Eye rolling, curses, insults, backtalk, name-calling, ignored requests, snide comments: disrespect from your child or teen comes in many different forms.

If you’re struggling with disrespectful behavior from your kids, you’re not alone: this is one of the biggest topics of conversation between parents and our online parent coaches.

The truth is, disrespectful behavior is one of the inappropriate ways kids, especially teenagers, try to solve their problems. Kids can feel powerless in the face of rules and expectations, and talking back and showing disrespect is one way they try to take some power back. If they can drag you into an argument, that’s even better: now you’re arguing about respect instead of focusing on their curfew or their homework!

“You can’t demand respect, but you can require that your child acts respectfully, no matter how they feel about the situation.”

The reasons behind disrespectful behavior include the perfectly normal and healthy process of your child growing up and away from his identity as a younger child. Teens naturally seek more independence as they get older, and mild disrespect is one way that independence gets expressed.

But as James Lehman, creator of The Total Transformation® program writes: “While it’s important to allow for the natural breaking away process that comes during the teen years, parents also have to be sure to identify and challenge any truly disrespectful child behavior that is hurtful, rude, or demeaning to others.”

Related content: Disrespectful Child Behavior: Where to Draw the Line

So while it may be healthy and normal in some cases, disrespectful behavior isn’t something you want to let go unchecked. Indeed, ignoring it completely can cause disrespectful behavior to escalate.

What else increases disrespectful behavior in teens?

Here are five almost guaranteed ways you can unknowingly encourage disrespectful behavior in your child – and what you can do instead:

1. Don’t Take Everything Personally or Overreact

Pretty much every teenager pokes relentlessly at their parents, expressing their frustrations in various ways. Eye rolling, scoffing, smirking – those are all tools in the teenage arsenal that convey their disregard. And as we all know, those mild, irritating behaviors can get under your skin. Kids are looking for those weak spots, those places where they can drag you into defending yourself or your rules.

If you take it personally, it’s going to be hard to respond effectively. If you react to every single one of those behaviors, you’re not likely to see any change in your child. While these things are annoying, they aren’t necessarily something to correct.

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James Lehman talks about ignoring the little disrespectful things your child does – especially if she’s otherwise complying with your rules. The kid who mutters under her breath as she stomps off to do as she’s told is behaving like a typical, normal kid. It’s when your kid treats people badly while refusing to comply with expectations that you need to jump in and correct the behavior. (Our articles about disrespectful child behavior go into this in more detail.)

What to Do Instead:

Decide which behaviors you’re going to focus on, and which you can ignore. Remember that those mildly irritating behaviors aren’t about you, they’re simply an expression of frustration. Your role is to deal with your child or teen’s behavior as objectively as possible.

It doesn’t mean you won’t be irritated. Just find ways to handle that emotion away from interactions with your child, if possible. Let it go, and stay focused on the topic at hand.

2. Don’t Bad-Mouth Other People

Life is stressful sometimes: bosses are challenging, neighbors get too loud, family members can be irritating. As a parent, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to show your kids how you manage your behavior when you’re annoyed or upset. Kids “watch us for a living,” as the Lehmans say. If you talk badly about others or treat other people with disrespect, don’t be surprised if your child follows suit.

What to Do Instead:

Parents have to role model better behavior for their kids. Remember, they’re watching you, even if they don’t seem like they care what you do. If you value respect, model respectful behavior. Do your best to show them the way it should be done.

3. Don’t Take Your Child’s Side

Wait, what? What does taking your child’s side have to do with disrespectful behavior?

Let’s say your child complains about how much homework he has, calling the teacher names and generally being disrespectful toward her. You might agree that this particular teacher does give too much homework.

If you take your child’s side in this case, you might say you agree that you think the teacher is stupid, and that she’s doing a terrible job. You agree that your child doesn’t have to do all that homework because clearly, the teacher is wrong.

When you side with your child, in effect joining them in disrespectful behavior, you’re showing them that you don’t have to be respectful to someone you disagree with. The message your child hears is: if you think someone is wrong, then you have a right to be rude.

What to Do Instead:

The truth is, neither you nor your child has to agree with someone to treat them respectfully. Even if you think the teacher (or the coach, or the boss, etc.) is wrong, let your child know that regardless of how they feel, they still need to find a way to act appropriately.

One benefit of this approach is that your child will most likely encounter plenty of people in his adult life he disagrees with. Help him learn the skills he needs to handle those disagreements calmly and appropriately.

4. Don’t Forget to Notice Their Good Behavior

Maybe you’re thinking, “Look, my kid is constantly disrespectful. I have to stay on him if I want things to change.” So you correct and redirect every chance you get. Sometimes your child does manage to get it right, but the bad times far outweigh any progress.

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Kids are just like adults: constant correction breeds resentment. If you’re always calling your child on his poor choices, he might decide there’s just no way he can win. If you never acknowledge the times he manages to control his behavior, he may just stop trying.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but relentless attention to failure, with no acknowledgment of even small success, can increase your child’s disrespectful behavior.

What to Do Instead:

Kids respond well to praise. Not only does it feel good to be praised, but it also gives your child important feedback: acknowledging good behavior reinforces those skills.

If you notice your child doing something well, you might say:

“When you went to your room instead of calling your sister names, that was great. I know you’ve been working on controlling your temper when you’re annoyed. I appreciate it.”

5. And Last but Not Least: Don’t Demand Respect

“I am your parent and you have to respect me!” Does that sound familiar? A lot of parents in our online parent coaching program ask, “How can I get my child to respect me?”

The truth is, many kids don’t automatically respect their parents. Indeed, it’s pretty normal that your teen thinks they know far more than you do; that’s one of the pitfalls of adolescence. Pretty much every teen thinks they’re smarter and more in tune than their parents.

So here’s the thing: you can’t make someone respect you. Respect is a feeling, and you can’t force feelings on someone. Trying to force your child to respect you just isn’t going to work.

But if you can’t demand their respect, how can you possibly stop them from acting so badly? The answer lies in addressing their behavior, rather than their feelings – even their feelings about you.

What to Do Instead:

You can’t demand respect, but you can require that your child acts respectfully, no matter how they feel about the situation.

One great way to do this is to use one of James and Janet Lehman’s suggestions: when your child is behaving disrespectfully, you can tell him:

“You don’t have to like the rule, but you do have to comply with it. Just because you’re irritated doesn’t mean you get to call me names.”

Remember, stay focused on the behavior, and leave the feelings alone. The irony is that, in the long run, your child will respect you more if you remain calm and enforce your rules consistently.

If you see yourself in any of these examples above, please don’t worry. Recognizing an ineffective way of dealing with disrespect is a great step. As you become more aware of the things that don’t work, you’ll be better able to take consistent, effective action to turn the situation around. It will take time and practice, but you can help your child learn to behave in more respectful ways.

*These tips apply to mild to moderate disrespect from your child. If the behavior you’re seeing is more extreme than that, please be sure to reach out for more support. Remember, “There’s no excuse for abuse.” Too many parents have gone through the same challenges for you to feel alone. We’re always here to help.

Related Content:
“I Hate You, Mom! I Wish You Were Dead!” — When Kids Say Hurtful Things
Disrespectful Kids and Teens: 5 Rules to Help You Handle Their Behavior

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Megan Devine is a licensed clinical therapist, former Empowering Parents Parent Coach, speaker and writer. She is also the bonus-parent to a successfully launched young man. You can find more of her work at refugeingrief.com, where she advocates for new ways to live with grief.

Comments (148)
  • Em Tee
    I’m crying as I read this… my second child, thriving 18 year old, is just such a handful for me right now. Since she turned 18, she acts like she can take in the world. She had her first boyfriend, and when she got her heart broken, she got tattoos…More her dad and I were very worried about her. But every time we would express her concern, she makes it sound like she’s weak, so she stops talking to us or she will silently communicate as if we can read her mind. We can’t. I can’t… she was in a feminism club in high school and she learned to be a strong woman, but she’s always trying to get approval from anyone asking if her outfit is pretty and brags how people calls her sexy. She recently got a belly button pierce, but it was also the same day I told her not to encourage her 13 year old sister to show her belly (in church) - and telling her sister that I don’t think she’s beautiful… which is not what I said… and then she tells me that how she doesn’t like it when I raise my voice to her in the parking lot so that everyone could hear. I’m spoke very normal and with love but this come t made me realize that she was turning the tides towards me and so I spoke up so that she realizes that it doesn’t matter if anyone else around me hears what I say because it’s none of their business AND I was talking to her directly and that she was being disrespectful… bahhh! I’m just venting. So today, she hardly speaks a word, because after that event, she later gets a belly pierce and I sent her a message in the evening to ask her if she’s happy about getting her belly pierce and if she’s okay. Because usually when she gets a tattoo or does something, it’s because something happened and recently, she decided to cut off ties with a guy she was talking to. It’s as if she’s always trying to get attention and I AM SO TIRED walking on egg shells with her. Because either I’m too nice and activist like an idiot or I’m too strict and she just stops talking. I’m at the point where I just want to stop taking. Being a mom doesn’t come with a manuscript, I can’t take back the fact she got a tattoo and body pierce, but it feels like no matter how much I tell her she’s beautiful inside and out, it’s not enough. So here I am (crying) cause I can’t hold her to comfort her, and not knowing what battles to choose and not choose anymore. You say to be a role model, but how can you be a row model if your child won’t even accept that you’re trying to understand her. Treating a friend, a co worker, or anyone outside of the family is different that treating your own child - it’s unconditional and you can’t just walk away when they’re hurting or when they’re angry - it’s natural to want to help, but when it hurts, oh man! It us moms who ends up crying. :(

    My daughter's story is a combination of couple of letters above, just that the background is different. Raised by my parents in other city while I managed to keep myself upright from an abusive and narcissist husband. Since Covid, I am staying with my parents and daughter.

    Today she is 16+, once very sweet and intelligent girl now is disrespectful - utters disgusting slang, name calling without remorse to me, grandmother. No discipline or boundaries - she sometimes get up as late as 2pm...extremely defiant....You cant tell her anything, she will start yelling and abusing....And even Violent. Apart from causing severe injuries couple of times mostly to me as I oppose her nonsense behavior and punches, slaps, twisting wrist/arm few times, she will keep pinching, poking, scratching, pushing all times to show any emotion - rage, frustration, disappointment, and even affection. She expects everything at home should be around her (I blame my parents for this)...right from getting up in the morning, to make her take shower, to do minimal or work like putting the used towel or clothes or making the bed is an endless struggle....she uses the phone only to chat, secretive with boys, she stopped studying in between. I keep reading a lot of articles and somehow managed to get her phone so she can study for the exams. Making her study is also a mentally challenging affair....she wont agree to sit, keep watching tv, when she sits she will keep saying it wont work, then me or her grandmother have to sit in front of her, a normal reaction from us like moving this side or that side or even looking over, she will feel intimidated and stop studying and then she will start blaming me, then she will force me out of the room, after sometime she will force me to come and sit again and the cycle goes on....then finally she will end up sleeping or watching tv....

    When I am working from home, she will demand all this and I lose patience.

    There is not much room for me to talk to her, no conversation can ever happen ....after 1-2 sentences it will be like a blame game, yelling and all....

    After any abuse physical, verbal that she does she expects that we still behave very nice to her and give in to her needs.

    My parents still give in to her needs while I try to restrain...I make sure when I encounter such a behavior, I convey that is not right. Consequence is something doesn't work for her and my parents wont allow/abide.

    My parents demeaned my parenting style and made her "I first" in the house. She thinks the best piece of food should go to her, if she likes she can have all.

    Telling lie is very common. She has stolen good amount of money from home.

    We have a conservative background and from asia, hence her demand of going out alone etc not much entertained which is a norm in our society. She knows the basic rules because she is very judgemental when anyone else breaks those social rules, but when she is raged she is a different person ...she wont refrain from hitting anyone.

    Because of this daily torture entire family is affected, we cant do anything cant even look at our financials properly as it is all the time a continuous struggle. If not anything she will create big tantrum for food, she want gourmet food at her disposal all the time....again my parents give in....they just want to make sure somehow she is calm....

    I have put her to counseling, very small change happened but loo less compared to the money that is being spent for counseling.

    I feel all the years that I have earned even after a going through a painful life (my arm was broken by my husband), is going just like that to my daughter with no possible help,or empathy from her...

    yes I am tired, exhausted...I cry most days and could not sleep at night....

    • Jessy
      My 9 year old would be your daughter if I had not gotten her back sooner. Almost the exact situation as yours, I just got my girl back sooner. The thing is that you blamed your parents, but they aren’t to blame. You are. I know it’s hard to hearMore and it was for me too.
  • M

    I have an 18yr old daughter who drives me to despair, I don't even know how to talk to her anymore. Anything I ask is 'mind your own business', she swears at me, is disrespectful and blames me for all her troubles. She has few, if any, friends, calls her brother and Dad abusive if they stand up to her and I'm constantly called Narcissistic if I stand by my rules.

    She does not want anyone near her, cannot even sit in same room as her without her kicking off, so I often leave her alone as she can become quite aggressive. She has stolen, lied, disappears some evening and comes back early hours etc, no idea who with or what she's been doing. I often feel like a prisoner in my own home and walking on eggshells around her.

    She is impossible to reason with and only able to see things her way or no way. If I do try, she will throw anything bad that's happened in her life at me and blame me for it all.

    She used to be such a sweet girl and now no one wants to be near her anymore as she's so difficult. Like others here, I am at my wits end. Relatives tell me to kick her out, but she has hardly any friends, no money and I do not what to see her living on the streets where worse things could happen. It has caused a huge strain on my personal relationship and impacted on my son, who now does not leave his room when home for fear of coming into contact with her, he tells me he cannot stand her and will not go anywhere she is.

    Last year we had social services involved as she'd been getting into some bad stuff at 17, we didn't know about, and they contacted us to support her which did help, however, once she turned 18 it stops and she she soon went backwards again. I am tired and exhausted by it all.

  • Nicole
    I have been dealing with my 14 year old daughters disrespect towards me for years. I want to cry because I have honestly allowed it for so long. Even though it is hurtful, embarrassing and wrong ..I just allowed it to continue. I feel like I have enabled this behaviorMore because I have allowed it without any consequence. I just never understand how she can be so mean, nasty and krewl. I am loving, giving, respectful and understanding. I am very empathic. I would never want to be the one that caused someone else’s hurt or pain. It would feel awful. For so long I just kept hoping she would outgrow it. I refused to believe my daughter could enjoy causing me such pain and sorrow. My other 2 kids don’t treat me badly. They respect me and treat me what I am worth. My daughter is now 14. I can’t have a conversation with her without her getting annoyed with me. She makes fun of me. She constantly attacks me immediately about the way I chew my food. She does it right in front of people too. I am very friendly and outgoing and I, not afraid to be myself. Sometimes I get excited or sing out load and she tells me to stop. She wants to argue about everything and I’m just not that type of person. It’s really hard when your own daughter sees me as a completely different person than who I really am. How could she like seeing me cry or break down when I just can’t take it anymore. I wish I would of put a stop to a long ago, I blame myself. I do know that she is the only one in my life that treats me with such disrespect and hate. I would never allow anyone to treat me like this. But I made an exception for her. I have given her everything she wants. Everything she asks for. I knew it was wrong but for some reason I was always worried about hurting her feelings. Today, is the first day that I stood up for myself. I just can’t do it anymore. I was always scared of loosing her but honestly I have literally done everything wrong with my daughter. I will not allow her to disrespect me anymore. I have been allowing it and for what reason. I told her today for the first time “ that I really wanted her to come this weekend. But if she was going to come and be disrespectful towards me and treat me like I am not worth anything then she can stay right where she is. I told her that I’m not allowing it anymore. I told her that I am giving, lovable, caring and considerate and she needed to be just that in return. I asked her how she can be okay with just projecting so much hate towards her mother all the time. I told her she was better than that. I told her she deserves more for herself. I told her that I loved her and the rest of the family loves her but she needs to start respecting me and others as people. I told her I was done and I’m sorry I let it go on for so long. I told her I deserved better as a mother and I’m just a general person. I feel great that I finally said what I have wanted to and should of said for years. But their is alSo that spot in my heart that hopes I didn’t hurt her feelings. But this is where I always needed up right back in the same spot, feeling bad. So you know what…I have Been feeling bad. She really makes me feel like I’m so discusting of a person and I have nothing to offer anyone. Guess whAt I do. Hopefully this is the turn around for both of us.
    • Jen
      Nicole, wow this is exactly me too hun. Word for word. You have done the right thing as I'm getting to that point of saying this to my daughter 13 years old. It's so hard, I'm exactly the same. She spoke to me so rude tonight on the phone tellingMore me I need to learn to be patient and I just put the phone down, I only asked what she was doing as she kept pausing our video call and her response was so rude and disrespectful and the was she looks at me. Then after yes I sit here beating myself up thinking should I have done that and makes you feel crap doubting your own self. I'm done with being made to cry and break down and given dirty looks. So hopefully tomorrow will go better. We shall wait and see x
  • Winterborn

    I'm not sure where I went wrong with my kids. I have three kids. My oldest (now 18) son, I had to put in prison 5 years ago for reasons you really don't want to know. He doesn't get out until he's 25. My now 13 year old son and 9 year old daughter were both directly affected by this. Lets just call it abuse from my oldest and continue on. Since then, it's been a downhill spiral with my kids. My son is a teenager and very very smart. Ego a mile wide (genius level intellect) but has no self confidence or self worth. Suicidal at times and I can't figure out why. Scroll down to Jason's story for the rest of his basic behavior. My daughter went from being my sweet little girl to be a manipulative, destructive, pain in my a$$. She steals and lies about it, breaks stuff, and has gotten really good at hiding it. Like my wife and I don't find about it for weeks, and we are both on edge all the time.

    I'm a military vet (retired) with ptsd and massive anxiety problems. So I tend to overcompensate and be TOO lax about things because high stress gives me panic attacks. My wife was raised by a very abusive mom. She was emancipated at 13 and has been on her own till she met me at 19. So my wife tries very very hard to "not be like her mother".

    Sorry, I realize I'm dumping a lot here, but I have never talked about this before in this kind of forum.

    I'm at my wits end with these kids. I question whether either of us are even fit parents. We try to teach them balance and give little wisdom nuggets from past experience, but they only seem to focus on the bad stuff.

    Any input would be helpful.

  • Did I do the right thing?
    Hi, I am so happy to have found this cite. I recently adopted a niece and two nephews in Feb. of 2019. We are going on just about 3 years together. When they were younger it was a lot easier, but now that they are growing - 14, 12,More and 11, it is getting very hard. My son who is turning 15 in July, has changed in his attitude and behavior. He thinks nothing is fair and that he can do whatever he wants to. We have had confrontations and him leaving home without permission, that required me calling the Police. With their support things settled down for a bit. But his behavior has been an influence on my daughter who will be 13 in May and my younger son, who turned 11 earlier this month. There are days when I honestly wonder, "Did I do the right thing" in adopting them, especially at my age, 52. And do I really want to continue my next years with more problems. As a family we all talked about adoption with the three and decided that I and my two daughter's would take them in. I knew it would be a challenge but not like this. I lost my oldest daughter in 2020 so I am going through the roughest time right now and having to deal with all their problems. They come from a bad history, being in the State Foster Care system most of their childhood and I know they are just getting a taste of stability, however, I don't think that they should have to be this way or treat me with disrespect. They have tried counseling but nothing seems to help. The two younger ones just follow whatever the older one does, but I still have a little hand over them. Today, my 15 year old had an accident on the way to school. Their mode of transportation is the school bus and they know they are not allowed to walk, for specific reasons as SAFETY. I received a call from the School Nurse this morning and she informed me that he had an accident and now has a large scrape on the side of his face. All I said to her was that he was not suppose to be walking to school in the first place. She then said the she just called to inform me, so I thank her and told her that I'm glad it wasn't anything more serious. She asked if I would be coming to pick him up, so I asked if there was anything wrong with his hands? She replied, No. So I told her that he would remain at school as he disobeyed and he would have to follow through with his actions. There was no reason for him to be at home. She said okay, and thank you. I felt bad for him, but I was also kind of glad that this happened. They don't believe anything I tell them so now with this happening, I hope he will think about it. There are many days now that I just want to throw in the towel, but where will they go? I'm tired, and just want some peace in my life again.
  • Joe
    I have 2 older stepkids with my fiance and 3 younger ones together. The 2nd oldest, my stepson, has been having authority issues since he was 9 years old. He is very entitled and expects everything to go his way or else he thinks it's okay to lose his mindMore and cuss out his mother. She used to do everything she could to appease him thinking it was all her fault but now she's completely done with dealing with him. We've tried reasoning with him like any human being should be able to do but his mindset and reasoning is anything but practical. He seems to do everything he can in his power to upset us. I have never met anybody in my entire life so entitled and ungrateful. He gets to wear the nicest clothes in the house because that's all he asks for for Christmas. While he is in counseling at the moment, this is the 3rd time he's talked to somebody about his "problems". We are very confident nothing will help him as we are just counting down the time until he is 18 and has to fend for himself.
  • Shari
    What about when your child is an adult child? 25 to be exact. He has ADHD and many times acts as he is still 15. He barely works, smokes weed and video games. Hates us and blames us for everything. He just blew up 2 nights ago packed up andMore left. I have been a mess and havent spoke to him since. And my heart is breaking because of it. I dont want him to think I don't care but he will never change if something drastic doesn't change. All I do is cry, do I reach out to him? I just dont know the answer anymore.
  • KA
    All of your comments are so very accurate. I typed "disrespectful teen" in the search. I almost felt bad while typing it. I am Christian Counselor, who can help everyone but my own. We've had a hard time, but we made it through. I have 2 teenagers. My son isMore almost 18 and a HS Senior. He's an athlete. And I have a daughter she is 16 and very good at cooking and extremely smart/beautiful. I am single parent. Wow... I finally said it. I left their dad when they were babies and got into another relationship where the my ex was daddy. Until we recently separated for good. But, I am convinced that he put things in my kids heads that is making them act out. But, I can't blame it all on him. I feel that everyone is using each other to get what they want from the other. And I am the punching bag. Well... everyone does me any kind of way until I explode and then I am the bad person. I am just exhausted with everything. My daughter tries harder than my son, but she recently got a tattoo without permission. My son just talks to me any kind of way and left home. Then he says that I begged him to come back. Of course, I don't want him in the streets. They talk about me to their friends and other family. It's very hurtful because I give them my last and go above and beyond for them. I try to teach them tough love but that hurts. I am just confused and not sure what to do. I love them with everything in me.
  • Lisa
    I went to my stepmoms funeral today my 18 yr daughter sat next to me during the Eulogy, while fighting back tears she never held my hand never showed me any empathy I barley made it through then went in the bathroom and cried. Her dad went with us also.More She acts as he can do no wrong in her eyes, and her and I we barley get along anymore I am at my wits end and heartbroken, truly, I’m ready to just give up .. I’m getting tired 😪
  • Jason

    Wow, this is genuinely so cathartic and helpful to read. I typed in 'I don't like my son he is rude and insulting and unhelpful' into Google and found this. It is a relief to know other people are having the same experience as I am.

    My 13 year old son is so exhausting to be parent, so insulting and ungrateful and disrespectful, that I often don't enjoy being around him. I am a solo dad, and have him for 12 nights of the fortnight. It's a relief when he goes back to his mums and honestly, sometimes I'd prefer he didn't return. He makes no effort at school, especially since the COVID lockdowns. He just games all day. I still work out of the home, so I can't supervise him. But even at school, he still makes zero effort.

    He doesn't want to do anything to help around the home, and seems to see it as an injustice that he should have to- do the dishes for example, or go to bed by a certain time, or do anything other than what he wants to do.

    I can say, he does have a good side, and he can be really sweet. I do love him and want the best for him. But his nasty rude egotistical side takes over a LOT of the time.

    I really feel like I don't like him sometimes. Quite often.

    I was actually in tears that other day, locking myself in my room and calling the parents help line. I nearly called the police or adolescent psych unit.

    What have I done wrong? I think maybe I was too soft on him and perhaps didn't have strong enough boundaries when he was younger.

    It is so hard being a parent, especially solo parent. I have really really tried to give him my best and to be the best dad I can. It utterly drains me. But then it's like he has no appreciation at all, and no respect.

    I am definitely thinking once he finishes school or university, I am going to ask him to leave home.

    Not just for my own sanity, but so that he can actually learn to take responsibility for himself.

    • Nic
      Hey Jason, you have totally described my son, I don't know what to do, I'm at my wits end too. I am a single Mum, Dad doesn't want to know. My son is eating food, skipping school, has moved his girlfriend in and expects me to clean upMore after them. We have had family meetings etc... they promise to help and never do. He is 15 she is 16. I work two jobs, and have two younger girls. Totally don't want to be a parent anymore.
    • Ricky
      Wow, I thought I was the only one. Jason you just told my life with my son to the T, only difference is my sons mom has never been around and any woman I have tried to be with he becomes worse. I totally understand you struggles.
  • I’m not Alone
    This thread has given me a sense of relief in knowing that I’m not alone and maybe this is a normal part of parenting; but I don’t like it. My daughter is 12 and I too feel like moving the house and leaving her. I have a 6 year More old who is modeling her behavior and I’m trying my best to not let that happen. My 6 YO is a sweet child by nature. My 12 year old is mean with the nastiest attitude ever. Therapy hasn’t helped. She believes she can do whatever she feels without asking. I believe she thinks she can parent herself better than I can. I am frustrated upset and cry at times because I just don’t understand how a child can be so disrespectful to their parent. Especially knowing how I was raised to be respectful and as an adult won’t even curse in front of my parents. My 12 year old wants to argue with me all the rime, and the simplest request is met with a come back or mumbling. Like everyone else I’m praying for 18, maybe we should all board flight 828. And no… unlike the show, if it’s five years later it’s five years later. So their ages stick, no matter if they still look the same lol ! I hope I made someone smile. We are in this together raising the future generation…and my goodness it looks bleak. Either that or we’re softies lol. But the thread that holds us all together is that in spite of it all, we love the little ungrateful trolls lol. We got this. Meditate, prayer, exercise
  • Jai
    I am so delighted that I am on your page. I was taken aback when my son today called me old and you can't do things. It literally put me in tears. Parenting a teen is the toughest part of my life. Especially when you love them and they thinkMore we are annoying and wants to stay away from us.
  • Dad Headache
    I have a 14 yr old daughter. She normally show these rolling eyes, murmurs, talk backs. I hate it. I hate disrespect. I normally take her phone before bed, and there are times she doesn't like it she said I am controlling her. But she goes to bed at 2AMMore so I take her phone and give it back when she wakes up. If only I knew becoming a parent will be like this, I would've stayed single and not got married. I am starting to hate my disrespectful daughter. I wish she's 18 so I can send her away. Apologies I am ranting
    • Denise Rowden, Parent CoachEP Coach
      Thank you for sharing your story. Many parents of acting out, disrespectful, and defiant adolescents and teens share your frustration. After all, it can be tough to like someone who treats you badly, even if that someone is your child. James Lehman wrote a great article that talks about this:More https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/i-love-my-child-but-sometimes-i-cant-stand-him/. We appreciate you being part of our Empowering Parents community. Be sure to check back and let us know how things are going.
  • TracyB
    I’m reading all these comments and crying. My 18 year old daughter graduates this Friday... I’m to the point that I don’t even care! Even before the pandemic hit she was always starting arguments, rude and hurtful and would “puff up” like she was daring me to hit her, sheMore would even say, “go ahead and hit me, I know you want to!” The pandemic made it ten times worse. She started talking to a therapist and she is actually worse now! I can’t say anything without it starting an argument. She moved in with her dad full time without telling me and only calls when she wants to complain or wants something from me. She won’t answer my texts or calls or even come visit. Then acts like I’m abandoning her when I tell her I have other plans and can’t do something with her at the last minute. I was never rude or disrespectful to my mom at this age. I’m so angry with her and I don’t know if I will ever get over this feeling. I am so sad.
  • Vincy Vincent


    My son is addicted to mobile games "Gareena Free Fire". Due to online class he started playing games. Then become aggressive, disobedience, etc. I need help from your side. I tried all type of methods. But nothing is working out. I need counselling for my son. That is possible?

    • Denise Rowden, Parent CoachEP Coach
      Thank you for reaching out. We do not offer counseling for children. If you would like local support such as a counselor or therapist, we recommend starting your search on psychologytoday.com. We appreciate you being part of our Empowering Parents community. Be sure to check back and let us knowMore how things are going.
  • Rachel

    Thank you for this support system! We were warned but it didn’t seem possible till now. My teens are torturing me! I felt like I did everything right. Attachment parenting, cosleepinh, extended nursing, organic homemade meals, homeschooling since the beginning with child led learning. And here we are, a 14 and 17 year old who treat me so terribly I have to get away from them and cry in my bedroom. The disrespect is astounding.

    Both are suffering from anxiety and depression and so I have both going to weekly therapy but it’s almosy empowered them to speak their minds even more than before. They blame me for everything. I feel like a punching bag. It’s gotten so bad with my son I don’t want to be around him anymore. He’s verbally abusive. I just hope that this time will go by quickly and that they will both come around and want to be friends again.

  • Jack
    My Son who is 15 refuses to organize his studies. He has an F in Goemetry and Physics and myself and my wife have to constantly push him to do his work. It is becoming exhausting and has a ripple effect on our daily outlook. We've left himMore alone as that is what he wanted but he has 2 F's and this threatens his opportunity to make the JV/Varsity Basketball Team. His attitude is one of not caring and talks back to us. He has a general ambivalent attitude toward school. Pert of me wants to let go and let him fail , but the other parental part feels a responsibility to push him and force him to succeed. He doesn't seem to want to help himself although he is capable. Any advice? Desperate!
    • Sandra
      I am in this same boat also. I don't want to see him fail, but he is 15 and old enough to know better. I don't want him to think 'mom' needs to hold his hand, but watching him fail and not care at all is so frustrating. He hasMore never liked school, even back to Kindergarten.
  • Shahenda
    My son 15 and daughter 14 are treating me and my husband in a very bad way , they don't go out for lunch with us . And even at home they eat alone . They are very disrespectful and especially my son is always nervous. I tried to tellMore them so in calm way and in a hard way while shouting but both ways didnt work . My husband took it personally and now he is very depressed, he feels they dont love us . They always say that my husband is teasing them , and they are right my husband sometimes wants to be close to them by being funny and teasing them like a child so it will turn to a fight .i talked to my husband too but it doesnt work
  • asilasil
    I'm sorry but I have to disagree with you, about demanding respect. I had a very strict mother who demanded respect and I have always treated with respect and am 45. However as I vowed not to be a mean parent like her, I was a kind, fair mother whoMore never made my kids do things they didn't want to (ie. demanding they do things to show respect). I truly believed that if I was kind and loving to my kids they would appreciate that and have respect for me that way. How wrong I was!!! My adult children are rude to me, uncaring, selfish, and definitely disrespectful. I would never dream of speaking to my parents the way my daughter speaks to me nor would I ever treat them the way she treats me. No I'm sorry but not demanding respect from them from the start, made them have none for me.
  • LKM

    I’m just not sure what to do. My almost-13 yr old daughter shouts, tries to intimidate me, shouts over me when I try to talk, calls my actions ‘childish’. I know I know that am letting her have too much screen time and lockdown is also a factor. I will turn the WiFi off if she doesn’t close the computer after her time is over. She just shouts. She will wind me up so much that I end up shouting which I know is wrong. I try to walk away but she follows me. My house isn’t big enough to shut myself away anywhere. I’m a single parent having been in a toxic relationship previously. My daughter appears to have narcissistic traits. It feels so similar to when I was married and being dominated.

    I’d be grateful for some advice.

    • Denise Rowden, Parent CoachEP Coach
      Welcome to Empowering Parents and thank you for reaching out to us for support. I can hear how frustrating and upsetting your child's behaviors are, and I want to reassure you that you are not alone. Because getting started can feel overwhelming to many parents, I often recommend making aMore prioritized list of all the behaviors you are dealing with, and then focusing on just 1-2 of the most disruptive behaviors at a time. This allows you to be consistent with limit setting and accountability, without becoming overwhelmed. For more helpful tools, please check out this article: How to Create a Culture of Accountability in Your Home (https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/how-to-create-a-culture-of-accountability-in-your-home/).
  • My father demanded respect and good behavior

    My father demanded respect. He was respectful towards me and spoke in a quiet tone of voice. I also in return showed him respect and was a well behaved kid.

    Problem today is the bad influence of movies and tv. I grew up watching Leave it to Beaver and the kids were always polite and respectful. Today it's ok to talk back and disobey, not so in the 1950's and 60's.

    • Greg
      Yes you are right. Nowadays TV and Internet is promoting disrespect towards parents. When I was a kid we seriously thought that we would be killed by a lightning if we disobey parents.
  • 5 year old & 14 year old
    I am a "single" mom of two girls. One is 14 years old and the other is 5 years old. Starting her 5th grade year (she is now in 10th grade) my oldest daughter has been very defiant, rude, and disrespectful. She has become aggressive towards me. When asked toMore do something she would ignore me and I would have to ask several times. She has since gotten WAY better. With this COVID she is stuck in her room. She babysits her sister for me who is 5 years old while I am at work. Now my 5 year old back talks, ignores when asked to do something, and disrespects adult authority. She is not like this with my mom, my sister, or my dad but she is with me and her sister. My oldest can tend to be VERY mean with how she speaks to her. I feel my youngest feeds off of my oldest.
  • 11 year old son
    My son can be so rude and disrespectful I feel like a total failure as a parent. He makes fun of people, calls them bad words and talks about people he knows in the 3rd person right in front of there face. I feel like I’ve completely lost control. It’sMore getting to the point where I feel like my family doesn’t want us around, and I totally get it. He’s mean and unpleasant for certain family members to be around. He’s okay to the one’s he likes but he’s awful to the one’s he doesn’t like. What do I do?
  • Sarina
    Im dealing with a 13 year old daughter that hates me. She's always rude and talks back. I just had a baby a year ago so I think that has something to do with it because she says i love the baby more. I've been a single parent forever andMore I feel helpless doing everything alone. I need help because I feel its only to get worse as she didn't enter hs yet. She stays in her room all day barely eats because she's picky I'm scared she going to get sick, she's not doing that good in school. I tried talking to her but she says leave me alone she also starts arguments I've had it someone please help!!
    • Denise Rowden, Parent CoachEP Coach
      I can understand how frustrating this can be. You may find this article helpful: https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/disrespectful-child-behavior-dont-take-it-personally/
  • Vero

    My daughter is 9 years old and can be so rude and disrespectful towards her father and myself. Our son wasn’t perfect but he wasn’t disrespectful and rude. I try not to compare them, especially because he is no longer with us. He passed away just over a year and a half ago at 9 3/4 years in August 2018.

    She has been rude and disrespectful since she was very young. I know we’re all affected and are in turmoil over everything that’s happened with losing our precious child but she can make it so unbearable and super frustrating. To the point I find myself being resentful of losing him and being stuck with her. I know how terrible that sounds and I have immense guilt over it and of course it’s only in the moment I feel like that but I just don’t know what to do. we’re both in therapy, both individual and separately. When we go together she cuts me off rolls her eyes and corrects my stories and says you already said that no one wants to hear it again. I try to be patient and understanding but it is So embarrassing and hurtful.

  • Ugh
    My daughters are 8 and extremely disrespectful and sometimes abusive to my husband and I. They have a mix of ODD, Tourettes, ADD, etc. They name call, throw monster tantrums, and refuse to follow instructions. They're the favorite kids at school. They don't give the school any trouble but then,More they come home and unleash on us. They are loved and cared for and they have all that a kid could need/want. It just seems like they don't want us. The eye rolling and attitude is off the charts. I get that you can't demand respect but at this point, I've sacrificed every part of my life to help them thrive and they treat me horribly. Discipline doesn't work. We're consistent but they act like they don't understand cause and effect. I'm so distraught this morning that I've called off work. I don't know what to do and I'm tired of doing my best and being treated like dirt. They're kids. It just doesn't seem to difficult to comply and move forward.
  • Robm
    I just want to thank you for your effort to help us parents!
  • Tracey
    Biz Boyz my story sounds just like yours. My 14 yr old son just does not like me, is angry with me all the time and abusive and disrespectful. My 17 yr old son is not perfect but not abusive. How can they be so different? I can’t help butMore wonder what I am doing wrong as he is so loving to his Dad. I feel so sad for you but also it’s nice to know I’m not alone:( xx
  • Karol
    Hi Everyone I could use some help as all of you I guess. My son is 18. I have had him most of his life as a single parent. He has a good heart somewhere inside him as I have witnessed at times. He has one more year ofMore high school. He really didn't do all the typical things young teens do at the ages between 13-17. He mainly played video games endlessly hardly ever leaving his room. Within the past six to eight months he got his first girlfriend. Very serious it became over 7 months. He spent a lot of time with her and it also was his first intimate relationship also. As it turned out the girl had to move away and my son became so upset, crying for hours at a time. He became suisidal and I had him at the Doctors and also the Crisis unit. I could hardly work he would call me at the job and just cry and cry. It was so heartbreaking. He has gotten over this in the past 2-3 months but now he is hanging with the wrong kids, smoking weed, refused to get a summer job. He has his own car, a gift from my ex. He is very mean to me and he lies endlessly. I did not let my emotions control the situation. I have tried so hard to let things go and pick my battles. He allows friends in my house when I am not home. I have told him no weed smoking in my house at all. I have insisted he will lose the car if he is high driving and he has in fact lost the car at times which never bothers him. He walks around or he has friends that then pick him up. I have come home again today to have a friend greet me at my own door and his room smelling like complete weed. He left before I knew that. I am an older parent and I do have two older children from my first marriage which are okay. They can not deal with him either. They have ideas of throwing him out etc. which I certainly have thought about but can't bring myself to do. I am falling apart !!! I am heartbroken and I am so fed up. Please, anyone, help with advice. His father is no help an abuser and horrible person gives my son such a hard time with his words but also gives him every single thing he has ever wanted. There is no talking to him. His mind is just not there to have a talk about the importance of raising a decent, responsible kid. I work 10-12 hours a day as a Nurse Manager so I can't enforce any discipline and even when home he laughs and walks right out of the house.
    • Coby
      My brother was just like this. My parents had to call the police on him when he got violent after being punished for breaking rules. They eventually kicked him out but remained in touch and provided for him financially. He’s still a lost sole.
    • Denise Rowden, Parent CoachEP Coach
      Hi, njkid365. I can understand your distress. It can be very upsetting when your normally well behaved teen starts exhibiting serious acting out behaviors. To be honest, the transition from teen to adult can be a rocky one, for both parents and kids, as the now adult child tries toMore figure things out. One thing that's important to keep in mind is that your role as parent shifted a bit when your son turned 18, from manager to more of a consultant, as Debbie Pincus points out in her article Adult Children Living at Home? How to Manage without Going Crazy (I recommend reviewing our other adult child articles here as well: Adult Children.) Going forward, my suggestion would be developing a living agreement with your son that clearly defines what the expectations are for him to continue living at home. You can find a template for a living agreement in the article Ground Rules for Living with an Adult Child (plus Free Living Agreement). We wish you all the best moving forward. Be sure to check back and let us know how things are going.
  • Bz Boyz
    My 13-year-old son has been mean and hateful to me since he could talk. No joking here. He used to cry and throw fits all day, and as soon as his dad walked in the door, he'd settle right down. While I have tried all of the approachesMore above, nothing has changed. As a teen, he's just getting more hateful. I often find I'm questioning myself on where I went wrong. He doesn't treat his dad this way. My oldest son, who is almost 16, is quite the opposite....very loving and almost always respectful (when he's not, he will come apologize afterwards). I'm really struggling on what to do with this kid. His nature has always been naturally mean (He criticizes and demeans people frequently), and while we've been able to curb some of his mean behaviors towards others, nothing has changed with me. It pains me, as I really don't enjoy spending time with this kid anymore.
  • fortiradici
    Hi, not too many dads here, right? Anyway, reading so many unfortunately sincere comments here has really helped me to step back and see that what I have to deal with is mickey mouse compared to so many of your problems. In fact, I was one of the disrespectful, unappreciativeMore kids who caused my parents plenty of grief. My boy just turned 19 and graduated from Italian high school (which also includes the equivalent of 1st year of college) last week. He's surrounded by kids whose parents (apparently) are well off and expects to have the same privileges as his classmates... e.g. a car. His mom and grandmom spoil him as only an Italian mother and grandmother can but I expect him to contribute, at least partially pay his way so, he's become a wise guy with me and breaks commitments, changes plans we've made which really pisses me off and the implied disrespect hurts. What I get from what I'm reading here is to take MY feelings out of the equation, don't react and model, to the best of my ability, the behavior I want, expect, from him. My sincere thanks to all of you for telling your stories. Buona Domenica (have a great Sunday), Tom D
  • jack
    thanks for sharing such a valuable information with us
  • Lisa
    It helps to read these stories. My 17 year old son is unmanageable. I’ve raised him on my own since his father died 5 years ago. He skips school, lies, doesn’t complete schoolwork, smokes pot, etc. We had such a strong bond for so many years but now he actsMore like he hates me. I don’t think I can go another year with him. I’m heartbroken.
    • Karol
      Hi, Lisa, I think I am raising the same child as you! I hope for both of us that we can find some kind of peace and guidance in all of this. I did respond earlier to you but I am not sure it went thru. If this is theMore second response from me you see I apologize. I am heartbroken also and I have many thoughts of just picking up and moving with him left behind. I really can not take much more. KM
  • Maria

    Everyone's stories are very helpful. It helps to know that I'm not the only one with an unruly child. It breaks my heart everyday knowing I didn't raise him this way.

    Are there any success stories, tips on what turned things around for you and your child?

  • WornOutAndHopeless
    I have a 16-yr-old son. He quit school a year ago. I couldn't make him get on the bus, or in my vehicle. I tried homeschooling, but it was just a fake effort on his part. He does absolutely nothing but sleep and play video games.More He eats when I provide food, but other than that, will not bother to fix anything for himself, not even a sandwich. He is sweet and loving, but totally without goals or aspirations. I have always been a single mom, and the dad is no longer even in this country. My son has no friends, and doesn't care. He has no interest in driving, or even in girls. What kind of 16-yr-old is like that? I have nothing that I can leverage to get him to do the things he needs to do. He just doesn't care. He has chronic heart defects which will require him to get insurance, and in a couple of years, I won't be able to carry him on mine anymore since he's not in school. I have had two strokes this year and worry about him living under a bridge when I'm gone because he refuses to face reality. I don't know what to do. He doesn't drink. Doesn't do drugs. Doesn't cook, clean, or anything positive either. I don't want to kick him out but he doesn't even lift a pinky to help out around the house and doesn't seem to think there is anything wrong with it. No, wait. He will bring in the groceries from the truck.
    • Anon

      Not giving medical advice here, but your son's behavior sounds very similar to my sister's. She ended up being diagnosed with aspergers during college. We also couldn't get her to participate in anything positive or negative, except for Star Wars and Pokémon... Might be worth getting him evaluated. He may be able stay on your insurance longer.

      However, why will he not be allowed on your insurance any more? I thought the cut off was 26?

    • Monique
      You may be worn out but you are not hopeless. I too live with a boy like yours. Mine is 20 and my other son 16, he now lives w in th his dad because he cant cope with all the arguing, that is lessening now thanks to thisMore website. But my 20yo is extreamly disrespectfull and is verbally abusive. 20 will now cook for himself as I went cook ar all anymore. 20 has had glanguls fever and has been in immune suppressants as his eczema was so severe.. you are not alone. Someone once suggested for my son to write down what he doesn't want to do in future for work. Even that is hard for him. Let's pray for a miracle 🧚‍♀️🧚‍♂️🧚‍♀️🧞‍♂️🧞‍♀️🧞‍♂️
  • Joan
    My 17 year old daughter and I were at a school function yesterday. She is a HS senior and there have been many celebrations this week. Some moms and daughters were trying to figure out if we were going to lunch after the ceremony. I approached my daughter and beforeMore I could get the third word in, she rudely said "go away." I calmly told her to give me her car keys (actually family car which she uses). She turned her back to me. I tapped her shoulder and asked for the car keys again. She threw them across the lawn. I picked them up and walk back to my car. I have taken the keys from her and now she has to take the bus to school. We are not speaking. Ironically, she is always worried my presence embarrasses her, but she certainly embarrassed herself yesterday. What else should I do? Today is the last home soccer game, and all parents are invited to take photos and participate in the festivities. Should I go? I usually am very tolerant of her moods, but yesterday she crossed the line.
    • Rebecca Wolfenden, Parent CoachEP Coach
      I hear you. It can be so embarrassing and frustrating when your child is blatantly disrespectful toward you, and I understand your hurt as a result of your daughter’s actions yesterday. Something to consider, though, is that your daughter will only have one last soccer home game, andMore if you decide not to go, you will not have another chance to make this up. In general, we don’t recommend using special events as consequences for just this reason-once they are gone, they are gone and cannot be earned back. Instead, it’s going to be more effective to use a short-term or daily consequence (such as driving the car) to hold her accountable for her disrespectful behavior. You can read more about this in Using Consequences to Maintain Your Parental Authority. I recognize what a difficult situation this must be for you, and I hope that you will write back and let us know how things are going for you and your daughter. Take care.
      • Joan
        Thank you for your reply. I attended the last home soccer game, and things went from bad to worse. At the end of the game when all the parents were taking photos of the team, my daughter kept telling one of the moms to tell me to stop taking pictures.More The mom was obviously confused and turned to me and said, "I can send you mine." I told her not to go through the trouble, and continued taking photos of the team. Then came the time when the seniors had to take a photo with their respective parents. I gave one of the girls my phone and asked her to please take a photo of my daughter with me and my husband. My daughter instructed her teammate not take the photo. The girl ignored her and took the photo. At the end when everyone was eating and talking my daughter said to me that she was getting a ride home from a friend. Then she said "Why did you come, I didn't want you to come." She continued to take photos with her friends and one of her friend's father. Completely humiliated, I took away her cell phone and went home. When she got home, I completely lost it even though I had tried so hard to keep calm. I screamed at her and said she treated me like a stone that has no feelings. I said she was an ungrateful pig. She stood there quietly showing no emotion. I went up to my bedroom and started sobbing because I was so hurt and angry at myself for losing my temper. She came out of her room but I screamed at her..."Go away, now it's my turn to tell you to go away." I just couldn't bear to look at her or talk to her. She had 24 hours to apologize for her rude behavior, but instead continued to be rude and cruel. This morning in the kitchen, she said " I can't get into this now, but I'm sorry." I did not reply. She has apologized before for her rudeness and disrespect, and I always forgive her, and then she goes right back to being disrespectful. She had also placed a post it on my purse that said:"I'm sorry. I still love you and appreciate you." I tore it up and threw it out. She was walking out the door at that point and I am not sure she realized I tore it.She also forgot her lunch on the kitchen counter. I walked outside and placed it on the ground. She saw it and picked it up as I closed the door. I know I should forgive her, but this time she truly crossed the line. I am not sure if her apology is sincere, or if she just wants her phone and car privileges back. Every Sunday I wait on line for 20 minutes at a local deli to buy her various bean salads to take for lunch during the week. Over the weekend I drove her and her friends to the train station to go into the city and then her girlfriends slept over my house. I offered to make them breakfast the next day. I cook and clean and chauffer everyone and get little to no appreciation. I don't want to hold a grudge and am a firm believer in forgiveness, but what happens when your child crosses the line? How much do I have to tolerate? She is a very good kid overall, doesn't get into trouble, and is a good student, but she treats me like dirt sometimes. She made me feel so unloved and unwanted yesterday and the day before yesterday. It is going to take a while for me to get over this....
        • Bonnie
          Hi Joan - wow - your story really hit home with me - sounds just like my daughter and me. I could certainly use a friend who understands, so if you would ever like to chat, I would very much like that. My daughter turned 18More this month and is constantly threatening me now with moving out. She talks to me horribly and her biggest complaints are that I speak to her when she's trying to do homework or relax and that I want to do stuff with her too much. It is just absolutely crazy and she says everything with the most hateful tones imaginable. She has me in tears most days. I have been so depressed lately, it is really messing with all aspects of my life. I can't even go to work some days and then she is just relentless and mad because then she has no alone time. She has a very nice sized room she could go to if she truly wanted alone time, but she would rather rule the living area and yell and scream if I am around =(
          • Monique
            Hmm I really dont understand why our children can be so cruel. I have a son that tells me I'm talking too loud and embarrassing him. I'm call every name possible. The only way I've survived 20 years is because I take anti-depressents. If not then i would beMore curled up in a ball in my room. And give him 5 mins it's like nothing has happend. God bless
  • Marie
    My fiance has an 11 year old daughter and 13 year old son. They both live with their mother and visit us on weekends. His daughter is very disrespectful him her father and her brother. She talks down to them. She screams and yells at them. I feel like thisMore behavior is a mimic of her mother's behavior towards her father. Her mother constantly argues with the father over the phone and talks down to him. She talks to him in anew angry way. They have gone through co-parenting classes that she didn't want to go to but had because it was court ordered. The issues with their daughter has been addressed with the mother but nothing is being done about it. The father is scared to punish their daughter because he is afraid cops are going to called on him for no reason as this has happened before. The children are in counseling but that doesn't seem to be helping. Their son opened up to the counselor and was scolded for it by his mother and now he doesn't want to open up anymore. He just sits quietly. I feel he is getting the worse end of the stick every time he does the right thing and the daughter gets the praise for her actions instead of consequences. It's been very hard to handle the daughter since she lives with her mother. The mother doesn't seem to care about the way she acts. My fiance has tried to get custody of the children and had no luck. He now has a lawyer who is trying to fight for him. It has been a very stressful experience and we just don't know what to do anymore. There has to be something that can be done! Advice please!!
    • Rebecca Wolfenden, Parent CoachEP Coach
      I’m so sorry to hear about the issues you and your fiancee have been facing with his daughter, as well as his ex-wife. It’s positive that you have been working with local supports, such as a lawyer and a counselor, to assist you in addressing these challenges, and IMore encourage you to continue to do so. While it would be ideal if everyone were able to get on the same page and peacefully co-parent together, it doesn’t sound like that’s happening right now. It’s going to be most effective to focus on what is happening in your home, because that is where you have the most control. You and your fiancee might find some additional helpful tips in Parenting After Divorce: 9 Ways to Parent on Your Own Terms. I recognize how difficult this must be for you, and I hope that you will write back and let us know how things are going for you and your family. Take care.
  • Shelly
    I am completely at the end of my rope! I have a 17 year old son who will be 18 next month. He just got his license in March and has had several dealings with the law and about 5 tickets. The last ticket he got he had toMore set up payments for and I told him I will not be paying it. If it doesn't get paid they will put a bench warrant out for him. How as a mom do you let that happen? It doesn't matter what I say to him he has a smart a$$ answer for everything. He has no sympathy, empathy or care about anyone but himself. He smokes weed and thinks it's fine. I have tried to do counseling with him and he doesn't show up. How do I get this boy to get his act together before he turns 18? Once that happens it's a whole new ball game. I am SICK over how he has turned out because I know I did not raise him that way.
    • Rebecca Wolfenden, Parent Coach
      I hear you. It can be so difficult when you have done your best to raise your child, and yet the behavior does not reflect that. It’s not uncommon for teens and young adults to be self-centered, and to think that they have all the answers, based onMore their developmental stage. In order for your son to change his behavior, he will need to be uncomfortable with his actions. While you cannot make your son take responsibility for himself, you can set clear limits for yourself around what actions you will, and will not, support. I’m glad to see that you have already set a boundary that you will not pay his tickets for him, and I encourage you to stick with that limit. Although I understand how scary it can feel when considering the possibility of your son receiving a bench warrant for non-payment, this would be a natural consequence of his actions. While natural consequences can be incredibly difficult for parents to witness, they can also be effective teachers. I understand how challenging this must be for you right now, and I hope that you will write back and let us know how things are going for you and your family. Take care.
  • Liza
    So many kids don’t learn the life skills they need to excel in life… The one thing I’ve learned as I’ve worked with kids is that they just need a small push in the right direction, and they can grow so fast.
  • monica
    I have queries for my daughter who is turning 14 years old soon. Her behaviour is too erratic. She tell lies, threatens me, misbehaves that if I dont listen to her she'll do whatever she wants or she'll run away from home. She shouts, yells and roll eyesMore upon me. Doesnt listen to anyone in the house. initially we used to just give up as we thought its really difficult to deal with her behaviour. Gradually when we were being called in school and asked about her behaviour i could'nt reply. She is been too attracted towards boys, has her own way of doing things, she goes outside the house without even informing us which is really painful. How to handle her kindly suggest
    • Rebecca Wolfenden, Parent Coach
      I’m so sorry to hear about the issues you are facing with your daughter, and I’m glad that you’re here reaching out for support. Something to keep in mind is that people generally use behavior that works for them on some level. If your daughter finds that yelling,More making threats and acting out are ways that she can gain power and control, chances are she is going to continue doing these things. While you cannot make your daughter behave a certain way, you can change how you respond so that these tactics stop working for her. You might find some helpful tips in Kids Who are Verbally Abusive, Part 1: The Creation of a Defiant Child and Power Struggles Part I: Are You at War with a Defiant Child? I hope that you will write back and let us know how things are going for you and your family. I wish you all the best moving forward. Take care.
  • Been there done that
    This world has went too far with political correctness. I was raised in the 80's and had my fall outs with parents, but they didnt do all this physiological BS. If you give you kids the rope to think they rule the roost and make them think respect is optionalMore then you've kust ser your self up for a lifetime of their dependency on you and they wont know it till you're dead. If its your house then its your rules and if yjey dont like it then they can walk out the door (which they will soon realise just how much they need you and find out 90% of their so called friends arent so great after all). I took my fathers aproach as i did my own kids and after a few year of sticking to guns i have a great relearionship with my son and his attitude flipped to being more reponsible and walking the F&ck Up. Sometime you just have to take a step back in family relationships to go 2 steps forward and reap the rewards later, it cant always be clear cut be always forward forward forward. Do what you guys want, but i say dont torture yourself and give your kids a sense that they are right for the fear of giving them a percieved feeling of sadness. At 17-18 we needed a kick up as the ass from time to time to keep you on track as good human being. Work with the kid, but have your boundaries, and when they are crossed, make it dam well clear its not acceptable. Your future self will thank you. Thats my 2 cents.
  • Kelly
    Hi. Great read! I have a 14 year old daughter who started a whole new school with all new friends this year. She is in 9th grade and at first she was doing great (all honor classes and making As) now she's failing some classes, she has a very badMore attitude towards me (only me though) and all I have ever done was wanted more for her than I had growing up. I take her schooling very seriously bc I know without those good grades, clubs etc that her future lay in a dead end path instead of a great college and successful future. She's been diagnosed with depression and is on Prozac (which I really don't care for) but the Dr insist she needs it to function around society. She's never been the type to cuss in front of me but all a sudden this year she says whatever she is thinking to me (even though she knows how I feel about cussing in general). She won't allow me to even have a normal conversation with her without her getting a smart mouth and trying to start a argument. I ask her simple questions about her day and she acts like I have just destroyed her whole life! I don't know what to do anymore to get my sweet girl back and I found out she's smoked pot with her new friends at this school, so I made her write a essay on what it can do to her brain development and other things and also grounded her from her friends. I don't know what I'm doing wrong but it's has to be something. Any advice for this lost and desperate mother? Thanks.
    • Rebecca Wolfenden, Parent Coach
      I hear you. Parenting a teenager can be so challenging, and I’m glad that you’re here reaching out for support. It’s not uncommon for a teen’s behavior to change relatively quickly, or for a teen to suddenly show interest in a different peer group or risky activities.More Even though I understand your anxiety around the choices your daughter is making right now, I encourage you to stay focused in the present moment rather than projecting far into the future. When we “futurize” as parents, it can impact how effectively we can address the current behavior we are seeing. I recognize how scary this must be for you right now, and I hope that you will write back and let us know how things are going for you and your daughter. Take care.
  • Priscilla
    I need help with my children please
    • Rebecca Wolfenden, Parent Coach
      Thank you for reaching out; we are glad that you are here! We hear from many parents who are struggling with their child’s behavior, so you are not alone. You can browse our selection of articles and blogs by age, behavior, diagnosis, author and other criteria by goingMore HERE. For more individualized help with your family, you might consider trying our eCoaching service. In this service, you are connected with one of our expert coaches who can talk with you about the issues you are facing, and help you to develop a plan to address these behaviors moving forward. For more information about this service, along with our other parenting programs, check out our Empowering Parents store. Please let us know if you have any additional questions; take care.
  • Linda

    Bewildered and Sad-

    I can relate so much to your situation. I have a 16 year old daughter that is driving me nuts. Her ungratefulness and attitude that she is owed anything and everything she wants has me at a total loss.

    She feels she should be there waited on, cleaned up after and does not lift a finger around the house. Thanks to her grandmother (not my mother) she has been completely spoiled.

    I have provided not only the needs but many of the wants in her life as well. Many times I have spent money I needed for clothes or things so that she could have what was needed and sometimes wanted. That's what parents do, right.

    I no longer have the income to do this and she is aware. She is only happy and tests me nice when we are able to go shopping and have a big meal out somewhere. Despite seeing me struggle she will still ask for the extras.

    However it's disturbing to see how much she does not care. She will be getting a job this summer and I will not be giving hand outs anymore.

    My daughter is so cruel at times I cannot believe she is my daughter. I actually feel relived when she isn't home because I don't want to deal with her constant complaining about nonsense stuff.

  • MACT
    I've been having problems with my 17 year old daughter for some time but now it is getting worse. She is a good student and has a good work ethic but when she is at home she is rude and disrespectful to everyone in the house. She hasMore told her father she hates him. She has told her younger sister that she hates her on many occasions. My 11 year old son cries and says he wants to run away because there is always so much arguing in our house. When she is not home things are much calmer. My husband says it is my fault for letting her talk disrespectfully to me for so long and he says I do too much for her. It is sad to say but I try not to be around her as much and can't wait for her to go to college in the fall (which she keep saying she doesn't want to do because she is scared to leave). All she wants to do everyday is either tell me how unhappy she is with her life or wants something from me. If I say anything she doesn't like she gets angry and we end up arguing. She was in therapy for 4 years and was on 4 different antidepressant meds, which made her gain 25 lbs and didn't really seem to help. She is no longer on meds and has stopped going to therapy but has not lost the weight. She has never been able to keep friends for long and has very low self esteem. I am at the end of my rope. I don't know how to handle her anymore and make our home a happier place. My husband has also said how unhappy he is in our family and how it is mostly my fault for letting this go on for so long. Please help
    • Rebecca Wolfenden, Parent Coach
      I hear you. It’s understandable that you might not want to spend much time with your daughter right now. After all, most people do not want to spend time with someone who treats them rudely or disrespectfully, and that doesn’t change even if it is a family member.More While you cannot control your daughter or the way she treats other family members, you can set rules around disrespectful behavior and hold her accountable if she is not following them. You might find some useful starting points in How to Respond to Disrespectful Children and Teens. Please be sure to write back and let us know how things are going for you and your family. Take care.
  • Rebecca Wolfenden, Parent Coach
    Thank you for writing in, and I’m glad to hear that you have found our resources helpful. If you would like more information on how to effectively address your teen’s behavior, you can check out our section on adolescent behavior HERE. You can also use our searchMore function at the top of the page to seek out information on specific behaviors, and sign up for our free weekly newsletter for advice on a variety of parenting topics, delivered straight to your inbox. Please let us know if you have any additional questions. Take care.
  • Derrick

    I have been grappling with my 7 year old who is at best confusing.He can be a gentleman but he's can also be disrespectful towards us,his parents.And he doesn't seem to have that much drive to excel academically.Issues like lack of focus in class and with his homework and yet he is a smart kid.His teachers say that he's helpful.

    His behaviour is beginning to rub off on his younger 5 year old brother.

    We've largely been stay home parents,always tired and so we feel frustrated that our efforts don't seem to pay off.

    The article we just read on disrespect is quite helpful.How do we get him to have some drive and be more motivated to excel academically?

    • Rebecca Wolfenden, Parent Coach
      I hear you. It can be so challenging when you have a child who does not seem motivated to put forth a lot of effort in school. Something to keep in mind is that it is nearly impossible to completely lack motivation; everyone is motivated by something. More So, part of turning this around with your son is to find things that he is motivated by, and using those as an incentive to show more effort at school. You can find more tips on how to do this in Motivating Underachievers Part I: When Your Child Says “I Don’t Care”. I hope that you will write back and let us know how things are going for you and your family. Take care.
  • Ann
    My 10 year old daughter is running my house. Its become easier for me to just give in and let her have her way and buy her everything she asks for than to have to listen to her whining and screaming like a 2 year old. She yells and swearsMore at her 9 year old sister and hits her. She tells me to shut up. She doesn't have chores and her room is a pig sty. She won't do anything around the house and won't pick up after herself. She hates school and won't do her homework. I work 2 jobs and am not home much and this causes problems with my husband and the entire family. She tells me she doesn't care about anyone or anything. I need help please!
    • Rebecca Wolfenden, Parent Coach
      I hear you. Parenting can be so challenging sometimes, and I recognize that at the end of a long day, it is more tempting to simply give in to your daughter to gain some peace rather than deal with her inappropriate behavior. Something to keep in mind, though,More is that we all engage in behavior that “works” for us on some level. Each time that you give in as a result of your daughter’s behavior, you are teaching her that this behavior works, and increasing the chances that she will continue to use it as a way to meet her needs. At this point, I recommend picking one or two behaviors to focus on first, rather than trying to change everything at once. This will increase your consistency and effectiveness in addressing her behavior, and reduces the chances that you will become overwhelmed. Based on what you have written, I recommend focusing first on the abusive way she is treating her sister. You might find more helpful tips in “My Child Thinks He’s the Boss!” How to Get Back Control of Your Home. Please be sure to write back and let us know how things are going for you and your family. Take care.
  • Tracylr
    Boy I could sure use some advice. Our 18 yr old son is still living at home. He was let go from the Navy due to supposedly a medical issue but we question if it was due to his lack to conform. We told him he either goes back intoMore the military or goes to college. We told him that he had to pay the first two yrs to prove he is serious then we would give him his tuition that we have already paid for. He is working full time and making good money but spends it on stuff like drums and such even when we told him they can't stay in our house. We make him pay for his cell phone and car insurance and specialty foods that he uses for his lunche etc.... We also have him and his sister rotate kitchen every other week, do their laundry and keep their rooms/ bathroom in order. The problem is he refuses to do anything around the house until it becomes a screaming match. He leaves his clothes all over the house and refuses to pick them up. We end up throwing them outside or on the floor in front of his room for him to pick up when he comes home but just steps over them and cops an attitude. He will not do his room and everything he owns sits on his floor. He makes messes and refuses to clean anything up (ex. He will make a meal and leave everything including garbage right where it lands and walks away and when we ask him about it, he shrugs his shoulders and walks off). He doent want to do anything with the family unless it is something he wants/ likes. He expects us to let him do what he wants, when he wants with no argument. He refuses to pack a house key and when he comes home in the early hours, he bangs on the door and expects people to let him in. When we ask where his key is, he comments not on me. We told him if he can't pack his key, then don't bother knocking. We have given him times we wanted him home and he refuses to confirm and comes in when he wants. Then the screaming matches are on again. It has gotten to the point to where we don't like him and want him gone. My husband worries that if we kick him out, he will end up with the wrong crowd and never make it in life. I feel like a horrible parent. Any suggestions would help. Thanks Tracy
    • BigMattSays

      Tracylr If your having screaming matches - it's already too late. Tell him you love him but he will have to stand on his two feet. You can support him by paying half his future rent. He can visit anytime and is very welcome. Plan a weekly dinner together. 

      If you can't let an eighteen year old live more independently, may I suggest some of the issues are your own?

      Your relationship is on a downward trajectory that will not change unless something happens to change it. Signing a form about behaviour will do nothing. Try it for a while if you like.

      You will get respect back when you respect yourself.

      All the best.

    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
      Tracylr It can be so challenging when you have a young adult living at home who is not following the house rules.  Part of this challenge is due to the change in your role as a parent.  When parenting a young adult, it’s more about setting boundaries for yourself andMore enforcing those limits rather than trying to “make” your son act a certain way.  It’s also normal for most young adults to desire all of the freedom and independence of this station in life, and none of the responsibilities.  Because your son is now an adult, anything you choose to provide to him is considered a privilege, including having a place to live.  While it’s ultimately going to be a personal decision as to whether you allow him to continue living with you, you can look at ways that you can enforce your boundaries in the meantime.  For instance, if your son doesn’t come home by the time you go to bed and refuses to carry a house key, I encourage you to follow through on not letting him in when he is locked out despite his banging on the door.  If you decide to allow him to continue to live with you, I encourage you to https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/ground-rules-for-living-with-an-adult-child-plus-free-living-agreement/ with him which outlines your house rules and expectations for his behavior, as well as how you will hold him accountable if those rules are broken or expectations are not met.  I recognize how difficult this must be for you, and I hope you will write back and let us know how things are going for you and your family.  Take care.
  • LPOH
    I have a 17yr old son who has me at breaking point he is disrespectful hurtful rude & down right nasty & rude. I have tried all the usual things like grounding him taken his Xbox. I pay insurance on his car & have even taken the car offMore him but it doesnt seem to matter what i do it doesnt change anything. He wont do anything you ask him wuthout a screaming match & now he has started to lie about things silly things but ge never usually would have lied. His reaction to everything is to disapoear out if the house for hours and gas ne worried sick. I dont know what to do with him anymore please help
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
      LPOH The transition to young adulthood can be very difficult for both parents and teens, even under the best of circumstances.  I hear your frustration with your son’s behavior, and I’m glad that you’re here reaching out.  It’s pretty common for parents to feel as though they are constantly takingMore away privileges, yet nothing is changing.  This is because consequences usually aren’t enough to change behavior, because they do not teach kids what to do differently moving forward.  Instead, it’s going to be more effective to focus on calmly setting clear limits, and helping your son to develop more appropriate skills to handle frustration and comply with expectations.  You can read more about this in our article series https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/why-consequences-arent-enough-part-1-how-to-coach-your-child-to-better-behavior/ and https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/why-consequences-arent-enough-part-2-making-child-behavior-changes-that-last/.  Please be sure to write back and let us know how things are going with you and your son.  Take care.
  • pnaznaz

    Hello everyone

    I am so glad to found this thread. I have a 14 year old son who is an all honors student and overall a relativlely good kid but lacks self discipline toward his assignments and every time we use consequence (take away phone or Xbox), gets angry, volatile, abusive verbally and physically.

    The series of articles and threads opened my eyes on lots of our own faults. I am pretty much like a single parent since my spouse has a late work schedule and never around and doesn't see eye to eye with me on issues around our kids. I am also the main income in the household which requires lots of travel and 60 hour work weeks, all resulting in lack of energy to deal with iissues with calmness.

    The power struggle is too much and I feel like a failure and at loss what to do and where to get help. Recently, I was misdiagnosed for a brain tumor and the only silver lining was that I don't have to deal with this for long.

    Any comments/guidance would be appreciated. I

    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
      pnaznaz I’m so sorry to hear about the power struggles you are experiencing with your son, and I’m glad that you are here reaching out for support.  We hear from many parents who describe similar issues with their children, where things are relatively easy until limits are enforced.  Then theMore child might become abusive, destructive and/or violent.  This type of behavior can be so exhausting, and I’m glad that you are reaching out for support.  At this point, I encourage you to set very clear limits around his abusive and volatile behavior as described in https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/when-kids-get-violent-theres-no-excuse-for-abuse/.  Please let us know if you have additional questions.  Take care.
  • Bewildered and sad

    Hello everyone,

    So happy I found this thread and hoping I can get some help..

    I am having a hard time understanding and putting up with the behavior of my 18 year old daughter. She is a senior in high school who is a bright and well rounded individual and who has many good friends. She goes to a very competitive high school and it seems that the pressure of getting into a great college is really getting to her. I have always been there for her. In fact, I have always been her #1 supporter. I don't agree with tiger parenting, rather I believe in a well rounded and balanced upbringing. She in turn has often thanked me for supporting her and for being a great mom to her. However, for the past year or so I have been noticing changes in her behavior that I'm struggling to understand. It is as if I am suddenly her enemy. She has been spending way too much time on her social media accounts. I can barely get her attention when I address her and when she finally decides to lift her face up from her cell phone, her response is usually dismissive. The "bitchy resting face" has become her signature facial expression. She has also been particularly rude and disrespectful towards me and her dad, spewing out poison every now and then and saying extremely hurtful things which breaks my heart to pieces. She is the sweetest person when she needs me to accompany her to the mall and buy her clothes or take her on trips but the minute we are back home she reverts to being her old self. I am currently unemployed and her dad works very hard to make ends meet, yet she keeps comparing us to "other" parents who buy cars for their children the minute they turn 16 or who are willing to pay 50k and more a year for college. I refuse to put up with her behavior and usually put a firm foot down telling her that her behavior is not acceptable under our roof and that I won't put up with it. I realize that the pressure of leaving the nest and going to college might be getting to her. I also know how paralyzed she can get whenever big changes occur in her life. My husband blames me and says that I have sheltered her too much which is why she isn't independent enough (she is an only child. Mea culpa). I agree with him to a certain extent but ever since she started high school I never stood in her way. I never stopped her from going out with her friends. She had her drivers license and I knew that she acted very responsibly most of the time. In fact I encouraged her to have a social life as long as she kept up with her grades and acted responsibly. Where I blame myself though is that I never pushed her hard enough to get out there and get a part time Job. I can count on my fingers the number of times she babysat for kids. She always seems to have too much homework. Why should she go out of her way if mom and dad can get her what she needs?

    So, what am I doing wrong here and what am I up for? I welcome all comments even harsh ones. I am at my wit's end and frankly can't wait for her to go to college.

    Thank you for your feedback!

    • KimD1966
      Hi wanted to respond and share my story. My son Is also 18 senior in HS. He was a homebody for the first 3 yes of HS and over summer found a group of friends. He now spends 90% of his time with them. Always on phone etc.. he hasMore gotten into some "normal" teenage behavior issues but all in all isn't a bad kid. He doesn't though and always had gotten a chip on his shoulder when he does something wrong and gets called out for it. Example kids at school were wearing x-mas hats before the holiday.well he wore his red baseball hat. Teacher told him to take it off and he said no it's not far if they all wear a hat and I can't. She gave him at least 5 warnings before she wrote him up. The schools has strict rules and knowing he isn't a bad kid and has senior trip coming didn't suspend him but gave him a Saturday school. He thought he was being a tough guy saying I'm not doing that etc.... instead of just maning up to his mistake he takes it all the way to prove a point. Very stressful for dad and I to deal with and at wits end
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
      Bewildered and sad We are so glad that you found us as well!  I hope that some of our other readers will share their experiences with you.  In the meantime, I want to assure you that this change in your daughter is not uncommon.  At some point or another, mostMore parents describe a https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/sudden-behavior-changes-in-children-part-ii-7-things-you-can-do-today/ in their child’s behavior.  Wanting to spend time with friends, and acting as though you are an inconvenience, are common aspects of your daughter growing up and preparing to go out into the world.  I encourage you to do your best not to personalize your daughter’s behavior.  Even though I recognize how much it hurts, this is not about you as much as it is about your daughter having ineffective https://www.empoweringparents.com/blog/stressed-out-kids-5-coping-skills-you-can-teach-them/she might be experiencing.  Please be sure to write back and let us know how things are going for you and your family.  Take care.
      • Bewildered and sad

        RebeccaW_ParentalSupport Bewildered and sad 

        Thank you so much Rebecca..your response put my mind at rest. I  am also hoping that this phase will pass soon. I failed to mention the fact that although I noticed a major shift in her attitude she often goes from being cold to being warm and vulnerable. It is these swings that I have the hardest time dealing with...

  • Miss Max

    I am struggling with my 14 year old. He just takes off all the time. Il be hanging washing out and he takes off and doesnt come back till days later. I can never find him at his friends. Hes always hanging out with friends I dont even know.

    I cant find his ipad that he needs for school in which im still paying for so im pressuming hes sold it, my bike that cost alot of money that he was using, missing!!. Iv been dealing with his selfish ways since he was 5. Iv tried every trick in the book. I could even write a book on everything that iv tried thats worked for only a certain amount of time and then hes just back to his old ways. We have seen psychologists, social workers.

    Im at a point where if he takes off which is pretty much all the time, I want to give up. I cant sleep because of the emotion mental breakdown im afraid im going to have. Its making me depressed.

    So mentally iv had enough.

    I sm a single parent with 4 children I work fulltime. And my own son is bringing my breakpoint where I just cant be bothered any more. I just want to give up. Im tired of his constant selfish decisions. Calls from the school every week, suspensions every week.

    I blamed myself for years until I realised nothing I did or tried helped. He just doesnt care bout anyone but himself. Hes been like this for as long as I can remember.

    But I get up in the morning and try again but by night time. Im back to "arrggg I cant be bothered anymore".. when is it going to end..

    iv got myself into a cycle over this.

  • blaketheredbarron
    I have raised my now 17 year old son since he was 5 or 6. I'm in a relationship that I've been in for 5 years. Mostly she has not tried to force herself as a "stepmom" even though he and his mother have no relationship. He's always made commentsMore about her not being his "stepmom" and I've never pushed it. Until 3 or 4 months ago, I've had issues but not like I have now. I'm buying a house that is outside the school district he's currently attending but promised that I would keep him in this home so he can graduate high-school with his friends. The house my fiance and I are buying is a fixer upper and so I've been going there on the weekend to fix it up. These holiday seasons he started rebelling against my fiance and her family for some reason, and I've tried to get him under controll and have insisted that he stop being disrespectful to her. I've purchased a vehicle and I pay for a majority of his insurance, that is the leverage that I have used in the past, how can I get him to stop this sudden nonsense? Is grounding him and/or taking his truck away from him the right thing to do? He has ruined Christmas for me but he's normally never done anything like this. Help please!
    • AcatiaRivera
      maybe you having youe fiancee makes him feel like the attention is comming off of him and on to.her so ait have a talk with your son and tell him gow much you love hij
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
      blaketheredbarron I’m so sorry to hear about the challenges you are facing with your son right now, and I’m glad that you are here reaching out for support.  As outlined in https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/using-consequences-to-maintain-your-parental-authority/, using things like grounding him or taking away his truck indefinitely are not typically effective consequences, because theyMore do not teach your son how to behave respectfully toward your fiancee or her family.  Instead, it could be useful to have a https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/the-surprising-reason-for-bad-child-behavior-i-cant-solve-problems/ with him about how he can follow the rules around respect, regardless of how he might feel about her, and to use task-oriented consequences to hold him accountable.  I recognize how difficult it must be to experience this kind of behavior, especially around the holidays, and I wish you all the best moving forward.  Take care.
  • Janedobor
    My name is Jane. I have a 14years old son who think that he is the boss of the house. He refuse to listen or do anything I say, He is demanding and controlling. He insult anytime I try to talk to him as a parent and even push myMore head in treating to beat me up today. I have been crying and very depressed. I don't know what to do anymore. Please Help somebody.
    • JJNils
      Hi Janedobor I felt compelled to respond but I'm afraid I wouldn't class myself as an expert here. In the next couple of days try and catch your son in a reasonably good mood (make sure he has eaten and isn't tired). Tell him that you would like to sit down andMore have an important talk with him. Ask him how he is, press him a little to open up. Tell him how you're feeling and ask him what you can both do to make life easier for you both. At some point you must tell him that physical contact and violence is absolutely not acceptable. Ask him how he felt after this incident? Ask him what you both could have done differently during this episode. You make some suggestions as to what you both could have done differently to resolve that incident, and what can be done to make sure he changes his behaviour. I do hope that you can open up a good line of communication. Tell him you love him, but you don't like his behaviour sometimes. Another idea would be to get a sensible male friend or family member to speak with him about your situation. I hope that helps. We have teenage boys too and I was on this website because I'm so frustrated too at their behaviour! Everybody tells me that it doesn't last forever, that he will come back to you, until then keep everything calm and keep the communication going. xx
  • betinabayze
    I have a 15 year old daughter who suffers from depression and she has been grounded for not respecting my rules. She still doesn't come home straight from school when she is asked.No respect has made me feel like I'm losing control of the situation .More I'm overwhelmed with frustration and my anger would show.I've tried talking and approching it different but still back in the same positION .I m lost on how to handle this.
  • Nene loma
    Good evening. My delima is this. I observe my 13 year old daughter to be very happy when with peers.she converse with them happily. But once she steps in the doorway, her mood just shifts suddenly to a very pouting mood and she just can't talk to me normally. SheMore always ignores me when i talk to her as if she doesn't hear me until i flare up....she doesn't even know how to handle jokes of her brothers, she shouts,  This is her usual way when at home while acts normally when with peers or cousins.... Pls help. Thank you.
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
      Nene loma I speak with many families who describe similar changes in their teen’s behavior from being with friends to being with immediate family, so you are not alone.  This moodiness is a typical aspect of adolescence, as kids start to https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/parenting-teens-parental-authority-vs-peer-pressure/  This doesn’t mean that you cannot address thisMore behavior, or have to accept it, though.  You might find some helpful strategies in https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/how-to-talk-to-teens-3-ways-to-get-your-teen-to-listen/.  Adolescence can be a rocky time for most families, and I hope you will write back and let us know how things are going for you and your family. Take care.
  • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
    Concerned Uncle We appreciate you writing in to Empowering Parents and sharing your story.  I hear how concerned you are about your sister, and her children. Because we are a website aimed at helping people become more effective parents, we are limited in the advice and suggestions we can giveMore to those outside of a direct parenting role. It may be helpful to look into local resources to help you develop a plan for addressing your particular issues, such as http://www.familylives.org.uk/. They can give you information on the types of support services available in your area such as counselors, support groups, kinship services as well as various other resources. You can reach them by calling 0808 800 2222 or by logging onto their website. We wish you the best going forward. Take care.
  • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
    Mohamed Osama We appreciate you writing in to Empowering Parents and sharing your story. I hear how much you want to improve your relationship with your mom, and I’m glad that you are reaching out.  Because we are a website aimed at helping people become more effective parents, we areMore limited in the advice and suggestions we can give to those outside of a direct parenting role.  Another resource which might be more useful to you is the Boys Town National Hotline, which you can reach by calling 1-800-448-3000, 24/7. They have trained counselors who talk with kids, teens and young adults everyday about issues they are facing, and they can help you to look at your options and come up with a plan.  They also have options to communicate via text, email, and live chat which you can find on their website, http://www.yourlifeyourvoice.org/ We wish you the best going forward. Take care.
  • nisdep
    Hi, i have one daughter and one son. Daughter is 9yr old, she is obedient, but my son is quite opposite... he is 7yr old he starts bulling, teasing, doing silly things and talking bad words....we stay in an apartment  where kids gather evening hrs and play....Daily i hear someMore or other complaints from each and every parent .....i am depressed ....i dont know hw to handle him its really  a challenging to change him, he behaves properly in front of us at home but when he is out side he doesnt have self controll ..he is just 7yrs old ...........plz plz plz i request you to suggest me some solutions ..
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
      nisdep I hear you.  It can be so difficult when kids are acting out toward their peers, and it can be hard not to take comments from other parents personally.  Something I encourage you to keep in mind is that your son’s behavior is not a reflection of your parenting,More but rather shows that he needs more skills to interact with other kids appropriately.  It’s not uncommon for kids your son’s age to https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/why-is-everyone-always-mad-at-me-why-misreading-social-cues-leads-to-acting-out-behavior/, and not recognize that what he is doing is inappropriate or hurting others’ feelings.  It could be useful to talk with him during a calm time, and discuss appropriate ways of playing with others.  You might find some helpful information in https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/the-surprising-reason-for-bad-child-behavior-i-cant-solve-problems/.  I also encourage you to limit the amount of time your son is spending unsupervised until he can demonstrate more appropriate behavior outside of your home.  Please be sure to write back and let us know how things are going for you and your family.  Take care.
  • Emy lou

    Hi my 11 year old daughter has developed a horrible attitude towards me she calls me names tells me she hates me swears at me and says she hates her life I try to control these situations without too much shouting and upset but my boyfriend who lives with us thinks I’m being too soft and I should make her respect me , it’s causing a terrible rift between us all and I feel like I’m just trying to keep the peace and keep everyone happy but it’s telling on me now , my boyfriend told me last night that he can’t live here anymore because I’m not doing anything to solve the situation please help

    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
      Emy lou It can be quite challenging when your child starts behaving disrespectfully, and it can be even more difficult when the adults do not agree on how it should be addressed.  I want to point out that, while it’s a common response, you cannot ultimately “make” your daughter respectMore you, because your daughter is in charge of the way that she feels.  What you can do, however, is to expect her to behave in respectful ways, no matter how she might be feeling.  Kim Abraham and Marney Studaker-Cordner outlines some useful strategies in their article, https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/how-to-respond-to-disrespectful-children-and-teens/.  Please let us know if you have any additional questions.  Take care.
  • Naomi1232

    Hi im naomi (50) my son italo (16) is a lazy son and he seems to think that world revolves around him.

    Before he reached the age where hormones had taken hold of his personality and mood , he was an awesome son and me and him got along together very well.

    But after we moved to another country (from chile to south africa) he has only brought brought in friends that look like drug users.

    I have had numerous arguments with him none of them resulting in the ending of this conflict.

    And as a result he now just straight ignores me and doesnt say a word to me ,just because i talk behind his back.

  • Old school new school
    My daughter is 12 and speaks her mind ina respectful way but latly she has been back talking rolling her eyes ect but she will say yes ma she tells me she can't act like a normal kid her friends do what ever when ever they go toMore store by self boyfriends staying over dont clean up behind there self am i doing wrong i let her friends come over n i let her stay off as long i meet there mama n make sure all is good but she says i dont let her live but i worry about sex offerends well everything cause i know it is bot safe out there n i dont wont her to go thru what i have been thru as a teen i love her n trust her but do i let her do has her friends
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
      Old school new school Most adolescents identify strongly with their friends, and want unlimited independence and freedom, because this is a common aspect of their development.  It’s also normal for parents to feel scared and worried about the wider world and possible dangers which might be waiting for their child.More Many parents wonder if they are being too strict or too lenient, so you are not alone.  As pointed out in https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/parenting-rules-and-expectations-but-everyone-else-is-doing-it/, it can be useful to get information from other parents instead of solely from your daughter.  Then, you can make your best judgment call on what’s appropriate for your daughter given her level of responsibility as well as your family values.  Please let us know if you have any additional questions.  Take care.
  • Boitshepo
    My name is Cynthia 28yrs old, I have a brother whose 19yrs old.... My young brother his nothing but trouble , his speaks to any1 as he likes. He dnt know how to speak to his own mother, at home we have back rooms that whereMore build by his late father's money, now he puts all his friends in those rooms, they come with girlfriends, they smoke and drink alcohol in my mothers yard, when my mother speaks to him, he tells her to leave him alone , he can do whatever he wants.... Cause those r his rooms.... He dnt see my mother for nothing, he swear at her mother front of his friends, till I moved back home ti 1 of the rooms and only to find out that his been telling my mother that I should pay rent.... I can't just come to stay for free... She's they eat me, they drink me... I do everything at home, they dnt sleep hungry because of me....
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
      Boitshepo We appreciate you writing in to Empowering Parents and sharing your story.  I’m sorry to hear about the struggles you are experiencing with your younger brother. Because we are a website aimed at helping people become more effective parents, we are limited in the advice and suggestions we canMore give to those outside of a direct parenting role. It may be helpful to look into local resources to help you address your particular issues. You might seek out a counselor or a support group, for example, which could help you to look at your options, and develop a plan moving forward.  We wish you the best going forward. Take care.
  • hayleycleaver2005
    My son Is 6 and struggles with adhd and mild autism. The autism has effected him with lack of speech and understanding of language. He's now starting to piece sentences together but unfortunately alot of them are negative. I do everything I can for him without "spoiling him" as he'sMore always been very damanding and boisterous and Try not to make it worse. He has always suffered with frustration due to lack of speech but I realise now alot of the time he's not having melt downs he's doing it to be naughty and sometimes it's very severe. He'll spit, swear, wish you dead, punch people and objects around him, doesn't care that people are watching him in astonishment. And iv tried everything, calmly approaching the situation, ignoring him, showing him he's upset me and made me sad, and sometimes I get mad and tell him off, all of these approaches he just carries on and on. He does this at home and at school his 1 to 1 teacher is amazing but she often has to take a breather. I just don't know what to do anymore I love him with every bit of me but I feel myself disliking the child he's becoming and that breaks my heart because I just want a good relationship where he respects me and also makes me feel loved like I show him. I understand this may be a gp job which has always been my last resort as he's been in and out of clinics since he was 18 months and the last thing I was is him zombied out with drugs. Heeeellllllllp!
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport


      I hear you.It sounds like you are

      dealing with some really challenging behaviors from your son, and I’m glad that

      you are reaching out for support.While

      it is normal for parents to feel hurt by a child’s actions or words, I

      encourage you to do your best not to take your son’s words personally.After all, it’s likely that it’s not about

      you, it’s more about his lack of skills to handle a situation appropriately.You might find our article, https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/i-hate-you-mom-i-wish-you-were-dead-when-kids-say-hurtful-things/, useful

      as you plan how to respond to these statements more effectively.In addition, although I recognize your

      hesitation to bring this to your son’s doctor, s/he will be in a better

      position to help you develop a plan to teach your son more appropriate

      behavior.Please be sure to write back

      and let us know how things are going for you and your son.Take care.

      • ExasperatedSingleMum
        My daughter is 16, my son is 17, I'm a solo parent far from family and friends, and my story is the same. I've now discovered that when I go to work, their friends enter my house to spend the day rather than go to school. My bedroom is lockedMore 24/7 and I have lost their respect completely. I uprooted my life and came to this city for better education for them. What they've taken from this opportunity is complete freedom and caution to the wind approach. I wonder too, whether I should simply lock all the doors. My daughter has already proven she can live on the streets. My son would be too lazy to get his butt off the ground. I have had no success from police or psychologists over the past 18 months and have absolutely no idea what to do next or how to turn the tide... looking forward to the article you posted the link for. Perhaps this could be the one that gives me a new trick!
  • Tpnicole

    Today I went to attend my 18 son IEP meeting at school his in the 12 grade. I got there late my first meeting I missed since elementary. Well the school informed that my son signed his IEP already and they were going to leave it as last years. I do not agree with the plan because my wanted to build a more solid plan for my teen who is failing majority of his core classes, so as I am trying to inform school. My son continued to outburst as I talking to my child. "I already signed the paper". He tells me. I going to class. I requested that he sat down for a moment so I could discuss what transpired in my absence.

    He sits then the lunch bell ranged. He states it lunch time. I got to go.

    He gets up and storms out of the room.

    I walking to exit the school. He sees me on my phone and takes my phone from hand. I struggled with him, but not trying to cause a seen as his twisting my hand I let the phone go.

    I go into the school office and request that they call the school police. Yes I got my phone back.

    But this is what I live often behavior like this.

    It's getting worst. I am afraid of my child.

    His outside sleeping on my porch as I writing this.

    Does tough love mean locking your child out???

    He just turned 18 on October 2.

    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport


      I’m sorry to hear about the struggles you are experiencing

      with your son, and I’m glad that you are here.Because your son is an adult, anything you provide to him is considered

      a privilege, including a place to sleep.At this point, it might be helpful to determine what your expectations

      are for your son as an adult child living with you.James Lehman outlines this in his article

      series on living with adult children; here is the first article in the series: https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/rules-boundaries-and-older-children-part-i/.Please be sure to write back and let us know how things are going for

      you and your son.Take care.

  • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport


    I’m so sorry to hear about the threats, verbal abuse and intimidation you

    are experiencing from your son each day.You do not deserve to be treated this way.Furthermore, you have a right to feel safe in

    your own home.Even though your son

    might act innocent when around others, I encourage you to develop a plan to

    stay safe in the face of his threats.As

    pointed out in https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/signs-of-parental-abuse-what-to-do-when-your-child-or-teen-hits-you/, it can be

    useful to work with local supports to develop this plan.This might include your son’s doctor, local crisis

    response services, domestic violence services and/or law enforcement.I recognize how challenging this situation

    must be for you, and I wish you all the best moving forward.Take care.

  • sm09
    i have a daughter turned 15 yr she is distant from me seems like she dont miss me anymore she stays with her father dont ask me anything untill recently, i call she only say hurry up what you need im in hurry alot of homework andMore exam have stopped coming even on weekends says. they have plans im worried
  • Slk68
    I have a soon to be 14 year old son and he is so disrespectful I am just praying for him to turn 18. He wanted advanced classes and got them now it's our fault he has so much homework. He tells us that he has a social lifeMore and he is leaving the house and there's nothing we can do about it. His friends are all sneaky and he swears and yells (screams) at us constantly. He constantly lies about homework when we ask him about items not done he immediately escalates things to a screaming blame game. I just give up nothing we try seems to work. We have taken away his phone, school issued IPad and his Xbox and nothing seems to matter.
    • Goose


      Sounds very familiar to my going on 16 year old son. We have now got to the point that he thinks he knows it all and he thinks he is a man well then go out in the mans world and see how long you last is what we have said and hes gone. It has been 5 days now and we know hes staying with a mate and his parents. Difficult not to contact him but I am determined to ride it out  and wait for him to come to us.

      Total disrespect habitual lying, steeling, sneaking out the window at night  are just a few of the things we are dealing with. We really do try and believe in him  and give him chances but he continually lets us down to the point that this is our last option

  • John
    May not work in every case but if it makes you mad stop doing it a lot of the time the basic story is you put 100 k and hundreds of hours in raising a kid and they want 20 dollars to load the dishwasher they wont do a thingMore for you so you feel used ...it's family that only works one way ...so stop being a doormat don't do a thing unless you can do it without feeling used.
  • bayfieldannette
    I have a 19 year old son that accuses me off moving his processions every time I tidy up checks the wheelie bins that I haven't thrown anything of his out. Tidy up after my husband following us about and swearing at us.
    • Tpnicole
      My son is 18 and it's a battle to take out the trash. It's just him and I. I just do it. I learned to pick my battles. Because I know the war behind the task.
    • John
      Tell him respectfully that he can find alternate arrangements if the free rent and maid service is not to his specifications. Too many parents scared to death to scar or lose an older teen that is being a jerk. If you demanding respect is a deal breaker then soMore be it. It's all part of this trend that says you signed up for it so your teen gets to treat you like crap because it's part of his brain chemistry. Supposedly They can't help it and if you don't put up with it your teen will end up on the street damaged and on drugs. Our teens are helped to death by the system that's all there is out there let them scrape their knees once in a while.
  • KWood
    Tahrah No,Its not because he doesnt know how to do something and "everyone gets frustrated when they dont know how to do something" how absurd from Carl111.Your being tested to the limits BUT dont show how upset you are as they will win.I have a 18 yo Daughter,she has beenMore a Poster Child until she turned 18 then she turned into a total Brat as well as Lazy.She talks to me daily BUT its always to find out information or if she can use this or if I can do this for Her etc,always one sided so i dont get angry as I play "Gee,I dont know" she is a 4.0 Grad and she is too lazy to search online for answers.If she were to sit and talk with me once in a while about anything it would be great but it wont happen as she feels "Entitled" and doing Chores is Below Her Standards.Oh the Chores?Empty the Dishwasher and take out the Trash.Its always the same thing,she never does it or will intentionally Re Start the Dishwasher saying "Oh they are Dirty".When she senses my asking again she is gone.So that fine,live in my House,eat my Food,watch my Cable TV Flatscreens all over the house and continue acting the Princess that she is as reality will soon come as I plan to throw her to the Curb.This girlpays nothing yet wants more and more.Sure I can afford it but I wont budge.She takes 12 Credit Hours in College (that Ive Paid for) and feels she is a Full time Student,cant work and needs to study.No Reality as she spends maybe 9 Hours in Classes per week.Now let me fast fwd.June she introduced her Boyfriend she met on "Tinder" yes this is correct,he is 21 and went to Community College but now cant afford it so between My Princess and Her mom He resides in my Home as i was informed after the fact and he will "only be here until he finds a Roomate" Well,while she is having Fun under the Sheets in his room they both get up around noon but I have to say He comes from a bad home and is very respectful but still sleeping in my Home as a Couple Im furious and have different feelings of Her.I really dislike the sight of her.She isnt my biological Daughter but I brought her up since 6 years old and have given her a wonderful life.I plan on moving the Both of them out soon as I feel disrespected,taken advantage of and Im tired of her mouthing off,maybe if she deserved it I may feel differently but she doesnt.My Wife has caused all of this as she never speaks up or backs me when I discipline her.So,she can leave with her I dont care at this point.Im Disabled and these two clowns wll watch me sweat and be in pain outside working in the yard while they are under ice cold air cooking Breakfast at Noon,not even asking if I need help or a Glass of Water.Reality will set in soon as I hold the Cards and i will wish her luck!
    • Brokenmother
      So sorry to hear of this. I have told my 21 year old daughter that she can go to school and live rent free provided she do some simple chores. That is her rent. I told her failing that she either had to pay me 700 a month room andMore board or leave. She didn't like this but she knows that when my othet daughter had to leave I changef the locks. I have to follow through and not do emtu threats. I wish you the best with this because dealing with difficilt children when your spouse and you are not on the same page is very stressful and frustrating. Have you by chance tried a counsellor or mediator to help iron out the issues betwern yourself and spouse and rest of the family? That might help. And I would not let a boy stay in my house undet any circumstances. Eithet go home or make it on your own.
  • Young Adult
    So, as a young adult I understand a lot of both sides. Both sides have their reasons and their own ways of thinking. I'm just going to go ahead and dive into this by saying that a teenager tests boundaries. It's not that they know they are or wake upMore every morning thinking 'I'm going to ruin the whole day by screaming at my parents and being angry and talking back.' They honestly aren't out to get you as much as it seems like they are.  From my own personal experience, I can say that I talked back a lot. I get that the reason why my parents hated it so much was because they didn't like their authority being tested, but I had reasons that I thought--and still think--were completely reasonable. I talked back a lot because as a growing teen to near adult, I wanted different things from them. (As I delve into this, please be mindful that my dad also had PTSD and was quick to violence. I already had a growing sort of resentment for him and for my stepmom who constantly threatens to leave but in the end takes his side.) I was bitter a lot because when it came to things we didn't agree on, I would stand my ground. My parents thought it was just backtalk but to me, like I said, I was just standing my ground. These kinds of fights were about things like TV shows or chores or really anything. Specifically I remember that my three year old sister was eyeing a cartoon on TV. My stepmom called it garbage and I couldn't help feel that resentment all over again. I told her she didn't need to call it garbage and immediately she went on about how I was talking back and being rude and disrespectful. I shot back that she knew nothing about the show, not the name, the story, the goal, or the lessons. She asked me with malice and I responded with friendship, accepting others, and seeing eye to eye. (I admit the last part was a jab at her, too.) She told me to shut up and that she could choose whatever her daughter was watching. I agreed but said that her not knowing about the show, she shouldn't be quick to call it names when others could like it. I said it made her look rude. She told me to never speak in that tone to her again--defiantly-- and that my back talking was asking for it. I just said okay and left it at that. My point is is that even though this might not describe you and your child's relationship, it's insight. All teens are different and think different and yes, some are just downright nasty. I know. Some are just straight up selfish. Yes. Those kinds of teens are out there. But we, as adults, need to know where to draw the line of 'when should I treat my teen like an adult and when should I be the parent?' It's easy to say, yes, be the parent all the time! Of course you can, but now and then put your child on equal grounds and try to handle things as if this human being were like you. Because teens are. The whole hatred for teens and the thought that teens are out to get adults and that we only fight and yell isn't quite true. Teens have to transition from that stage of child to adult and want to know about the world, their boundaries, what they can do, what there is. We have to know where to be strict and where to let off because when they are 17 and asking for their opinions to be respected, we have to. Their opinions at that age can not be 'changed' like when they are young. It just doesn't work that way. With my story I wanted to show that yes, even adults can seem like the 'teenager' in that respect. So, sometimes we just have to take a step back and ask ourselves if we are inhibiting them from growing or we are inhibiting them from making a mistake. Throughout the article the word 'kid' is used to describe our sons and daughters. Only 'teen' or 'teenager' is used when talking about their snotty behavior and fighting. It's a worldwide stigma that we should try to avoid and not jump onto the bandwagon. Yes, they are kids, but they are also humans and near adults. Set up your boundaries, stay firm, know that giving respect is getting some, keep in mind that they will be adults soon. When they hit eighteen we tend to think, wow, an adult! Well, 16 is two years from 18. 14 is four years from 18. Put into prospective we see that there really is not much time between these numbers.
  • Frustrated mom of 3
    My son will be 16 in 4 days & he is getting more disrespectful by the day.. He has a daily chore of taking the trash out, keeping his room & bathroom clean & a weekly chore of cutting the grass front & back. Yet he seems to do aMore crappy job at all of that & when asked to make corrections, he ALWAYS have a reason of why it didn't get done correctly & responds that I'm overreacting, I'm at my wits end with him. A few weeks ago he picked a fight with my husband (which is his step-dad) & stuck him in the face several times, my husband restrained him & in the process, my son continued to strike him. My husband blocked the hit & hit my son in the face/ eye which caused his eye to close up & become blood shot * not an black eye * my son called the police & when they came out, my son told the officers he called my husband out & punched him in his face. The officers told my son he was the aggressor & if my husband wanted, he can press charges.. Of course my husband declined but, my son is still being disrespectful to the both of us.
    • Brokenmother
      I don't know you but I was abused by my daughter constantly. I didn't want to ever press charges as I hoped to help her overcome the issues. That was the worst mistake. Now she's an adult, I am caring for her child who was apprehended and she isMore still acting out. Believe me if he did it once with no consequence he will keep doing it. Sometimes too charges can hook hum up with anger management help. Don't look back and regret it like I did
  • udham
    I have a 16 years old teen age daughter at home. We behaved the best with her. But she started yelling at both the parents from 14 years onward even for slightest things asking her to sit with us and have dinner together. For slightest reason she yells at usMore and blames us for not being sufficiently wealthy, and frequently calls us idiots and slams her door against us. She always sits at her room locked us out. Rarely comes out and for slightest disagreement yells at us. She behaves nice only at shopping malls when she needs something to be purchased for her. As husband and wife we were always respectful of each other and we usually behave well with all. Sometimes she yels and comes forward o physically attack us. Usually she remain awake till 2.am and goes to bed late and get up scolding us. She is always reluctant to eat dinner with us. Mostly she orders food from restaurants eat it fondly than what we cook at home. I do not know how to grow her up. Please help.
    • Marissa EP


      It sounds like you are dealing

      with a number of challenging behaviors, and rather than trying to address them

      all, it can be most helpful to focus on only the one or two most significant or

      disruptive behaviors, such as verbal or physical abuse, and ignoring behaviors

      such as blaming and slamming the door. Those behaviors are often an attempt to

      pull you into a power struggle and try to get you to give in on the limits you

      are setting. Set clear, consistent limits around the behavior you are focusing

      on, and hold her accountable with a https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/using-consequences-to-maintain-your-parental-authority/,

      if needed.  James Lehman, author of the https://www.empoweringparents.com/product/total-transformation-program/ program, talks more about how to regain control in your home

      in his article, https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/my-child-thinks-hes-the-boss-how-to-get-back-control-of-your-home/. 

      Once you’ve determined which behaviors to focus on, I hope you’ll check back

      with Empowering Parents for more helpful articles. Take care!

      • AllGrownUp
        When I was a teenager, I had a friend who got her bedroom door taken away for repeated slamming... :)
  • Jo
    My 'get the f*** home NOW' was not respectful.
  • Jo
    I am a single mother so all down to me. Father has emotional issues and ended up abandoned by father and mother at this age and i'm concerned this is part of her emotional download that i am going to have to learn to deal with as emotional baggage getsMore downloaded through the generations. This is why i'm not sure how to react. I'm leaning towards a universal level of respect that applies to all human beings as well as her mother instead of just making it about respecting me. any thoughts?
  • Jo
    I'm a mother of a 15yr girl who went to her friends house after school without asking e or even letting me know she was going. After finding out where she was 2hrs after she usually is home i txt her ' get the f*** home NOW. I am nowMore undecided as how to deal with this. We get on very well but she has done this once before.
    • Marissa EP


      Hi, thanks for writing in about

      your concerns with your daughter. When a child breaks a rule, it can sometimes

      be a challenge not to take it as a sign of disrespect towards you. Instead of

      taking the rule-breaking personally, it can be more helpful to view the

      behavior as the result of https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/the-surprising-reason-for-bad-child-behavior-i-cant-solve-problems/. Your daughter did not go to her friend’s house

      without telling you because she wanted to disrespect you, but rather, maybe she

      was afraid you would say no and she really wanted to go. Setting clear rules

      and limits and holding her accountable in a calm business-like way when she

      doesn’t follow the rules, will be more effective than personalizing her

      behavior as a sign of disrespect towards you. Megan Devine, an Empowering

      Parents author, has a great article entitled https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/how-to-create-a-culture-of-accountability-in-your-home/, that talks more about

      how to get started.  Best of luck to you as you continue to work on this

      with your daughter.

  • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport


    I’m so sorry to hear about your situation with your

    son.  It can be very painful when your child refuses to see or visit you,

    especially after you had such a long period of separation from him earlier in

    life.  You might consider consulting with a family lawyer to see what your

    visitation rights are with your son.  If you need help locating legal

    assistance in your area, try contacting the http://www.211.org/ at 1-800-273-6222.  211 is a service which connects people

    with services in their community.  I recognize how hard this must be for

    you, and I wish you all the best.  Take care.

  • Dannynew
    I have tried all these methods and the total transformation system, token economy, etc.  NO SUCCESS PERIOD.  Our daughter is 16.  We were first alerted in kindergarten when she put dirt down the recess aide's pants.  Been diagnosed with ADHD, OCD, and ODB.  12 years of therapy has led toMore 12 suspensions, 2 different high schools in 2 different states.  4 arrests.  She shaved her head last week, proclaimed to be a communist, and will not do a single chore.  She has no door on her room, no cell phone, and the token economy system in place to earn all of it back which has never happened.  Her mother and I have been married for 23 years.  In open court last week she told the probation officer she had 80's out of date hair and a beer belly.  She is currently lodged in the Youth Center awaiting trial for assaulting a Police Officer in School.  Furthermore she is a straight A student.  Never a B.  Her older sister is in grad school and working full time waitressing, a seemingly normally adjusted 21 year old.  Nobody has ever got through to her.  After 12 days in the Youth Center, (half of that time in confinement due to bad behavior) she asked how to get back in.  The next day she went to school, shaved head and all, knocked over all the trash cans in the lunchroom, and flipped off the students eating.  She was escorted to the office and then she assaulted the Officer.  Her stay in the Youth Center is 3x my house payment so financial destruction is also on the menu.  Is there no end?  I believe she needs a complete Psychological Evaluation however since we have insurance and she has yet to be convicted of a crime that plan is on hold.  I wish I could have a normal, disrespectful teen like so many have shared.  Everything here is true and I'm a real Dad who has been clinging on to hope which seems like a mirage.  I don't know how I manage to go to work and act happy when giving speeches and general managing.  I'm embarrassed, humiliated, and financially ruined.  My marriage is in real trouble as we spend our resources trying to keep the peace and develop a continuous plan to fix her.  I feel lost and hopeless.  Thanks for understanding that things can be worse.  Our case should be the beta in total disrespect.
    • Dannynew
      Jane, Thank you for your message of encouragement and the understanding that we have a similar connection.  We had a Psych Evaluation this week.  Sorry to hear about your situation.  I agree 100% about the insurance comment.  We were told that CMH (Community Mental Health) will not take people withMore Insurance?  You are correct people in the middle class have no options except sell possessions and pay for expensive Boarding schools or Ranches.  You understand how mentally draining this is.  Our Daughter is now in a behavior treatment program full time.  I feel guilty and yet there is a strange peace in our house without her there.  I'm Exhausted and I work nights on top of that!  Thank you for your kind words and understanding as you have the same struggles. ~ Dan
      • Brokenmother
        I echo both you and Jane and when my daughter was in treatment the 6 months she was there was like bliss for our family. When she was discharged it was ok for about 2 months then all hell broke loose again. Fast forward 5 years...marriage ended, she left,More peaced reigned until she had a child that was apprehended. The baby came into my care and the insanity started again. I feel for both of you. I pray for the safety and well being of my grand child who is returning to her mother because she's "better" again. Just an aside about the brain scan, my daughter had 2 of them. They showed nothing abnormal or wrong. Trust me when I say that the scan won't possibly contribute to your situation as it did nothing for my daughter. I wish you both peace but that doesn't always happen until they are adults and we as parents put up boundaries and move on in our lives. I am resigned that I have done all I can and am getting help for myself in dealing with this loss
        • Dannynew
          Brokenmother  Thank you for your comments.  It helps to know similar situations exist out there.  Our Marriage is in real trouble as a result of all this.  We re-connected during our daughters treatment period.  We moved to another state so she could get an education as she was kicked outMore permanently.  We didn't have to move far and kept our jobs but, with her back, my wife is very outrageous in her behaviors, our daughter seems to mirror this and if I bring it up, I'm the bad guy.  I feel us drifting apart.
          • Brokenmother
            I am sorry to hear this. One thing I found once my marriage ended is that I had blinders on wrt my ex husband's behaviour. Sometimes we can't see clearly in the midst of the storm. It turns out that my daughter mirrors my ex and they were both assessed.More They have related disorders but deny their conditions because the "Psych's are all crazy and stupid". I used to think I was crazy but now have seen how living with them both did that. Their conditions mean they used to project onto me and gaslight me regularly. Now they still try but distance, boundaries and my own self care and counselling has shown me I am ok and I can prevent their projections. I am not telling you what to do wrt your marriage just sharing that mine ending turned out to be the beginning of a better life.
          • Annemom
            Brokenmother Dannynew: how are things now? It's December. I prayed for you.
          • Janenew
            Hi Dannynew and brokenmother- Jane here..I hope things are getting better for you both. Especially with the crazy added stress that the holidays bring. I'm sitting here trying my hardest to stay positive and focus on MY happiness. I am utterly disgusted with my son and basically have comeMore to the realization that he will continue to make bad decisions and probably wind up dead. ( and no, I do not feel bad for saying that, I feel sad and hopeless saying it) My son is on the verge of getting kicked out of school ( senior year HS) He just got back from treatment and he's still smoking pot. thinks it's a big  joke. The school is really trying hard to work with us.. they said we are doing everything possible that we as parents can do.. but ultimately it's up to him. Which I completely understand. another 100 grand out the window if he can't make it to graduation. ( We have him drug tested) Our hands get tied legally because he's only 17. Although we keep telling him when he's 18 he's out the door. I feel like a prisoner in my own home. forget about my husband, he's a great guy but he's about to have a heart attack from this stress. All the hopes and dreams we had for our only son is looking very dismal. It's not just the pot smoking, the blatant lies and the disrespect at every turn..The part that scares me the most is the No remorse, the narcissism, the total lack of empathy. That's what scares me the most. I have no clue what God has in store here... but I'm really thinking that I should have stayed single.. and had a couple dogs..thinking about that really puts a smile on my face...and peace in my heart...just for a minute..but I'll take it. I'm done rambling, sorry to talk your ears off! Peace be with you both. Jane
    • Janenew
      Good Morning Dannynew- I just read your post. My husband and I have been dealing with the same type of child for 16 years as well. (son) We have done the Total Transformation 2× Starting when he was around 2. His actions have been AWFUL since he could walk.More ie- hitting people in the head at the grocery store, biting, ( when he was small) We have sought out Every "top notch" Dr., therapist, He's been to 2 different high schools, a therapeutic ranch in Utah when he was 11. (50 thous.) Boarding school for boys- another 50 thousand. I can go on and on.. Oh and he's a straight A student as well..1 or 2 Bs... because he doesn't study. His behavior has also put a huge strain on our marriage of 20 years and it's so mentally draining. I want to have his brain scanned as well but because we have insurance, ( my husband works hard for us) It would cost thousands! sometimes I think your better off not having anything..Our system is So screwed up. ( but that's a different topic) Anyway- I just wanted to reach out to you..I wish I could help you because I feel your pain. Please hang in there..You guys are NOT alone..We can share the beta in disrespect. Sincerely, Jane
  • Carl111
    Tahrah hi, the reason they great frustrated is because they dont know how to do it. Everyone gets frustrated when they dont know how to do something
  • Experienced mom
    You are completely wrong I know plenty of parents ,myself included, who have always shown love and respect to my children and others and yet the teenager is extremely disrespectful to the parent. My 16 year old was given instructions to not put inappropriate things on snapchat. Yet she did.More So when I took her phone away which is what I told her would happen she refused to hand it over. Started cursing me. Said she wish I would die and go to hell. We do not curse in my home and yet she flips out when we enforce rules that she helped come up with the consequences. This all started because she broke a very important rule and didn't want to accept the consequences. She has since the been sneaking her friends phones and continues to send inappropriate pictures to young boys she doesn't even know. I also know of other teenagers that have done the same kinds of things and have wonderful loving parents.
    • Sandra
      I understand this problem, and yes my 15/16 year old son has done the same thing - with consequences (he was in a show and was kicked out of it - really was a big deal to him). He made a terrible mistake in our eyes, But to theseMore kids, technology is the norm for EVERYTHING. So when we see these photos or hear of them sending them, it is so unbelievable to us because we grew up without this technology - I did. I cannot understand why the kids do this. But we made him own up to his mistake, and accept the consequences. He has always been taught to be honest, and while I think the punishment was a little severe (there wasn't a complaint made!), I understand why they did it. However, what happens next time he does something wrong - will he be honest again?? Respect is something you earn. I have always taught that to my kids, but as I am experiencing a fair share of "rebellious" attitude, do I remember what I said? No, I immediately gun for him. Reading all these posts puts so much into perspective. Reading posts from teens on here has given me a huge insight, so thank you for posting. I am now going to start to not focus on the negative, but try to accentuate the positive, it won't always work, but at least it is the right step forward. Good luck everyone with your kids, and the kids dealing with troubles of being a teen - the issues may look slightly different, but we have all gone through it in different forms, maybe as adults we need to start thinking before opening our mouths.
  • Lulu8681
    Hi Good Morning...I am a single mother of two teenagers (boy 17 and girl 15) and am very frustrated and don't know what to do, I feel helpless!!!  My daughter called me an idiot last night while I was serving them dinner. WHY you may ask...because all I wanted toMore eat for dinner was a small portion of veggies. She got mad and she demanded I ate more because that was not enough for me. I said no and she pulled my plate away and we started fighting over the plate to the point where I got mad and then she yelled at me "you are an idiot". I was furious because she disrespected me in such way. I felt so heart broken that I left the table FURIOUS without eating, and went to my son's room and cried. I was really MAD / DISAPPOINTED / HEARTBROKEN because I do everything for them,  I go above and beyond for them. They are both spoiled and I feel they are very UNGRATEFUL towards me. They have their own room (I sleep in the living room) and they have phones/computer of their own. I WAKE THEM UP FOR SCHOOL EVERY MORNING and drive them both to school EVERY SINGLE DAY. I was so mad because I feel that they both take advantage of me and everything I do for them. That last night I decided not to wake them up nor take them to school this morning. I feel that they should be RESPONSIBLE enough to get themselves up and walk/buss it to school if I don't. So I did just that, and they didn't go to school. I am not talking to them at ALL right now. I tent to do the silent treatment on them when I am mad. WHAT SHOULD I DO? Do I tell them GROW UP? Be RESPONSIBLE? Is it still my duty as a parent to wake them up and take them to school. PLEASE HELP!!!
    • Brokenmother
      I learned with my youngest that the best way for her to appreciate what she has is to earn it. I keep her phone and she only gets to use it and the computer if and when her chores are done and if she is respectful. I also have aMore rule that it comes into my possession at 9 pm every night. If it's 9:01 it's not given to her the next day. Otherwise she has no access to these things. I even went so far as to remove the tv once and put it in my trunk for a couple days. Once she understood my rules it got worse but within a couple weeks it got better. As I said to her as long as these things are mine and I pay for them, I choose who gets to use them and when. She is now following the rules but not without some under her breath grumbling but I don't care about that.
    • DeniseR_ParentalSupport


      It can be tough to know what you are responsible for and

      what your child is responsible for. In her article https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/learned-helplessness-are-you-doing-too-much-for-your-child/ Debbie Pincus suggests

      one way of answering this question is by asking yourself whether or not it’s

      something your child is capable of doing on his/her own. From that perspective,

      getting your kids up for school wouldn’t be your responsibility per se.

      Suddenly not getting them up without first letting them know about this shift

      in responsibility probably isn’t the best approach. If you have been getting

      your kids up for school every morning up to now, it would be more effective if

      you sit down with them and talk to them about the change. I would also caution

      you not to personalize the things your children saywhen

      you’re arguing or when they are upset. Instead, set a limit around their verbal

      disrespect and then walk away. Disconnecting in this way can help to diffuse a

      situation and keep it from escalating. Carole Banks gives some great examples

      of disconnecting in her article https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/disrespectful-child-behavior-dont-take-it-personally/. I hope this helps to answer your

      question. Be sure to check back and let us know how things are going. Take


      • Lulu8681

        DeniseR_ParentalSupport Lulu8681 Thank you so much, I will definitely look into those articles for more help. 

        By the way I only wanted to add that last night my daughter apologize to me and this morning they BOTH woke up without my help and went to school. But you are right I need to talk to them before hand on the changes. 

        Thank You again!!!

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