attitude due to the split. Please don’t Give up on your Child they need you , finding what works for you as a parent is the best way to have a positive relationship.

      Let’s not forget that being a teenager is getting a step closer to adulthood and with that comes alot of pressure, so try as much as possible to acknowledge that. Try new ways to communicate, sometimes going the same old route can lead to bad results.

      If this has helped you and anyone , please feel free to visit the website that helps you be a better Parent

    • Hi everyone, I am hoping everything is working out with your children. I am here for the same reason as you are or once were. After reading some of your stories, I guess mine isn’t that bad. But my biggest fear is that he will become bad and get in trouble with the law. My son has always had behavior problems since he was in preschool. I have done it all. He has gone through many assessments, and to be honest, the only thing they can really say is that he has ADHD. I even tried medication, different kinds, and it didn’t work. In fact, it made it much worse. What seemed to help was eating a healthy diet. No processed foods, sugar, gluten… etc. He did do well with that. But I didn’t want him to be deprived also. Well, he is 13 years old now and this is a different behavior then we have ever encountered. He is resistant to any disciplinary actions at school. The staff at school try to take his phone away and he won’t give it. They send him to detention and he tells them “no, I am not going.” For PE, if he doesn’t feel like dressing, he tells the teacher, he isn’t dressing and won’t stand where he is supposed to stand. He tells the teachers and staff that they can’t touch him, or tell him what to do. This is really scaring me. When I take his phone away (which I have many times) he doesn’t come home the time he is supposed to. I don’t know where he is at and I do love him dearly and I get very worried. He is extremely defiant and manipulative. I get calls from his teachers or the dean every single day. He did lose his Father a year ago, and I don’t want to make excuses for his behavior but I also want to be understanding. He is in therapy and his therapist says he is doing very well (my son acting like everything is okay). He doesn’t do any assignments or he will do one assignment a week and think that is enough. I have tried talking to him over and over again, but it doesn’t work. I have calmed down and stopped the yelling. The school doesn’t want him in school anymore because he is very disrespectful and they can’t teach the other students. We have gone through so much and sometimes I feel like I can’t even get through the day. There is always something with him. On a positive note, he is really funny and has a great personality. He is also a very good athlete and I really enjoy watching him play his sports. He is fun to be around and we do have so many good moments together as a family. The biggest problem is him being defiant at school. I am here today because I snapped at a teacher when she called me…. “your son is being disruptive” as soon as I answered the phone. I told her, “I am at work and you need to have some type of protocol for these types of situations.” I don’t want to defend my child because it’s not fair for these teachers, but sometimes I can’t take it anymore. Well, if anyone has any special tricks, please let me know. Maybe to help with the loss of his DAD who I know he misses so bad. I cry every day because of his behavior, but I am not giving up. We can do this together. We can help each other out.

      • As I’m reading this, I almost thought I wrote it. I am having almost identical issues with my 13yr old son. He lost his father 2 yrs ago, due to neglect, and I obtaining full custody. His father has mental health issues as well. As far as school, our boys seem to be displaying identical behaviors. I too, am just exhausted. I hope things get better for you.

      • Barbara Tatarcuk

        I can tell by your words that you really love your son. I’m going through a similar situation with my 13 year old. First, a teacher informed me that their brains are actually not fully developed yet. Who knew? Do some research on adolescent brain, ie. rapid brain development. Wow. That explains a lot. Then approach the situation as another “phase” in the life of your baby/child which you need to see him through. Avoid the direct conflict by making sure he has plenty of activities lined up both sports and social. Taxi him to go places and have him take a friend for some company. They need to be supervised at all times at this age. Just give a little slack. Don’t treat him like a full grown teenager. He’s just a child’s brain in a bigger body. They don’t have the will power to make good choices–that will come later on with maturity. Right now he’s just a big kid. Dont expect him to make those good choices yet. A real solution is to have him in a youth group at church on Wednesday nights to fill in some social and spiritual activities and to break up the school week. They need God in their lives and so do we. I pay my kid for her report card grades and she likes to play sports which motivates her to keep up with the school work or she can’t play on the school team. Another real solution is to go to a church and both of you sign up for the grieving process seminar or grief counseling. This helps you cope and sort out those feelings. I did it and found it surprisingly helpful. Do everyhing you can to get them outside doing anything going anywhere as long as they are not laying in the bed self isolating staring at the damn phone which is toxic. Pray for him. Put up the 10 commandments on the fridge and refer to it sometimes when you are giving him instruction or correction. Let him take part in making some decisions with you about his agenda, calendar, whatever pertains to him. Also, Dr. Dobson a famous child psychologist firmly believes that youth NEED to have a job and to work. They need something else to do. The more the better. My daughter is 13 she just started a volunteer job today loading groceries and a local food bank. They are going to put her to work. I think this is going to be good for her. You have to break up their negative thought processes by INTERRUPTING it anyway you can! The only thing standing between them and the police is YOU! The Bible says that God will require an account from us, so we are responsible to teach them by our example and our words. The commandment of Moses was to diligently teach your children all the commandments (speaking of the 10 Commandments). We brought in a counselor this year to meet with my daughter weekly so she can blow off steam without getting a reaction. I chose a younger person which has worked out well. She will likely stay with my daughter to see her through high school. Another problem was my daughter was hanging around with only 1 friend and they were toxic together. So I recommend keeping him in groups of different friends and cousins, both male and female. Dont let him latch on to one person or a bad group. Get him in teams sports, youth group, cousins, and a variety of different friends. Most moms right now are taxi drivers like me taking these kids on field trips to speed zone (go cart driving they LOVE it!). Avoid Magic Mountain. Knott’s is probably a good choice and Soak City Water Park. Beach trips. Get with another mom and do some home bonfires with smores and music. Church youth groups have sports too and lots of activities like volleyball and hangouts. I hope this helps. I am actually doing all of these things and things are looking up a bit though we are not out of the woods yet. Love to you both. From a fellow Mom. And yes, there is such a thing as mommy abuse. They are bigger than us and stronger. I have sought medical attention on occasion. We are in the trenches and on the frontlines in a battle. Get prayer support as well from woman who know how to pray!

  • Thanks, these are good reminders. My 18 (next week) year old junior son keeps staying at Dad’s when he is out of town instead of coming to my house. I went over last night to see what he was doing & why he didn’t come home the night prior or respond to texts. He had a bong out & plenty of pot. Sigh. I put it all in the car & told him to pack & tell his friend goodbye & to come to my house. He never did. I went back this am to find more pot & a pipe. He said it was Dad’s stash. Dad denied it. Then, he said it was theirs or mostly his but he shares with dad if he wants some. OMG At wits end.

  • I’m ready to give our kids away. We have twin 13 year old girls and all they do is fight. All of our doors are broken. Today one pulled a knife and started cutting her own arm. They cannot stop fighting. They skip school, lie about being abused, lie about each other. They are the most disrespectful kids I have met and I worked for CPS at one time. I hate to say it but I wish they were gone. I’m going to lose my job if I have to keep dealing with this. Today I had to take time off because they were fighting over a freaking hair straightener. Before, it was a fight over nail glue. Anything and everything is a fight. They’re destroying our house, destroying our lives, and on pace to destroy their own lives. They’ve stolen money from us, they buy vapes, run away… it never ends. They’re going to end up in jail if this continues to spiral down and at this point I will just enjoy the break.

    • You are doing the right thing by reaching out in forums like this and whatever areas you can.. What you have described, in my opinion, is worthy of outside intervention. Kids at this age have different ways of dealing with things with some being more extreme. (I know as a parent of 3 challenging teenagers I see the gamut). However, with your daughters it sounds like they might be competing against, or possibly feeding off each other to see who could be the most extreme. They may be getting comfortable with the (low) standard of behavior they’re developing with themselves as individuals, each other, with you, and probably with the rest of the world. That needs to change before they keep raising the bar. There needs to be a (hard and swift) reckoning and an awareness that nothing good could come with their behavior. Of course an attempt to understand what the (true) sources of all that anger is and being empathetic and understanding towards them is practical, but enough should be enough. Look for some outside help to help formulate a plan. Be thorough with the what if’s, (breaking rules, etc.) and follow through with everything.

    • Sam you must be exasperated, at your wits end even. You are not alone I’m here seeking advice too. You are very brave to reach out, to vent your feelings so honestly and to ask for help. I’m looking for help with 3 teens, different ages but you have twins that must feel impossible. I’m in no position to advise you I’m simply admiring your efforts. Can I suggest separating them for a time though coz they seem to encourage each other and gang up on you. Might help in pressing reset button?

    • I am emotionally drained with my 2 girls aged 17 and 10. I have went through absolute hell with defiance with my 17 year old who just has no respect for anyone who dares tells her what to do.
      I feel like a referee all I do is constantly break up fights between them usually the 17 year old attacking my 10 year old over the most stupid of things. Eventually I have thrown her out to go live with her father, she has attacked me and my 10 on several occasions, I’ve tried every approach ignoring it, being nice, anger frustration. I feel like a failure cause I canny control this anymore. I take her ohine off her and she destroys my house. Shouts and hurls abuse. What have I done for her to hate me so much? I’ve asked myself for years that question that I must be the shittiest mother ever. I work full time to provide, she constantly tells me I am a fat cow and a psycho. Will not lift a finger, I come home from 12 hour shift to a bomb site and she just tells me to fick off when I ask her to clean her mess. I’m
      Exhausted cleaning up after her, won’t even start about the state of her room.
      End result I have in told her to leave and she is now staying with her father which has happens before then comes back, I really don’t want her back as I knkw nothing will change but now left with the guilt that I have lost my daughter.
      I can only hope one day she realises the hell she has put me and her sister through for years.
      I cry every day. I can’t fix this either, my poor 10 year old said to me I just want a sister who is nice, I’m heartbroken.

  • Hi! I have a 13 year old daughter who thinks she should have her phone so she’ll behave. She says it’s so hard being the oldest sibling and that her siblings annoy her. It doesn’t matter what they do they’re being annoying to her. I’ve tried talking to her and telling her she can’t act that way. And she just tells me I don’t know what it’s like being the oldest sibling. She’s told me to get out of her life that she hates being here. My daughter talks hatefully or screams when we try asking her something but not all the time.

  • Cristina L Jordan

    My niece is 15. She is very disrespectful to her mom. Her mother cleans the house, makes the food, helps them with their homework, washes their clothes, and works a night shift at a local warehouse. Coming home at 4am to make her husband his lunch for work because he works from 5am to 2 or 3 pm. She does everything herself. When she tells her daughter to pitch in, and explains that, at her daughters age she was helping her mom clean the kitchen, washing her own clothing and helping her siblings, my niece responds with “I’m not YOU! If you want me to do something you have to ask me. I’ll do it. But I’m not going to do stuff if you don’t ask.” Or she will start to scream at her mother how much she hates her, that her mom is ruining her life, that she wishes to move out.
    She has a boyfriend, and has stated that she will move out and live with him. She has also told her mother countless times thst once my niece has children her mother will not be a part of their lives because she makes her daughters life hell and that she won’t let her mother do the same to her kids. That her mother is crazy and she can’t wait to get away from her. This is normally how she responds to her mother’s request for her to clean her room, wash dishes, etc. The first few times my sister in law tells her to do something, she generally ignores the request or does a half-hearted and lazy attempt, IF she’s in the mood to do so. If she is not, the response is either a total ingoring of the request. If my sister in law repeates the request and my niece is NOT in the mood to comply, her response is a screamed insult along the lines of what I said previously that my niece says to her mother.
    Most of the time my sister in law will repeatedly request my niece to do what she has asked and will ignore the behaviour. But, when my niece begins screaming and hurling insults, by this point, her mother will lose her calm and begin shouting at my niece.

    • How long has your niece acted that way towards her mother? Could it be a hormonal issue? Has there been any kind of traumatic situation in your niece’s life, ie. is she with both biological parents or is dad a step dad? Does she or has she ever been bullied at school? Does she hang out with the ‘wrong’ crowd at school? Sometimes things such as those can be an underlying issue for the anger. They are not by any means an excuse, just the cause that needs to be addressed. There are some awesome anger management programs out there as well as counseling that may be helpful. My daughter was diagnosed with O.D.D. at 8 years old, she had a behavior specialist for almost 4 years and it was so helpful. Once the teenage years hit we had struggles again and then I knew how to handle it for the most part. I hope that is helpful.

  • hi there my son is 16 he like to go out at 10 come home at five in the mori ning he thinks its ok to do that i dont think iam a sigle mom i really dont know what to do about with a iam so worry about my son

    • Is he in education? And is he doing okay in his studies? Or does he have a job that he’s doing okay in? If so then don’t worry. I used to stay out all night when I was 16. (Not every night though! ). The main thing is whether he is achieving anything in his life generally.

  • Hi.. I have a 15 years old daughter where she cannot abide by the curfew she set her own.. this moment she set next moment she break it by not coming home at all and not picking up her phone
    I’m really frustrated as this has been on for 2 to 3 times within 2 months period..
    I just warned her and let her set her own curfew and the very day itself she breaks it.. she really ought to test my limit
    I’m going to throw her out of the house.. is it too extreme?

    • Cristina L Jordan

      Cathrine, I was a rebellious teen around that age. I do think throwing her out is extreme. She’s 15. Living outside of her home would be seriously dangerous for her. At this age, living on the streets or even with a friend , leaves her open to predators that prey upon young people. It also leaves her open to negative suggestions or advice, like more promiscuous behaviour or drugs/alcohol.

      • Cristina L Jordan

        I suggest sitting down with her, explaining that, because you trusted her and allowed her to set her own curfew, and her brealing it time and again, that she has broken your trust and, due to that, she will be losing the priviledges she has. If she has a cellphone, take it back, if she is allowed to drive, hide the keys and let her know she won’t be driving or going out until she has shown that she can be trusted. That you set a curfew, not because you wish to curtail her fun, but because you want her safe and well-rested. That you worry about her when she doesn’t come home or answer your calls. That, as a mother, the first thing that comes to mind when she doesn’t come home are things like her being in a car accident, or someone hurt her, or that she was in a situation where she was drugged or lost, and that her actions cause you added stress. That it is not fair to you OR to her when she breaks her word. That, because she doesn’t come home regularly on time, if she ever IS in danger or hurt, you would not think she might be hurt or in danger because she normally doesn’t come home on time and the time she ACTUALLY NEEDS help, it might not come in time because she has ignored the rules too many times before. Like the boy who cried wolf. That you do what you have to to make sure she has a roof over her head, that she has hot water to shower with, clean clothes to wear, food to eat, and priviledges such as a cellphone, going out with friends, etc. But that she HAS THESE THINGS BECAUSE YOU TAKE CARE OF YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES. That if she cannot respect the effort, and care YOU put into HER care and providing HER with things she likes, then you will not provide the things she wants. That she will have to work to gain those things back. That she will have to prove that she respects your efforts, care, and rules. That she will have to earn your trust back. If she continues to leave and not answer your calls or come home on time, call the police and report her as a runaway, and that you would like for her to stay the night in jail if she is found. Make sure she knows what you will do. She is used to it just being a “family” issue. Hopefully, if she sees the police and experiences the repercussions of disobeying the rules, she will appreciate the things she has and the home and caring family she is so lucky to have. Reach out to your local police station and ask if they have programs for difficult/rebellious teens available like the Scared Straight program on T.V.

    • She is 15, she should definitely not be making her own curfew, in doing so you are allowing her to make her own rules. You need to set a curfew and consequences for breaking the curfew, and follow through with the consequences when she doesn’t come home on time, otherwise she will continue to do whatever she wants.

  • Same situation here… his brother’s iPad went missing and I was being accused of losing it because I tend to confiscate these things and hide them where even I can’t find them! Turned out he had stolen it and hidden it under his mattress and was waiting until we were all asleep at night to go on it! I only found out because I got an app that notifies me when someone connects to internet. And I finally busted him. WiFi router now kept in our bedroom and unplugged at night.
    His mum is here btw. That is who i meant, not my mum!
    We have remained consistent and really cracked down on his behaviour. After we finally removed the last hidden screen device he had a complete meltdown but since ten has been a bit better.
    Also he went back to school and has benefited from more exercise and contact with other kids. He also has to get up in the morning for school. So he is a lot more tired at night therefore less likely to kick off and keep us awake. Seems to be turning a corner, fingers crossed. It’s taken about 2 months but he is becoming SLIGHTLY better. Yesterday he swore at me but immediately apologised.
    We saw a psychologist in the end. He refused to go but we went to get some parenting advice.
    All we can do is have consistent boundaries and consequences and not budge. But also focus on positives, however small. The occasional unexpected treat also helps, and occasionally just letting some bad behaviour go by. I gave him an hour extra on screens last night because he hadn’t mouthed off all day.
    Also advised by friends to get him involved in as much physical activity as possible. Not easy to do but I got him doing a few things and it’s certainly true that if he has properly exercised he is a lot better.
    At one point I literally dragged him out of bed and all the way down the stairs so he would come to the beach for a walk.
    Best of luck with your tribulations!

  • Buhamizo Johnpaul

    Very good advice. Thank you so much. But whatif he does not object openly but does contrary to every order

  • Hmm. My 12 yr old son clearly has ODD. Never diagnosed but ticks all the boxes. He has been difficult all his life.
    Interesting that some recommend overlooking some of the awful behaviours and others recommend draconian measures. I’ve tried both and neither seems to work (perhaps lack of consistency is the problem!). We are consistent about consequences but he never seems to learn. You would have thought that losing access to his beloved phone and computer would make him think twice but he would rather defy us on even a small matter despite knowing for certain he will lose his screens for 24 hours. He is relatively well behaved at school but is awful to his family.
    I also disagree with the suggestion that kids are lacking their father being around etc because I’m his dad and both me and his mum are always around (in fact we’re around too much for his liking!).
    I probably need to focus more on his good behaviours because he is good in some ways, helps around the house in small ways. IBut it is overshadowed by his complete refusal to accept any rules. I would like to reward him, compliment his good points etc but he can’t go long enough without upsetting someone. For example this evening he went out after dark and when told not to shouted “you don’t f-ing control me!”. It’s the kind of thing I might expect from a very badly behaved 15 yr old, not a 12 yr old.
    I wish he could understand that life would be easier for him if he could play the game a little rather than being in a constant state of rebellion over everything. 🙁
    He struggles to make friends and frankly I can see why because he annoys people, at times deliberately and sometimes unintentionally. But he won’t heed any advice on how to get along with folk.
    Another thing that keeps cropping up in the advice I read is that he/we should see a therapist. But also I see people commenting who have been to therapy etc and it hasn’t helped. So do I want to have a defiant child, or Dino want to have a defiant child combined with massive debts that I’ll have to run up on counselling at £60 an hour? Perhaps I’d be better off spending the money on fun activities for all the family. Or just spend it on whiskey to numb the pain 😉

    • I feel empathy for you and for myself. You have described my 17-year-old son, he moved to his dad’s since we were just yelling at each other and he was obnoxious to his siblings and somewhat violent, and now my 13-year-old son has began that same pattern with me. My daughter 15 always tells me that I should send my 13-year old away to his dad, but I feel that that would be even more detrimental as my x has an addiction to sex and has 2 more boys 3 & 5 years old which he has 50% of the time since that relationship didn’t last… I’m feeling depressed and can’t understand how to love my son anymore…I am a stay at home mom and am there for him all the time. He does complain about his dad not being affectionate enough and he plays his dad and gets almost everything he wants, haircuts, electronics, cell phones, and they can stay up all night for all he cares. But you on the other hand are there with him as a father figure along with your mom (his grandma)! However, I must ask, where is his mum in all this? She might be the key to all his bad behavior…As for myself, I am blaming his dad for a lot of his behavior, I know it’s wrong, but if feels I have my x living with me as I can see my son taking advantage of me and using his power to do nothing around the house even if the phone, x-box have been taken away and I have recently uninstalled Fortnite from my computer. He refuses to come along when we go out of the house. I take all the keyboards and electronics with me in the car, I know one of them can’t be found, I ask him before leaving if the knows where it is, he says “NO” and then I find out he hid the I-Pod Air and stayed on it the whole entire time we were out of the house. I’m desperate and worn out!

    • This sounds like my soon to be 12 yr old to a T!

    • I am dealing with the same issue with my 15 year old son…

    • Does you son have any interest in any sports? Ideally team sports? He has aggression he needs to work through and understand. Being allowed to exert himself physically could help calm him. The team aspect will give him a sense of belonging and working as a group. Martial arts is another means of learning respect for yourself and others while allowing for some exertion. You sound like you are attentive to your son, which is more than a lot of parents. Some parents feel overwhelmed with life in general and only sporadically enforce boundaries.This leaves an opening for even more tension and defiance.The key is coming up with a sensible plan that you are absolutely sure you will maintain and be consistent with, that will allow your kid to grow as a person. This means knowing their boundaries, what’s allowed and what will be the consequences if the boundaries are broken. When that does happen, leave emotion out of it, but be sure to follow through every time. I think kids crave boundaries without knowing it. The world is a confusing place for young people and boundaries make it less so.

      • Thanks. Yes he likes badminton and is very good at it but sadly it has been banned for the past year due to Covid-19. Most outdoor sports have been stopped for most of the year too, as have gyms. So this has really exacerbated the situation. I make sure he goes and gets fresh air every day but he doesn’t want to do sports or walks with me. And he doesn’t have friends locally so whilst we are in these restrictions he doesn’t do enough exercise. The U.K. is about to start opening up over the next few months so hopefully he will get into sport again.
        We are continuing with very strict boundaries. It is kind of working but every few days he has a meltdown about screen time/bedtime even though he accepted it fine the day before. At the moment he is keen to get a new computer monitor so appears to be willing to make a bit of effort to try and get to that particular reward.

  • I have a granddaughter that shows no respect and has a nasty oath filled mouth filled with words I couldn’t think of repeating to or around my parents or any elderly person.I love her but the nasty disrespectful mouth has to go.

    • Shweta Agarwaal

      Generally a teenage has lot of things going inside their mind which they are confused about as to whom should they share with . Elders will generally despite their behaviour. This inturn makes them behave the way they do . Most of the behaviours have an antecedent factor . Try working on that rather than on behaviour . Things will become better . Try becomimg their friends This way they will begin to share

      • Being their friend is not a good suggestion as friends tend to encourage behavior that may be unfavorable I get being understanding and friendly. But as an adult you have to be that child’s parent The roles of adult friends can be played by an Aunt, Uncle or older cousin.

      • Hi
        My daughter is 13..she was in hostel for last 2 years.. Now i want her to live with me and study in our city.. She is back.. But she is not talking and she is very angry and rebellious .. Plus she doesn’t want to stay here with us.. I don’t know what to do.. Im just scared.. What if she starts hating me.. Or what if she develops negative feelings about me.. Please help.. How to win her again..

  • These are all bullshit and make kids today entitled and empowered over their parents. When I was a kid I was spanked and we even had paddles in school. But, I sure as heck learned how to respect my parents, follow rules, and many other things because of it. Kids today have no respect for anyone because we softly tell them to go sit in timeout 50 times before we cave because we have to “pick our battles”. I wish I would’ve disciplined my kids like my parents did me….maybe my teenagers would respect me more and behave better. Now, I am a doormat and walked all over by them because of all the tips above. If I could do it all over again, I would spank my kids instead of put them in timeout.

    • struggling parent

      I feel so defeated with my 12 year old. She is only 12 and gives me a rough time. I, too, was given whoopings growing up and I turned out fine. I think I should have done the same thing when she was younger. I imagined myself being the perfect parent for my daughter and never in a million years would think I’d be going through what I am going through with her. I consider my home to be really stable so I am so confused as to why she is so disrespectful to me.

      • Shweta Agarwaal

        It is definitely difficult to understand kids of this generation compared to ours. I remember not defying my parents on most of the issues. However i do feel that kids of this genration lack emotional quotent due to less number of siblings . Hence they do not have close bond with someone who they can share with. Just concentrate on enjoyong with her for a while and forget nagging and micromanaging , she will surely begin to share her feelings with you. Focus only on her positives and be firm.
        All the best.

    • Absolutely! Tried everything about….doesn’t work. In fact, above suggestions just made him feel not entitled and inconsiderate! Yet he behaves in school and respect his teachers. Smh

      • I’m dealing with the same behavior from my 12 year old son. I’m at the end of my rope, and don’t know what to do. I’ve taken him to a psychiatrist and she diagnosed him with defiant disorder. This has been going on since he was 5, and I’m at a loss.

    • This!!!!! You are %10000 right!

    • I’m with you all the way on that! If I had to do it all over again – I would spank them while young. Kids these days don’t have to repect anyone. My granddaughter is hateful disrespectful and defiant. When I was a kid – I had chores, I wasnt allowed to desrespect elders, teachers or anyone -as far as that goes. My sisters and I had consequences spankings and responsibility at a young age. I’m with “Phoenix” all the way!

  • Friederike Lehrbass

    I’m reading right a book called A House United from Nicoleen Peck,which has some very practical advices how to deal with child rearing. Nicoleen used to be a forster parent,where she learned those principals. I’m slowly starting to implement those principals..

  • I have a very sarcastic mouth and so does their father. I always wanted my kids to have opinions and not feel confined where they can’t openly tell people how they feel about them and what they do or say to them. My issues is they go back and forth with me and I’m finding myself repeating myself and I’m tired of that. They use to listen to me when I say things once it was done when I counted to 3 they answer me when I threaten them they would do it immediately but the past few years it’s not working and it’s getting worse to the point where I’m getting frustrated and I’m running out of things to do. What should I do I don’t want to lose my kids openness with me along with honesty? They always want to be on the game. So u finally took the games system out their rooms last night and I’m going to start back saying things once if it’s not done then they will start writing sentences on living up to the fact that they will listen more. I take their phone daily when they get home anyway. If you have any suggestions please tell me what is the best strategy to handle 10 & 13yr old boys

    • Shweta Agarwaal

      Being strict is good to a certain extent but chilren become rebellious when we overdo. Most of the things in life get sorted when we analyze where are “we” going wrong. Till the time we blame others for their behaviour, problems cannot be sorted. Sit back and rethink as to how and what can you change.
      Things will definitely become smoother.
      Take care
      All the best

      • I see in a lot of the posts the conduit to problems being computer devices. While it is fairly easy to restrict gaming on a stand alone device, it’s not so with a computer as school work is now done almost entirely through the internet. (I miss the book days).

  • My daughter’s mom is around now and then but rarely, and when around she sets odd examples. My daughter, now 17, wants a relationship with her mom but her mom is just not willing to give the time. I have raised her since age 2 1/2, took her thru dance, music, private schools, travel, and these past few years have been absolutely horrible, disrespect, says terrible, mean things to me, yells loudly at me for the slightest things, lies all the time, even when she doesn’t need to. It is just killing me slowly and I worry night and day.

    • Shweta Agarwaal

      As you said you raised her and gave her all the time she needed. That time probably she was small to voice her opinion and now she is showing her frustration through disrespectful behaviour. It could be her frustration with her mom for not giving her time and maybe she is unable to talk it out. Give her little space, let her take her time. Its tough time for her too.
      Things will be fine soon
      Take care

      • Why are you giving advise and telling everyone to give it time, it will be ok. Most of us have given it time, years in fact! How do you know everything will be ok???? If that’s the only decent advice you have, keep it!

    • Jennifer Bissett

      The advice Shweta has given is kind advice. I had years of struggle with my daughter. Serious issues. My life was such a misery. I didn’t think I would ever get through it. I learned it was important to remain calm and most important to find time for myself. They do change. The constant use of a device was a nightmare. I tried everything blocking off the Internet to her device through our router. She just researched on the dark web and got a work around. She has serious mental health issues, anxiety, depression, self-harm, suicide attempts. After years and years she is finally almost 19. Has a job, studies at secondary college part time, cleans her room…sometimes. Does her own washing. Occasionally she can be argumentative and defiant but I have learnt to just let go of what I can’t control. The more you push the more they push back and away. They do eventually learn. You just have to endure. Take time for yourself. The worrying doesn’t help and people are right, choose your battles but keep in mind you may not win them anyway. But they will also understand in time. And remember the standards you tried to set. But start slowly with some changes. For example, get them to be responsible for their actions. EG. Tell them your not happy with their behaviour….be specific…say I don’t like it when you swear and yell at me, if you continue to do this I will no longer be doing your washing. Then follow through, don’t do their washing. But you could use anything eg not pay for your mobile phone etc.
      When they yell and swear at you. Just say calmly. I can see your angry. Feel free to talk to me when you’ve calmed down and walk away. Just ignore them if they keep at you and repeat the same thing. Turn on tv or music and pretend to be focussed on that. There are some good parenting books out there. Get them from your local library if you can’t afford them.

  • i have a 15 year old daughter she had {ODD}oppositional defiant disorder she is all over the place she does not listen she curses at me breaks my things i tried so many things with her where it’s at a point where she beat up one of the kids at her school the mom pressed charges , and the court case lasted till about 9 months she has a probation officer who does not do anything only talks to her my 15 year old basically does what she want she don’t come home hangs the phone up on me treats me as if i am not her mother at all i am so emotionally broken with her to where i am about to sign my rights over because she doing things i never did to my mother she listen to her peers and other friends but not me i tried the taken the phone i tried grounding punishment etc nothing worked

    • Shweta Agarwaal

      Seems like a little tough time for you and your daughter. Since she has ODD as you mentioned there are certain things that is not in her control. Its not that she feels good about behaving in such a peculiar manner, she must be equally devasted with her own behaviour(pressed charges). Its not going to change overnight, but it will. When we decide that we will change we can actually change. She needs your help and cooperation in doing so and only a parent can do that. Help her through this time by being her constant support and making her believe that you are always there by her side .
      Things will definitely start improving
      All the best

  • Sandra Cunningham

    This is really bull crap, teens these days are very disrespectful because they have an entitlement issue and think their parents owe them something.. I have never treated my mother the way my 14 year treat me.. he needs to go to juvenile hall and find out how good he really has it. I would like to know how to get him into the program..

    • I totally agree!!

    • I agree most definelty.

    • Hello Sandra , I need help my self. My 14yr stresses me out so bad . one time I called the cops and they did actually take him to juvenile they called me the same day to pick him up because I guess he didn’t qualify to be there. YES!!! ridiculous. as soon as we picked him up my son said it wasn’t as bad as I thought was. Blah blah blah . it’s so frustrating. just wondering if anything has changed for you and your son

    • To be honest I went through that situation Juvenile Hall only increases negative behavior because they will be exposed to peers that are delinquent they will show them how to abuse the system.The courts are not in your favor as they will only blame you as a parent they will give kids a slap on the wrist Probation officers will not care if the child is rebellious towards you because they get bonuses for your child breaking the law and getting locked up finally if they send them to a program your teen is 90% chance of reoffending and then it will be a spiraling cycle of detention unless A the child continues these behaviors unto adulthood and is in and out of prison or B learns from past mistakes and decides they want better for their life. All you can do is be their parent make time for self care and lead by example. The child will have to face consequences for their actions and their choices are not based on how good or bad you parent

    • Me too

    • Yes but the generation of parents are to blame they will come up to another parent in a grocery store or parking lot involving their jacked up free will style parenting while telling the parent who is trying to control and raise a productive child who will one day be an adult hopefully a well mannered and productive because of the discipline given as a younger person! These free will goody too shoe parents who let their kids rule the roost need to stay out of others business and stop using dcfs as a manager of Thor thoughts and rules not others mind your own business and raise your kids this manner as chances are they will be so jacked up no rules and free will given while raised kids need guidance and rules and discipline just like police don’t baby people that have been arrested stop babying and discipline or you will have a child that is an adult vigilante and unproductive or so many issues they will never the able to hold a normal life or have morals to be a good person a normal person if ubwnat your kids jacked up fine leave ur business out of parents trying to stop this and raise theirs with kindness love and respect while not allowing the kids to grow up with issues and anger when not getting their way or worse for no reason just to be a spoiled jerk mooching into adulthood and on and on yes u parents can raise your kids that way if u want but leave us alone we don’t go raise hell with your parenting and calling family services for normal discipline although not a bad idea ur jacking ur kids up! Socially, mentally and physically young adults and adults Somalia’s be kind and helpful preparing to have a life of their own a productive and hay life not a jacked up life this generation of no rules for kids and free will parents raising kids that make up their own rules is crazy do they know what they are doing and that is the abuse they all need a therapist that isn’t afraid to tell it like it is and stop worrying about hurting these crazy families feelings they need to know they have no problems tellling others off if they don’t like a parenting style I’ve seen it and it’s crazy they outburst in public and threaten it’s sad for their kids!

  • I’m a single mom of a 15 year old son he’s been recently diagnosed with emotional/defiant disorder he’s on medication and in therapy yet when he doesn’t get his way he curses me out saying things like he wishes I die i took his phone away and he threatened if I don’t give it back he’ll call child services I ignored his threats so he told his therapist I punched him in his face even though the therapist knew it was a lie he told me he had to call child protective services how I’m i to cope with this its breaking my heart

  • I have a 15 years old boy that I adopted 1 year ago in July 2017. I had him at age 10 and he was such a considerate, sweet, and nice young man. I have noticed a big change in his attitude. He has become very defiant, stealing, disrespectful, running a away for days at a time, fornication with girls some even younger than 10, profanity, anger issues, depression, and suicidal ideation. This child is disrespectful to adults and authority figures. His school grades has declined, his attendance at school is horrible. He has the ” I don’t care” attitude. Now he is confined to an evaluation center and he is acting out there, too. What is happening to this child where he is not listening or obeying anyone. He supposed to be returning home the first week in December and I’m not sure he or I will be ready for his return.

  • This is a good read , but more solutions would be great.
    I have a child that is all of the above and does. NOT respondcomply with / to consequences , and is consequently almost never awarded privileges, hence Not caving. If you at some point do not meet the challenging behavior , although it is conclusively unproductive , they assume you will take the bullying. Therapy was not effective in our case , and we had a top of the line specialist for his behavioral and emotional coping issues
    Polite reinforcement is looked upon as a joke. Asking a single time or with a reminder to do something is not successful – and of course nagging leads to a battle. spanking is out at this age but was a joke at best early on. This child became this way as a result of a life with an alcoholic father and a single parent court order with no visitation with mom.
    He doesn’t even know why he’s angry anymore , not caring and causing chaos keeps him from being emotional otherwise.

  • Solid advice.those who have made previous comments have covered the bases.our reading early in the morning says that we are all dealing with very similar issues..and here I thought I was alone..I will try to use this guidance..words well spoken..thanks

  • My daughter is 13 years in grade 6 and an A student, recently I was made aware that she is not writing her class work, and she is starting to lie more often. She said her books were missing and I discovered that she was lying too. She doesn’t behave badly at school my worry is that she is going to repeat her grade if she doesn’t change soon. Please advise what to do.

    • Barbara Tatarcuk

      My daughter did the same at age 10 in 5th grade. The lying, the hiding the teachers requirements from me, book report due dates, etc. After conferences with the teacher we caught on to her. Later on, I found out from other mothers of students in her class that many of the kids in her class are all doing the same thing and getting Fs on tests. Blowing off home work, too. My conclusion:….at this age, they are all on the cell phone, tablet, internet and interested only in friends, crushes, technology. I personally think its a normal stage in the tween years. As parents, our we are responsible to teach our children the love of God and the ten commandments. Instill this in them while they are still young (before 13). They go through their wayward teenage years, but hopefully the Rock of The LORD God will keep them on the path of life. Otherwise, if they have no values/morals and and are not taught the Truth: the difference between right and wrong, then they come to the false belief that there is no God, and they themselves are the highest authority, and they don’t respect authority in general and come to believe that nothing really matters, therefore, anything goes!

  • Thank you! This came to me exactly when needed. Your article gave us reminders of what we intuitively know and in line with other helpful info we have gathered. Your article helped to bring some clarity to how we wanted to respond to our 13 y/o son about behaviors that took a peak and a situation that took place 2nights ago. Last night we addressed it.
    The interaction was heated but maintained self control as parents.
    There is peace in the house again.
    Your article made a difference.
    Thank you!!👍👍✌️

  • Angeline Smith patey

    Thanks for the advice it’s helped to make things more clear. I will try your strategies and see how I get on. This blog has also made clear how my own behaviour can make the situation worse than what it needs to be because it’s true that emotions get in the way at times.

  • My great niece is cursing in front of other adults, and curses at her mom. The psychiatrist said to let her do and say her expression, (at least that is what my niece is telling everyone). Can somebody tell me this is a thing, to let your 14 year old daughter curse bad words, let her boyfriend stay over and allow her to stay at his home?? I know she had suicide thought, and was in a center for a few days, but is this the answer for a child that as my niece says (We want to let Autumn grow up to be her own person so we don’t tell her no or correct her, we let her figure things out) no punishment was ever given to her. So please someone tell me if this is true cause I don’t think I can stand the (F) word coming from her mouth again without placing a bar of soap in it!!

    • Since you are not the parent your options are limited to being an advisor or coach to your niece. If her parents refuse to apply the discipline recommended in this website then they are choosing to let her learn “the hard way” about how her words to others cause negative consequences to herself. Becoming her own person does not require loosing friends, family, and even future employment due to her offensive behavior. You can have talks with her following the steps and concepts listed on this site. Be a positive roll model. Also, remember that all of us learn from our experience but being coached before hand will greatly speed up that learning process.

    • Sandra Cunningham

      That is just rediculous. Her parents need counseling if they are allowing this.. she needs to be respectful to everyone.

  • I believe kids today need mentors and other adults that really believe in them. A lot of parents are working, and kids don’t always get to have life conversations with them.

    I was lucky because my dad was a firefighter, so he had every other day off and would be at home. I remember my brother and I being able to talk to him about stuff like peer pressure, sticking up for other kids, bullying, and other life things… even the birds and the bees (that was an awkward conversation!).

    If kids have a couple extra adults in their life that can mentor them and believe in them, I think they will avoid bad decisions and they will have a much better chance to succeed.

    And if you’re a busy parent or a single parent, even just a 5 minute conversation about life skills could make a huge difference. https://www.preparemykid.com

  • This post confirms my thoughts on dealing with my niece. I recently gained custody of her due to the death of my brother. The mother is incarcerated. This child has feelings of anger, grief, relief (she had wanted to live with me for a few years now due to bad home environment), guilt, and other emotions. However, I cannot allow her to get away with lies or disrespect. If you have any ideas on dealing with the gamut of emotions she has, please share. Keep up the good advice.

    • Hi Wanda…I do not have any advice and it seems like this website has a lot of great stuff. I feel like an “amateur parent” and am navigating a lot or conflict and mediating some “intentional rebellion and power struggles”
      With my teen daughter.

      It sounds like you have a lovely niece who loves you very much – since you disclosed about her wanting to live with You – I am sorry about the passing of your brother.

      I just wanted to encourage you in your new role as “stand in MOM”. What a beautiful thing. I hope you get this message meant to encourage you – because sometimes that is all we need – a listening ear that does not judge! I recommend you stay connected with adults you admire and who are raising healthy teens – keep your niece active and involved…perhaps seek out some grief programs or read online about “grief relating to loss of parent” – she is experiencing loss through death and loss through gap or neglect.

      I Iive in Toronto Canada and am not sure of the resources you have in your community where you live.

      I am a big believer in prayer and staying connected with a beautiful church – with supportive people and resources – and a small group to join for support – through church is helpful.

      Surround yourself with loving people and give loving boundaries and make sure to love your niece. Ask for strength when you pray and it will show up in miraculous ways re patience or courage to “parent with consequences”.

      Many blessings for your journey. Another idea is to really just spend at least an hour a week doing something different and memorable – make it consistent and insist it happens…it could be as simple as …you fill in the blanks.

      Don’t let anger and despair take over – look for “the best” and avoid temptations and traps to complain or to feel resentful…these are warnings that “ugly is around the corner”. You can’t be a perfect parent but you can do your best. Oh, and get lots of rest..take time to rest and to take care of you – by doing a hobby and stopping the to-do list so you can be filled.

      Teens tend to empty our wallets and patience…so fill up beforehand…through prayer, people , hobbies and take time for JOy. – looking for ways to celebrate beautiful Things…all the best and many blessings!

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