Online Parent Support Chat


I feel that disciplining is not helping and is driving him farther away...

My name is Gale and I am a mother of a 14-year-old son and it seems over time that I have noticed a small amount of resistance to guidelines that I set for the family to adhere to. I am a single parent. My son has a way of interpreting my stern guidelines in to terms which mean that I do not love and support, which could be further from the truth. I feel that when he verbalizes his thoughts, I am offended by what he said, and I correct him which causes a big dispute, and attempt defend my position on why by correcting him, which he does not easily accept.

At times he confrontational which I have disciplined him for but today he decided to defined himself, which became a physical altercation, which I am perplexed by. We did contact his biological father which has not been actively engaged in his life for over 11 years, which I am cautious in involving him because his father is over 800 miles away. My hesitation there lies in fact that his father does not discipline him nor does he impose guidelines laying and foundation of respect for my son.

My son claims that he does lots of things that I request of him, such as light cooking, baby sitting his sibling, and other request. But he feels that I don't support him emotionally, which I can concur, due to my sole responsibility of being the provider and the parent without support of family, friends or clergy. I haven't had a stable job in over 1 year, which has taken its toll on me, which intern has place lots of stress on my son.

His father has anger issues in which has driven me away and did not actively seek a relationship with his son for over 11 years. I would like to know how to best involve his father, relieving the stress from son and myself. I would also like to know how to be there for my son when he is confrontational without being intimidated not feeling that I should discipline my son. At this point I feel that disciplining is not helping and is driving him farther away.

My Out-of-Control Teen


Cell Phone Problems

We live out of town on a rural property and had to go to town to do a few things. We did not feel comfortable leaving our son (14years) at home for several hours by himself so he had to come along (which he hates). I offered him a compromise of going to the local pool or being able to stroll around the shopping centre by himself while we shopped. He didn’t like any of these ideas and basically winged really badly all day. A big part of the winging was we said we would look at mobile phones with him as he wants to purchase a new one (his old one broke). We looked at several phones and grabbed some brochures but I think he thought he could get it today but we said no we will take them home and look at the best deals first before making a decision. He wants a phone worth a total of $1465.00 over the duration of a plan etc (he has saved $500.00 already). This phone provides him with free text and MSN for $30.00 a month. It also has internet access and his father and I don’t like this feature as we don’t want him viewing porn. The whole push for this phone is because it is cool and ALL of his friends have one. We are hesitant to help him pay the monthly charges for this phone with his allowance as he does not consistently complete his chores and what will he have to work towards if we allow him to get it now?

My Out-of-Control Teen

He is quick to anger (like his dad)...

I have a 2 teenage sons who lives with their father (since our divorce in 2006) The reason why they are with their dad is because of the way the youngest son Cory behaved with me. (He wouldnt do that with his dad).

I partially blame his father for the way Cory is. His dad was very verbally abusive to me in the last few years of our marriage. I believe that Cory learnt that from his dad.

He is quick to anger(like his dad). He is a tough one & I respect his toughness in alot of ways. Cory has Type 1 Diabetes that he has had since he was 9yrs old. He is now almost 16. My gripe is that despite the fact I try to give him everything he wants(money when he asks for it, clothes bought) and when I ask him to send an email thank you to his Grama for the money she sent at Christmas... its not getting sent. I have had to call and ask both him and his 17yr old brother if they had sent it yet and STILL not done and today is the 30th!! I am so disappointed and today I told them that. Cory started to shout and sware at me saying it wasnt his fault because his email account was not working. I had set up a new email acct for him yesterday although he insisted to try and use an older one. I feel like I have gone out of my way and not asking too much.

I am ashamed that they cant take the time to send a thank you. But whats worse is to be told I am being a dick and to be hung up on... then receive a text from Cory to say it was nt his fault and I was talking to him like a child.

I sent a message to him saying I was upset by his words and very saddened and I would nt be mentioning it to him again.

I sent one to his older brother as well.(I dont get sworn at or hung up on by him although there was a snap and slight raising of the voice.

Things are hard for them at the moment. Their home life with their dad is not a relaxed happy one. Their dad is a very agressive one who is has money problems (he was laid off 6 months ago and money is tight... may lose the house and its just depressing.

I dont want the boys to go without and I realize the only time they contact me is when they need money. (its only Cory that does that ) as Beau has a pt job now. I wish I could do something so that I wouldnt get the verbal abusive swearing and disrespect when I ask Cory to do something.

I dont want to be too hard on him as he is going through alot.

My Out-of-Control Teens


She is 19, with the emotions of a 15 year old...

Dear Mark,

We have been over-indulgent parents, and our daughter is lazy, easily bored and without ambition or goals. She also has ADHD. As her mom, I did lots of things wrong, but some things right. We have a very close, caring and open relationship based on mutual respect. She has stayed away from drugs, sex, and until her second year of college, alcohol. She is not “out of control with anger issues or other law-breaking activities. That said, she has no direction. She has always been socially “behind” her peers.

She wanted to go to a state university an hour away, but without a specific educational direction, I felt it would be better for her to continue to live at home and go to a community college. My husband (who is more indulgent than me) convinced me to allow her to go. She lived in an all-girls dorm with her best friend. She ended the first semester with mostly Ds and on probation. She pulled her grades up the second semester to Bs and got off probation. At the end of the year, some other friends asked her to help save money and share an off-campus apt. (right across the street from campus. We agreed, and she spent the first semester of this year socializing with everyone in her building. She had a great social life, but stayed up late, drank some, and missed lots of classes due to “morning migrains.” She has all Ds and a C.

I made her get a student loan the first year, since she didn’t take high school seriously, I told her I wasn’t paying for her education. However, we make too much money for any aid, and her loan started accumulating interest from day one. The second year we paid, with the stipulation that she pay us back. Now she is home for break and I have decided she will attend the nearest community college and live at home until she gets herself on track.

She is 19, with the emotions of a 15 year old. She doesn’t know what she wants, or what she likes to do. I have told her she has to get a job. And I am implementing rules and trying to implement structure in our home, which I am not very good at myself.

I also have a 13 year old boy, who has had a much more involved mom (I was very ill when my daughter was little). But I see him starting to develop some of these traits also. He is also very ADD, and has some developmental problems, but he was much more docile than she was in temperament, except for he is VERY sensitive to criticism, or even what he thinks is criticism.

Thank you so much for this program. It has confirmed what I have been thinking for a long time, but couldn’t quite figure out what and how to change. Even better, my husband has finally had the light bulb come on about his “enabling” behaviors. He has NO expectations of anyone, and just begins to do everything that he perceives as needing done. It is very destructive to all of us.

Thanks again,

Mrs. T.

My Out-of-Control Teen

Over-Indulged Teen

My son, age 14, spends part of his time at his Dad’s house and part at my house. For the past several years he spent the week at his Dad’s and the weekends at my house. Then his Dad said he couldn’t take Nick’s behavior any more and Nick came to live with me during the week and is with his Dad on the weekends and holidays (his Dad is retired). Nick is generally a good kid (if you give him whatever he wants! Yes, we were over-indulgent); he does very well in school, but he exemplifies the ODD behaviors to a tee. He’s out-of-control when he’s crossed, uncaring, manipulative, destroys property. He also has low self-esteem and seems afraid to do almost anything new.

I want to increase Nick’s self-reliance and change my parenting style to a more assertive style. Luckily, I recently married a man from Wisconsin who has successfully raised responsible children and who had told me prior to my finding your website that I was being too indulgent with Nick and not requiring him to do chores, etc., so I have support from him regarding your parenting strategies.

My Over-Indulged Teen


Everything we do annoys him...

I have a 17yr old son who feels he is too cool for school. He doesn't skip. Does his homework. But refuses to study for tests. This makes him an A-B student who brings home Cs. Also He has been angry since birth, I swear. He recently has escalated to physical violence towards me and his sister and destroying property in my home with very little provocation. This last time I threatened him with police intervention the next time. I really don't want to do this. He swears a lot now in our home and at school. He is never really very happy, but not really depressed either.

Everything we do annoys him. It's like walking on egg-shells in our home. I'm tired of it. He really is a very good kid. Lacks motivation and blames others instead of taking responsibility for his own actions. I just don't know where to turn. I think something is seriously off with him. I am divorced. His father is an active alcoholic who loves him a lot and does the best he can. I am in recovery now for almost 9 yrs. We have always presented a united front for the kids.

My Out-of-Control Teen


I can not let my son get away this time and I demand he responds to the problem...

My son has become very much verbally disrespectful and abusive to me. Each offense of his did not get addressed because he refuses consequences and tells me to shut up etc when trying to talk to him about it.So he gets away with it. As a result he curses me more frequently. Tonight he asked me to help him with Math and he had trouble to get it, so he blamed teacher, text book and me. He took his frustration and anger at me and cursed me again. He punched the wall and slammed the door when I stated the behavior was unacceptable. I can not take this any more because this is endless and frequent and with everything now even with my help he asked. I want him out of the house. I feel like raped by him with his foul languages. For almost two years I could stay cool, but today I finally lost it. My tears were all over my face and I just don't want to be around any more. I don't see hope to stop his this behavior that is getting worse and worse and I can't get him to respond to the problem. This has now affected our relationship re-build hard. I see him as an abusive partner in the house. He has made improvements in a lot of areas as he chooses to do, but definitely gets worse with the verbal abuse. He uses his improvements of other things to threaten me that I have to put up with his abuse or he would stop the other improvements he made. I would imagine that he would leave this house on a very bad term with me and would not have much change with our relationship until he is 40 if that would happen. Where we are standing now is that his behaviors cause conflicts between us and my disciplines and consequences have made him very angry and resentful.

Anyway, my point is that I can not let my son get away this time and I demand he responds to the problem. I want to demand him to give a written apology and come up with what he would do differently next time when he feels like to curse me. Until he acts on my request which he had always successfully got away with, I would not have anything to do with him at home - no speaking, no cooking and do nothing for him this x-mas and his BD on Jan.2. Basically I would be on strike because of his mistreatment to me. If he refuses to make any amends and continue to be verbally abusive, then he needs to find his own place to live. I won't be able to speak about my request to him because as soon as I start talking, he just cuts me off, tells me to shut up and be rude and disrespectful. So, I plan to meet the counselor tomorrow and ask her to talk with my son and get him to be clear about my demand. Do you think I have any chance to be successful to get his attention and look at this issue so that we can manage to live together? What would you suggest me to do? It can not be verbal with him because he just cuts me off and tells me to shut up. I've been mostly using notes to communicate things with him or repeat the house rule if he broke the no alcohol and the drug at home.

My Out-of-Control Teen


I blame my husband for not being a role model for my son...

Please can you help me…. My husband is out of control also, but in a passive, can,t get it together kind of way. He has never disciplined my eldest son who is 15 years of age, he as over indulged him, and has left him to raise himself, no boundaries or values or discipline, and I am at my wits end with my husband and my eldest son, who treats me and his siblings with great disrespect, he threatens me, and has thrown things at me, he steals and lies (but has witnessed my husband lying for years), and does as he pleases, if I try to stop him doing something he shouldn,t be doing,(like taking his brothers bike to pieces because he wants to rebuild parts of his own bike) he gets angry and has pushed me around and threatened me, has his little brother in tears often. My marriage is in tatters because I blame my husband for not being a role model for my son, and for not disciplining him or giving him any boundaries…we are very close to becoming divorced over this, I no longer like my husband or my son.

My son has been disrespectful and rude for many months, he leaves the property without asking or telling me where he is going, steals my mobile phone and uses it to ring his friends, he basically does as he pleases and thinks he is old enough to do as he pleases, threatens to phone social services or the police and says he will tell them that I have pushed him or hit him !!

OI no longer know him or like him, I feel very sad and angry a lot of the time, I feel exhausted and now suffer from great ill health, I have allergy symptoms continually, runny nose, throbbing headaches, sore itchy eyes, I have anaemia, and a very low white cell count, and have had live blood analysis done to try to find out why I am so tired and have been told that my immune system is not working, the white cells are not as numerous as they should be, and they do not mobilize as they should….. I get breathless just going upstairs, My health has been getting bad since my son became out of control. The boy I loved has gone and I feel bereft, and sad. He hates me, he say so often, and to be honest I feel nothing for him, and wish I had never had him.

He has said today that he is starting a job on Monday, he has not asked us if he can have a job, and when I said that I needed to think about this, he got really angry and shouted abuse at me, he said that he didn,t need our permission, that we couldn,t stop him, and he stormed off in a rage.

My concerns are that he is out of control and rude and disrespectful, and iI feel that he needs to be respectful and decent at home before I can allow him to take employment… He has been so nasty and rude and threatened to hurt me yesterday….I asked him to have a salad with his lunch, as we had lots of salad to use up, and it costs a lot of money, ( we eat organic food) and we can,t afford to waste this food, and because he needs to eat something that is good for him,(the whole family was eating salad with their dinner. He refused and stormed off after hurling abuse at me, then crept back into the house and stole a plateful of the cooked food, and took it down the end of the garden… I followed him and got angry, and he then threatened me with violence. A little later, I went into the garage and he had taken his younger brothers bike to pieces to remove some of the parts and had put them onto his bike which was broken ( and was not repaired as he kept breaking it, riding it roughly over muddy tracks, and not looking after it, it was becoming too expensive to keep getting it repaired, ---- his younger brother cherishes his bike and takes great care of it, and he burst into tears when he saw what his brother had done, My eldest son ignored my youngest sons anger and tears, and just cycled off to town after being told to stay on the property and repair his brothers bike.!!

With this background, as I mentioned today my son has told me that he is starting a job on Monday !!!. We have only just started the programme and I ask you please Mark if you could help us with this,

What should we say to our son, I worry that he is so out of control and disrespectful that this must be sorted out first. And also that he is too immature to deal with the money he will get paid…

Please can I ask your advice on how to deal with this…. I am sure after finishing the programme I would know, but I really need help now. My son is going to explode if he is told he can,t have the job,,,,

But I really don,t want him to have it.

Also, might it be good for my son to take the job, as he would be getting discipline from his boss, he has never had any from his father, or will it open a can of worms., my son is like a 6 year old in a 15 year old body and I worry that he will become even more *empowered* and difficult to deal with if he has a job and money, he is so angry and aggressive and bored, he thinks he is old enough to do as he pleases, will letting him have this job reinforce this attitude in him, My son has tried very hard to get a job and has been walking from shop to shop asking for a part time job for months, everyone in our town knows he wants a job as he has asked in every shop….What should we do, should we keep him at home for now until he behaves better, or let him have the job.??? All his pocket money he gets he spends straight away, our younger son has hundreds of dollars saved, but our out of control teenager doesn,t know how to deal with money and just spends it, on rubbish takeaway food etc.. the job is in a tool shop.

My Out-of-Control Teen

Should we allow him the privilege to earn the use of the car...


I recently joined your program on line. This is the first time in several years that I think I have found a possible solution to correct mine and my sons behavior. I realize that I have made mistakes in over indulging my son. He is 17 and seems to be completely out of control.

My son, myself and my husband(my sons step father) live with my parents, so my parents have helped co parent my son since he was four (my sons father died when he was four). In September my father decided he could use my mothers car as long as he maintained a certain grade average. From day one he did not even try. Over the past few months my son has failed two classes, been suspended from school for showing up high, has skipped classes and has been getting worse. Last week, before I came across your web site my father and I took away the car privileges and when my son refused to take out the garbage we took away his cell phone. for two days he refused to go to school until he got the car back, when I said tell me if you are dropping out or not because I need to sign papers at the school, he decided he wanted to go back.

My father went away for a few days this week, and I went away over night. I came home to find out that my mother let him take the car and her cell phone to go out with friends. She tells me that he is very remorseful and did a bunch of chores for her and felt that he could use the car for this weekend, however when his grandfather gets home he could not. I spoke with her at length about interfering in his consequences, she however is a very weak person.

My question to you is now that we have taken away all that is important to my son, should we allow him the privilege to earn the use of the car or do we stick by what we first said which is you will never have access to the car again. Also, what happens when my son refuses to do anything, which he has done in the past. I will tell you however that today for the first time in along time, he helped me unload packages from my car and cleaned up a mess without any back talk. I do know however as I start putting some chores into effect I am going to receive some resistance because he rarely shows up at the house, he goes right to a friends house after school. I would like this to stop, hopefully with the chores that I put in place.

Sorry this is so long, but this has been going on for a long time.

Thank you for this website and your help.

Online Parent Support


I do retaliate, by either yelling back or some punishment...

I have an 11 year old daughter who consistenly tries to get out of school, always complaining of some illness or other.

I have spoken to the school and the school councellor and they have both told me that once she is at school all is well.

She is not being bullied in fact I think sometimes she is the bully.

At home whenever she is asked to do something the answer is always "later, when I'm ready," or "leave me alone". When I demand that she does something, she starts yelling and calling me names, telling me that she hates me and the like. I for the most part try to ignore this as numerous books and online sites have told me to do.

Sometimes I do retaliate, by either yelling back or some punishment or other.

I have considered sending her to boarding school, which is way out of my price range unfortunatly, and also if I did that I would be passing on my problems to someone else and I feel that it is my responsibility to raise my own child... our 16 year old son and our daughter. We live on a 5 acre property with two horses, two cats and a dog, she has all the creature comforts, tv, computer, huge room.

My husband works away and is only home for one week out of four, he has been working away for years.

I don't know what to do or who to contact.

My Out-of-Control Child


He is just so stubborn...

My child has ADHD, ASD and severe anxiety... he also manipulates to get out of doing what he wants to do. He suffers social and general anxiety. Even to the point now that he worries about things like the bubble in the carpet. I have seen him be totally rude to me and refusing to do what I ask, have a temper tantrum and scream over the top of me. He starts this grunting like a wild captured animal so he doesn’t have to listen to me. Then one day I took him to his music lesson. When I went in he was acting so sugary sweet and laughing with the teacher. So very manipulative!

He is 15 nearly 16 but developmentally he is only about 12... so entering puberty. He gets so worked up and as a result gets out of doing what he has to do. We try very hard to support him through difficulties but he is so extremely stubborn. He currently takes so many meds and is seeing a psychiatrist every few months. I am a teacher and have given up work 3 years ago when things started going bad.

My immediate problem – we are having melt downs and rages because he is asked to do basic things like pick up things from the floor of his room or stop hiding food under the couch. He then becomes indigent and screams over the top of us... seeming to have absolutely no respect for either of us. He groans over the top of us which is quite infuriating. Last night when sent to his room to go to bed be was screaming uncontrollably at 11pm and then he began kicking holes in the wall. How do we deal with this today? He has no remorse at all.

Taking things away and punishing him doesn’t seem to have an impact as this has been the main weapon. He is just so stubborn. How do we break this?

The psychiatrist and paediatrician argue that he is so stressed and he just has to let this out!! It has ruined our family life ashe controls what we eat, where we go and who we see.. They want me to pull him out of school and homeschool him as school is causing the stress. I can see it being stressful but I am not strong enough to fight him every minute of the day. I did do this on their advise for 3 months and it nearly killed me and him!!!. He just dug his heals in and refused to work.

I am a mother who is just barely coping. A husband who works far too hard and shouldn’t have to spend his precious time in battles with a stubborn child.

My Out-of-Control Teen


Problems with young adults living at home...

I am the parent of a 23 year old boy who still lives at home with us, i.e. with me, my husband, who is the boy's stepfather and my 21 year old daughter, his sister.

We have had endless problems with this boy over the years and he has been a trial since the very day he was born in fact. A quick background on him: he is intelligent, was sporty but gave it up, now plays in heavy rock bands, smokes and drinks to excess at times.

Hi room is a pig sty, he abuses our property when we are not around, and amongst many other things, speaks terribly to his sister .

Overall, my son is a good kid, I know that, but he has stolen from us in the past and I believe still does and he has a total disregard of looking after our property and adhering to my rules of keeping his room clean. I don't have a real problem if he wants to live in the mess, but our dishes are left in there and the smell emanating from his room drifts into our dining room which you walk through to the rest of the house. He also leaves his cigarette buts overflowing in the container I bought for him next to the couch on the verandah where he smokes, even though this area is used by others too and I have asked him on countless occasions to empty it, which he then does, but then leaves the garbage bag on the floor.

I'd love to throw him out but he has finally settled into study doing a University degree and we feel we'd like to support him in this. He talks about leaving home next year, but I can't see it happening as he spends a lot of the money he earns, drives a car etc.

What I am writing to you for, is I searched the internet on "problems with young adults living at home" and your website selling your book came up. I am wondering if your book is aimed more at younger children, adolescents in fact, not 23 year olds. Would this book help me? (I say me as the problems with him have always ended up at my feet. Others try, but give up quickly and it falls back on me again.) Over the years, there have been counselling sessions and earlier this year he was under an organisation as he was suffering depression and anorexia and found help for this himself. He is a lot better now and has told me that they taught him some strategies for dealing with his anger. He has always been very clever though when dealing with any health professionals and school counsellors.

My Out-of-Control Adult Child


18 year old son angry at the world...

I have an 18 year old son who is angry at the world. He hates me and everyone around him and I don’t know why. 6 weeks ago he took my car out and wrecked it and got a DUI. We went to court on Wednesday and they are trying to get it moved to juvenile court since he was 17 when it happened. Not sure if it will happen and at this point I’m not sure he cares. I do not want this to ruin his life but I have a feeling it is going to. He has not driven since October 23rd and has had his license revoked until February 22, 2009. Now he can’t work and I take him to school everyday and either I or his girl-friend pick him up from school. I’m sure this is embarrassing to him. He also started chewing tobacco and smoking cigarettes. I have forbid him to do it and he does it anyway, right in front of me.

He has been living with me for the last 2 years. I have been divorced for 5 years and prior to him living with me he was living with his dad; who is very strict. His dad has a temper and all they ever did was fight. He begged and pleaded with me to come live with me. I agreed and now I’m wondering if it is too late to help him. I am pretty easy going and I hate conflict. Now it’s coming back to bite me. He swears all the time and when he’s mad at me he calls me terrible names (His dad used to do the same thing). He is a good student and is scheduled to graduate from high school in 3 weeks. I pray he will. He seems very depressed. He has one friend and he treats him like crap so he has stopped coming around. He has a girlfriend and I sense she is getting tired of his negative attitude also. Is it too late to help him? Where do I begin?

I have asked him who he’s mad at. I’ve asked him how I can help. He just responds “I don’t know”. My insides feel like they are being ripped out. I hate seeing my son so angry, unhappy and hateful. I just want him to be happy. Isn’t that my job is to raise him to be a happy human being? I am so lost and all I want to do is to help him. I know he is feeling the whole world is against him. I’m truly afraid he will commit suicide. I could not live with myself if that happened.

I just want my son to have a purpose in this world and to be a happy person.

My Out-of-Control Teen