Online Parent Support Chat

15.7.08

I have to earn his respect and he has to earn mine -- but how?????

My son, Luke, is almost 15 years old, almost straight A student, totally committed to basketball, helps out at bible school by my request, has lots of friends, doesn't get into trouble with the law, is funny, has a muscular in shape body, watches what he eats, so you might be wondering why I am writing. Well here is the other side to Luke -- he is strong willed, doesn't take no for an answer, we fight constantly, he has no respect for me (which is my fault), can't admit when he is wrong, doesn't take responsibility for his actions, always right, has an excuse why he did or didn't do something, and can totally manipulate a situation where he totally believes it. I am at my wit's end with him and my husband is afraid that my son and I are always going to be butting heads because we are both strong willed and neither of us gives in. I looked at your website and I can almost say with certainty that he has smoked a cigarette, drank a beer, did drugs, etc. There is always a chance and I will never say never but we are very much involved in his life, talk openly about drugs and sex, give him different scenerios and ask him how he would handle it, etc. He is a totally commited kid to basketball, football, golf, and getting good grades. He is sloppy and unorganized, but very, very smart.

We have tried really hard but he is a hard-headed kid and I have failed miserably with him. For example, on the basketball court, he is a total baby when the calls don't go his way, if someone screws up, if he screws up, etc. He is out of control and nothing gets him out of acting like a little baby. It's embarrassing watching him when he loses it. It's disheartening that we have never made excuses for his behavior, we have talked relentlessly about his behavior with him, taken games away, and yet he still doesn't get it. His best friends this weekend told him how they felt and he just kept saying "but" and I said zip it and listen to what they are saying to you. He is going into high school this year and I want him to be successful on and off the court and am afraid that all of the time and talent that he has devoted to the game will be wasted because he doesn't know how to lose graciously and win humbly. I take responsbility in the fault of him. I have been a terrible, controlling, degrading parent to him and I have to change but struggle every day. My instinct is to yell to get him to listen and ground him, which does nothing. I myself get so out of control and say things that I don't mean in the heat of the moment that it isn't any wonder where he got it from. I know he doesn't respect me and nor should he after all of our arguments. I have to earn his respect and he has to earn mine -- but how?????

My Out-of-Control Teen

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