Online Parent Support Chat

8.5.08

I find it very stressful dealing with my son...

He goes straight to the computer right from the moment he gets home from school at 3.30pm & goes on it till 6 or 7 pm. The computer is in my bedroom so he sits there for hours and hours refuses to come down for his tea or dinner. Now that it's summer, and I bark at him, he leaves the computer at 7pm, goes out to play with his friends and gets home abt 8.30pm, and when he gets home, demands for dinner while watching TV in the living room till about 9.30pm or 10pm, and then I'd have to bark at him to go upstairs and sleep as it's school night. He argues saying that he's the only child in the street who's sleeping so early as all his friends sleep later, all his friends have got TV or computers in their rooms and he's got nothing (He's sleeping in a big room with a double bed all to himself and he's got some wrestling figurines, boardgames, books and study table). He doesn't like reading or studying. Next week on Monday, he will begin his important school exams, but he's not bothered about it. I've tried for the past two weeks to not allow him to be on the computer or tv, but he throws intense temper tantrums, screams, name calling, takes away my laptop & even influences the mind of my daughter to be against me! His behaviour is not a good model for my little girl who's trying to copy him. He treats the house like a hotel and expects things done for him all the time. Everyday, we get into an argument and each time that happens, he wets the bed, creating extra work.I've tried applying consequences for actions, like he can only be on the computer for one hour and I come switch it off, but before I even get near it to switch off, he gives me a very hard time, then I get put off and just leave him alone cos it just drains my energy out as then I'd have to tend to my 5 year old daughter who's busy watching the TV!

He doesn't listen to instructions and does things according to his own accord, not having any fear for authority figures. For example, yesterday, he walked my daughter home from school not using the lollypop man and he was caught by the teacher. He came home angry saying she's got no right to do so cos he was already across the road and out of the school compound. He said he felt like firing her at that point. It's not that my son doesn't know the dangers of crossing the road without using the lollypop man as I've told him many times and the school has reminded the children, but he has always just crossed the busy main road on his own just because all his other friends do it. His excuse was he forgot but I said how could he forget especially yesterday when he was walking his little sister home. As a consequence for not listening to instructions, he was not allowed the computer. Then he threw such a big tantrum (as he usually does), kicking, screaming, crying, saying I'm not being fair, etc etc and all the other stuff you mentioned in your website, and then he just ran up and went on it. This morning, I said since he didn't cross using the lollipop man, that I was walking with him to school. He just walked out of the house angrily and rushed ahead for school with a sour face saying I'm the worst mother on earth etc etc...

I've tried to avoid power struggles with my child but find myself in a constant battle and fighting back in rage. I hate that because it leads to me being all stressed and depressed and him being upset and angry with me and taking things personally.I've also moved from to a child friendly neighbourhood simply to give my kids a better growing up environment but I notice he is easily influenced and getting more defiant, so am thinking of moving somewhere else so he will be more restricted. I find it very stressful dealing with my son as all my decisions in life have to evolve around him. I have no support at all, no peace of mind for my studies and had resorted many times to send him back to his dad cos perhaps he needs his dad at this age and also that my husband would probably be able to handle him using his methods of parenting which is the traditional way. I'm not sure the way ahead but at this stage, I know that some things have to change and I'm hoping to follow through the programme.

My Out-of-Control Teen

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